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XIX. As soon as Cambyses had resolved on the measures he meant to pursue, with respect to the Æthiopians, he sent to the city of Elephantine for some of the Ichthyophagi who were skilled in their language. In the mean time he directed his naval forces to proceed against the Carthaginians; but the Phænicians refused to affist him in this purpofe, pleading the folemnity of their engagements with that people, and the impiety of committing acts of violence against their own descendants.-Such was the conduct of the Phænicians, and the other arma. ments were not powerful enough to proceed. Thus, therefore, the Carthaginians escaped being made tributary to Persia, for Cambyses did not choose to use compulsion with the Phænicians, who had voluntarily become his dependants, and who constituted the most effential part of his naval power, The Cyprians had also submitted without contest to the Persians, and had served in the Ægyptian expedition, Co r e it'e van 19
XX. As soon as thé. Ichthyophagi arrived from 1
pia. They were commissioned to deliver, with
24 Alabaster box of perfumes.]—It seems probable that pera fumes in more ancient times were kept in shells. Arabia is the country of perfumes, and the Red Sea throws upon the coast a
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* T HA LI A. 23 Æthiopians to whom Cambyses fent, are reported to be superior to all other men in the perfections of size and beauty: their manners and customs, which differ also from those of all other nations, have besides this fingular distinction; the supreme authority is given to him who excels all his fellow citizens 25 in size and proportionable strength. :
XXI. number of large and beautiful fhells, very convenient for such a purpose.--See Horace:
Unguenta de conchis.
“ Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and
See also St. Mark, xiv. 3:
“ There came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment
To sprinkle the apartments and the persons of the guests with
Alabastron did not properly signify a vessel made of the stone
Alabaster obtained its name from being frequently used for
essert XXI. The Ichthyophagi on their arrival offered
the presents, and thus addressed the king : “Cam“byses, sovereign of Persia, from his anxious desire « of becoming your friend and ally, has sent us to
“communicate with you, and to desire your accepisten to them.« tance of these presents, from the use of which he
“himself derives the greatest pleasure.” The Æthi-
#rength and accomplishments of person were in the first insi-
Condere cæperunt urbeis, arcemque locare
«s the mean time let him be thankful to the gods, that “ the Æthiopians have not been inspired with the s same ambitious views of extending their poffef
XXII. When he had finished, he unbent the bow and placed it in their hands; after which, taking the purple vest, he enquired what it was, and how it was made: the Ichthyophagi properly explained to him the process by which the purple tincture was communicated ; but he told them that they and their vests were alike deceitful. He then made similar enquiries concerning the bracelets and the gold chain for the neck : upon their describing the nature of those ornaments, he laughed, and conreiving them to be chains 26, remarked, that the
26 Conceiving them to be chains.]-We learn from a passage in Genesis, xxiv. 22, that the bracelets of the Orientals were remarkably heavy; which seems in some measure to justify the sentiment of the Æthiopian prince, who thought them chains fimply because they were made of gold, which was used for that purpose in his country. See chap. xxiii. * “ And it came to pass as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ear-ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands, of ten shekels weight of gold.”
That 'the bracelet was formerly an ensign of royalty amongst the Orientals, Mr. Harmer, in his Observations on Passages of Scripture, infers from the circumstance of the Amalekites bringing to David the bracelet which he found on Saul's arm, along with his crown. That it was a mark of dignity there can be little doubt; but it by no means follows that it was a mark of royalty, though the remark is certainly ingenious. If it was, there existed a peculiar propriety in making it the part of a present from one prince to another. By the Roman generals they were given to their soldiers, as a reward of bravery. Small Æthiopians poffefsed much stronger. He proceed ed lastly to ask them the use of the perfumes: and when they informed him how they were made and applied, he made the fame observation as he had before done of the purple robe 27. When he came to the wine, and learned how it was made, he
chains were also in the remotest umes worn round the neck, not only by women but by the men. That these were also worn by princes appears from Judges, viri. 26.
" And the weight of the golden ear-rings that he requested, was a thousand and seren hundred shekels of gold; behide orna ments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian; and beside the chains that were about their camels necks." Which last circumitance tends also to prove that they thus alfo decorated the animals they used, which falhion is to this day observed by people of distin&ion in Ægypt.--T.
37 Purple robe.]-It is a circumstance well known at presented that on the coast of Guagaquil as well as on that of Guatima, are found those srails which yield the purple dye fo celebrated . by the ancients, and which the moderns have fuppofed to have been loft. The shell that contains them is fixed to rocks that are watered by the fea; it is of the size of a large nut. The juice may be extracted from the aniinal in two ways; fome per • fons kill the animal after they have taken it out of the thell, they then press it from the head to the tail with a knife, and separate ing from the body that part in which the liquor is collected, they throw away the rest. When this operation, repeated upon several of the fnails, harh yielded a certain quantity of the juice, the thread that is to be dyed is dipped in it, and the business is done, The colour, which is at first as white as milk, becomes afterwards green, and does not turn purple till the thread is dry.
We know of no colour that can be compared to the one we have been speaking of, either in lustre or in permanency. Raynal.
Pliny describes the purpura as a turbinated shell like the bucçinum, but with spines upon it; which may lead us to suspect the Abbé's account of the frails of a little inaccuracy.-T.