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and the hosts appointed to victory. After long tarrying with his mighty army arround the leaguered walls of Babylon, it was suggested to the besiegers to divert the course of the Euphrates; and through the channel of its dry bed they entered into the midst of the city, while its rulers, amid their profane orgies, were boasting of its im• pregnable walls. A traitor superseded the necessity for this laborious device when it again fell before another conqueror, and its glory passed away as an imperial city. Thenceforth it had to pay the tribute it had so long exacted, and to endure the humiliation thus strikingly foretold : “ Come down and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground, there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans.” It was not, indeed, by one conquest that this earliest seat of empire was laid utterly waste. Though the spoiler had become the prey, yet her glory and wealth tempted the conqueror to reserve to her some rank and honour. Thus was Babylon sustained, only to experience repeated reverses and humiliations. Alexander marched against it, and Babylon exchanged the Persian for the Macedonian yoke. Seleucus, one of the successors of the Macedonian conqueror, built the city of Seleuca in its neighbourhood, and thereby rapidly hastened its decay. Antegonus, Demetrius, and Antiochus the Great, all successively became its conquerors. The Parthians spoiled it once more, and Phrahates, their king, delegated his authority to a licentious favourite, who degraded it still lower by oppression and spoliation. “there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans," exclaims the prophet, foretelling her utter degradation, and the enslavement of her inhabitants. “ Thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal.” And now the desolate heaps and pools that stand along the reedy banks of the Euphrates are a monument in our own day of the truth of prophecy. Every word spoken against Babylon has been, and is now being, literally fulfilled. The glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, is as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. The wild beasts of the desert prowl about its heaps. It is made a possession for the bittern and pools of water. It is literally swept with the besom of destruction.

Modern research, however, will doubtless now recover from its desolate ruins much that will add to our knowledge of its former grandeur, and help to illustrate the greatness of its fall. In the course of one of Major Rawlinson's valuable coinmunications to the Royal Asiatic Society, on the Assyrian inscriptions and antiquities, he described some very interesting observations already noted by him in reference to Babylonia, and noticed eight or nine of its kings whose names were found upon different monuments; but he added, that in the present state of our knowledge, it was impossible to classify these monarchs, or even to identify any kings but Nebuchadnezzar, and his father, Nebopolasser. He observed, that throughout Babylonia Proper, even at Borsippa, which was evidently one of the oldest sites in the country, the only name which he had found upon the bricks was that of Nebuchadnezzar, or rather Nabochodrossor. This king appeared to have formed some hundreds of towns around Babylon, rebuilding the old cities and founding new ones. Further to the south, however, at Niffer, at Warka or Orchöe, (Ur of the Chaldees), at Umgheir, and Umwáweis, there are magnificent ruins belonging to other royal lines ; and it is probable that if bricks from all these sites were collated, something definite might be made out with regard to the Babylonian and Chaldean chronology.

Major Rawlinson drew especial attention to the standard inscription of Nebuchadnezzar, the best and most perfect copy of which is engraved on a slab preserved in the India House. This, he said, is a sort of hieratic statisti

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cal charter. He did not pretend to be able to read and interpret it throughout; but he had, he observed, found in it a detail of all the temples built by the king in the different towns and cities of Babylonia, together with the names of the particular gods and goddesses to whom the temples were dedicated, and a variety of matter regarding the support of the shrines, and the ceremonial and sacrificial worship performed in them, which it is exceedingly difficult to render with any approach to literal certainty with the present imperfect knowledge of the language.

Major Rawlinson further stated, that the name of Babel was never used until the time of Nebuchadnezzar; and he protested, therefore, against the possibility of the title being found in an Egyptian inscription of Thothmes III., as has been maintained by other intelligent archäologists. The ancient name of Babylonia, he conceives, was Senárch, the Shinar of Scripture, and Sevaas of Histiæus. In more recent times, it was termed Babeleh, or more frequently Athreh, a title which he considers to be identical with the Otri of Pliny. Thus do we find, on every hand, the researches of modern science and learning throwing new light on those ancient Scriptures, which the infidel, in his pride of learning, has sought in vain to decry; while history is being extended and amplified in many departments where its imperfect and meagre records had seemed to be closed without hope or possibility of addition.

CHAPTER III.

NINEVEH.

The tents are all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown;
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal ;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.

BYRON.

The interest which hangs around the history of Nineveh, and the ancient empire of Assyria, has been greatly heightened during recent years by the extensive and successful investigations of the long-buried ruins of some of the chief Assyrian cities. This we chiefly owe to the indefatigable zeal and enterprise of our fellow countryman, Dr. Layard, and to M. Botta, a native of France, each of whom have secured for their own country most valuable and magnificent monuments of ancient Assyrian luxury and art. Wandering amid the vast plains of Asia, and and seeking not in vain, the hospitality of the wild Arab's hut, Dr. Layard had happily rendered himself familiar with eastern life and manners, and had been unconsciously educating himself for his important task, as the restorer of long buried annals of the elder world, when he at length bent his course towards the seat of some of its first cities. “I had traversed," says he,“ Asia Minor and Syria, visiting the ancient seats of civilization, and the spots which religion has made holy. I now felt an irresistible desire to penetrate to the regions beyond the Euphrates, to which

history and tradition point as the birthplace of the wisdom of the West. Most travellers, after a journey through the usually frequented parts of the East, have the same longing to cross the great river, and to explore those lands which are separated on the map from the confines of Syria by a vast blank stretching from Aleppo to the banks of the Tigris. A deep mystery hangs over Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldæa. With these names are linked great nations and great cities dimly shadowed forth in history; mighty ruins in the midst of deserts, defying, by their very desolation and lack of definite form, the description of the traveller; the remnants of mighty races still roving over the land; the fulfilling and fulfilment of prophecies; the plains to which the Jew and the Gentile alike look as the cradle of their race. After a journey in Syria the thoughts naturally turn eastward; and without treading on the remains of Nineveh and Babylon our pilgrimage is incomplete.

“ As we journeyed thither we rested for the night at the small Arab village of Hammum Ali, around which are still the vestiges of an ancient city. From the summit of an artificial eminence we looked down upon a broad plain, separated from us by the river. A line of lofty mounds bounded it to the east, and one of a pyramidical form rose high above the rest. Beyond it could be faintly traced the waters of the Zab. Its position rendered its identification easy. This was the pyramid which Xenophon had described, and near which the ten thousand had encamped : the ruins around it were those which the Greek general saw twenty-two centuries before, and which were even then the remains of an ancient city. Although Xenophon had confounded a name, spoken by a strange race, with one familiar to a Greek ear, and had called the place Larissa, tradition still points to the origin of the city, and, by attributing its foundation to Nimroud, whose name the ruins now bear, connect it with one of the

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