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THE POST BAG.

DENDARA.

OUR CORRESPONDENT'S NOTES OF A TOUR IN THE

EAST, 1849—50. On the 31st we saw large flights | The flights of pigeons are incredibly of geese and other birds, but in large. vain looked out for crocodiles. We On the 2nd, I missed seeing a made but little progress.

crocodile, of which they had a good On New Year's Day, 1850, we view from the other boat. anchored off Ehkmim, and on the 2nd reached Girgeh, at about midday. Girgeh is a town of appa- On the 3rd January we had a rently the same size as Miniëh, but fair wind, and looked forward to its bazaars are even poorer and less arriving at Keneh in good time. inviting. It contains the oldest Unfortunately there was a bend of Roman catholic monastery in Egypt. the river, and just as we entered While Achmet and some of the the most lovely reach, with a dissailors were purchasing provisions, tance of mountains and a foreground B-, F-, and myself, set forth to of palms, the fair wind was no shoot pigeons in the fields around the longer available, our direction havtown. The produce of our shoot- ing changed. Eight or nine crocoing excursions furnished our Arab diles were visible during the morncook and the Freneh artiste on our ing. It requires some practice to friend's boat with the means of distinguish them from the sandsupplying our table with several banks on which they lie, or from excellent dishes, but those scientific logs of palm-wood which have been performers in no-wise depended floated down the stream. At length upon our efforts, but at each town we anchored on the west side of the took care to supply themselves with river, Keneh being on its eastern an abundance of turkeys, poultry, bank. Our object was to see Denand occasionally sheep. The poul- dara and its famous temple of Athor. try of Egypt is unequalled, but the My friends not being in any hurry small black sheep of that country to start, I left them, and having never attain to any degree of fat- mounted one of the donkeys which ness, and would excite the contempt were standing ready on the shore, of our English butchers : indeed, cantered off as fast as I could tothey are not much larger in size wards the site of the ancient city of than our lambs. Their price varies Tentyra. After crossing an uncul. from six to ten shillings. Before tivated plain, my Arab guide pointed the great influx of travellers, they out to me a heap of ruins, appawere still cheaper.

rently of unburnt brick, as being After leaving Girgeh, we passed the position of Dendara. Presently, Bellianeh, the nearest landing-place however, I came within sight of a to Abydos, where was the great Pylos or gateway, and shortly of temple of Osiris. During the last the Temple itself. The first view of two days, we had passed several this first Egyptian temple I had seen considerable villages, far more than was disappointing. I was almost rebelow Ossioot. Many of them were joiced to think that those learned remarkable for the number of their in Egyptian lore have thought pigeon-houses. In some villages, meanly of it, on account of its want every house appeared to have a of antiquity. The exterior of the pigeon-tower rising from its roof. | temple, especially in front of the portico, is much encumbered with Temple of Athor is wanting in rubbish. The bases of the columns architectural effect, having an unare completely concealed, until, on

couth and box-like appearance. On reaching the portico, one finds it its northern side is a smaller temple, necessary to descend some steps of which the dedication is not clearly into the temple, from the interior known, and at the back of the Great of which the accumulations of ages Temple is a beautiful little Fane have been cleared away. Owing of Isis. The completeness of the to these collections, the front ex- Temple of Athor compensates for ternal view of the portico disap- much that is wanting in beauty and pointed me; but when I had de- antiquity of style. It was built in scended beneath its roof, I found the age of Cleopatra, whose portrait myself, all at once, in a sanctuary is sculptured on the western wall. (almost perfect and undisturbed) of In the days of Cleopatra, the spirit of the old religion of Egypt.

the old religion was gone, and I was The portico is itself a spacious reminded in some degree of those hall, with several rows of gigantic attempts made, in England, in Sir columns. This opens into a second, Christopher Wren's time to reproand that into a third, and the third duce the architecture of the middle into a fourth hall, each one smaller ages, after that the genuine faith of and darker than that preceding it, those ages had passed away. As I the only light being derived from wandered through the intricate corthe open portico. The fourth, ridors of this sanctuary of Athor, I which was the Sanctuary (corres- could not help contrasting with the ponding to the Holy of Holies, elaborate symbolism and mystic in the Jewish Temple), and which, idolatry which called it into existprobably, none but the fully ini- ence, the plain Deism of Mohammed, tiated could enter, is perfectly which now rules in the land. Each obscure, without a taper. Around extreme has had (humanly speakthese halls are passages and nume- ing) its advantages and its evils, rous cellæ, which were either used but Egypt under the sway of El as chapels for the celebration of the Islam has never risen to the premystic worship, or else_as apart- eminence she attained under the ments for the priests. Every por- old Mythology of Amun-ra and tion of the interior is sculptured Osiris. The True Faith unites with bas-reliefs and hieroglyphics, qualities found in each of these even to the narrow and almost in- extremes, the glorious mysteries accessible passages running at the of the Church being combined in back of the cellæ.

