« PreviousContinue »
the sphinges that precede the western entrance of the palace of Karnac, and its eastern gate."
Our authors continue the parallel between the palace of Karnac and those of Caserta, of the Escurial, and the united mass of the Louvre and the Tuilleries, and with national vanity, accord the preference to the latter.
“ In truth, these structures have little thickness, but when the large space they enclose, shall be filled with the monuments of which the execution has been or. dered, they will exceed the palace of Karnac, and, in consequence, all known buildings."
In space alone, the enclosure of the Louvre and Tuilleries may exceed the palace of Karnac; but when we compare their walls of rubble, merely faced with hewn stone, to the vast blocks jointed to each other, of the pylons of Karnac; the pigmy triumphal arch of the Carousel, to the vast avenue of votive columns; their plaister partitions and wooden parquets, to the royal chambers of polished Syenite; the cocks and H’s, that replace the eagles and N's of Napoleon, to the innumerable basso relievos, which load every part of the Egyptian edifice: we are forced to confess that this, the chosen specimen of modern magnificence, shrinks into insignificance in comparison with that, the wonder of ancient splendour.
It remains that we should give a description of an Egyptian temple. We shall select for this purpose, that of Teutyris, (the modern Denderah), which although far more recent in date than the buildings of Thebes, is still completely Egyptian in its style, and has the advantage of being more perfect.
The front of its portico or pronaos, is composed of six columns arranged in one line; of two lateral supports like the antæ of Greek buildings; of an architrave surmounted by an elegant cornice; and finally of an Egyptian Torus, which forms, as it were, a frame, containing the whole space beneath the cornice. The capitals of the columns are composed, each of four colossal masks of the goddess Isis, surmounted by a die, each face of which represents a species of temple. The space between the two middle columns is double that between the others, and gives the front of the portico an unusual air of majesty. The other intercolumniations are shut up by low walls, and hence, the centre space being the only entrance, there is a good apparent reason for its greater width. The front is decorated with sculptures symmetrically arranged, which are extremely curious, both from the nature of their subjects, and the richness of the dresses that are represented.
The general figure of the ground plan, is that of the letter T, and it is composed of two distinct parts, the portico or pronaos, and the true temple. The height of the portico is fifty-five feet, that of the temple forty. The lateral faces, and rear of the tem
ple, are chiseled to a regular slope, which gives to the whole edifice an appearance of solidity and strength ; they are also covered with sculptures, finished in the very best style.
The entablature of the temple equals the rest of the building in the richness of its sculptures. In the midst of the architrave of the front is a colossal mask of Isis ; on each side of this, are figures of the deities Osiris and Isis, seated on rich thrones. Thirty-one figures advance towards them, some bearing offerings, others in the attitude of adoration. Above the architrave is a cornice, decorated in the middle with the winged globe, which rises upon a ground of flutings. The rest of this member of the entablature, is adorned with a succession of ornaments, each consisting of two ubæi enveloping a disk to which are attached wings, and upon the listel of the cornice, there is seen a Greek inscription, which records the dedication of the pronaos, to the gods worshipped in the temple, under the reign of the Emperor Tiberius.
The portico is entered by a gate fifteen feet in width, whose door posts rest each against one of the columns that form the middle intercolumniation; the interior of the portico has the shape of a rectangle of one hundred and twelve by sixty feet. Twenty-four columns, distributed in six files of four each, including the six that form the front, bear architraves supporting the flat stones, which compose the roof. The base of these columns is slightly conical, the lower and greater diameter of which is about seven feet. They stand upon a low cylindrical base, and with the capital composed of the four faces of Isis, of which we have spoken, its die, and a species of cushion on which the architrave rests, are forty-three feet in length.
The wall that closes the portico, contains the front of the temple itself, which projects a short distance into the pronaos. It has, like all other buildings of Egypt, an external slope, and is surrounded by a torus, which runs along the angles. It is crowned by a beautiful cornice, over which the wall of the pronaos again appears, in consequence of the difference of elevation between the portico, and the temple itself. The interior of the portico is covered with basso relievos, all of which were originally painted, and much of the colour remains; the exterior has also been painted, but the colours have disappeared.
The ceiling of the portico is decorated with magnificent sculptures ; and in the two extreme soffits are sculptured the signs of the Zodiac in two straight bands, being one of those remarkable representations, which have caused so much discussion.
We have stated that the front of what may properly be called the temple, is in the wall that closes the hinder part of the portico. In the middle of this front, is a door crowned by a cornice; this forms the entrance into a hypostyle hall, whose roof rests
upon two ranges, each containing three columns. This species of second portico is forty-two feet square, and has on each side three small chambers.
Two successive vestibules, each having lateral cells, lead to the sanctuary which terminates the suite of apartments. Around the sanctuary are arranged small dark cabinets. The whole of the walls of all these apartments, whether small or large, are equally covered and adorned with sculptures. One arrangement is common to this temple, to the palace of Karnac, and indeed to all other Egyptian edifices in which the parts are sufficiently perfect to admit of its being observed ; the apertures of the doors regularly decrease from the exterior inwards; and thus an optical deception is added to the effects of perspective, to enhance the estimate of distance.
