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the city of hundred gates, one of the wonders of the world. Both cities were governed by kings, at whose side is conspicuous a powerful hierarchy.

What, then, was the reason of this great change in the state of the country? We can only say, that strangers of a foreign and nobler origin, left their own seats, and took possession of Ægypt. They found one of the most fertile countries of the world without agricul. ture, without any permanent forms or institutions of social life. It was easy for them to assert their superiority over the wandering hordes. Their own government, their discipline, their arts and pursuits, were soon established throughout the country.

The policy employed by these strangers was admirable. It is probable that they were superior in number to the natives. But it does not appear that they made use of violence in establishing the new system of things. They wielded other arms, far more powerful. The chief engine for the promotion of their influence was religion. The religious ideas which they found, the various kinds of superstition in vogue among the people, were combined to an artificial system. This system itself was made subservient to the civilization of the country, and to the exclusive encouragement of agricultural pursuits. It contained symbolical representations of the various employments, and of the peculiar circumstances, connected with agriculture, in a country that was fertilized by the Nile. It was calcu. lated to rule the minds by its mysterious reference to the phenomena of nature, and to please the imagination by the variety of its emblems, “ the pomp and circumstance" of many of its ceremonies.

The lower classes could not be expected to enter into the hidden sense of the tales narrated, and the religious duties imposed to them. Their former superstition was retained, though in somewhat a modified shape. If their mind was little enlightened, their manners at least were civilized, and a salutary restraint was put upon the idle habits. of their former unsettled life. Industry was enjoined to them; and there is scarcely a country in which industry is so much encouraged by nature, and so plentifully rewarded, as in the valley of the Nile.

In that happy country, in which no living creature ever dreamt of Corn Laws, or the abolition of them, the produce of the labor of one class more than provided for the wants of all. The leisure which that by many antiquarians the arguments on which it rests are considered by no means conclusive. Among them is Professor Baur of Tubingen, who in his learned and ingenious work (Naturreligion des Alterthums, vol. i. p. 333) insists on the express testimony of Herodotus (2, 99) that Menes, the first king of Egypt, was also the founder of Memphis, which would appear to go directly against the supposition of the higher antiquity and earlier splendor of Thebes. Professor Baur also alludes to the difficulty of ascertaining the exact antiquity of the remains which Jomard had occasion to examine, as the mate rials of their construction, and still more the peculiar climate of Upper Egypt must have contributed to preserve them in an appearance different from that of the ruins of other cities. We cannot help thinking how odd it must be, when, after thousands and thousands of revolving years, some antiquarian from another part of tbe world will blunder about the exact period of the construction of Belgrave Square, or write an essay on the probable extent of Mr. Nash's original labors.

this circumstance afforded to the rest, contributed in forming the broad line of distinction, which separated the different classes from each other. It is unnecessary to say, that the progress of civilization was the work of the intelligence and influence of the priests. They laid down the principles, and established the foundation upon which the fabric of the social system was constructed. They kept the cultivation of arts and sciences for themselves, and especially the art of governing, of which they were unquestionably great masters. They were looked up to as beings of a higher order; their various knowledge, their skill and ingenuity, their exemplary life, gave them the most unbounded power. The form of government was monarchical; but it is clear enough, that the supreme direction of the affairs of the realm was in the hands of the hierarchy. The state of the people appears to have been comfortable and happy, as far as exterior circumstances go; but they were for ever shut out from every kind of mental improvement; it was criminal for the son to endeavour to look further than his father had done before him; but a man might enjoy his life if he was prepared to obey the laws, to reverence the priests, and, above all, to abstain from reasoning.

The institutions of Egypt, and the curious customs and manners prevailing there, are sufficiently well known from Herodotus, and other authorities. The writers of antiquity are also full of the most strange and eontradictory reports of the religious opinions, and the mysterious tenets which were held by the priests and believed by the people. These reports have given rise to numberless speculations, on which much learning and ingenuity has been wasted. The chief difficulty was, to separate the vulgar belief of the multitude from the more enlightened philosophy of the priests.

