Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

PEARL FISHERY ON

THE COAST OF CEYLON.

a

a

the tinmen and the chemists, whose shops front the main street, We now descend upon Hornsey-wood House, a tavern and teacan afford w tell us that the mail and stage coaches no longer garden. “ Fitzstephen incidentally mentions that in his time a passing through the village is “no loss."

vast forest was on the north side of London, which abounded with We must go into one of those public-houses to rest, and refresh all the large animals of the chase, among which were wild boars. a little : will the landlord bring out the horns, and administer the Probably the thicket now called Hornsey-wood furined part of this oath? This silly custom belonged to a boisterous age, when a vast forest,' the frequenters of which, instead of valorous laugh was more valued for itself, than for the cause of laughter. hunters, are now tea-drinking and pic-nic parties of citizens !" A pair of horns used to be kept in each public-house, upon which Continuing our walk through the fields, we begin to ascend again, the stranger, on his first visit to Highgate, was sworn “not to eat and pass through Highbury, an eminence immediately north of brown bread when he could get white, unless he liked the other Islington, which is covered over with rows of houses, some of them better,” and so on, through a number of similar absurdities. excellent, and chiefly inhabited by people of moderate income, Lysons, writing in 1795, says, the custom, the origin of which he whose business requires a residence in the vicinity of London. did not know, was almost extinct-it exists only in recollection From thence, through Islington, we may return to what the late

Mr. Cobbett unsparingly abused as the “Wen"-which, with all Instead of going round by Hampstead, we will go northwards, its defects, is the healthiest large city in the world, and where a crossing the road by the Archway, from near the top of Highgate. sober and industrious man may enjoy much that renders life a hill.

pleasurable existence. There is a very fine view to be obtained from the top of the bridge or arch; the road below looks like a deep ravine; one side exhibits a varied and undulating country, the other London, “The crew of a boat consists of a Tindal or master, ten divers, and "mighty London,"—the dome of St. Paul's, and the numerous thirteen other men, who manage the boat and attend the divers when spires, appearing more or less distinct, as the smoke and vapour, fishing. Each boat has five diving-stones (the ten divers relieving illuminated by the rays of the sun, are disturbed by the action of each other); five divers are constantly at work during the hours of the wind.

fishing. The weight of the diving-stone varies from fifteen to Advancing a little way on the road, we may either turn down. twenty five pounds, according to the size of the diver; some stout

men tind it necessary to have from four to eight pounds of stone wards towards Holloway and Islington, or continue onwards to in a waist-belt, to enable them to keep at the bottom of the sca, Hornsey. The day is not far spent, so we will go onwards. It is to fill their net with oysters. The form of a diving-stone resembles six miles from the Royal Exchange to Hornsey, according to the the cone of a pine; it is suspended by a double cord. omnibus men.

Our walk takes us through Crouch End—a small “The net is of coir-rope yarns, eighteen inches deep, fastened kind of scattered village, and after walking some time we arrive in to a hoop eighteen inches wide, fairly slung to a single cord. On sight of Hornsey church, churchyard, and village. They lie in a preparing to commence fishing, the diver divests himself of all his little kind of dell, and have rather a picturesque appearance. You clothes, except a small piece of cloth ; after offering up his devo. can strike off the road, through the fields, near a new building tions, he plunges into the sea and swims to his diving-stone, appropriated as a girls' school. The church has been lately nearly which his attendants have slung over the side of the boat; he all rebuilt , and is a conspicuous object among the houses which places his right foot or toes between the double cord on the

diving-stone-the bight of the cord being passed over a stick cluster round it.

projecting from the side of the boat; by grasping all parts of the Hornsey Park is known in history as the place where the Duke rope he is enabled to support himself and the stone, and raise or of Gloucester, and the Earls of Warwick, Arundel, and others, met lower the latter for his own convenience while he remains at the to oppose Richard II. in 1386. It was here also that young surface; he then puts his left foot on the hoop of the net and Edward V., after his father's death, was met by the Lord Mayor of presses it against the diving-stone, retaining the card in his hand. London and five hundred citizens, and escorted into the city, a The attendants take care that the cords are clear for running out short time previous to his disappearance under the guardianship of of the boat. his uncle Richard III. A similar procession met Richard's

"The diver being thus prepared, he raises his body as much as dethroner, Henry VII. out here, on his return from an expedition his thumb and finger, slips his hold of the bight of the diving.

he is able ; drawing a full breath, he presses his nostrils between into Scotland.

