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afternoon, and was carried half dead to his palace. The next morning when his health was inquired after, the only answer given by his servants was an ominous shake of the head, which they were left to interpret as they best could. In the meantime he had stationed spies in every part of Mosul, that he might learn the effect of the news of his demise. The people were given up to general rejoicing, when suddenly at noon he appeared in the midst of them, and proceeded by pecuniary mulct to punish them for their premature gladness. But notwithstanding his eccentricities, he did Mr. Layard no injury, nor interfered with his operations.
Mr. Layard was able to secure the help of a considerable number of Arabs, and proceeded to the work of excavation at once. Examining the remains of pottery and bricks, and the handfuls of rubbish brought him by the Arabs, and especially a sculptured fragment found on the earth, he was convinced that he should find interesting remains in the mound by digging, and proceeded to search for the most interesting spot to commence. His principal servant soon led him to a place where a piece of alabaster projected above the ground, which could not be started from its bed. On digging downward, it was found to be the upper part of a large slab. In the course of the morning, thirteen slabs were discovered, united together, except that one was missing in the northwest corner., These slabs formed a chamber; and where the slab was missing, was doubtless the entrance. He proceeded to dig down the face of the stones, and soon found an inscription in the middle of the slab. Similar inscriptions were found on every one. In the course of the day half the workmen were removed to the southwest corner of the mound, where a wall was almost immediately found, bearing the same kind of inscriptions. Here the slabs bore the marks of having been exposed to the action of fire. The day following, having cleared the chamber of rubbish, he found it to be a room built of slabs, eight feet high, and from four to six feet wide, closely fitted together. The room was paved with similar slabs, though smaller, and covered on both sides with inscriptions. These slabs were laid in bitumen, which had received a sharp impress of the inscriptions,-proving that the slabs were laid into it when it was in a liquid state. From this chamber other walls were found to branch out at different angles. Some of the slabs covering them were evidently taken from more ancient buildings,—the edges of the stones, with the inscriptions, being trimmed off, and the face of the stones having been reversed. The Orientals are in the habit of digging among the
rubbish of ancient edifices, to obtain materials for building. The corner-stone of the structure now discovered was plainly of this character. It was richly ornamented with carving, representing scroll-work and flowers.
Pursuing his investigations, Mr. Layard came upon a wall overlaid with slabs covered with bas-reliefs,-a discovery apparently as exciting to the Arab workmen as it was to himself.
The two slabs first exposed to view were ornamented with two bas-reliefs each, one above the other; and each sculpture was encircled by a band of inscriptions. The subject on the upper part of the first slab was a battle-scene. In this picture there were two chariots, drawn by horses richly caparisoned, each chariot being occupied by three warriors. The principal person in each group was clad in mail, with a pointed helmet on his head. The left hand grasped a bow at full stretch, and the right held an arrow ready to be projected. The second warrior, holding the reins and whip, urged onward the galloping steeds. The third held a shield for the defense of the principal figure. Under the horses' feet, and scattered upon the relief, were the conquered, wounded by the arrows of the victors. The costume and ornaments were very rich ; and the grouping of the figures, and the delicacy with which the limbs and muscles both of the men and horses were delineated, indicated a high degree of taste and knowledge, and of artistic
The lower sculpture on this slab represented the siege of a castle or walled city. To the left were two warriors, each having a circular shield in one hand and a short sword in the other. A quiver was suspended at the back, and the left arm passed through the bow, which hung at the side ready for use. The first warrior was ascending a ladder placed against the wall. Three turrets rose above the walls with angular battlements. In the first were two warriors, one discharging an arrow at the assailants, and the other holding a shield in one hand, and with the other casting a stone at the enemy. In the second turret was a slinger preparing his sling. In the interval between the second and third turrets, and over an arched gateway, was the figure of a woman with the right hand raised, as if in the act of asking for mercy. In the third turret were two warriors, one discharging an arrow, the other endeavoring with a torch to fire a warlike machine of the enemy, which had been brought to bear upon the walls. Besides these figures, a warrior bending on one knee was holding a lighted torch against one of the castle gates, for the purpose of setting it on fire, and another with an instrument resembling a blunted
spear was forcing the stones out of the foundation. Between them a wounded man was falling headlong from the walls.
