« PreviousContinue »
will be noticed in the sequel, the law which gov- utility. Milk, they said, could' easily be kept erns its temperature sufficiently indicates that an sweet and fresh in the heats of summer for three all-wise Mind ordained it, and no doubt with a weeks, meat for a month, and cherries from one special object in view. At no great distance from season to another! In winter, curious enough it the ice-cave of St. George's another was found, is to notice that outside water will be frozen the entrance to which was announced by a low for some time before it is so within. Saussure vault, forty feet or so in width, and by a current adds, that the “proprietors of the caves unaniof air which fell upon the over-heated traveller mously affirmed, that the hotter the summer was, with folds of deadly coldness, so that the greatest the greater was the strength of the cold current caution is necessary in entering it. Descending which issued from them;" in the winter a sensible by an inclined plane, the cavity is found to become current of air sets into them. In the sonth of wider from the entrance inwards. At the bottom France is another famous natural ice-cave—that is a horizontal platform of ice. The cave is about of Fondereule. M. Hericart de Thury has given sixty feet long by thirty wide ; the ice is thickest an interesting account of a visit to it. This cave at the farthest end. The roof presents a beautiful is situated in a wild and romantic region, where appearance, all pendent with elegant stalactites of some long bygone convulsion of the earth has the purest içe ; and the coup d'æil is picturesque rent asunder the solid rocks, and produced a scene in the extreme. The temperature in the open of confusion of the wildest description. The air at this time was 58 degrees Fahrenheit in the occurrence of the cave in this district, and its shade, and in the grotto it was 34 degrees Fahren- extraordinary phenomena of temperature, &c., are heit. The guide related that when he visited it without doubt attributable to this geological disin the previous April, three months before, there turbance, as will be best perceived in the sequel. was no ice then ; yet at this period, in the middle It was long thought to be a subterranean glacier, of an unusually hot summer day, it existed in and has been described as such; but this is an abundance.
erroneous view of the case. It is a magnificent The all-observant and renowned De Saussure, cavern, nearly two hundred feet in depth, of very in his travels in the Alps, paid much attention to irregular width ; and the thickness of its vaulted these caves, and offered the first rational attempt roof is about sixty-six feet. Its interior is decoat a solution of the riddle. He says that in the rated with the most beautiful calcareous stalactites, volcanic island of Ischia, near Naples, which and the floor is variegated with curious alabaster abounds with hot springs, a number of grottos cones, which shoot out from the sheet of clear, exist in which a great degree of cold is felt. At transparent ice forming the pavement. the period when he visited them, the external places elegant stalactites of ice drop down from shade-heat was 63 degrees, that of the grottos the roof like pendents of clear glass, and, as it 45 degrees, and in a severely hot summer they were were, melt into the glassy floor beneath, so that colder still. Other caves are mentioned in a free- the vault is upheld by pillars of this beautiful mastone hill upon which the town of St. Marin is built, terial. The alabastrine stalactites are found prinwhere the same violent contrasts existed between cipally at the sides of the cavern, while the icy the temperature the external and internal atmos- ones are in the middle, and here and there propheres. Evelyn mentions, in his account of his duce all the resemblance of rich folds of drapery tour in Italy, being shown as a wonder, in one of clear as water. One of the travellers cut a hole the palaces which he visited, a hole out of which in a pillar of ice, and placed a candle inside ; the issued a strong current of cold air sufficiently pow- most magical effects were thus produced ; and the erful to buoy up a copper ball. Saussure states fantastic aisles of this subterranean temple of cold that in a private house near Terni, in the Papal were illuminated with the richest yellow, blue, States, there is a cellar, of no great depth out of green and red tints, the reflected rays playing with which an impetuous, sharp, cold wind issues. Nu- illusory effect upon the floor of ice, the pillars of merous natural refrigeratories are commemorated the same substance, and of alabaster, and the great hy the same philosopher; among the most curious stalagmites which lined the walls. A larger illuwere some which he found at the foot of a steep mination was afterwards got up by arranging mountain near Mount Pilatus, on the banks of the torches in the clearest and best crystallized parts Lake of Lucerne. These places were simply of the cavern ; and the result, say the visitors, small wooden huts, on three sides formed of tim- " was worthy of all that the “ Thousand and One ber, but the back wall was built against the talus, Nights' could present to the richest and most brilor heap of fragment and rubbish at the