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bird of the air, some beast of the field, or some fish of the sea, waiting for a regeneration in the natural body. And it was of the very essence of this faith to inculcate a pious regard for the security and preservation of the dead. The whole mountainside on the western bank of the river is one vast Necropolis. The open doors of tombs are seen in long ranges and at different elevations, and on the plain large pits have been opened, in which have been fouad a thousand mummies at a time. For many years, and until a late order of the pacha preventing it, the Arabs have been in the habit of ritling the tombs to sell the mummies to travellers. Thousands have been torn from the places where pious hands had laid them, and the bones meet the traveller at every step. The Arabs use the mummy-cases for firewood, the bituminous matters used in the embalment being well adapted to ignition; and the epicurean traveller may cook his breakfast with the coffin of a king Notwithstanding the depredations that have been committed, the mummies that have been taken away and scattered all over the world, those that have been burnt, and others that now remain in fragments around the tombs, the numbers yet undisturbed are no doubt infinitely greater; for the practice of embalming is known to have existed from the earliest periods recorded in the history of Egypt; and, by a rough computation, founded upon the age, the population of the city, and the average duration of human life, it is supposed that there are from eight to ten millions of mummied bodies in the vast Necropolis of Thebes."
We find the following in a description of a visit to the interior of a pyramid at Memphis:
"From hence it was but a short distance to the catacombs of birds; a small opening in the side of a rock leads to an excavated chamber, in the centre of which there is a sqnare pit or well. Descending the pit by bracing our arms, and putting our toes in little holes in the side, we reached the bottom, where, crawling on our hands and knees, we were among the mummies of the sacred ibis, the embalmed deities of the Egyptians. The extent of these catacombs is unknown, but they are supposed to occupy an area of many miles. The birds are preserved in stone jars, piled one upon another as closely as they can be stowed. By the light of our torches, sometimes almost fat upon our faces, we groped and crawled along the passages, lined on each side with rows of jars, until we found ourselves again and again stopped by an impenetrable phalanx of the little mummies, or rather of the jars containing them. Once we reached a small open space, where we had room to turn ourselves, and, knocking together two of the vessels, the offended deities within sent forth volumes of dust which almost suffocated us. The bird was still entire, in form and lineament perfect as the mummied man, and like him, too, wanting merely the breath of life. The Arabs brought out with them several jars, which we broke and examined above ground, more at our ease. With the pyramids towering around us, it was almost impossible to believe that the men who had raised such mighty structures, had fallen down and worshipped the puny birds whose skeletons we were now dashing at our feet."
A caravan, setting out for Mecca :
“ It was worth my ride to see the departure of the caravan. It consisted of more than 30,000 pilgrims, who had come from the shores of the Caspian, the extremities of Persia, and the confines of Africa ; and having assembled, according to usage for hundreds of years, at Cairo as a central point, the whole mass was getting in motion for a pilgrimage of fifty days, through dreary sands, to the tomb of the Prophet.
“Accustomed as I was to associate the idea of order and decorum with the observance of all rites and duties of religion, I could not but feel surprised at the noise, tumult, and confusion, the strifes and battles of these pilgrim-travellers. If I had met them in the desert after their line of march was formed, it would have been an imposing spectacle, and comparatively easy to describe ; but here, as far as the eye could reach, they were scattered over the sandy plain. 30,000 people, with probably 20,000 camels and dromedaries, men, women, and children, beasts and baggage, all commingled in a confused mass that seemed hopelessly inextricable. Some had not yet struck their tents, some were making coffee, some smoking, some cooking, some eating, many shouting and cursing, others on their knees praying, and others, again, hurrying on to join the long moving stream that already extended several miles into the desert," An ascent of Mount Sinai, and the author's reception at its convent: “ The whole day we were moving between parallel ranges of mountains, receding in some places, and then again contracting, and at about mid-day entered a narrow and rugged defile, bounded on each side with precipitons granite rocks more than 1000 feet high. We entered at the very bottom of this defile, moving for a time along the dry bed of a torrent, now obstructed with sand and stones, the rocks on every side shivered and torn, and the whole scene wild to sublimity. Our camels stumbled among the rocky fragments to such a degree that we dismounted, and passed through the wild defile on foot. At the other end we came suddenly upon a plain table of ground, and before us towered in awful grandeur, so huge and dark that it seeemed close to us and barring all further progress, the end of my pilgrimage, the holy mountain of Sinai. On our left was a large insulated stone, rudely resembling a chair, called the chair of Moses, on which tradition says that Moses rested himself when he caine up with the people under his charge; farther on, upon a little eminence, are some rude stones which are pointed out as the ruins of the house of Aaron, where the great high-priest discoursed to the wandering Israelites. On the right is a stone, alleged to be the petrified golden calf. But it was not necessary to draw upon false and frivolous legends to give interest to the scene; the majesty of nature was enough. I felt that I was on holy ground, and, dismounting from my dromedary, loitered for more than an hour in the valley. It was cold, and I sent my shivering Bedouins forward, supposing myself to be at the foot of the mountain, and lingered there until after the sun had set. It was after dark, as alone, and on foot, I entered the last defile leading to the holy mountain. The moon had risen, but her light could not penetrate the deep defile through which I was toiling slowly on to the foot of Sinai. From about half way up it shone with a pale and solemn lustre, while below all was in the deepest shade, and a dark spot on the side of the mountain, seeming perfectly black in contrast with the light above it, marked the situation of the convent.”
