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CIVING AN ACCOUNT OF WHO AND WHAT THE BYSTANDER IS.
“Old Bachelor,” the author of " An Essay on Flirts,'
and the sentimental savage, who perpetrated the tirade No. I.
entitled “ April Fools,” make their bow to the public. If they fail, they only share the fate of better men.
The Bystander is a designation which they have not It has frequently been asked why we have no Spec- assumed hastily, nor without some reference to the times. tators or Ramblers now-a-days. Various reasons may From their previous lucubrations, to which they have be plausibly assigned for the non-appearance of such just referred, the reader will naturally conclude, that the publications. In the first place, the small follies and tone of their contemplated writings is to be chiefly light vices of society against which they were directed, have and playful—not without a dash of the humourist. And been either eradicated by their efforts, or have grown he is correct in his inference. At the same time, the more cunning to hide themselves. Like game in the increasing acerbity of party spirit points out to them a battue of a keen-eyed sportsman, an occasional jubilee is field, in which their labours, if successful, may be of the requisite in order that a new generation may spring up. utmost importance. They will seize every opportunity to In the second place, the division of labour, superinduced impress deeply upon the minds of their readers, that, howby the progress of literature, has materially narrowed the ever they may differ upon the great question which now sphere of the periodical essayist. Steele and Addison might agitates the nation, they possess an immense preponderange, chartered libertines, in their narrow sheet, through rance of sentiments, opinions, even prejudices, in comthe wbole range of moral preaching, literary and theatri- mon. They will ever seek to remind the angry combatcal criticism, politics, and what rat. But, in our mo ants that they are proud of the same fathers, that they dern periodicals, criticism is a distinct department, for- have revelled in the same intellectual banquets, that they mally lined and marked out. The theatre, it has been have sat, and may sit again, at the same feasts, that their discovered, requires the undivided attention of one minds have been expanded by the aid of the same manly labourer. Politics never thrive beyond the columns of a language. We can discuss a metaphysical question, and newspaper, . The essayist has consequently been so re- be angry as heart could wish, without retaining an after stricted in his topics, that he has found it impossible, as grudge. We have all been involved at times in squabbles it is expressed in the emphatic language of the ring,“ to about matters of local interest, and scowled angrily at our come to time."
opponents, and kissed, and become friends again. Any Undeterred by these considerations, a small knot of why not thus in the present instance? The question as friends have determined to attempt the revival of this issue is one of vital and pervading interest. Let it be style of writing. Each of them has of late tried his contested strenuously as may bem let neither side give or hand at an essay in the Edinburgh Literary Journal
, and take an inch of ground without a struggle. But why more than one of them has been rewarded with some add to the bitterness of public strife that of private ransmall degree of public approbation. It has struck them cour? Why admit unamiable and misery-bringing feelthat, by uniting their forces, by giving that unity and ings to taint with their pollution the battle of principle? continuity to their fragments, which is the result of pub This warning is not uncalled for. We do not allude lishing under one name a series of essays, harmonizing to the unseemly exhibition, in what has ever, until this in their general tendency, they may each, in the narrower occasion, been the most decorous of our legislative assemsphere to which the periodical essayist is now confined, blies. We speak neither of those who all but scowled make themselves useful in their day and generation. defiance in their sovereign's face, nor of him who, by an
The time seems not altogether unpropitious to such an ill-timed bravado, augmented their vindictive anger. We attempt. A marked change has taken place in the man speak of signs-slight, indeed, but of fearful auguryners, and indeed in the whole organization of society, that have met us in private circles. We have heard since the last of their predecessors closed his wearied words thoughtlessly and foolishly dropped on one side, lips. There is a wide field for useful and interesting of an appeal to arms—we have marked the bent brow remark, in the contrasted manners of Scotland as it is and suffused face with which this silly speech was renow, and Scotland as it was in 1790. The process by ceived. We know that these were but the pettish effu.' which the change has been effected affords likewise a sious of a hot debate-forgotten as soon as uttered. But pleasing object of contemplation. It is like standing in it is ever thus with the first suggestions of evil. The autumn just where the mountain district subsides into thought passes through the mind, startles us, and disthe level country, and watching the shifting clouds, as appears. Afterwards, when some chance association driving before the wind they unwreathe themselves from recalls it, with its novelty it is found to have lost much one hill to settle upon another. Nor is it the intention of its terror. It is permitted to take up a permanent of the contributors to the Bystander, to confine their ani- lodgement in the brain, as a fancy which never can be madversions to our own firesides, they embrace within reduced to practice. And, finally, in an unguarded mothe range of their remarks the sister-kingdom, and the ment, when passion is awake, and reason slumbers, this continent--and past times as well as present. No cha- hated, despised thought is hastily caught at, to give form racteristic feature of humanity is devoid of interest to and utterance to our fury. We return to ourselves only them. With such themes to descant upon, the “ Loun- to become aware of a deed, the memory of which blasts ger,” (a name of good omen in a work of this kind,) the our future existence.