stone, and descends as rapidly as the stone will sink him. On But to return home. There is a narrow lane just opposite the reaching the bottom he abandons the stone, which is hauled up girls' school, and by going down this, and crossing two or three by the attendants ready to take him down again, clings to the stiles, we shall have a delightful homeward walk. The fields which ground, and commences filiing his net. To accomplish this, be he cross, lie down the slope of a “gentle hill,” and up another ; will sometimes creep over a space of eight or ten fathoms, and ant as we ascend, a fine view spreads out before the eye. From remain under water a minute; when he wishes to ascend he the stile at the top of the hill, turning our back to London (which, checks the cord of the net, which is instantly felt by the attendants, by the way, a genuine Londoner is very loath to do,) a richly. who commence pulling up as fast as they are able. The diver cultivated country lies before us, dotted over with villas and vil. remains with the net until it is so far clear of the bottom as to be

in po danger of upsetting, and then begins to haul himself up by lages ; on the left is Highgate, with a series of little hills spreading the cord, hand over band, which the attendants are likewise out from it, on the right a rich and extensive plain, through which pulling: When by these means his body has acquired an impetus flows the river Lea, forming a boundary between Middlesex and upwards, he forsakes the cord, places' his hands to his thighs, Essex, and for some distance nearly parallel with it, is conducted the time the contents of bis net have been em tied into the boat

rapidly ascends to the surface, swins to bis diving-stone, and by the canal called the New River, planned by Sir Hugh Middleton

he is ready to go down again. One diver will take up in a day for supplying the inhabitants of London with water. Looking from 1000 to 4000 oysters. They seldom exceed a minute under towards London, the “great metropolis" seems a shadowy and water; the more common time is frem tiity three to tilly-seven indistinct thing, as if the clouds which hang over it were willing to

seconds, but when requested to remain as long as possible, they

can prolong their stay to scmething more than eighty seconds. hide all its vice and misery, and to leave us at liberty to think only They are warned to ascend by a singing noise in the ears, and of its greatness and its grandeur,

finally by a sensation similar to hiccup."

a

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS OF THE FIRST erroneously applied ; the world was made by God, and if the CHAPTER OF GENESIS.

history in question were dictated by him, it cannot be inconsistent

with the facts. Why, then, should we not prefer that sense of the Those geologists who consider that the six days of creation word used in the history itself, which is in harmony with the mean precisely what we commonly understand by the word "day" structure of the globe ? It is said, indeed, that the account in the -that is, six revolutions of the earth, each comprised in twenty- second chapter of Genesis is a different one from that in the first. four hours-refer all the great changes which have happened upon With this the geologist can have no concern ; since he finds both the earth before it was arranged for the habitation of man, to the adopted in a connected history, he receives them as one. time which is supposed to have elapsed in the space between the " It is agreed on all hands, that the word here used for day, is first and second verses of the first chapter of Genesis. That is that which, in the Hebrew, usually signified a period of twenty-four to say, the first verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens hours, and the addition of morning and evening is supposed to and the earth,” is (as was stated in a previous article) a simple render it certain that this is the real sense, and the only sense that announcement of the great fact, that God did create the heavens is admissible, especially as this view is supported by the peculiar and the earth at some period; and then that the second verse-genius of the Hebrew language. " And the earth was without form and void”-indicates that the “ But, we would ask, is it unusual to preserve this allusion to earth had been in existence, and had undergone some derangement, morning and evening, when the word day is used for time? We previous to the commencement of that process which fitted it for speak, for instance, of the life of a man as his day; and in the same the reception of the human race.

sense, and in harmony with this rhetorical figure, we speak of the But those who regard the six days of creation as signifying morning and evening of life. periods of indefinite length, look upon the first chapter of Genesis “In all ages, countries, and languages, this use of the word day' as an authorised and divinely inspired geological history, told in is fully sanctioned, and it is frequently used in the Scriptures in brief and simple language, yet recording accurately the great the same sense. * Indeed it might not be too much to suppose events which geology teaches occurred on the earth during the that the arrangement by which the sun was to measure time, was ages that preceded the appearance of man. They therefore inter

not completed until the evening of the fourth day, and then our pret the second verse of the first chapter as indicating the early difficulties will be confined to one day, namely the fifth. The first state of our world, when it was covered with a dark abyss of three days, obviously, could not have had the present measure of waters, in which neither vegetable nor animal life could exist, time applied to them; and the work of arranging the crust of the They then go through the other verses of the chapter, and contend planet was so far finished by the evening of the fifth day, as to fit that the descriptions given harmonise with the great periods of it for the reception of terrestrial quadrupeds, which first appeared time which geological investigation has discovered.

