« السابقةمتابعة »
of the Arabs found several remnants ceeded in sticking one of their daggers of temples, with hieroglyphics. In one in his head, and by that means hauled was a beautiful cornice and a frieze, it on shore. Our Egyptian crew had with the winged globe highly finished. done the same near Beni Hassan. We The natives showed us some Greek got it on board, and, though nearly and Roman ornaments, such as the dead, it sensibly affected my arm in spread eagle, ornamental cross, &c. laying hold of it. I felt a double shock Near the village are some fragments up the arm near the elbow. It was of a temple, consisting of several about two feet long; had very small broken pieces of red granite pillars, eyes. The belly and top of the back also some small ones of beautiful white white; one dorsal fin, and the sides, marble. From the appearance of these were coloured dark brown with black ruins, the fineness of the situation, and spots; it had no scales. Our sailors the rich plain of cultivated land near in Egypt ate the one they caught, but it, I think this must once have been a the present crew would not touch this, populous and flourishing city, in the even when dead, and consequently time of the Greeks and Romans, as harmless, much less eat it. They all well as the Egyptians. Close to the told us we avoided the shock by utterruins there is a natural rock standing ing a charm, or using some magic by itself, with a doorway leading to a influence. This day one of the boys very small recess or chamber, in which of our crew brought on board a cameare two Egyptian figures, in intaglio, lion. He caught it in an acacia on the wall: one is a man, the other (called in Nubia the soont) tree, which a woman with the lotus flower in her they affect more than the date, or any hand. There is a double row of hiero- other tree in this country. On coming glyphics near the inner figure, and a on board, it hissed and shewed sympniche at the further end of the cham- toms of anger, evincing at the same ber about four feet square. time a great desire to make its escape. It was then of a dirty green colour, with dark spots, and whenever it was approached it turned to a dusky brown, inflating itself at the same time. I conclude that one hue is the effect of fear, and the other of indifference. We had subsequently eight of these animals on board; some of them became so tame, that when the flies annoyed us we had only to take one of the camelions in our hand, and place it near the flies, and it would catch them with its long tongue in great numbers.
We bathed this morning opposite a village, and on a sand-bank in front of us, at not more than a musket-shot distant, we observed two crocodiles (timsah in Arabic). As soon as we went into the water they both walked into the river, to all appearance from fear, for they are certainly both shy and timid, and, I suspect, will only attack a single person; nor then, unless they can surprise him in the water, and off his guard. We saw no more of these two, but, at noon, we saw another swimming with his nose just out of the water. We also observed a pretty large water-lizard, and a small black water-snake. To-day the sand-hills have assumed a fine green appearance, being covered here and there with tamarisk. This verdure, contrasted with the dark yellow sand, forms a pleasing 'diversity of colour. In the evening, while towing the boat, our sailors found a torpedo on the very brink of the river, apparently asleep. It was curious to observe their caution and timidity in approaching it; they, however, suc
July 1. In the evening we arrived at Farras, when two natives, with the men servants of Hassan Cashief, came to us, and we made a bargain with them to procure asses and camels to go above the second cataract. One of these remained in the boat, and the other promised to meet us at Elpha on the morrow with the animals. Elpha is opposite the second cataract, and is the last habitable place to which the Nubian boats ascend.
