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dissimilar. A groove has been cut in its apex, doubtless to hold an ornament like that at Heliopolis. In the hieroglyphics on the sides, the king is said to be beloved of Ptah and Mandoo, who, it is supposed, were the principal divinities of the place. Whatever may be its origin and meaning, there is something solemn and suggestive in the aspect of this great fractured block of history, traced with the records of extreme antiquity, and lying here neglected in a bean-field, a mile from any human habitation, an object of mystery and awe to the ignorant peasantry, and of speculation to ourselves, which will probably never be satisfied. It, at all events, disposes finally of a popular theory, that all the pyramids were on one side of the Nile, and all the obelisks on the other. As we were neither of us in a condition, so far as strength was concerned, to walk back through the mud and rain, our return journey on our lofty animals was not a little perilous, the more especially as darkness came on before we reached home. Our way for the most part was along the slippery edge of a gully which cut through soft country. Sometimes THE LAByRINTH AND THE AREs. iół żo

we took refuge in the young wheat-fields, to the intense indignation of the proprietors, who shouted angry remonstrances; sometimes we scrambled down into the bed of the wady, hoping to find safer travelling-ground. At last, wet and tired, after being four hours in the saddle, instead of two, as we expected, we reached the town just as our anxious friends had sent out their servants to look for us. After this experience we were obliged to give up our trip to Biahmu, a village about four miles to the north of Medinet, where the remains of two ancient monuments exist, the nature of which I was anxious to try and verify, as it is still a matter of dispute. Linant considers them the remains of the pyramids upon which were the statues of King Moeris and his consort, which Herodotus indicates as being in the middle of the lake. Lepsius describes them as built out of great massive blocks, of which the nuclei are still standing, but not in the centre of the almost rectangular enclosures, which, by their appearance, they seem to have originally occupied. While Linant makes these outside enclosures “square,” and Lepsius “almost

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square,” Murray's ‘Guide' makes them meas-
ure 65 feet by 45. Lepsius believes that
the height of the central masses was never
greater than it is now — viz., 23 feet — to
which must be added a peculiar and some-
what projecting base of 7 feet. The foun-
dations were on Nile mud, and the incli-
nation of their angle 64°, which is steeper
than that of ordinary pyramids, and hence
he concludes against Linant Bey's hypothesis.
On the other hand, the lower stones bear
the traces of water—the Nile mud may have
been Lake Moeris mud. There are no other
remains within the area of the lake, and the
remains of the dams would go to show that
they stood in its extreme north-east angle.
The fact that they were not ordinary pyr-
amids, but rather pyramidal pedestals for
statues, may account for the steeper inclina-
tion of their angles. At all events, the point
is an interesting one, which a more thorough
investigation would probably decide.
We should gladly have lingered longer in the
Fayoum had it been in our power to take our
tents and camels and wander about in search
of the antique and the picturesque. Unfor-

tunately, our experience of camel-riding had proved too fatiguing, and we were obliged to substitute another project, which, however, proved scarcely less agreeable. We could not leave the Fayoum without wondering at the neglect of the tourist who has done Thebes, and Luxor, and the Second Cataract, and is looking for more worlds to conquer —of a region with so many attractions, and so accessible. The sportsman, the artist, and the archaeologist will all find their tastes gratified in this charming oasis. The Birket el Kurón offers, probably, better sport to the angler than he would find elsewhere in Egypt. In the thickets in some of the ravines are to be found wild boar; while lynxes, wolves, jackals, ichneumons, and hares are more or less abundant. Pelicans, wild geese, ducks, teal, and water-fowl of different varieties, frequent the marshy shores of the lake. The antiquarian would find Arsinoë, the Labyrinth, the Temple of Kasr Karoon, and the ruins on the western shores of the lake, full, not merely of interest, but of possible discoveries. At Senooris there are the graves of the early Christians who are said to have been martyred, and the peasantry have no scruple in exhuming them to satisfy the curiosity of the anthropologist who desires to have a specimen of an early Christian's skull, or the curious coffins in which their corpses were placed; while the fortress - like village of Tamiyeh, the thicket-clad gorge of Fidimin, and the broad precipitous wady at Nazlet, would offer subjects for the artist of a character not to be found elsewhere in Egypt. It is true that modern no less than ancient writers have in some respects exaggerated the luxuriance of the Fayoum. One writes of “a virgin forest,” and of “orange-trees as big as oaks;" and another of “a plantation of opuntia, the growth of which is so gigantic as almost to resemble a forest,” which I happened to see, and which certainly fell far short of this description : but in spite of all this, there can be no doubt that the Fayoum possesses a charm denied to any other section of the country, and its brawling streams and verdant recesses will well repay the traveller in search of “fresh fields and pastures new.”

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