Imagini ale paginilor

On the round bunch the bloody tumours rise;
The tears spring starting from his haggard eyes :
Trembling he sat, and, shrunk in abject fears,
From his wild visage wiped the scalding tears."

This fine specimen was No. 235 of the sale of Mr. Salt's Egyptian antiquities, disposed of by Mr. Sotheby on the 16th of March, 1833.

Two or three of the hieroglyphics are damaged nearly to obliteration, and look as if they had been purposely chiselled out. The Rev. G. C. Renouard suggests that this may have been done in order to efface some particular name, which was unpopular at the time; or to please some one of the conquerors of Egypt. Near this is a small funereal tablet, full of mysticism, marked No. 3188. It is elaborately sculptured with figures, hieroglyphics, and offerings; and is moreover remarkable in having the upper part arched, with two lines of horizontal inscription on what may be termed the pediment. There are two females sitting with lotus flowers in their hands before a table covered with cakes, ducks, an ox-head, and other edibles, in the upper compartment; three females also, with the lotus, kneeling in the middle field ; and two others kneeling in the third or lowest compartment.

There are perpendicular hieroglyphics between these women, and two lines of horizontal ones at the base : in the last line the sacred cake, marked with a cross, is sharply represented.

The mummied elurus, or cat, near the stela, draws us to an extraordinary feature of Egyptian worship, or symbol of worship, as exhibited in some colossal basalt statues of Bubastis or Pasht, the Diana of Mizraim, which were purchased by Dr. Lee at the sale of Mr. Barker's collection, in 1833. (See plate IX.) These figures, being too great both in weight and magnitude for reception into the Museum, are accommodated with a roomy hall at the stables, at about a couple of hundred yards to the north-west of the house, where they sit in grim array. These huge divinities are cat-faced, in honour of the tutelary deity of the city called Bubastis, sacred to the moon, the Pibeseth of Scripture; in token of which an imperfect or dichotomized disc, about a foot in diameter, surmounts the figures, except in one or two, where it has been broken off by accident, or by the blows of the iconoclasts. The rest of the figure is human, conventionally stiff and lanky, in a sedent posture, their hands on their knees in token of tranquillity, with the crux ansata held in the right; and they have bracelets and anklets engraven, with much ornament on the busts. They are seated on massy thrones, the sides of which are marked with the usual emblems of “ Ægyptus Inferior and Superior; ” and assuredly they seem to be fully typical of repose and stability. The studied sameness of the bodies with each other is a consequence of the laws having rendered the making of them almost wholly a mechanical process: the art of sculpture being limited by such strict rules, that there were fixed proportions established for every sacred figure, which the statuary was not permitted to violate : still it will be confessed that Egyptian sculptures, although deficient in the roundness and elegance of those of Greece, have a singularly majestic effect-an effect which even the exclusive idolators of Grecian art must admit.

The cat enjoyed a much higher degree of favour in Egypt than elsewhere, and the numbers which were mummified testify the regard in which the animal was held. It was believed to supply a cure for the bite of asps and other venomous creatures, and was considered to be specially under the protection of Pasht. Cats were taught, among other practices, to catch birds for their masters.

The Hall of Bubastis, to coin a name, contains other Egyptian relics besides these basalt statues. A sand-stone monument from Nubia, No. 3189, called an oblation stone, bears a double inscription, with two offerings of consecrated cakes, cups, and other articles. It is twenty-two inches long by fourteen broad, and has an oblong cartouche in one of the inscriptions, showing that the sacrificial table is dedicated by Amonmes, the son of Ioa.

Close to this tablet is a fond little couple about two feet in height, seated side by side, with one arm of each round the waist of the other, and with cheerful faces, that of the man being painted red, and the woman's yellow. Both have had their black hair carefully dressed, and a tight white vestment covers them from the waist to the ankles; down the front of which, on each figure, a legend was engraven, which is supposed to have been anciently and purposely erased.

erased. On the sides of the chair there are hieroglyphical inscriptions, of six columns each, wherein it appears that the man is described as the Royal Secretary of the Treasury at Thebes. They most likely represent the parents of the person by whose order they were sculptured ; being obviously of a votive nature. This neat little monument—the husband and wife united after death by the hand of the sculptor—was No. 242 of Mr. Barker's sale, 14th March, 1833; and is No. 3190 of the Hartwell Catalogue. Mr. Bonomi thinks that it is made of sand-stone from the quarries of Jebel Sizili, a few miles north of Koum Ombo. The following specimen of Mr. Cleghorn's cutting represents the couple :


The next, No. 3191, is a crouching statuette of twenty-eight inches in height; which, from having a shrine of Osiris before him, his attitude, attire, and the symbol which he holds, is considered to represent a priest. There is a row of inscriptive hieroglyphics around the base on which he is seated; and from the nape of the neck down his back there are two perpendicular lines of characters. It is carved out of grit-stone of the same quality as the so-called vocal statue and its companion on the plain of Thebes; and therefore supposed to have been obtained at the quarries of Jebel Akhmar, between Heliopolis and Cairo, the only known place in this region where this stone is procurable. It was in Mr. Salt's collection, and is said to have been brought from Abydos.

Among the objects in this hall, No. 3192, the coffin of a lady named Smantennofre, is one of peculiar interest from its singular preservation, and is fairly represented on plate X. in four compartments. Figure 1. is a front view of the outer case, which is of sycamore wood in high perfection, ornamented in various colours, representing the face of the mummy, and a line of hieroglyphics down the centre; the latter contains the usual funereal ritual, running thus—“This is a (royal ?) chosen gift to Osiris, Dominator or President of the West, the Good God, Lord of the Land of (Abydos ?). Give chosen offerings of oxen, geese, incense, and libation for Osiris, the lady of the house, priestess of the (sacred abode ?), Tan’nofre .....' Figure 2 represents the inside or inner part of the case, wherein is painted a figure of the goddess Netphé, the sister of Seb and mother of Osiris ; who held one of the principal offices in the regions of the dead, and is frequently shewn in this form and position in Egyptian sarcophagi. Figure 3 represents the inner case, the ornamental details of which are arranged in compartments on the upper side of the figure, with a tachygraphical line down the centre. Immediately below the breast-plate of necklaces are the winged globe and asps, emblems of the God Knuphis or Agathodæmon. The upper divisions contain, on the right, two of the genii of Amunti, Hapee and Smof, standing before an asp crowned with the cap of the upper country; and on the opposite side the other two, Amset and the hawk-headed Kebhnsnof. In the next, are represented two winged asps; and in the lowest, there is on one side a jackal-headed figure, and on the other a hawk-headed one with the ostrich-feather of truth. The line

[merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]

Copii of 'ilhe Mummy of in de namal Imanter nofie).

« ÎnapoiContinuă »