Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt  

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"As early as Napoleon's campaigns into Egypt the Orient fascinated Europe. It was Vivant Denon's Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt that would kick start Egyptomania." --Sholem Stein

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Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Égypte (Eng: Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt) is a book by Dominique Vivant published in 1802, translated in English as Travels in Upper and Lower Egypt in 1803.

At Napoleon's invitation Dominique Vivant joined the French campaign in Egypt and Syria as part of the arts and literature section of the Institut d'Égypte, and thus found the opportunity of gathering the materials for his most important literary and artistic work. He accompanied general Louis Desaix to Upper Egypt, and made numerous sketches of the monuments of ancient art, sometimes under the very fire of the enemy.

The results were published in this book and published as two volumes in 1802. The work crowned his reputation both as an archaeologist and as an artist, and sparked the Egyptian Revival in architecture and decorative arts.

The book also featured the first drawing of the Zodiac. Since the zodiac was on the ceiling of a dark chapel, he had to lie on his back and draw by candlelight.

See also

Full text Volume II of III[1]

TRAVELS

IN

UPPER AND LOWER EGYPT,

IN COMPANY WITH SEVERAL

DIVISIONS OF THE FRENCH ARMY,

During the Campaigns of

GENERAL BONAPARTE

IN THAT COUNTRY ;

AND PUBLISHED UNDER HIS IMMEDIATE PATRONAGE, BY

VIVANT DENON.

EMBELLISHED WITH ISVMEEOUS EKGRAVIKCS.

TRANSLATED

BY ARTHUR AIKIN.


IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. IL


EnnDon :

PRINTED FOR T. N. LONGMAN AND O. UEES, PA TERNOSTER-RO^T5

AND RICHARD PHILLIPS, 71, ST. PAUl's.

By T. Gillet, Salitbury Square.

1803.


Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Research Library, The Getty Research Institute


http://www.archive.org/details/travelsinupperlo02deno


/


TRAVELS


IN


UPPER AND LOWER EGYPT.


CHAPTER XL

Town of Shit or LycopoUs- — Charader of the Lyhian Ra?ige of Mounta'ms — Anttent ex- cavated Tomhs Do7im Palm-tree The

Red and White Coptic Convents — Large Town of Girgehf and Abundance of Provt- Jions — Connjerfation ivith a Nubian Prince — Thieving Difpojition of the Egyptians — Arabian Tales j and MaitJter of relating them — Baths — Thunder in Egypt — Arrival of the Flotilla — Battle with the Mamelules at Samanhnt — Purfuit of Murad-Bey — Ap- Vol. it, A proach


2 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

proach to Tentyra — Chara6ler of 'Egyptian

Arcliite6iure — Magnificent Portico Style

of the Ornaments arid Hieroglyphics. ^

O lUT is a large well-peopled town, built, to all appearance, on the fite of Ljco- polis, or the city of the Wolf. — Why the wolf, which is an animal of northern cli- mates, and is not found here ? Is it a wor- fhip borrowed from the Greeks, the account of which we have received from the Ro- mans, who at that time paid but little at- tention to natural hiftory, and might have confounded the jackal with the wolf? No antiquities are found in thi.<= town, but the Lybian chain, at the foot of which it {lands, here exhibits fuch a vaft number of tombs, that without doubt this town occupies the territory of fome very ancient and flourifhing city. We arrived here an hour after noon,

and


/


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3

and we employed the remainder of the day in procuring food for the army, in exercifmg the fick, and in taking pofTeffion of barks and provifions, which the Mamelukes had not been able to carry away with them.

I haftened to vifit the Lybian chain of mountains, fo eager w^as I to put my finger on an Egyptian mountain. I had feen two ranges fmce I left Cairo, without having been able to rifk climbing any one of them. I found this, as I had fuppofed, a ruin of nature, formed of horizontal and regular ftrata of calcareous ftones more or lefs crum- bling, and of different fhades of whitenefs, divided at intervals with large mammillated and concentric flints, which appear to be the nuclei, or, as it were, the bones of this vafh chain, and feem to keep it together, and prevent its total deftrudiion. This de* compofition is daily happening by the im- A 2 predion


4 TtlAVELS IN EGYPT.

preflion of the fait air, i?vhicli penetrates^ every part of the calcareous furface, decom- pofes it, and makes it as it were diiTolve down in ftreams of fand, which at firft col- lefted in heaps at the foot of the rock, and are then carried away by the winds, and en- croaching gradually on the cultivated plain and the villages, change them into barren- nefs and defolation. The rocks are near half a league from S'lut ; and in the road is a very pretty houfe of the kiachef, who w as agent for Soliman-Bey. The rocks are excavated hy a vaft number of tombs of different di- menfions,. and decorated with more or lelg magnificence, and this too can leave na doubt of the proximity of the antient fite of fome confiderable town. I took a draw- ing of one of the largefl of thefe monu- ments, to which a plan is annexed. (See Plate XV.,) All the inner porches of thefei

grottoes



Jenondel


£Ha t'diti^ Sc



-, fry///' a/-




_^y


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 5

grottoes are covered with hieroglyphics; months would be required to read them, even if one knew the language, and it would take years to copy them. One thing I faw by the little day-light that enters the firft porch, which is, that all the elegancies of ornament which the Greeks have employed in their architecture, all the wavy lines, the fcrolls, and other Greek forms, are here exe- cuted with tafte and exquifite deHcacy. If one of thefe excavations was a fmgle opera- tion, as the uniform regularity of the plan of each would feem to indicate, it muft be an immenfe . labour to conftru<fl a tomb; but we may fuppofe that fuch a one, when once finifhed, would ferve for ever for the fepulture of a whole family or even race,' and that fome religious worHiip w^as regularly paid to the dead ; eife where would have been the ufc of fuch £niflied ornaments of A 3 infcrip-


6 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

infcriptions never read, and of a ruinous, fe- cret, and buried fplendour ? At different periods or annual feftivals, or when fome new inhabitant was added to the tombs, funereal rites were doubtlefs performed, in v/hich the pomp of ceremony might vie with the magnificence of the place ; which is the more probable, as the richnefs of decoration in the interior part forms a moft ftriking con- traft with the outer walls, which are only the rough native rock, as may be remarked in the view that is annexed. I found one of thefe caves, with a fmgle faloon, in which were an innumerable quantity of graves cut in the rock in regular order : they had been ranfacked in order to procure the mummies ; and I found feveral fragments of their con- tents, fuch as linen, hands, feet, and loofe bones.

Befides thefe principal grottoes, there is

fuch


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 7

fiich a countlefs number of fmaller excava- tions, that the whole rock is cavernous and re/bunds under the toot. Further on to the fouth, are remains of large quarries, the ca- vities of which are fupported by pilafters: fome of thefe quarries have been the abode of pious hermits, who in thefe rocks, among thefe vaft retreats, united the auftere afpedl of an inhabitant of the defert to the gentle majefty of one who partakes of the bounties bellowed by a river, which difpenfes to its banks plenty and fertility. This \\as the emblem of their life ; before their retreat, cares, wealth, agitation ; afterwards, calm and contemplative enjoyments ; the filence of nature too imitated the referve to which they were compelled : in thefe regions the unchanging and augufl fplendor of the fky, forcibly impells to conftant but chaflencd admiration ; the dawn of day is not en- A 4 livened


TRAVELS IX EGYPT.


livened by the cries of joy or the bounding of animals ; the fong of no bird proclaims the return of morn, even the lark, which in our climates enlivens and animates our fallows, in thefe burning regions only calls to his mate, but never chants his happi- nefs ; the grave dignity of Nature feems to infpire with the deep fenfe of humble ac- knowledgment, fo that the grotto of the cenobite feems to have been placed here by the order and choice of the Deity himfelf j and every animated being partakes with him in his grave and filent meditation.

Small niches, flucco facings, a few red paintings reprefenting croffes, and fome in- fcriptions in a language which I took to be Coptic, are the only remains which give evi- dence to the former habitation of the auftere cenobites in thefe gloomy cells. In the feafon in which we vifitcd them, nothing

was


TKAVELS IN EGYPT. _ • Q

was comparable to the exquifite verdure of the banks of the Nile, which embelHfhed the iliore with various hues of beautiful green as far as the eye could reach. My curiofity had led me fo far from head-quarters, that I could not regain them before the march.

Jt is always attended with fome embar- raflment when a large army quits a town. We fet out the next morning before day- break. All our guides had joined the fam.e divifion which caufed ours to wander at random, and it was fome time before we were all colleded. We followed the finuo- Cities of the canal of Abu-Affi, which is the laft of Upper Egypt, and fo confiderable in fize, that it might be confidered as an - arm of the Nile, dividing with this river the extent of the valley, which in this day's march appeared to be no more than a league in breadth, but cultivated with more care

and


lO TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

and fkill than any part which we had yet ieen : we found feveral roads marked out, which convinced us that they might, with a very little expence, be made excellent, and moft completely durable, in a country like this, where neither rain nor froft are ever ieen. At every half league we found wells with a fmall monument of hofpitality, in which we could allay the thirfl of man and horfe : I took a Iketch of one of the moft confiderable of thefe fmall philanthropic eftablifhments, as agreeable as ufeful, which characterize the natural charity of the Arabs. (See Plate XVII. Fig. 2.) Towards the middle of the day we approached the defert, where I found three new objed.s ; one was the dotim palm-tree, which differs from the date palm, in having from eight to fifteen ftems inftcad of only a fmgle one, and its ligneous fruit is attached by clufters to the

extremity


X






UU U1.^UAJU.L LI



^


H, ' "tJfiKfc?^


->i-*fj«ef


-^'^'^•^'^SSSSg^^g'^^T^--.-'-^^:^


'//- ///Va . //.'„.,.,/<;,/



y/2„.^,«,„..r-„y ,:„ //^^^.,<.->/r>


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, 11

extremity of the principal branches, whence proceed numerous tufts, which form the foliage of the tree. The fruit is of a trian- gular form, and of the fize of an egg ; the £rft, or outer coat, is fpongy, and eats like the carobe ; the tafte is fweetifh, like honey, refembling the flavour of fpice-bread; under this coat is a hard bark, filamentous like the cocoa-nut, which it refembles more than any other fruit ; but it wants the fine hard liaineous fliell of the cocoa ; its gelatinous part is taftelefs ; it becomes very hard by drying, and beads are made of it, ftrung upon chaplets, which take a good dye and polifh. (See Plate XVII. Fig. 2.)

I faw alfo a charming little bird, which by its fhape and habitudes fliould be arrang- ed in the clafs of Jiy catchers ; it feized and devoured thefe infecSs with an admirable ad- drefs. Thanks to the indolence of the 1 Turks,


12 TRAVELS IN KGYPT.

Turks, all birds are familiar in their country ; for though the Turks love nothing, they dillurb nothing : the colour of the bird I have juft mentioned is a clear and lively green ; the head and the feathers beneath ■the wings, golden; the beak, long, black, and pointed ; in the tail it has one feather about half an inch longer than the reft ; the fize of the bird is about the fame as the Imall titmoufe.

A little further off I faw in the defert fome fwallow^s of a clear grey colour, like that of the fand over which they were flying: thefe never emigrate, or at leaft only go into fimilar climates, as we never fee any of them in Europe of this colour; they are of the fpecies of the wheat-ear.

After marching thirteen hours, we came in the evening to Gamerifficm, unfortu- nately for this- village ; for the cries of the 2 women .


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 13

women foon convinced us that our foldlers, profiting by the darknefs of the night, under pretence of feeking provifions, and notwith- Handing their vvearinefs, w^ere enjoying bj violence the gratifications which the place offered them : the inhabitants, pillaged, dif- honoured, and urged to defperation, fell up- on( the patroles whom we fent to defend them ; and thefe, attacked by the furious natives, were killing them in their own de- , fence, for want of being able to explain their obje6l, and to make themfelves underflood..., O war ! thou art brilliant in hiflory, but frightful when viewed with all thy attending horrors, naked, and undifguifed.

On the 28th we fkirted the edge of the defert, vvhich was bordered by a fucceflion of villages. In Ipite of the cold which we felt during the night, the heat of the day and the produ(R:ions of the earth, gave us

notice


14 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

notice that we were approaching the tropic; the barley was now ripe, the wheat in ear, and the melons planted in the open field, were already in full flower. We fpent the night in a wood near Narcette.

On the 29th we crofled a defert, and pafled by a Coptic convent, to which the Mamelukes had fet fire on the preceding evening, and which was flill burning fo as to prevent me from entering it; but it re- fembled in all its parts the white convent a Ihort diftance off, and fituated alfo under the mountain, at the border of the defert, which I fhall prefcntly defcribe. The firft is called the Red Co?ivent, becaufe it is built of brick ; the other the Ji^hite Co7ivent, be- ing conftrudled of ftones of this colour ; this latter had alfo been fet on fire the pre- ceding evening ; but the monks in efcaping had left the gates open, and fome of their

fervant?


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 15

fervants were faving what they could from the ruins.

The eredlion of this building is attributed to Saint Helena, which is probably true, to judge by the plan. The church was the only building left {landing, but there had doubtlefs been a monaftery attached to it, as fome fragments of walls and blocks of granite adjoining feem to prove. From the dimenfions of thefe reliques of antiquity, wc muft fuppofe, that if Saint Helena built them, the emperor Conftantine muft have feconded her zeal, by putting very large fums at her difpofal : the monaftery not being, like the church, built fo as to make a ftrong and tenable caftle, it muft doubtlefs have been deftroyed long before, by fome fuch violence as that which we were now witnefTes of; the church, on the contrary, was built fo ftrong, that, with a portcullis at the entrance, and

a few


l9 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

a few pieces of cannon on the walls, it might eafily refift the attacks of the Arabs^ or even the Mamelukes. But thefc poor monks being without arms, could only op- pofe to oppreffion their patience, fan6tity, refignation, and efpecially their poverty, which would have faved them on any other occafion ; but in the prefent cafe the Mame- lukes revenged themfelves on catholics, for the evils which they had experienced from other catholics, as if they could by this in- juftice make up for the lofs which we had occafioncd them. We perceived in the ruins produced by this cataftrophe fome charcoal, which remained from the burning of the wood-yard ; and the urgent neceffities of infatiable war compelled us alfo to take away thefe wrecksof the devailation of which we had been the caufe.

Since the firll: deftrudion of the convent

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 17

the monks had made their dwellings in the lateral gallery of the church, if dwellings they might be called, which were only wretched huts, fet up under thofe fplendid porches ; it was mifery in the very palace of pride.

The fathers had fled ; w^e only found the brothers, clothed in rags, who had fcarcely recovered from the fright and agony which they had experienced the night before. To have a full idea of the life, the chara<5ler, and means of fubfiftence of thefe monks, the reader fhould confult the excellent memoir which General Andreoffi has given con- cerning the natron lakes, in which he has introduced an account of the convents of El- Baramous, Saint Ephraim, and Saint Ma- caire. This exa(fl and judicious writer has there defcribed the poverty of thefe monks, their continual flate of warfare with the

Vol. II. B Arabs,


18 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

Arabs, the mifery of their life, and the moral Caufes which render it fupportable to them, and which perpetuate thefe eftablifliments.

Whilft we were halting I made a draw- ing of this convent (See Plate XVII. Fig. 1 .) "which will give an idea of the fituation of thefe eftablilhments on the edge of the de- fert, but commanding a view of the rich country, watered by the canal of Abu-Affi, and of the architecture of thefe edifices of the fourth century, and confequently two thoufand years pofterior to the grand monu- ments of high Egyptian antiquity. The gravity of ftyle here difplayed, the cornices, and the gates, are abfolutely the fame as the primitive architecture; the general outline is good, excepting fome deficiencies in the choir, in which may be obferved the decay of tafle. We encamped in the evening at BonnaiTe Bura.

The


TllAVELS IN EGYPT.


19


The next day we returned along the Nile, and crofled the field of battle, in which, dur- ing the lad: war between the Turks and the Mamelukes, Aflan-Baflia was beaten by Mu- rad-Bey, where the latter, with five thou- fand Mamelukes, overthrew, and routed eighteen thoufand Turks and three thoufand Mamelukes. Malem-Jacob, a Copt, who accompanied us as our fteward, was a fpec- tator of this battle and had taken a fhare in it, and he explained to us all the particu- lars. He iliewed us with what fuperiority of talent Murad had gained his advantage and profited by it; the fame Murad-Bey would now foam with anger, at being obliged to repafs the fame Sdd of battle, fly- ing before fifteen hundred infantry. As wc were converfmg on the vicifTitudes of for- tune, drawn on by the eagernefs of talk, we had very imprudently, as was our ufual B 2 cuflom.


20 TRAVELS IN EGTPTo

cuftom, got halt* a league before the army. I fald injeft to Defaix, that it would be very ridiculous to have it told in hiftory, that he had loft his head in a rencounter with half a dozen Mamelukes, and that for my part I ihould be inconfolable to leave mine behind a bufh, where it would be forgotten. At this time we were paffing out of Minchia ; the adjutant Clement came to inform the General that there were Mamelukes in the village, and indeed we prefently faw firft two, then fix, then ten, and afterwards four more, and two behind, along with their bag- gage : they foon obferved us ; if we retreated we ftiould have been carried off, as the coun- try w^as enclofed ; Defaix, therefore, put a good face on the matter, and appeared to be making his arrangements ; he had four fufi- leers whom he placed alternately on each fide, to encreafe the appearance of our force :

we


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 21

VT-e got fome ditches between us and the enemy, we gained time, and at lall our ad- vanced guard came up, and they retired. We were told that Murad was waiting for us at Girgeh ; we heard loud cries, and faw clouds of duft afcend. Defaix thought that at laft he was going to obtain the battle which he had been feeking fo painfully for the laft fortnight ; I was difpatched tohaften the infantry up. While galloping along, I juft perceived an ancient embankment on the edge of the Nile, and flights of fteps de- fcending into two bafons — were th^y the ruins of Ptolemais ? A canon was fired as a fignal to the cavalry, who were at a league diflance, to rejoin us, and in half an hour we were ready either for attack or defence. We marched in order of battle up to the fpot where the greateft number had collected, tut they difperfed ; the Mamelukes them- B 3 felves


22 TKAVELS IN EGYPT.

felves difappearcd, and wc arrived at GIrgeli, without being able to come up with the enemy.

Here the pitilefs reader, fitting quietly at his table with his map before him, will fay to the poor, hungry, haraifed traveller, ex- pofed to all the trouble of v^'ar : " I fee no account of *' Apheoditopolis, Crocodilopolis,

  • ' Ptolemais — what is become of all thcfe

" towns ? W hat had you to do there, if you " could not give any account of them ? had

  • ' you not a horfe to carry you, an army to

" protccl you, and an interpreter to anfwer

  • ' all your queftions — and have I not relied

" upon you to give me fome information on

  • ' all thefe fubjeds ?" But, kind reader,

pleafe to recoUeCl, that wc are furrounded "with Arabs and Mamelukes, and that, in all probability, I fnould be made prifoner, pil- laged, and very likely killed, if I had thought

proper


TKAVELS IN EGYPT 23

proper to venture only a hundred paces from the cohamn to fetch fome of the bricks of Aphroditopohs. The embanked quay, which I faw in galloping to Minchia, was Ptole- mais, and no other remains of this town exifb,

A little more patience, and we fliall go and turn over a foil entirely new to the curious traveller, to fee the places which Herodotus himfelf has only defcribed from the lying reports which v/ere given to him, and which modern travellers have only been able to draw and meafure, furrounded by every caufc of anxiety, without daring to Jofe fight of the river, plundered on every pretence by the reis, by their interpreter, by every fheik, badia, and kiachef, into whole hands they might happen to fall ; abandoned by fome of their fervants, pillaged by others, fufpeded of forcery, tormented B 4 on


24- TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

on account of treafures which they were fuppofed to have found, or to be in queft of, obHged, in taking drawings, to have an eye on the attendants that furrounded them, who were ready to deftroy the fruits of their labours, if not to make an attempt on their perforis ; thefe travellers, under fuch circum- ftances, cannot be blamed in tranfmitting very imperfed accounts of countries fo cu- rious, but at the fame time fo dangerous to vifit.

Thanks to the obftinate perfeverance of the brave Murad-Bey, who will ftill try the chance of war, while the reft of Egypt is in our poiTefTion, we fliall contrive to purfue him, and this will lead us at laft into the proriiifed land, from which my harveft w^ill be reaped.

Girgeh, where we arrived tw^o hours after noon, is the capital of Upper Egypt : it is

a modern


TRAVELS IN- EGYPT. 25

a modern town that contains nothing re- markable : it is as large as Minyeh and Me- laui, but lefs than S'l'ut, and lefs beautiful than either. The name of Girgeh, or Djer- geh, is derived from a large monaftery built previoufly to the town, and dedicated to St. George, which is pronounced Girgeh in the language of the country. The convent dill exifts, and we found in it European monks. The Nile razes the walls of Girgeh, and is conftantly walli'mg away a part of them ; and it would require a confiderable expence to make here but an indifferent harbour for boats This town is therefore interefting only as being fituated half way between Cairo and Syene, and in a very rich terri- tory. We found here all kinds of provifions, at a very low price ; bread was one fous the pound ; twelve eggs, two fous ; two pigeons, three fous; a goofe weighing fifteen pounds,

we


26 TlJAVELo IN EGYPT.

we got at twelve fous: — could this be pover- ty? Such too was the abundance of thefe articles, that after more than five thoufand of us had remained here three weeks, and had encreafed the confumption, and fcat- tered out money, no rife in the demand for thefe neccflaries had taken place.

However, our boats did not arrive ; we were in want of fnocs and of bifcuit ; the army therefore went into regular quarters here, fet up ovens, and prepared a barrack to ftation five hundred men ; and during this time of reft "for us all, I experienced iq my own cafe the great advantage of ftrength-* ening my eye-fight, which had become io indifferent as to threaten ferious inconvC'^ nience. I had, indeed, no remedy with me ; but I found a pot of honey, and a jar of vinegar, in the houfe of the flieik in which 1 lodged, which did me great fervice, for I 7 eat


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 27

eat abundantly of the. former, and cooled the heat of my blood with the latter, which I drank largely, mixed w^ith water and fugar.

On the 3d oi January we learnt that the pcafants, fcduced by the Mamelukes, were colleding in order to attack us in the rear, whilfl they were promiied that we fliould be ailaulted at the fame time in front. They had but a month ago plundered a caravan of two hundred merchants, who were com- ing from India by the Red Sea, Colleir, and Koufs ; they theicfoje gave themfelves great credit for their courage : forty of the neigh- bouring villages had aifembled fix or {even thoufand men, but ourcxavalry charged them, fabred ten or twelve hundred of them, and put an end to their proje(5l.

We found at Girgeh a Nubian prince, a brother to the king of Darfur : he was re- turning from India, and was going to rejoin

another


28 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

another of his brothers, who was accompa- nying another caravan of Nubians of Sennar, with as many women. He was bringing to Cairo elephants' teeth and gold duft, to barter againft coffee, fugar, ihawls, cloth, lead, iron, fenna, and tamarinds. We had a long converfation with this young prince, who was lively, gay, impetuous, and clever, all of which were fhewn in his phyfiognomy : his colour was deeper than bronze, his eyes very fine and well fct, his nofe fomewhat turned up and fmall, his mouth very wide but not flat, and his legs, like thofe of all the Africans, bowed and lank. He told us that his brother was an ally of the king of Burnu, and traded with him, and that he was always at war with the people of Sen- nar. He likewife informed us, that it was forty days journey from Darfur to S'lut, dur- ing which time water was only to be met

with


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 2g

with once a week, either in the wells or in croffing the oajis. The profits of thefe cara- vans ought to be enormous to repay the ex- penfe and trouble of fitting them out, and to indemnify them for their very great fa- tigues. W^hen their female flaves were not taken in war, they coft them one indiffer- ent gun, and the men flaves two. He told us, that it was very cold in his country at a certain time of the year, and having no word to exprefs to us tccy he faid, that they eat a great deal of a fubftance which was hard when taken in the hands, and which flipped through the fingers when it was held there for fome time. We enquired of him of Tombuctoo, this celebrated city, the ex- iftence of which is fo problematical in Eu- rope. He was not furprifed at our quef- tions. From his account Tombuctoo was at the fouth-weft of his country, and its inha- bitants


30 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

bitants came to trade with him : tb.cv were fix months on their journey from Tombuctoo to Darfur, and purchafed the various articles v/hich he brought from Cairo, for which they exchanged gold duft. He added, that this country was called in their language the paradife ; that the town of Tombuctoo was fituated on the banks of a river, which flowed towards :he vvefl, and that the inha- bitants were fmall of feature, and mild in difpofition. We regretted much that we could not enjoy more time with this in- terefting traveller, but we could not indlf- creetly urge him with qyueftions, though he feemed to be perfe6lly well inclined to tell us "What he knew, having nothing of the Muf- fulman gravity and taciturnity, and exprefs- ing himfelf with eafe and energy. He told us, befides, that in his country the iyicc^i- fion of the royal family was elective ; that

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3t

the military and civil chiefs, after the death of a king, chofe, out of his fons, him whom they thought moft worthy to fucceed to the throne ; and that hitherto there had been no example of a civil war being produced by this cuftom.

All that 1 have been relating is, word for w^ord, an authentic copy of the converfation which we had with this foreign prince. He added, that we had an infinite number of things to furniih Africa with, and that we Hiould find them very willing to trade with us, without injuring the comm.erce wdiich they kept up with each other; that we ihould attach them to our intcrefls by all their wants, and by the exportation of the fuperfluity of our productions ; that the trade with India, in like roeafure, might be carried on through Mecca, taking this town or that of CofTeir as a common entrepot, in the fame way as Aleppo

is


32 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

is for the MufTulman ftates, notwithftand- ing the length of march required on each fide to arrive at the common point of contad.

We were now waiting every day for the barks which were to follow our march, on board of which were our provifions, ammu- nition, and the clothing of our troops. The "wind, contrary to what generally prevails at this feafon, had been uniformly favourable for the arrival of the barks, and yet they were not come. We had difpatched feveral ex- preffes to gain fome tidings of them ; but the firft that we fent had perifhed in paffing through the revolted villages, and the others did not appear, fo that we were compelled to lofe our mod favourable feafon in inac- tion. The country even might begin to think that we feared to meet the Mamelukes, and this opinion would difaffeft the peafants to- wards us : indeed they already refufed to

pay


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 33

pay the mJri, alledging as a reafon, that there muft be a battle, and they would pay it to the conqueror.

On the Qth of January, the tenth day of our arrival. General Defaix determined to fend his cavalry to S'iut, to know abfolutely what was become of his maritime convoy We had previoufly lent from Girgeh a bat- talion to Bardis, in quefl of provifion; the officer who commanded it informed us, on the evening of the ninth, that the Mame- lukes had given out that on the eleventh they would march from Hau, to reach us on the next day ; and that they were abfolutely determined to give us battle. This news was confirmed from every quarter ; although Defaix was not convinced that the great ob- jed; of our wiihes was at hand, he had ad- ditional reafon to complain of our flotilla, which by depriving us of the affiftance of

Vol. II C our


34 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

our cavalry, would prevent us from mak* ing advantage of our victory, in cafe we gained one ; for infantry alone can never do more with the Mamelukes than accept of battle, not being able to compel them to it, or oblige them to continue it longer than they think proper.

Another peft with which we were much haraifed, was a perpetual theft, which was contrived by the offenders in fuch a manner, that no rigour of military execution could J)rote<ft our arms or our horfes. Every night the inhabitants flole into our camp like rats^ and lurking about, they generally found an opportunity to feize fome article of plunder, and carry it away with them. Some of the robbers had been caught in the very fad, and facrificed to the rage of the foldiers on guard ; it was hoped that this rigour would |)rove a falutary example ; the guard was

doubled.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 35

doubled, and yet on the fame day two of the artillery forges were taken off; but the robbers were apprehended and fliot imme- diately. In the night w^hich followed this 'execution, the horfes of the aid-de-camp of the general of cavalry wxre ftolen : the gene- ral laid a w^ager that«they would not touch any of his property, but the next day his horfe alfo difappeared, and the plunderers had pulled down part of a wall in order to furprize the general himfelf, which failed only on account of day-light coming before they were prepared.

On the iOth we learnt that Murad-Bey , had invited the Arab fliieks of the villages which had fubmitted to us to rendezvous at <jirgeh, and march againft us. On the 12th, th:e day in which we were to have been at- tacked, feveral of thefe ihieks fent us a let- ter, informing us that they remained faithful C 2 t*


36 TRAVELS IN EGYPl'.

to their treaty, and denounced to us thofe who had promifed to march to join Murad ; but the encounter which they had had with our cavalry difconcerted their plans.

The llcy was cloudy on the 1 1th, and we fuffered from it as if it were a fharp winter's day, though it would have been reckoned in Europe fine April weather, fo much is the abfence of a bleffing confidered as a pofitive ev41 ! On this day, however, which we complained of fo much, I faw^ a vine-ftalk as green as in the month of July; the leaves in this country only harden, become red, and dry, whilft the end of the branch perpe- tually renews its verdure ; the creeping peas do the fame, their ftalk becomes woody : and I have feen fome that were forty feet high, and had climbed to the tops of trees.

We learned alfo that there had arrived from Mecca, by the way of Cofleir, an in- numerable


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 37

numerable troop of foot foldiers to join Murad-Bey, and that they were on their march to attack us.

On the 13th we were informed that our cavalry had fallen in with a number of the enemy at Menfliieth, had put to the fvvord a thoufand of thefe deluded people, and had purfued their march. This was certainly not a leflon of fraternization ; but our pofi- tion, perhaps, rendered an a6l of feverity neceilary : this province, which had always the reputation of being very turbulent, and very formidable, required to be taught that they could not brave us with impunity ; it was, befides, our policy to conceal from them, that our means were fmall, and our refources difperfed ; and to give them the impreffion of our being as vindicative when provoked, as mild when treated with refpeA ; and that we fhould punilh feverely thofe who were C 3 difpofed


38 TRAVELS IN EGYrT.

difpofed to doubt that all we did was finally; for their own good.

We prepared to march as foon as our ca- valry returned, whether our flotilla was to come at laft, or whether we fliould be obliged to give it up ; for by remaining here we did but encreafe the evils of our fituation, and thofe which we were obliged to make the inhabitants fuffer in keeping up this con- flant flate of war, uncertainty, and diforga- nization.

Still no tidings of our cavalry on the ] 4th* We amufcd ourfelves with hearing Arabian tales, in order to kill time, and relieve our impatience. The Arabs relate ftorics fo flowly, that our interpreters could follow them almoft without interrupting the nar- rative. They retain the fame paffion for thefe tales as we have long been familiar with in the thoufand and one talcs of the

fultana


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3g

fultana Scherafade ; and in this refpedl, Defaix and myfelf almofl: equalled the ful- tan ; his prodigious memory loft fcarcely a Ungle phrafe of what he had heard ; and I forbore to write them down, as he pfomifed to repeat them to me from memory, word for word. I obferved, however, that if thefe relations were not rich in natural images and juft fentiment (a merit which feems to belong excluiively to the writers of the north), they abound in extraordinary events and interefting fituations, occafioned by high ^nd ftrong paffions : thefe writers make abundant ufe of all the machinery of caftles, iron grates, poifons, daggers, rapes, night adventures, miftakes, treachery ; in fliort, all that can embroil a narration, and appear to render the denouement impoftible, and yet the ftory always finifhes very naturally in the cleareft and moft fatisfadory manner. C 4 This


40 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

This is the merit of the inventor, and to this the narrator adds that of precifion and declamation, which are in high efteem with the audience ; and thus it happens that the fame ftory is told by feveral relators fuccef- fively with equal intereft and fuccefs ; one . giving in a better ftyle of declamation the pathetic and amorous part ; another throw- ing in more intereft in the battle fcenes and thofe of horror ; and a third humouring the laughable events ; in fhort, it is their thea- trical entertainment ; and as we go to a play the firfl time for the piece, and afterwards for particular adlors ; fo with the Arabs thefe repeated reprefentations do not fatigue the auditors. Thefe tales are followed ^^ith difcuffions ; the parts which have excited applaufe are criticifed, and thus the talents of the performers are brought to greater per- fedion ; and all thofe who have acquired a

high


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 41

high pitch of excellence in this art are in great eftimation, as they contribute to the happinefs of a whole family or even a horde. The Arabs have alfo their poets, even their improvifatores, who exhibit at great feafts, and they appear to be enchanted with them. I have heard them, but when their fongs are not narrative, they doubtlefs lofe much by being tranflated ; they fcemed to me to be only concetti, or a very infipid play upon words : thcfc poets too have very lingular manners, and particular tricks or geftures, which diflinguifh them indeed from others, but give an appearancee of infanity that in- fpired me with pity and repugnance ; which was not the cafe with the narrators of the tales, who appear to have much more talent and nature.

Our delays ought to have diftreffed me kfs than others, fmce it gave me time to

allay


42 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

the inflamation of my eyes ; but I partook of the impatience of Defaix, who depended on the refources which our convoy had on board, the abfence of which paralyfed all his operations in every quarter, and left him in a diftrcffing ilate of inadlion. Happily we had few fick and wounded, for the phy- ficians, who were without remedies, could only look on, to tell them what fhould have been done for them, and could adminifter nothing : however, we eftablifhed a hofpital, ovens, and a magazine, and we had a barrack fufficiently well fortified to be defended againft any irifurre6lion or attack of the peafants, and to hold in fecurity three hundred men, in this little inlet of a poft on the Nile.

Not knowing well what to do for my in- flamed eyes, I went to the baths of the town, and found much eafe from this re- medy.



X' encn.-D




TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 43

jrnedy. I fliall here refer my reader to the elegant defcription given of thefe Egyptian baths by Savary, whofe rich imagination has fet before his readers a very Hvely picture of the pleafure which they afford, and the vo- luptuous gratification which they are capable of procuring. I took a drawing of the bath which I ufed. (See plate XVI.)

