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Evangelical Miscellany.

AUGUST, 1836.


We think it would not be easy to find a spot of greater interest than that upon which stood the ancient city of Thebes, and which is now covered with its ruins, forming the four villages of Karnac, Luxor, Gournou, and Medinet Habou. One of these we have represented in our engraving.

There is good reason for supposing this city, which is called AMON-AI in hieroglyphical inscriptions, to be the AMON-NA* spoken of by Nahum in describing the miserable ruin of Nineveh: "Art thou better," he asks," than No-Amon, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it; whose rampart was the sea, and whose wall was from the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers; yet was she carried away: she went into captivity : her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets; and they cast lots for her

* We are obliged to for his correction of our printer's errors (page 98.) The resh in the word, and the vau in should both be altered into. Our readers will have the kindness to do so with the pen at once, that any farther mistake may be obviated.

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honorable men; and all her great men were bound in chains." (chap. iii. 8—10.) If this identity be granted, we are sure that our readers will not be displeased by our giving the following description of the present aspect of this memorable spot, and particularly of that portion which forms the subject of our cut, from a work entitled, "Scenes and Impressions in Egypt and in Italy":


"We continued our march," says its talented and amiable author, soon after mid-day, to Thebes, passing for a few miles along the edge of the desert, and then on embanked roads, raised high above the level of the annual inundation. We wound our pleasant way among green crops, and tall date trees, to Luxor, and alighted under its majestic colonnade, with exhausted spirits, and minds not free enough to contemplate and admire its grandeur.

"We met two or three eager travellers the very moment we dismounted, who had just arrived, and were just too late to accompany the party we had passed on the road. They were going to Kosseir. They asked a few hurried questions about the desert, halting places, water, &c. and hastened away with Monsieur Rifaud to prepare for their departure. This gentleman, a foreign artist resident there, had obligingly provided us a lodging, a rude mud hovel, under the very walls of an old temple; it had an upper chamber in ruinous condition; the floor in parts fallen through; the thatch not weather-proof; and neither door, lattice, nor window-shutter. With delight, however, we took possession,— and gazed out upon old Nile,

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With not a wrinkle on his glassy brow.'

"Our Indian servant consulted the safety of our necks, by bringing up some planks to place over a hole in the floor. They were painted; a black ground with figures and hieroglyphics in bright yellow. I thought that they must have been some labours of Belzoni; some copies on wood to assist him in planning the model of his tomb:-not so; they were mummy chests broken up and sold for firewood. There lay a large heap in the yard, bought for a piastre, and our cook was feeding his fire with the once sacred sycamore.

We gave up

"Such was our introduction to ancient Thebes. the next day to repose. I took a book and sat alone for some hours in the morning, under the shadow of a part of that magnificent building said to be the tomb of Osymandyas. In the afternoon

we took a slow, unexamining stroll, round the ruins of Luxor, to receive general impressions, and to catch the general effect and character of Egyptian remains.

"Before the grand entrance of this vast edifice, which consists of many separate structures, formerly united in one harmonious design, two lofty obelisks stand proudly pointing to the sky, fair as the daring sculptor left them. The sacred figures, and hieroglyphic characters which adorn them, are cut beautifully into the hard granite, and have the sharp finish of yesterday. The very stone looks not discoloured. You see them as Cambyses saw them, when he stayed his chariot-wheels to gaze up at them; and the Persian war-cry ceased before these acknowledged symbols of the sacred element of fire.

"Behind them are two colossal figures, in part concealed by the sand, as is the bottom of a choked-up gateway, the base of a massive propylon, and, indeed, their own.

"Very noble are all these remains, and on the propylon is a war-scene, much spoken of; but my eyes were continually attracted to the aspiring obelisks, and again and again you turn to look at them, with increasing wonder and silent admiration.

"There are many courts and chambers, many porticoes and colonnades, one of the latter of stately proportions, and pre-eminent in grandeur. It is seen to great advantage, as it stands in the very centre of these ruins, on elevated ground open to the river, and not encumbered or disfigured by huts or rubbish. As for the other portions of this tomb or temple, (a point disputed,) in one court you find a mosque, and some dark habitations; in another, some meaner hovels; litters of dirty straw, the ox, the goat, the ass, ragged children, and their poor and sickly-looking parents. Some parts which are roofed, and might be made commodious as a shelter, are left vacant and silent for the timid lizard.

“The village is scattered round these masses of stone, and built of mud and pottery, having, at least most of the houses, large dove-cotes of pottery on the roofs. On either side of the village and the temple walls, are high mounds of accumulated rubbish and drifted sand. We ascended one of these and looked around us. Every object (and they were not common objects) was tinted, sadly as I thought, with the last yellow light of departing day. "Monsieur Rifaud dined with us in the evening, and we arranged

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