“The convent belonged to the Greek church. I did not know how many monks were in it, or what was the sanctity of their lives, but I wished that some of them had slept with more troubled consciences, for we made almost noise enough to wake the dead; and it was not until we had discharged two volleys of fire arms that we succeeded in rousing any of the slumbering inmates. On one side were two or three little slits or portholes, and a monk, with a long white beard, and a lighted taper in his hand, cautiously thrust out 'his head at one of them, and demanded our business. This was soon told; we were strangers and Christians, and wanted admission; and had a letter from the Greek patriarch at Cairo. The head disappeared from the loophole and soon after I saw its owner slowly open the little door, and let down a rope for the patriarch's letter. He read it by the feeble glimmer of his lamp, and then again appeared at the window and bade us welcome. The rope was agaiu let dowu; I tied it round my arms; and after dangling in the air for a brief space, swinging to and fro against the walls, found myself clasped in the arms of a burly, long-bearded monk, who hauled me in, kissed me on both cheeks, our long beards rubbing together in friendly union, and untwisting the rope set me upon my feet, and passed me over to his associates. “ By this time nearly all the monks had assembled ; and all pressed forward to wel.
They shook my hand, took me in their arms, and kissed my face; and if I had been their dearest friend just escaped from the jaws of death, they could not have received me with a more cordial greeting. Glad as I was, after a ten days' journey, to be received with such warmth by these recluses of the mountains, I could have spared the kissing. The custom is one of the detestable things of the East. It would not be so bad if it were universal, and the traveller might sometimes receive his welcome from rosy lips; but unhappily, the women hide their faces and run away from a stranger, while the men rub him with their bristly beards. At first I went at it with a stout heart flattering myself that I could give as well as take; but I soon flinched and gave up. Their beards were the growth of years; while mine had only a few months to boast of, and its downward aspirations inust continue many a long day before it would attain the respectable longitude of theirs.
“During the kissing scene, a Bedouin servant came from the other end of the terrace, with an armful of burning brush, and threw it in a blaze upon the stony floor. The monks were gathered around, talking to me and uttering assurances of welcome, as I knew them to be, although I could not understand them; and, confused and almost stunned with their clamorous greeting, I threw myself on the floor, thrust my feet in the fire, and called out for Paul. Twice the rope descended and brought up my tent, baggage, &c.; and the third time it brought up Paul, hung round with guns, pistols, and swords, like a travelling battery. The rope was wound up by a windlass, half a dozen monks, in long black frocks with white stripes, turning it with all their might. In the general eagerness to help, they kept on turning until they had carried Paul above the window, and brought his neck up short under the beam, his feet struggling to hold on to the sill of the door. He roared out lustily in Greek and Arabic; and while they were helping to disencumber him of his multifarious armor, he was cursing and berating them for a set of blundering workmen, who had almost broken the neck of as good a Christian as any among them.. Probably, since the last incursion of the Bedouins, the peaceful walls of the convent had not been disturbed by such an infernal clatter."