The morning of the 15 th was cold enough to make one wifli for a fire, but it was ra- ther the chilhiefs of a raw morning in May, for. on putting my head out of my window, I faw' the birds alive and a<ftive, and bufy in making their nefts : in the evening of this day it thundered, a very rare occurrence in this country, which happens hardly oftener than once in a generation, by a concourfe of circum.flances perhaps not difficult of explanation. The north wind, which is the moil conflant of all thofe that

prevail


44 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

prevail in this part of the world, brings from the fea the clouds of a colder region, rolls them along through the valley of Egypt, where a burning fun rarefies them and re- duces them to vapour ; when this vapour is driven into Abyffinia, the fouth wind, which crofTes the lofty and cold mountains of this country, fometimes brings back a few fcat- tercd clouds, which, as they experience but little change of temperature when return- ing over the humid valley of the Nile in flood-tim.e, remain condenfed, and at times produce, without thunder or tempeft, fmall hafty fliowers. But, as the eafl and weft winds, which are in general the parents of ftorm.s, both crofs burning dcferts, which either abforb the clouds or raife the vapour to fuch a height as to be able to pafs over the narrow valley of Upper Egypt, without being able to undergo detonation by the

operation


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 45

operation of the waters of the river, the phe- nomenon of thunder becomes fo rare an occurrence to the inhabitants of this coun- try, that even the thinking people who refide here do not attempt to affign to it a phyfical caufe. General Defaix having queftioned a perfon in the law in this place on the caule of thunder, he replied, with the perfed; con- fidence of convi(5lion : We know very "^ well that it is an angel, but fo fmall in fi:a~ " ture that he cannot be perceived in the

  • 'air; he has however the power of con-

dunlins; the clouds of the Mediterranean

  • ' into Abyffinia, and when the wickednefs

" of men is at its heicrht, he makes his voice " heard, which is a voice of menace and re-

  • ' proach ; and as a proof that he has alfo

" the difpofal of punifliment, he opens a " little way the gate of heaven, whence darts

  • ' out the lightning; but as the clemency

1 " of


il5 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

" of God is Infinite, never is his wrath carried " further in Upper Egypt."

It vvas a matter of furprize to us to hear a fenfible-looking man, with a venerable White beard, relate fuch a puerile tale. Defaix wiflied to e;r.plain to him in another manner this phenomenon, but the old man thought it fo inferior to his own, that he even did not take the trouble to liflen to it. It had by this time rained all night, which ren- dered the ftreets muddy, flippery, and hardly jjaffable. Here finiilies the hiftory of our winter, which I fhall not again l^ave occafion to mention.

We had now fet up ovens after the man- ner of the country, and baked bifcuit for ourfelves. The Egyptians manage their ovens with great fkill and addrefs ; for, in- dividually, they are dexterous and induftri- ous, and as they have fcarcely more tools to

work


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 4tj

work with than any favage, it is furprifinff how much they do with their fingers, the inftruments to which they are commonly reduced; and with their feet, with which they affift their hands wonderfully. As workmen they have one great recommend- ation, which is, that they are patient and unaffuming, and ready to repeat their work till it is done to your mind. I know not whether they can be made brave; but we ought not to fee, without Ibme apprehenfion, the qualities of good foldiers which they already exhibit ; they are eminently fober, as active on -their legs as couriers, centaurs on horfeback, and tritons in fvvimming; and yet four thoufand French exercift abfolute em- pire over feveral millions of fuch men, pof- felling fuch formidable qualities of body; fo llrongly imprefled on the mind of fome per- fons is the habit of obedience, as that of 3r command


48 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

command is on others, and this ftate con- tinues till one party llumber over their abufe of power, w hilft the others at laft awake at the noife of their chains.

On the 18th of January our cavalry re- turned; they brought us the welcome news of the arrival of our barks, and gave us the particulars of a battle which they had fought with feveral Mamelukes and their allies, who had fpread the intelligence that they had forced our pofition and defeated us, and that our cavalry were the wrecks of the French army, w^ho were endeavouring to make good their return to Cairo. Two thoufand Arabs on horfeback, and five or fix thoufand peafants on foot, had intended to cut off our cavalry, and for this purpofe had advanced beyond Tata to meet them : when our troops difcovered them they began to form; but the enemy fuppofmg that our cavalry would

decline


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, 4Q

decline the combat, had charged with their

accuftomed dlforder, that is to fay, with forme

of the boldeft in front, and the reft in the

middle, all ftriking and never parrying : but

at the fecond difcharge, the enemy, afto-

niflied to receive from cavalry a fire as well

kept up as that of a battalion, began to give

way, and having loft forty of their men,

with about a hundred wounded, they had

difperfed in different directions, deferting

their poor infantry, who as ufual had been

fabred, and would have been entirely deftroy-

ed, if night had not aflifted their efcape.

On the 20th our long expeded boats ar* rived, and the fupplies which they brought with them, and above all the mufic of one of our demi-brigades playing favourite French airs, gave us all fuch a furprifmg fenfation of delight at Girgeh, that we for- got all the fretting impatience under which

Vol II. D we


50 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

wc had of late fo much fufFered. Alas, it was the ibng of the menaced fwan ! but let us not anticipate events ; in war time, above all, the prefent moment mud: be enjoyed, ^nce no one can command the fucceeding.

On the 2lft the advance- money and the brandy with which we w^ere now fupplied, gave a new pleafure to the life of the foldier, ^who, already tired of eating his fix eggs for a fous, iet out with joy to meet with frefli hardfhips.

We had been for twenty-one days tiring ourfelves with the inaction to which we had been compelled : I knew that I w^as near Abidus, where Ofymandyas had built a tem- ple, and where Memnon had refided. I was conftantly urging Defaix to fend thither a reconnoitring party as far as El-Araba, where I daily heard there were feveral ruins ; and as often Defaix faid to me, " I will conduA

" you


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3 I

" you thither myfelf ; Murad-Bey is two

    • days journey from us, he will come up to

" us the day after to-morrow, and we fhall " then give him battle, and when we fhall '* have beat him, we can then beftow as " much time as you will on antiquities, and " I will help you myfelf to meafure them.'* My good friend was certainly in the right, and even if it were not fo, I muft have con- tented myfelf.

At laft, on the 22nd, we quitted Girgeh at the approach of night, and we pafled di- re<3;ly oppofite to the antiquities. Defaix dared not look me in the face: " If I am " killed to-morrow," faid I to him, " my

  • ' ghoft will be always haunting you, repeat-

" ing in your ears El-Araba." In truth, he recoUedled my menace, for five months after he lent from Siut an order for a detachment to be given me to efcort me to EI-Araba.

D2 We


50, TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

We arrived before a village : it was only the next day we learnt that it was called Ef- Befera, for in the evening there was not a fingle inhabitant left to fpeak to. For my own part, I was not very forry to find thefc villages empty, as it prevented me from hear- ing the cries of the inhabitants, from whom we were obliged to fupply our wants by force ; whereas when they were apprifed of our coming every thing was removed, even to the doors and window-cafes; and a vil- lage thus ftript only two hours before, had the appearance of z ruin a century old.

The next day, as I was fetting out the foremoft on the march, having the leaft to do, I was the frril to perceive the Mamelukes. They advanced towards us, fljewing a front of an immenfc extent. We immediately formed in three fquares, two of infantry for our wmgsvand our cavalry in the centre,

flanked


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 53

ilanked with eight pieces of artillery on the angles. In this order we marched, taking the route to Samanhut, a village of confider^ able elevation, below which we hoped to take a good pofition. The Mamelukes now dividing their force, turned us in three points, and began to fire their pieces, and to let up their war cries, before we even thought of ufmg our artillery. A body o£ volunteers from Mecca were pofted in a ravine between the village and our army, and fired from under cover on the fquare of our twenty-firft. Defaix fent a detachment of infantry to diflodge them from their trenches, and another of cavalry to purfue them when they were driven out of their poft. The cavalry, which was too eager, made the attack too foon and to difadvantage ; one of our men was killed, another wounded, and the aid- de- camp Rapp, received a fabre D 3 wound,


5S TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

wdund, which would have brought him to the ground, had not a volunteer parried off four more blows that were aimed at him : the Mecca troop, however, were repulfed.

Chafleurs were now fent to the village to diflodge thofe of the enemy who had taken poft there ; the Mamelukes drew up to at* tack our left, whilfl another party threaten- ed our right ; they had at one time a favour- able moment for charging us, but they he- sitated, and loft an opportunity which never Again occurred. However, they continued t6 prance round us, making a moft brilliant <3i/play of their glittering arms, and of their ikill in horfemanlhip, in which they exhi- bited all the oriental fplendour; but the rigid feverity of our northern difcipline prefented a fpedlacle equally formidable and com- manding ; the contrail however was ftrik- ing ; it was iron in battle array againft gold,

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 55

the whole plain fparkled with poliftied arms and accoutrements, and the pidure was beautiful. Our artillery fired en the whole front of the enemy at once, w^ho made a falfe attack on our right, in which feveral of their men were killed. One of their leaders ftruck with a bullet, fell down too near us to be aflifted by his own people, and whilft his foot hung in the ftirrup, the horfc without abandoning his rider, would not let any one approach him ; but the cupidity of our markfmen was raifed by the gold which glittered on the drefs of this unfortunate chief, who was thus dragged from place to place by his horfe, and made to fufFer the horrors of death in many forms.

Another party of chafTeurs had been fent

to Samanhut, to diflodge the enemy from

that village alfo. They foon ctFec^ed their

object, and Murad himfelf was one of thofe

D 4 that


56 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

that fled from this place, which was the poft of his referve : he took the route to Farfhiut. This nqovcment divided the whole of the enemy's army. Defaix took advantage of it to occupy the ground which they were quit- ting, and ordered the cavalry to charge thofe that ftill remained on our right. In an in- flant we faw them in the defert, gaining the firft afcent of the mountain with incredible ipeed; we thought that, when in this fa- vourable ground they would halt, to make head againft our cavalry, but terror and dif-* order were among their ranks, and they only thought of colleding together to protect their flight ; feme of their ftragglers were killed and fome camels taken, a fmall body fled feparately on our left, the firing ceafed ait noon, and at one o'clock none of our ene-^ mies were in fight. We direded our march to Farfliiut, which Murad-Bey had already abandoned.


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 57

This unfortunate town had been pillaged fome hours before by the Mamelukes. The iheik was a defcendant of the fheiks Amman, who were powerful fovereigns, much re- fpedled in Said, and in the beginning of this century had reigned with equity, and had been able to protect their fubjeds from the vexations of the Mamelukes. The prcfcnt fheik, who had been conquered by Murad, and was reduced to a ftate of weaknefs and poverty, had feen with pleafure his avengers in us, and had prepared bifcuit for our arrival; but Murad, defeated and obliged to fly, had fent for this old prince before he left Farfhiut, had loaded him with reproaches, and in his j-age had cut his head off with his own hand. "J^hen our troops arrive they compleat the pillage of the magazines, the generale is beat to prevent this diforder, but the whole army >yas equally in fault, and muft have been

punifhed ;


^B TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

punilhed ; a forced march is immediately ordered, and to efcape the reproaches and clamour of the inhabitants, we fet out on our march at midnight.

The darknefs was frightful, and the cold leverc enough to oblige us to light a fire every time that the artillery halted. ' As Defaix, his aides-de-camp, and myfelf, were (land- ing under the j(helter of a wall by one of our fires, we received a volley from fome fufi- leers at the top of the wall : they were fome of the volunteers from Mecca who ftill hovered about us, for it was our deftiny to meet with them every where ; they were twenty in number, and we killed eight of them ; the others efcaped, owing to the darknefs of the night. Thefe volunteers, who called themfelves noble, wore the green turban, as defcendants of the race of Ali ; and the vagabond chevaliers, who lived by plun- dering


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 69

derlng the caravans on the fhore of Gidda, were now urged by their noble zeal, and tempted by the dead time of year for their ufual occupation, to come and attack a Eu- ropean people, whom they thought were co- vered with gold, that would repay by an ample booty all their toils and hazards.

Armed with three javelins, a pike, a dag- ger, a brace of piftols, and a carabine, they attack with boldnefs, refift with obftinacy ; and though mortally wounded, feem afto- niftiingly tenacious of life ; for in this laft rencounter I faw one of them ftill ftrike at and wound two of our nfien, whllft they were holding him nailed againft a wall with their bayonets.

We arrived at Haw an hour before fun* rife. 'Jhe Mamelukes had juft left it ; one party of the beys had entered the defert with their camels, to arrive at Efneh by this

route


60 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

route in a day and a half, the reft had fol- lowed the courfe of the Nile, which requires a journey of fix days.

Haw, or the ancient Diofpolis Parva is in a fine military fituation ; it poffefles no re- mains of antiquity.

Here we halted during the day, and fet out an hour before night, which as we knew by the experience of yefterday would be dark, and attended with danger for the march of our artillery. But the conqueft of Egypt, which had begun fo aufpicioufiy by the bat- tle of the pyramids, would have finifhed with equal brilliance by the battle of Thebes,if we could have brought our Fahiiis, Murad-Bey, to compleat adlion. How many forced mr^rches has the remembrance of this battle cod us ! but Defaix was not the fpoiled child of fortune, and his flar was cloudy : expe- dience could not convince him of our ina- bility


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 0"!

bllity to purfue the enemy with an equal fbeed ; he would hear nothing which could throw a damp on his hopes. The artillery was too cumberfome, the infantry too flow, the ftrong cavalry too heavy, riothing but the light cavalry could keep pace with his eager willies, and I am fure that he lamented not being a fimple captain, that he might follow his impetuous ardour, and charge Murad at the head of his company. At laft we fet out, and after being enlightened by the illu^ five fplendour of an aurora boreal is, and waiting for the moon's rifmg till half after ten, we arrived at eleven at a large village;, the name of which I could never learn, and where, unfortunately for their reputation, and to the great misfortune of the inhabi- tants, our foldiers mif behaved We left

this place at the firft dawn of day, on the 15th of January. The tongue of culdvatcd land now became more narrow on the left:

bank


6% TBAVELS IN EGYPT.

bank on which wc were marching, but cncreafed on the right bank in nearly the fame proportion.

At laft we entered the defert, and we there faw a wild bead, which by itsfize and remarkable form we took to be a hyena. We pulhed on to overtake it, but it ran from us as faft as we could gallop, and we were obliged to give up the purfuit.

We were now approaching Tentyra in our march, and here I ventured to fpeak to Defaix of halting, but he anfwered me with fome ill-humour : this difpleafure, however, lailed but a moment, for foon after, refum- ing his natural fenfibility,he came to me, and partaking of my love for the fine arts, he Ihewed himfelf even a warmer friend to them than myfelf. Endowed with a truly rare delicacy of mind, he had united a love of all the amiable paflions with an ardent

third


TEAVELS IN EGYPT. 63

thiril for glory ; and to a great extent of knowledge, which he already poflefled, he added a conftant defire of encreafing the llores of his mind with all the means of inr formation which fell in his way, fc that his a^ive curiofity rendered his fociety always agreeable, and his converfation interefting.

We arrived at Tentyra. The firft objeft which I faw was a fmall temple on the left hand of the road, in fo bad a ftyle and pro- portions of architedlure, that at a diftance I took it to be the ruins of a mofque. In turning back to the right, I found buried in a gloomy heap of ruins a gate, built of enormous maffes covered with hieroglyphics; and through this gate I had a view of the temple. I wifh I could here transfufe into the foul of my readers the fenfation which I experienced. I was too much loft in afto- nifliment to be capable of cool judgment ; 4 all


^4 Tr.AX'ELS IX EGYFT.

all that I had feen hitherto fervcd here h\it to fix my admiration. This monument feemed to mc to have the primitive charac* ter of a temple in the higheft perfedion. Covered with ruins as it was, the fenfation of filent refpecl which it excited in my mind appeared to me a proof of its impreiTive afped:, and without being partial in favour of the antique, I may add, that the whole army experienced fimilar feeling*.

Before entering into particulars, let us re- fer to the different views for a general idea of the extent and plan of this edifice, its prefent ftate,and the pi(^urefque effecfi which it exhibits. (See Plates XVIII. XIX. and XX.) Thefe views will give an idea of the fituation of the antient city of Tentyra, which w^as built on the borders of the defert, on the lowcfl level of the Lybian chain, the foot of which is wafhed by the waters of the

inundation


PL . jnnii.





/ ' / /




^


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 65

inundation of the Nile at the diftance of a league from its bed.

Nothing is more fimple and better put to- gether than the few lines which compofe this architecture. The Egyptians, borrowing nothing from the ftyle of other nations, have here added no foreign ornament, no fuper- fluity of materials : order and fimplicity are the principles which they have followed, and they have carried them to fublimity. At this point they have flopped, and have attached fo much importance to preferving the unity of defign, that though they have loaded the walls of thefe edifices with bas- reliefs, infcriptions, and hiftorical and fcien- tific reprefentations, none of thefe rich ad- ditions interfe(fls a fingle line of the general plan, all of which are religioully preferved unbroken : the fumptuous, and rich deco- rations which appear to the eye when clofe

Vol. II. E to


65 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

to tlie building, all vanifh at a fhort diftance, and leave full to view the grand elements of architedural compofition, which are die- * tated by found reafon. It never rains in this climate; all that is wanted therefore is a'covering of plat- bands to give- Ibade, but beyond this, neither roof nor pediment are ' added ; the plain- flope is the principle of folidity ; they have therefore adopted this form for every main fupporter, doubtlefs with the idea that ftability is the firft im- preffion that architecture fhould give, and is an effential conftituent of this art. With thefe people, the idea of the immortality of the Deity is prefented by the eternity of his temple ; thefe ornaments, which are always rational, always confjftent, always fignificant, demonftrate a fteadinefs of principle, a tafle. founded upon truth, and a deep train of rea- foning; and if we even had not a full con-

vi(5lion


PL. XX.



^


//f


(\



/'/, ,„/,..„ ,./ //,l^'y'»/^„„,./'//>r yt»,/ ,y.,y,K- „./ ,yr,./y,U, ':


s


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 6/

vicHilon of the eminent height to which they had attained in the abftrad: fciences, their architedure alone, in the ftate in which we now find it, would give the obferver of the prefent day a high opinion of the antiquity of this nation, of its cultivation, and the impreffive gravity of its charader.

I have already faid, that I defpalr of be- ing able to exprefs all that I felt on {landing under the portico of Tentyra. I felt that I was in the fanduary of the arts and fciences. How many periods prefented themfelves to my imagination at the fight of fuch an edi- fice ! how many ages of creative ingenuity were requifite to bring a nation to fuch a degree of perfedion and fublimity in the arts ! and how many more of oblivion to caufe thefe mighty produdions to be forgot- ten, and to bring back the human race to the ftate of nature in which I now found E 2 them


68 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

them on this veiy fpot ! Never vvas there a place which concentered in a narrower com- pafs the well-marked memorial of a progrel- five lapfe of ages. What unceafing power, what riches, what abundance, what fuper- fiuity of means mufl a government pofTefs which could eredl fuch an edifice, and find within itfelf artiils capable of conceiving and executing the defign, of decorating and enriching it with every thing that fpeaks to the eye and the underftanding ! Never did the labour of man fhew me the human race in fuch a fplendid point of view : in the ruins of Tentyra the Egpytians appeared to me giants.

I wifhed to take every thing on paper, but I could hardly venture to begin the work ; I felt that, not being able to raife my powers to the height which was before my admir- ing eyes, I fhould only fhew the imperfedion

of


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 69

of the imitative art ; for in no place had I ever been furrounded with fo many objed:s to elevate my imagination. Thefe monu- ments, which imprinted on the mind the refpedl due to the fanduary of the Divinity, were the open volumes, in w^hich fcience was nnfolded, morality dictated, and the ufeful arts promulgated ; every thing fpoke, every objed: was animated with the fame mind. The opening of the doors, the angles, the moft private recefs, ftill prefented a lefTon, a precept of admirable harmony, and the lighted ornament on the graveft feature of the architecture revealed, under living images, the abflradl truths of aflronomy. Painting added a further charm to fculpture and ar- chitedlure, and produced at the fame time an agreeable richnefs, which did not injure either the general iimpiicity or the gravity of the whole. To all appearance, painting, E 3 in


70 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

in Egypt, was then only an auxiliary orna- ment, and not a pirticular art : the fculp- ture was emblematical, and, if I may fo call it, architedural. Archite^ure, therefore, was the great art, or that which was dictated by utility, and we may from this circum- ftance alone infer the priority, or at leaft the fuperior excellence of the Egyptian over the Indian art, fince the former, borrowing nothing from the latter, has become the bafis of all that is the fubjedl of admiration in modern art, and of what we have con- fidered as exclufiyely belonging to archi- tedlure, the three Greek orders, the doric, ionic, and corinthian. We Ihould, there- fore, be cautious of entertaining the falfe idea, which is fo prevalent, that the Egyp- tian architedure is the infancy of this art, fmce it is in fad; the compleat type.

I was particularly ftruck with the beauty

of



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ru y^f


i


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t'.^.-j-' '7 J i il imi i lQili nr 1 1) ' i i ii iririi i ir n mr ii mi n iii n-i ili r ii iimni i'jM/ V^ L.







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u.u


Pi,hlul,nl l„, f.o,i,,„Ml, i-Xm. *■ !<i,l,„rj I-/,l//.f,.,


TKAVELS IN EGYPT. 7I

of the gate which clofed the fanctuary of the temple ; all the ornaments which ar- chitecture has fince added to this fpecies of decoration, have only diminiflied the gene- ral ftyle. (See Plate XIX.)

I could not expe(fl to find any thing in Egypt more compleat, more perfect, than Tentyra ; I was confufed by the multipli- city of objects, aftoniflied by their novelty, and tormented by the fear of never again vifiting them. On calling my eyes on the ceilings I had perceived zodiacs, planetary fyilems, and celeftial planifpheres, repre- fented in a tafteful arrangement ; the walls I had obferved to be covered uith groups of pi<5lures exhibiting the religious rites of this people, their labours in agriculture and the arts, and their moral precepts ; I faw that the Supreme Being, the firft caufe, was every where depicted by the emblems of his E 4 attri-


72 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

attributes ; every thing was equally impor- tant for my pencil, and I had but a few hours to examine, to reflect on, and to copy what it had been the labour of ages to conceive, to put together, and to de- corate. Our national impatience was dif- mayed with the conftancy of application ex- hibited by the people who had executed thefe monuments ; throughout was fliewn equal care, and equal affiduity, which would make one believe that thefe edifices were not the works of their kings, but that they were conftructed at the expcnce of the na- tion, under the direction of colleges of priefts, and by artlfts whofe labours were circum- fcrlbed by invariable rules. A ferics of years miffht, indeed, have broueht the arts to a higher degree of pertcc^ion in fome particu- lars ; but each temple is fo equally finiflied in all Its parts, that they appear all to have

been


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 73

been executed by the fame hand ; no one portion is better or worfe than any other ; there appears neither neghgence nor the bold ftrokes of a more exalted genius, uniformity and harmony prevail throughout. The art of fculpture, here made fubfervient and at- tached to that of architecflure, appears to -have been circumfcribed in principle, in method, and in ftyle of execution ; a fingle figure expreffes nothing, when taken out of its exaS. ftation in the group in which it is a part ; the fculptor had his delign chalked out for him, and could not introduce any deviation which might alter the true mean- ing that it was intended to convey ; it was with thefe figures as with the cards that we ufe for our games, the imperfection of de- iign is overlooked, that no obflacle may arife in inflantly diftinguifhing the value of each. The perfection given by the Egyp- tians


74 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

ti'ans to the reprefentations of their animals, proves that they were not without an idea of that bold ftyle which exprefles much cha- racter in a few lines, and their execution tended to the grave, and to ideal perfection, as we have already remarked in the inflance of the fphinx.

As to the character of the human figure, as they borrowed nothing from other na- tions, they could only copy from their own, which is rather delicate than fine. The female formes, however, rcfemble the figure of beautiful women of the prefent day, round and voluptuous, a fmall nofc, the eyes long, half flint, and turned up at the outer angle, like thofe of all perfons whofe fight is habi- tually fatigued by the burning heat of the fan, or the dazzling white of fnow ; the cheeks round and rather thick, the lips pouting, the mouth large, but cheerful and

fmiling ;


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 75

fmillng ; In fliort, the African character, of which the negro is the exaggerated pic- ture, though perhaps the original type.

The hieroglyphics, which are executed in three different manners, are alfo of three fpecies, and may take their date from as many diftinct periods. From the examina- tion of the different edifices which have fallen under my eye, I imagine that the raoft ancient of thefe characters are only fimple "outlines cut in without relief, and very deep ; the next in age, and which pro duce the leaft; effect, are {imply in a very fliallow relief; and the third, w^hich feem to belong to a more improved age, and are executed at Tentyra more perfectly than in any other part of Egypt, are in relief below the level of the outline. By the fide of the figures which compofe thefe tabular pieces of fculpture, there are fmall hieroglyphics, 1 which


70 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

which appear to be only the explanation of the fubjects at large, and in which the forms are much fimplified, fo as to give a more rapid mode of infcription, or a kind oij}iort' hand, if we may apply the term to fculptare. A fourth kind of hieroglyphics appears to be devoted fimply to ornament : we have improperly termed it, I know not why, the arahefque. It was adopted by the Greeks, and in the age of Auguftus w' as introduced among the Romans ; and in the fifteenth century, during the reftoration of the arts, it w^as tranfmitted by them to us as a fan- taftic decoration, the peculiar tafte of which formed all its merit. Among the Egyptians, who employed thefe ornaments with equal tafte, every object had a meaning or a moral, and at the fame time formed the decoration of the friezes, the cornices, and the fur-bafe- ments of their architecture ; as an example of which, fee Fig, 1. Plate XL.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. ^I

1 have difcovered at Tentyra the repre- fentations of the periftjles of temples in caryatides, which are executed in painting at the baths of Titus, and have been copied by Raphael, and which we conftantly ape in our rooms, without fufpecting that the Egyptians have given us the firft models of them.

With my pencil in my hand, I paffed from object to objc6l, diftrad:ed from one by the inviting appearance of the next ; conftantly attrad:ed to new fubjedls, and again torn from them, I wanted eyes, hands, and in- telligence vaft enough to fee, copy, and re- duce to fome order, the multitude of ftrik- ing images which prefented themfelves be- fore me. I was afhamed at reprefenting fuch fublime objeds by fuch imperfect defigns, but I wifhed to preferve fome memorial of the fenfations which I here experienced, and

I feared


78 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

I feared that Tentyra would efcape from me for ever ; fo that my regret equalled my prefent enjoyment. I had jufl difcovered, in a fmall apartment, a ccleftial planlfphere, when the laft rays of day-light made me per- ceive that I was alone here, along with ray kind and obliging friend General Beliard, who, after having fatisfied his own curiofity, would not leave me unprotected in fo defert- ed a fpot.

We galloped on, and regained our divifion, which was already at Dindera, three quarters of a league off Tentyra, where we fiept. Every foldier, every officer, without giving or receiving orders, had turned afide from the route, and haftened to Tentyra ; and the army had of their own accord remained there the reft of the day — a day of fuch pleafure, as to reward me for every danger incurred to obtain fuch a gratification.

In


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 7g

In the evening, Latournerie, an officer of brilliant courage, and of a refined and delicate tafte, faid to me : Since I have been in '* Egypt deceived in all my expedlations, I

  • ' have been conftantly heavy and melan-
    • clioly, but Tentyra has cured me ; what I
    • have fecn this day has repaid me for all

" my fatigues ; whatever happens to me in

    • the event of this expedition, I fhall all
  • ' my life congratulate myfelf at having em-
  • ' barked in it, to have obtained the remem-
    • brance of this day, which I fhall preferve
  • ' all the reft of my exiftence."


CHAP-


80 TRAVELS IN EGYPT,

CHAPTER XII.

Crocodiles in the River — Ajlontjliing EjfeSi of the Jirji Approach to Thehes — General Site of the Monuments and the Necropolis — Colojfal Statues of Memnon and Ofyman- dyas — Names of eminent Vifltors infcrih- ed — Palace at Medinet-Ahu — Singular Ta- marijk Tree — Sudden Contra6lion of the Nile — Beaut ful Portico at Efneh or La- topolis — HieraconpoUs — Ktfu — Firji View of j^pollinopolis Magna — HaraffiJig March through the Defert — Village of Binhan, and affeSiing Incident,

TT7E quitted DIndera on the 20th of

January, continuing our route fouth-

wards, following the direction of the Nile,

in a courfe oppofite to its current. The

country


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 81

Country now exhibited a new fcenery to our eyes : we faw palm-trees much larger than any which we had hitherto met with, gi- gantic tamariiks, villages half a league long, and yet the land, which had received the benefit of the inundation, remained uncul- tivated. Could it be that the inhabitants chofe to grow no more than was fufficient for their own confumption, and thus deprive their tyrants of the profit of their fuperfluity? In the afternoon, as Defaix and myfelf were talking about crocodiles, being near that part of the Nile where they were met with, and oppofite feveral low fand iflands, their fa- vourite refort, we faw fomcthiuii^ lone: and brown lying among a number of ducks; it was a crocodile afieep ; he appeared about fifteen or eighteen feet long. We fired on him, and he gently entered the water, but fome minutes after came out again ; a fe- VoL. ir. F cond


82 Travels in egypt.

cond fhot made him again plurtge in, hut he again returned to the ifland ; his belly appeared much larger than that of atiimals^ of the fame fpecies, which I have ieeii Huffed.

We learned that one party of the Mame- lukes had paffed along the right bank of the river, and that the other contitiued their route to Efn^h and Syene. Defaix orderecf the cavalry to fet out at midnight to en- deavour to come up with thefe latter.

We {ct out on the 27th, at two in the morning : at eight we found a dead croco- dile on the (hore of the river; it was ftill frefli ; the length was eight feet : the upper jaw, which is the only one that has any mo- tion, feems to clofe but indifferently with the under, but the throat fupplies the defici- ency, for it hangs as loofe as a purfe, and its elafticity performs the office of a tongue, of

which


TKAVELS IN EGYPT. 83

which this animal is entirely deftitute ; the noftrils and ears Ihut like the ear-holes of a fifh, and its fmall clofe-fet eyes add much to the frightful rtefs of its general appearance.

At nine o'clock, in making a fharp tura round the point of a proje<5ling chain of mountains, we difcovered all at once the fite of the ancient Thebes in its whole extent : this celebrated city, the fize of which Ho- mer has chara<fterized by the fingle expreffion of with a hundred gateSj a boafting and po- etical phrafe, that has been repeated with fo much confidence for many centuries ; this illuflirious city, defcribed in a few pages dictated to Herodotus by Egyptian priefts, that have been iince copied by every hifto- rian, celebrated by the number of its kings, whofe wifdom has raifed them to the rank of gods, by laws which have been revered without being promulgated, by fcience in- F 2 volved


S4 TRAVELS IX EGYTT.

volvcd in pompous and enigmatical infcrip-- tions, the fiift monuments of ancient learn- ing which are ftill fpared by the hand of time ; this abandoned fanduary, furrounded with barbarifm, and again reftored to the defert from which it had been drawn forth, enveloped in the veil of myftery, and the obfcurity of ages, whereby even its own colof- fal monuments are magnified to the imagi-


to"


nation, ftill impreffed the mind with fuch gi- gantic phantoms, that the whole army, fud- denly and with one accord, ftood in amaze- ment at the fight of its fcattered ruins, and clapped their hands with delight, as if the end and objeft of their glorious toils, and the complete conqueft of Egypt, were accom- pl idled and fecured by taking polTeilion of the fplendid remains of this ancient metro- polis. I took a view of this firft sfpcdl of Thebes, along with the ipccflacle before me;

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 85

the knees of the enthufiaftlc foldlcrs ferved me as a table, their bodies as a (hade, whilf: the dazzUng rays of the burning fiin en- lightened this magnificent fpexStacle, and ex- hibited the elc(5lric emotion of a whole army of foldiers, whofe delicate feniibility maac me feel proud of being their companion, and glory in calling myfelf a Frenchm.an.

The fituation of this town is as fine as can well be imagined; and the immenfe extent of its ruins convinces the fpe6lator that fame lias not magnified its fize ; for the diameter of Egypt not being fufficient to contain ic, its monuments reft upon the two chains of mountains which are contiguous, whilfi: ils tombs occupy the rallies towards the weft, far on into the defcrt.

Four large hamlets divide amongfl them the remains of the ancient monuments of

hebes, whiill the river, by the fmuolity of F 3 its


O"


86 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

itscourfe, feems ftill proud of flowing among its ruins.

Soon after noon day we arrived at a de-*. fert, which was the necropoUs or city of the dead : the rock, excavated on its inclined plane, prefents three fides of a fquare, with regular openings, behind which are double and triple galleries, which were ufed as bu- rying places. (See Plate XXI. Fig. 2.) I entered here on horfeback, with Defaix, fuppofing that thefe gloomy retreats could only be the afylum of peace and filence ; but fcarcely were we immerged in the ob- fcurity of thefe galleries, than we were af- failed with' javelins and ftones, by enemies whom we could not diftinguifb, and this put an end to our obfervations. We fmce learnt that a confiderablc number of people inhabited thefe obfcure retreats, and that probably, from the favage habits contracted

there,


km


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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 87

dhere, they were almoft always in rebellion with authority, and had become the terror of the vicinity. Too much in hafte to make a fuller acquaintance with the inhabitants, we marched back with precipitation, ,and this time I only faw Thebes on the gallop.

It had been my iot to liay for months at Zaoyeh, at Benefuef and Girgeh, and to pafs hy without ftopping at the magnificent ob- jedls which I had come to \Kit. We arrived prefently after at a temple, w^hich 1 took to be of the higheft antiquity, from its ruinous appearance, its thorough antique hue, its conftruction, which was lefs perfect than the reft, the extreme fimplicity of its orna- ments, the irregularity of its outline, and ef- pecially the coarfenefs of its fculpture. I took a hafty lk:etch of it, (as reprcfcnted in Plate XXIL Fig. 2.) and galloping after the troops, who were conftantly marching on, I F 4 arriYe4


88 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

arrived at a fecond edifice much more con- fiderable, and in a better flate of preferva- tion. I found in my way a ftatue of black granite ; I call it granite, till it fliall be de- termined what is the nature of that flone which has been long denominated bafalt, and which is the material of the magnificent Egyptian lions, which are at the foot of the flight of fteps leading to the Roman capitol. (See Plate XXIII.)

At the entrance of this temple two fquare mounds flank an immenfe gate, and againfl the inner wall are engraved in two bas-re- liefs, the victorious combats of fome hero. This piece of fculpture is in the mofl; irre- gular ftylc of compofition, without perfpec- tive, plan, or diftribution, like the firfl: con- ceptions of the unimproved human mind. I have feen at Pompcia rude flcctches done by Roman foldiers on the ftucco of the walls;

they •


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. SQ

they entirely rcfcmbled in flyle thofe which I am now fpeaking of, which are like th« firfl attempts of a child, before he has fcen any thing whereby to arrange his ideas. Here the hero is gigantic, and the enemies whom he is overthrowing are twenty-five times fmaller than himfelf ; if this however could be meant for a piece of flattery in the arts, it was certainly ill -contrived, fince the hero could gain no honour by hghting pygmies.