the simplicity of the Cross, and the The most striking feature is the Holy Trinity in the stupendous portico or entrance hall. The capi- Unity of God. tals of the gigantic columns are formed of the face of Athor, the On Friday, the 4th January, we daughter of Isis and Osiris, and were to arrive at Thebes, which is the divinity of Love, repeated four only forty-eight miles and a half times on each capital. There is a above Keneh. I was all anxiety to great sameness about the bas-reliefs, catch the first glimpse of El Karnak, and a want of clear cutting, which but, owing to the wind falling, we became more perceptible to did not reach the Plain of the Great when I revisited the temple on my City until after dark. It was halfreturn from Aboo-Simbool and past ten at night when we anchored Thebes. The outside of the Great off Luxor,

THEBES.

me

Thebes, of which the Egyptian , of which we hired the strongest name was Amunei, or Amunoph looking, and set off, without delay, (the abode of Amun, the king of the for the Tombs of the Kings. We Gods), is known in Holy Scripture rode over a fertile and cultivated by the names of "Noph” and “No,” plain, and passed the Temple-Palace as in Jeremiah xlvi. 19—25, where of Old Koornëh and the modern it is prophesied that “Noph shall village surrounding its ruins. Its be waste and desolate without an inspection was delayed till later, inhabitant,” and that the “multi- and we continued to pursue our tude of No” shall be punished. It course over the broad and cultivated is probable that Noph was a portion plain, which had once been covered of "No," one of its quarters, for in with dense streets, until, at length, Ezekiel xxx. 16, we are told that the fertility ceasing, the corn-fields "No shall be rent asunder,” (as were succeeded by some arid and indeed was the case with Thebes rocky ground at the base of the wesin the Persian invasion) and that tern mountains, a defile of which we “Noph shall have distresses daily.” presently entered. This defile was See also Ezekiel xxx. 13, 14, 15. a wild rocky valley, far wilder than In Nahum iii. 7, 8, 9, Thebes is the valley of rocks at Linton, Devoncontrasted with Nineveh,—“Nine- shire, a most desolate glen of yellow veh is laid waste : who will bemoan | lime-rock. This glen branched into her?” “ Art thou, Nineveh, bet- a variety of other valleys, and the ter than populous No, that was road pursued a winding course, situate among the rivers,” (alluding which was at once the most picto the various streams formed by | turesque and impressive scene of the overflowing of the Nile,)“ that desolation, I remember to have had waters round about her, whose traversed. Scarce aught but a sinrampart was the” Nile; (called gle vulture was to be seen among “Bahr,” or “Sea,” to this day, by these rocks, to break upon the the Egyptians) “and her wall was death-like solitude.

Poetry has from the” Nile ? “Ethiopia and conceived anything more Egypt were her strength, and it was sublime than this approach from infinite.Such are the inspired populous Thebes, with its millions accounts of that great city, where, of men, its merchandise, its traffic, two thousand years before London's and its luxury, to the silent tombs first stone was laid, millions of men of its dead kings. It is a grand were toiling, and trading, and living, entrance to an Inferno (or region the few in luxury and the

тапу of departed spirits. I strove to poverty and want.

imagine a procession winding out of On the 5th of January we started the gorgeous city with its gardens early to inspect the remains on the of Palm and Mimosa, to these desowestern side of the Nile, Luxor late valleys of the dead. The relibeing on its eastern bank. We gion of Egypt seems to have concrossed the river in a small boat, i templated death as the main object leaving our own Dahabiëh off El of life, in which respect it had Uxür (corrupted into Luxor) where preserved more faithfully the Di. there were some ten or twelve tra- vine traditions than most other vellers' boats congregated on the Polytheistic systems of ancient shore, while their Hawajees (Gen- times. tlemen) were inspecting the remains I visited six tombs.

The enof Thebes.

trances to these tombs appear to Landing near the Sycamore tree, have been concealed and made to we found an abundance of horses, ' appear like the surrounding rocks,

never

in

me

in order to prevent that sacrilegious ture of the soil. After a life spent opening of them, which (with res- in doing good, he had died in a pect to so many) these precautions contest with the powers of evil, and have, after all, failed to hinder. while his body was buried at Phile,

Belzoni's tomb, (or number 17) | (or, as others held, at Abydos or is by far the most beautiful. The Memphis, &c.,) his divine essence elaborate finish of the plaister-work, had risen again, and he became the and painting of the successive judge of departed spirits. He had chambers and corridors of these married Isis, the divinity of the royal excavations, is beyond all earth, and their child Horus was conception. The freshness of the the god of the earth's produce and painting far exceeds that of Pompeii, fertility. All this poetical creed is although the tombs of Thebes are an allegory of the yearly fertilizasome 1500 years older than the tion of Egypt. Each year does Campanian sea-town. The extreme Osiris, the fertilizer, in the form of neatness of finish of many of the his great river, visit the earth and corridors and chambers recalled to mystically wed Isis, its fair divinity,

some modern drawing-room, The swelling Nile scatters gifts to papered according to the newest men, and by wedding the earth, bestyle introduced by the Great Ex- | gets Horus, the rich produce of the hibition, and almost led me to forget Egyptian soil. It swells and inunthat I was in a tomb 3500 years old, dates the valley, until checked by among the designs of old Thebans, the sandy mountains of the desert, who had lived and died ere Israel the mystical Typhon (the divinity had reached the Promised Land. of Evil,) who thus conquers the The doorways are carved with ex- Nile, which then recedes and dies, quisite precision, and the lintels again to rise the following year, and tastefully surrounded with Ara- flowing around Phile's Holy Isle, besques.

to pour his rich torrent down the In one of the tombs (I think cataracts once more.