July 2.-Arrived at the second cataract, and perceiving we should have a long distance to walk to the elevated
rica this would be called "a rapid," there being no direct fall, only an immense cluster of innumerable black rocks, with the Nile running in all directions with great rapidity, and much noise between them; they fill up the whole breadth of the river, which may be about two miles wide, and they extend as far as the eye can reach, altogether making a space of about ten miles of rapids: three below the rock on which we stood, and seven above. The scenery here is remarkably wild, there being no human habitation visible, excepting a fisherman's hut on one of the islands, and the village of Elpha on the opposite side of the river, in the distance; some of the rocks have beds of yellow sand on them, and most of the islands have small trees and shrubs growing in the crevices: the verdure of these, contrasted with the sand and black rocks, produces a fine effect. In front, and on both sides, the view is bounded by the desert; to the southward are the tops of two high mountains rearing their heads above the hills, and apparently seventy or eighty miles distant. The western bank of the river is richly covered with trees and shrubs, and it is curious to observe, immediately beyond this green margin, the barren desert, without the least vestige of verdure. Having bathed and dined on bread and cheese, we set out on our return to the bark, our guides urging us to be quick, lest we should be benighted; they said the serpents and other venemous reptiles always came down by night to drink, and they were apprehensive that we should tread on them; they also said we should meet robbers at night: these people have a remarkable aversion to being in the dark. I remember, when at Dendera, our servant, an Arab, hurried off and left us behind, when he thought we should be late in returning to our boat; and whenever our lights have gone out in a tomb or temple, the Arabs have always clapped their hands, and made a noise to keep their spirits up till the light returned. In the evening, after dark, we reached the boat.
point from whence the finest view of it is obtained, we requested the reis to take us higher up the river, in order to shorten the walk, but all the boatmen persisted that it was impracticable for the boat to go higher on account of the rocks; they offered, however, to take us if we would first go over to Elpha, on the opposite side of the river, and land all our effects, and then return again. We required the reason of this odd proposition, when they said that they were apprehensive of thieves on that side of the river. We did not however like the scheme, and therefore refused to do so, urging them to advance higher up, as we plainly perceived we might go a good league farther without the least risk, but nothing would induce them to consent. In the mean time another boat arrived, and we perceived that our reis and his sailors were in league with the men of the other boat, to force us to take their bark; but we determined to walk rather than submit to this imposition, as the new comers wanted a high price, and accordingly we set out. The sand was deep and the sun very hot, so that we soon found that walking in the desert is no joke: our trip occupied us about two hours, from one o'clock to three, the hottest part of the day. On the road we found innumerable tracts of the gazelle and other animals; we saw seven of the former in one group, and three in another. They were not so timid as we expected, and stopped to gaze on us with their ears cocked up like deer in a park their colour is brown, not much unlike the sand, and when they are in a valley it is difficult to perceive them. We were not more than two musket-shots distant from the three we first saw. When running, they are wonderfully light and nimble, and while on the rocky parts bounded with great agility. The spot from whence we surveyed the cataract was a projecting cliff, about 200 feet high, with a perpendicular precipice down to the river side; from this place, which is on the western bank, you look down on the cataract to great advantage; it presents a fine coup d'œil the river here runs E. N. E. and W. S. W. In Ame
July 3.-In the morning at daylight
sent word to the crew to come, but they replied that they would not; that we might buy the boat if we chose, but that they would not navigate her: at the same time they said that they were people who did not value their lives a pigeon, and would take ours for half a one. While all this was passing, we observed the natives assembling in every direction, armed with spears, swords, and daggers; every minute they were arriving from all quarters on asses, and always going to the rendezvous under the sackey, where our vile crew had it in their power to tell any falsehoods against us without our being able to confute them, as neither our Arab cook, the Greek servant, or janissary understood the Barbarin language. Several of the Barbarins now came to see what arms we had, and appeared to take an exact account of everything in the shape of a weapon; for seeing affairs in this posture, we had prepared for the worst, and laid
we crossed over to Elpha, the way to which place leads through several intricate passages, amongst rocks and shoals, where the current runs with great rapidity. In one part we were obliged to pass close under a high bluff, with some ruined houses on it: it was not necessary to pass through this intricate passage, our boatmen took it when we were all asleep, and we only perceived our situation on awaking at Elpha. We here found that neither asses nor camels had arrived to take us up to the temple, the reason assigned for this was, that the price agreed on the day before, at three piastres for each animal was not enough, though the person who made the agreement was there. We now endeavoured to procure beasts of the inhabitants, but they haggled so much about the price that we could make nothing of them. While this was going on, our crew, reis and all, took their clothes, arms, and effects out of the boat, and walked off to a sackey, about 20 yards' dis-out all our arms in readiness, with tance, on the banks of the river: here they squatted down amongst a considerable number of natives; we had not taken notice of this proceeding, as their clothes, &c. were all kept abaft, behind the end of our cabin. When we could not agree for the asses, &c., we said we did not want them, and would go back to Abou-Simbel; with this intention we called the reis, and desired him to get the bark ready to return, but received an immediate answer that "neither he nor his crew would come." When we sent to know the reason of their refusal, they replied, that we must give them more money for the boat before they would come on board: they also said that we had never fed them, nor had we given them backsheeish, and when we reminded them of what they had received at Derry, they said that was nothing.