Dry land"

on the sixth day, and finally, man was created, as would appear, appears; the vegetable kingdom is formed ; “ the waters bring at the conclusion of the same day; of course, the great geological forth abundantly;'

great whales"

are created; and this, it is revolutions, beneath the bed of the ancient ocean, must have been stated, is an erroneous translation, and should be rendered “great so far finished that the continents had emerged, and thus dry land reptiles,” thus correcponding with that period when " reptiles was provided, both for terrestrial quadrupeds and for man, neither were lords of creation, and moved their enormous lengths through of which could, before this period, have existed on the earth. the waters or on the shores of the ancient world. Afterwards,

“Supposing that there are inhabitants at the poles of the earth, " the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind," how might they understand the days of the creation ? To them a appear, and so on to the creation of man.

day of light is six months long, and a night of darkness six months The notion that the six days of creation are periods of indefinite long; and the day, made up of night and day, covers a year, and it length, can be supported by plausible and ingenious hypothetical is a day too, limited by morning and evening. arguments. There are, however, some serious objections to this

“Such persons, therefore, must suppose, upon the popular underinterpretation. . As we have no opinion which we can presume to standing of the days of the creation, that at least six years were a dvocate, (considering our knowledge of the harmony of Scripture employed on the work. So, at the polar circles, there is, every and geology to be yet in a progressive state,) we shall present the year, one day,—that is, one continued vision of the sun for twentyopposite interpretations in the words of two eminent men, who, four hours, and one continued night of twenty-four hours; while, however they may differ, agree in profound respect for the everywhere within the polar circles, the days and nights respectively Scriptures.

are for six months, more than twenty-four hours, extending even Professor Silliman says, that he is aware, " from much commu- as we advance towards the poles, through the time of many of our nication with biblical critics and divides, how tenacious they are

days and nights. How are these people to understand the week of of the common acceptation of the word 'day.' On points of biblical the creation, if limited to the popular view entertained in countries criticism we have no right to speak with great confidence. But between the polar circles ? we may be permitted to remark, that from the best consideration “It is objected, that as the Sabbath is a common day, and that as we have been able to give the subject, aided by the light afforded it is mentioned in the fourth commandment, and in other parts of both by criticism and geology, it does not appear necessary to limit the Scriptures, in connexion with the other six days, they ought to the word day' in this account, to the period of twenty-four hours. be limited to the same time.

“1. This word could have no definite application, before the “We cannot see that this consequence follows. The Sabbath is a present measure of a day and night was established by the instituted moral enactment; all that precedes was physical, relating merely revolution of the earth on its axis, before an illuminated sun, and

to the creation and arrangement of matter, and to irrational this did not happen until the fourth day.

organized beings; the Sabbath could have no relation to rocks " 2. The word day' is used, even in this short history, in three and waters ; it was ordained for man as a rational being, and ia senses,—for light as distinct from darkness,-for the light and mercy as a day of rest to the animal races that were to labour for darkness of a single terrestrial revolution, or a natural day,—and him : it was a new dispensation, and although the same word is finally for time at large.

applied both to this period and to those that preceded, it does not “3. In the latter case then, the account itself uses the word 'day' appear to follow that they are necessarily of the same length. The in the sense in which geology would choose to adopt it, that is, for first three days that preceded the establishment of the relation time or a period of time.

between the sun and the earth, could have no measure of time in “In the recapitulatory view of the creation in the beginning of the common with our present experience, and it appears to be no unsecond chapter of Genesis,-allusion is made to the whole work warrantable liberty to suppose that they may have been of any in the expression in the day that the Lord God made the heavens and the earth.'

"* Luke xvii. 24.-So also shall the son of man be in his day. “ 4. If the canons of criticism require that one sense of the word "John viii. 16.— Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see my day; and ho day' should be adopted and preserved throughout the whole account, saw it and was glad. how are we to understand this verse: These are the generations 2 Peter iii. 8.---One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thouof the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day sand

years as one day. that the Lord God made the heavens and the earth? Whicb of " Genesis ii. 4.–These are the generations of the heavens and of the carth the three senses shall we adopt? If the last, then the whole work

when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and was performed not in six days, but in one day-of twenty-four hours, in the popular sense ;-in a sufficient period of time,

Job xiv. 6.-Turn from him that he may rest, till he shall accomplish as

an hireling his day. according to the geological view. The canons of criticism were

Job xviii. 20.— They that come after him shall be astonished at his day, as made by man, and may be erroneous, or at least they may be they that went before were affrighted, (speaking of the life of the wicked)

the heavens.

[ocr errors]

6

nature.

length which the subject matter may require, although those three days were also verbally limited by morning and evening, and that

STATE OF EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION IN THE at a period of the creation when there could have been no morning

REIGN OF AMASIS. and evening, in the sense in which those words are now used.