Such is one number 9) I was much struck with of the most sublime of those legends seeing a representation of Osiris, which formed the theology of those with out-stretched arms like His of past times when God “suffered all WHOm Osiris may have been a hea- nations to walk in their own ways, then fore-shadowing or type.

In and yet left not Himself without the Polytheism of Egypt, Osiris, the witness.” unnamed one, was the divinity best calculated for mortal sympathy. NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. Whether from a strange coincidence, Received.-R. P—; E. P-; M. G. A-; or from an admixture of the prime- H. B—, Devon; Christiana; Exeter; H. val traditions in their theology,

G-; J. E. W-; W.S-; M. F-; R.

W-; W. C. (-; Rev. H. G-; George together with a strong appreciation

L-; R. J. L-; J. J. B-; H. P. MM; of that great necessity engendered A Clergyman's Wife; Dorchester; H. F. by the Fall of Man, the Egyptian story of Osiris, in several points,

W

Replies.-W.C.O–; we are unable to

your question.-George L-; reminds us of the great truths of

thank you very much for your letter : a the Incarnation. Osiris was the Volume of “The Churchman's Commost beneficent of the divinities, panion" has just been published: the and, for the love of men, had as

Society for the Propagation of Gospel

began a little Magazine in January, called sumed a mortal form, and had “The Gospel Missionary," one half-penny taught the inhabitants of the Nile per month.

You could get them through valley the arts of life and the cul- the Bookseller who supplies you with the

Penny Post.

answer

MESSAGES FOR THE CHILDREN.

RAMBLES ON THE SEA-SHORE.

No. 3.

The screaming sea-fowl, widening ring see winnowing the air with its large

O'er ring
Till heaven grows dark; then wheeling

fan-like wings, and eagerly watchon the wing

ing that dark spot in the distant sea, Landward, they whiten all the rocks which most likely is a shoal of herbelow,

rings. Or diving, melt into the gulf like snow.

c • Some years ago,' says Bishop “Of the truth of these lines,” | Stanley, “in riding with a friend on remarked Miss Sidney," you would, the sea shore, we espied a gull lying my dear children, have been fully motionless on the sand, apparently convinced, had you been with me dead; but as its eyes were open, life on a tour to the Land's-end, in was clearly not extinct. Suspecting Cornwall. There, in the more soli- it to be a wounded bird, we alighted tary and craggy parts of the coast, to examine the extent and nature of you would have seen gulls and other the injuries it had received, but not sea birds in such vast numbers, as a drop of blood was to be seen, nor to resemble swarms of locusts; and was a feather ruffled. After having, when at rest, covering the rich dark therefore, handled it for several brown of the rocks, and converting minutes without its evincing the it into silvery grey."

slightest symptoms of vitality, beThat is a gull,” exclaimed Rose, yond the opening and shutting of as the beautiful bird gracefully its eyes, we threw it into the air, rested its silver breast and rode upon when, to our inconceivable surprise, the crested wave, at a little distance the apparently dead bird expanded from the shore." I should like to its wings, and, tucking up its legs, know a little about its habits.” flew off with the utmost composure

“The common gull,” replied Miss and steadiness.'» Sidney, “belongs to a family of birds “ Such greediness,” said Alfred, which is found in every part of the “ reminds one of the blubber feasts world, inhabiting shores scorched of the Esquimaux.” by a tropical sun, or dwelling amid “The gull,” replied Miss Sidney, the frozen icebergs of the north. “is just as fond of the same kind of Gulls have been called the scaven- food. The king of them all, the gers of the sea, for nothing comes Burgomaster--a name given him by amiss to their voracious appetite. the Dutch, from his domineering However loathsome may be the over the whole race of gulls, is a putrefying carrion left upon the constant attendant on the whale beach, to the gull it is just as ac- fishers. Whenever they are busy ceptable as a meal of the finest and cutting up one of these monsters of freshest fish. But whether the food the deep, he hovers over the carcass, be fresh or stale, they will gorge and having fixed his eye upon a almost to suffocation; and in that choice piece of blubber, which some state may be taken up torpid and other of the gull tribe has secured insensible. The late Bishop of Nor- for his own eating, down he pounces, wich, an eminent naturalist, relates and forcing him to abandon the an amusing instance of this greedi- prize, carries it off as his own. The ness of disposition in these beautiful gull is found wherever the sailor birds, one of which you may now goes, and is always the same noisy,

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