At fome paces from this gate are the re- mains of an enormous coloiius ; it has been wantonly fhattered, for the parts which are left have {o v/ell preferved their polifli, and the fra<flures their edges, that it is evident, if the fpirit of devafbation in mankind had trufted to time alone to ruin this monument, we fliould frill fee it entire and uninjured. Suffice it to fay, to give an idea of its dimen- fions, that the breadth of the flioulders is

twenty-


go TRAVELS IN EQYPT.

twenty-five i'cet, which would give about leventy-five for the entire height : the figure is exadl in its proportions, the ftyle middhng, but the execution perfed"; when overfet, it fell upon its face, which hides this intereft- ing part ; the drapery being broken, we can no longer judge by its attributes whether it is the figure of a king or a divinity. Is it the ftatue of Memnon, or that of Of)'man- dyas? — the dcfcriptions hitherto given of this monument throw more confufion than light upon this queftion. If it is the ftatue of Memnon, which appears to me the more probable, every traveller for two thoufand years muft have mifiiakcn the object of their curiofity, as will be feen by the infcription of the names on another colofi"al ftatue, of which I fhall dire^lly fpeak.

One foot of this ftatue remains, which is

broken off and in good prefcrvation ; it may

3 be


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. '^l

be eafily carried away, and may give thofe in Europe a fcalc of comparifon of the monu- ments of this fpecies, and will ferve as a com- panion to the coloffal feet which are in the court of the capitol at Rome. The fpot vvhere this figure ftood might be either a temple or a palace, or both at the fame time; for if the bas-relief would belong more pro- perly to a royal refidence, the figures of eight priefts, which are in the front of two porti- coes in the inner part, would peculiarly in- dicate a temple, except indeed they were introduced to remind the fovereign that, conformably to the law, the priefts ought always to fer\'e and afliil: in the exercife of monarchical power.

This ruin, v/hich is fituatcd on the Hope of the mountain, and has never been inhabited in later times, is fo well preferved in the parts that are flill flanding, that it appears more

like


Q2 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

like a new and unfinifhed buildins: : feveral columns are fcen here to their very bafes, their proportions are grand, but the ftyle, though purer than that of the firft men- tioned temple, is however not comparable to that of Tentyra, either for the majefty of the general defjgn, nor for the delicacy in the execution of particular parts. It would have taken fomc time and examination to have made cut the plan of this temple, but the ca- valry were galloping on, and I was obliged to follow them clofely, not to be flopped for ever in my refcarches.

Our attention was arretted in the plain by two large ftatues in a fitting poflure, between which, according to Herodotus, Strabo, and thofe who have copied the relation of thefe writers, was the famous ftatue of Oiyman- dyas, the largcft of all thefc coloflal figures. OA'mandyas had prided himfelf fo much on

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. ^3

the execution of this bold defign, that he had caufed an infcriptlon to be engraven on the pedcftal of the ftatue, in which he defied the power of man to deftroy this nraonument, as well as that of his tomb, the pompous de- fcription of which now appears only a fan- taftic dream. The two ftatues ftill left fl'anding, are doubtlefs thofe of the mother and the fon of this prince, mentioned by He- rodotus : that of the kins; himfelf has dif- appeared, the hand of time and the teeth of envy appear to have united zealoufly in its deftrudlion, and nothing of it remains but a fliapclcfs rock of granite ; fo that it requires the perfevcring look of the amateur, accuf- ■ tomcd to this kind of examination, to diflin- guifli any portions of the figure which have efcaped defcrudiion; and even thofe are fo infignificant, that they can throw no light on its dimenfions. The two ftatucs ftill ex-


n


litrng


g4 TKAVELS IN EGYPT.

ifting are in the proportion of from fifty to fixty-five feet in height ; they are feated with their two hands on their knees ; all that re- mains of them fhews a feverity of ftyle, and a ftraightnefs of pofition. The bas-reliefs and the fmall figures cluflered round the feat of the fouthernmofl: of thefe ftatues, are not without elegance and delicacy in the execu- tion. On the leg of the flatue the mofl to the north, the names of the illuflrious and ancient travellers who came to hear the found of the flatue of Mcmnon are written in Greek. We may here fee the great in- fluence which celebrity exercifes over the minds of men, fmce, when the ancient Egyp- tian government and the jealoufy of the priefls no longer forbade llrangers to touch thefc monuments, the love of the marvellous retained its empire over the minds of thofe that came hither as vifitors. Thus, in the


age


tRAVELS IN EGYPT. C|5

age of Adrian, which was enhghtened by philofophy, Sabina, the wife of this emperor, and herfelf a Uterary woman, condefcended, along with the learned men who accompa- nied her, to acknowledge that fhe had heard founds which no phyfical caufe could have produced. But the vanity of infcribing one's name on fuch antiquities might very eafily have produced the firfc on the lift, and the natural deiire of becoming an affociate in this kind of glory might have added the reft,- and this is doubtlefs the reafon of the num- berlefs infcriptions of names which we find here, with fo many dates, and in fo many languages. (See Plate XXIII.)

I had hardly begun to draw thefe coloffal figures, when I found that I was left alone with thefe ftupendous originals, and the ideas which thefe folitary objedls infpired. Being alarmed at my unproteded fituation, I haf-

tened


QO TRA-VELS in EGYPT.

tened to rejoin my comrades, whofc eager curiofity had already led them to a large temple near the village of Medinet-Abu. I obferved as I paffed by, that the ground about the tomb of Olymandyas was cultivated, and that confequently the inundation reached as far ; ib that although the bed of the Nile was raifed, there muft formerly have been fome dyke to prevent the water from flooding part of the ancient town, which, when we crofled it, was a vaft field of green wheat, promifing an abundant harvcft.

At the right, adjoining the village of Mc- dinet-Abu, at the bottom of the mountain, is a vaft palace, built and enlarged at different periods. All that I could make of it in this my firft examination on horfeback, w^as, that the lower part of this palace which abuts againft the mountain, is the moft ancient in its conilruction, and is covered with hiero- 2 glyphics.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 97

glyphlcs, cut very deep and without any re- lief; and that, in the fourth century, the ca- tholic religion converted it to facred pur- pofes, and made a church of it, adding two rows of pillars in the ftyle of the age, to fupport a covered roof. At the fouth of this monument there are Egyptian apartments, with ladders and fquare windows, the only building I had yet feen here w^hich was not a temple ; and beyond this are edifices re- built with old materials, but left unfinillied. The firfl eagernefs of curiofity being fatisfied, Defaix led us off at full gallop, as if there had been Mamelukes on the plain, and we wxnt tw^o long leagues farther that night, till we got to Hermontes, where we llept, and for my fhare I was lodged in a temple.

After difmounting, I profited by the fmall remains of day-light to take a figure of Ty- phon or Anubis. This was fo often repeated

Vol. IL G in


QB TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

in the temple where I took up my abode, that 1 concluded that the whole was dedi- cated to him. He is reprefented {landing up, with a belly like a pig, and breafts fimilar to thofe of the Egyptian women of the pre- fent day. Two hundred yards to the eaft of this temple is a large refervoir lined with fine ftone, with four ladders for defcending into it. Four hundred yards further, in the fame direction, are the ruins of a church, built in the fourth or fifth century, out of the ruins of the fineft Egyptian antiquities : the nave was decorated with fplendid columns of gra- nite, but the whole is overthrown, and no- thing is left ftanding but a few fragments of the choir, and the arches of the outer en- clofure: this defi:ru6lion is by the hand of man, for the church was too well built not to have refifted the wear of time to the prefent day. •

At


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. QQ

At night I returned to my quarters, with my head confufed by the profufion of objecfls which had pafTed before my eyes in fo fliort a fpace of time. I felt as if I had been in a dream during the whole of this rich day ; and, indeed, 1 could have found delicious and abundant food for curiofity for a whole month, in feeing what I had been obliged to pafs over in twelve hours, without too hav- ing it in my power to devote any part of the fucceeding day to refle(5lion.

In the morning of the 28th, I faw a tama* rilk of an enormous fize planted on the bank of the Nile : it had been loofened at the roots by progreffive inundations, and at laft overthrown ; the greater number of its roots had ranged themfelves upright, and produced leaves ; the old branches on which the tree had fallen were fixed in the earth, and ferved as a footftool, fo that the enormous trunk, G 2 which ^


100 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

which remained fufpended horizontally; by a confufion in the fyftem of circulation, ve- getated in every direction, and gave it fuch a grotefque appearance, that the Turks had not failed to make a miracle of this vegetable monfter, which I fhould have drawn if I had not at that time been much behind my di- vifion, and it would have required a good deal of accuracy to have given a faithful idea of this phenomenon.

At our halt we found another contradlion of the Nile. The Lybian chain, turning fuddenly towards the eaft, forces the Nile againft the Arabian chain. The river, con- trad:ed between thefe two obllacles, has overcome the one which offered the leaft refiflance, and the current has in its various fwells undermined and worn throue;h a bed of gravel, which oppofed its courfe, below the level of the bafe of the Lybian bank ; the

upper


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 101

upper part, thus deprived of fupport, has torn itfelf off by its weight from the adjom-» ing portion of the hill, and the rent has formed two projedling points of rock. This rock, which is called Glbelin, or the Two Mountains, ferves as a boundary to one of the fubdivlfions of Upper Egypt ; and under the late government became a barrier for the rebel beys, who were baniihed into Up- per Said, a barrier which the exiles could not pafs without becoming out of the pro- tedlion of the law. Some years back, Of- man-Bey, after being fent to Cofleir, accom- panied with men who were fecretly charged to murder him, inftead of embarking him for Mecca, to which place he was fentenced to be exiled, prevented the plans of his af- faffins, poffefTed himfelf of the veflel, which was richly laden, efcaped into Upper Egypt, and affembled a party of Mamelukes in his G 3 favour.


102 TJRAVELS IN EGYPT.

favour, who obliged Murad to come to terms, and to cede to him the fovereignty of all the country between Gibelin and Syene.

After this contraction of the channel of the Nile, the valley expands, without, however, our obferving any improvement in the agricultute. We faw large plains, worn by the current of the waters, Vv'hich were in vain waiting for the feed which they would have returned to the cultivator with a vaft encreafe.

On the 29th, we arrived early in the morning at Efneh, the lafl: town of any im- portance in Egypt. Murad had been obliged to evacuate it a few hours before the arrival of our cavalry, and to burn here a number of his tents and all his heavy baggage, which would encumber and ilacken his march. We therefore had reafon to fuppofe that he

was


r


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 103

was determined to quit Egypt, and to bury himfelf in Nubia, in the hope of wearying us out, and dividing our forces ; for as the country affords no refourccs for the fupply of a large body of men marching together, he might hope to be able here to rally his forces^ and to advance through the defert to attack our detachments.

Efneh is the ancient Latopolis. Some re- mains are ftill vifible of its port or quay on the bank of the Nile, which has been often repaired, but, notwithftanding all that has been done for it, ilill remains in a very mi- ferable condition. This town alfo contains the portico of a temple, which appears to me to be the moft perfect monument of ancient architecture. It is iltuated near the bazar in the great fquare, and would make an in- comparable ornament to this fpot, if the inhabitants had any idea of its merit ; but G 4 inftead


104 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

inftead of this they have deformed it by the moft miferable ruined hovels, and have de- voted it to the vileft purpofes. The portico is very vv^ell preferved, and poflefles a reat richnefs of fculpture : it is compofed of eigh- teen columns with broad capitals ; thefe co- lumns are noble and elegant, though they now appear in the moft difadvantageous light ; the rubbifti fhould be cleared to find if any part of the cella remains ; I took the bell plan and elevation that 1 could of this monument. (See Plates XXVI, Fig. 2, and XX VII.)

The hieroglyphics in relief, with which it is covered within and without, are executed with great care ; they contain, Among other lubjedts, a zodiac, and large figures of men with crocodiles' heads : the capitals, though all different, have a very fine effedt; and as an additional proof that the Egyptians bor- rowed


X


X


s"



^



y /,■'/!■ Y'//,t . I f ■'/'/// m/' ty 'Mr .'/,//////■, J/ ', '^,Siii'/i<'/f.i. ;■('■//',)



//>■//' Y'//,r .y,-,y,/- y'.J'„/,y„>//:, ,;■('..,..


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 105

TOwed nothing from other people, we may remark, that they have taken all the orna-^ nients, of which thefe capitals are compofcd, from the productions of their own country, fuch as the lotus, the palm-tree, the vine, the rufli, &c. &c. 1 did not quit this tem- ple till it was abfolutely neceffar" to purfue our route : we left half our infantry and our artillery at Efneh, in order to march with iefs incumbrance through a country, the refources of which were diminifliing every league, and foon dwindled to little or no- thing. Wc llept three leagues and a half fhort of Efneh.

On the 30th, after marching three hours, we found, three-quarters of a league off the river, on the edge of the defert, a fmall pyramid, fifty or fixty feet in the bafe, built with unhewn ftones, but too fmall to have been able to preferve their place, and thus

the


106 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

the facing has been Shattered from top to bottom.

At half after two, a little before our arrival at Etfu, we found the ruins of Hieraconpolis, which confift of the remains of a gate be- longing to an edifice of confiderable magni- tude ; to judge by the fize of the ftones, the extent of ground occupied by the fragments, and the diameter of the defaced capitals, which are feen fcattered on every ilde. The ftone of which this temple is built, is of lb friable a quality, that the form of the edifice is entirely loft, and none of the plan can be made out. Some yards further the ruins of another building can with difficulty be dif- tinguifhed, owing to the great decay ; the other remains of the town are only a few heaps of highly burnt bricks and fome blocks of granite.

We faw on the other fide of the river, two

hundred


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. lOj^

hundred Mamelukes come down along with their attendants and equipage ; we learnt iince, that it was Edfej-Bey, who being wounded at Samanhut, had not chofen to pafs the cataracts with the other beys Wc were ftruck with admiration at the fine and advantageous fite of Apollinopolis Magna ; it commanded the river and the whole valley of Egypt ; and its magnificent temple tow- ered over the reft like a large citadel, which keeps the adjacent country in awe. This comparifon is, indeed, fo naturally fuggeftcd by the fituation of this edifice, that it is only known to the natives by the name of the Fortrefs. I forefaw with regret that we Ihould only enter the town late, and quit it early in the morning. I pulhed on to gain a little time to .examine it before the day- light entirely left us. During this vifit, I had only time to ride round this edifice, the

extent.


108 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

extent, majefty, magnificence, and high p3fc-«  fervation of which, furpafled all that I had yet feen in Egypt, or elfewhere ; it made an impreffion on me as vaft as its own gigantic dimenfions. This building is a long fuite of pyramidal gates, of courts decorated with galleries, of porticoes, and of covered naves, conftructed, not with common ftones, but entire rocks. Night was come on before I had time to vifit the whole of this furprizing monument, and I again regretted the nc- ceffity which I lay under to pafs over with ib much rapidity what merited fuch high admiration. The excellent prefervation of this ancient edifice forms a wonderful con- traft with the grey ruins of modern habita- tions built within its vaft enclofure ; a part of the population of this village is contained in huts built in the courts, and around the fragments of the temple; which, like fwal-»

lows


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. lOQ

lows nefts in our houfes, defile them without. conceaUng or injuring their general appear- ance. Befides, this fingular medley, that at iirft fight hurts the eye, produces a pi^u- refque contrafi:, w^hich at once gives a fcale of comparifon, both for men and for the lapfe of time ; and after all, we have no right to think it abfurd for ignorant people to Ihelter their feeble huts againffc fplendid ob- jects, which have never once attracted their curiofity, whilft in France we fufFer the am^ phitheatre of Nifmes to remain encumbered with hovels and heaps of rubbiili.

Below Etfu, the cultivated country grows very narrow ; fo that there is only a quarter of a league in breadth between the defert and the river. At noon we halted on tho banks of the Nile : the cavalry had gone be- fore us, but at the moment when we were fetting out> we learnt that we had a defert 3 of


no TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

of feven leagues to crofs ; the day was too far advanced to allow us to undertake {o long a march, and we therefore flopped the reft of the evening in a defolated village, where for- tunately we found wood.

On the Sift, we continued our march at three in the morning. After paffing for an hour through a cultivated country, we en- tered the defert by a mountain compofed of decayed flate, free-ftone, white and rofe- coloured quartz, and brown flint, with feveral white cornelians. After marching five hours in the defert, our foldiers had their fhoes torn, and were obliged to put what linen they could about their feet, and were tor- mented with a burning thirft. No water could be found but in the Nile, which was a league out of our way, for the banks were as arid as the defert|; but the urgency of thirft prevailed, and we arrived at the river ex-

hauftcd


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. Ill

haufted with fatigue ; but the camp equi- page, the draft animals of which had had no food the night before, were fo weakened by hunger, that but a few of them were able to follow. What was the general diftrefs when it was annoimced that there was nothing to eat ! We looked at each other in mute confternation : but, after a while, a camel with a light load of butter came up, and fome others, whofe provifion-facks had been already emptied ; but by ihaking out every duft of meal from the bags, and rummaging every corner, w^e found enough to make a diftribution of a handful of flour to each : directly we got firing from a neighbouring tree, made our flour into fritters, employ- ment drove away our gloomy ideas, and French gaiety foon prevailed, and reftored our ufual courage. We fet out again brilkly after our refrefliment ; but our poor horfes, 7 who


112 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

■who had not regaled vipon fritters, fell down from under us through inanition ; we could do nothing but lead and fupport them with our hands, or elfe we muft have abandoned them; in fhort, we were compelled to march, and our necelTity alone made it practicable, and many are the refources contained in this fingle word, neceffity.

Half an hour after we had paiTed the firft defert, we came to the ruins of Silfilis, which confift of broken fragments, bricks, and the remains of a temple, the higheffc walls of which arc now not more than three feet above the foil. One can juft difcover that tKe nave of the temple, which is covered with hieroglyph Ics, was furrounded with a gallery, to which, in a latter period, a portico without hieroglyphics has been added. We returned a third time into the defert ; a hy- ena followed the column for a confiderable time.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 113

The rocks here become granite, with ilints of every colour and fpecies, whofe hardneis would render them fufceptible of a high polifli : I alfo found there cornelian, jaf- per, and ferpentine: the fand is formed of fmali fragments, of all the primitive and conftituent parts of the granite. We ar- rived at an elevated ftage of the mountain, where we difcovered a vaft extent of country, through which the Nile flows in a wind- ing courfe : this river, after running along the Mokatem, returns to the north- weft, and again changes its courfe to north. At this angle the ruins of a pharos may be per- ceived, which perhaps ferved as a light- houfe for this winding channel ; at the other angle the Heights of Ombos may be feen, with the fine monuments on its fummit; at the elbow of the river one of its branches forms an inundated ifland, which, from this circum-

VoL. II. H ftancc


1 14 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

fiance alone, is worth more than twenty fjjuarc leagues of the neighbouring country, and its (ituation prote<5ls it from the incur- (ion of the Mamelukes, as it did now from our vifit. The inhabitants of the fhore re- tired to it on our approach, abandoning to us the large village of Binban, which ikirts the defert, and is equally gloomy in appear- ance. Here we arrived, after marching eleven hours. The drove of oxen which followed us had gone aftray, and we had to wait for it, with the conflant fear of its being carried off. The village offered us nothing but a few walls, which we ranfacked to the very foundation. I here was witnefs to a fcene which prefented a ftriking contrafl of favage brutality and the kindeft fenfibility. Whilft I was looking at our people, whofe neceffities were as ingenious in bringing to light, afi the care of the natives had been to

conceal.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. ] 1 5

concea.1, a foldier comes out of a cave, drag- ging after him a fhe-goat, which he had forced out ; he is followed by an old man, carrying two young infants, who fets them down on the ground, falls on his knees, and, without fpeaking a word, points, with tears in his eyes, to the young children, who muft perifh if the goat is taken away from them. But want, which is both deaf and blind to other's diftrefs, does not ftay his murderous hand for any entreaty, and the goat is killed- At the fame moment, another foldier comes up, holding in his arms another child, whofe mother doubtlefs had been obliged to defert it in her flight from us ; and this brave fel- low, notwithitanding the weight of his muflcet, his cartridges, his knapfack, and the fatigue of four days of forced marches, had picked up this little forfaken creature, had carried it carefully for two leagues in his H 2 arms.


Il6 TRAVELS IN EGYP*?.

arms, and, not knowing what to do with it in this deferted village, feeing one inhabitant left behind, with, two children, he gently lays down his little charge befide them, and departs, with the delightful expreffion of one who has juft performed a benevolen-t adion*


CHAP-


TKAVELS IN EGYPT. 1 17


CHAPTER XIII.

Gazelles In the Defert — Approach to Syene — ■ Beaiittful View of the IJland of Klephan- tina — Syene, and the Frontiers of Upper Egypt — Quarters of the Army — Temple of Cneph, and other Monuments of Bjlephan- tina — Trade of Syene — Encounter of the French Cavalry with Affayi-Bey — Carved Blocks of Granite — Catarads of the Nile — Ifland of Philoe — Ethiopian Village, and its Inhabit auts,

/^UR march on this day, February 1, offered new deferts to our eye. We found the rocks to confift alternately of gra- nite and decompofed free-ftone, forming a iirittle friable cruft, like fcoria. In the val- H 3 Jlcs


U8 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

lies In which the fand abounds, the furface is fmooth and tender Hke fnow, fo that the tracks of animals are perceived with the ut- moft eafe, and one can eafily make out thofe that have pafled fmce the laft wind. The moil frequent prints of feet that one meets with are thofe of the gazelle, a beau- tiful little animal, which is fo fliy and timid, that after having taken its food on the banks of the river, it retires to conceal its fears in the filence of the defert. It gives one a me- lancholy rcfledlion to rem.ark, that a beaft of prey always follows the fteps of this elegant and fprightly animal, the vaft fpace of the defert does not fccure it agalnft rapacity. I faw this day two of thefe animals, who were of the moft delicate and elegant fpecics of this numerous family. We marched flovvly and painfully, flopping every minute to pull ofF our fiioes and to take breath. In the

afternoon.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. II9

afternoon, I found in the middle of the defert the trace of a grand antique road, bounded with large maiTes of cut ftone which led in a ftraight line to Syene. In the after- noon the troops were fo much fatigued, that on quitting the defert we halted at the firft green fpot which would afford food for our horfes; 1 thought they would never be drag- ged from the place, nor our men again raifed from the ground ; as to myfelf I was quite wearied out, and remained all the night there, as if rivetted to the foil. The next day, we had but three quarters of a league to march, to rejoin our cavalry, which had only gone before to eat up all the country would afford, before our arrival ; at laft, however, we were in fight of Affuan or Syene, the ob- je(5l of oar deffination. The foldier now forgot his fatigues, as if he had already arriv- ed at the promifed land, not remembering H 4 that.


120 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

that, to return to a cpuntry of abundance, he muft again crofs the fame painful defert which he had juft left behind him ; but the paft is nothing to the foldier, when he can fnatch a little prefent gratification. For myfelf, however, I had the moft reafon to be latisfied, fince I was going for the firft time in my life, to fit down and take a little breathing time in this country, which abounded with interefling objects for my refearches.

The firft good news that we learned, was, that the Mamelukes had not burned the boats, which they could not get over the cataracts. In the morning I afcended to the convent of St. Lawrence, which is but an indifferent ruin. Above is a watch-tower, from the lofty fummit of which a moft fin- gular view prefents itfelf to the eye; it feems to be the end of the world, or rather a chaos,

from



'J,.,, ///, .„„„„., ,///, , U\/, /^


///"


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 121

Irom which the air has already feparated,

and the watery element appears to gufli frora

the earth, running in numerous channels,

which promife fertility to nature. The firft

' efFedis of its bounties are feen around the

granite rocks, in the hollows of which the

fand and llime brought by the waves are de-

pofited, forming a bafis for vegetation, which

continues to encreafe, and to embrace a larger

and wider field. At Elephantina, the culti- ,

vation, the trees, and the habitations, exhibit

a pid:ure of perfection in the gifts of nature,

which has given rife to the Arabian name of

Keziret-el-Sag, or the Flowery IJland, for

this ifland. I took a drawing of the country,

which is a kind of bird's eye chart. (See

Plate XXX. Fig. 1.)

On the third of February we croiTed over

to the right bank of the river, to take pof-

feffion of AiTuan or Syene. Murad-Bey had

palled


122 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

pafled the cataracfts and divided his force over a confiderable trad: of country, in order to find fubfiftence for his Mamelukes and their horfes. We were obliged to do the fame with ours.

On the fifth, Defaix fet out with the ca- valry to go in queft of Elfy-Bey, whom we had left behind us at the right bank of the Nile. I had not quitted Defaix fmce we left Cairo, and I feel fome pride in faying, that the moment of parting was attended with mutual regret; we had fpcnt together fo many agreeable hours, riding a foot's pace fide by fide for twelve or fifteen hours fiiccefifively, not in idle chat, but in waking dreams, and often after fuch long marches we faid to each other: *' How many things fhall

  • ' we have to talk of during the reft of our

" lives!" How many wife ideas on civil go- vernment, and philanthropy fuggefted them-

fclvC5


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 128

felves to his mind, when the found of the

trumpet and the roll of the drum ceafed to give him the fever of war ! How many in- terefling remarks would his inexhauftible memory now furnifli me with, could I con- fult it ! With what intereft would he re- gard this work and patronize it as his own ! In quitting me for a lliort period, he feemed to try to accuflom me by degrees to a lafting feparation.

I went with General Beliard to take pof- feffion of the government of Syene. Dur- ing my refidence in or near this town the explanation of my drawings will fupply the place of a journal.

The firft view which I took is that which I have jufl defcribed, namely, a kind of bird's eye chart, in which, at one glance the reader may fee the general afpe6l of the country, the entrance of the Nile into Egypt, 7 after


J 2-^ TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

jafter flowing over the wall of granite blocks ^hich forms its laft cataracfts, the illand of Elephantina, between Contra- Sjcne and Syene, and the monuments of this latter town, in which may be diflinguiflied the different periods of its exiftence. The ruins of the higheft antiquity may be eafily re- cognized; it muft then have been a very confiderable city, if the edifices on the right and left of the Nile and thofe of Elephanti- na formed but one town, which may be pre- lumed, fmce they are only feparated by a river that in this place is deep but not broad ; the Arabic ruins are grouped on a rock to the eaftward ; below are Roman remains, which are alfo found in fome q{ the monu- ments at Elephantina, and to all this fuc- ceeds a large village, built in a better ftyle, and with ftraighter ftreets than in common villages, which may be attributed to the

plenty


T2AVELS IN EGYPT. 125

plenty of ftone and of ancient materials. In the middle is a Turkifh caftle, commanded on all fides, and which can be no real de- fence.

Our firft employment was to get com- fortably fettled. We had very good quar- ters ; it was the houfe of the kiachef, built of ftone, with an upper ftory, terraces, and vaulted rooms : we here made beds, tables, and flools, and I found it a high luxury to undrefs myfelf, to fit and to lie down : our ibldiers did the fame. The fecond day of our eftablifhment there were already in the ftreets of Syene, tailors, fhoe-makers, jew- ellers, French barbers with their poles, eat- ing-houfes, and reflaurateurs, all at a fixed price.

The ftation of an army offers a picture of the moft rapid exercife of every refource that induftry can furnilhj every individual fets all

his


Ii6 TRAVELS lit EGY?T.

his abilities to work for the general advan- tage ; but, what peculiarly charaderizes a French army is, to eftablilh fuperfluities and amufements at the fame time and with the fame care as necefTaries ; thus we had gar- dens and cofFee-houfes, in which we amufcd ourfelves in games with cards manufactured at Syene. At one entrance of the village is a walk with ftraight rows of trees pointing to the north ; our foldlers here fet up a mile- Hone with this infcription, Route de Paris ^ No. onze, cent f 01 Xante fept m'llles trots cents quarante\ it was fome days, after having re- ceived a dillribution of dates for their whole ration, that they entertained fuch pleafant or philofophic ideas. Nothing but death can put a period to valour combined with gaiety, the greateft misfortunes can do nothing to- wards it.

On this fide of the river there are no

other


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. llf

Other remains of the Egyptian town, than a fmall fquare temple furrounded with a gallery, but fo fhattered and fliapelefs, that nothing can be feen but the embrafure be- tween two pillars, with the capitals and a fmall part of the entablature ; this fragment is what Savary, who confeffes that he never was at Syene, relates on hear-fay to be pro* bably the remains of the antient obfervatory, in which, according to him, the nilometer Ihould be fought for. I made a drawing of this fmall ruin, to deflroy an error, of which however this ardent and elegant writer is not the author, as he has related every thing, pointed out everything, and has often painted in a furprizing manner even what he had never feen.

Near this ruin, among the palm-trees, are the fragments of an edifice, which I think mufl be attributed to the Greek catholics;

two


128 TRAVELS IN EGYPT;

two columns of granite are flill \6£t ftandln'g,^ and two door-cafes of the fame material, and on the ground are columns grouped againft two faces of a fmgle pilafter.

The ifland of Elephantina became at the fame time my country houfe, and my palace of delight, obfervation, and refearch ; I think I muft have turned over every loofe ftone, and queiiiioned every rock in the ifland. It was at its fbuthern extremity that the Egyptian town and the Ronian habitations were fi- tuated, and the Arabian buildings which fucceeded them. The part occupied by the Romans can only now be made out by the bricks, the teiTeliated pavements, and the fmall images of porcelain and bronze, which are ftill found; the Arab quarter is only dif- tinguifhed by the dunghills, with which they have covered the foil, a common feature to all the ruins of the edifices of this people.

Every



(„>,.■„,.>.. „..,: _n.^:.



TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 129

Every thing poflerlor to this time has dif- appeared, fo as to leave fcarcely the lead trace of its exiftence, whilfl the Egyptian monuments remain, devoted to poflerity, and have refifted equally the ravages of man and of time. In the midft of this vaft field of bricks and other pieces of baked earth, of which I have juft fpoken, a very antient temple is flill left landing, furrounded with a pilaftered gallery, and two columns in the portico. (See Plate XXXI, Fig. 1. and XXXII, Fig. 1.) Nothing is wanting but two pilafters, on the left angle of this ruin. Other edifices had been attached to it in a later period, but only fome fragments were remaining, which could give no idea of their form when perfect, but only proved that thefe acceiTory parts were much larger than the original landuary. This latter is co- vered both within and without with hiero- VoL. II. I glyphics


130 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

glyphics in relief, very well cut, and in good prefervation. I copied a whole fide of the inner figures, which are reprefented in Plate LIII, Fig. 3 ; the correfponding fide appears to be nearly a repetition of the fame. This kind of picture is the more interefting to be offered to the difcuffion of the curious, as it poffeffes an unity of defjgn which I had not before met with in this fort of decoration, commonly divided into diftinft compart- ments. I alfb took one fide of the outer wall, and a fmgle pilafter : all the reft are nearly fimilar. (See Plate LXI,* Fig. 5, and LX, Fig. g.) The view of the whole of this fmall edifice will give an idea of its im- portance, and high ftate of perfervation.

Could this be the temple of Cneph, the good genius, that among the Egyptian gods,

  • By miftake figured Plate LXIII.

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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 131

who approaches the neareft to our ideas of the Supreme Being? Or is the temple of this deity one which is placed fix hundred paces more to the north, of the fame form and fize, though more in ruins, all the ornaments of which are accompanied by the ferpent, the emblem of wifdoni and eternity, and pecu- liarly that of the god Cneph ? To judge from what I have feen of Egyptian edifices, this fuppofed temple of Cneph is the kind which was ufed in the earlieft times, and is abfblutely the fame fpecies of temple as that of Kurnu in Thebes, which appeared to me to be the moft ancient of all in that city. The chief difference in the fculpture of this at Elephantina, which I have been able to difcover is, that the figures have more life, the drapery is more flowing, and falls into a better form of compofition. (See Plate LII, Fig. 1 and 5.) The three figures of Fig. 1, I 2 feem


i31 THAVELS IN EGYPT.

feem to thank a hero for having delivered them^from a fifth perfoti, almoft defaced, but which it may eafily be feen is in a falling pofture. In this fculpture there appears to be a kind of grouped compofition with per- fpedive: Can it be anterior Or pofterior to the tirtie in which the Egyptians had con- fined within certain lines the expreflion of aJl their figures, in order to make them fen -e as a kind of writing or character, by the t^cre infpe<5lion of which their meaning mieht be diredlly underflood, without re- quiring the particular explanation of every part. Of ' the laft mentioned edifice nothmg is ritcCcrvtt^ hut a column of the portico, and one whc >le fide of a gallery in pilafters, (See Plate XX'^XI, Fig. 1.)

In the middlv ■ of the iile there are two- frames of a large outer door, made of blocks of granite, and on lamented with hierogly-

phies.



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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 133

phics. Thefe remains certainly indicate monuments of great magnificence, the ex- tent of which might be made out by a little digging. At the eaft is another fragment o£ a very fmall and highly finifhed edifice: all that is feen of it is the weft fide of a narrow chamber, or a very fmall temple, and the hieroglyphics that remain are perfedlly we J] fculptured. The ornaments are loaded with the lotus, particularly the flowers of this plant, w^hofe drooping ftem appears to be revived by a figure watering it. This figure is the fame as one that I have found at Lato- polis. (See Plate LX. Fig. 0.) This cham- ber or temple communicated . with a nar* rower pafi^age, which, to judge by the traces of a number of fucceflave buildings, termi- nated on a gallery open to the Nile, and refting on a large embanked facing, which defended the eaftern part of the ifland frorn I 3 being


134 TRAVELS IN EGYtT.

being worn, away by the current of the river. Three porticoes of this gallery re- main, and a flight of granite flairs, which dip into the river. May not this gallery, this adorned chamber, and this flair-cafe, be the obfervatory and the nilometer which travel- lers have in vain fought for at Syene? Full of this idea, I examined carefully the flone facing of the flairs, but could find no traces of any graduation ; the fleps themfelves, however, might ferve as a fcale, and the upper part of this flair-cafe being blocked up with ruins, it is poffible that the meafures may be marked in this part which I could not examine.^

  • Str^bo, who had obferved Syene with care, and has

defcribed it minutely, lays, that this nilometer was a well which received the Nile waters, and that the marks by which the height of the inundation was eftimated were engraved on the fides of this well.

All


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 135

All thefe buildings are founded upon mafles of rock, covered with hieroglyphics, engraved with more or lefs care. Further on, turning towards th<j north, arc two por- tions of parapet, which leave between them an opening, through which one may defcend to the river: on the inner fide of the right parapet is a bas-relief in marble, reprefent- ing the figure of the Nile four feet in height, in the fame attitude, with a cololfal ftatue of the fame fubjed; which is at Rome. This copy of the fame idea proves both that the edifice is Roman, and that this people, in their eftablifliment at Syene, having had opportunity of adding the ornaments of lux- ury and fuperfluity to works of the firft ne- ceffity, had eftabliflied rather a powerful co- lony there than a mere military poft : the baths and valuable bronze utenfils, which are daily found there, fupport this opinion of 1 4 the


136 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

the richnefs and permanency of this co- lony.