B. C. 571. “The revolution of the earth on its axis in presence of an illumi. nated sun, was necessary to constitute morning and evening, and

To reconcile the command, “ not to do evil, that good may it must revolve with the same degree of rapidity as now, in order ensue,” with the fact constantly before our eyes that “evil pro. to have constituted such a natural day, with its morning and duces good," appears at first sight difficult : we too often forget evening, as we at present enjoy. But the sun was not ordained that the command is directed to our actions, while the axiom to rule the day until the fourth of those periods, and it is not applies merely to our sufferings; and, when tempted to transgress certain that the early revolutions of the earth on its axis were as rapid as now. May we not therefore suppose that the historian, as

an injunction perhaps more difficult to obey than any other in the be must employ some term for his divisions of time, adopted one Gospel, how readily can we find precedents for our weakness! that he found in familiar use, but that it is not necessarily restricted How numerous are the characters in history to which we can to the common acceptation of the word ?"

refer, in whom the love of justice and other excellent qualities The opposite view to this, namely, that the six days of creation blot out from our minds the dark steps by which they attained the are actually six natural days, is thus explained by Dr. Pye Smith. opportunity of displaying these virtues! Among these characters,

We have then six • days,' which I conceive there is good reason to regard as six natural days, six rotations of our globe upon its The degree of his guilt is doubtful, but his good qualities are upon

the monarch of whom we are about to speak is to be numbered. axis, each accomplished in about twenty-four hours. The globe is represented to us covered with darkness,' as a vast mass, the record. Great uncertainty veils the circumstances attending the surface probably all water, and with it mingled earthy matter, so

accession of Amasis, and the direct means by which he obtained that it might be called an ocean of mud, and the atmosphere so the throne of Egypt. Herodotus describes him as of plebeian turbid as to be quite dark, had there been any there to have origin, a native of the city of Liuph, in the district of Saïs; but witnessed it. And God produced light.' This (as the following Diodorus asserts that Amasis was a person of considerable conseoperations) is expressed to us in the simple language of antiquity, quence; and we learn from the sculptures of Tbebes, that he bad attributing to the infinite Being the utterance of vocal expression : married the daughter of Psammetichus the Third ; which circuí. "God said, Be light, and light was.' Nothing can be more beautiful, uothing more energetic, nothing more touching, especially instance, together with the fact of his belonging to the military that state of society to which the Scriptures were addressed, caste, appears to contradict the first-named historian, whose when men would not have understood the dry philosophical style, account of the circumstances of the elevation of Amasis is as which men in modern times have adopted. We then find reference follows :- Apries, the reigning monarch, having sent an army made to the firmament'— the atmosphere in which watery vapours against the Cyreneans, received a severe defeat, which so enraged float. We next find reference made to the separation of land from the Egyptians against him, that the friends of such as had been water; "the dry land' is commanded to appear ;' it was upheaved by those internal forces, the reality of which the whole history of slain, with those who returned in safety, openly rebelled. The the globe attests. We then have the divine power creating vegetable King sent Amasis to quell this insurrection ; but, instead of

And after that, we read of the bringing forth of the bringing the rebels back to their allegiance, he was persuaded to luminaries of heaven. Now this has created å difficulty in the place himself at their head. An outrage committed by the King minds of many. 'God said, Let there be lights in the firmament upon Patarbemis, who had vainly endeavoured to negotiate with of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be Amasis, exasperated even those who had hitherto sided with for signs and for seasons, for days and for years, and let them be Apries, and the greater part without hesitation deserting him, and for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the going over to the rebels, the King was left with only the auxiliary earth ; and it was so. And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made troops about him ; at the head of whom, consisting of about thirty the stars also.' Now can we fail here to perceive the condescending thousand Ionians and Carians, he prepared to oppose the enemy. language which God was pleased to direct his servants to use, to Apries was defeated, carried prisoner to Saïs, and afterwards meet the apprehensions of the bulk of mankind ? It is impossible yielded up, with some reluctance on the part of Amasis, to the not to perceive, that this is the language suited to the conceptions Egyptians, by whom he was put to death. Apries is the Pharaoh of the early ages of man. For the sun is put, with the strictest Hophra of the Bible, and his death, with its attendant circumpropriety, as the greater luminary, but the moon is made the next in inagnitude ; whereas we know that the moon is the smallest stances, is thus foretold by Jeremiah: “I will give Pharaoh of all the planets belonging to the solar system, excepting those of Hophra, King of Egypt, into the hands of his enemies, and into

