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by any touch of time's finger; the outlines of the figures never could have been sharper, the colors of the paintings never more vivid, than they are now. Indeed, it is said, that when one comes to that part where the tracings and outlines show that this great work was never finished, he is almost cheated into the illusion that it is still in progress, and that the workmen have but temporarily suspended their labors; so fresh is the appearance of the portion that is completed. But for the peculiarities of climate, we should probably at this day have few or no memorials of Egypt, to which we could turn, for the study of her history and progress in the arts of civilized and social life. For the last 1600 years these venerable and interesting ruins have been utterly neglected by the inhabitants; no Egyptian hand has been extended to prevent the wantonness of destruction, or stay the ravages of dilapidation. The marvel is, that any thing remains to be destroyed. Egypt has passed through strange vicissitudes since the erection of the pyramids of Ghizeh. An ancient monarchy has crumbled into ruins, repeated conquests have placed over her many foreign masters, civil wars have thinned her population, few of her ancient stock are left. In the circumstances that must have attended national calamities like these, it had not been strange, had almost every architectural or pictorial vestige of the past been lost to the world for ever. Is it superstitious to suppose that there may have been a Providence in their preservation 1 Is it a presumptuous interpretation of the purpose of God in his providence, to observe that an inquiring, searching spirit, demanding the proof of every thing, predominates in the minds of men at the present day; and from thence to infer the importance of this opening of a new and hitherto unexplored field of inquiry, and the vaiue of a powerful array of unanswerable evidence in favor of the Scriptures, which doubtless will be obtained from it? May it not be, that the real and true "philosophy of this age will be the instrument in God's hands wherewith he will oppose its infidelity ?"*
The remains of former grandeur in this most interesting country, consist chiefly of edifices connected with religious ceremonies, and of places for civil assemblies. A few words of explanation on these may prove useful. There was scarce a city of note in Egypt which had not its temple, or, as it has been well termed by some, palace-temple, serving at once for the residence of the monarch and for the place consecrated to the rites of religion, or appropriated to important civil assemblies. On these ruins are found sculptured reliefs, which are generally colored, and have some reference to the false god of Egyptian mythology, in whose honor they were erected. This pagan divinity is commonly represented as receiving the homage of the king by whom the edifice was founded. This representation was usually delineated on the propyla, or two truncated pyramids, which stood, one on either side of the grand entrance, and served in the translation of its reliefs and hieroglyphics, as a sort of title-page to what was within. An example is afforded in the view of Luxor, annexed. In the interior, by means both of sculpture and of large paintings on the walls, the battles, sieges, marches, triumphs, &c., of the king were delineated. The spoils obtained by the victor often furnished, as it is supposed, a part at least of the means employed in the erection of the edifice. The halls in the interior are sometimes very large, as at Thebes, for instance, where there are some six, hundred feet in length, and half that distance in breadth, supported by massive columns twelve feet in diameter, and sixty-six feet high, placed at regular in tervals throughout the area of the apartment. The walls, pillars, &c., are covered with colossal sculptures of deities, kings, priests, religions processions, &c., while on the walls similar scenes are delineated in lively paintings. Some idea may be formed of part of the interior of one of these halls by the frontispiece to this volume.
In the representations of triumphs, the costume, and peculiarities of color and feature, among the captives of different nations, are carefully preserved, and often render essential aid in deciphering the sculptured history of the event commemorated. Of this we shall have occasion to speak more particularly hereafter. In almost all the representations of conquests, the king is represented as marching in triumph to the temple, and dragging long lines of captives, fastened by the neck, and