Perhaps we are unduly apprehensive of civil commo- the witching cup of Catholicism,-one who has prostrated tion. Having spent a portion of our life in a country his intellect to acquiesce in the broad and unmodified which had suffered dreadfully from its blighting influ- doctrine of the divine right of kings. He is one of your ences, we have had occasion to mark the deep and whiners over the gone glories of chivalry, and of the festering wounds it leaves behind, and are, perhaps, undivided church, and the honesty and quiet of the over apprehensive. But even though matters should middle ages. To sum up his character, he is a beautiful not come to this extremity, it is fearful to think of reader, and the great happiness of his life has been, to the alienation of friends, the heart-burnings in families, excite the admiration of a circle of blues--youthful and which political strife too often occasions. Of what avail ancient-by his delicate and impassioned reading of is it that we triumph, if it be at the expense of all Shakspeare'; and to kiss daily the withered hand of the that makes life endurable? Or will it soothe our dis- faded beauty who, in virtue of her possessing a small appointed spirits to feel that we have rudely burst the portion of wit, is acknowledged patroness of all in Dresden bonds of natural affection, and made others as miserable who would be thought to possess it. as ourselves ? If, in the course of its labours, the By In describing Tieck, we have drawn the picture of a stander be able, by its jest or by its earnest, to bring one pretty numerous class of German literati, and one which individual to a right way of thinking upon these topics—we suspect not a few of our readers have been taught to to save, in one instance, fond hearts from being rudely consider the representative of the whole. This mistake separated-it will be a proud reflection to its conductors. may be accounted for in a manner more true than flat
Although it is not our intention to harp continually tering to our national vanity. This morbid portion of upon this theme_lest, by continued iteration, we render German literature has been more largely translated into both it and ourselves hateful—it is with reference to our English than any other-solely because it attracts more adoption of these pacific principles that we have selected readers. This trash finds as large a public to devour it our title. We do not seek to insinuate that we belong here, although they may gulp it down in secret, having to neither of the two great parties which divide the state; the fear of ridicule before their eyes, as it does at home. nor are we anxious to conceal that our heart is with all The only difference is, that the Germans manufacture those who are generally included under the vague desig- their own love-philtres and other sickening drugs, while nation of Liberals. Did we think that this avowal of we beg or steal from them. our sentiments might in the least interfere with the at Our objection to this unwholesome mental food, is not tention which we hope may be paid to the remonstrances merely that it unfits those who indulge in it for the duof the Bystander, we might have hesitated to confess so ties of daily life; although that is no light charge, seeing much. But honesty is ever the best policy. And we that a sound and healthy literature sends back its admin suspect that our “ inclinings” are already more than rers refreshed and invigorated to their respective tasks. guessed at by many of our readers. We appeal to our It unfits a man for clear and vigorous thinking_it taints future lucubrations, as the only competent vouchers for and enfeebles the imagination-it diffuses languor through the impartiality with which we shall discharge our office his whole being. It pollutes the heart and deranges the of arbiters between the reforming and conservative par. head. It is the fruitful parent of selfishness, continued tisans.
craving after excitement, cowardice, and superstitious All prefaces are dull, and ours, we fear, has been un- atheism. It is intellectual opium-eating. wontedly so. But we shall mend, never fear us.