the hands of them that seek his life.” very recent discovery; and then, of the planets, three of which are amazingly greater by hundreds of hundreds of times than this This apparent treachery of Amasis rests, however, solely upon earth, no mention at all is made ; they are only included in the the authority of Herodotus,-or rather upon the accounts which gener affirmation—the stars also.' Now men in early times that writer received from the Egyptian priests : there is some conceived the stars in the third degree of beauty and magnitude reason to suspect that Amasis was partly the subordinate agent of and importance. I mention this, as a proof that it is condescending one of the most powerful monarchs of antiquity, Nebuchadnezzar. langunge, meeting the simplicity of the early apprehensions of this conqueror, according to Josephus, “led an army into Caelomankind. The true meaning, I apprehend, is this—that now the atmosphere was so far clear, that, on the side of the earth next Syria, of which he obtained possession, and then waged war on the to the sun, he was seen shining brightly in the blue sky, and in the Ammonites and Moabites. These being subdued, he invaded and opposite hemisphere the moon and the other heavenly bodies would conquered Egypt; and, having put the king of that country to bave been seen penetrating the darkness.

death, he appointed another in his stead.” Whether Amasis had “And thus I could travel over the successive six days, and show, solicited the aid of the Assyrian monarch in furtherance of his that, in those six days, Almighty power, wisdom, and goodness, rebellious project, or had merely taken advantage of the disaffecput forth its direct agency, where necessary, but, where not necessary, what are usually called the laws of nature,' namely, the tion of the Egyptians to advance his ambitious views, we can attraction of gravitation and that of chemical affinities, were allowed, readily imagine that the Assyrians, having extended their con. I may say, or made to exercise themselves; and the result was quests to the extremity of Palestine, would, on the rumour of what is described--the creation of animated beings in their re. intestine commotions in Egypt, hasten to take advantage of the spective elements, and of man to be the superior and sovereign opportunity thus afforded them of attacking the country. The of them all."

prophecy of Isaiah was accomplished : “And the Egyptiaos will I Such of our readers as have perused the three articles we have give into the hand of a cruel lord, and a fierce king shall rule over given on this subject, chiefly in the words of Professor Silliman them.” Many were carried captive to Babylon ; and Amasis and Dr. Pye Smith, will, we doubt not, admit:-1. That the Bible

The latter does not contradict geology; and 2. That, as we advance in know. became king of Egypt, tributary to Nebuchadnezzar. ledge, a just interpretation of the Bible will always be found to har- fact, proved by the title Melek, which was given to inferior or monise with the discoveries of science.

tributary kings, being applied to Amasis in some of the hierogly.

[ocr errors]

rhic legends respecting him, would account for the silence of the disclosed the hidden mysteries and science of the priests; therefore priests towards Herodotus on the subject of the Assyrian invasion. the use of hieroglyphics was encouraged by them. Compare our Without mentioning the disgrace which had befallen their country, Roman alphabet with the Hebrew, the Syriac, or the Greek ; how and the interposition of a foreign power, they attributed the ele much more simple it is: the ancient Etruscan and Persepolitan vation of Amasis solely to his ambition and the disloyalty of the is nearly, if not quite, as old as that of drawing, is shown by

characters only exceed it in this respect. That the art of painting Egyptian soldiery. But it was not ambition nor the love of conquest alone which led Egypt. The lips of the oldest Hindu idols aré, many of them.

colourings on the walls at Thebes, and in many edifices of Upper Nebuchadnezzar to attack Egypt; he was actuated also by revenge. coloured red; and this use of mineral substances seems to be Zedekiah had been made king of Judea by the Assyrian monarch, almost coeval with man. It follows that the savage, having coe but, endeavouring to throw off the Babylonian yoke, he made a

loured his own body, would, when led to it by circumstances, make treaty with Apries for that purpose. The latter monarch, however, had pictures when invaded by Cortez, but the Mexicans had lost

coloured representations of the objects around him. The Mexicans being engaged in war with the Syrians, could not afford any mate

their civilization. rial assistance to his ally; and, although “ Pharaoh's army was come out of Egypt, and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jeru. temple of Minerva at Sindus, said to have been built by Danaüs,

Besides the presents above mentioned, Amasis gate to the salem beard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem,” yet, two marble statues and a linen corslet, “ deserving of admiration;" when the army of Apries had retired, the King of Babylon, again and to the temple of Juno at Samos, two figures of himself carved advancing to the city, succeeded in taking it, in the eleventh year in wood. The kindness shown by Amasis to Sainos was owing to of Zedekiah, rased it to the ground, and carried away the remain. the friendship which subsisted between him and Polycrates, the der of the people captive. The 29th chapter of Ezekiel describes

son of Eaces, who had forcibly possessed himself of that isiand. the power of A pries and his pride ; reproaching him with having

" But the wonderful prosperity and uninterrupted successes of failed in the protection of Judea, and prophesying the waste of Polycrates excited the attention and anxiety of Amasis ; and, es Egypt by the Babylonian conqueror. It we reflect upon the they were observed by him continually to increase, he was induced character of Nebuchadnezzar, we may well imagine that he needed

to write him the following letter : no further stimulus to his revengeful feelings than the possibility