A staircase, communicating with the first vestibule, leads to the terrace roof of the temple, a great part of which is occupied by the remains of a village, once inhabited by the Arabs.
On the terrace of the temple are situated two uncovered halls, that lead to several small apartments. One of these is remarkable in consequence of having sculptured upon its roof, a circular representation of the constellations visible in Egypt. This planisphere is very curious from its being the oldest existing instance of a representation of the vault of the heavens upon a plane surface. Biot has examined and determined the principle of its projection, which is extremely simple. It has, in connexion with the zodiac of the portico, and another similar representation discovered in the temple of Esné, been tortured into an argument to prove the enormous antiquity of Egyptian science. As has been already shown in a previous number of this review, this argument was destitute of foundation. The roof of this apartment, with its sculptured constellations, has recently been removed, and is now in Paris.
The whole length of this beautiful building, is two hundred and sixty-six English feet; the front of the portico is one hundred and thirty-five English feet; but it is even more remarkable for the labour bestowed upon its embellishment, and the beauty of its form, than for its size. This great temple, with a lesser one and several other sacred edifices, was surrounded by a wall of unburnt bricks, forming an enclosure, almost an exact square, of about three hundred and twenty yards in each direction. This wall was from fifteen to eighteen feet in thickness ; it is now almost wholly in ruins, no more remaining than suffices to point out its extent, and determine its dimensions.
The whole of this great space, was no doubt devoted to sacred purposes, contained the habitations of the priests, and received the worshipping multitude, who were not admitted into the temple itself, which was in truth no more than the sanctuary
of this vast place of devotion. The temple itself is so much incumbered with rubbish, that many of its apartments are hardly accessible, while the terrace can be mounted by means of them, in spite of its elevation above the original soil. A less temple has been nearly lost beneath them, and to judge from what is found at Thebes, many other edifices are probably buried. Several splendid gates led to this enclosure, decorated like the temple itself with rich sculptures.
Mr. Burke's Speech to the Electors of Bristol, on his being
declared by the Sheriffs duly elected one of the Representatives in Parliament for that City, on Thursday, the third of November, 1774. Burke's Works: Boston edition of 1826, volume 2d, page 5.
Among the democratic spirits of Great Britain, and universally perhaps among the ultra advocates of Parliamentary reform, an opinion has long prevailed, that as a legislative government by representation is only adopted from the impossibility of a whole people meeting to transact personally their own business as citizens of a political community, the representatives who are substituted for the constituents, are to act as the constituents themselves would act, could they be personally present: That, as each section of the people would naturally be induced in a national assembly, to consult its own interests rather than the opposing interests of other sections, this collision would ultimately result in the adoption of those measures which tended to promote the interest of the majority. Hence it follows, that a sectional representative does not truly represent the constituents who send him, unless he speak the sentiments of the majority of them. Whenever therefore they can and do speak for themselves in the form of instructions to their substitute or representative, he is bound to follow those instructions, or he is not a real and faithful representative of that part of the community from whom he is delegated. If each representative, being bound by the instructions of his constituents, voves accordingly, the interest of every section of the community comes fairly before the legislature, and VOL. V. -NO. 9.
the interest of the majority is sure to be adopted. Such is the substance of the arguments in favour of instructing the representatives of the people, to be found in Burgh's Political Disquisitions, in the writings of Major Cartwright, and other strenuous advocates for a reform in the representation of the people in the British Parliament. It must be acknowledged that ancient practice, from the times when the representatives received daily pay from their constituents, was in favour of this right, though rarely exercised. We do not recollect any formal remonstrance against it by a member of the British Parliament, until this speech of Mr. Burke. The right of instruction had long been doubted and denied in obiter parliamentary declarations, and formally by Judge Blackstone in his Commentaries, v. i. p. 161; but if there be any formal argument against it extant, previous to thiş bold and honest declaration of Mr. Burke, it has escaped us.
In this country, we regard the question as unsettled; although the prevailing opinion, particularly throughout Virginia, (i Tucker's Bl. app. 193,) is in favour of the right of instructing the representative, and the obligatory character of such instructions. Mr. Burke's argument is as follows:-
“ I am sorry I cannot conclude without saying a word on a topic touched upon by my worthy colleague, (Mr. Cruger.) I wish that topic had been passed by, at a time when I had so little leisure to discuss it. But since he has thought proper to throw it out, I owe you a clear explanation of my poor sentiments on that subject.
“ He tells you, that the topic of instructions has occasioned much altercation and uneasiness in this city: and he expresses himself, if I understand him right, in favour of the coercive authority of such instructions.
“Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But, his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment: and he betrays instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
“My worthy colleague says, his will ought to be subservient