The illand of Elcphantina, defended on. the fouth by breakers, has been doubtlefs much encreafed towards the north by allu- vial foil. This foil becomes foon converted into cultivated lands and pleafant gardens, which, being kept perpetually watered by means of wheels and buckets, produce here four or five crops yearly ; and thus the in- habitants are numerous, in eafy circum- ftances, and courteous. When I hailed them from the oppofite fhore, ihey would come acrofs for me in their boats, and I was foon furrounded with all the children, who offered me for fale fragments of antiquity and rough cornelians. With a few crowns I made a great number of thefe little ones happy, and gained the good will of their parents, who invited me to them, prepared me breakfaft

in


TRAVELS IN EGYPT* l^f

in the temples in which I had fet yp my drawing apparatus ; in fhort, I appeared like the kind mafter of a garden, which contain- ed in reaUty all that one feeks to imitate in decorated gardens in Europe : here were iflets, rocks, deferts, plains, meadows, gar- den-ground, open groves, hamlets, dark woods, remarkable and numerous plants, a river, canals, mills, and fublime ruins ; a fpot ftill more enchanting, as, like the gardens of Armida, it was furroundad with all the hor- rors of nature, and thofe of the Theba'is, the contraft with which encreafed the enjoyment of this delightful ifland. Having all my fenfes and my imagination equally in adli- vity, I never pafled hours more delicioufly occupied than thofe which I devoted to my folitary walks at Elephantina ; an ifland ■which alone is worth more than the whole territory on lliore of the country which lies adjacent to the town.


138 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

The population of Syene is numerous: the trade, however, is confined to fenna and dates, and thefe two articles produce a fuf- licient return to pay all the other v.ants of the inhabitants, to maintain a kiachef, a go- vernor, and a Turkifh garrifon. The fenna which grows around Syene, is of moderate quality ; when fold, it is fraudulently mixed with that which grows wild in the defcrt, brought hither by the Barabra, and fold at nearly a hundredth part of what we give for it in Europe. It is true that it has to pay in its paffage a number of duties, and it is one of the moft important articles of the cuftom-houfes of Cairo and Alexandria. The fecond article of exportation is that of dates ; they are fmall and dry, but fo abundant, that befides making the principal food, of the inhabitants here, large boats loaded with them are daily going down the river to Lower Egypt.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 130

We learnt by our fpies, that the Mame- lukes had afcended the river, and remained at as little a diftance as they could above the catara6ts, ravaging the two (bores of the Nile, which ftill fupplied them with fome forage. They had hitherto drawn fupplies of flour and dates from Delr and Bribes ; but the aga who refided there, fignified to them that this fource muft be flopped. They occupied ten leagues in length on each bank ; their rear guard was no more than four leagues off us, fo that they knew every ftep we took, as we in our turn were in- formed of all their movements, by the fame means, and perhaps, even by the fame emif- faries, who fcrved both parties faithfully with equal exadlnefs.

General Daouft had met w4th Aflan-Bey

on the right bank of the river oppofite Etfu,

at the moment when he was coming down

1 to


140 TRAVELS IN EGYPT,

to the Nile for water : the imminent danger he was in of lofmg all his equipage made him charge with fury ; the eagcrnefs of our men to get pofleffion of it, and a little con- tempt of the enemy, with which the battle of Samanhut had infpired them, made them attack with too much negligence. This battle of two hundred cavalry on each fide, was rather an affray than a regular combat;, and both parties gave proof of the highefl valour. The charge lafted half an hour ^ the field of battle remained with the French ; but Aflan-Bey obtained his main point, that of faving his baggage : on our fide, we had from thirty to forty killed, and as many wounded ; twelve Manaelukes periflied, and many of them wxre wounded ; Afian was hurt in the leg, fo that neither party had any thing to boaft of by this encounter. , We went to feek for the barks which

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 141

the Mamelukes had endeavoured to navig^c above the catarads, and we wiflied at the fame time to vifit thefe curious objed:s ; we met in our way with the quarries in the gra- nite rocks, whence the blocks were takeri which formed the material' of the coloflal ftatues, that have been the object of ad- miration to fo many ages, and the ruins of which ftill ftrike ns with aflronifhment. It feemed as if the framers wifhed to preferve the memorial of the maiTes that have pro- duced thefe blocks, by leaving on the place hieroglyphical infcriptions that perhaps re- cord the event. The operation by which thefc blocks were detached, muft have been iiearly the iame as is employed in the prefent times, that is to fay, a cleft is firft cut out, and then the whole maft is fplit off by means of wedges of different fizes, all ftruck in at one time. The marks of thefe flrH opera- 's tions


142 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

tions are preferved fo frefti in this unalterable material, that to look at them one would fufpect that the work had been interrupted only yefterday. I took a iketch of them. (See Fig. 2. Plate XXXIII.)

The texture of this granite is fo hard and compad:, that the rocks which are met with in the current, inftead of becoming worn and fhattered by decompofition, have acquired a polilh by the dafhing of the waves. The finefl and moft abundant of this kind of ftone, is the rofe-coloured granite ; the grey is often too micaceous; between thefe blocks are found veins of very brilliant quartz, ftrata of a red ftone, which partakes of the nature and the hardnefs of porphyry, and maffes of that black and hard ftone, which has been fo long taken for bafalt, and which the Egyp- tians have often employed for ftatues of mo- derate fize.

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TUAVELS IN EGYPT. 143

A league and a half below the quarries the rocks encreafe, and form a bar in the river, where we found the Mameluke barks fixed between the rocks, up to the firft well below the falls : the peafants of the neigh- bourhood had taken out the rigging and the provifions. We here quitted the little boat in which we had come up, and walking by the fide of the flream for about a quarter of an hour, we came to the part which is ge- nerally called the catara5i. This is nothing but a range of rocks, over which the river flows, forming in fome places cafcades a few inches in height , they are fo infignificant, that they can hardly be reprefented in a drawing ; but I jufl fketched the bar where this celebrated navigation ends, in order to do away the imprefnon that has been given of the great fall of thefe famous cataracts. (See Plate XXXI. Fig. 2.) However, they

would


i44 TRAVELS IN EGYPt.

would make a fine picture, if they were re- prefented with the colour which charac- terizes them.

The mountains, the furface of which is broken by black and ragged projecflions, are refledied with their gloomy afped: on the clear mirror of the ftream below, which is broken and divided by fliarp points of granite that roughen its channel, and form long white lines of foam wherever any of thefe rocks cut its fmooth furface. Thefe rough ihapelefs mafles, with their dark hues, form a flriking contraft with the foft green of the groupcs of palm-trees that clufter around the irregular cliffs, and with the celeftial azure blue of the clearefl: fky over the face of the earth. A pid:ure faithfully rcprefenting thefe flriking objeds, would have the rare advan- ta- of exhibiting a true and yet perfe<flly novel fcenery. After paffing the catara<fls,

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 145

the rocks grow loftier, j^nd on their fummit rocks of granite are heaped up^ appearing to duller together, and to hang in equipoife, on purpofe to produce the moft pidlurefque efFedls. Through thefe rough and rugged forms the eye all at once difcovers the mag- nificent monuments of the ifland of Philoe, which form a brilliant contraft, and one of the mod fmgular furpriles that the traveller can meet with. The Nile here makes a bend, as if to come and vifit this enchanting ifland, where the monuments are only fepa- rated by tufts of palm-trees, or rocks that appear to be left merely to contrail the forms of nature with the magnificence of art, and to colle6l, in one rich fpot, every thing that is moft beautiful and impreffive. The en- thufiafm which the traveller fo conftant',. ^ experiences at the fight of the monuments of Upper Egypt, may appear to the reader a Vol. IL K perpetual


146^ TRAVELS IN EG"!PT.

perpetual and monotonous exaggeration ; but it is, however, only the fimple expreffion of feeling which the fublimity of their cha- rader excites; and it is from the diftruft that I feel at being able to give any adequate idea of their magnificence by the pencil, that I have endeavoured to do juftice to them by my expreffions for the furprife and admira- tion with which they imprefs the beholder. There were no inhabitants on the fhore ; they had quitted even the ifle of Philoe, and had retired to a fecond and larger ifland, from which they fent loud and favage cries, which w^e were told w^ere excited by their fears. We endeavoured to perfuade them to fend us a boat, which was moored to their bank, but without fuccefs. However, as this branch of the Nile isvery narrow, I w^as enabled to take the views of the ifland, which are here added. (See Plate XXV. Fig. 2. andXXXIIL Fig. 1.)


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 147

We returned home very well fatlsfied with our day's v/ork. ; but this curfory view did not appear to me fufficient for objed;s of antiquity of fuch importance, and monu- ments of fuch extent and high prefervation, the particular defcription of which would be attended with fo much intereft.

Some days after we learnt that the Mame- lukes of the right bank were com/mg to forage within two leagues of our pofts. W(?" prepared to refift them, and fet out w'ltti four hundred men, advancing towards Philoe by land, taking the route acrofs the defert. This road has one peculiarity, which is, that there are evident remains of its 'having been tracked out, and raifed as a caufeway, and that there was much traffic on it in former times. This is the only part of Egypt in which a high road is abfolutely necelTary ; but the Nile ceaiing to be navigable on ac- K 2 count


148 TRAVELS I>r EGYPT'.

count of the catarads, all the merchandize of the Ethiopian trade which is landed at Philbe muft be tranfported by land to Sjene, to be there re- embarked. AU the large blocks o{ {lone that we met with in the way were covered with hieroglyphics, as if they were put there for the amufement of the paffengers. One of the moft fmgular of thefe prefects the form of a feat cutout of the ifolid rock, with a flight of fleps to climb up to it; and the whole ornamented with hiero- glyphics, the greater number of w^hich are executed w4th great care. (See Plate XXXIL Fig. 2.)

Another iingular objecfl near this road, is the ruins of military lines made of bricks baked in the fun, the bafe of which is from fifteen to twenty feet in thicknefs. This entrenchment extended along the valley by the road-fidc, and terminated at rocks and

forts


Fi,. 1. , I'l.. XX.X.II.



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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. l/jQ

iorts near three leagues from Sjene. Though jfche materials of which thefe walls v^'ere built were cheap enough, the expence of putting them together muft have been very great, and fliews the importance attached to the defence of this point. -Can thcfc be the re- mains of the famous wall raifed by a queen of Egypt, named Zuleikha, daughter of Ziba, one of the Pharaohs, which ej;tended from the ancient Syene to ,the place where El Arifli is now fituatcd, the fra,g;ments of Vvhich the i\rabs now call haif-el-xjcljow^, or the

  • ■' old woman's wall ?"

We foand th.e inJiabitants of Philoc re- turned to their habitation, but fully deter- mined not to receive u^. We attributed this ill-will to the fear v/hich wc y;ave them of us, and we continued our journey. Beyond Philoc the river is quite open and navigable: but after, having paffed an Arab fort, and a

}J 3 mofque


150 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

mofque of the fame age, the (hore of the Nile becomes impracticable for travellers ; and inftead of a profufion of monuments and infcfiptions, we only faw a barren foil left to itfeif, and on the rocks a few habi- tations, which refembled the huts of fa- vages. We entered a defert which cut an angle of the river, in order to (liorten our way ; and after havinpf for feveral hours tra- velled along vallevs which were as deep and hollow as if the country was conftantly ex- pofed to ftorms and torrents, the Nile again opened upon us through a ravine which led to Taudi, an inditFerent village on the bank of the river. At our approach the Mame- lukes abandoned this village, leaving behind them their plates, their kettles, and even the foup they had made, which they in- tended to eat at fun-fet, for it was the month of Ram.adan, a kind of Lent, during which

all


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 151

all the MuiTulmans, even to the foldiers, eat nothing whilft the fun is above the horizon^ We fent out a fpy during the night ; and w<; learnt, that at day-break the Mame- lukes, who were at Demiet, four leagues higher than Taudi, thinking themfelves too near us, had fed their horfes and fet out at midnight. Our object in driving them further off being fulfilled, we fet out to re- turn to Syene. 1 had already feen enough of Ethiopia, of the Gublis and their wives, whofe extreme uglinefs can only be equalled by the favage jealoufy of their hufbands. I faw fome of the v/omen, for as I gave the men lefs apprehcnfion than our foldiers, they put a number of them under my protedlion in a cabin, before the door of which I had taken up my quarters for the night. They had been taken by furprize at the fudden arrival of our people at the clofe of evening, K 4 and


152 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

and had not had time to fly and hide them- felvcs in the rocks, or to fwim acrofs the ri- rer. They appeared to have the fullen ftu- pidity of downright favages. A rugged foil, fatigue, and infufficient food, muft, doubt- lefs, impair in them all the charms of nature, and give them even in youth the marks of decrepitude. But the men feem to be of another fpecies ; for their features are deli- cate, their fkin fine, their countenance lively and animated, and their eyes and teeth ad- mirable. Lively and intelligent, they appear to throw fo much clearneis and concifenefs in their language, that a fliort phrafe is al- ways a complete anfvvcr to qucftions that are put to them : their vivacity more re- fembles ours than that of the other oriental nations: they are quick in undcrilianding and fcrving, and ftill more nimble in thiev- ing, and have a greedinefs for money, which

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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3 53


keeps pace with their great frugahty, and can only be juftified by their extreme po- verty. To thefe reafons we may impute their leannefs, which is not at all connefted with ill health, for their colour, though black, is full of life and blood, but their mufcles are only tendons, abfolutely without fat, fo that I did not fee a fingle perfon among them who was even plump. Fig. 4, of Plate XLV. will give the reader an idea cf their form and 2;cneral afpecl.


CHAPTER


154 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.


CHAPTER XIV.


Attack on Philoe and 'Expidjion of the Inha- hitaitts — Monuments in the JJland — Diffe- rent Periods of "Egyptian Arch'itediure — Trench Fort built at Syene — Ant'ient Mo- naftery of Cenoh'ites beyond the CataraSis — Voyage up tJie- River above Syene — Mofin- ments of Ombos — Celebrated Quarries of Gebel StlfiUsy wlthfculpttired Tombs adjoin- ing — Crocodiles — Proceedings of the Mame- lukes.

\\T^ could only keep our perfevering enemy at a diftance from us by ftarving the country between us and them. We therefore bought up all the cattle, paid for the green crops on the land, and the in- habitants affifted us themfelves in puUing up

from


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 155

from the ground every fource of provifion, and followed us with their domeflic animals. Thus carrying off with us the whole popu- lation, we left behind us nothing but a de- fert. In returning, I was again flruck with the fumptuous appearance of the edifices of Philoe ; and I am perfuaded that it was to produce this effect upon ftrangers entering their territory, that the Egyptians had col- leded upon their frontier fuch a fplendid group of monuments. Philoe was the entre- pot of a commerce of barter between Ethi- opia and Egypt; and wifhing to give the Ethiopians a high idea of their refources and their magnificence, the Egyptians had raifed fo many fumptuous edifices on the confines and natural frontier of their empire, Syene and the Cataracts. We had another parley with the inhabitants of Philoe, and it w^as more explicit: they fignified to us, that if we 1 were


IMli TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

\vcrc to come there every day for two months iuccefiTively, they would never let us land. We were obliged to fubmit this time to their determination; but as it would have given a bad example to the country to allow a hand- ilil of pcafants to brave us with fuch info- knee clofe by oar eilablifhments, we refolvcd on the next day to try if we could not make them change their determination. Accord- ingly on the morrow, we returned with two hundred men; as foon as they faw us, they put themfelves in a pofture of defence, and defied us in the manner of fiivages, with loud cries, which the women repeated. The inhabitants of the neighbouring larger ifland, immediately collecfLcd in arms, which they made to glitter in the fan like fword-play- crs; fomc of them were quite naked, holding in one hand a fabre, and in the other a buckler, others had rampart- mufquets with

matchlocks,


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 137

matchlocks, and long pikes, and in a mo- ment all the eaft fide of the rock was co- vered with enemies. We flill cried out to them that we were not coming to do them any harm, and we only w^anted to enter ami- cably into their ifland ; they anfwered that they would never let us approach, or furnifli us with the means of landing on their fliores, and that they were not Mamelukes, to fly before us: this bragging fpeech was clofed with loud fliouts which refounded on all fides; they wiflied for the fight; they had defended themfelvcs againft the ^Mamelukes; they had defeated their neighbours ; and they now wifhcd to have the glory of refift- mg us, and even giving us defiance. Imme- diately the order was given to our fappers to level the huts on the fiiore, to furnifh us with wood for a raft: this a<5l was a declaration oi war ; they fired on us, and pofling them-

fclves


158 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

felves in the clefts and caves of their rocks, they kept up a brifk and well dircdcd fire on us. At this moment one of our field- pieces came up, the firft fight of which car- ried their rage to the highell: pitch ; but from this time the communication between Philoe and the larger ifland was broken, the people of the latter drove off their herds and cattle, made them crofs an arm of the river, and followed them into the defert.

We found that the palm-tree wood was too heavy and took water, which compelled us to defer the defcent till the next day ; and in the mean time our troops remained on the fliore, and every neceflary was colledled in order to conftrudl a raft to hold forty men. This bufmefs employed us the whole ot the following day, and this delay encreafed the infolence of thefe wretches, who dared to propofe to the general to pay a hundred

piaftres


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. ISQ

plaflres to be allowed to come alone and dif- armed into the iiland. The fcene, however, was foon changed, when on a fudden they faw the larger ifland covered with our vo- lunteers, whofe defcent had been protected by grape-fliot : terror fucceeded, as ufual, to headftrong raflmefs; men, women, and chil- dren, all threw themfelves into the river to efcape by fwimming ; and preferving their ferocious charad:er, we faw mothers drown- ing their children whom they could not carry away with them, and m.utilating the girls to fave them from the violence of the vi6lors. When I entered on the ifland the next day, I found a young girl feven or eight years old, who had been cut with brutal cruelty in fuch a manner, as to prevent her from fatif- fying the moft preffing neceffity of nature, and it was only by a counter-operation and a bath, that I was able to fave the life of this

unfortunate


3 Go TRAVELS IN kgyft;

unfortunate little creature, who was very pretty. Others of a more advanced age had not recourfe to fuch feverlties, and chofc for themfelves companions from among the vic- tors. In a word, the population of the ifland was difperfed in a few minutes, having fuf- fered a moll ferious and irreparable lofs.

They had pillaged the beats which the Mamelukes had not been able to get above the falls, and had formed magazines of this booty, which had made them immenfely rich, in comparifon with their neighbours, and might have fecured to them repofe and eafy circumflances for a number of years; in a fevv hours they were reduced to beggary, deftitute of fupport, both for the prefent and the future, and were obliged to go and folicit an afylum from thofe on whom they had made war a few days before. Our foldiers were employed the reft of the day in eva- 3 cuating


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. l6i

cuating the magazines of the larger ifland, and I made ufe of this time in making draw- ings of the rocks and antiquities.

The ruins in this ifland coniift of a fmall faniftuary, faced by a portico of four columns with very elegant capitals, to which had been added at a later period another portico, which doubtlefs was attached to the circumvalla- tion of the temple. The moft ancient part, which was alfo conftrudled with more care, was ornamented in a higher degree than the reft; th^ ufe made of it in the rites of the catholic religion has impaired the original charadler, by adding fquare arched door- ways. In the fanctuary, clofe to the figures of Ifis and Ofiris, may ftill be feen the mi- raculous impreffion of the feet of St. An- thony, or St. Paul the hermit.

The next day was the fineft to me of my whole travels: I polTeiTed feven or eight mo-

V^OL. II. L numents


l62 TRAVELS IX EGYPT.

numents in the fpace of lix hundred yardsj. and could examine them quite at my eafe^ for I had not by my fide any of thofe impa- tient companions who always think they have feen enough, and are conftantly preffing you to go to fome other object, nor had I in my ears the beating of drums as a fignal to muf- ter, or to march, nor Arabs nor peafants to torment me ; I was alone in full leifure, and could make my drawings without interrup- tion. (See the plan of the ifland Plate XXXIV.) This was my fixth vifit to Philoe ; the five firft I had employed in taking views of the fliores of the vicinity.

As foon as I could fet foot in the ifland, I began firft by going over all the inner part, to take a general furvey of the various mo- numents, and to form a kind of topogra- phical chart containing the ifland, the courfe of the river, and the adjacent characteriftic I fcencry.



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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. l63

fcenery. I found a convincing proof that this group of monuments had been con- fiiruded at different periods, by feveral na- tions, and had belonged to different forms of rehgious worfhip ; and the union of thefe various edifices, each of them in itfelf re- gular, and crouded together in this narrow fpot, formed an irregular group of mofl pic- turefque and magnificent objed:s. (See Plate XXXIII. Fig. 1.) I could here diflinguifh eight fanctuaries or fcparate temples, of dif- ferent dimenfions, built at various times, and the limits of each had been refpe6led in the conftruction of the fucceeding ones, which had impaired the regularity of the whole. A part of the additions to the original build- ings had been made with a view of connedl- ing the old to the new, avoiding, with great dexterity, falfe angles and general irregulari- ties. This kind of confufion of the archi-

L 2 tedural


j64: travels in egyft.

tectural lines, which appear like errors in the plan, produce in the elevation a pidlurefquc effed;, which geometrical redtitude cannot give, it multiplies objects, forms elegant groups, and offers to the eye more richnefs than cold fymmetry can ever command. I could here convince myfelf of the truth of a remark which 1 had before made at Thebes and Tentyra, which is, that the mode of building with the ancient Egyptians was, firft to ere<5l large mafTes, on which they afterwards beftowed the labour of ages, in the particulars of the decoration, beginning their work with fhaping the arch ite (Plural lines, proceeding next to the fculpture of the hieroglyphics, .and concluding w4th the ftucco and the painting. All thefe diftindl periods of work are very obvious here, where nothing is finiflicd but what belongs to the higheft antiquity: whereas a part of the fub-

ordinatc .


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3 65

> ordinate buildings, which ferved to conned; the various monuments, had been left in many particulars without fmifli, without iculpture, and even incomplete in the build- ing.

The great and magnificent oblong mo- nument, exhibits thefe different periods of workmanfhip ; it would be difficult to aflign any ufe to this edifice, if the pre- fence of certain ornaments reprefenting offer- ings had not pointed it out to be a temple. It has, however, the form neither of a por- tico nor of a temple ; the columns which compofe its outer circumference, and which are engaged in the wall only half their height, fupport nothing but an entablature and a cornice, without roof or platform : it only opened by two oppofite doors, without lin- tels, which made a fi:raight paflage through in the longitudinal diredion. As it was L 3 doubtleii


)66 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

doubtlefs built in the later period of the Egyptian power, it fliews the perfe(5lion of art in the highefl purity ; the capitals arc admirable in beauty and execution, the vo- lutes and the foliage are gracefully waved, like the fineft Greek archite(flure, and arc lymmetrically diverfified like thofe of Apol- linopolis, that is to fay, differing from the contiguous capitals, and iimilar to the cor- refponding ones, and all are exadlly kept within the fame parallel. (See Plate XXIX. Fig. 0.)

It gave me no little trouble to clear, in my imagination, from the furrounding frag- ments, thefe long galleries encumbered with ruins, to follow the lines of the quays, to raife up the fphinx and the obellfks, to re- flore the broken communication between the fteps and ftaircafes. Urged on at once by every kind of curiofitv, and fearing to

impart




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TRAVELS IN EGYPT. I67

impart my erroneous conjectures to thofe to whom I intended to give an account of my fenfations and my refearches, I wiflied to trace on my plan the precife ilate of the ruins, and the confufed heap of fragments, and from fuch a plan to difcufs the numerous points which were involved in doubt and uncertainty. What could be the meaning of this vail: number of fandluaries, fo con- tiguous to each other, and yet fo diftin6l ? Were they confecrated to different divini- ties, were they votive chapels, or places devoted each to particular ceremonies of ri.'ligious worfnip ? The innermoft temples contained ilill more myllerious fan6tuaries, fych as monolithic temples, or tabernacles of afjngle tlone^ containing, perhaps, what was moft precious and moft facred to the woriliippers ; perhaps even the facred bird, which reprefented the prefiding deity of the L 4 temple ;


i63 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

temple; the hawk, for example, the em- blem of the fun, to whom the building might be confecrated. On the ceilings of the ikme portico were painted aftronomical pic- tures, the theories of the elements ; on the walls, religious ceremonies, images, priefts, and gods, (as reprefented in Plate L/II. Fig. 2" and 3.) by the fide of the gates gigantic portraits of certain fovcreigns, or emblema- tical figures of ftrength or power, threat- «aing a group of fuppliant figures, which they hold with one haiid by the hair of the head. (See Plate XL. Fig. 4.) Can thefe be rebellious fubjecSs, or vanquillied ene- mies } I Ihould incline to the latter opinion, becaufe the figures, which certainly repre- ftnt Egyptians, have never long hair. -

Befides this vafl cnclofure, in which thefe numerous temples were conneded and grouped together by dwellings for the priefls,

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TRAVELS IN EGYPT- 1 69

theTe were two temples {landing apart ; the iarger of the two I have already fpoken of, the fmaller is one of the moft beautiful that can be conceived, in perfect prcferva- tion, and fo fmall, that it almofl gives one the defire of carrying it away. I found with- in it fome remains of a domeftic fcene, which feemed to be that of Jofeph and Mary, and fuggcfted to me the fubject of the flight into Egypt, in a ftyle of the utmoft truth and intereft. If ever we fhould be difpofed to tranfport a temple from Africa to Europe, this which I am fpeaking of fliould be fe- Iccted for the purpofe ; for, befides the prac- ticability of fuch an operation afforded by its fmall dimenfions, it would give a palpable proof of the noble fimplicity of Egyptian architecture, and would Ihew in a flriking manner, that it is character, and not extent alone, which gives dignity to an edifice.

Befides


170 TRAVELS IN EGYPT. -

' Befidcs the Egyptian monuments, Greek f and Roman ruins are found at the fouth- eaft of the iiland, which appear to me to be the remains of a fmall port, and a cufiiom- houfe, of which the wall of the facade is de- corated with pilafters and arcades of the do- ric order : fome ftandiiig fragments of co- lumns fhew an open gallery, or a kind of portico in front ; between thefe ruins and the Egyptian monuments, the fur-bafc of a ca- tholic church may be remarked, which is built of antique fragments, mixed with croiTes and Greek ornaments of the later ages; for in thcie countries catholicifm has been too poor to rem.ove entirely her own wor- Ihip from the pomp of idolatrous temples. After having eftablii]ipd her faints in the face of the Egyptian deities, flic has often painted a St. John, or St. Paul, by the fide of the goddefs Ills, and difguifed Ofiris into

St.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 17X

St. Athanafius ; or elfe, quitting the hea^ then temples altogether, ilie has dilapidated them, and taken the ready-made materials to conftruct her own edifices of religious worfliip.

What a profafion of objects of curiofity ! — but the time was gliding by fo faft, that I wilhcd to {ia.\- the courfe of the fun. Hav- ing employed m:my hours in obfervation, I began to make drawings and meafurements ; but I faw that our people had finifhed clear- ing the enemy's magazines, and I could not hope to return to Philoe, for I had not here fuch kind friends as at Elcphantina, and the troops had already been too much fatigued with the fiege of this little ifland. I at lail quitted this fjjot, with my eyes tired out by lb many objeds, and my mind filled wdth the various recollections attached to it : I left it at night, loaded with my treafures,

and


1/2 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

bringing with me my little girl, whom I entrufted to the flieik of Elephantina, to re- ftore her to her parents.

The plan was formed of fortifying Syene ; the engineer Garbe had chofen an efplanade on an eminence on the fouth of the city, on w^hich to con{lru(5l a fort, which ihould com- mand all the approaches, and overlook the adjacent country. There were neither llio- vels, pickaxes, hammers, nor trowels, but all thefe articles were forged ; bricks could not be made for want of wood, but they were collecfled out of all the old Arab buildings in the place. Our brave twenty-iirft regiment,, like the Roman cohorts who had inhabited the fame place, knew no difficulties, or fur- mounted them all. Every individual w^as required to make two journeys daily to the fpot, in order to tranfport materials ; many qf the men could with difficulty drag their

legs


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. I73

legs to the fpot> but not one failed in com- plying with the requifiiion : the baftions were traced out, and the labour was conduct- ed with fo much fpeed, that in a few days the fortrefs began to appear above the foun- dations ; and in the fame time we bailioncd and embattled an old Roman building, which had been a bath, and was in very good prefarvation, and wJiich, from its iitua- tion, had the ■double advantage of proteding and commanding the river.

The termination of the march of the French through Eg}-pt was infcribcd on a granite rock beyond the catarad:s. I took advantage of a reconnoitering party bein^ pufhed to the defert on the left bank, to go and vifit the quarries of w^hich Pocock fpeaks, and an ancient monafl:ery of cenobites. After marching an hour, we difcovered this monument in a fmail valley, furrounded

with


174 TRAVELS IN EGYPT;

with Ihattered rocks, and with fands pro- duced bytheir decompofition. The detach- ment, puifuing its deftination, left me alone in this fpot.

They were hardly gone when I was alarm- ed at my folitary fituation. I was loft among long corridors, and thefe melancholy vaults echoed with the found of my feet, the only noife with which this profound iilence had been difturbed perhaps for ages. The cells of thefe monks refembled the cages of ani- mals in a menagerie ; they were recefles {even feet fquare, and only enlightened by a difmal window, fix feet from the ground : this refinement of aufterity, however, only concealed from the eye of the reclufc the view of the vaft expanfe of heaven, an equally boundlcfs horizon of fand, and a bright un- interrupted light, as melancholy as night, and more wafting to the corporeal frame,

and


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 175

and perhaps more impreffive of the gloomy pl<flure of their folitude. In this dungeon a bed of bricks, and a recefs, ferving as a clofet» were all the conveniences which had been added to this fpace between four walls ; and a tower placed by the fide of the gate, fnews alfo that even the auftere repaft of thefc ce- nobites was taken in folitude. Nothing in- dicated the remains of the habitation of man, but fome fliort fentences written on the walls ; and I fancied I could trace in thefc infcriptions their lall: fentiments, and the only memorial which they would leave to thofe who were to fucceed them — a vain attempt, which time, that dellroys every thing, has entirely fruftratcd. I prefcnted them to my imagination as dving, and ftill driving, with fluttering fpecch, to utter a few words. Oppreflcd with this fuccedion of gloomy objects, I hailened to the court, 2 a fpace


17^ TRAVELS IX EGYft.

a /pace enclofed with lofty embattled walls/ covert ways, and embrafures for cannon ; every thing announced that the ftorcns of war had fucceedcd the horrors of filence in this fatal place ; that this edifice, torn from the cenobites, who had raifed it with {o much zeal and perfevcrance, had at different periods lerved as a retreat to the vanquiflied, or as an advanced poft to the victorious army.

The differences of ffyle in its conftrudion may ferve as a hiftory of this monument. Being begun in the firft ages of catholicifm, all that was then raifed flill bears the m.ark of greatnefs and magnificence : what war has afterwards added has been done haftily, and is flill more in ruins than the original con- ftrudlion. In the court a fmall church, built of unbaked bricks, fhews furdicrthat a fmaller number of reclufe have returned after a con- fid crable


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 177

fiderable time to refume pofleilion of thefe walls ; and fitially, a more recent deftrudtioii feems to indicate that it is only a few ages fince this fpot has been entirely given up to the filence and defolation that prevails all around this gloomy edifice.

The detachment which had left me here now came back for me, arid it was like rifmg from the tomb. With regard to the quar- ries which I found in the neighbourhood, they are not thofe out of which the obelifks were cut, for theft are always of granite, and the granite rocks are at a diftance from this fpot. The rocks here are free-ftone ; th^ only obje6ls of curiofity are the fragments of the inclined roads, over which the mafTes of itone were rolled, and thus conducted to the river, to be there embarked for the different edifices where they were to be employed.

We learnt that the Mamelukes, who had Vol. IL M fled


17S TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

fled before us at Damict, had taken the de- fert on the right bank of the river, and were going down the flream to rejoin Aflan-Bey; that Murad, after violent debates, had col- ledled all the provifions which the upper country v^ould furnilh, and was returning bv the left fide through the defert, leaving be- hind him only the aged Solyman, who kept poiTcffion of Bribe with eighty Mamelukes. Having nothing more to do at Syene, we left it the 25th of February. I could ftill have willingly remained there a fortnight longer, but I ihould have feared to wait for the burning wands of the fpring, and my health had already had a painful attack : three days of eaft wind in January had made the atmofphere as oppreffively hot as it is with us in the dog days ; to this had fuc- cecded fo cold a north wind, that in four hours it had given me a fever. In hopes of I...' fome


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. I79

lome reft, I had put myfclf on board the barks ; they were to fail as high up as the troops, who were refuming the journey which I had jull: taken ; and I hoped in travelling by the river to fee Ombos, and the quarries of Gebel Silfilis, which I had paiTed at fome diftance to my left, in my excurfion up the ftream.

I was hardly embarked, when I experi-*- enced all the inconveniences of this mode of conveyance. The contrary wind, the ftu- pidity of the natives, who could not be made to work the veflels, and the fruitless cries of our provencals, every thing confpired to tor- ment, us. We were a long while working up to Com- Ombos, and jufl then the wind became favourable for paffing it ; our flotilla -were in too much hafte for me to venture to propofe flopping there even a fmgle hour, fo that I had juft time to give it a glance in M 2 failing


ISO i RAVELS IN EGYPT.

filing by, and to take a hafty fkctch of the general fite, and the fine pofition of the mo- numents. The ancient Ombos, where the crocodile was revered, is ftJU called Com^ Ombos (the mountain Ombos) and it is fitu- ated on an eriiincnce, which commands the country, atid projects out to the very margin of the river. If all the fragments w hieh are here feen belonged to a fmgle edifice, it mufl have been immenfe. In the centre is a grand portico of columns with wide capitals, in very large proportion; on the fouth, one gate js preferved entire ; it joined a wall of clr- cumvallation, which- is dcftroyed; at the ■vvcil, and on the bank of the Nile, an enor- mous mole was raifed which is at prefent in ruins at its upper part ; the inundations of the rivor have laid bare its foundations for fisty feet in depth, they were conftruded with the fame iblidity and magnificence as~

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. IQl

the ornamental part. Towards the north, in the fame direction, the remains of a temple or gallery may be feen, in fmaller proportion, with columns and capitals. In the open ipace between thefe two laft edifices, was a parapet made of hewn ftone, which opened to the view the grand temple in the middle, and mull have produced a theatrical and magnificent effedl. It is very weil proved that the Egyptians were more attached to magnitude, even in producing pidturefque beauties, than regular fymmetry ; they fup- plied the want of this latter by nobk piles of buildings, by richnefs, by beautiful parts, and by impreffive effed. Were they wrong in this idea ? The qucftion is of conliderable magnitude. However this may he, and whatever compoled the remainder of the an- cient town of Ombos, it could not but offer a very majeflic view when entire ; fince, di^ M 3 lapidated


3 82 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

lapidated as It is, and encumbered with vile huts, the forms of beauty which it difplays produce a moft magic picl:ure of fplendid ruin to the beholder.