foot of the liant imagination.” This beautiful cave is somerock, and was formed in a loose manner of dry times made use of economically when there is a stones. When these huts were visited by the scarcity of ice; and its crystalline pavement is traveller, it being the 31st of July, the thermom- dug up and carried to several towns in the vicineter marked 73 degrees in the shade; in the huts it ity. was as low as 39 degrees, or seven degrees above We have met with an account, by Professor Silthe freezing-point; and all that separated these liman of America, which we have no hesitation in remote degrees of temperature was a few planks classifying under our present head. The ice-cave of wood! The proprietors of these places men- of which he speaks is in the state of Connecticut, woned several curious facts in illustration of their between Hartford and New Haven. It is only
two hundred feet above the level of the sea, and is ness. The inhabitants also dig caves into the hill, situated in a defile filled with fragments of rocks which they use as refrigeratories, and in these the of various sizes, through which a small brook thermometer often marks 44 degrees when the runs. It was visited in the middle of July, the temperature outside is nearly 80 degrees. thermometer at 85 degrees in the shade ; and We shall conclude our series of illustrations on approaching it, an evident chilliness was felt in upon this curious subject, by referring to one which the air. Parties of pleasure often resort hither in has attracted a large share of interest and attention the sultry summer days to drink of the cold flow- of some of the most talented of our learned men. ing waters, and to amuse themselves with the rich It is to be found in the splendid work on the Geolstore of ice here treasured up. In some places ogy of Russia, recently published by Sir Roderthe ice is quite near the surface, and is only cov- ick T. Murchison. The ice-cave here commemoered with leaves. A boy, armed with a hatchet, rated is not far from Orenburg, and boasts of the descended into a cavity, and, afier a little hard work, unpronounceable name Illetzkaya-Zastchita. It is hewed out a solid lump of ice several pounds in situated at the base of a hillock of gypsum, at the weight. An idea of the solidity of this piece eastern end of a village connected with the impemay be formed, by adding that on the third day rial establishment, and is one of a series of apparsome of it was yet unmelted. A similar reposi- ently natural hollows, used by the peasants for tory of cold exists about seven miles from New cellars or stores. It possesses the remarkable Haven, at the bottom of a steep ridge of trap rock. property of being partly filled with ice in the sumIn the hottest summers ice is conveyed from this mer, and totally destitute thereof in the winter. place to New Haven, much soiled, indeed, with Standing,” says the talented author, “ on the leaves and dirt, but useful for cooling beverages. heated ground, and under a broiling sun, I shall A more celebrated one, also in America, has often never forget my astonishment when the woman to been noticed by tourists of that country ; some whom the cavern belonged opened a frail door, accounts, in fact, have been greatly exaggerated and a volume of air so piercingly keen struck the about it. It is situated in Hampshire county, legs and feet, that we were glad to rush into a Virginia, and is widely celebrated under the title cold bath in front of us to equalize the effect! We of the Ice-Mountain. The place wliere the store afterwards subjected the whole body to the cooling of cold exists is a sort of natural glacier, which process by entering the cave, which is on a level lies against a steep mural ridge of lofty rock, and with the street. At three or four paces from the is composed of a number of fragments of sand- door, on which shone the glaring sun, we were stone of all sizes loosely heaped together. In the surrounded by half-frozen quass and the provisions midst of these the ice is contained. It was visited of the natives. The roof of the cavern hung with in the summer of 1838, a season of drought and solid undripping icicles, and the floor might be. heat quite unparalleled in the history of that coun- called a stalagmite of ice and frozen earth. We try. But the excessive external heat did not were glad to escape in a few minutes from this appear to exert the smallest influence on the Ice- ice-bound prison, so long had our frames been acMountain. At the depth of a few inches abun- customed to a powerful heat.” The cold in this dance of excellent ice was found, and a thermom- cavern is invariably the greatest inside when the eter lowered into a cavity dropped from 95 to 40 air is the hottest outside. As soon as winter sets degrees. The surrounding rocks were covered in, the ice disappears, and in mid-winter the peas with dew, owing to the condensation of atmos- ants assured the travellers that the cave was of so pheric vapor by 'the excessive coldness of their genial a temperature that they could sleep in it surfice. One cavity had been filled with snow, without their sheep-skins. At the very period and only covered with a few planks, and yet the when Sir R. Murchison visited it, the thermometer snow was as crisp as if it had but just fallen! At was 90 degrees in the shade, a degree of heat the bottom is a little artificial structure called the which only those who have experienced it can • dairy," and used for that purpose in the sum- appreciate ; yet a single plank was the division