We must, however, do Tieck the justice to admit, that, L. although subdued to the nature of the element he has so
long breathed, he has a capacity of better things in him, LITERARY CRITICISM.
and has published several works composed in a sounder and more manly tone of feeling. His burlesque dramas,
to which he has given the venerable names of “ Puss in The Old Man of the Mountain, The Lovecharm, and Boots," “ Little Thumb,” and the like, are playful and
Pietro of Albano. Tales from the German of Tieck. just satires upon the fashionable weaknesses most predoSmall 8vo. Pp. 335. London. Edward Moxon. minant at the time of their publication. With the hap1831.
piest and most sportive wit, he alternately directs his Tieck is a name of reputation among the tea-table arrows now against those very errors into which he has coteries of Germany. He ranks in the same class with himself given—now against the opposite extreme. In the Schlegels, Uhland, and La Motte Fouqué. He is the former of these works, we have a regular drama acute, fanciful, passionate, and effeminate. He has manufactured out of the adventures of the faithful adhetranslated portions of Shakspeare with great truth and rent of the Marquis of Carrabas. But the gentlemen delicacy. He has wrote poems innumerable, against haunting the sixth bench of the pit are also introduced which no one can urge any other objection than that they criticising away with all their might. The heads of the are sweet even to cloying, and every one of them most mystical, rationalist, and antiquarian schools of Germany, pertinaciously and tiresomely like all the rest. He has canvass the merits of the piece in a most edifying style, wrote romances ; some of which are expositions of what and many of their little imitators join in the discussion. he thinks the proper mode of educating the human mind Peculiarly happy are the remarks of the sage, insisting in art and science, and for the active duties of life; while upon the truth and accuracy with which the actor who others are of that class so much approved of by German represents the cat imitates the motions of the feline species. subscribers to circulating libraries--tales of diablerie, in and thereupon kneeling down to him as a godlike actor. which the magic is a shadowy allegory of the workinys Equally profound is the mystic who discovers the poet's of human passion, and passion is expressed in that ex hidden meaning. 'In the other drama we have named, cited, fervent state, where it is on the very verge of melt. some of the over-refinements of modern education are deing into madness. Tieck is a free-thinker too, and above licately exposed. believing any thing in the way that common mortals It is not, however, any of this class of Tieck's works believe it. But, then, according to him, the power of that the present translator has brought before the public. conceiving the existence of a Supreme Being (whether such IIe knew better what was most likely to go down, and a Being exists, is, in his eyes, a matter of comparative selected from the author's legends and tales of overstrained indifference) is the noblest attribute of man, and ought sentiment. The first is a moral tale, warning against such to be carefully cultivated. In accordance with this prin- perversions of sentiment as none could fall into but the ciple, he is, with all his scepticism, not like Frederick self-willed idlebrooder over his own imaginings, who could Schlegel in outward show, yet, in his inner soul, one who conceive them-a medicine, in short, needed by none but hath bowed his knee to the idolatries, and drunk deep of incurables. The other two are stories of witch-rhymes
and incantations, and of people who have sold themselves “ With a voice as if he would split his breast, he read to the devil. There is power in the whole of them-not and conjured again; his breath seemed often to fail him; unfrequently beauty and fine sentiment-and yet withal it was as though the gigantic effort must kill him. Herethey are but convulsive efforts of misdirected genius.
upon a medley of voices were suddenly heard as in a quarrel, We give an extract for the benefit of such of our read- laughed ; songs darted from among them, together with
then again as in talk; they whispered; they shouted and ers as may wish to know how to raise the dead, after the jumbled notes of strange instruments. All the vessels grew most approved German fashion :
alive, and strode forward, and went back again; and out of ** In the city on that same night strange things had been the walls in every room gushed creatures of every kind, vergoing on, which as yet were a secret to every body. Scarcely min, and monsters, and hideous abortions in the richest had the darkness spread thickly abroad, when Pietro, whom confusion. people commonly called by the name of his birthplace, Apone, Master !' screamed Beresynth : 'the house is growing or Abano, retiring into his secret study at the back of his too tight. What shall we do with all these ghosts? they house, set all his apparatus, all the instruments of his art, must eat one another. O woe! O woe! they are all with in due order, for some mysterious and extraordinary under- cub, and are come here to whelp: new brutes keep sprouttaking. He himself was clad in a long robe, charactered ing out of the old ones, and the child is always wilder and with strange hierogylphs; he had described the magical frightfuller than its dam. My wits are leaving me in the circles in the ball, and he arranged every thing with his lurch. And then this music into the bargain, this ringing utmost skill, to be certain of the result. He had searched and piping, and laughter athwart it, and funeral hymns diligently into the configuration of the stars, and was now enough to make one cry! Look, master ! look! the walls, awaiting the auspicious moment.