The next day I was more fortunate : we anchored oppofite the large quarries of free- ilone cut in the mountains, w^hich form the banks of the Nile here on either fide. This fpot is called Gebel SilfiHs, and is iituated between Etfu and Ombos. The ftone of thefe quarries being of an equal grain and uniform texture throughout, blocks may be cut out of them as large as can be defired ; and it is doubtlefs to the beauty and unaltera- bility of this material, that we owe the vaft fize and fine prefervation of the monuments which are our admiration at the prefent time, fo many centuries after the date of their conftrud:ion. From the immenfe excava- tions, and the quantity of fragments which

may


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 183

may ftill be feen in thefe quarries, we may fuppofe that they were worked for fome thou/ands of years ; and they alone might have fupplied the materials employed for the greater part of the monuments of Egypt. The diftance would, in fact, prove no ob- ilacle to the working of thefe quarries, fincc the Nile, during its inundation, would con- ftantly come and float the boats Vvhich were loaded during the dry feafon, and carry them to the place of their deftination.

The mania of ereAing monuments among the Eg)'ptians, fhews itfelf on every fide in thefe quarries ; which, after having furnifhed materials for the eredlion of temples, were themfelves confecrated by monuments, and decorated with religious edifices. On the fiiore of the Nile may be feen porticoes with columns, entablatures, and cornices, covered with hieroglyphics, uU cut out of the folid M 4 rock :


184 TRAVILS 1^ fiGYFT.

rock; and likcveife a large number of tomb:;, alio hollowed out of the mountain. Thefc tombs are ftill very curious, though they arc disfigured with trenches and rubbilh.

In feveral of thefe tombs fmall private, chambers are found, many of which contain large fealcd figures ; thefe chambers arc adorned with hieroglyphics traced on the rock, and terminated with coloured ilucco, reprefenting conflantly offerings of bread, fruits, liquors, fowls, &c. The ceiUngs, alfo of ftucco, are ornamented with painted fcroUs in an exquifite tafte ; the floor is inlaid with a number of tombs of the fame dimenfions and form as are given to the cafes of mum- mies, and equal in number to the fculptured figures: thofe that rcprefent men have fmall fquare beards, with a head-dre/s ha)?iging behind over the flioulders ; the women have the fame drefles, but falling down in front

oTcr


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, J85

over their naked necks. Thefe latter are commonly reprefented with one arm paffing within the arm of the figure belide them, and the other holding a lotus flower, a plant of Acheron, the emblem of death. The tombs that contain but a fmgle figure arc probably thofe of men who have died in celibacy ; where three are contained, they reprefent perhaps a hufband who had two wives, either atione time or fucceflively. The accefs to thefe tombs being always made by violence, I could not ohferve how they were intended to open and fliut ; all that I could diflinguifli in the fragments that re- mained was, that the doors were all deco- rated with jambs covered with hieroglyphics, and furmounted with a coping, which forms a cornice, and an entablature on which a winged globe is always fculptured.

On the fide of thefe doors- I have often

met


iSd TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

met with the figure of a woman in the at- titude of grief; perhaps a widow lamenting the lofs of her hufband. This is repre- lented at Fig. 4. Plate Lll.

The choice of this fituation for the' habi- tations of the dead, fliews, that at all times in Egypt, the filence of the defert has been the af}'lum of death, fmce even now the Egyptians carry their dead into the defert three .leagues from their habitations, that the drynefs of the fands may preferve them from corruption; and they go thither every weel^ to pray over thefe tombs. I had hardly drawn the moft interefting of thefe quarties, when a favourable wind fummoned us on board.

In approaching Efnch we again found crocodiles : they are not to be feen at Syene, but re- appear above the catarad:s : they feem to prefer certain reaches of the river, and

parti-


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 187

particularly from Tentyra to Ombos ; they abound moft of all near Hermontes. We here faw three of them ; one, much larger than the reft, was nearly twenty-five feet long ; they were all afleep, fo that we could approach them within twenty paces, and we had time to diftinguifh all the pecu- liarities which give them fuch a hideous afpect : they refembled difmounted cannon. I fired on one with a heavy mufquet, the ball ftruck him and rebounded irom his fcales ; he made a leap of ten feet, and dived into the river.

Four leagues fhort of Efneh, I faw a quay faced with ftonc, on the edge of the river, and two hundred yards further was a pyra- midal gate much in ruins, along with fix columns of the portico and gallery of a tem- ple, which muft have been dedicated to Chnubis. We had a good wind, and it

would


Id3 ■TRAt'-BLS ivr KGVPT-

would have been a crime of trcafon againit the fervice to requeil a delay for the purpofc of making a drawing, fo that I could only take a iketch of it as we pafled by.

Half a league lower we faw four other crocodiles.

At day-break mvc arrived at Efneh. On landing I heard the drums beat to muiler the forces. I had had already enough of travelling by water, fo that in ten minutes after fetting foot on fhore I was on horfe- back, turning my back on Apollinopolis and Latopolisj many particulars of which I ftill Iiad to examine. But fuch was the chance of war ; and I ought to think myfelf very happy that the obftinacy of Murad had caufed me to vifit Syene. He appeared to have had no other plan than that of conftant pcrfeverance, following everyday the impulfe of the moment, and the event of circum- {fenccs.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 18^

The coalition of the beys was already broken ; Solyman had remained at Deir ; AfTan, with forty Mamelukes, had feparated from Murad as high as Efneh, and had gone up ftill higher to Etfu ; all the Iheiks on the left fide muft have parted from him lower down ; and Murad himfelf, left alone with his three hundred Mamelukes, had been about to defcend below Siut, but being met at Suhama, below Girgeh, by General Friand, who had broken the aflembly of troops, which he was again collecflrng, he took the road to Eluah, one of the oafcs, where he remained, waiting to fee what chance might turn out in his favour. There had been two actions between the Mecca foldiers and General Friand on the left bank, between Thebes and Kous ; fix hundred of thefe adventurers had perifhed in the two encounters ; but it was faid that the Iheref

of


ipO TRAVELS IX EGYPT.

of Mecca himfclf was advancing with fix thoufand troops to join the eight or nine f hundred that remained out of the firft crufade.


CHAP-


v^




■^ V


^



. y/„ . \,rW„./,., ,/ j//,,/,., ^





TRAVELS IN EGYPT. IQl


CHAPTER XV.


Arrival at Hermontis — Vifit the Necropolis of Thebes — Arrive at Kous — Capture of the Flotilla by the Mecca7is — Battle of Benhute — Fortrefs fiormed — Critical Situation of the' French Army — Reach Ketieh — Attempt to furprife the Fnemy — Retreat of the Ma- melukes into the Defcrt — Nenx) Fojltion of the Army.

T1^7E arrived at Hermontis in the morn- ^ ing of the 4th of March. We there

halted, in order to procure intelligence of the Mamelukes, the Mcccans, and the feveral detachments of our army, which was at this moment diftributed over a confider- able extent of country.

1 Having


192 THA.VELS IN ^GYPT.

Having already feen the temple here, I was reduced to a fecond vifit to the hiero- glyphics, and I took drawings of all thofe that appeared to me the mod ufeful to be prefented to the refearehes of the learned on my return. (See Plate LX. Figs. 2, 3, 4, and 5.)

I had now a better opportunity of ob- fcrving the fitc of the ancient town, which had had a wall of circumvallation, and feveral temples. But for ever temples I not a fmgle public edifice, not a fmgle houfe, nor even royal palace, which had been able to ttCid the ravages of time I What then were the people, and who the fovereigns ? It fhould feem that the former were compofcd of ilaves, the latter pious leaders, and the p^nefts humble and hypocritical defpots, con- cealing their tyranny from the people by the name of a vain monarch, and poifeiTing all 3 the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 1 QS

the fcience that was then known, which they wrapped up in emblem and myHery, to put a barrier between them and the peo- ple. The king was ferved by priefts, eoun- felled by priefts, fed by them, inftrud:ed by them ; every morning, after having drefled him up, they read to him the duties of a fovereign towards his people, and towards his religion ; they then led him to the tem- ple ; and the reft of the day, like the doge of Venice, he w'as never without fix counfel- lors, who ftill were priefts. With fuch pre- cautions, they might perhaps be tolerably fecure of never having a very bad king ; but what was the gain for the people, if the priefts fupplied his place ? The only two fovereigns who, according to hiftory, dared to ftiake oft' the yoke, were Cheops and Ce- phrenes, who ftiut up the temples for twenty years; but thefe were regarded as impious Vol. ir. N and


JQ4 TRAVELS IN^ EGYPT.

and rebellious princes, and were recorded as fuch in the annals which the priefls conn- pofed and handed down to pofterity.

The palace with a hundred chambers, the only palace mentioned in the hiilory of Egypt, was the work of a new form of go- vernment, in which the priefts cauld no longer poiTefs the fame influence. The famous canals, of which hiftory fpeaks fo pompoufly, have preferved no magnific^^nce, have neither caufeways nor Unices, and the only facings and quays that I have met with on the banks of the Nile are very trifling works, compared to thofe colofl^al and im- mortal temples, whofe prccinds occupied a very large proportion of the ipace included within the w^alls that furrounded the towns. The jefuits of Paraguay, perhaps, might have let us into the fecret of the fyflcm of theocratic dominion; and in this cafe I

fliould


l-RAVELS IN EGYPT. Ig5

fhould fee in the rich country of Egypt no- thing but a gloomy and myfterious govern- ment, weak kings, and a fad unhappy people; On the 8th we fet out on our march to meet Ofman-Bey, who, we were informed, was to pafs the Nile at Keneh. I had again the mortification of croffing the ground oc- cupied by the ancient Thebes, with ftill lefs opportunity of examining it than at firft; without m.eafuring a fingle column, without taking a fmgle fketch, without approaching a fnigle monument, we followed the courfe of the Nile, avoiding both the temples of Medinet-Abu, the Memnonium, the temples of Kurnu, which I paffed on my left, and thofe of Luxor and Karnak on my right — itill temples — nothing but temples ! and not a veftlge of the hundred gates fb celebrated in hiftory ; no walls, quays, bridges, baths, or theatres ; not a fmgle edifice of public utility N 2 or


ig6 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

or convenience : notwlthftanding all the? pains which I took in the refearch, I could find nothing but temples, walls covered with obfcure emblems, and hieroglyphics, which attefted the afcendency of the prieflhood, who ftill Teemed to reign over thefe mighty ruins, and whofe empire conftantly haunted my imagination.

The fpace occupied by this incomprc- henfible town, now infolds four villages and as many hamlets, which appear thinly fcat- tered over vaft fields ; as a few wild flioots- recall to the paflenger the cxiilcncc of fome ■{lately tree, celebrated by the majefty of its fliade, or the abundance of its fruit. Quit- ting with regret this famous diflrid:, we halt- ed in the village on the weft fide, the quarter of the ancient necropolis, where I again found the inhabitants of Kurnu difputing our entrance into the tombs, which they had

taken


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 3 QJ

taken as their aiylum. We muft have killed them before we could perfuade them that we did not mean them any harm;, and we had not time to enter into difpute ; we therefore contented ourfelves with blockad- ing the openings, whilft we took a ihort re- paft on the ipot, and I took advantage of this halt to finifh my drawing of the deiert, and the outer view of thefe habitations of the dead. (See Plate XXL Fig. 2.)

Towards the evening one of our fpies gave us notice, that the foldiers from Mecca, united to Ofman-Bey, w^ere entrenched at Benhute, three leagues before Keneh, where they were waiting for us : he told us further, that they had artillery with them, and that they were determined on hoftilities, and on taking the chance of a battle ; and added, that they had flopped ieveral of our barks on the Nile ; and after an obftinate combat, in IN 3 which


108 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

which many of the peafants and Meccans had been killed, the French had been over- powered by numbers, and had been all maf- facred. We ilept on the banks of the river, and this was to be pafTed before we could come up with the enemy ; fo we waited for our barks to come up. We foon were con- vinced, beyond a doubt, that we were fecn by the enemy from the oppofite fhore, for we perceived armed horfemen conftantly paffing and repaffing. We then marched back to meet our convoy, which we foon joined; and all the reft of the day was employed. in the paflage of the river, which we made good at El Kamoutch. On the 10th we refumed our march, and on our arrival at Kous, the report which we had heard in the evening was confirmed.

Kous, which is placed at the entrance of the opening of the defert which leads to

Berenice


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, ^gg

Berenice and CoiTeir, is ilill beautiful on the ibuth fide. Its immenfe plantations of me-^ Ions, and its numerous and abundant gar-? dens, muft make it appear delicious to the inhabitants of the fhores of the Red Sea, and to the thirfty travellers who havejufl crofTed the defert. It has fucceeded to the commerce and catholic eftablifhment of Copthos ; for the Copts are ftill its moft numerous in- habitants. Their zeal induced them to come and give us all the intelligence which they had been able to collect, and they accom- panied us in perfon, and followed us with their good wifhes to the very confines of their territory. I was flruck with the fmcere in- terefl which the fheik exprefTed for our fate, who, believing that we were marching on to certain death, gave us the mofl circumflan- tial adyice, without concealing from us any of the dangers to which we were expofed, N 4 advifed


200 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

advifed us with great judgment on every particular which could render the encounter lefs fatal to us, followed us as far as he could, and parted from us with tears in his eyes. Defaix had before been a week at Kous, and had feen much of the Iheik ; and the tender intereft which the latter fliewed for us, was the natural refult of the favourable opinion which he mufl have formed of the frank and communicative difpofition of our leader, and of that mild and unvarying equity which afterwards obtained for him the title of the Jiift ; the moft honourable appellation which could be obtained by a conqueror and a ftranger, arrived in an enemy's country on purpofc to make war.

We took but little heed of the battle which it was faid our boats had been engaged in, and we were far from having a juft idea p{ the importance of the intelligence given

U5.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 201-

US. We were now but four^ leagues off the enemy ; an hour after our march through Kous, we obferved, at the foot of the defert, the ruins of Copthos, famous in the fourth eentury by its commerce with the eaft : no- thing of its ancient fplendour can be dif^in- guifhed ; but the extent of the heaps of ruins with which it is furroundcd, points out that of the fite of the ancient city. All that re- mains of the old town, is as dry and unin- habited as the defert, on the border of w hich it is fituated.

We were fcarcely paft Copthos, when w^e were informed that the enemy had begun their march ; we halted, and after a flight repaft, refumed our courfe to meet them. We foon perceived their ftandards, which were diftributed over more than a league of ground; we continued to advance in the prder that we had firfl taken, that Is to fay,

a fquare


202 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

a fquare battalion, flanked with a fingle three-pounder field-piece, and fifteen ca- valry; we looked like a fingle point coming acrofs a line. We foon heard the (houts of the enemy, and we came to adion at a vil- lage, which the extremity of their line had juil occupied; we detached our markfmen^ who immediately were clofely engaged with them; but, not with ilanding feveral fhot from our field-piece, they did not give way, for their rafh valour fupplicd the want of fufn- cient arms. After this advanced body had been cut to pieces, rather than routed, w^q found more refiftance in the villages, where the enemy were more on an equality with us, by having fome fire-arms, and the pro- tedlion of walls ; we however repulfed them as far back as another village, a quarter of a league farther off. At this moment the Mamelukes began to parade before us, and

to


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 203

io make a feint of charging our right, to di- vert us from purfuing the advantage that we had juft gained over their ally : however, we marched ftraight up to them, without dif- continuing the engagement with the Mec- cans : our determined advance, and fome difcharges of cannon, delivered us from the Mamelukes, who were not fo much in earneft as the Meccans, and only wifhed to try if the number and valour of their allies would compel us to detach againft them fo many of our men as would weaken our grand fquare, and allow them to charge us with advantage. Having diflodged the infantry of our enemy from the fecond village, we came to a fmall plain before Benhute, where we Jtnew that the greater body of the enemy was entrenched, and to which all the fugi- tives had retired. We expeded to have a bloody battle, but not to be cannonaded in 2 form


204 TRAVELS IN EGlfPT.

form bj a battery which fired both grape and bullets, which reached our fqiiare, and even went beyond ns. I now faw death clofe at my fide ; in the Ihort time of ten minutes that we {lopped, three perfons were killed whilfl I was fpeaking to them. I dared no longer to fpeak to any one, for the laft was {truck by a ball, which we both faw coming up ploughing the ground before it, 5.nd appearing to be almoit ipent. My friend lifted up his foot to let it pafs him, when a fadden leap of the ball {truck him on the bejel, and tore the mufcles of his leg, making a wound which the ne:jct day proved fatal to this young officer, as we wanted the neceA fary inflruments for amputation.

We fancied that, according to the cuftoni of thfc country, their unmounted pieces were capable but ot one dire<5lion: we were, however, not a litdc furprifed, on perceiving

that


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 205

that their balls followed our movements, fo as tp oblige us to quicken our pace in poft- ing ourlelves in front of the village, where we maintained the action, while the carabi- niers and chalTeurs proceeded to turn their battery, and to carry it at the bayonet's point. The moment the drums lx:at to charge, the Mamelukes cam.e forward to the attack of our carabiniers, who, after havins; received them with a difcharge of mullcetry, by which they were repulfed, {termed and carried the battery, making a general maf- facre of all all thofe who ferved the guns. Thefe guns were French ; and were found on infpe6tion to have belonged to the ItaTie, the commodore's bark of our flotilla. We were in hopes that after this important cap- ture the battle would terminate, by the dif- perfion or flight oi the army of Meccans : a part of this army, however, maintained its

ground


206 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

ground for a confiderable time in a fmall grove of palm-trees ; while the other part, which was ftill more numerous, made a kind of retreat, which we dared not harals; fince, whenever we pafled beyond the thickets and enclofed grounds to make a rapid movement, the Mamelukes, by whom we were conftantly flanked, had it in their power to attack and drive us back. It was therefore neceflary to march iri order of bat- tle, and with the troops formed to receive them. During fix hours we had been un- ceafingly engaged with an enemy, undifci- plined ic is true, but brave, fanatic, and of tenfold our number, who attacked with fury and made an obftinatc refiilance, never re- treating unlefs in a body, infomuch, that it became neceflary to cut off in detail the de- tachments as they advanced. Worn out, and panting with the extreme heat, we

flopped


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 207

ftopped a moment to take breath. We were utterly deflitute of water, of which we never had flood fo much in need. I recoiled, find- ing, in the heat of the action, a jug of water at the extremity of a wall, and that, not having time to drink, I poured the water on my bofom, to allay the burning heat by which I was tormented.

So long as our enemies kept polTeffion of their batteries, they retreated confidently, having frefti fupplies of men on whom to de- pend. We were then of opinion that it was their intention to bring us, by a feigned retreat, within the reach of thefe batteries. But when they had loft them, we confidered that, as the fmall wood to which they had retreated was become their laft and only point of defence, they would either try the chance of a decifive action, or would fwim acrofs the Nile, or, laftly, would join the

Mame-


20S THAVELS IN EGYPtc

Mamelukes, and difappear with them, whiclx" it was impoflible for us to prevent. Orv drawing near to the wood, we perceived, however, that it contained a large village^ with a fortrcfs belonging to the Mamelukes, provided with baftions and battlements, the approach to which was rendered ftill more difficult, as the enemy were provided with arms and ammunition of every defcription, which we found to have belonged to us,- both by the diftance the balls were fent, and by the balls thcmfelves. We were employed for upwards of two hours in attacking this fortrefs on every fide, without being able to find any point from which the enemy did not affail us fuccefsfully. We had flxty men killed, and as many wounded. On the approach of night we fet fire to the houfes in the vicinity, took pofTeilion of a mofquc, cut off the cnony's retreat by the Nile, and

endea-


THAVELS IN EGYPT. 20^

i&ndeavoured to mount afrefh the guns we had recaptured. On their fide, the befieged were employed in augmenting the number of their battlements, in con{lrud;ing lo\V batteries, and iti pointing guns which they had not as yet brought into ufe. Several peafant3, who had efcaped both from the fire of the befiesrers and from that of the be* fieged^ found their Way to us, and informedi u§, that on the day after the departure of General Defaix in purfuit of Murad-Bey, the Meccans, who had recently quitted th6 defert, attacked the Italie and the flotilla un* dcr her protection ; and that, after a fevere conflid of twenty hours, the crew of the commodore's bark had run her aground, and, from an apprehenfion of being boarded had fet fire to her, and gone on board the fmall barks. That having been prevented by a gale of wind from keeping out to fea, and Vol. II. O being


21rD TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

being exhaufted by the numbers and impC' tuofity of the aflailants, the whole of thefe unfortunate meft had been killed. They added, that fmce that time the Meccans had been employed in colled:ing all the means of attack and defence with which their conqueft fupplied them. That they had funk one of our vefTels, to force all thofe who fliould navigate the river to pafs within reach of their battery; and had thus ren- dered themfelves mailers of the Nile. And, laftly, that, notwithflanding all the lofles they had fuflained in men, they were ilill very numerous and very refolute.

At day-break we began to batter the for- t'refs with a view of making a breach : as it was, however, conftruded of unbaked bricks, each bullet fimply made a hole, with- out bringing down any part of the build-^ iHg. The flames at the fame time made

no'


TRAVELS IN EGY]?T. 211

no progrefs on account of the court-yards which feparated the principal building from the circumvallation. At nine in the morn- ing the Mamelukes advanced with their ca- mels, as if with a view to throw fuccours into the place. A party was ferit out againft them, and they retreated after a flight re- fiftance. General Beliard, perceiving that the refult of the palliative means which had hitherto been employed had been a lofs of time and of men, gave, orders for an afTault, which was given and received with unexampled valour. The firft circumvalla- tion was opened under the enemy's fire; and, notwithftanding the incefTant dif- charges of mufquetry of the befieged, by whom a fortie was made, combuftible mat- ters were introduced which annoyed them in their retreat. One of their magazines blew up, and the flames extended them- O 2 felves


•212 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

felves in every diredion. As thcj "Were without Water, they extinguiflied the fire with their feet and hands> and even endea- \^oured to frriother it by throwing themfelves on it. They were feen, black and naked, running through the flames, and refembUng fb many devils in hell: I could not view them without an emotion of horror blended with admiration. Intervals of tranquillity fucceeded, during which a folitary voice was heard, which was anfwered by facred hymns and warlike fhouts. They thert rufhed on us from all fides> notwithftanding the certainty of death.

Towards the clofe of the evetiing we ftormed ; and this operation was long and terrible. Twice we penetrated into the ih- terior of the fortrefs, and twice we were driven from thence. I was not fo much terrified by the loiTes we fuftained, as by the

refledion


TKAVELS IN EGYPT. 213

refiedion, that we had frefli efforts to make againfl an enemy whom wc could not in- timidate. I knew betides, that we w^ere re- duced to our laft box of cartridges. In the latter of the£e two attempts to ftorm, Cap- tain Bulliot, an officer of diftirguiflied bravxry, but rafli, heedlefs, and imprudent, periflied. Having a foreboding of his ap- proaching diffolution, he drew me towards him, fqueezed my hand, and bade me a mournful adieu. A moment after, I faw him dragging himfclf along on his hands and feet, and endeavouring to fnatch himfelf from the jaws of death.

When night drew on, hoftilities were iufpended. As we had been engaged during two days, it was neceffury to take a little breath.

Painful duties fucceeded to the dangers

of the combat, We heard the cries of the

O 3 wounded.


214 'TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

wounded, to whom we had no remedies to adminifter, and on whom we could not perform the moft urgent operations for want of inftruments. Our lofles in men had been very confiderable, and we had ftill many- enemies to fubdue. The neceffity of fparing our gallant troops made us fubftitute to an attack by ftorm the expedient of fetting fire to the enemy's buildings. For this purpofe two fires were kindled ; pofts were flationed at all the avenues ; and thefe pofts were re^ lieved from time to time to render the duty lefs fevere. As our danger required an ex- adlnefs of fervice and difcipline, the troops repofed in battle array. Towards the middle of the night, an afs, followed by a flie-afs, entered the quarters at full fpeed. In a mo- ment every one was up and at his poft, amid a filence and a good order as ftriking as the occafion was ridiculous.

An


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 215

An unfortunate Coptic bilhop, a prifoner in the fortreis, made his efcape, under Ihelter of the darknefs of the night, with a few followers, and, having been expofed in his flight to the fire of our advanced pofts, reach- ed us, covered with wounds and contufions. After having taken fome refrefhments, he entered into a detail of the horrors from which he had juft efcaped. During the laft twelve hours, the befieged had been without ' water ; their walls were heated through ; their fwollen tongues choked up the paflage of the air; and, in ihort, their fituation was terrible. In reality, a few minutes after, and an hour before the break of day, thirty of the befieged who were the beft armed, forced a palTage through one of our advanced polis. At day-break our troops entered by the breaches the fire had made, and put to tlie fword thofe who, notwithftanding they O 4 were


^^6 TKAV^E^iS ?N EGYPT*

were half roaftcd alive, flill offered a refift- ^nce. One of them, who appeared to be a chief, was brought to the general. He was \n {o fwollen a (late, that in endeavouring to ftoop to feat himfelf, his fkin cracked in every part. " If," faid he, " 1 am brought hither to be killed, I beg that you will

  • ' haften to put me out of my mifery." He

was accompanied by a Have, who regarded his rnafler with fo deep an expreflion of grief, that I felt an efteeqi both for one and the other. The dangers by which this flave was furrounded could not draw afide for a mo- " menthis affe<^ionate concern for his mafter. He lived for him alone: he viewed him; and could fee no other obje<S. What looks! how tender and how deep a melancholy ! How good muft he have been, who was thus cherifhed by his flave ! However deplorable his lot, I could not help envying him who

was


TRAVELS IN" EGYPT. 217

lyas thus beloved. Recurring to my own fituation, I faid to myfelf : — To fatisfy an idle and vain curiofity, here 1 am, at the diftance of a thoufand leagues from France, furrounded by my valiant countrymen, among whom I feek a friend. Yefterday I was in the company of warriors, whofe ex- cellent qualities I efteemed, and whofe tranf- cendant bravery I admired: to-day I attend their funeral ; and to-morrow I Dial 1 abandon their remains on the ftrange foil to which my ill fated fteps have drawn me. It was but jufh now that a young man, replete with health and courage, braved the enemy, whom he was about to combat. I faw him attack where the danger was the moil: imminent: I iaw him fall ; and I heard the accents of grief which fucceeded the expreffions of his valorous impetuofity. He called in vain ; And as he dragged himfelf along, the fire

commu-


218 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

communicated to the cartridges he had about tim. His body and limbs were mutilated by the explofion ; but ftill his voice was heard. I faw him expire ; and to-morrow — to-mor- ^ow the poft he held will confole for his lofs the companion by whom he is to be fuc-» ceeded. O man ! from what fource do you draw your virtues, if fuch ignoble paffions lurk in the mpft honourable of all profef- iions I This is a pruel egotifm which misfor- tune does riot corre^, and which becomes atrocious, feeipg that danger forbids it to be concealed. In a ftate of warfare it is beft appreciated, and its terrible effeds more par- ticularly felt. Let vis diredl our view, how- ever, :o the advantageous f^de of tlie pro- fefiion.

On the mormng of the 23d of March, General Beliard had the happinefs to bellow a pardon on the prifoncrs he had made, and,

by


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 219

by difmiffing them, to make them, acquaint- ed with our generofity, and with the diiie- rence of our cuftoms from theirs. Several of them, imprefTed with gratitude, and with tears in their eyes, afked permiffion to fol- Jow us.

The Mamelukes again made their ap- pearance. On oyr going out to meet them, we found that this was a falfe attack which they had contrived, to give them time to load their camels with water. As we had put an end to the fiege, we purfued them to the deiert, where we had an opportunity to fee all their forces collected together. They confifted of a thoufand horfes, as many camels, and about two thoufand foot. The reft of their army was made up of the Mec- cans, whom they had fo perfidioufiy drawn into their quarrel, and whom they afterwards abandoned in fo daftardly a way. V/e fan- cied


?20 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

cicd at firft that they were about to pene- trate into the dcrert : they, however, took up their ftation on the rifing ground, regu- lating their movements by ours, and having in their rear horfemen, who apprized them by difcharges of mufketry of the halts we made, as well as cf our advances. We felt more than ever of how little utility it was to purfue them when they would not fight, and hoy/ impolTible it was to furprize them in a country where they had, on each fide of the river, a retreat always open to them, ?ind which would be fecured to them fo long as they fhould be fuperior in cavalry, and {hould be able to prote6l their camels. We therefore gave up an ufelefs purfuit, and very wiiely returned to fecure and protedl our barks. The remainder of the day w'as fpent by the general in collecfting together and putting on board the guns, ammunition, and 2 warlike


TRAVELS IN EGYPT* 221

warlike implements which vVe had recap- tured.

It is not until the paroxyfm is pafi thai the ilck mail finds the fever to have ex^ haufted his flrength. While the enemy had fir^d on us with our own powder and balls* we had not cdculated how much of thefe articles it was neceflary to expend, to eshaufb or recover what had been taken from us. But, now that we were rnore tranquil, we teckotied an hundred and fifty meti in killed arid wounded, that is to fay, that we had gambled in a lottery in which every feventh ticket was a blank; and we found that, having been at the ejcpence of fupplying both fides with ammunition, we had fcarcely enough left to venture on a combat. Laftly, we confidered that the ammunition which was to fupply our confumption had been deftroyed, together with all thofe by whom

it


212 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

it was guarded ; and that we were an huil'- dred and fifty leagues from Cairo, where ouf neceflities were altogether unknown. Dur- ing a conflict of three days and two nights, I could not fufficiently admire the coolnef^ and intrepidity of General Beliard ; and I was not lefs edified by his intelligence in the adminiftration of affairs during the interval which followed this conflid, lefs brilliant in its nature than it was perilous. The ilighteft mifconduct Would have put the finilhing ftroke to the misfortune of thelols of our fleet, a difafler which his prudent in«  telligence could not repair, but the worft eonfequences of which it had at leaft the effect of averting.

While the fate of fuch of the inhabitants of Benhut as had remained quietly there was under difcuffion, as well as that of thofe who^^ had fled, I was not a little furprifed at find- ing.


•rHAVELS IN egVpt. 223

mg, at the pofts we occupied in the village, feveral women in the company of our fol- diers, whofe eafe and gaiety I confidered as an illufion. I could not perfuade myfelf but that they were familiar with our language. Each of them had made her choice freely, and they all appeared perfectly well fatisfied* Some of them were very pretty; and it was fb novel a thing to be fed, attended, and well treated by their conquerors, that I am of opi- nion they would willingly have followed the army. To belong is fo entirely their deftiny, that nothing but a fenfe of obedience could have induced them afterwards to return under the domination of their fathers and hufbands. In fuch a ftrange predicament, they are not received with that fcrupuloufly inexorable jealoufy which charadicrizes the orientals. '*It was owing to the war," fay " they; we were unable to defend them*

    • Tiaey


224 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

" They h^ve fubmitted to the law of the " vanqullhers, and are not more tarniflied oil " that account, than we are diflionoured hy " the wounds we have received." In this way they again enter the harem ; and there is never any altercation about what has pafTed. By fuch nice diftinftions as thefe jealouly is refined, and becomes a noble paf- fion, of w hich man may even boaft.

We were informed that the Iheik who commanded, or who rather exhorted the Meccans, had made his efcape towards the dofe of the preceding night ; and that during the (lege he had prayed without fighting, quitting his retreat from time to time, and faying to his followers : " I pray heaven fof

    • you; it is your duty to fight for the divi-*

" nity." It was after thefe exhortations that we heard the pious hyttins, which were fol- lowed by warlike fhoutd, {otlki, and general difcharges of mufketry.


TRAVELS IN EGYTT. 223

On the nth of April v.e marched towards Kench, to afcertain whether there were any Meccans in that quarter, and what was be- come of General Defaix. Our progrefs was interrupted by thofc particular winds, which, notwithftanding the fky is clear and un- clouded, fill the air with fo much fand, that it is neither day nor night. Our barks not being able to proceed, we were obliged to ftop within a quarter of a league of that fatal Benhute, the recolle<5lion of which was fo diftreffing to us. At nine in the morning of the following day we reached Keneh, where w^e found letters from General Defaix, w^ho was ignorant of our fituation, and of the lofs of our fleet. The city had been freed from our enemies, and the inhabitants came out to meet us.

Keneh has iucceeded Kous, as Kous had fucceeded Coptos. Its fituation has this ad-

VoL. II. P vantage,


226 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

vantage, that it is immediately at the entrance of the defert, and on the bank of the Nife. It has never been fo flourilhing as the above- mentioned cities, becaufe its exiftence is dated after the commerce of India had been diverted^ and in a manner annihilated, either by the difcovery of the route to India by the Cape of Good Hope, or by the tyranny of the government of Egypt. Its commerce being confined to the pafTage of the pilgrims, was very inconfiderable, unlefs at the time when the great caravan was on its route. It is here that the pilgrims of the oafis in Lybia, together with thofe of Upper Egypt, and a few Nubians, take in their fupplies, provid- ing not only what isnecelTary for the paflage acrofs the defert to Gofleir, but alfo for the journey to Gidda, Medina, and Mecca, as well as for their return from thence. They are under the neceffity of doing this, becaufe,

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. . 227

the above cities being fituated on a flinty defert, the inhabitants have no other re- fource except the gold they amafs,* in/b- much that if, thanks to fanaticifm, Mecca has continued to be a point of contad: be- tween India, Africa, and Europe, it has Hke- Vv^ife become an abyfs, in which a population of an hundred and twenty thoufand fouls abforbs the gold of India, of Afia Minor, and of every part of Africa.

Our movements towards Syria, and our war with Egypt, having ruined the caravan of 1798, and broken up, for the following year, all thofe of Europe and of Africa, at the fame time that the Indians could find nothing to barter for the commodities they had been at the pains of bringing to Mecca,

  • At Mecca the pound of bread cofts from eight to

ten fous, (from four to five pence) which is an enormous price in the eaft.

P 2 the


228 TRAVELS IN EGYPTc

the commerce of that city, which had been falling off for a confiderable time, muft have fuftaincd during thofe two years an almoft irreparable lofs. In certain cafes, when the fpring of an old machine breaks, the ma- chine itfelf tumbles in pieces. It is therefore not furprifmg, that when intereft was blend- ed with fanaticifm, the crufade of Mecca Ihould have been got ready with fo much celerity, and ihould have oppofed to us all the fury which the moft violent paffions can kindle.

