Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

buted to the cause assigned by the present author, viz. the efrors which the youth of the naturalist of Arabia occasioned, and which his premature death prevented him from correcting. By a careful examination and comparison, the marrubium plicatum of Forskâl appears to be the M.alysson L. ; the ysatis Ægyptiaca, and the Y. pennata of F., to be the bunias kakile L.; the conyza odora F.; the baccaris dioscoridis L.; the Stewartia corchoridis F., the sida spinosa L.; the ricinus medicus F., the R. communis L. :

We remark particularly, in this history, the mention of a memoir of M. Balzac, containing an account of the ruins of the great circus, or hippodrome, where the column of Pompey is placed; as confirming in some measure the ingenious conjectures of Dr. White. An account of a machine invented by Conte is not less interesting: it is designed to measure very minute intervals, by the weight of mercury which escapes from a very small'aperture: it is applied, also, to measure the inflammability of powder, and said to succeed more exactly than could have been expected. A memoir of M. Poussielgue, on the differences between the customs of the ancient Egyptians and their cotemporaries, will probably be interesting.

The Canopic branch of the Nile--the only one of the seven formerly described which has not been discovered by the moderns—is pointed out by M. Lancret. About a league from Rahmanieh, near the village of Cafr-mehallet Daoud, on the right of the canal of Alexandria, is found the western branch of the Nile. It is as large as that of Rosetta or Damietta, and is about a metre and a half deep. It serves, at present, only to conduct the superfluous waters into the lake of Behyreh, which has been employed in watering the adjoining fields. In the neighbourhood of the Nile, its course has been obliterated by cultivation.

The only other communication of importance, which we shall extract from this history, relates to the nilometer of Megyas, in the island of Rouddah. This monument the author-M. le Père, engineer of bridges and high-ways-has examined with peculiar care and accuracy; and has measured the sixteen cubits marked on the pillar, as well as the comparative length of 540 millimeters, which exceeds only by three-tenths of a line in twenty inches. The first nilometer was constructed by the calif El Mamoun, the seventh prince of the house of Abassides, about the year 800 of our æra; but it was rebuilt by the tenth calif of that family, about 54 years afterwards. The Cufic inscriptions are only verses from the Alkoran, and contain no name, or any thing relating to a historic epoch. A more modern inscription is engraven on marble, and placed on the eastern side of the superior gallery. It imports, that, in the year 485 of the Hegira (A.D. 1035), the calif Mostanser, the seventh of the Fatimites, mounted the throne at the age of nine years, and died in 1094. To render the inundation complete, the waters rise above the capital of the column; that is, to the height of at least twenty-three feet. The author adds various circumstances respecting the course of the Nile, the causes and durațion of the inundation, with many other topics, which we shall be better able to follow when the memoir is before us. The want or obscurity of historical testimony prevents us from knowing with precision the changes that time has occasioned in Lower Egypt, the level of its waters, and of those of the adjoining sea. As a standard for future observers, the author points out the calcareous stone, which serves as the base of the great pyramid toward the summit of the north-eastern angle. This plane is 130 feet 6 inches above the capital of the column.

We have followed this history more minutely than we had designed; but we have anticipated some of the subjects of the future volumes, and perhaps gratified the curiosity which more vague reports may have excited. We shall now pursue the memoirs in their order.

• Analysis of the Waters of the Nile and some Salt Waters, by M. Regnault.'-To drink of the waters of the Nile was a luxury often spoken of by travelers; which we have usually considered as, owing to their arriving at the river from the desert, where the arid soil refused the solace of any fluid. It appears, however, from this analysis, to be peculiarly pure, light, and agreeable to the taste. 122 hectograms of water (about 28 pints) yielded little more than 30 grains (21.74 decigrams) of residuum. Muriat of soda, carbonate of magnesia and of lime, were the chief ingredients, in the proportion of 4.77, 7.43, and 5.30 decigrams respectively. A decigram is somewhat more than half a grain.

Joseph's Well is situated in the citadel of Cairo, dug through a rock, and divided by a platform into two unequal parts. The depth of the whole well is 267 feet. A large rectangular aperture leaves a passage for the light to the platform which sepa. rates the two wells. We there find, in a hollow, a hydraulic machine, moved by oxen, which raises the water from the lower well to a reservoir, whence it is brought by another machine to the top of the upper well. The descent to each well is by a ladder formed in the rock; and the steps of the lower ladder are more narrow and dark than those of the upper. The water of the well experiences the same increase and diminution

with that of the river; so that the level of the well is probably - below that of the Nile. The water, however, is brackish, from the salts collected during its infiltration. At the time of the in. undation, the saltness is increased, as the water penetrates into the well by a greater number of passages. The analysis therefore points out the nature, not the quantity, of the salts, since that is variaule: it was made previous to the inundation, so that the App. Vol. 35.

2 N

quantity is less than at any other time. Réaumur's thermometer, at the top of the upper well, was at 19°; at the platform, 17°; and at the bottom, 15°. In 49 kilograms were 2.12 grams of carbonic acid; and in 1200 grams there were 58.3 decigrams*. The largest proportion of the remains was common salt, with about one third of that quantity of sulphat of soda. · On the banks of the Red Sea, on the Arabian side, is a mountain known by the name of Djebel Hhammam Pharaon, or the Mountain of the Baths of Pharaoh. We knew, however, that Pharaoh was a title, not an appellative; so that this name by no means fixes the æra of their construction. At the foot of this mountain is a grotto with two entrances. One reaches, by a straight and low passage, to the source of the hot waters, which run into the sea, without losing any of their heat, passing through a rock and banks of sand. The heat is so great, that the hand can neither bear the waters, nor the rock through which they pass; and in entering the passage, the temperature is perceived to be very considerable, increasing as the inquirer proceeds, and proving at last almost suffocating. Many who have attempted to penetrate to the source have been killed by the heat and the carbonic acid vapour. These waters have been known from very early antiquity, and recommended for diseases of the skin. They are very bitter and salt, with a hepatic smell, from sulphurated hydrogen gas and carbonic acid ĝas. The muriat of soda is in a very large proportion, with about one third of the quantity of muriat of lime, and a small proportion of muriat of magnesia. There are some carbonates in a very inconsiderable proportion.