AMASIS TO POLYCRATES. of success, to induce him to invade the kingdom of Apries; and his * To learn that a friend and ally is blessed with prosperity, cannot fall vindictive spirit might require the death of his deposed enemy, of to give me the greatest satisfaction ; but, knowing the invidiousness of for. which Amasis might be the unwilling instrumen:.

tune, your extraordinary success excites my apprehension. For my own The mild conduct and political sagacity of Amasis conciliated part, it I might be allowed to choose for myself or those I regard, I should the affections of the Egyptians. Froin dawn of day to such time prefer prosperity on some occasions, on others disuppointnient, and thus as the public square was filled with people, he gave audience to

pass through life with an alternation of good and evil, rather than be fortuwhoever required it : the rest of the day he spent at the table, blessed with unceasing felicity who did not end his career overwhelmed

nate in every undertaking. For I never remember to liave heard of a man diverting himself with his guests in a manner not quite consonant with calamities. Take, therefore, my advice, and apply this counter puise with the dignity of a monarch. Some of his friends having remon. to your prosperity; endeavour to discover some favourite object whose loss strated with him upon this conduct, he replied, “ They who have would occasion you the deepest regret ; and, as soon as this has been aseera bow, bend it only at the time they want it; when not in use,

tained, remove it from you in such a manner that it can never be recovered. they suffer it to be relaxed; it would otherwise break, and not be 1f, then, your good fortune still continues unchequered by adversity, I of service when exigence required. It is precisely the same with strongly recommend you to repeat the remedy I propose.'' a man, if, without some intervals of amusement, he applied himself Polycrates, having seriously deliberated upon this singular constantly to serious pursuits, he would imperceptibly lose his piece of advice, determined to follow it; and, accordingly, he vigour both of mind and body. It is the conviction of this truth tixed upon a signet ring, which he was in the habit of wearing, as which influences me in the division of my time.” Amasis insti. being, of all his treasures, that which he the most valued. This tuted a law, obliging every Egyptian once in the year to explain to ring has been the subject of some controversy. Herodotus calls it the chief magistrate of his district the means by which he obtained an emerald set in gold; Pliny says it was a sardonyx, adding, that his subsistence. The refusal to comply with this ordinance, or the in his time they showed a ring at Rome, in the temple of Concord, not being able to prove that a livelihood was procured by honest given by Augustus, which was said to be that of the Samian king. means, was a capital offence. This law was also established in The matter is scarcely interesting beyond the evidence it gives of Athens, by Draco; and Solon commuted the punishment of death the art of engraving on precious stones being practised at this time. 10 that of infamy, against all those who had thrice offended. Resolving to sacrifice the ring, he embarked on board a fifty-Oared

After remedying the evils that civil comniotion bad caused, vessel, and, being taken to a considerable distance from the land, Amasis turned his attention to the commercial and military inte. he threw the jewel into the sea, in the presence of his attendants, rests of Egypt. Having fitted out a formidable expedition against and returned to Samos. The sacrifice, though voluntary, afflicted Cyprus, he subjected that island to his power; being the first who him much; but five or six days after, a fisherinan, having caught a had compelled it to pay tribute. In order to encourage such fish of great size and beauty, brought it to the palace as a presen: foreigners as were willing to trade with his subjects, (the Greeks to the king, deeming it too fine to be exposed for sale in the especially,) he permitted the latter people to have a settlement at market. Polycrates, gratified with the attention, ordered the man Naucratis, which soon became a flourishing town, in consequence his supper in the palace. Shortly after, the servants, on opening of the exclusive privileges it enjoyed; every merchant being the fish, discovered the ring, which the king received joyfully, and required to unload his cargo there, or, if contrary winds prevented concluding that such a circumstance could only be the effect of his making that port, bis goods were taken out, and conveyed in divine interposition, carefully noted down every particular, and boats of the country by inland navigation, through or round the sent it to Egypt. Amasis, on perusing his friend's letter, felt Delta, to Naucratis. Amasis also permitted the Greeks to build a convinced that it was out of the power of one mortal to deliver very spacious and celebrated temple at Hellenium, accompanied another from the fate which awaited bim; and, fearing that by many exclusive privileges and distinctions. He likewise pre- Polycrates could not terminate his days in tranquillity, he sent a sented a large contribution to the Delphians, towards rebuilding the herald to Samos, disclaiming all future connexion with him lest, ia temple, which had been consumed by fire ; and, having made an any calamity which might befal Polycrates, he might be obliged, as amicable confederacy with the Cyrenians, he sent a golden statue of a friend and ally, to bear a part. Minerva, with a porirait of himself, to their city. The last-named This conduct certainly reflects no credit on the moral character gift shows that ihe art of painting was known to the Egyptians, of Amasis, however consonant it might be with policy. But although it does not seem to have been carried to any perfection Diodorus gives a very different reason for his withdrawal froni the by them. 6. The fine arts never flourished on the banks of the alliance of Polycrates : disgust at the tyrannical conduct of the Nile. Hermes may have invented the lyre, but he left it to be latter, not only towards his own subjects but to strangers; conduct sounded by the muses of Greece.Tacitus asserts that the which must eventually bring about his ruin. This historian is conEgyptians knew the art of designing before they were acquainted firmed by other writers, Herodotus among the rest, respecting the with letters. Is it not so in every country? Hieroglyphics are disaffection of the Samians towards their king: several of them fled merely elaborate signs for things, used before man is able to con- to Crete ; and Polycrates, suspecting the fidelity of others, and per. dense and arrange his ideas ; in process of time hieroglyphics haps willing to revenge himself for the desertion of Amasis, sent become simplified into an alphabet. In Egypt, this would have to Cambyses, who was then meditatiog the invasion of Egypt,

