Images de page

Concerning the weather in Egypt, it is observed, that from Alexandria to Feshne, the air is often thick, the sky obscured, and it frequently rains ; but at Feshne, and higher up, it is always fair. And yet, our Author fays at Meshie it rained very hard, and thundered, for the space of an hour.

Mr. Greaves fays, that the stones were hewen, according to Herodotus and Diodorus, out of the Arabian mountains. But our Author asserts, that a great part of the stones employed in building the pyramids, were taken from the caverns which are seen in great number near the pyramids. The rest came from the other fide of the Nile: and when the waters were high, it was easy to convey the stones to the bridge mentioned by Herodotus, and along that to the mountain where the pyramid was to be built.

The temples seen to the east, and joining the pyramids, were built of very large stones. It is astonishing so few travellers have taken notice of them. They seem to have been open on the top. Their great circumference rendered it impossible to find stones large enough to reach from side to side: and as there are no remains of any column, it is to be presumed the pyramids were built before columns were in use. This may perhaps account for their form; if they did not underItand the art of covering buildings, or supporting them by columns, they could not be contrived so as to be covered, but in the shape of pyramids *

The blackness which Mr. Greaves discovered within the pyramid, and which seemed to him to have proceeded from

* That the pyramids were 'erected before the use of pillars, or. such "artificial supports, was known to the Ægyptians, appears a favourite hypothesis' of our Author: but may it not be objected, that such supports (without which the ineanest huce' could scarce be built) mult, in all probability, have been very early, and naturally suggested to man, by observing the stems of trees and plants, and the feet of animals; and that the pyramids, being works of great magnificence, are, doubtless, of much later date than the mention of the simple, perpendicular, prop, which must have occurred long before the chizzelling, cementing, and polishing of marble! We are not to venture 1oo far in our conclusions from what we have as yet discovered of the internal structure of the pyra. mids : there



many undiscovered passages, and chambers in, and underneath them, of which we know no more than Herodotus and Pliny knew before us; and of which we must remain in ignor rance, till the hand of time, or some more successful researches ihan have yet been made, thall open to our view the hidden recesses of these amazing structures. As to the shape or form of the pyramid, it might have been previously determined, by the aftronomical pur poses for which they were, perhaps, originally designed. S 3



we think

hence, that those inlets had been a receptacle for the burn. ing of lamps, is nothing more than the smoke of the flambeaux carried by those who have visited this monument since it has been opened. Mr. Greaves says, from Herodotus, that the second pyramid hath no subterraneous structures. On which our Author observes, that Herodotus must have faid this on hear-say: for as the pyramid is Thut, he could not have examined into it himself. What can when told by Strabo and Pliny, that the water of the Nile enters the pit or well of the first pyramid? Could they have seen this? Did they hear it from others ?-It is certain their descriptions suit not the present state of these places.

Mr. Norden fays, it gives him great pain to examine minutely all that Mr. Greaves has said of the second pyramid, it is so very faulty. He thinks our Professor relied too much upon the authority of his Venetian friend, who might have deceived him; and being tired with his examination of the first pyramid, have paid two little attention to the fecond. It is certainly as large as the first. Tho' the steps or degrees do not appear at the bottom of this second pyramid, they are apparent towards the top; the lower degrees having been destroyed by the violence with which they were treated when the granite which covered them, and which remains above, was

taken away.

Authors are greatly mistaken in saying it is the third pýramid which is partly built of Basaltes, whereas it is the fourth ; which Mr. Greaves is the more excufable for not having seen, as it is hid by the others, and not easily discernable, even when you are at no great distance from it. Whether it is of Basaltes or not, is uncertain; it is not however of the substance of that fine vase in the collection of Cardinal Albani at Rome: but it is as hard, and something blacker than Granite. The Yummit of this pyramid is of a yellowish ftone, of the same quality with that of Portland; and the other pyramids are constructed of the same stone. There can be no doubt of the existence of this fourth pyramid. Lord Sandwich observed it well, and Mr. Norden's designs prove it.

The rest of the pyramids in the Lybian Desert are well worthy the attention of a traveller; and it is very strange, that ancient as well as modern authors should not have mentioned them. They conlist of four or five degrees or stories, each thirty or forty teet high. Lord Sandwich took great notice of these pyramids, and in particular, of one which was never finished, and which may serve to fhew in what manner these buildings were constructed. The two largest of these


pyramids are equal to any of those at Memphis. Those at Sakkara were certainly the oldest, and from them the model was taken to build the rest.

We should now return to our Author's description of Alexandria, but having, on account of the importance as well as novelty of the subjects treated above, exceeded the usual bounds of an Article in our Review, we shall defer the rest of this yaluable work to another month, and conclude for the present with some remarks we have made upon Hieroglyphics.

