« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
stitions with regard to the scarabaus are not wholly extinct; for the women of the country still eat this kind of beetle, in order to become prolific
be noticed upon the statues of Isis is ret recognised in the features of the Egyptian women, and particularly in those of Rosetta, when they can be prevailed upon to lay aside their reils
. Upon the sands around the city we saw the hæus Scarabæus Pilularius, or Rolling Beetle, as it is
sculptured upon the obelisks and other monuments of the country, moving before it a bull of dung, in which it deposits an egg. Among the Egyptian antiquities preserved in the British Museum, there is a most colossal figure of this insect : it is placed upon an altar, before which
inscriptions according to the style of the translated legend upon the stone found near to Rosetta. With such evidence, we have, perhaps, something beyond mere conjecture for its illustration. We there find the promulgation and commemoration of a decree, inscribed in hieroglyphic characters, opening with a date: “On the 4th day of the month Xandicus, and the 18th of the Egyptian Mecheir.” There seems to be as little reason for doubting that the characters upon Egyptian obelisks were used to register transactions, according to annals preserved by the priests of the country, as that the Pillar of Forres in Scotland, similarly inscribed, and other more antient Gaelic monuments, were erected to record public events. Yet the learned Kircher, upon the authority of Plutarch, explains this symbol in his usual fanciful manner; and to his opinion, the natural history of the insect does indeed offer some support. He considers-it as a type of the Anima Mundi, or Giver of Light. Every sign used in the writings of the priests had its mystical as well as literal signification; and therefore this may be true concerning its sacred and original import. The figure of Aries, used to denote the month of March, had also, among the Antients, a mythological signification. The image of the scarabeus was worn as an amulet both by Egyptians and by Greeks ; and so was the head of the Ram. “ Scarabæi figura circulo insignita.... nihil aliud indicat, quàm Solem supra-mundanum.” Kircher. Edip. Ægypt. tom. III. p. 320. Rom. 1654. « Anima Mundi, sive Spiritus Universi, ex Scarabæo constat.” Ibid. p. 147.
(2) This curious remnant of an antient superstition is also not without its elucidation in Kircher : “ Accedit quod idem Scarabeus significatione ad mores translata idem, teste Horo, lib. i. cap. 10. quòd patrem et masculam virtutem notet.” (Edip. Ægypt. tom. III. cap. 4. p. 179. The subject admits of further illustration, by reference to Plutarch. According to him, soldiers wore the image of the beetle upon their signets ; and this, perhaps, may account not only for the number of them found, but also for the coarseness of the workmanship. “Of a like nature,” says he,“ is the beetle, which we see engraven upon the signets of the soldiers;
a priest is represented kneeling. The beetle served as food for the ibis; its remains are sometimes discovered in the earthenware repositories of those embalmed birds which are found at Saccára and Thebes. With the Antients it was a type of the Sun. We often find it among the characters used in hieroglophie writing. As this insect appears in that season of the year which immediately precedes the inundation of the Nile, it may hare been so represented as a symbol of the spring, or of fecundity, or of the Egyptian month anterior to the rising of the water. The antient super
(1) There are other reasons for believing it to be the sign of an epocha, or date ; and among these may be particularly stated the manner of its occasional iutroduction in the apices of Egyptian obelisks, beginning their
A building of considerable, although of un
known antiquity, still exists in Rosetta, which Rosetta, of seems to afford a proof that the pointed Gothic the Gothic arch owes its origin to the appearance presented
by contiguous palm-trees. The roof is entirely
We had not remained a fortnight in Rosetta, when our plan of residence was suddenly interrupted, by an invitation from Captain Russel of the Ceres frigate to accompany him to CYPRUS ; his ship having been ordered to that island for water. We accepted his kind offer; and returning to the Braakel on the twentieth of May, set sail in the Ceres on the twenty-ninth, steering first towards the mouth of the Nile; Captain Russel having been ordered to send to Rosetta some chests of dollars, to purchase supplies for the fleet. We lay all that night off the mouth
for there are no females of this species, but all males, who propagate
VOYAGE TO CYPRUS.