Creuzer has tried to combine and explain the various accounts in the following manner: there are two leading ideas in the Egyptian system, which contain the stamina of the whole culture of the nation, political and religious. By a personification familiar to the ancient world, they are attached to the two deities, Osiris and Hermes. The one is the representation of active nature, the other of creative intelligence. The tales connected with the history of the one, are symbolical descriptions of the phenomena of nature, the sketches of which the other is the hero, are illustrative of the agency of the mind. In their application to the state of things, and to the institutions of the country, Osiris is the foundation of the royal dignity: Hermes, of sacerdotal authority. The first is the beau idéal of the Pharaoh, the second of the priest.

We shall mention a few of the details which Professor Creuzer regards as the foundation of bis theory. The principal incidents of the story of Osiris are well known. Osiris and Isis govern Egypt; they first invent agriculture, they give laws, they humanize the people, and lay down the first civil institutions. But Osiris is not content with this narrow sphere; he wishes to spread happiness not in the valley of the Nile only, but throughout the world. He leaves Egypt, and with a numerous attendance he visits the

various countries of the earth. But he has no need of arms; he conquers all nations by the power of eloquence, and by the charms of magie. During his absence, Typhon, his brother, an envious and malicious character, makes several attempts, in which he is frustrated by the vigilance of Isis, to possess himself of the throne. At length Osiris returns. Typhon has conspired against his life with Aso, the queen of Æthiopia, and with seventy-two companions. He invites Osiris to a feast, under the pretence of friendship. When the wine was going round, Typhon caused a splendid and curiously wrought chest to be brought; he promised to present it to any one who would lie down in it, if he found it to agree with his dimensions; they all try, but are all disappointed. Last of all, Osiris tries; it fits admirably; by a coup de main, Typhon and his friends shut the chest up, throw it into the river, and let it drive down towards the sea. Isis is informed of the cruel fate of her husband; with loud lamentations she wanders through the country to seek for the dead body; at length she learns that it had been driven down one of the mouths of the Nile towards Byblus. She follows it, but it was too late; the chest had been stopped in its progress by the rushes on the shore near Byblus; the power of life that was still inherent in the dead body of the king, made the plants shoot up into a beautiful tree. Malcandrus, the king of Phænicia, caused it to be felled, and used as a column in the building of his palace; there, then, the sacred remains were concealed; and there Isis appears in mourning, and in humble attire. The queen invites the mysterious stranger, and makes her the nurse of her child. Isis, in return for the kindness shown to her, under. takes to purify the infant from all the evils that flesh is heir to; accordingly she puts him at once into the fire; the mother is alarmed at the strange proceeding, and signifies her astonishment. Isis appears as the goddess, with thunder and lightning; she touches the column, it splits, and she retires with the coffin that encloses the remains of Osiris. They are buried; but Typhon, so ancient is the odious system of the resurrection men, does not respect the mansion of the dead; he dissects the body most cruelly into fourteen pieces, which are scattered in the river. But Isis collects them, and the body is again consigned to the grave at Philae. Besides, graves are erected on every spot where some relics had been found ; and fourteen places boast of this honor, that the remains of Osiris are entombed in their temples. But Osiris does not die unrevenged, nor is the offender to triumph for ever. Horus, the son of Osiris, collects the friends of his father; Osiris has appeared to him in his dreams, to inspire him with thoughts of revenge. Typhon is made captive. Isis, mild and forbearing as she is, releases the captive enemy from his chains. But kindness is lost on him-he recommences hostilities; but is finally overcome, and exiled into the desert. Horus is the last of the gods who governed in Egypt; after him, a mortal dynasty follows.

This shapeless tale, of which we have only given a general outline, has puzzled the ancients a good deal. Plutarch enumerates four different keys, besides the one proposed by himself. Some, he

says, maintained that the story of Osiris and Typhon was an embel. lished tradition concerning the fates of the early kings of Egypt; others believe that the doctrine of eyil dæmons and of the good genii is expressed in it; others, that moral ideas are intended to be conveyed by it; others again, that it contains astronomical facts. Plutarch himself (de Is. et Osir. c. 48) conceives, that the contest between the good and evil principle in the natural and the moral world is illustrated by that fiction. Chæremon, a stoic philosopher, gave a full development of facts belonging to natural philosophy, which he thought to have discovered under the veil of that fabulous recital. Jamblichus, and other Neo Platonists, built upon it an ingenious and fanciful system of metaphysics.

