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as anything that could be done for the Parisians. On telling him what I thought would be the cost of bringing it over, and I gave a reasonably small figure, he broke off with—“I dare say Chantrey would cut us one in Aberdeenshire for less money!”
The magnificent column generally called Pompey's Pillar was a severe puzzle, since no attention can be given to the vague surmises which have been heaped over its age, object, and story. Here however it is, a standing wonder; for though the moving of so stupendous a block of granite—the largest monolithic column known in the world—from the quarries, is within conjecture, yet the raising of it to the perpendicular is a mechanical mystery—a mystery still further involved in obscurity on recollecting that so vast a mass stands upon a base little more than five feet square, the whole weight having been discovered to rest upon the fragment of an inverted obelisk. The shaft of the red granite termed Oriental—is in the best style of taste and workmanship, and almost everywhere preserves its original lustre; but the capital, of a different granite, is without polish, and comparatively inferior in taste. As my reveries on this object, given on the spot while the impressions were warm, were communicated to my excellent friend Baron de Zach, together with the scientific observations and conclusions, and published by him in his Correspondance Astronomique, I shall subjoin the letters which I wrote to him in the Appendix, together with his remarks thereupon.
The principal interest which I felt in the matter sprung from an illusive vision, namely, that the column might possibly have been a mark for the north end of the famous degree of the meridian measured by Eratosthenes, an effort as important in astronomical and mathematical science, as the Egyptian monuments themselves are in archæology. Under the influence of such a notion, and as many of the points of the survey which I was carrying on were of course perceivable from such an elevation, I determined to carry up a theodolite, and reap a round of angles from its summit. As every eye was upon all our movements, I considered that the occasion demanded the utmost smartness and promptitude of which we were capable. Every preparatory arrangement was therefore made, not only as regarded the requisite materials, but also in stationing people to the several subdivisions of the undertaking; and both officers and men engaged in the task with alacrity and cheerfulness.
of the soldiers who fell in the glorious storming of Alexandria were engraved on the column by order of Bonaparte. Sonnini, however, was under as gross an illusion in recording names of which not a graven character was discoverable, as in making the waters of the Levant Sea sballow, to bear out Buffon's geological theories, where I took casts of the lead and could obtain no bottom with five hundred fathoms of line; and where Captain Graves, my former shipmate, has since tried in vain with a thousand fathoms.
In the first place, a pair of large paper kites were made on board, and the necessary ropes and hawsers carefully coiled into the boats; and when we were all quite ready, I waited on the Basha to obtain his permission for making the ascent. This, he kindly assured me, I need not have asked; but as I was about to plant marine sentinels on his ground, and it was possible that the crews of the Turkish fleet might prove unruly, I considered his sanction a necessary prelude. On his Highness' questioning me as to the safety of the instruments during such an operation, I assured him that the means of ascent should be so sure, that I should be much gratified in conducting him up,-an invitation which he declined with hearty laughter. On leaving the Seraï-from a window of which I had made a concerted signal to the Adventure—I walked through the town, and on the opposite side met my boats landing. The two kites were
. flying in a moment, nor was it long before one of them conveyed a small line exactly over the capital. With this we hauled up a rope, and with the rope a hawser : a set of shrouds was speedily formed, set up, and well rattled down; and on the following morning I was able to place a very efficient instrument on the summit. In the mean time, such was the density of the turbaned crowd, that it appeared as if all the inhabitants of the city, and the crews of the fleets, had congregated to gaze on our movements; but they quietly toed the ring which we chalked around the pillar, and which was paced by our marines, with fixed bayonets, as steadily as if on their own barrack parade:
The angles which I took, and other operations, will be seen in my letters to Baron de Zach, before alluded to, in the Appendix. On descending when the observations were completed, I saw a young Sidi whom I had known in Tripoli standing in a group of Turkish officers; and, calling to him by name, I invited him to mount the shrouds. He at once accepted the offer, for hundreds of eyes were upon him; and, on his gaining the summit, the pleased spectators saluted him with a hearty round of shouts. At the request of some of the magnates, I allowed the rigging to stand two or three days, during