The annexed description of the bastinado, an appropriate companion to the *Russian Knout,' in our last number:
“The reader may remember that on my first visit to his excellency I saw a man whipped--this time I saw one bastinadoed. I had heard much of this, a punishment existing, I believe, only in the East, but I had never seen it inflicted before, and hope I never shall see it again. As on the former occasion, I found the little governor standing at one end of the large hall of entrance, munching, and trying causes. A crowd was gathered around, and before him was a poor Arab, pleading and beseeching most piteously, while the big tears were rolling down his cheeks ; near him was a man whose resolute and somewhat angry expression marked him as the accuser, seeking vengeance rather than justice. Suddenly the governor made a gentle movement with his band; all noise ceased; all stretched their necks and turned their eager eyes towards him; the accused cut short his crying, and stood with his mouth wide open, and his eyes fixed upon the governor. The latter spoke a few words in a very low voice, to me of course unintelligible, and, indeed, scarcely audible, but they seemed to fall upon the quick ears of the culprit like bolts of thunder; the agony of suspense was over, and without a word or a look, he laid himself down on his face at the feet of the governor. A space was immediately cleared around; a man on each side took him by the hand, and stretching out his arms, kneeled upon and held them down, while another seated himself across his neck and shoulders. Thus nailed to the ground, the poor fellow, knowing that there was no chance of escape, threw up his feet from the knee joint, so as to present the soles in a horizontal position. Two men came forward with a pair of long stout bars of wood, attached together by a cord, between which they placed the feet, drawing them together with the cord so as to fix them in their horizontal position, and leave the whole flat surface exposed to the full force of the blow. In the mean time two strong Turks were standing ready, one at each side, armed with long whips much resembling our common cowskin, but longer and thicker, and made of the tough hide of the hippopota
While the occupation of the judge was suspended by these preparations, the janizary had presented the consul's letter. My sensibilities are not particularly acute, but they yielded in this instance. I had watched all the preliminary arrangements, nerving myself for what was to come, but when I heard the scourge whizzing through the air, and, when the first blow fell upon the naked feet, saw the convulsive movements of the body, and heard the first loud, piercing shriek, I could stand it no longer; broke through the crowd, forgetting the governor and every thing else, except the agonizing sounds from which I was escaping; but the janizary followed close at my heels and, laying his hand upon my arm, hauled me back to the governor. If I had consulted merely the impulse of feeling, I should have consigned him, and the governor, and the whole nation of Turks, to the lower regions; but it was all important not to offend this summary dispenser of justice, and I never made a greater sacrifice of feeling to expediency, than when I re-entered bis presence. The shrieks of the unhappy criminal were ringing through the chamber, but the governor received me with as calm a smile as if he had been sitting on his own divan, listening only to the strains of some pleasant music, while I stood with my teeth clinched, and felt the hot breath of the vicum, and heard the whizzing of the accursed whip, as it fell again and again upon his bleeding feet. I have heard men cry out in agony when the sea was raging, and the drowning man, rising for the last time upon the mountain waves, turned his imploring arms towards us, and with his dying breath called in vain for help; but I never heard such heart-rending sounds as those from the poor bastinadoed wretch before me. I thought the governor would never make an end of reading the letter, when the scribe handed it to him for his signature, although it contained but half a dozen lines ; he fumbled in his pocket for his seal, and dipped it in the ink; the impression did not suit him, and be made another, and after a delay that seemed
to me eternal, employed in folding it, handed it to me with a most gracious smile. I am sure I gripned horribly in return, and almost snatching the letter, just as the last blow fell, I turned to hasten from the scene. The poor scourged wretch was silent; be had found relief in happy insensibility; I cast one look upon the senseless body, and saw the feet laid open in gashes, and the blood streaming down the legs. At that moment the bars were taken away, and the mangled feet fell like lead upon the floor. I had to work my way through the crowd, and before I could escape I saw the poor fellow revive, and by the first natural impulse rise upon his feet, but fall again as if he had stepped upon red-hot irons. He crawled upon his hands and knees to the door of the hall, and here I rejoiced to see that, miserable, and poor, and de graded as he was, he yet had friends whose hearts yearned towards him; they took him in their arms and carried him away."
The route of the Israelites, and the place where they crossed the Red Sea, are thus discussed :
“Late in the afternoon we landed on the opposite side, on the most sacred spot connected with the wanderings of the Israelites, where they rose from the dry bed of the sea, and al the command of Moses, the divided waters rushed together, overwhelming Pharaoh and his chariots, and the whole host of Egypt. With the devotion of a pious pilgrim, I picked up a shell and put it into my pocket as a memorial of the place, and then Paul and I mounting the dromedaries which my guide bad brought down to the shore in readiness, rode to a grove of palm-trees, shading a fountain of bad water, called ayoun Moussa, or the fountain of Moses. I was riding carlessly along, looking behind me towards the sea, and had almost reached the grove of palm-trees. when a large flock of crows flew out, and my dromedary frightened with their sudden whizzing, started back and threw me twenty feet over his head completely clear of his long neck, and left me sprawling in the sand. It was a mercy I did not finish my wanderings where the children of Israel began theirs; but I saved my head at the expense of my hands, which sank in the loose soil up to the rist, and bore the marks for more than two months afterward. I seated myself where I fell, and as the sun was just dipping below the horizon, told Paul to pitch the tent with the door towards the place of the miraculous passage. I shall never forget that sunset scene, and it is the last I shall inflict upon the reader. I was sitting on the sand on the very spot where the chosen people of God, after walking over the dry bed of the sea, stopped to behold the divided waters returning to their place and swallowing up the host of the pursuers. The mountains on the other side looked dark and portentous, as if proud and conscious witnesses of the mighty miracle, while the sun, descended slowly behind them, long after it had dissappeared, lefi a reflected brightness, which illumined with an almost supernatural light the dark surface of the water.