We now threatened to go off with the boat, and for that purpose rigged the oars across, but the wind being strong against us, we did not get under weigh. When the oars were ready we
*Sackey is the Persian wheel with which they raise water from the river; it is described by Burckhardt, Norden, and other travellers.
which, fortunately, we were well provided. After a little time a message came from the crew that they wanted money; we sent them word that they must first come and do their duty; that as soon as the boat was off from this place, they should have a backsheeish, but not one para till they had done their duty. They now sent word that we had absolutely starved them, which was no doubt what they told the natives; they also informed us, that at this very place they had beaten Jacques Rifaud during his last voyage, and that it was done in the presence of the sheikh of the place, and all the natives; and that they had made him pay fifty piastres for the stick they had broken over his head. At Derry they had talked to us about his generosity. At this moment several of the natives came down demanding backsheeish, backsheeish, in a threatening manner. We asked the reason why we should give them money? They replied, for seeing the cataract, and coming into their country. A loaded musket was now pointed at them, and they were asked if they wanted money by force
or good means; on which they retired, not stir up the natives to any acts of saying la, la, la, no, no, no, evidently violence, they returned to the boat, all not liking the sight of fire-arms. We armed, having their daggers fastened now told them, that if we had seen the to the left arm above the elbow joint, cataract without paying, so they had the manner in which all the Nubians seen us without giving us anything as wear that weapon. As soon as the a recompense, though we were as novel boat was ready, they asked for the a sight to them as their cataract was money, when we gave them fifteen to us, and therefore we were quits. piastres. Before we were off, however, one of the Farras people came to be rewarded for endeavouring to hire the asses at that place, or rather for disappointing us. We offered him five piastres, which he indignantly refused; but seeing he could get no one to assist him in forcing us to give more (for all these people are impudent and bullying for their own interest, but never for another's), came back and said he would take the five: this we now refused; when he went off in a violent rage, uttering threats that we should hear more of him below. After this, we got off from this infamous place, and soon found what a trap they had set for us; for it was with the utmost difficulty that even the crew could get the boat through the numerous narrow passages, all of them being obliged to get out into the river, and guide her through amongst the rocks; and we were also forced to pass directly under the bluff before mentioned, where the natives, had we ourselves taken the boat off, would have annoyed us greatly, while they would have been sheltered behind the ruined village. Indeed our crew wished us above all things to take the boat off, that they might represent us to the inhabitants as robbers, stealing their bark. However, we saw through all this.
Some of the most impudent now came down, and on being refused money said we should wait where we were till the high Nile: that we should neither go upward or downward, laughing and hooting at the same time; our villanous crew all this while sitting under the sackey, and enjoying the storm they had raised against us. To all their threats we constantly replied, that we were well armed, were determined not to be robbed, and that should they come to extremities, we would certainly make good use of our fire-arms, which we took care they should all see were pretty numerous and loaded. The asses were now brought, and the people endeavoured to persuade us to go off to the temple, evidently in the hope of plundering the boat when we were gone. We saw through this trick, and positively refused to go. We also told the natives, that though we were few in number, we had the firman of the pasha, and that any violence offered to us would be sure to be well punished. Those who had brought the asses now asked some remuneration for their trouble, as we had refused to hire them. This we thought reasonable; and, to draw off their attention, (for there were about forty of them), we gave eight piastres to be divided amongst the claimants. The division of this money turned affairs very much in our favour; for they began to quarrel amongst one another immediately.