the rooms, are stretching themselves, and spreading out into “ His
companion, the hideous Beresynth, was also dressed vast halls; the ceilings are running away out of sight; and in magical garments. He fetched every thing at his mas- the creatures are still shooting forth, and thicken as fast as ter's bidding, and set it down just as Pietro thought need the space grows. Have you no counsel ?--have you no ful. Painted hangings were unrolled over the walls; the help? floor of the room was covered over ; the great magical mirror “In complete exhaustion Pietro now raised himself; his was placed upright; and nearer and nearer came the mo- whole form was changed, and he seemed to be dying. Look ment which the magician deemed the most fortunate. out once more,' he said, faintly: “turn thine eyes towards
“ Hast thou put the crystals within the circles ?' de- the dome, and bring me tidings of what thou seest.' manded Pietro.
“I am treading the rabble here on the head,' roared Be“. Yes;' returned his busy mate, whose ugliness kept resynth, totally be wildered; they are disporting themselves bustling to and fro merrily and unweariably amid the vials, in twining about me like serpents, and are laughing me to mirrors, human skeletons, and all the other strange imple- scorn. Are they ghosts? are they demons, or empty phauments. The incense was now brought; a flame blazed toms? Get away! Well, if you won't move out of my upon the altar; and the magician cautiously, almost with path, I'll stamp downright upon your green and blue snouts. trembling, took the great volume out of his most secret Everybody must take care of number One, even if a devil cabinet.
is to be the sufferer.' He stumbled out muttering. «• Do we start now?' aried Beresynth.
“ Things now grew tranquil, and Pietro stood up. He “Silence !' answered the old man solemnly: 'interrupt waved his arm, and all those strange forms which had been not these holy proceedings by any profane or any useless crawling about the floor and twisting around each other in words.' He read, at first in a low voice, then louder and the air, vanished. He wiped off the sweat and tears, and more earnestly, as he paced with measured steps to and fro, drew his breath more freely. His servant came back and and then again round in a circle. After a while he paused said : Master, all is quiet and well; but sundry light forms and said, -- Look out, how the heavens are shaping them- flitted by me, and lost themselves in the dark sky. Thereselves.'
upon, while I kept staring immovably towards the dome, a “ • Thick darkness,' replied the servant on his return, mighty crash sounded, as if all the strings of a harp were has en wrapt the sky; the clouds are driving along; rain breaking at once, and a clap came that made the streets and is beginning to drip.'
the houses all tremble. The great door of the church burst « They favour me!' exclaimed the old man: it must open ; flutes warbled sweetly and lovelily; and a soft light succeed.' He now knelt down, and murmuring his incan- brightness streamed forth from the heart of the church. tations, often touched the ground with his forehead. His Immediately after, the form of a woman stepped into the raface was heated; his eyes sparkled. Ile was heard to pro- diance, pale, but glancing, bedecked with crowns of flowers ; nounce the holy names which it is forbidden to utter; and, she glided through the door, and gleams of light strewed a after a long time, he sent his servant out again to look at path for her to tread along. Her head upright, her hands the firmament. Meanwhile the onrush of the storm was folded, she is floating hither toward our dwelling. Is this heard ; lightning and thunder chased each other; and the she for whom you have been waiting ? house seemed to tremble to its lowest foundations.