DUS ce in
A building of considerable, although of un
known antiquity, still exists in Rosetta, which eta, of seems to afford a proof that the pointed Gothic
arch owes its origin to the appearance presented by contiguous palm-trees. The roof is entirely of stone, and consists of curvatures supported by props, represcnting the trunks of palm-trees, placed in the sides and the corners of the structure. Their branches, crossing each other upwards, form intersections, corresponding in shape with the pointed arches of our cathedrals.
of the Nile, after taking the latitude of its embouchure at noon. Our own latitude we found to be 31o. 25'; and our distance from the mouth being two miles at the time of the observation, makes the junction of the Nile with the Mediterranean precisely 31o. 27'. Our voyage was attended by no circumstance worth notice. In the examination of the ship's log-book, we found only a repetition of the same statement, of favourable breezes and fair weather. In the Archipelago and Mediterranean, during the summer season, mariners may sleep. Their vessels glide over a scarcely ruffled surface, with an almost imperceptible motion. But in other months, no part of the main ocean is more agitated by winds, or exhibits, during calms, a more tremendous swell. It is indeed singular, that even fresh gales in the Mediterranean, throughout May and June, cause no turbulent waves. In a subsequent voyage to the coast of Syria, on board the Romulus frigate, we took in the royals, and carried reefs in the topsail, fore and aft, and also in the mizen, playing all the while at chess in the cabin, as if we had been sailing upon the Thames.
We had not remained a fortnight in Rosetta, when our plan of residence was suddenly inter rupted, by an invitation from Captain Russel of the Ceres frigate to accompany him to Cyprus ; his ship having been ordered to that island for water. We accepted his kind offer; and returning to the Braakel on the twentieth of Mar
, set sail in the Ceres on the twenty-ninth, steering first towards the mouth of the Nile; Captain
1 Russel having been ordered to send to Rosetta some chests of dollars, to purchase supplies for the fleet. We lay all that night off the mouth
ance of the
About six o'clock in the evening of June the Appearthird, we made land, north-east and by east. Island. It fell to the author's lot to give the first
for there are no females of this species, but all males, who propagate their kind by casting their seed into those round balls of dung, which they form on purpose ; providing thereby, not only a proper nitus for the reception of their young, but nourishment likewise for them as soon as they are born."-Plutarch, de Iside et Osir. cap. 10.
CHAP. intelligence of its appearance, being aloft, upon
the look-out, in the phuttock-shrouds. Cape Blanco, antiently Curias Promontory, then hove in view (to use the language of seamen); and soon after the whole island was seen indistinctly looming, (as mariners would also express it,) amidst thick fogs'. It appeared very high and mountainous. We had such light breezes and frequent calms, that we did not reach Salines Bay until three o'clock P.M. on Saturday the sixth of June. We had coasted the whole island, from its western extremity; and so near to the shore, that we had a distinct view of the country. We saw the fortress and town of Baffa, antiently Paphos, backed by high mountains, The coast towards the west much resembles the southern part of the Crimea ; the villages and cultivated places being near the shore, and all behind craggy and mountainous. From Baffa to Limasol, near to the spot where the antient city of Amathus stood, the coast appears to be very fertile, and more so than any part of the island that we afterwards visited. Towards the south-western district, the country is well covered with forest-trees, and particularly in the neighbourhood of Baffa. Limasol
(1) The situation being favourable for shewing the shape of the island, the author made a sketch of its appearance, from which the Vignette engraved for this Chapter was taken.
AP. intelligence of its appearance, being aloft
, upon the look-out, in the phuttock-shrouds
. Cape Blanco, antiently Curias Promontory, then hore in view (to use the language of seamen); and soon after the whole island was seen indistinctls looming, (as mariners would also express it,) i amidst thick fogs?. It appeared very high and
produces the finest muscadine wine of Cyprus ; some of this has the consistence of oil, and may be kept to a great age. The wine called Commanderïa is, however, held principally in esteem among the natives. .
mountainous. We had such light breezes and * frequent calms, that we did not reach Salines
Bay until three o'clock p.m. on Saturday the sixth of June. We had coasted the whole island, from its western extremity; and so near to the shore, that we had a distinct view of the country.
We saw the fortress and town of
As we sailed into Salines Bay, antiently that Hot of Citium, now called 'Alikes, from a cluster of salt lakes near the sea, the town of Salines appeared covered with that white fog, so much dreaded, and so well known in Italy, by the name of mal-aria. The mountains behind the place were partially concealed by this unwholesome vapour.
It rose from the shore and buildings like smoke. Whenever this appearance is presented, the heat upon the island is excessive. Few of the natives venture out of their houses during mid-day ; and all journeys, even those of caravans, are performed in the night : the dews are then neither abundant nor dangerous: in this respect Cyprus differs entirely from Egypt, and from all the neighbouring shores. Its ports are more sultry than any other in the Levant. Salines, and the towns situate on the eastern and north-eastern coasts of the island, are subject to such dangerous temperature, that, in the months of June and July, persons fall victims to the afflicting malady called by the French coup de soleil (a sun
(1) The situation being favourable for shewing the shape of the islaud, the author made a sketch of its appearance, from which the Vignette engraved for this Chapter was taken.