On the second slab, the upper sculpture represented two warriors, the one riding on a horse and leading a second, the other standing in a chariot and holding the reins loosely in his hands. In the lower figure was a castle two stories high, with many towers, and a woman standing on the walls and tearing her hair, as if to manifest her grief. Beneath was a stream, represented by several undulating lines, on the banks of which stood a fisherman drawing from the water a fish.
This sculpture reminds us strongly of a prophecy against Egypt, in Isaiah xix. 8: “ The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.”
These sculptured slabs we have described at full length; and they may be regarded as specimens of all the rest, to which we shall allude hereafter more briefly. On the various slabs found in the progress of Mr. Layard's investigations were portrayed figures illustrating the arts, manners, and employments of the Assyrians ; their architecture, their strategy, their dress, their worship, their domestic life, and their progress in science and the arts. It is especially through these remains that we are introduced with unerring precision to a knowledge of the people of that long-buried capital.
As Mr. Layard proceeded in his work, new objects of interest perpetually rewarded his efforts. Soon after the discoveries detailed above, he found a crouching lion, carved in basalt, on a slab which had fallen out of its place. In the centre of the mound he uncovered a pair of gigantic winged bulls, of which one half of the wings and the head had been destroyed. The slabs on which they were carved were fourteen feet in length, and probably, when intact, as many feet in height. Part of a pair of small winged lions was also discovered, and lastly a human figure nine feet high.
The strange combinations of animals of different classes were without doubt the expressions of ideas. The slabs containing these creatures were placed near the entrances, as guardians, or they were on the walls of temples, as objects of religious worship; hence we can easily imagine that they were not without signification. A lion with wings might have indicated the union of strength with swiftness, perhaps omnipresence. A winged bull might be a symbol of wisdom, strength, stability, and the power of rapid locomotion or self-translation from one place to another,-attributes of a supreme divinity. We have no doubt that they were designed as exponents as well of the religious faith, as of the picturesque and fanciful ideas of the people. We may compare with them advantageously the living creatures of Ezekiel, (chap. i.,) whose mind was deeply imbued with Assyrian imagery, and the seraphim of Isaiah, (chap. vi.) If the building uncovered were a temple, these creatures, as emblems of the Deity, might have been objects of worship, agreeably to what is said in the prophet Ezekiel, (viii. 8–12:) “ Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall; and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, .... with every man his censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up.” The Assyrian sculptures in many cases belong to the same category with the prophetic symbols, and they cast light one upon the other. We find in the figures uncovered by Mr. Layard the elements of much of the Hebrew idolatry, and a complete counterpart to the symbology of the prophetic Scriptures.
It would be interesting to give a catalogue in detail of the sculptures uncovered by Mr. Layard's excavations. A few only must suffice. They are as follows: Figures carrying supplies for a banquet; a king standing over a prostrate warrior; gigantic winged figures; beings representing the gods of the seasons, bearing in their hands appropriate emblems; a figure having a human body, with wings and the head of an eagle or other carnivorous bird ; an immense lion with wings and a human head; a king with his attendants, all having their bracelets, armlets, and weapons adorned with the heads of bulls and rams; figures carrying presents or offerings on trays, such as armlets, bracelets, earrings, etc. ; a figure accompanied by two monkeys held by ropes: the dresses of these figures are peculiar, and probably represent the captives of a distant nation bringing tribute to their conquerors; a winged, human-headed bull of yellow limestone, the head of which is now in the British Museum: under it were found sixteen copper lions, diminishing in size, in regular series, from the largest, which was upwards of a foot in length, to the smallest, which scarcely exceeded an inch. We add, among the sculptures, a broken earthen vase, having represented on it two human figures with the wings and claws of a bird, the