“'Take the golden key,' answered Pietro,' and unlock “ Hearken to the tempest!' shouted Beresynth, coming the innermost richest chamber of my house. See that the back hastily: 'hell has risen up from below, and is raging purple tapestries are spread out, that the perfumes are scatwith fire and fierce cracking crashes of thunder; a whirl- tering their sweetness. Then away, and get thee to bed, wind is raving through the midst of it; and the earth is Make no further enquiry into what happens. Be obedient quaking with fear. Hold with your conjuring, lest the and silent, as thou valuest thy life.' spokes of the world splinter, and the rim that holds it “I know you too well,' returned the dwarf, and walked together burst.'
off with the key, casting back another look of something "Fool! simpleton!' cried the magician; "have done with like mischievous delight. thy useless prating! Tear back all the doors; throw the “ Meanwhile a lovely murmur approached. Pietro went house-door wide open.'
into the entrance-hall, and in glided the pale body of Cre“ The dwarf withdrew to perform his master's orders. scentio, in her robe of death, still holding the crucifix in her Meanwhile Pietro lighted the consecrated tapers; with a folded hands. He stood still before her ; she drew up the shudder he walked up to the great torch that stood upon lids from her large eyes, and shrank back from him with the high candlestick; this too at last was burning; then he such a quick start that the wreaths of flowers dropped down threw himself on the ground, and conjured louder and from her shaking head. Without speaking a word he louder. His eyes flashed; all his limbs shook and shrunk wrested her fast-clasped hands asunder; but in the left she as in convulsions; and a cold sweat of agony trickled from kept the crucifix tightly clenched. By the right hand he his brow. With wild gestures, as if scared ont of his senses, led her through room after room, and she moved by his the dwarf rushed in again, and leaped for safety within the side stiffly and with indifference, never looking around. circles. The world is at the last gasp,' he shrieked, pale “ They reached the furthest chamber. Purple and gold, and with chattering teeth : 'the storms are rolling on ward; silk and velvet, were its costly garniture. The light only but all beneath the voiceless night is dismay and horror; glimmered in faintly by day through the heavy curtains. every living thing has tied into its closet, or crept beneath He pointed to the couch ; and the unconscious holder of a the pillows of its bed, to skuk away from its fear's.' charmed life stooped and bent down like a lily that the
“ The old man lifted up a face of ghastly paleness from wind shakes; she sank upon the red coverlet and breathed the floor, and with wrenched and indistinguishable features, painfully. From a golden vial the old man poured a prescreamed in sounds not his own, 'Be silent, wretch, and cious essence into a little crystal cup, and set it before her disturb not the work. Give heed, and keep a fast hold on mouth. Her pale lips sipped the wondrous draught; she thy senses. The greatest things are still behind.'
again unfolded her eyes, fixed them on her former friend,
turned away from him with an expression of loathing, and finished volume of the Cabinet Library which has yet fell into a deep sleep."
Itis difficult to select short passages capable of convey. (11 110m 1341
ing an adequate idea of a work like this. There is an View of Ancient and Modern Egypt; with an Outline of interest, however, attaching to the patient and sagacious its Natural History. By the Rev. Michael Russell. spirit evinced by some of the explorers of Egyptian antiLL D. (Edinburgh Cabinet Library, Vol. III.) quities, that has induced us to select one or two of their
First comes Mr. Davison's descent into Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. Lourdon: Simpkin adventures. and Marshall. 1831.
what is called the “well” of the first pyramid.
