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Illustrious Travellers who have visited the Pyra
mids— Audience of the Vizier-Voyage to Sac-
Pyramids- Manner of the Investigation- Age of those Structures --Their Sepulchral OriginPossible Cause of the Violation of the principal Pyramid-Historical Evidence concerning the building of Pyramids in Egypt-. Further view of the subject-Hermelic Stéle-Mexican Pyramids.
chap. It is impossible to leave the Pyramids of Djiza
without some notice of the long list of PhilosoIllustrious phers, Marshals, Emperors, and Princes, who, who have in so many ages, have been brought to view the Pyramids, most wonderful of the works of man. There
has not been a conqueror pre-eminently distin-
all bis attention'. The humblest pilgrim, pacing CHAP.
(1)“ Cæterum Germanicus aliis quoque miraculis intendit animum, quorum præcipua fuere Memnonis saxea effigies, abi radiis solis icta est, vocalem sonum reddcus: disjectasque inter et vix pervias arenas, instar inontium eductæ Pyramides, certamine et opibus regum." Tacit. Annal. lib. ii. c. 6. tom. I. p. 306. Paris, 1682.
CHAP. reached the utmost limit of our travels in this
interesting country; for, with the exception of a visit to the Pyramids of Saccára, our journey towards the south was here terminated. We had now traversed about forty degrees of latitude, and principally by land ; through countries, however, in which little of the refinements of civilized nations had ever been experienced : and we returned from Djiza to Cairo, to conclude our observations in Egypt, previous to the rest of our travels in Greece.
The next day we all dined with Signor Rosetti, who sent a messenger to the Sheik of the Bedouin Arabs at Saccara, stating that we were desirous of seeing the Pyramids and Catacombs of that place, and begging to be informed on what day we might find guides and horses ready for us.
On the following evening, August the twenty-fifth, his answer arrived. The Sheik sent two men of his tribe, one to conduct us, and the other to return with our message, fixing the time for our visit. The Arab who was to be our conductor ran away,
but we procured another who happened to be then in Cairo. In all the great houses of this city, the earthen vessels for containing water are perfumed. This becomes quite a ceremony. They
first put into the vase some mastic, and a sub- CHAP.
On the twenty-seventh we purchased every variety of seed which we could obtain from the gardeners of Cairo. After this we visited a manufactory of sabres, wishing to learn the art by which the Mamaluke blades are ornamented with a sort of clouded work. Sabres thus enamelled are said to be damascened, from the city of Damascus, where this work is carried on in the greatest perfection. We saw the artificers use a red liquid for this purpose, which appeared to be some powerful acid, from the caution they observed in touching it; but they would not allow us to examine it.
We then paid our long-promised visit to the Audience Vizier. This venerable man had lived so much Vizier. with our artillery officers, that he entertained very sincere regard for them.
We made our appearance before him in company with Colonel