General Beliard would have purfued the terrified Mamelukes and the vanquifhed Meccans, but could not take the field with- out ammunition, of which we were entirely deftitute. We were under the neccflity, during our flay at Keneh, of fortifying the houfe in which we lodged, and which be- came the head-quarters. We could learn

nothing


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 22Q

nothing of any of our detachments, not even of General Defaix; and the country was co- vered by enemies, difperfed in every direc- tion, who either fell in with and murdered our emiflaries, or prevented them from pur- fuing their way, keeping us in an ifblated ftate, fo as to excite no fmall apprehenfions. The indefatigable Defaix had, in the mean time, purfucd the Mamelukes to Siut, had forced Murad-Bey to fcek Iheiter in the oafis, and had detached General Friand to the right bank of the Nile, to prefer ve a line parallel to his own, and to purfue Elfi-Bey and the difperfed bodies of Mamelukes. After thefe operations, he ^ aid us a vifit at Keneh, and afforded us the means of again taking; the field.

We proceeded towards Kous, where the

Meccans had pofted themfeives, and from

whence they made incurfions into the vil-

F 3 lage?


230 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

lages on both fides the river, pkmdering and putting to death both Copts and Chriftians, and carrying off others to oblige them to pay a ranfom. We quitted Keneh during the night, with an intention to furprife them, and, with a view of deceiving their advanced poils, marched along the defert. When we reached the village where they had been en- camped, they were no longer to be found, having fet out from thence at the fame time that we had left Keneh. They had taken the defert with the Mamelukes, and had repair- ed to the Kittah.

To take the defert in Upper Egypt is, in the foldier's phrafe, not only to quit the cul- tivated grounds, and proceed to the fands, by which they are bounded to the right and left, but alfo to penetrate into the ftraits which crofs the two chains, hence thefe be- come pofitions, and, in a manner, pofts

which


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 231

which it is of importance to occupy and de- fend. The Mamelukes had the advantage of us, in confequence of being acquainted with all thefe pofitions, and of knowing the number of fountains which might there be met with. In the valley which leads from Coffeir to the Nile, there are four of thefe fountains ; one at the diflance of half a day's journey from CofTeir, the water of which is fit for camels only ; the fecond, at the dif- tance of a day's journey and a half from the preceding one ; and next to that of the Kit- tab, at the fame diftance with the fecond. The latter is of great importance when the defert is to be occupied, fmce it is fituated at a point where three roads branch out. The firll: of thefe roads, which runs to the fouth-weft, leads to Redifi, where it termi- nates. The fecond, w^hich runs almoll: due weft, terminates at Nagadi ; and the third, P 4 which


232 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

which takes a north- weft dlrcdlon, leads to BIrambar, where the fourth fountain is Htuated. From Birambar three roads of the fame length lead to Kous, to Keft or Coptos, and to Keneh.

General Defaix conceived the plan of blocking up the Mamelukes in the dcfert, or at leaft of cutting off their communication with the Nile, and of impeding their move- ments, preventing them from feparating their forces without a rifk of being cut off, and reducing them at length by famine. After having left three hundred men and feveral field-pieces at Keneh, he took up his pofition at Birambar, with feveral corps of infantry, cavalry, and artillery. On our fide we were fent, after having been reinforced by the twenty-firft brigade of light-infantry, to oc- cupy the paflage of Nagadi. Redifi was im- prudently neglcded; or, rather, apprebcn-

fions


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 233

•fions M'cre entertained that the troops might be too much difperfed. If the ftrait of Redifi could have been occupied, all the Beys on the right bank of the river would have been forced to furrender; Murad-Bey would have been the only one wc Ihould have had to purfue, and no further divcrfions could have been dreaded.

The hopes of feeing Thebes^ in the di- rection of which we were to march, made me joyfully turn my back once more on Cairo. It was my deftiny to attach myfelf to thofe who were to proceed the greateft diftance up the country ; and I accordingly followed General Beliard. I was foon after to join once more General Defaix ; and on the evening before we parted we formed a thoufand projects for the future. Our adieus were, however, of a melancholy cafl; and on this occafion our feparation was to me more

diftreffing


234 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

diftrefiing than ever. Could 1 imagine th?.t, young as he was, it would fall to his lot to leave me in the career I had to run, and that I Ihould remain to regret his lofs ? We fe- parated, and I have never feen him fmce. Our detachment had proceeded a league, when the brave Latournerie galloped up to me : he came back to bid me adieu. We had a great affection for each other ; and, moved as I was by this mark of his tender- nefs, I was, notwithllanding, ftruck by his emotion. We did not embrace each other without fhedding a few tears. The pro- feffion of arms may harden thofe whofe tem- perament is cold ■ and frigid ; but its horrors do not weaken the fenfibiHty of tender fouls. Connexions formed amid the hardfhips and dangers of an expedition fuch as that of Egypt become unchangeable. The parties cnter^ into a bond of fellowfhip ; and when 7 this


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 235

this union is cemented ftill more by a conformity of character, fate cannot de- ftroy it without embittering the remainder ofhfe.


CHAP-


236 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.


CHAPTER XVI.

fiuifts of Kous and hi the Neighhourhcod — Arrival at Nagadl — If ^retched State of the hihahttants — Dlfperjion and Majfacre of the Meccafis — Sklrm'fh with the Mamelukes — ^eturfi of the Beys to the Defert — Arrival of the Army at Thehes-^-r-Temple at Kar- 11 ak — Temple at Luxor — Pafs through Sa- lamieli and Efneli-^ Ancient Temple at con- tra Latopolis — Arrival at Chemibisy Ruins there — Temple at ApoUinopolis.

TN paiTing through Kous, which I had not entered when I defcended the Nile, I found in the middle of the fquare the furn- mit of a large and well-proportioned gate^ funk into the ground to the cornice. This fingle fragment, which mufl have belonged

to


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 1'i^

to a great edifice, proves that Kous was built on the fite of ApollinopoHs parva. (See Plate IV. Fig. 2.) The bulk and magni- tude of this ruin prefent a contraft with all the objects that furround it, which fpeaks more to the purpofe on the fubject of Egyp- tian architecture than would twenty pages of encomium or diflertation. This frag- ment alone appears larger than all the reft of the city.

In the village of Elmecieh, diftant half a league from Kous, 1 found the bafes of feve- ral edifices of Egyptian free-ftone, on which were hieroglyphics. I w^as in doubt whether thefe edifices had belonged to a fmall city, which tradition has not handed down to us, or whether they anciently conftituted an iiblated temple. Their ruins were too much degraded to enable me to give any idea of

them by a drawing, or to make a plan of

any


23S TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

any of the parts. On proceeding half st league further, I faw more diftind:ly, on a fmall eminence, the bafe of a temple abfo- I^tely remote from any other ruins what- ever. I could perceive three layers of large ftones, which had formed a kind of pedeflal extending to the pavement of the temple> in the front of which was a portico of fix columns connected at the lower extremity of their lliafts. Quitting this monument, we arrived, after an hour's march, at Na- gadi, a large and dull village, fituated at the entrance of the defert. It had been plun- dered by a party of Mamelukes about twelve hours before. Previoufly to entering the defert, we fent off fcouting parties, who took feveral camels, and killed thirty Meccans, ftragglers. We proceeded to an enclofure, which had in the firft inftance been an en- trenched convent, inhabited by Copts, which

had


TRAVELS IN" EGYPT. ISQ

kad afterwards become a mofque, and had been latterly employed as a burial ground. After having taken up our lodging within this enclofure, we employed ourfelves in driving away the bats, and in throwing down the tomb-flones. A fortrefs, a defert, and tombs ! We were furrounded by the moft difmal objects in the world ; and if, with a view to banifli the melancholy im- preffion with which thefe fcenes had infpired us, we occafionally went out at night to breathe for a few moments a purer air, our refpiration was the only found that diflurbed the tranquillity of the void by which we were terrified. The wind, fleeting over this vafl horizon without meeting with any other objeds than ourfelves, brought to our re- membrance, in its filent motion, and amid the darknefs of the night, the immenfe and difmal vacuity by which we were fur- rounded.


240 TRAVELS IN EGTfPT.

A few merchants, who had had the gooi. fortune to fave their packets from the grafp of the Mamelukes, were not without their apprehenfions relative to us. Having been denounced by the flieiks of Nagadi, they brought us prefcnts, and wxre itill more terrified by our refufal to accept them. Be- ing accuftomed to the fight of perfons co- vered with gold, by whom they were laid under contribution, and feeing us pretty nearly in the gajrb of a banditti of robbers, they fancied that we were going to plunder them. It was at the fame time impoffible for them to conceal their riches. Our port- manteaus having been captured on board the flotilla, we were in want of linen, and requefled them to open their bales. Every hope on their fide was now vanifhed. We made choice of what would fuit us, and afked them the price of the quantity of

each


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 241

each article we ihould need. They replied, that they left this entirely to ourfelves ; but on our perfifting to know the loweft price, which we paid them as foon as they had fa- tisfied us, they were fo furprized, that they felt their money, to be certain that what had pafTed was not a dream. Armed men, with the power in their hands, who paid ! — they might have paiTed through every part of Afia and of Africa, without meeting with any thing fo extraordinary. From that moment we acquired their full efteem and confi- dence. They came to prepare our breakfaft, brought us Indian and Arabian fweetmeats, and cocoa-nuts, and made us the bed coffee it was poffible to drink. This combination of wretchednefs and luxury, this motley ftate in which we lived, was not deflitute of its Ihare of intereft. There is no fituation in the world which cannot boafl its enjoy- VoL. II. Q ments;


242 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

merits ; and for this truth I appeal to the tombs of Nagadi.

Nagadi is a point which it is important to occupy ; and muft naturally become the moft frequented route of the defert, fmce it is the Ihorteft by one day. A meflenger who fets out from CofTeir may reach Nagadi in two days by the help of a dromedary, and in three days on foot. As nothing is to be found at Coffeir, the merchant who lands there, in returning from Gidda,- is very anxious to reach the bank of the Nile; and the moft expeditious means appearing to him to be the beft, he fends to Nagadi to procure camels, which may reach him on the fixth day. When we were there, the price was a dollar for the conveyance of an hundred weight of merchandize, each camel carrying four hundreds: — a price which varies according to the more or lefs flourifli-


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 243

ing flate of commerce, as does alfo that of the camels, which would at that time bring twenty dollars only, inftead of fixty which they coft before our arrival in Egypt. This may give an idea of the diftrefled ftate of affairs, and how much Mecca, Medina, and Gidda, mufl have fufFered from the difturb- ances in that country. We who boafted that we were more jufl than the Mamelukes, committed daily and almoft neceifarily a great number of iniquitous a^ls. The dif- ficulty of diftinguifhing our enemies by their exterior form and colour, was the caufe of our continually putting to death innocent peafants. The foldiers who were fent out on fcouting parties, frequently miflook for Meccans the poor merchants belonging to a caravan, with whom they fell in ; and before juflice could be done them, which in fame cafes the time and circumflances would not Q 2 allow.


244 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

allow, two or three of them had been fhot, a part of their merchandize either plundered 6r pilfered, and their camels exchanged for ours which had been wounded. The gains which refulted from thefc outrages, fell in- variably to the fhare of the bloodfuckers of the army, the civil commiffaries, Copts, and interpreters ; the foldiers, who fought every opportunity to enrich themfelves, being con- ftantly obliged to abandon and forget their projects, by the drum beating to arms, or the trumpet founding to horfe. The fitu- ation of the inhabitants, for whofe happinefs and profperity we were no doubt come to Egypt, was no better. If, through terror, they had been obliged to quit their houfes on our approach, on their return, after we were withdrawn, they could find nothing but the mud of which the walls were formed. Utenfils, ploughs, doors, roofs, every thing

in


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 245

in fhort, of a combuftible nature, had been burned for cooking ; and the earthen pots broken, the corn confumed, and the fowls and pigeons roafted and devoured. Nothing was to be found except the bodies of their dogs, killed in endeavouring to defend the property of their mafters. If we made any ftay in a village, the unfortunate inhabitants who had fled on our approach, were luni- moned to return, under penalty of being treated as rebels who had joined the enemy, and of being made to pay double contribu- tions. When they fubmitted to thefe threats, and came to pay the win", it fome- times happened that they were fo numerous as to be militaken for a body of men in arms, and their clubs confidered as mufkets, in which cafe they w^ere fure of being affailed by feveral difcharges from the riflemen and patroles, before an explanation could take Q 3 place.


246 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

place. Thofe who were killed were interred ; and the furvivors remained friends with us, until a proper opportunity prefented itfelf for retaliation. It is true that, provided they did not quit their dwellings, but paid the nw'i, and fupplied the wants of the army, they not only fpared themfelves the trouble of a journey, and avoided the unpleafant abode of the defert, but faw their proviHons eaten with regularity, and might come in for their portion of them, preferving a part of their doors, ■felling their eggs to the fol- diers, and having few of their wives and daughters ravifhed. In this cafe, however, the attachment they had fhown us was con- fidered as culpable, infomuch that when the Mamelukes came after us, they did not leave them a crown piece, a horfe, or a camel ; and frequently the fheik of the villaoje for- feited his life for the pretended partiality

which


J-RAVELS IN EGYPT. 247

which was imputed to him. It was very necefTary for thefe poor wretches that fuch a ftate of things fliould terminate, and a new one be eftablifhed : but how could this be done while the Mamelukes refufed to fight us, and while fanatic and half-ilarved bands, fuch as thofe of the Meccans, reforted to their ftandard ?

On the third day after our arrival at Nagadi, wx learned that three hundred Meccans had come to a refolution to pene- trate, by carefully avoiding our trcops, acrofs the defert to Cairo, and there difperfe them- felves among the immenfe population of that city, until they fhould be enabled to return to their native country by the cara- vans, or until an opportunity fhould prefent itfelf of revenging themfelves on us. We wxre told that their chief, when dying, had recommended to them to take this ftep, and Q4 had


248 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

had advifed them to avoid us in the field ; but that the emir's nephew, who had fuc- ceeded him in the command, being defirous to preferve his authority over them, and to pofTefs himfelf of the remains of the plunder which the capture of the French barks had afforded, had perfuaded them that the trea- fures which had been found on board thefe barks were ftill in the fortrefs of Benhoute, and that as foon as our troops fhould be withdrawn to a fufficient diilance from thence, he would condud: them thither to recapture thefe treafures. In the mean time, as it was neceffary to obtain fubfiftence, he divided them into fmall bands, and fent them out to plunder the villages. In thefe predatory excurfions they were more or lefs fuccefsful, and of courfe the peafants, to whom they were a great annoyance, traced their fteps, and hunted them hke fo many

wolves.


PL.XXXT^.



..


kt W^-'^%^ o - Jl'^'^ii


^\.


f^At^j^ic^^


ill


1 #^ '^^-^;f^ '


m


.!/C/ :J„„>/r;.. ,„ //., . /,■„./: , . \j.:/,


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 249

wolves. When they were fallen in with by our patroles, they were colledled together, and fhot and dcftroyed like animals ob- noxious to fociety. They were thus taught that Mahomet did not approve their crufade, and that it had not been commanded by the Deity. Such is the fubject of the engraving, Plate XXXVI. in which will be found a representation of the catholic peafants bring- ing them in during the night to the tombs where we had taken up our quarters.

On the fecond of April, General Defaix fent for three hundred men belonging to our half brigade, and for fifty of our cavalry, to do duty at Birambar, where they were to relieve the troops he was about to detach from thence, and with which he was to proceed to llrengthen the poft of Keneh. On the fame day we learned by our fpies that the Mamelukes and Meccans had quit- ted


250 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

ted the Kittah, and that it appeared by the route they had taken to be their intention to pafs out of the defert, in a northern di- rection, at Keneh or at Samata. The bed difpoiitions were made on that fide, either to oblige them to keep within the boun- daries of the defert, or to furprife them on their attempting to quit it. Thcfe meafures were, however, fruftrated by the ardour of our foldiers, and by the confidence of their officers. The fcouting party belonging to the detachment with which General Defaix was proceeding to Keneh, fell in with the rear-guard of the Mamelukes, and charged. The corps of cavalry endeavoured to fupport the fcouts, but having imprudently left the infantry too much in the rear to be itfelf fupported, was in a few minutes charged by the Mamelukes, who clofed en our horfe- men fabre in hand. Two chiefs of battalion, 7 who


TllAVELS IN EGYPT. 251

who had thus imprudently ruflied on, loft their lives, as did alfo twenty dragoons. The artillery would have been a great refource, but was too far advanced. The Mamelukes, who dreaded its being called back, purfued their way, perfectly well pleafed at having efcaped the ambufli we had laid for them, as well as becaufe they had faved their camp- equipage, and had proved to our horfemen that they manoeuvred quicker, and under- ftood the ufe of the back-fvvord better than they did. Two hundred infantry and a fmgle field-piece woilld have converted this ikirmilli into a victory of great importance to us, at a moment when the beys and kiachefs, difperfed and deferted by a part of their Mamelukes, were greatly diftrelTed. A heedlefs confidence, however, and a want of unity in the march, produced a want of combination in the attack ; and Defaix's

orders


0.52 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

orders being either mifinterpretcd or received too late, coft feveral brave officers their lives, Dupleffis, a chief of brigade, an officer of diftinguiffied talents, who had commanded in India, where he had rendered important Services to his country, but who laboured under the odium of not having fignalized himfelf during the war of the revolution, feized with avidity the prefent opportunity, the firft which had prefented itfelf to difplay his prowefs. Forgetful of the orders he had received not to quit the impregnable pofition which he occupied on a height, he darted forward, without waiting for his men to come up, and penetrated into the midfh of the enemy's ranks : then feleding the mofl confpicuous of his foes, he galloped up to him. It was Ofman, the moft valiant of the beys : the two horfes encountered, and the one on which Dupleffis was mounted

recovered


TRAVELS IIT EGYPT. 253

lecovered from the iliock. He threw him- felf up on his faddle, took Ofman round the body, and ftrangled him in his arms. During this conflid:, which was worthy of the times of ancient chivalry, the unfortu- nate Dupleffis, who was not fupported, was furrounded, and pierced by a lance. He fell on the body of his adverfary, w^hom he ftill held in his grafp. A kiachef, who was both a fpedator and an adlor in this combat, fpoke to me with enthufiafm of the intre- pidity of our officer.

Notwithftanding it had been Imprudently combined, the battle of Birambar was pro- du(5live of confequences which nearly brought about the diflblution of the remainder of the coalition of the beys. By our fpies who vi- fited the field of battle, we learned, that on the infpediion of four dead bodies, it appear- ed that two of the deceafed had worn beards,

and


^54 TRAVELS IN feGYPT.

and were confequcntly klachefs at leaft, the common Mamelukes being Ihaved, and not being permitted either to marry, or to allow the beard to grow, until certain dignities have been beftowed on them, in confequence of which they become freed men. We were afterwards informed that one of thefe was Muftapha Kiachef Aboudiabe, that is to fay, father of the beard, each of the beys and kiachefs having a fighting name, which is either an honourable title or a nick- name, and which, as it is changed according to the circumflances, becomes alternately glorious or ridiculous. We were alfo told that AiTan- Bey had received a gun-fhot wound in the neck, and a fabre wound in the arm ; and that Ofman-Bey had loft nearly all his fin- gers. It was added, that twelve of the braveft of his Mamelukes had fallen; and, what wasof ftill greater importance, that notwith-

ftanding


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 25S

{landing the beys had had the advantage in this adion, the dread of meeting with the infantry on their way, and of lofing their baggage, had induced them to turn back, and to feek ihelter once more in the deferto We learned from the perfons w horn we had fent to the Kittah, that they had returned thither to procure water, and had taken the road which leads to Redifi, direding their courfe towards Upper Egypt. I muft con- fefs, that the military arrangements w^hicb were to bring me to the vicinity of Thebes, and to the right bank of the Nile, appeared to me to be the beft; and accordingly I fancy I w^as the only one who was pleafed at the order we received to go in purfuit of them, and to drive them beyond Redifi. We fet out from Nagadi, proceeding in front of the mountains, at the back of which the Mame- lukes were on their march ; and we learned

by


256 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

by feveral of their followers, who had quitted them at the Kittah, that they were in a mod deplorable condition, and would all of them perifli, provided they could not reach Redifi within three days.

Towards noon we reached the territory of Thebes ; and at the diftance of three quar- ters of a league from the Nile, faw the ruins of a large temple, which has not been no- ticed by any traveller, and which may give an idea of the immenfity of that city, fmce, if we fuppofe that it was the laft edifice on the eaftern fide, it is more than two leagues and an half diftant from Medinet- Abu, where the moft weftern temple is fituated. This was the third time of my paffing through Thebes; but, as if fate had willed that I fliould invariably take but a hafly view of what interefted me fo ftrongly, my opera- tions were confined on this occafion alfb to

an


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. (157

ah endeavour to account for w^hat I fav^^, and to a few notes relative to what I might deli- neate on niy return, provided I fliould then be more fortunate. I tried to afcertaln whe- ther at Thebes the arts had had an epoch and a chronology. If a palace once exifted in. Egypt, the ruins of it were to be fought at Thebes, which had been the capital ; and if there were in reality epochs in the arts, the refult of the flrft effays and rudiments muft alfo have been in that city, luxury and magnificence having departed progreffively from this point of fnnplicity, merely through the opulence and fuperfiuity by which they "Were accompanied. At length we arrived at Karnac, a village built on a fmall part of the fitcof a fmgle temple, the circumference of which would, as has been fome where noticed, require half an hour to walk round. Herodotus, by whom it was not vifited, has. Vol. II. R notwith-


258 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

notvvithflandlng, given a correct idea of its grandeur and magnificence. Diodorus and Strabo, who examined it in its ruinous ftate, appear to have given the defcription of its prefent condition ; and all the travellers by ■whom they have been copied, have miftaken a great extent of maiTcs for the meafure of beauty, and, having allovs^ed themfelves ra- ther to be taken by furprife than charmed, on an infpedion of the largeft ruin in the world, have not dared to prefer to this temple that of Apollinopolis at Etfu, that of Tentyra, and the fimple portico at Efneh. It is pro- bable that the temples of Karnac and Luxor were built in the time of Sefoftris, when the flourifliing condition of the Egyptians gave birth to the arts among them, and when thefe arts were perhaps diiplayed to the world for the firfl: time. The vanity of erect- ing colofTal edifices, was the fiifi: confidera-

tion


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 25Q

tibn of opulence ; and it was not as yet known, that a pcrfecftlon in the arts bejflows on their produ6lions a grandeur which is in- dependent of their magnitudes. It has, in after ages, been afcertained, that the fmall rotunda of Vicenza is a finer edifice than St. Peter's at Rome ; and that the fchool of furgery in Paris is, in point of ftyle, as grand as the pantheon in the above-mentioned city. In iliort, a cameo may be preferable to a colofial ilatue. It is therefore the fump- tuoufnefs alone of the Egyptians which is to be feen at Karnac, where not only quarries, but mountains are piled together, and hewn out into maffive proportions, the traits of w^hich are as feebly executed, as the parts are clumfily conne6led; and thefe mafles are loaded with uncouth bas-reliefs, and taflelefs hieroglyphics, by which the art of fculpture is difgraced. The only objed:s there which R 2 ' are


l60 TRAVELS rX EGTPf.

are fublime, both with regard to their di- menfions, and the fkill which their work- manlliip difplays, are the obehfks, and a few of the ornaments of the outer gates, the ftyle of which is admirably chafte. If in the other parts of this edifice the Egyptians appear to us to be giants, in thefe latter produdlions they are geniufes. I am accordingly per- fuaded that thefe fublime embellifhments were pofteriorly added to the coloflal mo- numents of Karnac. It muft however be granted, that the plan of the temple is noble and grand. The art of contriving beautiful plans, has, in architedlure, invariably pre- ceded that of the fine execution of the de- tails, ^d has conftantly furvived for feveral cen&fieB>' the corruption of the latter, as is ^ proved by a comparifon of the monuments of Thebes, with thofe of Efneh and Tentyra, as well as by that of the edifices of the reign

r 0%


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 26 1

of Dioclefian with thofe of the time of Au- guftus.

To the known defcriptions of this great edifice of Karnac iliould be added, that it was but a temple, and could be nothing elfe. All that exifls at prefent in a fomewhat en- tire ftate relates to a very fmall fan6luary, and had been difpofed in this way to infpire a due degree of veneration, and to become a kind of tabernacle. On examining the eji- femhlc of thefc ruins the imagination is wearied with the idea of defcribing them. Of the hundred colum.ns of the portico alone of this temple, the fmallefl: are feven feet and an half in diameter, and the largeft twelve. The fpace occupied by its circum- vallation contains lakes and mountains. In lliort, to be enabled to form a competent idea of fo much ma2:nificence, it is necef- fary that the reader iliould fancy what is be- ll 3 fore


2()1 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

fore him to be a dream, as he who views the objects themfelves rubs his eyes to know- whether he is awake. With refped: to the prefent ftatc of this edifice, it is, however, necelTary at the fame time to obferve, that a great part of the effect is loft by its very degraded ftate. The fphinxes have been wantonly mutilated, with a few exceptions, which barbarifm, wearied with deftroying, has fpared, and on examining which it is eafy to diftinguifli that fome of them had a woman's head, others that of a lion, a ram, a bull, &c. The avenue w hich leads from . Karnac to Luxor was of this latter defcrip- tion ; and this fpace, which is nearly half a league in extent, contains a conftant fuc- ceffio.n of thefe chimerical figures to the right and left, together with fragments of flone walls, of fmall columns, and of ftatucs. This point lying in the centre of the city,

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 263

the part which was the moft advantageoufly placed, there is reafon to fuppofe that the palace of the grandees or kings was fituated there. If, however, feveral traces which render this prefumablc can be diftinguiflied, the fail is not proved by any extraordinary magnificence.

Luxor, the iineft village in theie environs, is alfo built on the fite of the ruins of a tem- ple, not fo large as that of Karnac, but in a better ftate of prefervation, the maiTes not having as yet fallen through time, and by the preffure of their own weight. The moft coloiTal parts confill of fourteen co- lumns of nearly eleven feet in diameter, and of two ftatues in granite, at the outer gate, buried up to the middle of the arm^s, and having in front of them the two largeft raid bcft prefcrved obeliflcs known. It is, y/ithout doubt, flattering to the pomp of R 4 Thebes,


204 niAVELS IX EGYl'T.

Thebes, that the richeft and moft powerful republic in the world Ihould deem its means mfufficient, not to hew^ out, but merely to tranfport thefe tw^o monuments, which arc no more than a fragment of one of the nu- merous edifices of that aftonifliing city.

A peculiarity belonging to the temple of Luxor, is, that a quay, provided with an epaulment, fecured the eaflern part, which was near the river, from the damages the inundations might otherwife have occaiion- ed. The epaulment, which fuicc its ori- ginal {trudlure has been repaired and aug- mented in brick w^ork, proves that the river has not changed its bed ; and its prefervation is an evidence that the Nile has never been banked by other quays, fmce no traces of {i- milar conftru6lions are ehe where to be met with. (See Plates XXIV. XXII. and XXV. from drawings which I afterwards made.)

Not with-



K


1 ,


.^ ,:€' ^-


^


'■'■'-/'- ■'"'y-'/-'^'.


A^.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 265

Notwithftandlng the exceffive heat of the fun at mid-day. I made a drawing of the gate of the temple, which is now become that of the village of Luxor. Nothing can be more grand, and at the fame time more fimple, than the fmall number of objeCls of which this entrance is compofed. No city- whatever makes fo proud a difplay at its ap- proach as this wretched village, the popula- tion of which confifts of two or three thou- fand fouls, who have taken up their abodes on the roofs and beneath the galleries of this temple, which has, neverthelefs, the air of being in a manner uninhabited. (See Plate XXV.)

While I was bufied in making my draw- ingSj^our cavalry was engaged with a fmall party of ftraggljng Mamelukes, two of whom were killed. The others efcaped by fwim- ming acrofs the river, leaving behind them

their


265 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

their arms, horfes, and accoutrements, which fell into our hands.

We fet out at two o'clock, and reached Salamieh at the expiration of thirteen hours, as if this fpace of time had been a regulation for our day's march, on all the occafions when we were to pafs through Thebes. On the following day we again entered the de- fert, and arrived before Efneh pretty early. When fetting out the day after, we found a fmall temple in a very ruinous ftate, but notwithftanding, very pifturefque and fmgu- Jar in its plan, as well as in feveral of its parts. It conflfts of a portico with four columns in front, two pilaflers, and two columns in the depth, with a fantluary in the middle, and two lateral apartments, one of which, on the right hand, is fcarcely to be traced. Within the portico is a door cut out of the lateral wall to the right, which mufl: have been

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 26?

the entrance of a fmall fandluary in which the offerings were made. Another Angu- larity in the elevation of this edifice is, that the capitals of the two columns in the mid- dle of the portico are in relief at their fum- mit, while thofc of the columns at each ex- tremity are guttered. This building is in a more ruinous (late than any other I have {een hi Egypt ; and the decay has undoubtedly arifeii from the nature of the free-flone with which it was built. The parts which have been added are in a better prefervation than in the other temples, a clrcumftance which is to be alcribed to the fuperior quality of the bricks that were employed. The cir- cumvallation of the temple, within which were contained the lodgings of the priefts, may be pretty diftindtly made out ; and the whole of this enclofure is fomevvhat ele- yated above the very fmall city of Contra-

Latopolis;


208 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

Latopolis, which was built round the com- pafs of this monument. It would appear to have been the practice that all the great cities on the bank of the Nile fiiould have a fmall city or port on the oppofite bank, which was probably placed there for the convenience of commerce. It was fcarcely day -break when the troops were marched off; and I regretted that I had not a better opportunity to ftudy the details of the plan of this temple, and of the buildings which had been pofteriorly added.

We proceeded in the diredion of the mountains. In this latitude the part of Egypt which lies to the right is fo narrow, that the chain extends, in two inftances, to the Nile, infomuch that our artillery w^as conveyed over with difficulty, and the great- er part of the day loft. On the other fide of thefe paflages the rocks become of a different

nature :


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 26^

nature : we found feveral quarries of free- ftone, which no doubt fupplied materials for the city and temples of Chenubis, where we arrived an hour after. Within a quarter of a league of this city are two tombs hewn out of the rock, and a fmall fan6luary fur- rounded by a gallery, and having a portico in front. This monument is ifolated, and Is fituated in the fame way as the catholic chapels which are to be met with in Eu- rope. I next proceeded to view the temple or temples of Chenubis, the ruins of which, as well as thofe of the city itfelf, are in fo disjointed a ftate, and fo varied in their pro=* portions, that it is very difficult to form any correal idea of their plan. The moll con- fiderable and moft elevated parts confift of iix columns, the capitals of three of which belly out, while thofe of the three others, which are parallel to them, are guttered, and

united


^70 TkAVELS IN EGYPT.

united by an entablature, as far as I could diftinguiHi in paffing in a bark. On a nearer view I could perceive, that they had not been built at the fame time, and that thofe w hich have guttered capitals have never been finijQied, and were added as a gallery to the others. In the front of this fragment of ruins, to the fouth, are the bafes of a portico, which alfo appears not to have been liniih- cd: and, in the fame direction, is a block of granite which feems to have belonged to a coloflal ftatue. In an eaftern dire<5lion I met w^ith a bafm of water, the circumference of which is lined and decorated by a gallery formed of columns. In the wefrern part of the city the gate of a fanduary prefents itfelf, together with two very minute fragments, of the nature of which I could not fatisfy my- felf. In the front is a linins; in the form of a quay on the Nile. Among thefe architec- 2 tural


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 2Jl

tural ruins are federal ruins of fculpture, among others a group of two figures coupled together, three feet in height, the heads of which have been broken off. What is moft noticeable at Chenubis is an enclofure, the walls of which are built of unbaked bricks, and are of a conical fhape, having at their bafe a thick nefs of upwards of twenty-feveri feet. This extraordinary work, of which hif- tory makes no mention, is in many parts in an entire ftate. I apprehended at firft fight, that it was of Arabic conftruction ; but as there are no ruins or traces of Arabic edifices on the fite of Chenubis, it is prefumable that it is a work of high antiquity, and in this cafe there is no occafion to conflruct fortifi- cations of any other dcfcription in Egypt, with the exceptions of the jambs and em- brafures, together with fuch other parts as are expofed to friction, In this inftance all

the


272 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

the great maires have completely refifted the ravages of time, and may ftill be employed in any defenfive meafures.

I was obliged to quit this fpot precipi- tately, curfing the war, the foldiery, and the importance of their operations, which inva- riably forced me to abandon the moft in- tereftlng objects, to fet out on the ineffectual purfuit of an enemy, who made more pro- grefs in one day than we did in three, and to whom we had left all the paiTages open. At day- break we were on foot, and at night at np greater diftance than three-quarters of a league off Chenubis ; it was for fuch a pur- pofe that this vain fpeed had been fb impe- rioufly commanded. On the following day, after having marched during an hour, we found lying on the ground the remains of two temples, the plans of which could not be traced. Thefe ruins feemed to be depo-

fited


TRAVELS IK EGYPT. 273

flted there merely to point out the fite of the city of Juno Luclna, which the infal- lible d'Anville has laid down in this latitude.

We at length reached by the defert the pafs ofRedifi, which is a, fourth opening from the Kittah. It has never been fre- quented by the merchants, and was fatal to the Mamelukes, almoft the whole of whom, by taking this road, loll their horfes, toge- ther with a part of their camels, a confider- able number of their attendants, and twenty- fix women, out of twenty- eight, whom the beys had taken with them. Their march was traced by their difafters, and by what they left behind them, tents, arms, clothing, the carcafles of horfes flarved to death, ca- mels which were no longer able to fupport their burden, attendants, and their women, whom they abandoned to their fate. I figured to myfolf the fufFerings of a poor

Vol. II. S wretch,


'2/4 TKAVELS IN EGYPT.

wretch, panting with fatigue, and expiring with thirft, his tongue parched, and breath- ing with difficulty the hot air by which he is confumed. He hopes that a few minutes repofe will enable him to recover bis ftrength : he flops, and fees his companions pafs by, calling on them in vain for help. The mifery to which each one is a prey, has banifhed every compaffionate feeling : they proceed on their way without cafling a look on him, and follow in filcnce the footfleps of thofe who precede them. They are no longer in his view : they are fled, and his benumbed limbs, already overpowered by their painful exiflence, refufe their office, and cannot be flimulated to a6lion either by danger or by terror. The caravan has paffed; it appears to him like an undulating line in the wide expanfe, and, becoming at length a mere point, difappears altogether like the

laft


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 2/5

lail glimmer of an expiring taper. He calls around him his wild and frantic looks, but can fee nothing : he turns them towards himfelf, and then clofes his eyes to fhun the afped: of the terrible vacuity by which he is furrounded. He hears nothing but his own fighs, and fite hovers over him to cut the £nal thread of his exiftence. Alone, and without a companion to do him the laft of- fices, he is about to expire without one fmgle ray of hope to adminifter comfort to his de- parting foul ; and his corpfe, confumed by the parched and burning foil, will foon be- come a bleached Ikeleton, which will ferve as a guide to the uncertain fteps of the tra- veller who lliall dare to brave the fate that has befallen him.

