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WHEN WE HAVE CROSSED THE CRYSTAL
SWEET must it be to dwell secure
And all her plans allow ; Calling and crying the while for grace, “Some other time, and some other place
Oh, not to-day-not now !”
And I put my hand to th' plough ;
The voice says, “ Oh, not now !” My peace I sell at the price of woeIn heart and in spirit I suffer so,
The anguish wrings my brow, But still I linger and cry for grace“Some other time, and some other place
Oh, not to-day-not now !”
I will make to the Lord a vow :
And the demon cries, “not now!"
And break with Heaven my vow :
-New York Ledger.
Of old. The young
O pen and tongue,
Wide open flung. They welcomed me within them, - door and heart :
O’erhung with vines
At morn ; where pines,
As day declines.
Faith, Penitence, Humility, and Peace ;
Not alone in Rural doors they dwell ; their growth and province cease
Not mid the din Of cities ; from what do hearts there seek release?
The troubler, sin.
Enter this princely door,-in the great town;
Hearts, it may be, And gentle forms, will meet thee, — without frown ;
Yes, love met me, Here. Peace be to this house. I'll write it down,
“ Peace be to thee.”
One door there is more dear than all the rest ;
The smiles I meet,
Than all more sweet ;
For me doth beat.
Who smiles this welcome? Whose this truest heart
That runneth o'er
Hear it once more-
“I AM THE DOOR."
The heavenly homestead seemeth near. The door
Wide open swings ;
Here my heart clings;
Mounts up with wings.
* The Door !'-and home and rest. On summer eves,
'Mid Winter's sleets, When friends smile, or foes look dark, here peace leaves,
Always, its sweets, In human hearts. Here buds, leaves, flowers, fruits, sheaves, At once man meets.
J. E. D. COMSTOCK.
From Blackwood's Magazine. that we are now concerned with. In the THE PYRAMIDS WHO BUILT THEM ? preceding year, on the other side of the many AND WHEN ?
sounding sea, the Attic tribes held their feast Many and grievous, beyond question, were of Panathenæa. Pericles was hurling his the ills endured of mortal men before the last thunders at Thucydides—not the histoinvention of printing. Think of the months rian, but an older man, the son of Milesias, without Maga! Think of every author- and the last of the old nobles who ventured happily there were not so many of them- to oppose the magnificent democrat. The having literally to blow his own trumpet. future historian was there too-if Professor An epic poet obliged to hawk about his Dahlmann will allow us to believe the pleasant stately lay like a ballad-monger; the tragic story *—and hearkening greedily to what muse ever in search of a cart and a company ; was going on; but it was neither Pericles even the ponderous historian waiting at the nor Thucydides that carried off the palm that door of the Common Council for a chance of day. A young gentleman-he was thought being heard on the deeds of his country!
so at Athens, though in his forty-fourth year, It was an age of voice as our own is of like our own young men of the Bar and the paper. A gentleman who wished to publish Senate—had returned from his travels, and in those days had look well to his lungs offered to read his observations for the amuseand his larynx. It was not enough to possess ment of the company. It was a bold offer to a heart and brain : a big throat was the first make to an Attic audience, for he was a Dorequisite, and a pleasant tongue the best rian—a sort of Yorkshireman whom the Cepuff. The author mounted his platform-as cropians were fond of laughing at as barbaa speaker takes the floor of the American rians. The traveller, however, had learned Senate-for five or six days in succession, to put his remarks irto good Ionic, and he and the audience, instead of an hour of pop- managed to read them so well that he was ular science, sat deliberately down to several voted ten talents on the spot, or pretty near pounds of avoirdupois of “copy."
the respectable sum of two thousand pounds. As for ladies, there was nothing to be at- Nor was this all, for these same travels were tempted but lyrical poetry sung to the tabor honored through all Greece with the names and pipe, like Miriam and Deborah and of the Nine Muses, and their author enjoys Sappho. What a noisy time it must have to this day the style and title of “ Father of been!
