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shall taste repose. So speaks the veiled Isis of modern infallibility to the chafing soul. It is blasphemous; for thus only may God speak. It is unmanly; it is debasing. Yet multitudes have responded to its allurements, and others still will hear and hush in stony quietude. For there's witchery in it, the witchery of the yearning so beautifully put by Tennyson, in his “Lotos Eaters":
“Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
And in a little while our lips are dumb.
Give us long rest or death, dark death or dreamful ease." We close these remarks with simply repeating that our aim has been only to illustrate a certain charm in the daring eccentric speculations, disdainful scepticism, gross perversions of truth, so prominent in our day, a witchery only too powerful in its adaptation to the sympathies and tendencies of the human heart. If we have succeeded in directing attention to this matter our purpose is attained. It surely is not the logic which comiends many a gross error of our time; nor the keen discrimination and massive argument which make many a wild baseless theory so attractive to warm, eager, youthful minds. Let us understand what it is with which we have to deal; what kind of foe; what armour of defence and weapon of offence. It is possible in our controversies here below to be using argument to no more decisive purpose than the swords with which the battling spirits smote one another in the tremendous conflict on the fields of heaven in “Milton's Paradise Lost.” Our foes may be not the solid phalanx of reasoning and argument with which we know how to deal, but the subtle fantasies and tendencies, the secret sympathies and cravings of the soul, which obey no logical demand, nor can be compelled by any strain of philosophic analysis, but are like the spirits in that airy war in heaven:
Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
charm ective remy Coler
Heliopolis, Phænician Era, Year 3531, Month Thoth. My dear D
In the series of Open Letters as the Germans call them --which I purpose to address to you and other friends from this land of wonders, you must not be astonished if you find me rather discursive. When we were boys at school no 'out' was so delightful as the particular sort technically denominated a ramble, and the same taste abides with me still. You too who have roamed over both hemispheres can doubtless appreciate the charm of going just where one likes, with, without, or against all objective reason, and following no other precedent than that immortalized by Coleridge in that beautiful line of his
“The river wanders at its own sweet will." You see I am a rivers' rights man to the core. Will it not be charming when our wings are fully fledged to twitter from star to star over both hemispheres of the celestial globe? Since we must needs wait for that, however, till our change come, surely the next best thing is an intellectual ramble such as, with due leave cheerfully accorded to you, of course, to follow me or not as you please, I mean to indulge in just now.
And having thus unburdened my conscience by a solemn declaration of independence and autonomy, and by protesting my unaccountability to any but my Maker for doing just as the rivers do, I at once proceed to exercise the equal rights with them, for which I so stoutly stipulate, by frankly giving you and my other friends some reasons for my descent into Egypt, or, in other words, my determined devotion to Egyptological studies, which you have all deemed so strange.
See now how ingeniously a monomaniac can plead his own cause! You think it strange that a christian student should cherish a predilection for what you regard as a barren speculation and one quite alien from theology. I take leave to tell you that there is nothing strange save that you should have thought it strange. Do you not see yourself that from the very nature of the case you cannot possibly be in the right? You are wrong, you must be wrong, and I mean to put you in the wrong. I am on vantage ground. It is holy ground--abeste profani? I am writing under the shadow of the sycamore beneath which, a venerable tradition says, the Virgin with her child on her lap used to take shelter from the burning beams of the tropical sun during the sojourn of the Holy Family in the land of Ham. I and the thousands upon thousands of pilgrims who flock to the sacred spot from time to time, may be deluded in the belief that the tradition is substantially true. But it is at least certain that Joseph and Mary did take the child into Egypt, and that it is written, “Out of Egypt have I called my Son,” the Evangelist declares that the journey was divinely ordered to the end that this prophetic word might be fulfilled. And although the great lights of biblical criticism, especially in Germany, that land of inspiration and beer, tell us that is all nonsense, simple souls may still harbour doubts.