July 4.-We arrived at Abou-Simbel, and found that no message whatever had been received from the cashiefs at Derry. This was a sad disappointment to us. Our crew, now The crew now thinking that they dreading the presence of the chiefs, should get nothing for themselves, sent came to beg forgiveness; saying that a messenger, while the natives were they had forgotten and forgiven everydisputing about the division of the eight|thing, and hoped that we had. They piastres, to say they would come and prepare the boat provided they had the backsheeish. We repeated our terms, that they should have a present when they did their duty. Seeing they could
said they would behave well in future -"that they were poor, and always made a practice to get all they could from passengers and strangers." They remarked, "that dogs, when repulsed,
always made a practice of returning to get something as long as there was anything to be had." This appears to be a favourite proverb amongst them. July 6.-We visited the small temple opposite Abou-Simbel on the south side of the river. This temple is excavated in the solid mountain; the entrance is situated on the side of a rocky precipice, which below slopes into the river: there are some remains of steps cut in the rock as an approach to it. The principal chamber is 10 paces long, by 9 wide it is supported by four pillars, two on each side of the passage. In the centre, at the further end of the apartment, there is on each side a doorway communicating with side chambers, 9 paces by 4 each. The sanctuary at the end of the principal chamber is paces by 4; this is the most common mode of construction in the Egyptian temples. At present the interior of this temple appears daubed all over with dirty plaster and Greek paintings, mostly representing men on horseback. Behind these, however, we easily discovered the Egyptian figures, hieroglyphics, &c. &c., in bas-relief on stucco. As most of the figures represent men with hawks' heads, we think this temple was dedicated to Osiris; and afterwards, perhaps, converted into a church of St. George. The sanctuary has been once ornamented, but the side apartments are plain. There is a small subterraneous chamber below the sanctuary, apparently intended for a sepulchre.
July 7.-A messenger on a dromedary arrived from Daoud Cashief to learn "if we were the same English for whom Hassan Cashief had promised to open the temple;" at the same time he sent word, that if we were the same persons he would immediately come himself; but if not, he knew what to do. The latter part of the message alluded to the French, who had used every effort to get Hassan Cashief to allow them to open the temple after Mr. Belzoni's first attempt in 1816. Mr. Belzoni, however, had fortunately, after his first effort, sent Hassan and his two sons a
turban each, and some other presents, in Mr. Salt's name: this he did to bind them to their promise, and they certainly deserve credit for keeping it. It ought to be mentioned, also, that Mr. Drovetti, in the early part of 1816, on his way to the second cataract, before Mr. Belzoni's arrival in Nubia, had contracted with Hassan Cashief to open the temple, for 300 piastres, and left the money; Hassan promising that Mr. Drovetti should find it ready opened on his return from the falls: however, when he came back, his money was returned, the chief candidly telling him he could not undertake the task for so small a sum. As Mr. Drovetti would not go to a greater expense, the field now became open to any one else who chose to attempt the enterprise.
July 6.-In the morning we started early with two of the natives in search of a temple which they said was in the neighbouring mountains, about a "pipe" distant; for it is common among them to estimate a short journey by the number of pipes they can smoke during its performance. our way we met two white gazelles ; they were very timid; the belly and tail were perfectly white. After walking about an hour, we came to the mountains, where, having waited about two hours more, our conductors came and said, they could not find the temple, though the evening before they had described the size and every particular of it. In the evening we had a violent quarrel with the crew in consequence of their drawing their daggers on our servants. We told them that the first who drew his dagger should be severely punished: this threat, however, had so little effect, that one of them who had murdered his own brother at Phila (for which reason he did not dare to go near the island, but was taken into our boat at a village above it), said he would be the first, and swore by Alla and the Prophet that he would have one of our lives; adding, that his method was not to attack people awake, but to stab them sleeping. We laughed at their threats, and told them they were