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tabors, accompanied by the men playing on flutes. The rest of both sexes clap their hands, and join in chorus. Whatever city they approach, the vessels are brought to shore : of the women some continue their instrumental music, others call aloud to the females of the place, provoke them by injurious language, dance about, and indecently throw aside their garments. This they do at every place near which they pass. On their arrival at Bubastis, the feast commences, by the sacrifice of many victims, and upon this occasion a greater quantity of wine 104 is consumed than in all the rest of the year. The natives report, that at this solemnity seven hundred thousand 105 men and women assemble, not to mention children,
LXI. I have before related in what mariner the rites of Isis are celebrated at Busiris. After the ceremonies of sacrifice the whole assembly, to the amount of many thousands, flagellate 16 them
804 Quantity of wine.)- In the Greek it is wine of the vine, to distinguish it from beer, which he calls barley-wineLarcher.
Whoever has not seen a witty and humourous dissertation on orvos ugi@ivos, or barley-wine, published at Oxford in 1750, may promise himself much entertainment from its perusal. -T.
105 Seven hundred thousand.]—For seven hundred thousand, some read only seventy thousand.—T.
306 Flagellate themselves.]—The manner in which Voltaire has translated this passage is, too whimsical to be omitted On frappe, dans la ville de Busiris, dit Herodote, les
selves, but in whose honour they do this I am not at liberty to disclose. The Carians of Ægypt, treat themselves at this solemnity with still more severity 107: for they cut themselves in the face with swords, and thus distinguish themselves from the Ægyptian natives.
LXII. At the sacrifice solemnized at Sais, the assembly is held by night; they suspend before their houses in the open air, lamps which are filled with oil mixed with salt'o8; a wick floats at the top, which will burn all night: the feast itself is called the feast of lamps 109. Such of the Ægyptians
hommes et les femmes après le sacrifice, mais de dire où on
107 Xenophanes, the physician, seeing the Ægyptians Jament and beat themselves at their festivals, says to them, sensibly enough, “ If your gods be gods in reality, cease to lament them; but if they are mortals, forbear to sacrifice to them.”—Plutarch.
108 Salt.] Salt was constantly used at all entertainments, both of the gods and men, whence a particular sanctity was believed to be lodged in it: it is bence called devos ans, divine salt, by Homer.— Potter.
109 Feast of lamps.]—This feast, which much resembles the feast of lamps observed from time immemorial in China, seems to confirm the opinion of M. de Guignes, who was the first to intimate that China was a colony from Ægypt. - Larcher. Vol. I.
as do not attend the ceremony think themselves. obliged to observe the evening of the festival, and in like manner burn lamps before their houses : thus on this night, not Sais only, but all Ægypt is illuminated. A religious motive is assigned for the festival itself, and for the illuminations by which it is distinguished.
LXIII. At Heliopolis and Butos ", sacrifices alone are offered, but at Papremis, as at other places, in addition to the offering of victims, other religious ceremonies are observed. At the close of the day, a small number of priests crowd round the statue of Mars; a greater number, armed with clubs, place themselves at the entrance of the temple; opposite to these, may be seen more than a thousand men tumultuously assembled, with clubs also in their hands, to perform their religious vows. The day before the festival they remove the statue of the god, which is kept in a small case decorated with gold, to a different apartment. The priests attendant upon the statue
place In Ægypt there is no rejoicing, no festival of any consideration at all, unaccompanied with illumination. For this purpose they make use of earthen lamps, which they put into very deep vessels of glass, in such a manner as that the glass is two thirds, or at least one half of its height, higher than the lamp, in order to preserve tse light, and prevent its extinction by the wind. The Ægyptians have carried this art to the highest perfection, &c.—Maillet.
110 Butos.]—This is indifferently written Butos, Butis, and Buto.-T.
place it, together with its case, on a four-wheeled carriage *, and begin to draw it along. Those at the entrance of the teinple endeavour to prevent its admission : but the votaries above mentioned come to the succour of the god, and a combat ensues between the two parties, in which many heads are broken, and I should suppose many lives lost, though this the Ægyptians positively deny.
LXIV. The motive for this ceremony is thus explained by the natives of the country :—This temple, they say, was the residence of the mother
- '. of
* Very much does this resemble what is now. observed in Hindostan. See an engraving and description of this car and ceremony in Sonnerat. There is also a model of such a car preserved in the British Museum. I subjoin Sonnerat's description :
Ce chariot est une machine immense, sculptée sur laquelle les guerres, la vie et les metamorphoses du dieu, sont representées : il est orné de banderoles et de fleurs. Des lions de carton places aux quatre coins supportent tous ces ornemens : le devant est occupé par des chevaux de la meme matiere est l'idole est au milieu sur un piedestal : quantite des Brames l'eventent pour empecher les mouches de venir s'y reposer, Les Bayaderes et les musiciens sont assis al’en tour et funt retentir l'air du son bruyant de leurs instrumens: on a vu des peres et des meres de famille tenant leurs enfans dans leurs bras, se jetter au travers pour se faire écraser et mourir, dans l'espoir que la divinité les feroit jouir d'un bonheur eternel dans l'autre vie. Ce spectacle n'arretoit point la marche du dieu, parce que les augures n'auroient point été favorable. Le cortege passoit sur le corps de ces malheureux sans aucune emotion et la machine achevoit de les broyer. p. 227.
of Mars: the god himself, who had been brought up at a distance from his parent, on his arrival at man's estate, came hither to visit his mother. The attendants, who had never seen him before, not only refused to admit him, but roughly drove him from the place. Obtaining proper assistance, he retúrned, severely chastised those who had opposed him, and obtained admission to his mother. From this circumstance the above mode of fighting was ever after practised on the festival of Mars: and these people were also the first who made it a point of religion not to communicate carnally with a woman "" in a temple, inor enter any consecrated place after the venereal act, without having first washed. Except the Ægyptians and the Greeks, all other nations without scruple
connect in Communicate carnally with a woman.]—Mention is made of the Mossyri, called by Apollonius Rhodius, Mossyræci, who copulated in the public streets. See Xenophon, Diodorus Siculus, and others.
Next by the sacred hill their oars impel
Fawkes Apollonius Rhod. : Quid ego de Cynicis loquar, quibus in propatulo coire cum conjugibus mos fuit. Lactantius.—See also what Diogenes Laertius says of Crates and Hipparchia. See Bayle on the Adainites and Picards, and also “ A Dialogue concerning Decency.”—T. See also Herodotus, book i.