ܪ

entreating him to demand supplies and assistance of the Samians.planets. Pythagoras understood the cause of a lunar eclipse, and With this private intimation Cambyses publicly complied; and the held the same opinion as the moderns respecting the nature of the Samian king, selecting those whose loyalty he doubted, sent them moon,-its mountains, valleys, and seas; his disciples described in forty triremes to Cambyses, requesting him by all means to the diurnal motion of the earth; and they likewise taught that the prevent their return. These people, however, instead of proceed- diameter of the moon is about a third of that of the earth : moderu ing to their destination, repaired to Sparta, and implored the astronomers have determined it to be greater iban a fourth. They assistance of the Lacedemonians, which was granted ; and an also said that the moon's mass is to that of the earth as 1 to 7?; army was embarked against Polycrates, in which expedition the Bernouilli says, as I to 71. The Pythagoreans understood the Corinthians also joined. The feet besieged Samos; but, alter form of the comets' courses, and gave hints of a plurality of haremaining forty days before the place withont any advantage, the bitable worlds. All this shows an advanced stage of astronomical Lacedemonians returned to Greece ; while those Camians who had science. How the Egyptian priests had acquired it, whether it taken up arms against Polycrates, seeing themselves forsaken by were the remains of antediluvinn learning, imperfectly transmitted their allies, embarked for Siphnos, one of the Cyclades. These by the great patriarch to the renewed world, or wliether it were the islands were all eminently beautiful, and each was distinguished by fruit of the incessant application of the Egyptian priests, we can some appropriate excellence. From Paros came the marble whose only conjecture; but the first supposition acquires some credit beauty bas furnished the poet with similes in ancient and modern from the fact that the Egyptians omitted to place ainong the con. times; Andros and Napos produced the most exquisite wine ; stellations some of the most remarkable of the animals which they Amengos was famous for a dye, made from a lichen growing there adored ; while they acknowledged the figures of the bear and the in great abundance ; and the riches of Siphnos, now Siphanto, are lion, animals which t.ey could be acquaisted with only by deextolled by many ancient writers. At this time the power of the scription. Siphnians was very considerable; and, being insulted by the The Egyptians could scarcely be ignorant of the use of the Samian ambassadors, they collected their forces to expel the mechanical powers in the age of Amasis. That monarch erected at strangers, but were defeated, and compelled to pay a hundred Saïs a splendid building in honour of Minerva ; " but, what in my talents.

