Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

same marks: sometimes they were many years before they found one; but when they had succeeded, there was a great festival over all the country. The Ibis is of the species of storks. The white Ibis is a real stork; the black which is properly the Ibis, is peculiar to Egypt. At a distance, it appears to be entirely black; but near, the feathers, seem to be mixed with green and blue, blended with purple. The belly of it and sides under the wings are white, its beak is large, strong, and of a scarlet colour, as are its legs and feet, its beak is about eighteen inches long, its neck a foot or fourteen inches, its body and breast

are as large as those of a goose. When its head is under its wings, it has the form of a heart.

The white Ibis inhabits all parts of Egypt; but the black is met with only about Damietta. It was a capital crime to kill one, though inadvertently. Cambyses, King of Persia, who was not unacquainted with their superstition, placed some of these birds before his

army, while he besieged Danietta. The Egyptians not daring to shoot against them, nor consequently against the enemy, suffered the town to be taken, which was the key of Egypt. After the death of an Ibis, the Egyptians embalmed it, and made a kind of funeral for it.

N

Amelia.--I am exceedingly obliged, Sir, for though I knew that the Egyptians were great idolaters, and had seen representations of the Apis and Ibis, the information concerning them with which you have favoured us, is altogether new to me, and very gratifying

D.—The knowledge of whatever concerns Scripture history, will not only afford you pleasure, but also greatly assist in impressing your mind with the subject under consideration.

Before I again put your recollection to trial, I must acquaint you, that in the subsequent scenes of my exhibition, I shall follow the example of some antient painters, and represent events in rapid succession, which happened at different, and sometimes distant periods from each other; which I mention, in order to prevent your being at any loss, on account of the chronology, in ascertaining the allusion of those scenes, which I shall now have the honour to introduce to your attention.

Harriot.This is another very fine room, Sir, something similar to the former, only not so superb, nor are there

any

bulls or birds about it. D.—You have read, that Joseph vowed by the life of Pharaoh, but never that he was guilty of worshipping his idols, consequently he would not have his audience chamber decorated with the representations of them.

Harriot. This then, I suppose, is Joseph's state room, and that it is he who is sitting in the fine crimson chair, with his attendants before him. How I am disappointed ! I thought I should have seen him in his chariot, and the people bowing the knee before him.

D.-I fear you have forgotten the hint which I just gave to you; several years elapsed between the time that honour was conferred on Joseph, and many circumstances took place between that period, and the event to which the present scene alļudes, which I have designedly omitted, that I

« PředchozíPokračovat »