In ordinary summers its roof is covered between a burning sun and a freezing vault! The with icicles, and its sides are often quite incrusted cave is about ten paces long, and about ten feet with ice. Strange to say, a spring near the rock high. It has a vaulted roof, in which great fishas only one degree less temperature than the sures open, which appear to communicate with the waters of the surrounding district. The atmos- body of the hillock. This account was first read phere over this singular spot had in this scorching before the Geological Society, and excited much season a balmy, spring-like coolness, most refresh- | discussion among the members of the body. Sir ing to the weary traveller. Most Italian tourists R. Murchison at first believed that the intenselyknow the Monte Testaceo near Rome. It is a hill, frigorific powers of the cave were due, in some way from two hundred to three hundred feet high, com- which the learned expositor could not make very posed of broken pieces of urns; hence its name. clear, to the presence of saline ingredients in the It is, in fact, a vast mass of broken pottery ; there- rocks. Ilis geological chemistry, however, being fore extremely light and porous.
It is situated in shown to be at fault, and the causes on which he the burning Campagna, near the city; and yet, relied, if ihey existed at all, being such as to pro most singular it is, that from every side of this hill duce heat instead of cold, Sir J. Herschel underthere descend winds of the most refreshing cool- took the solution of the problem. An elaborato
letter of his soon appeared, in which he attempted I will not be moved in the presence of this people, to show that the cold of the cave was explicable which of old accomplished such mighty deeds, and on climatological grounds solely, and in which now are reduced to misery so extreme ? Who much was said about waves of heat and cold, so as can visit Alexandria, Cairo, the Pyramids, Heliopto give a very scientific air to the explanation. olis, Thebes, without being moved by reminisBut on similar grounds we might expect every cences the most imposing and the most diverse ? natural cavern similarly situated to be a freezing The Bible, Homer, philosophy, the sciences, cave; which is not the case.
Greece, Rome, Christianity, the monks, Islamism, Saussure long ago gave the clue to the real the crusades, the French revolution ; almost everyexposition of this paradoxical phenomenon ; and thing great in the world's history seems to conProfessor Piciet, following it out, has satisfactorily verge in the pathway of him who traverses this demonstrated that it is a beautiful example of a memorable country! Abraham, Sesostris, Moses, practical illustration in nature of that first principle Helen, Agesilaus, Alexander, Pompey, Cæsar, in chemistry--eraporation produces cold. It is Cleopatra, Aristarchus, Plotinus, Pacomus, Oriwell known to the geological student, that in cer- gen, Athanasius, Saladin, St. Louis, Napoleontain mines which have a horizontal gallery termi- what names! what contrasts !” Thus exclaims nating in a vertical shaft communicating with the an eloquent writer in the “Revue des Deux atmosphere, a current of air in summer descends Mondes :" but his list of memorabilia, M. Ampère the vertical shaft, and emerges from the horizontal; very well knows, begins where the really marvelwhile in winter the current sets in at the horizon- lous ends ; and to arrive—not at the origin of tal, and issues from the vertical shaft. Now, in Egyptian civilization, but merely at the epoch almost every instance quoted, the arrangement of where our researches are lost in the darkness of these caves has been precisely similar ; they are antiquity--we must go back at least fifteen cenplaced at the bottom of a hill perforated by various turies before the calling of Abraham ! With rents and chasms. Thus the cave is the horizon- Moses, between two and three hundred
after tal, and the vertical shaft lies in the mass of the the first patriarch, begins the procession of the hill. Suppose, then, the mean temperature of the historians, lawgivers, and warriors of a world hill to be about 48 or 50 degrees. The descending now passed away; but in the tombs of Egypt summer current passing through the channels in there are written, with a freshness that endures to the hill evaporates the water it meets with in its this day, the annals of a long anterior greatnessprogress, and so rapidly, as to become colder and a greatness earlier than antiquity itself. colder in its descent; until, reaching the cave, it is Egypt is now the great highway between the even below 32 degrees, and there freezes the water east and west ; and one may as well stay at home collected in it. The hotter the air outside, the as pretend to travel without seeing the pyramids. greater the destruction of equilibrium between the To enjoy, however, the descriptions we receive, interior and exterior columns, which communicate from every succeeding tourist, of a buried people, at their base in the cave ; consequently, the more who, 2400 years ago, reproached the ancient rapid and intense the evaporation, the more Greeks with their modern juvenility, it is necessevere the measure of cold produced. Every pos- sary to know from what sources these records are tulate is satisfactorily answered upon this hypoth- drawn, and what are the claims to authenticity esis ; and while no doubt occasionally the ice possessed by the Language of the Tombs. To do found in some caves may be part of a glacier, or this, we do not require to understand the ancient the remains of last winter's product, yet the phe- tongues, or any other modern one than English ; nomenon which we would include under the term Colonel Vyse having thrown into an appendix, in Nature's Ice-Caves, is explicable solely upon this the second volume of his quarto work, all that simple and beautiful law. “ This view,” says is known on this subject. * But a much smaller Sir R. Murchison, in a postscript to his previous book has recently been published, touching upon account, is supported by reference to the climate all the Egyptian questions together; and although, of the plains of Orenburg, in which there is great from the highly-condensed form in which the wetness of the spring, caused by melting of the knowledge is conveyed, it is somewhat difficult of snow, succeeded by an intense and dry Asiatic study for persons previously ignorant of the subheat."
ject, we are in hopes of being able to extract from it, for the benefit of our readers, some rudimental information. It consists of a series of reports,
taken from several American newspapers, of the THE LANGUAGE OF THE TOMBS.
lectures of the distinguished Egyptian antiquary *Egypt offers subjects of conversation and Mr. Gliddon ; and the whole has been revised by meditation which no can entirely neglect, himself, and enriched with learned notes and apwhoever he may be, if he have eyes to see, a pendices.f memory to remember, or a sprivkling of imagination wherewith to dream. Who can be indif- from 1837 10 1839. See also Gliddon's Chapters on Early
* Operations carried on at the Pyramids of Gbizeh ferent to the tableaux of unaccountable nature on Egyptian History. 1843. the banks of the Nile ? At the spectacle of this
† Otia Ægyptíaca : Discourses on Egyptian Archæ
ology and Hieroglyphical Discoveries. By George R. river-land, that no other land resembles ? Who Gliddon. London: Madden. 1949.
From Chambers' Journal.
Previous to the year 1802, the hieroglyphics, or The revelations thus made have released Egypt sacred characters of the Egyptians, found in the from the plague of darkness. She is no longer a sepulchres and on monuments, were a mystical land of sorcery and mysticism, such as she apscrawl, the unknown signs of an unknown tongue, peared to the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans ; but which the learned gazed at with unavailing long-thousands of years ago, her every-day life appears ings. But a stone, found three years before be- a prototype of our own. The hieroglyphics are at tween Rosetta and the sea by a French officer of once manuscripts and pictures-illustrated books, engineers, was destined to give the hint, which fell speaking at once to the eye and the mind; and the like a sudden spark of light upon their conjec-genius of the people seems to have delighted in tures. This was the celebrated Rosetta Stone, perpetuating themselves in their records. “If we (now in the British Museum,) a fragment of black enter a tomb,” says Mr. Gliddon, we see the basalt, 3 feet in length, and originally 2 feet 5 deceased surrounded by his family, who offer him inches in breadth, and from 10 to 12 inches in their remembrances. The-I had almost said thickness. The sculpture was not in itself of Christian-name, the profession, rank, and bloodgreat antiquity, dating 196 years before the Chris- relationship of each member of the family, are tian era. It contained two inscriptions—one in the written against him or her. The scenes of ordiGreek, and one in the popular Egyptian character, nary life are painted on the walls. Study, gymcalled Demotic or Enchorial, afterwards discovered nastics, feasts, banquets, wars, sacrifices, death, and not to have been much used before 700 years B. c. : funeral, are all faithfully delineated in these sepulbut there was likewise a third, in hieroglyphics ; chral illustrations of manners, which are often epic and it may be supposed with what interest it was in their character. You have the song with which discovered that these three were identical in sub- the Egyptian enlivened his labor in the field ; the slance! They were an edict chiselled at Memphis, anthem, that, when living, he offered to his Crein honor of Ptolemy Epiphanes, and the con- ator; and the death-wail that accompanied his cluding sentence was in these words :- :-" That body to the grave. Every condition, every art, this decree should be engraved on a tablet of hard every trade, figures in this picturesque encyclopæstone, in hieroglyphics, enchorial, and Greek char- dia—from the monarch, priest, and warrior, to the acters, and should be set up in first, second, and artisan and herdsman. Then these tombs are real third-rate temples, before the statue of the ever- museums of antiquities—utensils, toilet-tables, inkliving king."