History." The two most remarkable of those ancient
The reader was Herodotus of Halicarnas “ readings ” occurred in two successive years, sus, and what he read comprised the first on different sides of the Mediterranean. One that had been heard in Europe of the Pyrawas the publication of the law by Ezra, B. c. mids of Egypt. What China is in our age, 444; and a very noble sight it must have Egypt was in that:—the strangest, least been when the fourteen priests ascended their comprehended, queerest country imaginable, pulpit together--not a modern preaching with everything exactly contrary to what it tub, but a good spacious, open-air platform was everywhere else. Amongst them the -and began to read by turns, in the old He- women attend markets, but the men stay at brew language, while as many Levites, in a
home and weave. Other nations in weaving lower rank, interpreted sentence by sentence throw the wool upwards, the Egyptians in the vernacular Chaldee. “So they read downwards. The men carry burdens on their in the book the law of God distinctly, and * The Gottingen Professor has certainly demol. gave the sense, and caused them to under- ished Lucian's story (so often repeated) of Ilerodostand the reading "-(Nehemiah, viii. 8.) tus reciting his history at the Olympic games, while That reading lasted a fortnight or three monly assigned to the year 450 B.C., when the histo
Thucydides wept for joy. This recitation is comweeks, day after day; inaugurating the cus- rian, being at most thirty-two years old, could tom which is still observed by all disciples of hardly have completed his travels. But Marcelli
nus, the biographer of Thucydides, says nothing The Book as a sacred rite. Would that we about Olympia, and Thucydides may well have been could always add of our Church-readers that at Athens when the reading, recorded by Eusebius they give the sense, and cause us to under-1-(Chron. Ol. 83)—took place eleven years later.
This was the year before Herodotus removed to stand the reading!
Thurium, and when he must have finished, at least, It is not that Sacred publication, however, the first edition of his history.
heads, the women on their shoulders. In Egypt by the divine king Proteus, till her other countries, the priests of the gods wear husband, after burning llium for nothing, long hair ; in Egypt they have it shaved. came and carried her peaceably home to With other men it is customary in mourning Sparta. to have their heads shorn; the Egyptians, on There, too, in front of the temple of Vuloccasions of death, let their hair and beards can were the statues of Sesostris and his wife, grow. Other men live apart from beasts, thirty cubits high, in presence of which the but the Egyptians live with them. They priests would not allow Darius the great knead dough with their feet, but mix clay king to set up his less worthy image. But with their hands. Other men fasten the highest, and biggest, and oldest of all, the rings and sheets of their sails outside, but the THREE PYRAMIDS stood on the low Libyan Egyptians inside. The Greeks write and hills at the edge of the desert, marking the cipher from left to right, but the Egyptians western boundary of the city, which stretched from right to left."'* It was the western ex- away five or six miles to the river, and over tremity of the old world's civilization, as the river by the bridge to Babylon (the MemChina is still the eastern. The difference was, phite “ Borough”), and rambled on to Hethat while nothing ever came out of China lio is, as London rambles down to Sydenbut silk and tea, the Greeks believed all their ham. The whole plain was crowded with arts and religious rites to have originated in temples, gateways, and statues of gigantic Egypt. In this belief, every story which the proportions ; and out in the streets, as if the priests could palm off upon the credulous mean houses were too little to hold them, in "outer barbarians,” was swallowed with lu- the face of their sun-god, millions of swart dicrous avidity. Herodotus was often im- men and women ate and drank, and worked posed upon like the rest; much oftener, and played, in startling opposition to all eshowever, he tells the tale as it was told to tablished usages of Greek civilization. him, with the addition of some such quiet Through the midst of them, smiling gra
“Let every one judge for himself ciously on either hand like a god, as he was, -to me, indeed, it seems improbable ; but I flowed the largest river in the world, which am of opinion that, on some points, one man -in similar contradiction to the habits of knows as much as another." This simple every other river-persisted in rising during philosophy might still dispose of nine-tenths the dog-days, and diminishing in winter. Of of what we hear about Ancient Egypt. a practice so palpably unscientific, Herodotus
Memphis was the city at which Herodotus could obtain no sort of explanation. Venstopped longest. It was the capital of turing on a theory of his own-as travellers “ Menes, the first king,”—just as Rome was will when they are not likely to be found out the city of Romulus, and London of King -he has got preciously laughed at by our Lud. It held the temple of the fire-god philosophers who know everything. Another Phthah (in whom the Greeks were told to thing, and that the very thing he most of all recognize the original of their own Hephais- wanted to know, was a deeper mystery still. tus), built, of course, by Menes in the be- “ Touching the sources of the Nile”--(he ginning of time, and enriched with numerous complains) " it was never my lot in all my porticoes by succeeding monarchs. It was a intercourse with Egyptians, Libyans, or city fifteen miles in circumference, fortified Greeks, to meet with more than one man who by the famous “ White Wall,” behind which pretended to know anything.” So much the the Persians bad but just before resisted all better for them, since they would only have the forces of insurgent Egypt, aided by the made a mess of it, like all the world beAthenians themselves. There was the gilded sides, till Maga enlightened mankind with hall of the bull Apis, with its magnificent her friend Captain Speke’s discovery of the court, surrounded by collossal Pharaohs in Victoria Nyanza ! * That one pretender in place of pillars. There were the temples of Egypt, the bursar of Neith College, told Isis, and Osiris the Lord of Hades, and Sera- Herodotus that the Nile had its sources in pis with the bull's head, and the foreign Ve- the two mountains, Crophı and Mophi, benus, thought to be Helen, who, in spite of tween Syene and Elephantine, where it boiled Homer, never was in Troy, but was kept in up from a bottomless pit, casting its stream * Herod. lib. ii. 36.