Such is the pi(flure which the traces of

the palfage of the Mamelukes prefented to

us ; and it was by fuch terrible fpectacles as

S 2 the


270 TRAl'ELS IN EGYPT.

the above that we afcertained the direction of their marcb. They had paffed three days before, and had proceeded up the country towards the cataracts, to repofe themfelves in an ifland between Baban and Ombos. I have already fpoken of the fertility of this ifland, in giving the particulars of my route to Syene. As the diftreiTed ftate in which they were, banifhed from us all uneafniefs as to their intentions, we gave up every further purfuit in a country where we could not ex- pert to find any refources, which the Ma- melukes who preceded us mufl have entirely exhaufted.

We encamped, or, to fpeak more cor- rectly, halted near the river, where we took up our refidence among tombs, and in the vicinity of two withered llirubs of acacia, the only indications we could find that the fpot had been once inhabited, and that ve- getation


TRAVELS IN" EGYPT. 277

getatlon had not altogether ccafed. All thofe who could be fpared were ordered to proceed to Etf u ; and I accompanied this party, in the hope of viewing at my leifure the fublime temple of Apollinopolis, the moft beautiful of all Egypt, and, next to thofe of Thebes, the largeft. Being built at a period when the arts and fclences had acquired all their fplendour, the workmanftiip of every part is equally beautiful, the hieroglyphics are admirably executed, the figures more va- ried, and the architecture of a higher order than in the Theban edifices, the building of which muft be referred to an earlier age. My firft care was to take a general plan of the building. (See Plate XXIX. Fig. ii.) Nothing can be more fimply beautiful than thefe outlines, nothing more picSurefque than the efFe6l produced in the elevation, by the various dimenfions belonging to each S 3 member


2/8 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

member of the harmonious whole. This fu-* perb edifice is feated on a rifing ground, fo as to overlook not only its immediate vicinity, but the whole valley, (See Plate XXVIII.) and at the foot of this greater temple, but on a confiderably lower level, is a fmaller one, at prefent almoft buried : the only part ftill vifible is in a hollow furrounded with rubbifli, Avhere may be feen a little portico of two columns, and as many pilaflers, a perifliyle, and the fanctuary of the temple inclofed within a pilaftered gallery. A fmgle column, with its capital rifing from the ruins, to the height of forty feet above the portico, and the angle of a wall a hundred feet beyond, fhew that there formerly exifi:ed a court in front of the temple. It is remarkable of this monument, notvvithftanding the fkill dif- played in its conftru6lion, that the gates are not exadly in the middle of the fides. It

feems



j;ffa>-a'tui/ Sc


^ui/ia ^/^



1


'_^Jt'//////i- /'/' /^//w//f//>'//f'/r.j ■ '///////// /,


-./ r^ 7A


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 270

feems to have been dedicated to the evil ge- nius, for the figure of Typhon is feen in relief on the four fides of the plinth, which fur- mounts each of the capitals. (See Plate XXIX. Fig. g.) The whole frieze, and all the paintings within, appear defcriptive of Ifis defending herfelf againft the attacks of this monfter. (See Plate XL. Fig. 1.) I made a ilcetch of this fmall temple, as con- nected with the great one, and another of the large one in a contrary diredlion. (See Plate XXVI. Fig, 1.) to fhew its pofition with regard to the valley. I alfo increafed confiderably my coiled:ion of hieroglyphics, efpecially by a drawing of the frieze within the portico, and befides thefe I drew feveral capitals. (See Plate XXIX. Figs. 1,2,3,4,5.)


S 4 CHAR


280 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.


CHAPTER XVII.

Quit Effii and arrive at Efneli — Return io^ wards the Dejert, and pajs again through Thebes — Hiftorical Bas-reliefs at Karnac, and various Ruins — Intenfe Heat — Pafs hy

Guedime Reach Kous General Suh-

mijjion of the Inhabitants, and Arrival of the Caravans — Architeciural Remains at Kous — Arrive at Keneh — Particulars con- cerfiing the Route to TombuSioo — Hrftile Affembly at Beneadi — Maffacre there, and Blundering of the Caravan — Failure ofMu- rad'Bey s Projedfs — Crocodiles — Ruins at Dendera — Ancient Zodiac,

/^ ENERAL Beliard arrived during the

fecond day, and we fet forward the

next morning. At a fliort diftance from

Etfu,


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 281

Etfu, I found by the water-fide the remains of a quay, near the entrance of a large canal: no other ruin accompanies this fragment, but from the appearance of a double flight of Heps down this mound to the river, it is obvious that it was not conftrucfced folely for the purpofe of refifting the current, but was probably a wharf for fome town or village, now ruined and forgotten. We again pafTed by the ruins of Hieracopolis, of which I have already fpoken, and fpent the evening four leagues from Etfu. At one in the morning our march was recommenced, and on the 23d of March we arrived at Efneh, worn out with fatigue. I had flattered myfelf with the hope of enjoying here a few days of re- pofe, and was much dlfappointed to find that the troops from Mecca, in conjund:lon with fome Mamelukes, were on their march from Girgeh; that although they had been 7 met


282 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

met and beaten at Bardis, regardlefs of this check, they had neverthelefs proceeded to Girgeh, to plunder the market: here one divifion had been intercepted and beaten again, but the remainder were ftill formi- dable, from their influence over the inhabi- tants : we were therefore obliged to return, and occupy the pafles of the defcrt. An en- tire night was fpent in palling the river; and when our march began, the fun was rifcn, and was already very oppreffiye : we halted during the hottcft part of the day, and reach- ed Salamieh in the evening. On the fol- lowing day, after marching a few hours, I came for the fourth time in fight of the ma- jeftic ruins of Thebes, and made a draw- ing of them, from a fituation where the buildings on each fide of the river were vifible from Karnac to Medinet-Abu, occur pying an extent of two leagues.. (See PIat<^

XXIV.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 283

XXIV. Fig. 1.) There is indeed another ruin to the north-eaft, at the village of Gue- dime, hali a league in the rear, which makes the whole length of the monuments and other remains of this ancient city equal to about eight miles. We flopped at Karnac, and I loft no time in profiting of my good fortune. Not being able of myfclf to lay down the plan, or draw compreheniive views of this mighty mafs of ruins, which at firft fight refv^mbles a heap of fculptured moun- tains, I employed the two hours of our ftay here in delineating the hiftorical bas-reliefs, and in acquiring an accurate idea of the ftyle and compofition of this primitive fculp- ture, and of the ftatc of the art at a pe- riod fo remote, as to make it probable that thefe are fome of its moft ancient produc- tions.

The fragments in the higheft |)refervation

are


2S4 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

are the following: (See Plate LXI.*) A hero, perhaps a Pharaoh, Memnon, Ofy- mandyas, or Sefoftris, is feen combating alone from a car in purfuit of people at a diftance, with beards, and clothed in long tunics ; he forces them into a marfli, and obliges the refl to take Ihelter in a fortrcfs. In the fragment. No. 1. he overthrows their chief, already wounded with an arrow. In No. 2. he returns bringing back the captives. In No. 4. he prtfents them fettered to the three divinities, by whofe protection he has obtained the victory ; for it is tobeobfervcd, that in all the above actions his arms arc always accompanied and guarded by one or two emblematical hawks. The divinity to whom he prefents the fruit of his conqueft is that of Abundance, under the figure of

  • Figured by miftake LXIIL

Priapus,


i


I-RAVELS in EGYPT. 2S5

Prlapus, holding a flail in his right hand, a god to whom the temple of Karnac, the largefl in Thebes, and probably one of the greatell and oldeft that was ever con- ftru<fled, is dedicated. From the very fanc- tuary to the outer walls of the building this divinity is reprefented by his leaft equivocal charadieriftic. It was alfo my wifli to draw the bas-relief, reprefenting a lliip navigated by failors, but it is too much dilapidated, and deflitute of any accompaniments from which its latent meaning might be educed. The day was advancing, and we had not yet taken any refrelliment ; heroes of romance might have done without, but to modern foldiers food is no fuperfl-uity. While we were thus employed, the fun gained fo far upon us, that we refolved to pafs the night at Karnac. I immediately returned to mj intereiting tallc ; I furveyed the ruins, and

waS'


'286 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

was convinced that a whole week's appl'i ■ cation would not be too much to conlb-u(5l a plan of the edifices comprehended in this iingle circumvallation.

I had not time to meafure by rule the ex- tent of ground occupied by thefe buildings, but I found repeatedly that twenty-five minutes were required to encompafs them on full trot. The pafiagc through the cir- cumvallation or exterior wall was by fix gates that yet remain, three of v.hich were pre- ceded by avenues of fphinxes : within the circuit was contained not only the great tem- ple, but three others entirely diftincfl from it, having each its own gates, porticoes, courts, avenues, and boundary wall — What was their ufe ? Were they temples or palaces ? Were their fovereigns lodged in the porticoes of the temples, or were their palaces limilar in con{lrud:ion to the facred edifices ; or,

perhaps,


TRAVEtS IN EGYPT. 287

perhaps, from their fuperior lightnefs, unable to refift the injuries of time ? It is at lead obvious, that if they did really inhabit thefe buildings, which from their diftribution may be regarded as dependencies of the great temple, their accommodations were by no means to be envied. Large courts with open galleries, and porticoes formed by narrow intercolumniations, could not be very p!ea- fant to live in : the few chambers that there are, of fmall dimenfions, deflitute of air and light, and covered with pious allegories, wTre but little calculated to attract the eye or pleafe the imagination. Another objection is, that fbme of thefe dark chambers con- tained little tabernacles, in which, no doubt, were inclofed either the figure of the divinity or the particular animal emblematical of it, or the facred treafure ; and to any of thefe none but the priefls would be admitted. Pro- bably,


.188 TRAVELS IN fiGYPT.

bably, therefore, the vaft circuit of thefe buildings was occupied by numerous colleges of priefts, the depofitaries of the fcience, the power and the Influence of the country.

What monotony ! what melancholy wif- dom ! what auftere gravity of manners ! I flill admire with awe the organization of fuch a government ; its ftupendous remains yet excite the mingled fenfations of refped; and dread. The divinity, in facerdotal ha- bits, holds in one hand a hook, and in the other a flail ; the former, no doubt, to re- ftrain, and the latter, to punifh : every thing is meafured by the law, and enchained by it. The fine arts, fubjecft to the fame fevere re- ftri<5tions, bend under the weight of fetters> and their foaring genius is pinioned to the earth. The unveiled emblem of generation traced even in the fanduary of the temples, announces, that to deftroy plcafure it was

converted


TRAVELS IN EGYPT; 28^

Converted into a duty ; not a Tingle circus, iiot a fmgle theatre, not a Tingle edifice for public recreation ; but temples, but myf- teries, but initiations, but priefts, but facri- £ces; ceremonies for pleafures; for luxury, fepulchres. Surely, in the evil hour of France, fome demon evoked the gloomy ferocious foul of an Egyptian prieft to ani- mate the monfter, who imagined, by making us fuUen, to render us happy.

After traverfmg the building for the pur- pofe of gaining an accurate idea o{ its archi- tectural details, I found myfelf at the fouth- weftern extremity of the circumvallation, where the other fmaller temples are fituated. I entered one of them, and was ftruck with a new fenfatlon of aftonifliment. Behind two buttrefies is an open portico of twenty- eight columns, ungraceful in its proportion?, but rendered impofing by its fevcrity of ftylc Vol. II. T fo


2gO TflAVELS IN EGyri*.

fo true is it in architecture, that where the lines are long, few, and uninterrupted, the effect is always grand and ftriking. At the end of this firft portico, is a large open door, leading to a lecond colonnade of eight pillars in two rows, ftill more grave in their propor- tions, and whofe character is rendered more terrible by their awful depth of fhadc ; be- yond this is a long narrow paflage, fucceeded by two others, each darker than the preced- ing, and at the extremity of all is a fubter- ranean fan<5luary, which appears to the ima- gination as the afylum of terror, the temple of the Eumenidse. The whole of this mo- nument is feparated from the reft by a boundary wall. Having made a drawing of the exterior of this edifice, I was preparing to make one of the interior, which might in fome mcafure partake of the charader of its great original, when I found myfelf fo much 2 overcome


THAVELS IN EGYPT. iQt

overcome with fatigue, and the terribly fub- lime emotions that I had experienced, as to be qu.te incapable of the taflc. I copied, however, the bas-reUefs, and the hierogly- phics. I made myfelf mafter of the relative pofition of the various parts, and executed a general view of the temple, taken from the eaftern gate, where the gigantic ruins of the more remote buildings appear by reflection in the diflance. (See Plate XXI. Fig. i.)

The heat was fo intenfe, that my feet were fcorched through my flioes, and I was unable to fit down for the purpofe of draw- ing, till I had placed my fervant between the fun and myfelf, in order to intercept the rays, and procure me a little (lielter: the very ftones were become fo hot, that wiihing to colle<5l fome carnelian agates, which are found in great abundance in the outikirts of the town, I was obliged to lay each haftily T2 in


293 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

in my handkerchief as if it was a hot-coal- Haraffed and fatigued, I betook myfelf to a fmall Arabian tomb, which was to ferve for our night's lodging, and which appeared to me a delicious boudoir, till I was told, that in our former march through this place a French foldier, who had loitered behind the column, was ftabbed in this very fpot : the marks of the aiTaffination yet vifible upon the walls filled me with horror; neverthelefs, I lay down, I flept, and fo weary was I, that I could even have repofed on the very carcafs of this ill-fated vicftim.

We departed on the morrow before day- light ; and I carried with me this time more drawings and fewer regrets ; it was not, however, without a figh, that I quitted Thebes, perhaps for ever ; its diftance from all our pofts, the ferocity of its inhabitants, and the tribute being paid, all forbade me to

indulge


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 203

indulge the hope of rcvifiting it. I had not yet feen the tombs of the kings, but I could not enter upon the fearch without a guard of foldiers, and the troops were unhappily fatigued beyond meafure by the repeated forced marches that they had undergone ; I was, therefore, obliged to truft to future favourable circumftances, and in the fequel fortune was propitious to my wifhes. At day-break I found myfelf fufficiently near Guedime to fee the ruin there, confiiting of four columns, flill furmounted by three mafly {tones of the entablature, in front of which are vifible the foundations of two buttrefTes, at prefent a Ihapelefs mafs of frag- ments. Thefe are the only remnants of a monument, whofe chief merit at prefent is to ferve as a fixed point from which to com- pute the vaft extent of the Theban monu- ipepts. At noon we reached Kous, where T 3 we


294 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

we were informed that the troops fent againft us from Mecca had been routed by all our detachments, and in their flight had been intercepted at Tata by our cavalry, who, to fecure the tranquillity of the coun- try, had put them entirely to the fword : the fupply of their neceflary wants had ren- dered them a fcourge to the country, and they were hunted down by the natives like wild beafts.

The inhabitants of Kous, always well dif- pofed, who had received us courteoufly, evert when we were fuppofed to be marching to certain deftru(5tion, came out to meet us, and treated us as conquerors.

The Ihereff of Mecca had alfo fent to General Defaix, protefting againft the ex- pedition of his countrymen, with a pro- pofal of alliance and friendfhip; the towns of Gidda and Tor alfo requefted peace, and

Cofleir


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. SQS

Cofleir offered to furrender. We learnt that Solyman and another Bey had gone with their families into the oafis, and could now judge of the extremity to which the others were reduced by the fubmilTion of the inhabitants, the voluntary payment of the tribute, the coming in of the Arab chieftains, and a certain gaiety before unfeen fpread over the country, which gave me hopes that, for the future, we might pro- mote at the fame time the happinefs of the natives and the intereft of the colonifls.

Defaix i^ued a proclamation, announcing that the corn lands whofc crops while green had been eaten up either by the Mamelukes or French, ihould be excufed from the tri- bute ; an equitable regulation, which, from its novelty equally fur prized and pleafed the caltlvators ; and the good- will of the in- habitants was entirely conciliated, by allow- T 4 ing


2()6 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

ing them to drefs according to their own fancy and their means, without any rank's forfeiting its pecuUar privileges. The mer- chants of CofTeir, who had hitherto con- cealed themfelves, now quitted their town, and came to purchafe corn at Keneh ; thofe of Gidda arrived in their vefTels loaden with coffee, and both paid without reluctance the duties, which were no longer arbitrary. In fine we began to fee money arrive without the ufe of bayonets, and our magazines and parks to be ftored with fhraw, barley, and cattle; while the village chiefs promifed us, in the name of the cultivators, that the country now barren and dry lliould become the next year verdant with herbage, and co- vered with crops of which the tribute alone fliould furpafs the whole of this year's harveft.

The caravans alfo fent their deputies, re-

qucfling


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, GQ?

quefting paflports ; the Mamelukes, aban" doned by their mafters, came in to us with their arms, defiring to be enrolled among our troops, and we enjoyed the fatisfa6tory fpedlacle of a government univerfally hated, fuiking without refource in its diftrefs, and deprived even of the poffibility of its future re-eftablifliment.

At an equal diftance from Elfi-Bey, who had defcended the river, and from Ofman, who had returned up it as far as Syene, we refted ourfelves a few days at Kous, where I made a drawing of the top of a gate, the only remnant that is left of the ancient Apollino] polis parva. (Plate IV. Fig. 2.) This fingle fragment appears larger than all the reft of the town, and offers a ftriking picflure of the eternity that characterizes the Egyptian ar- chitecture. The other parts of the edifice are doubtlefs buried under the mountain of

Tubbifli


SQS TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

rubbifli that is occupied by the modern 'town. I copied alfo the remains of an in- fcription, engraved on the'liilel of the fame gate. (Plate IV. fig. i.) The infcription itfelf was pofterior to the monument, and afforded a curious example of fkilful flattery in a prefect of Upper Egypt, at the time of the Ptolemies, who^ on account of fome Repairs twenty or thirty centuries after the firft building of the teniple, ventured to de- dicate it to his mailers, to infcribe the gate ' with their names, and thus tranfmit them to poftcrity. The glory of kings can indeed only refift the flood of time by being exalted on the monuments raifed by the arts ; de- prived of this fupport, they are buried in the overwhelmirig fl:ream, leaving behind them only empty names that hiftory repeats in vain. What would become of Achilles without his immortal monument, the Iliad

of


TRAVELS IN EGYPT, ^QQ

of Homer ; or of Sefoflrls, without the re- mains of thefe his coeval temples ? The names of Pericles, of Auguftus, of the Me- diccean Lorenzo, are illuminated by the torch of literature and the arts ; while the tombs of Genferic, Attila, Tamerlane, and the other barbarian deftroyers, are loft among the common ruins of time.

I found in the fields near the lower part of the town, a fragment of a tabernacle, or monolithic temple, w^hich, after having been broken, had ferved for the drinking trough to a ciftern ; one of its wnndow frames ftill remaining entire, bore a hieroglyphical in- fcription, admirably executed, and in a per- fe6l ftate of prefervation : I copied it ; for fuch a fragment as this is of itfelf a mo- nument, an irrevocable atteftation of the culture and intelligence of the nation to which it formerly belonged. (Plate LX.

Fig- 2.)


300 TRAVELS IX EGYPT.

We left Kous,and arrived at Keneh, where we found a number of merchants of all na- tions. By intercourfe with the natives of different countries, remote diftances feem to be contracted ; and when we begin to reckon the days required for the journey, and the necefTary means of effeding it, the fpace to be paffed over ceafes to be immenfe ; we no fooner find ourfelves adlually engaged, than many difficulties, formidable at firft, infenfibly diminifh, and at length difappear. The Red Sea, Gidda, Mecca, feemed like neighbouring places to the town where we were ; and India itfelf was but a Ihort way beyond them. In the oppofite diredion the cafes were ad:ually no more than three days journey 6ff us, and ceafed to appear to our imagination as an undifcovered country. From oafis to cafis, by eafy marches of one or two days, wc arrive at Sennaar, one of

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 301

the capitals of Nubia, which feparates Egypt from Abjffinia and Darfur, the latter of which countries is in the road to, and trades with, Tombu(5loo, whofe inhabitants are ftill the chief obje<5l, in Africa, of European curiofity, and whofe very exiftence was a fhort time ago problematical. It is true, indeed, that though the journey to Darfur may be accomplifhed in forty days, a hun- dred more are required to reach Tombuc- too. A merchant whom I found at Keneh, and who had often been to Darfur, where the caravans arrive from Tombud:oo, gave me the following itinerary, which I fubjoin in the note.* Here alfo we found many

  • Route from Slut to Darfur a/tcl Sctinaar by Doiigola.

From Siut by the defert, in a fouth-wefterly dire£lion, four days are required to reach Korg-Eluah, the moft populous and bcft cultivated of the oafes : here is a ftream of freih water, whichj riling out of the ground.


301 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

Turkifli, Meccan, and Moorifli merchants^ come to exchange coffee and Indian cottons for corn.

is, after a fhort cotirfe, loft in it again : there is a for-*

trefs, and a large village.

From Korg-Eiuah to Bulague, another oafls, half a

day's journey : here is a fmall village, and well tafted

water, vvrhich, however, is apt to difagree with thofe who

ai'e not accuftomed to it.

From Bulague to El-Bfa6tah, one day: brackiflx water.

From El-Bfa£l:ah to Beris, half a day's journey. Here there is a large village, and tolerably good water.

From Beris to El Mekh, two hours. Here it is ne- celTary to lay in a ftock of water, for the cafes ceafe at El Mekh, and nothing but fait or brackifh water is to be met with for feveral days. Travelling from this place in the fame direction as at nrft, after fix days, we reach Defir.

From Dellr to Selima, three days : fait water, but not quite un drinkable.

From Selima to Dongola, where we again meet with

the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 303

Notwithftanding thefe favourable appear- ances, and the quiet fubmiffion of the fupe- rior clafles, the mafs of the nation, who had nothing to lofe, confidering our equity as in- dicative of our weaknefs, allowed themfelves to be feduced by the beys, who, taking ad-

the Nile, four days. Here a frefh fupply of water and proviiions muft be laid in.

From Dongola, bearing away more to the weft for four days, we arrive at El Goyah.

From El Goyah to Zagaoneh, fix days: brackiih water.

From Zagaoneh to Darfur, ten days, without meet- ing with either village or water.

The other route from Dongola to Darfur requires feventeen days march in a foutherly dire6lion to Sen- naar, and hence to Darfur twelve days travelling due weft.

It is above all eiTential, in fuch a journey, to be fuf-

ficiently well mounted, to keep up with the caravan,

as this ftops for no 02ie, and he who ^oes flower than

the reft is neceflanly left behind,

vantage


304 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

vantage of their religious prejudices, and the influence which the high tone of command has over thofe that have been long accuf- tomed to obey, began afrefii to organize an oppoiition, eight or ten leagues from our head-quarters.

Beneadi, a town two miles long, and containing twelve thoufand inhabitants, al- ways rebellious againft every government, from its fituation on the verge of the defert, had called in the Arabs : a caravan from Darfur was alfo juft arrived here. Murad* Bey, profiting of this concurrence, had found means, by working on their religious fana- ticifm, on a fudden to excite the whole to arms. Immediately upon intelligence of this being recei\cd. General Davouft was dif- patched with the cavalry to Beneadi : the common tranquillity required the deftruc- tion of a volcano that was incefiantly threat- ening;


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 305

cning us : the troops, animated with the hope of plunder, in an inilant fwept away the whole village : thofe of the inhabitants that efcaped joined the remnant of the Mec- cans, marched againft Miniet, and were put to the fword in a fecond encounter.

Among the booty of Beneadi was an im- menfe number of women, partly inhabitants of the place, and partly flaves brought by the caravan : thofe to whofe Ihare they fell in the divifion of the fpoil fold them in open market ; from one they paffed to another, rifmg in value with every change of m afters, till at length they were purchafed again from their laft owners by their fathers, their hufbands, or their former mafters : meek and modeft, they fubmitted with impaffive re- fignation to their lot, and were reinftated in their domeftic relations without any quef- tions being afkcd. A condud; fo little con-

VoL. 11. U fonant


306 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

fonant to the ufual habits of Mahomedan jealoufy, inducing us to exprefs our furprize, we were anfwered very fenfibly, " What

  • ' fault of theirs is it that we have not been
  • ' able to defend them ?"

Murad-Bey, who had arrived by way of the defert, to cut off our communication with Cairo, faw the attack and deftrudion of his allies, without daring to come to their affiftance : he contented himfelf with taking jneafures for holding us in check, without much rifk to his own troops, waiting in the mean while for more favourable circum- ftances : the prefent was not the time for him either to propofe or to accept terms of accommodation, for what community of po- litical or commercial interefts was there be- tween us, on which to bale the refpe^tive guarantee of mutual good faith! Accuftomed, befides, to unforefeen reverfes of fortune, his

hopes.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 307

hopes were ftill kept alive. The abfence of the commander in chief, the employment of part of our forces in the Syrian expedi- tion, the conftant formation of confpiracies? all forbade him to defpond : nor was he wanting to his own fortune, in taking every means of organizing and keeping up the ipirits of his party. He perfuaded the emir Adgi at Cairo, who was under orders to join the commander in chief in Syria, to aflemble a body of men iufficient to feize Belbeis, which lay in his road, by a coup-de-main ; thus to cut off the retreat of the army, to raife the country upon our fcattered forces, and oblige us to concentrate our troops by abandoning Upper Egypt. This promifmg fcheme terminated, however, only in the ruin of the emir: fome fufpicious movements difcovered his defigns, and to avoid being arrefted by the garrifbn of Belbeis, he was U 2 obliged.


308 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

obliged, with a few followers, to hurry to the defert. The dete<5liori of this confpiracy, the maffacre of Beneadi, and the fecond defeat at Miniet of thofe who had efcaped the maffacre, again unhinged the projects of Murad-Bey, and obliged him to retire to the oafes.

While at Keneh I had to regret the death of a crocodile, which fome peafants having furprifed afleep, had bound and brought alive to the officer who commanded during the abfence of General Beliard : the animal be- ing yet young, and fettered by an iron circle between the Ihoulders and belly, could not be very formidable ; we might have obferved and become acquainted with his habits,which are unknown even in his native country, fo much is he an obje6l of terror ! It would have been curious to fee his manner of eating, to afcertain what kind of food he lives on,

whether


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 309

whether maftication is neceiTary to him, and if fo, how it is efFeded in an animal pofTefTed only of cutting teeth ; how his throat fup- pUes the place of a tongue, and whether ad- vantage might be taken of his voracity to render him tame. He might, perhaps, have been brought alive to France, and might there have been fubmitted to the examina- tion of the naturalifts and the curiofity of the Parifians, doing homage to the nation as a trophy of the conquered Nile-. In my wanderings on the banks of this river I have feen a great number of all fizes, from three to twenty-fix or twenty-eight feet in length : many officers worthy of credit alfured me that they met with one no lefs than forty feet long. They are by no means fo feroci- ous as is pretended : their favourite refbrts are the low iflands of the river, where they are feen bafking in the fun (the mofl: intenfe U 3 heat


SIO TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

heat of which appears highly grateful to them) by numbers at a time, aileep and mo- tlonlefs as ib many logs of wood, furrounded by birds, who appear totally unmindful of them. What is the food of thefe large ani- mals ? Many ftories are related of them, but we have not yet had an opportunity of veri- fying a fmgle one. Daring even to impru- dence, our foldiers fet them at defiance ; even I myfelf bathed daily in the Nile ; for the tranquil nights that I thus obtained rendered me regardlefs of dangers which we had not as yet verified by a fmgle fad;. If the croco- diles had devoured a few of the carcaiTes which the war left at their difpofal, fuch a food, it might be imagined, would only ex- cite their appetite, and engage them to pur- fue when alive fo favourite a prey ; and yet we were never once attacked by them, nor did we ever meet with a fingle crocodile at a

diflance


TRAVELS IJT EGYPT. 311

diftance from the water. Hence it appears probable that they find in the Nile itfelf a fufficient quantity of eafily procurable food, which they digeft ilowly, being, like the lizard and ferpent, cold-blooded and of an inad:ive ftomach. Befides, having in the Egyptian part of the Nile no enemies but each other and man, they would be truly formidable, if, covered as they are with an almoft impenetrable defenfive armour, they were alert and fkilful in making ufe of thofe which nature has given them for attack. When I left Keneh, General Beliard had a young one in his pofTeffion no more than fix inches long, which yet already began to Ihow its native ferocity. I was afterwards inform- ed by the general, that it lived four months without eating, without appearing to fiifFer, without appearing to grow, or to become U 4 leaner.


312 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

leaner, and to the laft was as untradlable as ever.

Ammianus Marcellinus, who wrote in the time of Julian, has recorded, that, from the remoteft antiquity, the Egyptians confidered themfelves as dupes, if they paid their debts without being compelled to it by actual force or fear : fortunately for me, the people of Dendera had not degenerated from their an- ceftors.

From the window of my apartment at Keneh, I faw the ruins of Tentyra, two leagues off, on the other fide of the Nile ; thofe ruins, the recolledion of which infpired me with fo much intereft, mixed at the fame time with regret, at not having had an op- portunity to make a drawing of a zodiac, which clearly proved the deep knowledge of the ancient Egyptians in aflronomy.

The


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 313

The Dcnderites refufing to pay the tribute, a hundred men were fent thither, whom I accompanied. From Dcndera to the ruins of Tentyra is only tvv^enty minutes ride ; this latter place, from its ancient monuments, is called by the Arabs, Berbeh. We arrived at the town in the evening, and the next morn- ing, with a guard of thirty men, I went to the ruins, and this time took pofleffion of them in the plenitude of repofe and quiet. I was firft of all delighted to find that my en- thufiaftic admiration of the great temple was not an illufion produced by the novelty of its appearance, fmce after having feen all the other Egyptian monuments, this ftill appear- ed the moil perfed: in its execution, and con- ftru6led at the happiefl period of the arts and fciences : every thing in it is laboured, is in- terefting, is important. It would be neceiTary to draw the whole in its mofl minute detail,

to


314 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

to poffefs ourfelves of all that is worth car- rying away ; nothing has been made without fome end in view, without contributing in a greater or lefs degree to the perfed:ion and harmony of the whole. As my time here was very limited, I began with what had been the principal objedl in my journey hither, the celeftial planifphere, which occu- pies part of the ceiling of a little apartment, built over the nave of the great temple. The floor being low, and the room dark, I was able to work at it only a few hours in the day; but neither this, nor the multiplicity of the details, and the great care required in ' not confounding them by the neceffity of viewing them in fo inconvenient a pofture, abated my ardour : the defire of bringing to the philofophers of my native country the copy of an Egyptian bas-relief of fo much importance, made me patiently endure the

tormenting


n.jMi




mmmmmmmmmm^^mmmmmm mmmmmm




'„ir,/A /^^,»u,i,K„tt,<i!jil,itr,/Hl4/i^.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 313

tcrmenting pofition required in its delinea- tion. (See Plate LVIII.) I copied alfo the refl of the ceiling, which is divided into two equal parts, by a large figure that feems to be an Ifis : her feet reft upon the earth, her arms are extended towards heaven, and Ihe appears to occupy all the fpace between. In another part of the ceiling is a large figure, probably reprefenting heaven, or the year, with its hands and feet on the fame level, and enfolding with the curvature of the body fourteen globes, placed on as many boats, diftributed over feven bands or zones, fepa- rated from each other by numberlefs hiero- glyphics, but too much covered with ftalac- tites and fmoke to allow of being copied. I took, however, a fketch of this compartment of the ceiling, in order to give a general idea of its form. (See Plate LIII. Fig. l. and the general plan of this apartment, Plate LVIII.

in


3l6 TRAVELS IN EGYTT.

in which the relative pofition of the feveral objed:s is laid down.)

Behind this firfl: chamber is a lecond, which receives light only through the door ; this alfo is covered with moft interefting and admirably executed hieroglyphical pictures. Notwithftanding the darknefs, and the dif- ficulty of getting what little light there was to fall at the fame time on the bas-relief and my paper, I made drawings of almoft all that was contained on the ceiling or the walls. (See Plate LIII. Fig. 2, and Plate XL. Figs. 5, 6, 7, and 8.) It is difficult to imagine what could be the ufe of this little edifice, io carefully finifhed and ornamented with pic- tures fo evidently fcicntific : thofc on the ceilings appear to relate to the motions of the heavenly bodies, and thofe on the walls have probably fome reference to the earth, and the influences of the air and water. The

earth


Ttj.\iir,



y/,i///.yi/i,r< /,//,/, //,w ///< , y, /,!///. '■/ ■ /-///'/'


4\


^*


i


r I


1


)


4


/


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 317

earth is univerfally reprefentcd by the figure- of Ifis, who was the prcfidlng divinity in all the temples of Tentyra, and whofe emblem or figure is found in every part: her head is leen forming the capital of the columns be- longing to the portico, and the firft chamber of the great temple : it is alfo in the centre of the aflragal, and fculptured in gigantic proportions, on the outfide of the foundation wall : it is the diftinguifhing objed: in the or- naments of the frieze and the cornice, and is confpicuous in all the pictures with her pro- per attributes. It is Ifis to whom all the offerings are made, when they are not pre- fented by herfelf to her hufband Ofiris : her figure is infcribed on the outer gates of the enclofure, and to her are dedicated the little temples that are there reprefented ; in that on the right hand of the entrance, flie is triumphing over tw^o evil genii; in that

which


318 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

which is behind the great temple, flie is va- rioufly defcribed as holding Horus in her Qrms, defending him from every hoftile at- tempt, entrufting him only to figures like cows, and fuckling him at every age, from infancy to puberty.

I employed all the time in which, for want of light, I was unable to work at the plani- Iphere, in meafuring the capitals and co- lumns, in making plans and elevations, and taking views of the gates. There are now neither doors nor even hinges to thefe gates, which formerly fecluded from prophane eyes thofe myfteries of which the priefls were fo jealous, and alfo, perhaps, concealed the trea- lures of the ftate. The chambers confecrated to eternal night, the myfterioufnefs of the worfhip, obfcure as the temples themfelves, the fecret initiations, fo difficult to be ob- tained, and for ever fhut againft Grangers,

and


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 31 Q

and the fudden overthrow, both of the go* vernment and religion, as foon as Cambyfes had violated the fan(^uaries, overthrown the divinities, and carried off the treafures, all combine in announcing that, within thefe temples was contained the effence of all ; and that hence emanated all the civil and re- ligious authority of the ftate.

My enquiries, my obfervations, and my labours, were cut Ihort by the eage'mefs of the fheik of the village to rid the diftrict of our prefence : after the firft day he brought in his contribution, the general recalled the troops, and thus ended my expedition.