" The account given by Mr Davison of his descent into We have no experimental notion of the traveller's the well now alluded to, is so interesting, that we cannot feelings as he journeys up the valley of the Nile, but we withhold from the reader an outline of his proceedings, know that there is no country whose antiquities press so Conceiving it to be very deep, he provided himself with a heavily upon the imagination as the land of Egypt. We large quantity of rope, one end of which he tied round his have studied with attention ancient and modern descrip-waist ; and letting down a lantern attached to a small cord, tions of them, have consulted engravings, have lost no
he resolutely prepared to follow. With no small difficulty,
he prevailed on two of his servants and three Arabs to hold opportunity of seeing every sarcophngus, and idol, and the line—the latter assuring him that there were ghosts huge head, that came within our reach ; and yet, whenever below, and that he never could hope to return. Taking we revert to the structures of that country, we feel, while with him a few sheets of paper, a compass, a measure, and striving to picture them to our mind's eye, like one labour- another lighted candle, he commenced the descent, and soon
Here he ing under the pressure of a nightmare-seeking to grapple reached the bottom of the first well or shaft. with vague impossibilities. There they stand, so huge found, on the south side, at the distance of about eight feet in their dimensions, that the mind is bafiled when it at- descended perpendicularly to the depth of five feet only;
from the place where he landed, a second opening, which tempts to conceive superintendents long enough lived, or and at four feet ten inches from the bottom of this, he dis'workmen numerous enough to rear them. ' Nor is this covered a third shaft, the mouth of which was nearly all, regard them nearer -- each buge block of scarcely blocked up with a large stone, leaving an opening barely penetrable stone is tattooed all over with minute but sufficient to allow a man to pass. Here he dropped down exquisitely finished hieroglyphics. Further in every his lautern, not only with the view of ascertaining to what building we can recognise the traces of design necessarily depth he was about to proceed, but also to determine referring it to the purposes of some vast and comprehen- however, was so tortuous, that the candle soon became
whether the air were pernicious or otherwise. The shafi, sive superstition. Yet there they stand alone in a half invisible; but the consul was not to be discouraged, as cultivated desert, surrounded by a people which can nei- nothing less than a journey to the bottom would satisfy his ther understand nor feel them. Scarcely a tradition eager curiosity. His main difficulty arose from the superlingers in the world of the men who built them, or the stitious dread of the Arabs, vbo could hardly be prevailed purposes they were meant to serve; for what are a few upon to go down and hold the rope. After many prayers, names, and half-a-dozen vague anecdotes handed down to and threats, and promises of money, and of all the treasure us at second and third hand ? We know more about the which might be found in the well, the avarice of one man process of the world's creation than of theirs. They are though, on reaching the bottom," he stared about him pale
so far overcame his terror, that he ventured to descend; dark and inscrutable as the material universe to which and trembling, and appeared more like a spectre than a they seem more nearly akin than the mere buildings of human being." men. As the Titans of old mythology occupied a place “Mr Davison now pushed forward with the rope round intermediate between gods and the humankind, so do his body, being convincerl, from the distant views of the the pyramids and the huge temples of the hundred-gated lantern which he had let down, that this well was someThebes between the mountains and the edifices of man's what deeper than the first. Having proceeded a little
farther than half-way to the spot where the candle had construction.
rested, be came to a grotto about fifteen feet long, four or Dr Russell has condensed within small compass,' ar- five wide, and nearly the height of a man.. From this ranged in a felicitous manner, and narrated with spirit place the third shaft or well was sloping; and, by throwing and elegance, all that the mass of readers care to know down a stone, lie ascertained it to be of much greater depth about ibis land of wonders enough to convey an im- than the others. But, still resolved to persevere, he pushed pressive picture of all its peculiarities. After an intro- the lantern a little before him, and set out afresh on his ductory, chapter, which, although well written, and in- journey, calling to the Arab to loosen the rope gently, and genious in its views, is to our mind the least satisfactory with the purpose of aiding a descent.
availing himself of little holes inade in the rock, obviously
At length, the shaft in the book, he proceeds to lay before us in the second, a beginning to return a little more to the perpendicular, he compendium of the physical and political gengraphy of arrived speedily at the bottom, where he found all farther Egypt. '. His third traces the civil history of the country passage precluded by a large accumulation of sand and from the first faint whispers of tradition, down to the rubbish. invasion of the Saracens. The next three chapters treat
“ Having reached this point, our adventurer began to reof the mechanical labours of the ancient Egyptians--flect on two circumstances which had not before occurred their literature and science and the remains of ancient The first was, that the multitude of bats which he had dis