opinion," says Herodotus, "deserves the greatest admiration, is an To return to Polycrates. Oroetes, a Persian, and governor of editice of a single stone, brought from the city of Elephantine, a Sardis, having been reproached by a companion for never having distance of about twenty days' journey. Two thousand men, chosen attempted to add Samos to the dominions of his master, lying from the class of boatinen, were employed for the space of three contiguous, as the island did, to the province which be governed, years in transporting it to Saïs. Its external length is twenty-one determined to effect the death of Polycrates, on whose account he cubits, its breadth fourteen, and height eight ; and, in the inside, had been reproached. Knowing the character of the Samian it measures eighteen cubits and twenty digits in length, twelve in king, and that he projected the subjection of Ionia and the breadth, and five in height. It stands neer the entranre of the islands, Orætes despatched a messenger to him, with intimation temple ; and the reason of its being left in this spot was that the that Cambyses having determined on the deach of the Persian, he had architect, wearied with the tedious duration of the undertaking. had resolved to escape, and was willing to place himself and his wealth been heard to fetch a deep sigh, while they were employed in at the disposal of Polycrates; by which means the latter might dragging it forward; upon which Amusis, who happened to be preeasily obtain the sovereignty of Greece. With these overtures the sent, gave orders they should stop and carry it no further. Sme, king was extremely delighted, for his love of money was exces- however, affirın, that one of the men while moving it with a lei er sive; and, after sending a messenger to meet Orce:es, he sailed was crushed to death, and that on this account they were ordered himself for Magnesia, accompanied by many of his frieods. As to desist." From Elephantine 10 Assouan, where the granite soon, however, as he arrived at that place, he was put to a mise- quarries may still be seen, to Saīs, is about 700 miles by land ; the rable death by Orotes, and his body fixed to a cross. His frier.ds river must have been cro:sed once at least. Many monuments still were dismissed to Samos, but the servants of those who had ac- exist in different parts of Igypt, bearing the name of Amasis, precompanied the king were detained in servitude. Thus terminated senting memorials of the encouragement which he gave to archi. the life of Polycrates, “ of all the princes who ever reigned in tecture, and oiber branches of art. May we not rejoice when we Greece, those of Syracuse alone excepted, the most magnificent." read that this monareh died six months be ore the invasion of The alliance or friendship of Ainasis could not have saved Puly: Cambyses? Having reigned forty-four years, feared and respected, crates from this fate; and, in fact, the storm which at this period and having succeeded in the latter part of his reign in freting liis impended over Egypt might have involved him in the fate of that country from the Babylonian tribute, he was spared the misery of country, while it would have prevented Amasis from giving him any seeing Egypt fall under a more oppressive conqueror even than assistance against his rebellious subjects, had the latter been in. Nebuchadnezzar ; a conqueror who amply fultilled the sacred pro. clined to do so. But here again good springs from evil. Diodorus phecy, that Egypt should be " utterly waste and desolate. It shall and other authors affirm that it was the tyranny, not the recom- be the basest of kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more mendation of Polycrates, which drove the “ Samian sage." above the nations." The Persian iconoclasts doomed to destruction Pythagoras, from his native island to Egypt, there to study the the monuments of Egyptian learning and science ; and it has been religious mysteries of the priests, and to acquire those profound truly said that "it was the superstition, and not the science, of scientific truths which modern investigation has but confirmed, Egypt, that survived the iron rule of her Persian despots.” scarcely surpassed. Thales and Solon also visited Egypt during Of the fine arts in Egypt little need be said. We have seen thal the reign of Amasis; the latter carrying back with him the foun- they were acquainted with painting : their linen and embroidery, we dations of tbose laws which have rendered the Athenian code so learn in the Bible, were highly esteemed ; the corselet given by celebrated. Let us inquire in what state was science in Egypt in Amasis to the temple of Minerva at Lindus was “of linen, but the reign of Amasis. Even the Greeks themselves inform us that there were interwoven in the piece a great number of animals richly geometry was studied in Egypt from the most remote antiquity. embroidered with cotton and gold : every part of it deserved admi. According to Plato, this science was invented by Thoth, to whom ration: it was composed of chains, each of which contained three the Egyptians were indehted for the use of letters,—according to hundred and sixty threads distinctly visible.” Glass was in use Manetho, before the flood. Upon this intricate subject we will not with the Egyptians for various purposes ; Herodotus, who lived enter; merely noticing that the dispassionate and lucid author of about a century after Am sis, says, that in Ethiopia it was so abun. " Origines"

“ sees no reason why the fact should be deemed dant that coffins were made of it; it has even been said that the improbable.” The erection of the pyramids is sufficient to show u Egyptians knew the art of making glass malleable. It is probable considerable proficiency in geometry; and as to astronomy, is not that they were even acquainted with the formation and use of our present system that which Pythagoras learned in Egypt? for lenses. we believe that the opinion that Pythagoras, at the age of twenty- As early as the time of Moses, the Egyptians understood the arts two, carried into that country more learning and science tnan the of tanning and dyeing. Josephus says that the purple dye was priests, devoted to its acquisition, had been able to obtain in the obtained from a flower; but it was the Ichthyophagi who presented course of many centuries, is now exploded. Admitting that the purple robe to Cambyses, according to Herodotus, and this Pythagoras went into Egypt for the purpose of acquiring know- makes it more likely to have been procured from a species of ledge, not of transmittiny it, what degree of knowledge did he

The lately explored remains of Petra show that the acquire ? He was taught that the sun was the centre of the pla- Edomites knew that water will rise to its own level; and we might netary system ; to attempt to measure the distance between the almost imagine, from the account of Herodotus, that the Arabians earth, the sun, and the moon; to determine the size of these orbs ; supplied the army of Cambyses with water upon the same and to calculate the periods of the revolutions of the stars and principle.

murex.

« AnteriorContinuar »