* See Blackwood's Magazine, Sept. and Oct. 1859.
half to the north and the other half to the Of all the wonders of Egypt, however, none south. This story Herodotus, with his usual could surpass the first that he encountered as politeness, told to the marines; but what he sailed from Naucratis, across the inunwould he have given for such a map as now dated plain, and came upon the Pyramids. lies before us, with the signature of the gal-" Who built them? and when ? ” were his inlant Speke, and the date 26th Feb. 1863— stantaneous questions, and we should be parsolving the long problem of ages, and open- ticularly obliged to any gentleman, priestly ing to every eye the “Mountains of the or secular, who would favor us with that Moon” that Ptolemy must have dreamt of? information at the present moment. Great There, on the very equator, 3,553 feet above changes have taken place at Memphis, since
lies the royal lake, filled by the trop- Herodotus propounded those two simple quesical rains, from whose northern shore burst tions to the white-rubed priests of Vulcanthe - Ripon Falls," and the “ Luajerè River," learned men in their way-very, though perand the “ Murchison Frith,” which, uniting, haps unnecessarily scrupulous in the article form the White, i.e. the True Nile. It was of beans, and far from favoring the beard a joke with the wits of Greece and Rome to movement. If the truth must be told, they bid a troublesome inquirer Niliquærere fontes. shaved every hair off their bodies, and instead Captain Speke and Grant found it no joke of Spenser's imaginative “ long locks comely either to reach them or to get away ; but the kemd,"'* wore cauliflower wigs, like the late laugh is forever on their side. Their perse- Archbishop of Canterbury ; queer sights, perverance and sufferings have enabled them to haps, when seen above the leopard skin with add a new distinction to the Indian Service. the tail hanging down, which constituted Herodotus would have been delighted to in their sacrificing garment, but indisputably troduce them at the Panathenæa. In the promoting cleanliness, which is always akin absence of the Father of History, Maga, the to godliness. Yes, daintily clean were those Mother of Letters and of Travel, bids them priests, all shaven and sborn; they bathed welcome to immortality!
in cold water four times in the twenty-four Marvelling much, and persistently ques- hours; wore nothing but the whitest of linen, tioning, the Father of History sailed up the and were scented (iet us hope not too frawonderful river to the cataract, and thus pro- grantly) with the most exquisite perfumes. foundly speculated as he went: The deposit Well! they are all gone! with their grand was black, which showed that the river came processions and stately ceremonial, their from the country of the black people; it was golden chalices and incense-breathing altars, raising the level of the fields every year; their veiled mysteries and their awful funerperhaps the whole valley had been thus raised als; priests and people, temples, idols, statout of the sea, of which it was once only a ues, have long since disappeared. About gulf; at any rate, the time must come when eleven miles above Cairo, on the opposite or the fields would rise above the river, and, western bank of the Nile, near the villa ze of preventing the annual inundation, cause the Mitrahenny, the fields rise into high mounds, country to relapse into sterility. Ah! good shaded with a few palm trees : on its face in Herodotus, a little knowledge is a dangerous a hollow, with the huge back showing over thing! you forgot that the valley must al- the standing corn, lies the colossal statue of ways have had a floor for the river to lay its Sesostris, that is to say, of Rameses the Great. deposit upon, and that its own bed rises This is all that remains of Memphis, save faster than the adjacent fields, and so keeps that on the low western horizon still stand enlarging, not diminishing, the area of inun- the Pyramids, and far away across the river dation.*
eastward, a single obelisk in a garden marks * The deposit is naturally thickest on the bed of the site of Heliopolis. the river and its immediate neighborhood ; hence
On the intervening plain Father Time has the floor of the valley is arched upward, the river flowing along the crown, and the country sloping written and blotted out, and entered over down to the desert. Hence the more the deposit in- again, the living characters of many histocreases, the further might the water be conducted, ries, since those old monuments began to look if the canals by which it is led off were properly extended. It is to the neglect of these canals, and towards each other. Pharaohs and Persian their consequent filling up from the sand of the Kings, and Ptolemies and Cæsars, heathen desert, that the diminished area of cultivation is owing
*“ Faerie Queene," Book v. Cant. vii. 4.