Juft before fetting off, I took a general view of the fite of Tentyra, and the group of monuments that overlook the town, with the mountains riiing in the diftancc. I alfo copied an infcription in beautiful and large Greek characters, placed like that at Kous 7 on


320 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

on the liftels to the right and left of the top of one of the outer gates, to the fouth of the great temple. The following is the infcription, taken as correctly as the muti- Jated flate of fome of the letters would admit.

TPIEPATTOKIATOPIKAI2AP0S0EOTTIOTAIO 2EAET . . : : : : : PAvpoTEPIIIOnAIOYOKTAIO THrEMONOSKATMAPKOYKAriAIornoSTOMOTE ni2TPATHrOTTPT$aN022TPATHrOTNT020TA nOTGXMHTPOnOAEnS : : : ^ XNOMOTTOnPO nTAONISIAeEAIMErSTHIKAITOISSTNOIIIGEI OI2IETO2AAKAI2APO2OnT0IEBA2THI.

Below is the fame infcription, with the words feparated, and the letters reftored by the literati whom I have confulted, toge- ther with the tranilation that they have given of it.


TR^^VEJLS IN EGYPT. 321

tTTifl ocvroxpciTopo; Kajtrapo? 0£8 vns Ato? tXsvhpi» 'irccTr]pix; or i-rrt YlorrXis Oxraata nyBixovog aon Mxpxa KXu^iiS IIofSjtAa fTTJfpaTH'ya Tpu<pwvo? (rpxTYiyavrog o» wtto thj jurjTpoTToAsw? t£OWTa:/ fx i/o/wCg to TZ'po7r\}Xov ItrtJi ©£att jw£yi?>]i nasi tok (rui/y«oK 0£Otf fra; Aa KaKToipo? 0wu^

" On account of the Emperor Caefar,

  • ' God, the fon of Jupiter the Deliverer,
    • when Publius Octavius being governor,
  • ' Marcus Claudius Poftumus commander in
  • ' chief, and Tryphon general, the deputies

" of the metropolis confecrated, in virtue " of the law, the propylsum to Ifis, the

  • ^ greatcft of the goddefles, and to the aflb-
  • ' ciated gods of the temple, in the thirty-

" firft year of Csefar."

, There is another infcription on the liftel of the cornice of the great temple ; but I was unable to diftinguifh the characters fuffi-


Vo3L. II. X cientl


y


322 TRAVELS IN EGYPT,

ciently well to copy them. Thefe few Greek characters, in the mldft of innumerable Egyptian infcriptions, form an extraordinary and ftriking contraf^.


CHAPTER


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 323

CHAPTER XVIIl.

Prefent State of Copthos — Kamjtn TFi?td, or Hurricane of Egypt — Swarm of Loaifts • — Defeat of SeUm-Bey — March acrofs the Defert to Cofjeir — Btralharr — Fountains of Khtah and El-More — Defcription of Coffeir — Arab Cookhig — Return to Mokatam — Feafi at Ahumanah — Egyptian Servants.

O OME days after my return from Ten- ^ tyra, the cavalry was fent to proted: a military cheft, which was to be conveyed from Efneh to Kcneh. I took advantage of this efcort to go and vifit Keft, or Cop- thos, which I had pafled at a diftance three times before, without having had opportu- nity to ftop and vifit this town, or even to ride through it. I wiflied to know whe- X 2 ther


324 TRAVELS IN EGYPt.

ther Copthos, which was fo celebrated by the calamities which it underwent in the time of the perfecutions by Dioclefian, pof- feffed any vefliges of higher antiquity. I was ftruck in entering the town with the good prefcrvation of its different monuments; the ancient part ftill remains in the flate in which it was left by the conflagration which terminated the long iiege that deflroyed it in the third century ; the old limits of the city have been abandoned, and to this has fucceeded an Arab town, with a boundary wall of unbaked bricks, beyond which, verging to the weft, was built the village of Keft, which flill exifts. Was Copthos the ancient name of this town ? And did the ancient Copts take their name from that of Copthos, where zeal colled:ed their num- bers, and made them fuftain fo obftinate and difaftrous a fiegc in the time of Diocle- A fian }


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 325

(ian ? One may evidently diftinguifh the different ruins of two temples of high an- tiquity, and thcfe of a catholic church, in which tafle and art in the conftrudlion were certainly lefs remarkable than the magnifi- cence and richnefs of the materials em- ployed : the fragments of porphyry and gra- nite columns and pilafters, fcattered ever a vaff fpace of ground, remain to atteft the opulence and luxury of the firft believers; but the fculpture on the doric friezes, fome fragments of which are flill vifible, flicw that at this period the efforts at embellifii- ment, which art could command, only im- poverlflicd the fumptuous magnificence of the materials. All thefc monuments lie without form and order on the ground, ex- cepting a few portions {lill left ffanding, and none of them would furnifii me with a fmdc fubjedl for a drawing;.

X 3 I liad


326 TKAVELS IN EG\'P1.

I had often heard fpeak ot' the kawjin, which may be termed the hurricane of Egypt and the defcrt ; it is equally terrible by the frightful fpecflacle which it exhibits when prefent, and by the confequences which follow its ravages. We had already paffed with fecurity one half of the feafon in M'hich it appears, when in the evening of the 18th of May, I felt myfelf entirely over- come by a fufFocating heat ; it Teemed as if the flu6luation of the air was fuddenly fuf- pended. I went out to bathe, in order to overcome fo painful a fcnfation, when I was ftruck on my arrival at the bank of the Nile, with a new appearance of nature around me ; this was a light and colours which I had not yet feen. The fun, with- out being concealed, had loft its rays ; it had even lefs luftre to the eye than the moon, and gave a pale light without fliade; a the


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 327

the water no longer refle6ted its rays, but appeared in agitation ; every thing had changed its ufual afpecl ; it was now the flat fliore that feemed luminous, and the air dull and opaque ; the yellow horizon Ihewed the trees on its furface of a dirty blue ; flocks of birds were flying off before the cloud ; the friahted animals ran loofe in the coun- try, followed by the ihouting inhabitants, who vainly attempted to colledt them to^ gether again ; the wind, which had ralfcd this immenfe mafs of vapour, and was urg- ing it forward, had not yet reached us ; we thought that by plunging our bodies in the water, which was then calm, we could pre- vent the baneful effedls of this mafs of duft, which was advancing from the fouth-wefl: ; but we had hardly entered the river when it began to fwell all at once, as if it would overflow its channel, the waves paflTed over X 4 our


32d TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

our heads, and we felt the bottom heave up under our feet ; our clothes were con- veyed away along with the fliore itfelf, which feemed to be carried off by the whirlwind which had now reached us ; we were com- pelled to leave the water, and our wet and naked bodies being beat upon by a florm offand, were foon encrulled with a black mud, which prevented us from dreffing ourfelves ; enlightened only by a red and gloomy fun, with our eyes fmarting, our nofes fluffed up, and our throats clogged with duft, fo that we could hardly breathe, "we loft each other and our way home, and arrived at our lodgings at laft one by one, groping our way, and guided only by the walls, which marked our track. We could now eafily conceive the dreadful fituation of thofe who are furprifed with fuch a pheno- menon of nature, when croffmg the expofed

and


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 32Q

and naked deferts ; and we were fo accuf- tomed to the ferenc fky of Egypt, that we could hardly bear with any patience fuch a fudden tranfition.

The next day, the fame mafs of dud, at- tended with fimilar appearances, travelled along the defert of Lybia : it followed the chain of the mountains, and when we flat- tered ourfelves that we were entirely rid of this peflilence, the weft wind brought it back, and once mere overwhelmed us with this fcorching torrent ; the flaflies of lightning appeared to pierce with difficulty through this denfe vapour ; all the elements feemed to be ftill in diforder ; the rain was mixed with whirlwinds of fire, wind, and duil, and in this time of confufion the trees and all the other productions of nature feemed to be again plunged in the horrors of chaos.

If the defert of Lybia had fent us thefe

clouds


330 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

clouds of duft, thofe on the eaft, on the con-* trary, had been inundated with water, for the merchants who came from the borders of the lied Sea told us, that in the valhes they had the water up to the middle of their legs.

Two days after this difafter, we were told that the plain w^as covered with birds, which were paffing on from eaft to weft, like the clofe files of an army ; and, indeed, we faw at a diftance the fields appear to move, like a broad torrent flowing through the country. Thinking that they might be fome foreign birds we haftened out to meet them ; but inftead of birds we faw a cloud of locufts, who juft fkimmed the foil, ftopping at each blade of grafs to devour it, then flying ofF to new food. If it had been the feafon in which the corn was young and tender, this would have been a ferious plague ; for thefe

children


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 331

children of the defert are as lean, as aftive, and as vigorous as the Bedouin A.rabs ; it would be interefting to know how they live and produce fuch multitudes in fo arid a de-^ fert; perhaps it was the rain that had fallen in the valleys which had fuddenly hatched them, and had produced this emigration, juft as certain winds bring fwarms of gnats. The wind changing again in a contrary dire<5lion to their march, they were once more driven back into the defert. Thefc locufts are of a rofe-colour, fpeckled with black, very flrong. fliy, and difficult to catch.

We learned that a detachment of two hundred men from our garrifon at Efneh, commanded by captain Renaud, had fet out from Etfu, and had marched towards Syene, in order to dislodge from this town Ofman and AiTan-Bey, who had returned thither. Emboldened by the fmall number of

French,


332 TRAVELS Ix\ EGYPT.

French, who were marching without can- non, they attacked our men with their ufual irnpetuofity. The event was that Sehm Bey fell by our bayonets,. three flieiks, one cafna- dar, and forty two Mamelukes, were killed on the field of battle, or were carried off to Syene, where they died the fame day ; forty others were wounded, and the reft ot the fugitives afcended the country above the ca-? taracls as far as Bribes. This battle com- pleated the deftru6lion of the Mameluke party ; the Arab fheiks of the tribe of Ababdes were convinced of the infufficiency of their means of refinance, fcparatcd from the con- federacy, and came to Keneh to make peace and alliance with us.

Defaix, in order to drive Murad from his retreat, was preparing at Siut an expedition for the oafis ; the command of it was to be given to his aid de- camp Savari, whilfl: gene- ral


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 33S

ral Bellard was getting ready the detachment which we were to fend to Cofieir. I fhould have been glad to have accompanied both, but I was obHged to make my choice: whilft I was hefitating, Murad quitted Helluah', and the Englifli appeared at Coffeir. All our attention was now directed to their quar- ter; General Douzelot arrived at Kcneh, with orders to mark out the plan for a fort to contain fix hundred men, and to go for- w^ard to Cofleir to eftablifh himfelf there. The neceflary provifions were made for both proje<fls, and we were foon ready to march for the defert.

We colleded a great number of camels, I fay we, becaufe by degrees one identifies one's-felf with thofe that one lives with, and I was a party concerned in every event that happened to the divifionof Defaix, and more particularly to the twenty-firft demi-brigade.

I par-


33i TRAVELS IX EGYPT,

I partook of Its dangers, its fuccefles, its mif- fortunes, and I perfuade myfelf that I came in for fome fhare of its glory. Our caravan was compofed of three hundred and iixty-fix of our men; we had each of us a camel to ourfelves, which alfo carried the baggage and water necelTary for each individual ; and be- sides, two hundred camels w^ere loaded with articles of the iirft neceffity for us on our ar^ rival at ColTeir. The chiefs of the Arabs, who had juft made alliance with us, joined our caravan, making advantage of this opportu- nity to ingratiate themfelves with us by ferv- ing as guides, efcort, and rear-guard; the whole party might amount in all to a thou- fand or eleven hundred men, and as many camels. It v>"as entertaining for us to fee each other mount our beafts ; the camel, who is in general fo deliberate in all his adions, mounts on his hind legs firft very brifkly as

foon


TRAtELS IN EGYPT. 335

foon as the rider leans on his faddle to ipring up, and throws him firft forward and then backw^ard, and it is not till the fourth mo- tion when the beaft is entirely on his legs that the rider can find his balance. None of us had been able to refift the firfi: ihake, and we each had to laugh at our neighbours till we were all well fixed on our feats.

We left Keneh the 20th of May, at ten in the morning, and arrived at four in the after- noon at Birambarr or Biralbarr (the fVell of Wells j a village on the edge of the defert, about as high up as Copthos, and oppofite to the defile which leads to Kittah, a fountain, of which I have fpoken above, and which is the radiating centre of all the different roads that lead to CofTeir. We halted at Birambar, and after the camels had eat and drank a«: much as they chofe, they w ere compelled to

f wallow


336 tRAYEXS IN EGYPT.

fwallow a fecond allowance of beans and bar- Iey> which was forced into their mouths.

The name of Biralbarr, or Well of Wells ^ arifes doubtlefs from the two fountains, which are the only refources which this village offers. The water is fulphureous, but fweet and refrefhing, owing to the nitre which it contains. I had been apprehenfive of the Twinging pace of the camel, and the prancing of the dromedary had made me fear being thrown over his head, but 1 was fcon agree- ably undeceived. When once fixed in the faddle, one has only to give way to the mo- tion of the bcaft, and one foon finds that it is impolTible to be more plcafantly mounted for a long journey, efpeclally as no attention is requifits to guide the animal, except in turning him out of his ftrait forward direc* tion, which very feldom happens in the de- 2 fcrt


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 337

fert and amidft a caravan. - The camel very rarely trips, and never ftumbles except where the ground is wet : the dromedary is among the camel tribe what the greyhound is among dogs; they are only ufed for the faddle : a ring is pafTed through their noftril, to which a thong is tied, and this ferves as a bridle to guide and flop him, or make him kneel when the rider wifhes to difmount. The pace of the dromedary is light, the opening of the angle of his long legs, and the flexible fpring of his lean foot renders his trot eafier than that of any horfe, and at the fame time full as fwift.

In quitting Biralbarr we turned to the eafl, and entered a long wide valley, forming an extenfive plain, at the extremities of which appear fome points of rocks, which fhew that one is travelling along a chain of hills. I regretted I had not Dolomieu with me in

Vol. II. Y this


33 8 TRAVELS IN EGYPT. ,

this journey, but Citizen Rozicre fupplied his place. We marched thus till ten at night in good order, fo that on flopping at any time we could immediately form in military array. We then each fpread our carpet befide our camel, fupped on it, and flept. At one in the morning the moon rofe the drum was beat, and in five minutes time we were all again on our march without any confufion or trouble. In the defert one feels one's re- fpedl redoubled for the camel, that venerable animal ; however hard is his condition, he knows it, and conforms to it without impa- tience ; he is a truly bountiful gift of Provi- dence, and nature has fet him down in a country in which his place could not be fup- plied to the fervice of man by any animal whatever ; the fand is truly his element, for as foon as he quits it, and touches the mud, he can hardly keep "upon his feet, and his 3 conflant


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. SSQ

conftant trips alarm the rider for the fafety of himfelf and his baggage.

At day-break we arrived at Kittah, a very fingular fountain, fnice it is fituated on a higher level than all the furrounding ground; this fountain confifts of three wells fix feet in depth, and the ftrata of which are, firft, a bed of fand, and beneath, a free-ftone rock, through which the water filtrates, and fiowly fills the holes that are dug. There is here a fmall mofque, or caravanfary, which ferves for ihelter to travellers when they are not very numerous.

One may here be convinced of the im- portance of thofe wells which are fo often mentioned in the Old Teftament, and the hiftorv of the Arabs ; and one fees how dif- ficult it w^ould be to eredl the fmalleft edifice in fuch infulated and unproteded fpots, that are fo barren of neceffary fupplics ; and Y 2 . yet


340 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

yet it would be abfolutely neceifary, in taking permanent poiTeffion of Egypt, to eredl a fortrefs, and to keep a garrifon in Kittah, to aflure a free communication between Cofl'eir and the Nile, and to reprefs the Arabs of thefe parts, to whom this fountain is a poft which renders them mafters of an extenfive country, on account of the per- manent and inexhauftible fource of water, which, if not fecured, would always afford a ready fupply to an enemy as foon as he was driven into the defert. We continued to march the reft of the day through the fame kind of country, but it infenfibly rofe, and the ranges of mountains on either fide ap- proached nearer to each other. We then encamped during the evening, and refumed our march as on the day before.

At day-break we found the appearance

of the country changed; the mountains

7 that


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 341

that we had pafled the day before were rocks of free-ftone, thefe wxre of pudding- ilone, being a mixture of granite, porphyry, ferpentine, and other primitive fpecies, ag- gregated in green fchiftus. The valley con- tinued to grow narrower, and the rocks on every fide more lofty. At noon we had reached the firfh half of our journey, in the midft of fine rocks of breccia, which would be very eafy to work, if it were not for the great diftance from any fupplies of provifion: the portions of granite, of which this breccia is compofed, flievv that the primitive moun- tains are not far diftant. Having paiTed thele fine rocks, we began to defcend again, till we reached a fountain called El- More, which is only a fmall hole under a rock. The water was excellent, but not fufficient for our nu- merous caravan ; we pafled on to a fecond watering-place, compofed of feveral wells, Y 3 under


S'12 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

under a rock of very green fchiltus, mixed with white quartz, which gives it the ap- pearance of the antique green marble. This was the only fpot for about forty paces in which the road was narrow and difficult, and gave us fome trouble to get our artillery over ; all the reft was like a w^ell fanded walk in a garden : the bafe of the rock is fwept by torrents from the fides of the hills when it rains; and thefe floods, which only lafl a few hours, level the valley before theiTi, without, however, making a ravine.

The variety of form and colour in thefe rocks began to break the fad and monotonous uniformity of the dcfcrt, and gave it almoft a rural appearance ; the country became fonorous ; the noife of our party began to echo in the valleys, and appeared like the weakening of nature, for our troops had CfpiTcd the fandy plains in filcnce ; hardly

had


TRAVELS IX EGYPT, 343

had they begun to conveife when in the val- leys, but when arrived among the rocks, they made them refound with mirth and gaiety, and the gloom of the defert difappeared. This fecond fountain, though abundant, was too Hmited to fupply the wants of our whole troop ; only a part of them could fill their water-veffels, and we pufhed on to that of El-Adoute, where the water, though not quite fo fwect, is flill very good. We dug a well, which direftly gave it of excellent quality; and as it was the only drinkable water that we were to meet with in the re- mainder of our journey, we and our camels drank for the prefent and future, replaced with it that which was in our water- vefTels, and took in as large a fupply as poffiblc, to laft us to Cofleir, as it would be fcanty and bad in the whole road thither. With a fortified tower, a ciftern, and a caravan fary y 4 eftabliflied


344 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

eftablilhed here, the paiTage from Coflelr to the Nile would be as eafily pradlicablc as any other road.

In proportion as we defcended, the moun- tains diminifhed in height ; they no longer exhibited the fame beds of magnificent breccia, but were again become filiceous, crofled with quartz. We flopped to ficep. ibme hours, after having marched eighteen. At day- break we found the valley much en- larged, and foon it was crofled fuddenly by a reddifli calcareous mountain, edged with fome rocks of free-ftone ; we coafted along the foot of this mountain, which, in round- ing off, was terminated by a fchiftofe rock, and beyond it the ftrata were entirely cal- careous. Here is the fountain of Ambagi, but the water is only drinkable for camels ; though it is in confiderable quantity, it pof- fefles the quality of a mineral fpring, and

would


TRAVELS IN EGYPT 345

would perhaps be as falutary in the cure of difcafes as Spa, or Barege; but here, where, owing to the ilerility of the foil, and the fo- briety of the inhabitants, there are but few difeafes and no phyficians, this fpring creeps inglorious under a black and mephitic mud : and as it purges thofe who can endure the deteftablc tafte which it leaves in the mouth, and cncrcafes inftead of fatisfying thirft, it palTes for the moll malignant foun- tain in the country. However, it has been the means of the growth of feven or eight palm- trees, which form the only grove that is to be feen for fifty leagues around.

I perceived by the lightnefs of the air, that we were approaching the fea; and foon, ' in following the courfe of a large ravine, we faw the waves breaking on the reefs which line the fliore. A miil: on the horizon pointed out to us the Afiatic coall, which,

however.


345 TIIAVELS IN EGYPT.

however, was too far to be at all dlfcerned. The Ababdcs Arabs, who had preceded us, had gone on before to give notice of our arrival to the inhabitants of ColTeir, and we fdw them return with the flieiks of the town and their followers, driving before them a fiock of fheep, the firfl offering of peace and homage. The coftume of the CofTeirans is the fame as that of Mecca ; the Ababdes were many o{ them naked, except a girdle round their loins, with a la^ce in their hands, and a dagger attached to the left arm ; they fat with their legs crolTed on the lofty faddlc of their meagre dromedaries, forming a iin- galar contraft with the Meccans, who had a graver air, wore a head-drefs like the ancient Roman augurs, were wrapped up in long garments with broad ftripes, and were mounted on large camels. As loon as the (different parties met, every one difmounted ;

our


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 347

our troops put themfelvea in order of battle, and after an amicable conference of a few minutes, we went altogether to take poffef- fion of the caftle, on which the white ftandardof peace was waving. I had formed fuch an idea of a pitiful town and ruined caftle in Colleir, that when I came to them, I thought the former almoft fplendid, and the caftle, a fort. This latter is an Arab edifice, built in the times of the caliphs, in the {lyle of the fortifications of Aiexandriaj, forming a fquare with four curtains, flanked with as many bafllons, without ditches : but by adding a counterfcarp to the prefent fortifications, the jaftle may refill the float- ing batteries and the troops which may be landed from the Red Sea. The port and road of CofTelr is formed by reels, which defend it from the north-north-wclt: winds, and a head-land that proteds it from the

fouth-


348 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

fouth-fouth-eaft. It is open on the eaft and fouth-eaft. This head-land, or cape, is entirely of late formation, and is compofed of nothing but madrepores, the greater num- ber of which are of an enormous fize. Nothing can defcribe in adequate terms the fevere fadnefs of the country, the rigid afpedl of the foil, and the infupportably dazzling refledion of the fun from the white Ihelly fliore ; and to fee human beings in buflle and agitation in this barren fpot, gives one a ftriking pi6lure of the privations which avarice will endure in order to obtain a fupcr- fluity. The Arab houfes are compofed of a few pieces of wood that fupport fome mifer- able mats, under which the inhabitants live on fhell-fifli, and form all their houfehold utenfils of the fhells ; and even w^ork them into boxes, which are not without elegance. It would have been intcrefting to have re-

connoitered


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 34^

connoltered the road of Betcnice, which was made at a great expence by the Ptolomies, forty leagues to the fouth, and afterwards abandoned for that of CofTeir, which, how- ever, will only hold a fmall number of mer- chant fhips of inferior fize, as the depth of water is only two fathoms, and two and a half where it is the deepeft. To load the veflels, they are obliged to carry the goods in the arms of men a hundred and fifty paces from the Ihore, to put them on board boats, which afterwards have to take them to the veflels which are to be freighted. With all thefe inconveniencies, it might at firft ap- pear furprifmg, to find ftill fome commercial adivity in the huts and rubblfh of Cofleir ; but when one confiders, that it is, after all, the beft known port in the Ked Sea, that it furnifhes corn to Mecca, and receives the

coffee


350 TRAVELS IN EGYPT;

coffee of Yemen, that it is the point of con-* tad: between Afia and Africa, and might become the entrep6t of the merchandize of thefe parts of the world, one is ftiU more aftonifhed that any government can be fo wallefully blind to its own refources, as to have thought oi nothing but haraffing, and vexing by impofitions, a commerce, which would return fuch large intereft for all that might be advanced to it. Neither cuftom- houfe, nor magazines, nor even a fingle cif- tern are to be found at ColTeir. When we arrived at this port, there was no other water in the town than what was brought from Afia, and this coft us a fous a goblet ; but the adivity of our foldiers made them find fprlngs in twenty- four hours; and wx got for nothing water better than that which was iold fo dear, though it could not be kept or

heated


TRAVELS IX EGYPT. 35 J

heated without atqulring an almoft infup- portable bittern'efs. But as there is no doubt that frefli water is to be found in the vici- nity of Cofleir, we left it to the garrifon which remained behind in the place, and to the indefatigable Douzelot, who was to com- mand it, to find in the beds of clay Ibme Ipring which might not be impregnated with any arid and noxious matter.

The coaft all about Cofleir is frightfully poor and barren, but the fca is rich in fifh, ilielb, and corals: the latter are fo nume- rous, that it may have been here that the whole fea acquired the name of Red, whilft the fand on the fhore is fo white. The reefs are only coral and madrepores, as well as all the rocks which lie in thefe feas, to within half a league of the adual fliore. I ihould have had much fatisfaction in making a col-

ledlioa


352 TRAVELS Uf EGYPT.

ledlion of the Ihells on this coaft, which appeared to be as numerous as varied; but 1 had fome other drawings to make, and thefe* with the ncceflary preparations for returning, allowed me no fpare time, except to make an excurfion along the Ihore with our new allies the Ababdes Arabs. I mounted one of their dromedaries, feated myfelf in the faddle of the fafliion of the country, and was deUghted with the light eafy pace of the one, and the commodioufnefs of the other. We entirely gained their friendfliip by exercifmg with them in mock charges, and ihewing fo much confidence in them, as to accompany them all day at a diftance from Coffeir, and riding with them at the rate of a league in lefs than a quarter of an hour.

Two days after our arrival, that we might not wafte the provifions of thofe that wc

left


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 353

Jeft behind, we fet out on our return ; we were flill preceded by our Arab friends, to whom the defert feemed by right to belong. They negledled none of the produds of their empire ; for we perceived two gazelles flying into the defert, upon which four of our allies fet out in purfuit of them, with indifferent matchlock guns; fome minutes after wc heard only two Ihots fired, and we faw them return with both the gazelles, who were as fat as if they had been fed in the richeft pafture. I was invited to partake of them ; and being curious to know how their cookery was carried on, I went to their quarter : the leader, who was as proud as a fovereign, had no other decoration than the belt which we had given him ; his palace was wherever he fpread his carpet ; his kitchen utenfils con- fifted of two plates of copper, and a pot of Vol. II. ^ the,


354 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

the fame metal ; butter, flour, and two ftlcks of wood, completed his table equipage : in a few minutes he had ftruck a light, col- le<fled old camels' dung for fuel, made dough of his flour, and cooked fome fritters, which were very good when hot ; and this, with the foup of the flefh, the bouillie, and broiled meat, made up a very tolerable repaft for one who had any appetite, which, however, was not m}'^ cafe, for I had not the leaft in the defert, and I lived almofl entirely on lemonade, which I generally made when riding on my camel, by putting flices of lemon in my mouth, along with fugar, and wafliing it down with water. Our Arabs w^ere acquainted with every corner of paf- turage ; they knew to what forwardnefs of growth fuch and fuch plants fliould have at- tained at a league's diftancc from the regular

«. track.


TBAVELS IN EGYPT. 355

track, and fent their camels to feed upon them : thefe poor animals had nothing elfe in the whole day but a fmgle feed of beans, which they ruminate for the remainder of the day, either on their journey, or lying down on the fcorching fand, without teftify- ing the leaft impatience. The paffion of defire alone gives them fome violence in their actions, particularly the females, who appear more irritable ; aud, what is extraordinary, fatigue feems to inflame their temperament, inftead of exhaufling them.

Our return w^as ftill more rapid than our journey out : being freed from the incum- brance of artillery, and every kind of lading, w^e marched more brifkly, ftill, however, abridging the time of our halts and our fleep. We returned in two days and a half; but, for the lafi: half day we were quite overcome

Z 2 with


3j5 travels in EGYl'f.

with fatigue and drought, and I could onij^ quench my thirfl by eating largely of melons, and plunging in the Nile. After travelling for eight days in the defert, the fenfes are awakened by the flighteft impreffions ; and I flill remember the delight w^hich I felt on again fpending the night reclined on the banks of the Nile, hearing the wind ruftling in the leaves of trees, and feeling the refrefh- ing coolness that It acquires in brufhing through the long leaves of the palm, which it gently agitates : every thing was alive, and gave animating fenfations ; life was in the air, and nature feemed to refpire. How- ever, I became fully convinced by this jour- ney, made in the hotteft time of the year, and the hazard of which had been much ex- aggerated to us, that the undertaking it is what requires the effort of courage, and the

danger


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 357

danger flies from thofe who brave it. I will here add a note of the hours of march in our route, which are not liable to vary, as the pace of every loaded camel is the fame : no other alteration can occur in this reckoning than what arifcs from accidents, and from the greater or lefs time fpent in halts and night encampments. However, every other fealbn of the year is preferable to that which we were obliged to take for this expedition : in winter the tra\encr may be refreflied in the mountains by a rain of feveral hours, which furniflies abundance of water, and renders the journey only a promenade on a large plain of fand ; but, during the time of the kamfm, one may be affailed by thcfe hurricanes, which, however, we had the good fortune to efcape.

Z 3 Hotirs,


358 TRAVELS IN EGYPT. '

Hours of March of our loaded Camels from Keneh to CoJJeir,

Hours. Min.

From Keneh to Byr-al-Baar — 3 50

To the halt for the night in the defert 4 45

To Kittah — — — 3 30

To the night- halt — — 4 30

To the iirft fountain — — 9 35

To the fecond, called El-ad-Houte o 45

To the night halt — — 4 30

To the fountain of Ambagi — 8 45

To Coffeir — _ ^ 1 45


Total 41 55 There only wants at Mokatam granite and porphyry rocks to give it all the characflers of a primitive chain, and thefe might pro- bably be found there, fmce, in the breccia of

which


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 359

which the mountains are compofcd, rounded fragments of thefe fubftances are obferved. On the decHvity on each fide, the fame cir- cumftances may be noticed ; that is to fay, iands arifing from the decompofition of the calcareous ftone, calcareous rocks, free-ftone^ fchiftus, and breccia ; the decay of the rocks, which appear often reduced to their primi- tive nuclei, give a piclure refembling the worn mountains of China. Citizen Rofiere could find no traces of emeralds, though the valley is celebrated for poiTeffing mines of this precious fLone.

In the folitary and banifhed fi-ate in which w^e found ourfelves, w-e were conftantly ex- pelling news, and were eager to learn the particulars of the operations and fucceifes of our chiefs but this intelligence w^as often clouded with grief in hearing of the lofs of Z 4 fome


36o


TRAVELS IN EGYPT,


fome one or other of our brave companions. Thefe fatigues of the mind, joined to thofc of the body, recalled, in a melancholy way, our thoughts towards our native country, and made us feel our forlorn fituation, and the neceflity which we felt of being near human beings to whom we were bound by the ties of affection. We had at this time to regret the lofs of General Caffarelli, who united to very diftinguifhed talents the zeal of a truly philanthropic patriotifm ; he conftantly foft^ ened the rage for daring enterprize by the love of humanity, and was ever watchful over the welfare and fafety of the men committed to his care ; in him the well-informed and fenfible loft a father and a friend ; and in my own pcrfon, I often, in making my drawings, pleafed myfelf with imagining the gratifica- tion which he would take in infpedlng

them.


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. 301

them, and the regard for me which my zeal would excite in him. What recompence could be more flattering than the approbation of fuch a friend I

On our return we were eager to enjoy the favours of the Nile, and we were going to plunge our parched bodies in its falutary wave, when we found its ufual appearance was quite changed : dxiring the latter days of the kamlin, the current of the Nile be- comes fluggifh, the waters lofe their ufual falubrity and tranfparency,and become green, throwing up flakes of foul mud, which ex- hale a mephitic odour : in fliort, it is then no longer the bountiful river, the creator and preferver of Egypt; but it grows heavy in its motion, and w^ould alarm the inhabitants of the banks, if its periodic reftoration to its ufual flate was not as conftant a phenome- non


362 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

jfion for them as it is furprifing to the cu- lious traveller. It keeps falling till the l/th of June, remains in ftagnation for two days, and on the 1 Qth it begins to rife.

It is at this period that the refidence in Upper Egypt is almoft infupportable ; the winds are variable, and are conftantly chang- ing from the eaft to the fouth, or the fouth- weft : this latter is terrible, for it troubles the atmofphere, obfcures the fun with a white, dry, and burning vapour, parches with thirft, dries up every thing, inflames the blood, irritates the nerves, and makes life itfelf pain- ful : it alfo opprefles the lungs fo feverely, that one involuntarily feeks for cooler air to breathe in, feeling as if the mouth was an oven of fire ; if one inhales the air by the noftrils, it affedls the head, and in again ex- haling it, it feels like a gulli of blood rulhing

over


TRAVELS IN EGYPT. SSS

over the alr-pafTages ; every thing that one touches is burning, and iron even in the night acquires the fame heat to the touch as it would in France in the dog-days, expofed to the noon-day beams of the fun.

During thefe latter days w-e made an ex- pedition to Sahmateh and Abumanah, fron- tier places of the government of the The- baid, to fettle with the inhabitants for the neceifary labours of dykes and canals. Our general was received like the governor of a province; the kaimakan, or general of the armed inhabitants, who was a rich man, had prepared for us on one of his eftates a large court well watered, which in fome degree quelled the burning heat of the feafon. In the evening he gave a fupper to ourfelves, the fheiks of the province, the detachment which accompanied us, and for the numer- ous fervants who had made themfelves part

7 of


S()4 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

of our fuite ; for in the eafl they are a kind of vermin, which multiply at every llcp, and feed upon you, without your being able to defend yourfelf from their importunities. Scarcely have you engaged a fmgle domeflic than you are ferved by another, who never fhews fo much zeal as when he has no wages, and only takes pains when he is the fervant's deputy ; but as foon as you give him a liver)' he muft have his horfe, and this introduces a third officious fellow, and fo on. Thefe bloodfuckers, who infenfibly encreafed in the army, were more burdenfome to the country, and more barbaroufly deftru^ive to the pro- perty of the inhabitants than the army itfelf; they robbed with brutal audacity, propor- tioned to the rank or power of their mafters, to whom they became infolcnt as ibon as they could pafs into the fervice of one more powerful, with whom they fuppofed they

might


TRAVELS IN. EGYPt. 5(35

might continue their courfe with more impu* nity. They purfue their plundering fchemes. at the expence of the cultivator, the manu- fadurer, and all the ufeful and refpedable clalTes of fociety : it is true that every battle freed us from a great number of them, but they returned for pillage, and only changed their mafters. I have feen fome, who in the beginning of the campaign had been grooms, on their return giving their orders to three fervants, and by means of promo- tions which they impudently made among each other, perform no other office than that of holding the ftirrup for their mafter when he mounted, and even then havins; one of their underftrappers at hand to hold their pipe, or rather to flievv to the by-flanders the dignity to which they had airiTed. It muft be acknowledged, however, that by degrees we rendered ourfclves accomplices of this 2 corruption.


366 TRAVELS IN EGYPT.

corruption, for we caught the fpirit of orien- tals in breathing the fame air with them, and we became fo accuftomcd to a fuite, that we foon could not do without a large train of attendants.


END OF VOL. TI






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