stands, pens, books, the incense-bearer, and smellThe inscriptions, being identical, would of course ing-bottle, are found in them. The wheat which repeat the name the same number of times ; and the Egyptian ate, the fruit that adorned his dessertthe word Ptolemy, in its various inflections, being table, peas, beans, and barley, which still germifound in the Greek eleven times, the first business nate when replanted, are also discovered. The was to look for a corresponding word in the De- eggs, the desiccated remains of the very milk he motic character. In this inscription a group of had once used for his breakfast, even the trussed seven letters was found repeated eleven times; and and roasted goose, of which the guests at his wake these were discovered to compose the word Ptol- had partaken-all these evidences of his humanity, mis, thus giving seven letters of the alphabet, from and a myriad more, exist, in kind, in the museums which the whole was afterwards deduced. But of Europe, to attest their former owner's declarathe hieroglyphic inscription? How was it possi- tion to us, modern occidentals, athwart the oceans ble to interpret those representations of animals of time and the Atlantic, Homo sum ; humani nihil and things, intended though they must be for the a me alienum puto. But not only do the scenes symbols of a language? Here and there some of sculptured or painted on the temples or in the them were enclosed in an oval. This was repeated sepulchres furnish every detail concerning the again and again, and must no doubt be the name Egyptians; they give us the portraits, history, sought for. The middle figure was a recumbent geographical names, and characteristics of an inlioness, the Coptic name of which is laboi. Might finitude of Asiatic and African nations existing in not the lioness represent the sound of the initial days long anterior to the Exode—many of whom letter of her own name? It was a wild and fan- have left no other record of their presence on tastic conjecture, to which the explorer was no earth, and others again whose names are preserved doubt driven by mere despair ; but it was inspi- in the Hebrew Scriptures.” ration. The moment it was taken for granted Not the least curious and important of the hie that this was one letter of the name, the others roglyphical revelations, is the synchronism which were read with comparative ease; and thus were exists between the Scriptural annals and the monobtained, to begin with, the signs of seven hiero-uments of Egypt. The names of some of the Phaglyphic letters, Ptolmees.
raohs are not only the same, but they are identified We of course cannot pretend to follow here the in particulars of their history; and authenticated course of the discovery ; but Mr. Gliddon declares, portraits of sovereigns incidentally referred to in that with the aid of the published literary re- the Bible are now exhibited in engravings throughBources, any intelligent person may at this day out the Christian world. These portraits are carread into English, direct from the hieroglyphics, ried back to 3500 years ago, (about the time of words, phrases, and consecutive sentences, as easily Joseph,) but the synchronism cannot be traced as he would acquire any other oriental tongue. earlier than 971 B. C. This is unfortunate, as it
would be very interesting to identify in their mon- ments, and the Christian petitions for divine aid to uments the Pharaohs who were contemporary with observe them, they present only a series of selfSolomon, Moses, Joseph, and Abraham. The righteous assertions of innocence, supposed to be earliest, however, as yet reached is Shishak, the made by the departed spirit. In these, however, conqueror of Rehoboam, son of Solomon ; and in- which are forty-two in number, is found the whole, deed, as the Bible does not mention by name the and more than the whole, decalogue. earlier sovereigns of Egypt, there is little proba- It is impossible to ascend to the origin of the bility of further advance in this interesting study. mummies that are covered with extracts from this As for the supposed death of the Mosaic Pharaoh ritual. Mummification, as the science is now in the Red Sea, it is neither countenanced by the called, is supposed to have been earlier than the text of the Pentateuch—which merely relates the pyramids or tombs, the first mummies having been destruction of Pharaoh's host, chariots, and chosen buried in the sand. The Necropolis at Memphis captains-nor by the traditions of the Talmud, is twenty-two miles in length by about half a mile which expressly state that the king returned and in breadth, and here, it is supposed, one fourth of reported the loss of his army. The