to him, either of which would have agitated weaker nerves. art in the valley of the Nile.. Chapters seven and eight turbed might put out his candle, and the second, that the contain the civil history and statistics of modern Egypt. I immense stone on the mouth of the pit might slip down The ninth, as supplementary to these two, treats of the and close the passage for ever. On looking about ile Lotoases which gem the desert around Egypt, and seem to tom, he found a rope-ladder, which, though it had lain there have been, in the old time, islands of the civilisation of sixteen years, was as fresh and strong as if perfectly new. which that nation was the continent. We have, last of author of a work on the ruins of Balbec and Palmyra,-to
It had been used, is is conjectured, by Mr Wood,- the all, one chapter containing a summary of the manners assist his progress downwards; but he, it is concluded, and customs of the tribes which have in succession inha- must bave stopped short at the grotto. When Mr Davison, bited Egypt, and one presenting us with a survey of its on his return, bad reached the bottom of the first sbalt, the natural history. This brief analysis of the contents of candles tell and went out; upon which the poor Arab the volume now before us, will serve to indicate the mass thought himself lost.' Hé laid hold of the rope, as his of interesting matter it contains.' The author has dis- master was about to ascend, declaring that he would rather played, in the execution of his task, an extent of reading devil. I therefore permitted him,' says the consul, to go
have his brains blown out than be left alone there with the which is only equalled by his critical sagacity and good before ; and, though it was much more difficult to ascend taste. Altogether this is the most interesting, and cer- than to descend, I know not how it was, but he scrambled tainly, in a literary point of view, the most highly I up a hundred times more quickly than he liad come down,'”
on till sine larger than Slopes | tunately, this sport costs a few lives every year, and the next of his tranove bonus
The main difficulty Mr Davison had to struggle with high enough for a man to pass, an Arab entered with a was the superstition of his attendants. It was chiefly phy- candle, and announced that the place within was very fine. sical obstacles that threw themselves in the way of the
A little more room enabled our adventurer to squeeze his
person through, when he exclaimsAfter thirty days I sagacious and enduring Belzoni.
pleasure of finding myself in the way to the central “ The resolution of Belzoni, bowever, a private unassigt- chamber of one of the two great Pyramids of Egypt, which ed individual, achieved a conquest over the mystery of an
have long been the admiration of beholders. cient art, which the power and ingenuity of a great nation \ There are relics of past ages more enduring than stone had relinquished as beyond the reach of human means. His ou marble-festivals, the observance of which has been success in detecting the sepulchral labyrinths of Thebes, in- transmitted, not only from generation to generation, but Hanted him at once with the desire and the confidence of from one tribe of the human race to another, which has discovering a passage into the secret chambers of Cephrenes expelled it from the sents of its ancestors. The feelings the reputed fouuder of the second Pyramid.
“ His first attempt was not attended with an adequate and imaginations of man are the same in all ages, and once degree of success, while the labour and expense which it a set form of expressing them has gained a local habitaentailed upon him were so great as would have cooled the tion, it is indestructible. Of this class of relics is a soardour of a less zealous antiquary. "He began by forcing a lemnity observed annually at the rising of the Nile. passage, which he was soon obliged to abandon, as equally “ The festival of opening the Calige, or cutting the bank hopeless to himself, and dangerous to the persons employed. of the Nile, is still annually observed at Cairo, and is one But this disappointment only increased his desire to accom
of the few ancient eustoms which continue to identify the plish an object on which he had staked' his happiness, as
inhabitants of the modern capital with their remotest anwell as his reputation. Observing ininutely the exterior of
cestors. The year in which Dir Carne visited Egypt, the the Great Pyramid, he satisfied himself that the passage
16th of August was the day appointed for this solemnity, was not placed exactly in the middle of the building, but
the inundation having reached nearly its greatest height. that it ran in a straight line to the eastern side of what is
Accompanied by some friends, he repaired about eight in called the King's Chamber; which, being in the centre of
the evening to the place, which was a few miles distant the Pyramid, he conjectured that the entrance must be as far from the middle of the face, as is the distance from the and fireworks.
from the city, amidst the roaring of cannon, illuminations, centre of the chamber to the east end of it. Having made froin Boulak, were covered with groups of people, some
The shores of the Nile, a long way down this clear and simple observation, he concluded, that, if there seated beneath the large spreading sycamores.smoking others were any chamber in the second Pyramid, the orifice could gathered around parties of Arabs, who were dancing, with not be at the spot where he had begun his excavation, but, infinite gaiety and pleasure, and uttering loud exclamations calculating by the position of the passage in the first, nearly of joy,-affording an amusing contrast to the passionless thirty feet farther east,
deineanour and tranquil features of their Moslem oppressors. Encouraged by these new views, he returned to his Perpetually moving over the scene, which was illumined by task, and was immediately delighted to observe that, at the the most brilliant moonlight, were seen Albanian soldiers very place where he intended to recommence operations, in their natioval costume, Nubians from the burning clime there was a hollow on the surface of the building. Any of farther Egypt, with Mamlouks, Arabs, and Turks... travelier, says he, who shall hereafter, visit the Pyramids, " At last day broke, and soon after the report of a cannon may plainly perceive this concavity above the true entrance.
