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his new city of Alexandria paid them the flattery of imitation, and the best examples of the Alexandrian school are preserved locally.
Egypt, the land whose very soil embalms the vestiges of the past, has preserved the colours of these figurines to an extent unrivalled in Magna Grecia. Their hues are extraordinarily bright-pink and pale blue seem to have been the mode with the belles of Alexandria. Many have lovely faces, all have very modern heads of hair. But the figurines, as a rule, are hardly in such pure taste, hardly so refined as the best of Tanagra and Myrina. There are numerous specimens also of the coarse comic terra-cottas of ancientGreek Egypt, which are nothing to what they would be if they belonged to modern-Greek Egypt. Fat round cherubs are very popular. As to jewellery, some of the gold fillets, with natural coloured leaves and flowers, recall or may have inspired the charming head-bands of Etruria.
We set out conscientiously to explore the classical antiquities of Alexandria. We began with the antique cistern in the Rue d'Allemagne, not very far from the museum. It is subterranean, about fifty feet long, and a little less in width and height. Its inside is rather like a church; it has three tiers of arches with stone beams across each tier, the top tier being pointed and the columns of granite.
The Hypogeum of Anfushi, near the Khedive's palace, another Roman building, is even less interesting ; but it serves to show the debased style of the tombs of Roman Egypt.
On the other hand, the ruins round Pompey's Pillar and the Kom-es-Shogafa are at once considerable and of uncommon interest. The latter, in spite of its debased style, is by far the best; there is nothing like it in Egypt.
The Serapeum lies almost under Pompey's Pillar. It was here that they found the black Apis bull, which is the glory of the museum, in a niche about seven feet long, five feet high, and four feet wide, cut in the sandstone. You go down into a bear-pit twenty-five feet deep, to get into the Serapeum. What remains of it is chiefly catacomb. The so-called
WOMAN HOLDING THE HUGE WOODEN EGYPTIAN DOOR-KEY IN HER RIGHT HAND. Unchanged from the time of Cleopatra. On the road to Heliopolis.
Catacomb of the Men, of considerable length, runs under Pompey's Pillar, divided from it by more than fifty feet of solid sandstone. The bull was found in the ladies' catacomb, which does not sound much more appropriate than a china shop. There is still a fragment of the Serapeum near Pompey's Pillar.
The Serapeum, besides being a temple of the Bull-god, in whom the Romans, without much sense of humour, saw their Jupiter, contained half of the library of Alexandria ; the two hundred thousand volumes taken by Mark Antony from Pergamus to present to Cleopatra, were kept here.
One can imagine the humiliation, the stupefaction succeeded by wild fury of the citizens of Pergamus, for Pergamus had been the rival of Alexandria in its manuscripts of the classics. So great had been the rivalry between the Ptolemies and the Attalid kings of Pergamus, that the Egyptian monarchs forbade the exportation of papyrus from Egypt to Pergamus, in the hopes of stopping the reproduction of books there. The Attalids met the situation by using the skins of sheep : these Pergamine skins were the origin in name as well as substance of the parchment we use for deeds and other documents, which we wish to be more imperishable than mere gems of literature.
Pompey's Pillar has nothing to do with Pompey, though the Alexandrines "did for ” him, and might quite well have done him the tardy justice of erecting this magnificent column of red granite in his honour, when they had realised that it would not offend Cæsar, but please his magnanimous soul. The granite is of the best quality, highly polished, elegant, and of good style, and measures with its base nearly a hundred feet high, of which three-quarters are shaft. It is about thirty feet round at the bottom and fifteen feet and a half at the top, and as you approach it from the decent parts of the city, where foreigners are hotelled, it looks magnificent, soaring against the sunset. It was put up by a quite unimportant person named Pompey, in honour of Diocletian, who had captured Alexandria and murdered all his enemies among the citizens. El-Makrizi says that it
stood in a colonnade of four hundred columns which contained the Pergamine Library, destroyed by the fanatical Omar. At present it is surrounded by a garden, rather pleasing, though its vegetation is almost entirely mesenbryanthemum, vulgarly called pig's-face. There are many levels in the garden, and many remains of catacombs, bottle cisterns, wells, and so on, with a couple of Ptolemaic sphinxes to guard the column, like the lions of Trafalgar Square. But it cannot be denied that the only outstanding monument here is Pompey Minor's pillar.
The Kom-es-Shogafa is a Roman rival of the Tombs of Thebes or Memphis. We went through a hoarding into a Golgotha. I knew what the original Golgotha must have been like directly I stood on that hill of desolation. We went down by a staircase that recalled the descent to Joseph's Well at Cairo till we found ourselves in a room supported by four columns, carved out of virgin rock, with branches supporting the roof. It looked like the larder; there were bones on the ledges, and amphoræ for wine-jars; but it was more likely the banqueting-hall, which, I suppose, was what the Ghaffir meant to imply when he gave it the terse Arab definition of " Animal and human feast-chamber." Close by there was a good well with a stair, in a chamber surrounded by tombs. Tombs radiated from every side of the rotunda on this floor. The staircase had an admirably cut cupola.
As we entered the beautiful pronaos we saw carved above our heads a scollop-shell a yard long, emblematic, I suppose, of the Long Pilgrimage. The art of that pronaos would not please the purist, but it was meant to be very grand. It is like a sculptured Etruscan tomb where expense was no object, and carved on a shield is the gorgon's head, like the man in the sun which we have on the modern Arms and so many of the ancient coins of Sicily.
The authorities, who are responsible for the presentation of this tomb to the public, have a somewhat histrionic taste. There is a staircase dropping down into it between graceful Egyptian columns, underneath which flows a stream of clear water of some depth. Electric lights have been intro