hieroglyphics, the population of Egypt was buried. The Great however, are silent on both points. Neither has Pyramid was built 4000 years ago; but supposing any trace at all been found in them of the patri- the period of mummification to be only 3000 years, archal relations with Egypt. We may add that Mr. Gliddon calculates that the number of mumMr. Gliddon makes the pertinent remark, that if mies in Egypt is about 500,000,000. A Cairo the validity of hieroglyphical history be proved journal, a year or two ago, went further ; it “from the Scriptures for the time succeeding counted up the quantity of cloth in the wrappers, Moses, in all those cases where either record re- and came to the conclusion that if the linen were fers to the events mentioned in the other, the au- manufactured into paper, it would bring into the thenticity of hieroglyphical monuments in affairs pacha's treasury £4,200,000! The objection as whereon the Bible silent, and which antedate to the vast space so many mummies would fill, is Moses by twenty centuries, cannot fairly be called met by a calculation which shows that they could in question.” While mentioning portraits, let us he contained in a cube half a mile in length, descend to later times, and say that the portrait of breadth, and height ; although so far from being Cleopatra, taken from the temple of Dendera, by cramped in room, the tombs of a single individual no means establishes the Shakspearian authority sometimes cover several acres of subterranean with regard to the personal beauty of that “ser- ground. pent of old Nile.” The Cleopatra of history ap- Under the fourth dynasty the bodies were prepears to have been celebrated only for her powers pared by a saturation with natron, and were baked of fascination and the splendor of her court. in ovens, and wrapped in woollen cloth. The
The earliest date of the sacred language is not sarcophagus of Cheops was a plain monolithic known; but if the antiquaries are correct, there bin, and that of Mycerinus a rectangular chest, must be an error in the commonly-received inter- with an inscription in which the dead Osirian king pretation of Bible chronology, the original fisteen is saluted with a sublime simplicity, “ Live foshieroglyphic letters having been in common use ever!” Under the twelfth dynasty linen is found only 250 years after Menes, the first Pharaoh. in use, the bodies are partially gilded, and all the This would carry back the origin of hieroglyphics luxury in coffins had commenced, which, from the to near the time commonly assigned to Cain and eighteenth dynasty down to the time of the RoAbel! The emblem of the scribe's palette, reed- mans, remained at a great pitch of extravagance. pen, and ink-bottle, is found about 3400 years B.C.; Under the eleventh dynasty, round the “ sides are and books, indicated by the sign of the papyrus or usually painted the whole sepulchral equipment scroll, are long antecedent to the time of Abraham. of the dead—his bows, arrows, quivers, shirts, This language received afterwards some change, wigs, mirrors, sandals, and cosmetics. They are, and in that form became more current as the hie- in fact, the pictorial portmanteau of an Egyptian ratic or sacerdotal. About 700 years B. C. there gentleman twenty centuries before our era, as was introduced an alphabetic kind of writing called well as a bill of fare; his ducks, geese, haunches, the Demotic, Enchorial, or Epistolographic; and shoulders, chops, bread, cakes, biscuits, fourthis remained in popular use till it was suppressed his drinks, water, beer, wine, white, northern, or by the Roman imperial authority, and replaced by Maræotic—his salt and pastiles-are detailed at the Coptic alphabet, formed of Greek and Egyp- the head of these coffins." The eighteenth dytian letters intermixed.
nasty is the era of the introduction of bitumen, The prayer-book of the Egyptians, called the which became known to the Egyptians through Book of the Dead, is traced as far back as 3200 their conquests of Assyria ; and the new fashion
It was a collection of hymns and liturgical changed the color of the mummies, which, prayers offered by and for the departed Egyptians; that epoch, are black, while those earlier emand extracts from it are met with on mummy cases, balmed are of the natural hue. By this time the and every other object connected with death or system of idolatry had attained its full developreligion. In this antique ritual are taught the ment ; even the bodies of animals were at length doctrines of the soul's immortality and resurrection embalmed as well as those of men ; and the reof the body; but instead of the Jewish command- I ligious simplicity of the earlier mummies existed