« 前へ次へ »
the same vocation from one generation to another, and consequently attained to great skill in pastoral concerns, endeaNoring to vie with each other in contrivances for the increase of their flocks. The same law which compelled the descendants of the shepherd and husbandman to follow the vocation of their ancestors, extended to arts and trades o every description ; for every Egyptian was obliged to take up his father's employment, and to apply himself wholly to that, without presuming to intermeddle with any other. = 5. The Egyptians had a great number of gods of dierent ranks and orders—the two principal ones were Osiris and Isis, supposed to have been the sun and moon, whose influences preserved and governed the world. They reckoned these two planete ine great causes of generation and nutrim tion, and the sources from whence the other parts of nature, which they also regarded as deities, were derived. And notwithstanding their attainments in science, this people was so grossly idolatrous, that, exclusive of the worship they paid their pretended gods, they actually bestowed divine honors on animals and vegetables of almost every description." | 6. It is unanimously agreed, by historians, that Menes, juho in Scripture is called Misraim, the second son of Ham, was the first person who swayed the Egyptian sceptre. A large number of the kings of Egypt, like those of other aneient nations, are only known to us by their names. Herodotus, the Grecian historian, mentions that Egypt had a catalogue of three hundred and thirty monarchs, extending from Menes to Mæris, and that none of them, except Nitocris, an Ethiopian woman, has done any thing worthy of being recorded. -7. The Egyptians continued a distinct nation, and were governed by their own kings, till subjected to the Persians by Cambyses. But they were soon delivered from Persian tyranny, by Alexander, and annexed to his own extensive empire. From the time of their being subdued by Cambyses,
How was the employment or occupations of the Egyptians rogu. lated ?-What were the names of their two principal deities ?-What was their religion ?- Who was the first king of Egypt, and by what kame is he known in Scripture ?-Is much known of the Egyptian Rings generally ?-What does Herodotus say of them ?-By whom Here the Egyptians successively conquered? - What is the state of heir history from the time of their reduction by Cambyses, to the death of Alexander ?
to the death of Alexander, their history is much blended with that of the Persians and Greeks. After the death of Alexander, Egypt was governed by a succession of kings, for nearly two hundred years, and was then reduced to the condition of a Roman province.
8. Few nations have been more subject to the caprice and oppression of their neighbors, than the Egyptians. Although fallen from the political eminence that she once held, Egypt derived but little security against molestation and oppression from her adversity. About seven hundred years after being made a Ronian province, it was conquered by the Saracens. Since that period, it has experienced various changes; and is nominally, at present, under the control of the Tyrks.
THE EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS. 1. The pyramids of Egypt are well entitled to a place among the most interesting curiosities in the world. The principal ones stand opposite Cairo, on the west side of the river Nile. They are built of stones, which overleap each other, and thus form steps from the bottom to the top. The! perpendicular height of the largest is about 500 feet, and the area of its basis contains nearly 500,000 square feet, or some thing more than eleven English acres of ground. Some idea may be formed of the cost and labor in the structure of this pyramid, from the fact that thirty years were spent in building it, and that 100,000 men were constantly employed on the work.
2 Such were the famous Egyptian pyramids, which, bei their figure as well as size, have triumphed over the injuries of time and the Barbarians. But whatever efforts men make, their own nothingness will always appear. These pyramid were tombs ; and there is still to be seen, in the middle of the largest, an empty sepulchre, cut out of entire stone, about
Under whose control is Egypt at the present time !--Where do the principal pyramids stand?-Of what and how are they con structed ? - What is the height of the largest ?-What is the extent of its basis ?-How long time was spent in building it!-How many men were employed about the work ?-For what were these pyramids designed ?
hree feet deep and broad, and a little above six feet long. Thus all this bustle, all this expense, and all the labors of so nany thousand men, ended in procuring a prince, in this rast and almost boundless pile of buildings, a little vault six eet in length. Besides, the kings, who built these pyranids, had it not in their power to be buried in them, and so lid not enjoy the sepulchre they had built. The public hared which they incurred, by reason of their unheard of cruelties to their subjects, in laying such heavy tasks upon them, occasioned their being interred in some obscure place, to prevent their bodies from being exposed to the fury and ven. geance of the populace.
3. This last circumstance, of which historians have taken particular notice, teaches us what judgment we ought to pass on these edifices, so much boasted of by the ancients. It is but just to remark and esteem the noble genius which the Egyptians had for architecture; a genius that prompted them, from the earliest times, and before they could have any models to imitate, to aim in all things at the grand and magnificent; and to be intent on real beauties, without deviating in the least from a noble simplicity, in which the highest perfection of the art consists. But what idea ought we to form of those princes, who considered as something grand the raising, by a multitude of hands, and by the help of money, immense structures, with the sole view of rendering their names immortal; and who did not scruple to destroy thousands of their subjects to satisfy their vain glory! They differed very much from the Romans, who sought to immortalize themselves by works of a magnificent kind, but, at the same time, of public utility.
4. Pliny gives us, in a few words, a just idea of these pyramids, when he calls them a foolish and useless ostentation of the wealth of Egyptian kings; and adds, that, by a just punishment, their memory is buried in oblivion, historians not agreeing among themselves about the names of those who first raised those vain monuments. In a word, according to the judicious remark of Diodorus, the industry of the architects of those pyramids is no less valuable and praise
Were the pyramids used for the purposes for which they wero ouilt ?- Why were they not?-Is it known for a certainty who were the first projectors of the pyramids ?--How did the Romans differ from the Egyptians in works of magnificence and aggrandizement;