The castle of Adjeroud, through which pilgrims pass in their journey to Mecca, is situated in the desert, about four leagues from Suez. It contains a well of sulphureous water, of which men cannot drink, but which, in part, supplies the camels. It is a hepatised water, containing chiefly muriat of soda and of lime.

In following the vestiges of the canal which leads to the Red Sea, at five leagues from Belbeis, is the village of Habaseh. It is situated at the extremity of a long valley-marked on D'Anville's chart as the lake whose water is bitter ;' because, in the most considerable inundations of the Nile, it forms, in reality, a lake. This valley is cultivated, and contains many habitations, each of which has a well that waters the neighbouring fields. The water analysed comes from a well near the village. It is brackish, but still potable, containing a large proportion of carbonate of lime, and about half the quantity of muriat of soda. The proportion of solid contents is not, however, considerable.

* We find it impossible to convey an accurate idea of French weights to the English reader, and shall therefore not attempt it. Of all the follies of the late changes in that country, this is the most ridiculous and inconvenient.

The Fountain of Hatabeh is situated in Arabia, at a league from Moses's Fountain. The water, like the former, is drinkable, though brackish. Muriat of soda is its almost only ingredient of importance. There is also a little carbonate of lime.

We must defer the remainder of this volume till the publica. tion of another Appendix, unless prevented by an English translation.

(To be continued.)

H

ART. IV.-Lettre au Citoyen CHAPTAL, Ministre de l'Intérieur,

Membre de l'Institut National des Sciences et Arts, &c. au Sujet de lInscription Egyptienne du Monument trouvé à Rosette. Par A. I. SILVESTRE DE Sacr, ci-devant Associé de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, &c. Paris. 1802. Letter to Citizen Chaptal, Minister of the Interior, Member of the

National Institute of Sciences and Arts, respecting the Egyptian Inscription on a Monument found at Rosetta. By A. I. Silvester de Sacy, formerly Member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres, &c. .

IT is well known that, in the articles of capitulation between lord Hutchinson and general Ménou, the monumental remains of ancient Egypt which had been collected by the French, and were at that time in their possession, were conditioned to be delivered up to the conquerors. Among these, that which constitutes the subject of this letter is the principal, and in many respects of considerable value. On the discovery of it in clearing out a ditch near Rosetta (Raschid), M. Marcei, superintendant of the national printing-oífice at Cairo, by means of a rolling-press, having taken off different impressions, three of them were submitted to M. de Sacy, and, in consequence of being importuned for his explanation by the minister of the interior, the letter before us was written.

M. de Sacy begins with noticing the surprise expressed by M. Chaptal, that the hope he at first had conceived, if not of deciphering the whole Egyptian inscription, at least of reading so much of it as would enable him to ascertain the language in which it was written, should not have been realised by him. I myself, continues he, am astonished, when I consider the number of words which I think I can read, and which offer the forms of above fifteen letters. It is true, he observes, that these words, being but proper names, can throw no light on the language of the inscription; yet, by means of the letters they contain, it was natural to expect that, in proceeding from known to unknown, the reading of such words as most frequently recurred might be fixed; those, for instance, which corresponded to the Greek for God, king, son, &c. Thus, on find ing, as there was ground to conjecture, the words mort, or $t, norpo, chps, of the Coptic, or modern Egyptiana language incontestably formed from the ruins of the ancientit might reasonably be expected the discovery would be pushed farther, and the general import, if not the whole; be recovered. Such, M. de Sacy confesses, were the hopes he entertained at the first sight of the inscription, and which he too lightly expressed. On being, however, now called upon for the result of his labour, he frankly acknowledges that it amounts to but little, and which he would not himself have committed to paper, if it had not been exacted from him.

In describing the monument, he observes that it contains three inscriptions, or rather the same in three different characters. The first, in hicroglyphics, consists of fourteen lines; the last, in Greek, occupies fifty-four lines; and between these is a third of thirty-two lines, which he styles Egyptian, without however affirming that the character in which it is written was ever univers.I in Egypt.

One part of the stone is broken off, and the top of it is greatly injured, so as to have lost, both on the right side and left, a considerable portion of the hieroglyphic inscription; of which indeed not a line remains complete, and above a third part of the whole is gone. · Below, the monument is much less injured : of the Greek inscription, there are only the three last lines which have their beginnings effaced; but those few letters may be easily supplied. On the opposite side the stone has suffered much; and the fracture has carried away the terminations of many lines in the Greek inscription, whence many chasms have been produced. These chasms commence at the twenty-eighth line, and progressively increase to the fifty-fourth and last. The ends of the last lines want from thirty to thirty-five letters. Many of these may be easily restored ; and, without doubt, the learned will avail themselves of every expedient to restore them.

: The Egyptian inscription has been less injured than either of the others. A portion of the first fourteen lines is gone; but it is not very considerable. The loss, however, as it happens toward the beginning of them, is to be much regretted, and must create a considerable obstacle in deciphering.

The better to effect his object, M. de Sacy was furnished

in Esve is broost, boroglyphical above

« ElőzőTovább »