Creuzer sets out by acknowledging that different keys are not only admissible, but necessary. In the first place it contains an allusion to the peculiar nature of the climate of Egypt. Osiris is the Nile; his death is celebrated twice every year, for there is a double harvest in Egypt every year; and after the seed is sown, from March to July, and again from September to the beginning of November, the country is laboring under the insufferable heat : it is governed by Typhon, the lord of the desert, from whence the noxious and burning winds blow; there is Isis in mourning, the land of Egypt, the bride of the Nile; Osiris is killed by Typhon, and his seventy-two companions--the seventy-lwo evil days during which the hot wind blows, and the process of vegetation is apparently suspended.

Creuzer also points out the policy of the priests who invented this fiction, in availing themselves of the existing popular superstitions, and combining them to a system of symbolical emblems. The former inhabitants had entertained different notions, instead of which one system was now established throughout the country; they had worshipped different animals; these were all combined in the idea of one body, the representative of animal life; to the hovering of the soul round the dead body, was substituted the doctrine of the transmigration; and the soul of the universe, the soul of Osiris of old, was taught to be still embodied in the successive generations of the Apis, the sacred bull. It could not be expected that the different tribes should at once resign their former inode of worship; different animals were still kept sacred at different places. But though this sort of worship was tolerated, yet the sacred animal, that was revered by the whole nation as the living representation of the Deity, was that same sacred bull. Nor had that animal been selected without meaning. It contributed materially in giving a religious sanction to agricultural pursuits.

But besides this local signification of the story of Iris and Osiris, it contains a number of facts belonging to a science, in which the Egyptian priests were well known to have attained considerable proficiency. The astronomical signification of many of the incidents, has never been questioned. Some of them are so evidently devised for that purpose, that they leave no room for doubt ; for instance, when Hermes is said to have played at dice with the moon, and VOL. 11.

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gained the seventieth part of every day. Now, the seventieth part of every day throughout a twelvemonth, gives five additional days, which were inserted in order to correct the former year of the Egyptians, which consisted of 360 days only. Creuzer has analysed a number of such incidents, and, in our opinion, in a very satisfactory manner. He confesses himself under considerable obligations to the learned Frenchmen, and especially Jomard, who accompanied Bonaparte in his famous expedition to Egypt, and who employed that opportunity with a zeal and success which will always do great credit to them, and to the discerninent of the extraordinary individual who selected them for the purpose. The accurate drawings and reports of Egyptian monuments, which are published in that admirable work Description de l' Egypte,reflect much light on the Egyptian system, when compared with the accounts given by the classical authors. It appears from them, that the vicissitudes of Iris and Osiris and their family, were made the vehicle for a complete astronomical calendar of the Egyptian year. The names of the deities were frequently changed according to the different predicaments applied to them in the course of these illustrations : thus the sun in the vernal sign of Aries is described by the name of Amun, (Ammon); in the sign of Taurus, he appears as Osiris; in the summer solstice, as Horus, when he has regained his former power, and “is himself again"---or rather, when he is revived in the image of his youthful son.

It is interesting to follow the parallels which Creuzer has traced between the fictions of Egypt and of other countries, on the subject of these astronomical observations. Hercules, under the name of Sem or Som, appears as another personification of the sun, struggling with all his might for the supremacy. In the winter Solstice he appears as the weak and sickly Harpocrates, a mere shadow of his former self. Isis, in many instances, is the personification of the moon. But in a more general sense, she is the Goddess of Nature ; she has been identified with Demeter or Ceres, and, which is still more strange, with the goddess Hertha, (Erde, the earth), worshipped by the ancient Germans. Tacitus says of the Suevi, or inhabitants of Swabia, “ Isidi sacrificant." Now it is a fact, that Egyptian antiquities, that is to say, images de cidedly resembling the sacred monuments of Egypt, are frequently found in Germany, and more especially in the south. It appears, however, to us, that great caution ought to be observed in deciding on their origin. We are enabled to quote one fact, which has happened to come under our personal knowledge, and which is not mentioned in Creuzer. Some four or five years ago, when travelling in the south of Germany, we were invited by a friend to go a few miles out of our way, to visit some curious antiquities. It was a glorious day, and we were straggling not far from the river Neccar, at the foot of the Wirtemberg Alps, which exhibit a very picturesque scenery. We arrived at a village, whose name must be either Bellzen, or Bälsen, or Belseim, or some such melodious sound, situated, we believe, about twelve miles north from Tubingen. The front of the small village church presented some most curious specimens of engravings, or rather hautreliefs in stone, which every one must have recognized at first sight as

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