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preciate its aggregated collection of past ages. There is, I believe, nothing in the world to compare with it for impressiveness, considered as a commentary on the slow and painful advance of civilization.
Like all museums, this of Cairo suffers from occasional rearrangement, which proves seriously embarrassing to the beholder who is largely dependent on published guidebooks and catalogues. The problem of grouping such a mass of relics and art treasures, some colossal in size and some incredibly fragile and minute, must have been perplexing to the last degree. The present arrangement is no doubt the best that could be devised and follows, as closely as it is reasonably possible to ask, the dictates of chronological order. Even so, it is an arrangement that demands a large store of patience on the part of the beholder — particularly such as enter the presence of that awesome collection without adequate preparation for studying the multitude of objects in the light of archæology.
Naturally no other city can boast such an array of relics of the mighty past which Egypt embodies in her history. Nearly all the great museums of the world have their dole, and many are magnificent in their richness. Here and there one such possesses a thing of even greater value to the student of Egyptian history than may be found in Cairo. But as a
stupendous whole, Cairo's collection of Egyptian antiquities is colossal and overwhelming - statues, mummies, coffins, sarcophagi, scarabs, papyri, jewels, grave-furniture, stelæ, and carved inscriptions. If one facing such a monument as this is bewildered and confused, how much greater is the confusion of one writing of it — forced to say something, yet knowing neither where to begin nor where to end?
I am content to let the task go largely unperformed, - at least for the present, - mentioning but a few of the treasures now and considering others, perhaps, as reference to them may be appropriate when we come to explore the various sites whence they were exhumed. The carved stelæ, for example, and the grave statues, such as the magnificent diorite image of Khephrên or the innumerable wooden effigies which fill several rooms of the museum, — must be considered more fully when we take up the description of the ancient cemeteries of Ghizeh and Sakkâra. The gems and jewels and the vast array of accessories which the Egyptian of old caused to be buried with him for use in the happy hereafter we shall have repeated reference to as we go up the Nile, inspecting tombs without number. For the present, as connected with our mention of this incomparable museum, let us consider nothing but the actual tenants of those tombs - the mummied bodies of the monarchs who ruled in a day when Mycenæ was yet undreamed of.
It is true that the mummied kings are by no means the oldest objects in the building, but their effect is unquestionably the most overpowering and impressive. It is no light matter to feel that one looks upon the very flesh and bone, the very faces and features, of Pharaohs who reigned long years before Moses led the Israelites out of bondage — long years, indeed, before Israel was even captive. Yet these are they ! This is their flesh. These are the very hands that once the rod of empire must have swayed. These are the lips that gave law to a nation. And in the silence of death, after many thousand years have rolled over their desert tombs, their faces still preserve a kingly character and an individuality that is indescribable.
Over the bodies of the kings one speaks instinctively in a whisper, as at the bier of one but newly dead. And is it not fitting that it should be so ? I cannot but feel something near allied to pity for these world-worn, war-scarred monarchs, dragged from the deep sepulchres in which they plotted to slumber for all eternity, and put once again on show for a gaping crowd. And so terribly real they are, these emperors of the long ago! We who have come to think of Agamemnon as half mythical are brought face to face with those brave men who were before