Whether the childhood as well as the infancy of Jesus was passed in this marvellous country, Scripture does not expressly inform us. The Apocryphal Gospels, however, and particularly those whose age verges very close on that of the canonical four, affirm that it was. Be this as it may, some profound providential design must have been intended to. be answered by the selection of this land in particular as the scene of His only heathen exile. Who can tell how little or how much the infant eyes of the second Adam were able to read out of these zoographical stone books with which he was surrounded? The fact remains, that this also was a page of the primer of the Son of Man? In Egyptian speech all such hieroglyphical records are said to be written by the fingers of the God Thoth, a personification of the Divine wisdom and intelligence, in short their poor pagan surrogate for the 'Word.' There is some reason to believe that the name denoted Word’in the old Egyptian tongue, although my extremely acute and profoundly-learned friend Professor Lauth, of Munich, has suggested a very plausible etymology which would make it equivalent to "heart” in the Oriental and Hebrew, as well as Egyptian sense of intellect. He thinks that it is contained in the name of one of our Lord's disciples, viz., Thad-dæus. This he regards as simply a translation of the other name of the same Apostle, viz., Lebbæus, well known to be derived from the common Hebrew word for heart. In like manner the unbelieving disciple Thomas meaning 'twin' or 'double' bears also the equivalent Greek name Didymus. A great many interesting questions here arise which this is neither the time nor the place to discuss. I may remark, however, that one of his standing epithets is Hermes, * The Truth-teller," or, as some say, 'The Justifier,' manifestly the original of the homonymous Greek divinity, whom the good people of Lystra thought to have come down to them in human form in the person of the Apostle Paul.
In like manner our classical coxcombs who now poohpooh hieroglyphical lore, just as they laughed at Sanscrit
folio Egyptian ton believe that thurrogate for the om and intelli
till the laugh was turned against them, will be astonished
Would you believe it, they actually hawked about the names of the Egyptian prophets at whose feet the sublime sages of Greece sat like little children, and the impudent ciceroni were wont to point out to travellers the very houses in which the inquisitive foreigners, who were destined to teach our Newtons, Keplers, and Leibnitzes, the truths which they are said to have picked up here as crumbs from their masters' table, took up their abode during their sojourn in this land of light! In this same City of the Sun, for instance, whence I write, Chonuphis is said to have initiated Eudoxus into the science of Astronomy, and (Enuphis to hare made a man of Pythagoras. Psenophis, another Heliopolite, aided by Sonchis the Saïte, is reported to have fashioned the mind of the great legislator of Athens, and Sechnuphis, also a Heliopolite, is said to have had a right to utter concerning Plato the honest boast to which Pitt's schoolmaster gave vent in the gallery of the House of Commons amidst the tempest of applause evoked by his illustrious pupil's first great speech, “I taught the boy!” For we are asked to believe that on the spot now ocen
might otherwiof the long alphabe for we have hadlecles, Th
inost ancto get the barest village Matarieh
of the Cold when wehat since Flan divini
pied by the wretched Arab village Matarieh, where I find it so difficult to get the barest bodily comforts, there was from the most ancient Pharaonic times down to those of the Cæsars, a famous and flourishing University, and that the Temple of the Sun which now lies buried beneath the sand, save the shaft of its only remaining obelisk in the Armenian dragoman's garden yonder, was a burning focus of intellectual light. Happily we bask in the light of German Cities of the Sun, or at least of English Cities of the Moon, on the banks of the Cam, and the Isis.- [N.B.--No connection with the Egyptian divinity of that name.]—For you are well aware that since the days of Cromwell and his savage puritans, when we were absurd enough to set up for teachers of the Continent, Granta and Oxford have most prudently subsided into mere satellites of Berlin and Bonn.
But here I must abruptly leave you till next mail, as I must be off to Cairo, to keep an appointment to dinner with Dr. Brugsch, the eminent Egyptologer, who has recently been promoted to the post of Prussian Consul in that city. A German, therefore, you will say. Yes, I add, and why not? Have we not many excellent things from Germany, and have I not the same right as Carlyle to admire their learning, tenfold greater than our own, whilst laughing at their pedantry, and the absurd air of omniscience with which they are wont to utter their everlasting No? If we could only get the Teutons to understand that so long as criticism is negative only it is butchery, not surgery, there would be some chance of their ceasing to be slaves of the letter which killeth, and becoming loyal ministers of the spirit which giveth life. Egyptology, to which they are happily beginning to turn their attention, will, with God's blessing, accomplish for them this glorious conversion, always provided that their pedantry be not allowed to petrify the new science at the outset. For there is really some danger of this, when we find them already teaching the monuments and Papyri what they ought to say. Let us hope, however, that the granite will prove harder than their heads, and that they will at length be gently admonished into the penitent confession, that the commentators are far oftener wrong than the texts. As for Dr. Brugsch, he is a gentleman and a scholar of whose personal acquaintance any man may be proud. I came in contact with him last summer in Paris, when he obligingly indulged me with a perusal of the proof sheets of his invaluable work, since published, on the ancient Egyptian Kalender. But I shall ill requite his kindness by keeping him waiting for his guest. —Adieu.