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Chap. IV.
ANOTHER
GROUP OF
ARCHÆOLO-
GISTS AND
EXPLORERS,

helped to put him upon the quest which was destined to Book III, receive so rich a reward.

It is obvious, therefore, that a tolerably satisfactory account of the researches of the renowned archæologists mentioned at the head of this chapter must be prefaced with some notices of inuch earlier and much less successful labours than theirs; and a thorough account would need greatly more than that. But, at present, I cannot hope to give either the one or the other. Rapid glances at the recent investigations are all that, for the moment, are permitted me, and for the perfunctory manner of these I shall have to make not a little demand on the reader's indulgence. The subject-matter is rich enough to claim a volume to itself; nor would the story be found to lack well-sustained and varied interest, even if retold at large.

The first inquiries and explorations in Lycia of Sir Charles FELLOWs began several years earlier than those in Assyria of Mr. Austen LAYARD, but an intelligible narrative of what LAYARD did, in 1845, must needs start with a notice, be it ever so brief, of what Botta had been doing in 1842. The Lycian excavations were also effectively begun in 1842. They were, in fact, contemporaneous with the first excavations at Nineveh. I begin, therefore, with the closely-linked labours of Borta and of LAYARD, prefacing them with a glance at the previous pursuits and aims in life of our distinguished fellow-countryman.

Austen Henry LAYARD is an Englishman, notwithstand- AUSTEN ing his birth in Paris (5th of March, 1817), and his descent from one of the many Huguenot families who (in one sense) do honour to France for their sufferings for conscience ca sake, and who in many more senses than one) do honour to England by the way in which zealous and persevering exertions in the service of their adopted country have

AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD AND HIS EARLY CAREER

EXPLORERS.

Teva

THE

JOURNEY

THROUGH

Book III, enabled them to pluck the flowers of fame, or of distinction, Chap. IV.

from amidst the sharp thorns of adversity. Austen LAYARD ANOTHER Group of is the grandson of the honoured Dr. LAYARD, Dean of Bristol, ARCHÆOLO GISTS AND and he began active life, whilst yet very young, in a solicitor's

office in the City of London. But he had scarcely reached twenty-two years of age before family circumstances enabled him to gratify a strong passion for Eastern travel. Archæo. logy had no share, at first, in the attractions which the Levant presented to his youthful enterprise. But a fervid nature, a good education, and a wonderful power of selfadaptation to new social circumstances, made the mind of the young traveller a fitting seedplot for antiquarian knowledge, whenever the opportunity of acquiring it should come.

To a man of that stamp it would be impossible that he Ey should tread near those ancient ruins, every stone of which Asia Minor must needs connect itself with some 'reverend history' in 1839-1840. or other—when the discerning eye should at length pore

upon it and ponder it—without the ambition stirring within him to make at least an earnest attempt to explore and to decipher. To this particular man and his companion in travel, Fortune was propitious, by dint of her very parsimony. As he says himself: 'No experienced dragoman measured our distances or appointed our stations. We were honoured with no conversations by pashas, nor did we seek any civilities from governors. We neither drew tears nor curses from the villagers by seizing their horses,

or searching their houses for provisions; their welcome was its Remains sincere ; their scanty fare was placed before us; we ate, (1849), vol. i,

and came, and went in peace.'

It was almost thirty years ago—about the middle of April, 1840—that Mr. LAYARD looked upon those vast ruins on the east bank of the Tigris, opposite Mósul, which

AND SYRIA

Nineveh and

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Chap. IV.

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EXPLORERS.

FIRST DIS

include the now famous mounds of Konyunjik and of Book III, Nebbi Yunus. Having gazed on them with an incipient ANOTHER longing—even then—to explore them thoroughly, he and his companion rode into the desert, and looked with new Gists and wonder at the great mound of Kalah Sherghat, the site of which is by some geographers identified with the Assur of the book Genesis.* After that hasty and tantalising visit, in the spring of 1840, LAYARD did not again see Mósul until the summer of 1842, when he was again travelling Tatar, and hurrying to Constantinople. In the interval, he had often thought of his early purpose, and had talked of it to many travellers. Now, in 1842, he heard that what he had hitherto been able only to contemplate, as the wishedfor task of the future, Monsieur BOTTA, the new French Borta's Consul at Mósul, had, for some months, been actually COVERIES. working upon; although, as yet, with very small success. Our countryman encouraged the French Consul in his undertaking, and presently learned that by him the first real monument of old Assyria had been uncovered. This primary discovery was not made at Kouyunjik, but at Khorsabad, near the river Khauser, many miles away from the place at which the first French excavations had been made, early in 1842.

