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to make those Holy Scriptures, which are the groundwork of our faith and hopes, the subject of his fanciful interpretations, and to pursue a course which obviously tended to impair the reverence, and shake the confidence of the public in the truths derived from them, it appeared to us that we should be wanting in our duty if we did not examine his pretensions, and endeavour to prevent his seducing any one into unfounded doubts respecting the certainty of received scriptural interpretations.
There is one subject to which we think it right again to allude before we close; we do it, we confess, with some anxiety, and with feelings of real respect towards those concerned. We speak of the list of subscribers to Mr. Bellamy's publication, which, as we have said, includes the names of many members of the Royal Family, of several of the nobility, of the dignified clergy, and other respectable individuals. It is well known that, when illustrious and honourable names appear in a list of subscriptions to a work, they are usually reputed to convey the approbation of those individuals, and have therefore the direct effect of recommending it to the public. We venture then respectfully to ask, is it fitting that such a work as this should continue to go forth thus sanctioned and recommended? We do not wish a single name to be withdrawn solely on our representation; but we do most earnestly hope and trust that the attention of those who have patronized the work will be particularly called by it to its general nature and tendency, and that, if they should find our strictures to be well founded, they will seriously consider the propriety of continuing their support.
ADDENDUM to the Article on Light's Travels, p. 204, Since our Article on Captain Light's Journey in Egypt and Nubia was printed off, a very curious discovery has been made respecting the bones found in the sarcophagus of the pyramid of Cephrenes. Major Fitzclarence, in his journey overland from India, reached Cairo shortly after the opening of this pyramid had been accomplished by Belzoni ; and, with the zeal and enterprize incident to his profession, he determined to enter into the pyramid, and examine, for himself, the wonders of the central chamber, so recently laid open. With less reverence, perhaps, for the august repository of the mighty dead than might have been felt by a contemporary of the Pharaohs, he brought away a few fragments from the domus exilis Plutoniu, and among the rest some small pieces of bone, one of which proved to be the lower extremity of the thigh bone, where it comes in contact with the knee joint. This singular curiosity was presented by Major Fitzclarence to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, who submitted it to the inspection of Sir Everard Home.
Sir Everard, entertaining no doubt of its being part of a human skeleton, took it to the Museum of the College of Surgeons, that, by adjusting it to the same part of different sized skeletons, he might be enabled to form some estimate of the comparative stature of the ancient Egyptians and modern Europeans. On a closer and more laborious examination, however, the fragment was found to agree with none of them; and it finally appeared that, instead of forming any part of the thigh-bone of a human subject, it actually made part of that of a cow.
This discovery, it must be admitted, somewhat deranges our previous speculations on the original destination of the pyramids, The large sarcophagi, (and indeed we always considered them as unnecessarily large for the human figure,) instead of being the depositories of the remains of the kings of Egypt, would now appear to have been hollowed out and sculptured with such extraordinary skill and pains to receive the mortal exuviæ of the tutelary deities; and those immense masses, in which they were intombed, to have solely owed their boundless cost and magnificence to a reverential regard for the brutish forms' of Apis or Osiris. Unless indeed, (which we do not think at all improbable,) the fanatic sovereigns of Egypt, like the wretched devotees who, to steal into heaven,
• Dying, put on the weeds of Dominick,
Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised, chose to be placed in the same sarcophagus with their gods, either to share their earthly honours, or to ensure their divine protection.
That human bones will be found in this solemn chamber of death, we in no wise doubt; meanwhile, it ought to excite no surprize that Mr. Belzoni should consider the small fragment of which we have spoken as belonging to a human body, since it required all the practical knowledge of the College of Surgeons to ascertain the subject of which it once formed a part.
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