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tombs that we know about these two heroes of Elephantine, who lived more than four thousand years ago. I cannot speak too highly of Mr. Weigall's book, recently published by Blackwood. The passages I have quoted are in the nature of a catalogue, and give no conception of his delightful style, in which he excels all writers upon Ancient Egypt, who have serious scientific knowledge of the subject like himself—he being Chief Inspector of Monuments in
HE first time I saw Philae I was young to Egypt. I had landed that very month, and hastened up the Great River, while the lakes of the inundation were still out. I did not tread the halls of Isis then, for I was on my way to Khartūm, and the Prince Abbas was due to start directly that the train came in to Shellal, called after the Cataract. But we watched the other people, who had come on the Rameses the Great with us from Cairo, making the magic journey. To eyes fresh from England it seemed magic: for all these good British citizens, helplessly following a dragoman, stepped on board two galleys, strictly of the Ancient Roman fashion pictured on coins, with yards longer than their masts, banked oars, and high latticed poops painted in the most brilliant colours. The voyagers sat on the poop; the Nubian oarsmen sang African chanteys for bakshish, which reminded me of a story that an African explorer told me about his early lecturing experiences. The lectures, which were about Africa, were not going well, and he had engaged the hall for a week. He was telling a friend, who was calling on him, of the financial loss which he expected. While they were talking they were interrupted by awful yells from the basement. “What is that?” asked the friend. “That's Kalulu'; he always makes that noise when he is cleaning my boots.” “Well, if I were you,” said the friend, “I should divide the lecture in half, and let Kalulu do his turn for ten minutes in the middle.” The explorer took his advice. But when Kalulu had finished the audience yelled for more, and nothing would induce them to listen to another word from the lecturer. It was Kalulu they wanted. I forget what happened on the next night. We watched those Roman galleys regretfully, as those stalwart arms made them fly to Philae, the Island of Time, the Island of the End, the Island of Ceasing—after Abydos, the most sacred of the burial places of Osiris. Osiris has fourteen burial places. The first time I went to Genoa I visited the house of Columbus; the second time I went to Genoa I visited it, but it was not the same house. I remonstrated with my guide. He said the Municipality had changed it. I stared at him blankly, while he explained that as the first house had become a house of ill-fame, the Municipality had given its patronage to a rival claimant of the honour and, he added, “very famous people are generally born in several places." But Osiris was the only person I ever heard of who was buried in more than two places, though St. Peter was buried in two, and St. John the Baptist has two skulls now in Rome. Besides, Osiris was a god, and ought not to have been killed at all. It was at Philae, according to local tradition, that his limbs were reunited, and he was reunited to Isis. Even now Philae, when it only consists of certain temple buildings and rows of palm-trees wading in the inundation, is a most gracious spectacle. There are people who think that the Temple of Isis, and the long colonnades of Nectanebus (the last of the native kings of Egypt), and the unfinished porch which is called Pharaoh's Bed, are more beautiful in their watery isolation than they ever were before. But I cannot think that they are so beautiful now as they were when they were piled high on a rocky shore, and embosomed in groves and thickets unrivalled in Egypt for their luxury of green. There was always water in the foreground. Dynasties and faiths died hard above the cataracts. While Nectanebus reigned here, Egypt proper had been conquered by the Persians; and the worship of Isis and Osiris went on in the halls of Philae till the Emperor Justinian, five hundred and fifty years after Christ, sent officers to root it out. If it
* I am not sure if I have remembered the name rightly.
AN ASSU AN GALLEY AND THE ISLAND OF ELEPHANTINE.. Taken from my bedroom balcony, in the Cataract Hotel. These galleys are of an ancient Roman pattern, hardly changed.