The delighted emotions of Monsieur BOTTA, when he found himself, very suddenly, standing in a chamber in which—to all probability—no man had stood since the Fall of Nineveh, and saw that the chamber was lined with sculptured slabs of gypsum-marble' or alabaster, full of historic scenes from the wars and triumphs of Assyria, a

* Comp. “Asshur builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah.' -Gen. x, 11. Mr. Layard quotes this passage, in Nineveh and its Remains (vol. I, p. 4, edit. 1849), and seems to identify .Kalah Sherghať as retaining its ancient name.

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reader can better imagine than a writer can describe.
Botta himself rather indicates than depicts them, in the
deeply interesting letters which he speedily addressed to his
friend Moal at Paris (and which by Mohl were not less
promptly published in the Journal Asiatique, to be within
a month or two pondered and wondered over by almost
every archæologist in Europe). The delight, and also the
surprise, were enhanced when the discoverer saw that
almost every slab had a line of wedge-shaped characters
carved above it, giving hope of history in legible inscrip-
tions, as well as history in ruins. For, unhappily, nearly
all the sculptures first discovered at Khorsabad were frac-
tured. The durability of the Assyrian style of building
had brought about the defacement of the sculptured
records. The walls were formed of blocks of gypsum,
backed and lined, so to speak, with enormous masses of
clay. When the weight of such large earth-banks pressed
down upon the sculptured slabs, these were thrust from
their place. Many that were still in position, when first
seen, fell, or crumbled, as the explorer was looking at
them. He had to shore-up and underpin, as he went on;
and to do this by unpractised hands. Else, the more
diligent his excavations, the more destructive they would
have been of the very end he had in view.

LAYARD was at Constantinople when the news came of M. Botta's increasing successes. His detention there had been unexpected, as well as unavoidable. But he wrote to England without delay. He had a foresight that Botta would not lack encouragement in France. He felt no unworthy jealousy on account of the fact that it was a Frenchman who was now disinterring historic treasures of a hitherto unexampled kind, and who was rapidly

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LAYARD'S

TO THE BRITISH GOVERN MENT

securing historic fame for himself.* Mr. LAYARD knew Book III, few men just then knew more fully—that in all matters Axor of learning and of discovery the gains of France are the gains of the world. For the staunchest of John Bulls amongst us must acknowledge that in the arts of scientific dissemination and exposition a Frenchman (other things OVERTURES being equal) has usually twice the expertness of an Englishman. But he was naturally desirous that France i should not have all the glory of Assyrian discovery. What, then, was the reception with which his first overtures were met? ·With a single exception,' in the person of his London correspondent, 'no one,' he tells us, in England' .... seemed inclined to assist or take any interest in Nineveh and such an undertaking.'

vol. i, p 10. What, on the other hand, were the encouragements given to the French explorer by the Government and the Nation of France ? They were large; they were ungrudgingly given; and they were instantaneously sent. In Mr. LAYARD's words: “The recommendation was attended to with that readiness and munificence which [has] almost invariably distinguished the French Government in undertakings of this nature. Ample funds to meet the cost of Liberal aid extensive excavations were at once assigned to M. BOTTA, TO M. BOTTA and an artist of acknowledged skill was placed under his orders, to draw such parts of the monuments discovered as Governcould not be preserved or removed. Who will wonder

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EXTENDED

BY THE
FRENCH

MENT.

* Nor was there any petty or unworthy jealousy in the distinguished French explorer. During the entire period of his excavations,' writes Mr. Layard, ‘M. Botta regularly sent me, not only his [own] descriptions, but copies of the inscriptions, without exacting any promise as to the use I might make of them. That there are few who would have acted tbus liberally, those who have been engaged in a search after Antiquities in the East will not be inclined to deny'— Nineveh and its Remains, vol. i, p. 14.

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