announced that the event so ardently wished for wa Summoning his Arabs, he forthwith resumed his toils; and hand. In a short time the kiaya bey, the chief minister of so correct was his measurement that he did not deviate more than two feet from the mouth of the passage which was to summit of the opposite bank.
the pasha, arrived with his guard, and took his seat on the
A number of Arabs now admit him into the recesses of this vast edifice. The native began to dig down the dike which contined the Nile: the workmen were indeed as sceptical as ever, entertaining not
bosom of which was covered with a number of pleasurethe slightest expectation that any approach would ever be boats full of people, waiting to sail along the canal through in the expressive term magnoon, which, in their language, the increasing dampness and shaking of the earth induced denotes madman or fool.
the workmen to leave off. Several of them then plunged “ After clearing away a great deal of rnsbish, and cut into the stream, and, exerting all their strength to push ting through massy stones, he had the satisfaction to see the
down the remaining part, small openings were soon' made, edge of a block of granite, -the material used for casing the and the river broke through with irresistible violence; for passages in the Pyramid of Cheops,- inclining downward
some time it was like the rushing of a cataract. i 14 at the same angle as in the latter building, and pointing to
" According to custom, the kiaya bey distributed, a good wards the centre. On the following day three large slabs
sum of money,—throwing it into the bed of the canal below, were discovered, one on each side, and the third on the top, where a great many men and boys scrambled for it. It was indicating very distinctly that the object of his search was
an'amusing scene, as the water gathered fast round them, now about to be realized. In a few hours, accordingly, the
to see them struggling and groping amidst the waves for right entrance into the Pyramid was opened,-proving to the coin; but the violence of the torrent soon bore them be a passage four feet high, and three feet six inches wide, away. There were some, indeed, who had lingered to the formed of granite, and descending a hundred and four feet last, and now sought to save themselves by swimming,towards the centre, at an angle of twenty-six degrees. still buffeting the waves, and grasping at the money showerband füllen from the design og
as downwards, they had slid on till some larget, men
author informs us there was one young man drowned on stopped the way!
the present occasion."
521 The different'vessels, long ere the fall had subsided, bish, which had extended even to the of the cham- rushed into the canal, and entered the city, their decks ber. At length he reached a portcullis, which, being a crowded with all ranks, uttering loud exclamations of joy. fixed block of 'stone, at first sight appeared to obstruct all The overflowing of the Nile is the richest blessing of Heaven farther progress into the interior.
It stared me in the
to the Egyptians; and, as it tinds its way gradually into face,' says Mr Belzoni, and said ne plus
ultra, putting an various parts of Cairo, the inhabitants flock to drink of it, end, as I thought, to all my projects;" for it made a close to wash'in it, and to rejoice in its progress. The vast square joint with the groove at each side, and on the top it seemed called the Birket, which a few hours before had presented the as firm as the rock itself which formed the passage. On a cose inspection, however, he perceived that, at the bottom, appearance of a dusty neglected field, was now turned into
a beautiful scene, being covered with an expanse of water it was raised about eight inches from the lower part of the out of the bosom of which arose the finest sycamore trees. groove which was cut beneath to receive it; and he found The sounds of joy and festivity, of music and songs, were by this circumstance that the large slab before him was no
now heard all over the city, with cries of Allah, Allah!' thing more than a barrier of granite, one foot three inches and thanks to the Divine bounty for so inestimable a benethick. Having observed a small aperture at the t top, he faction.” thrust a straw into it upwards of three feet, --a discovery which convinced him that there was a vacuum prepared to
We have only to add, that the illustrations of this receive the portcullis. The raising of it, indeed, was a work volume are engraved in wood by Branston in a very of no small difficulty. As soon, however, as it was elevated superior style.