“ But to return to the fountains of Moses. I am aware that there is some dispute as to the precise spot where Moses crossed; but having no time for scepticism on such matters, I began by making up my mind that this was the place, and then looked around to see whether, according to the account given in the Bible, the face of the country and the natural landmarks did not sustain my opinion. I remember I looked up to the head of the gulf, where Suez or Kolsum now stands, and saw that almost to the very head of the gulf there was a high range of mountains which it would be necessary to cross, an undertaking which it would have been physically impossible for 600,000 people, men, women, and children, to accomplish with a hostile army pursuing them. At Suez, Moses could not have been hemmed in as he was; he could go off into the Syrian desert, or, unless the sea has greatly changed since that time, round the head of the gulf. But here, directly opposite where I sat, was an opening in the mountains, making a clear passage from the desert to the shore of the sea.”
We shall refer to this work again, having been able only to reach the end of the first volume, in the collection of extracts we had marked for insertion, and which we are reluctant to omit. The volumes are not yet published, and may not be, before the issue of our next number ; but when they shall be given to the public, there will be found but one opinion of their great merit and interest. They are illustrated and embellished by an excellent map of the regions visited, and several good etchings.
'GIULIETTA E ROMEO. Novella STORICA DI LUIGI DA PORTO DI VICENZA.' - This very entertaining work has lately been placed in our hands; and we are surprised that its republication has not been attempted in this country. To the lover of the Italian language, its purity of diction and quaintness of style are important recommendations; to the admirers of romance, nothing could be more pleasing than the interesting tales it contains; while it offers to the student of Shakspeare a perfect mine of information. The work comprises all that has ever been written upon Romeo and Juliet, in the original, embracing all the tales and poems upon the subject, with an account of the two opposing families, and the genealogical tables of the unfortunate lovers. The first tale in the volume is the celebrated 'novella' of Luigi da Porto, and the similarity between this and the succeeding one by Bandello is very great. Whether the immortal bard adopted the former or the latter, as the foundation on which to build his play, which Love alone could have written, is of little moment; although we incline to the opinion, that he has used Painter's version of Boistau, who translated the first story into French in 1560. Most of the tales were written in the earliest stages of the literature ; hence the style is exceedingly quaint and expressive. No one can find fault with the purity of the words, although to one unacquainted with the manners and feelings of the South of Europe, the expression may seem to be very warm ; but it does not, to the pure in heart, convey any thing but purity. Its beauties are of a peculiar kind, and are not a little marred by an attempt at translation.
The next portion of the work embraces many instances of cases, in which a prolonged sleep has been caused by some powerful anodyne ; but passing these, we come to the story of Bandello. This tale varies but slightly from the former, is written in nearly the same style, and seems to have been a mere rifacimento of the preceding. We are the more confirmed in this opinion, as the writer builds upon the story of an archer, Peregrino, in the same manner as Da Porto, who says the tale was told him by one of his archers of this name. We must therefore regard Bandello, either as an innocent imitator of Da Porto, or suspect him of committing a plagiarism. The truth is, probably, that both writers heard the story from a kindred source, and having recorded what they could recollect, supplied the rest from fancy. Throughout both versions, one feeling seems to have actuated their authors. They felt what they wrote, and have left behind them specimens unequalled save by Boccacio in his chastest moods. While upon this subject, we cannot but lament the scarcity of this work. We know of but a single copy in the country. It would be well, were the cultivators of a taste for foreign tongues to do more than they have hitherto done, toward encouraging a fondness for the romantic literature of the South of Europe. Irving has acquired enduring fame by his 'Con. quest of Granada,' and his 'Alhambra.' These have by no means exhausted the field. They have induced many to read in the owginal, works of a similar character, which would otherwise have lain dormant forever. France and Italy yet remain, overflowing with like traditions, particularly the latter ; yet they are rarely reproduced here, because VOL ix.