I. Įt is evident from a slight inspection of these ancient inscriptions, that they are not entirely composed of the representations of animals and other objects, but are intermixed with certain characters that cannot well be taken for any other than letters. Of this fort, we believe, are the three characters in a frame in the tree, in Mr. Norden's fifty-eighth plate; where are three human figures. One ftands pointing to a bar under the frame of the inscription in the tree; by his beard he should be a man. Another, seeming to be a female by the largeness of the left breast, is without a beard, and fits on a large square block : and the points likewise to the tree. The third figure stands behind her, and has a beard, and a high corno to his cap. They have all different caps, which may serve to distinguish their characters. The oval figure over the three characters in the frame, we take to be a resemblance of the fruit, and, perhaps, the three letters express the name of it. If it is an apple, the oriental word in Hebrew, and Arabic, for that fruit, is expressed by these three letters, Trc; and the Coptic or Egyptian word is also very like it: but Strabo says they have no apples in Egypt. Beneath the Bass-relief are no more than five distinguishable characters : one is round, and may signify the fruit as above; another is waving, and may signify water, or the letter M, as in the Samaritan alphabet', another, which we take to be imperfect, is like the Hebrew Vau: one of them is the same with the middle letter in the frame; and another resembles a square, or large Hebrew Heth; and is the very same with that held in the woman's hand, which looks as if it were designed to be held up, that the bar or line, which the man seems to be about striking from him, towards the woman, might pass through it.

2. As the Obeliscs were all confecrated to the sun, and took their form, as Pliny and others observe, from a solar ray, and might serve some astronomical purpose, as a Meridian, &c. it is not to be doubted but the principal characters inscribed on them, relate to Astronomy. The early use of fuch characters is evident from the Sphinx, which emblematically describes the season for the rising of the waters of the Nile; that is, when the sun enters Leo and Virgo: from these two constellations is made the Sphinx; which word signifies, in the Chaldee dialect, to over-flow; and the cause of this over-flowing of the Nile being a 'riddle to the antients, probably gave rise to the accounts we have, from them, of riddles propounded by the sphinx.

3. Those inscriptions that are found in their cometeries or sepulchral caverns, and amidst the ruins of their temples, are certainly historical, as they have ever been in all other the like places and if with the inscriptions we could obtain welldrawn copies of the bass-reliefs, and figures that attend them, it is possible we might in time read, from authentic records, the most ancient history of Egypt.

4. The true reason why unknown characters' continue une known, is, because they are given, in too small parcels, intą the hands of the interpreter : this was the case of the few Pale myrene inscriptions at first brought into Europe. If a very arge quantity of these hieroglypliic characters were given, with all the helps that might be communicated, it is not to be doubtted but a good Decypherer and able Orientalist, might in time discover their use and meaning.

5. We therefore earnestly recommend to all who travel, or correspond, in Egypt, that accurate drawings may be taken of the inscriptions, images, and bass-reliefs there and when the communication is, more open than at present, we could wilh the same were done in Africa *.

See the History of Africa, by Leo Africanus ; who mentions many antient inscriptions, in various characters.

All the Orations of Demofthenes, pronounced to exçite the Athe

nians against Philip King of Macedon, translated into Englis: digested and connectedy so as to form a regular History of the Progress of the Macedonian Power: with Notes his orical and critical. By Thomas Leland, B. D. Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. 4to. 6s. Johnston, F not only to comprehend the true interests of one's coun


ing all hearts to unite in the common cause, can render any character illustrious, that of Demofthenes was certainly such who, in an age of corruption, selfishness, and vanity; and among a people, learned, generous, and acute; opposed wife


dom to vanity, patriotism to selfishness, and infamy to cora ruption.

And if active life, thus engaged, is worthy of admiration; a man of learning, who employs his leisure to impart to us, in our own language, the sentiments of such a patriot, at a time when these sentiments deserve our utmost attention, may may justly be said to merit our esteem and our praise.

But Mr. Leland hath not only translated, with a spirit nearly approaching to the original, and with a truth conformable to the letter of it, all the Orations which he fuppofes now to remain, of those pronounced by Demosthenes, to excite the Athenians against Philip of Macedon; but he has illustrated these Orations, in order to adapt them to all readers, with Notes, not only from his own fund, but, among the antients, from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, whom he principally regards, and from Ulpian, Libanius, Suidas ; and, among the moderns, from Tourreil, whom he seems most to honour, and upon whose translation he animadverts, and from d’Olivet, and Mountenay, as also the authors of the Universal History, whom he corrects in a certain particular: and that nothing might be wanting to render Orations of fuch antiquity, and addresled to a state so long ago dissolved, entirely clear in every part, and instructive in every circumftance, even to the most illiterate reader; he hath, in his preface, and in the introductory pieces to each Oration, and by a conclufion fubjoined to the whole, fo connected the Histories of Greece and Macedon, fo described the internal condition of their different states, and fo characterised the leading men at Athens, and Philip of Macedon, that nothing can be obscure, nothing uninteresting, in any of these Orations.

The Translation is inscribed to the Lord Viscount Charlemont; and accompanied with a map of ancient Greece, and the parts adjoining

Upon the whole, our ingenious Divine, by judiciously adopting the obseryations of Dionysius, in opposition to those of Tourreil and the Scholiast, hath enabled himself to arrange these Orations in the very order in which they were spoken. Thus, in the Olynthiac Orations, he places first, what common editors call the second; gives the second place, to what hath the third with them; and the third place, to what with them hath the first. We could have wished, howeyer, that he had been lefs complaisant to Mr. Mountenayi and that, depending on his own judgment, supported by the Buthority of the discerning Dionysius, he had entirely fevered


« PrécédentContinuer »