and Christian, Caliphs, Viziers, Sultans, and They were faced with slabs'of stone carefully Grand Seignors, have there raised their suc- formed, and presenting a smooth inaccessible cessive thrones. Idolatry, Philosophy, Chris- surface from top to bottom. There was an tianity, Islamism, secured in turn its intel- inscription on the side of the First Pyramid lectual obedience. Hardly any great charac- from which Herodotus's guide read to him ter anywhere, but has in some shape been that 1600 talents of silver had been expended connected with Egypt. It sheltered Abra- in buying radishes, onions, and garlic for the ham and Jacob and Joseph and Moses and workmen. Jeremiah and The Saviour Himself. Alex No other writing is mentioned, and this ander, Pompey, Cæsar, Antony, Augustus, has long since disappeared wich the casing Saladin, and Napoleon, won (or lost) laurels stones, which the Arabs stripped off the Pyrathere. Copts, Persians, Greeks, Romans, mids to use in building their city of MasrelSaracens, Turķs, Mamelukes, French, and Gahireh (Misraim the Victorious), by unbeEnglish, here fought and conquered by turns, lievers ignorantly called Cairo. Herodotus for (it may be) forty centuries, while the learnt that this stone was brought from the pyramids looked on. Every one gazed and Arabian mountains on the other side of the wondered and asked—“. Who built them? and Nile, and drawn upon a causeway, erected when?” But no one answered. They have for the purpose, from the river to the edge of been measured and stripped and entered, and the desert. This causeway, which took ten ransacked in every possible way, yet the ques- years in building, and was formed of polished tion remains very much as it was, when sim- stones, sculptured with animals,* was, in his ple, garrulous, shrewd Herodotus opened the opinion, a work little inferior to the Pyramid discussion at the Feast of Panathenæa, B.C. itself. 445.
Cheops and Cephrenes (he was further told) The Pyramids—i.e., the three which mo- were impious tyrants, who reduced the people nopolize the name (for some sixty or seventy to misery, closing the temples and interdictmore of inferior size exist in Lower Egypt)* ing the sacrifices during the whole one hun-stand in a diagonal line from north-east to dred and six years of their united reigns. south-west, with the sides of each exactly The former was interred in a subterranean facing the four cardinal points. The north- chamber under the Great Pyramid, his tomb crnmost is the largest, and usually called the being surrounded by water introduced by a First, though some conceive the Second, or secret canal from the Nile. The memory of middle one, to be in truth the oldest. These both was accursed, and their very names were two differ little in size and construction, cov- pronounced with reluctance and abhorrence. ering each some twelve acres of ground, and This was the account of the priests. rising to a height of four hundred feet. They With the common people the tradition was, are now the only surviving remnants of the that the larger Pyramids were built by the famous Seven Wonders of the World, and 56 shepherd Philition when he fed his flocks in are without doubt the oldest as well as the the plains of Memphis.” Now therehy hangs largest edifices extant. The Third is but a tale or two. This “shepherd Philition” is half their size, but of superior construction.t plainly a popular impersonation of the PhilAll three, as Herodotus was informed, were istines, from whom the country beyond the executed by the kings whose names they bore, Isthmus acquired the name of Palestine. for their own sepulchres : the First by Cheops, Many wonderful things have been said and who reigned fifty years ; the Second by his conjectured about these shepherds, as that they brother Cephrenes, who reigned fifty-six years; were sons of Ham, who, being ejected from and the Third by Mycerinus, son of Cheops. the plains of Shinar, successively invaded * Lepsius enumerates sixty-seven.
Egypt and Syria, whence they were again
driven out as objects of divine justice, and † The following are the present measurements :
under the names of Cyclopes, Pelasgi, PhoeBase.
nicians, etc., were chased out of Greece and First Pyramid, 746 feet square.
450 feet. Tyre and Carthage, with every other colony Second Pyramid,
and city of the Old World, till they plunged Third Pyramid, The Second Pyramid is in some points of inferior into America, where traces of their stupenworkmanship to the Great one.
* Query, animal letters !--i.e., Hieroglyphics.