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Dhoulkarnein, or Zulkarnein (that is to say, the Twohorned, or Lord of the East and West), with another Dhoulkarnein, who lived before the time of Abraham, and is styled Dhoulkarnein the Greater. Powerful as they think the former, the latter was still more so; and was, besides, a prophet. He was a Mussulman by anticipation ; and lived sixteen hundred years. It is supposed, however, that the Greek Alexander is both Dhoulkarneins inclusive ; and that in consequence of the figure he made in the East, he threw that mightier shadow of his greatness upon the mists of antiquity.
The essay towards the history of Old Arabia, by Major Price, contains a summary of this Dhoulkarnein's adventures with Gog and Magog, taken out of an Eastern historian, and containing the best account hitherto given of this awful people. The following is the amount of it: Among the children of Japhet was one of the name of Mensheje, or Meshech, who was the father of two sons called Yajouje and Màjouje. From these descended a progeny so numerous, that, according to Abdullah, the son of Omar, if the inhabitants of the whole earth were divided into ten equal parts, nine out of the ten would be found to consist of the Yajouje-Màjouje. They were so long-lived, that no one died till he had seen a thousand descendants of his body; and as to their stature, the race might be divided into three classes, — the Kelim-goush, or cloth-eared, only four cubits big; the class a hundred and twenty cubits in height; and the class who were a hundred and twenty cubits both in height and breadth. Had there been any more, we suppose that they would have been measured by the square mile. They were of enormous strength; and, though their ordinary food was the wild mulberry, were eaters of men. Agreeably to these bodily symptoms, they lived
without a god, government, or good manners; and made horrible visitations in the countries about them, who lived in constant dread of their enormities.
Dhoulkarnein, in the course of an expedition which he took to survey all the countries of the earth, arrived at a territory bordering on these people, and was met with great reverence by the king of it, who, after becoming a convert to the hero's faith, begged his assistance against his dreadful neighbors. The two-horned gave his consent, but it appears that even he had no expectation of being able to conquer them, for he did not attempt it. He contented himself with building a mighty wall, called by the Eastern historian sedde-Zulkarnein, or bulwark of Zulkarnein ; the remains of which are supposed to exist in certain ruins still visible, near the city of Derbent, on the Caspian. This wall fills the imagination almost as much as the rače whom it was built to keep out; and the details of its construction are worth repeating. The monarch commenced by causing an immense ditch to be excavated between the two mountains through which the Yājouje-Màjouje were accustomed to pass. He then filled up the ditch with enormous masses of granite, by way of foundation ; and upon these (though we are not told how he contrived it) he heaped huge blocks of iron, copper, and other metals, in alternate layers like brick; the whole of which being put in a state of fusion by great fires, became, when cooled, one solid bulwark of metal, stretching from side to side, and on a level with the mountains. “On the top of all,” says our author, —
[Hiatus valde deflendus ! — We had made a memorandum of this passage some time ago, and cannot on the sudden again meet with the book, not even in the British Museum.]
The length of the wall was “one hundred and fifty parasangs, or five hundred and twenty-five miles ; its breadth fifty miles; and its height two thousand eight hundred cubits, or about the height of Ben Nevis.”
There is no doubt that an important barrier of some kind existed in the defiles of Caucasus, on the Caspian; there are considerable remains of one. According to some, Nouschirvan, King of Persia, a prince of the dynasty of the Sassanides, had the honor of completing what Alexander began. Others have suspected, that by the account of its magnitude the wall of China must have been meant. But these questions, into which our hankering after the truth is continually leading us, are not necessary to that other truth of fable. The wall may or may not be a truth historical; Gog and Magog are a fine towering piece of old history fabulous.
In D’Herbelot, * is an account of a Journey of Discovery made by order of a caliph of the house of the Abbasides, to inquire into this structure. With the exception of a story of a mermaid, which we have transferred to its proper place, Warton gives a better account in his “History of English Poetry.” † We have taken the best circumstances from both, and proceed to lay the result before the reader.
About the year 808, the caliph Al Amin, haying heard wonderful reports concerning this wall or barrier, sent his interpreter Salam, with an escort of fifty men, to view it. Salam took the route of Nouschirvan, or Northern Media, in which Filan-Schah reigned at that time. From Nous
* Art.“ Jagiouge et Magiouge,” tom. iii. p. 270.
+ Vol. i. “Dissertation I.” (Quoted by Weber in the notes to his “Met. rical Romances,” vol. iii. p. 325.) .
chirvan he passed into the territory of the Alani, and thence into the district of the lord of the marches, who dwelt in the city of Derbent, and whose title was Lord of the Golden Throne. For the extraordinary fish which he caught in company with their ruler, see the article upon “Sirens and Mermaids.”
The Lord of the Golden Throne furnished our travellers with guides to conduct them farther north, into which quarter, having marched twenty-six days, they arrived at a land which emitted a fearful odor. They beheld, as they went, many cities destroyed by the Yàjouje-Màjouje, and in six days arrived at that part of the mountains of Caucasus, in which was the stronghold, enclosing those captives of Dhoulkarnein. They saw the tops of the fortress long before they reached it. On coming up, it was found to consist partly of iron and partly of a huge mountain, in an opening in which stood the gate, of enormous magnitude. This gate was supported by vast buttresses, and had an iron bulwark, with turrets of the same metal, reaching to the top of the mountain itself, which was too high to be seen. The valves, lintels, threshold, lock and key, were all of proportionate magnitude. The governor of certain places in the neighborhood comes to this castle once every week, with an escort of ten men all mounted on horseback, and striking it three times with a great hammer, lays his ear to the door and listens. A murmuring noise comes from within, which is the noise of the Ydjouje-Mùjouje. Salam was told, that they often appeared on the battlements of the bulwark.
Do you not fancy, reader, that you take a journey to that awful place, and that after waiting there a long time you behold some of them looking over — huge, blackheaded giants, looking down upon you with a shadow, and making you hold your breath?
AERONAUTICS, REAL AND FABULOUS.
HE balloon, by the help of fashionable encour
agement and the intrepid frequency of the ascents of Messrs. and Mesdames Green and Graham, appears to be again hovering on the
borders of a little improvement. There is a talk of its being made use of for the purpose of surveying land. The only practical account it was ever turned to, was of this sort — a survey of the field of battle at Fleurus ; where the French prevented a surprise by means of it. Ascents have been made, indeed, for scientific experiments, but not with any particular result.
Should you like, dear reader, to go up in a balloon ?
If these latter wish to have a friend to stand by them in their hesitation, I, for one, must own myself of the same mind. It would take much to make me undergo so practical a lift to the imagination. I can imagine it, “methinks,” well enough as I am, — on terra firma.
“Suave Vauxhall Gardens, turbantibus æthera throatis,
E terra magnum alteriùs spectare balloonem."
“ 'Tis sweet, when at Vauxhall throats tear the skies,
To see in his balloon another rise."
I cannot withhold my admiration from those who go up ; otherwise, perhaps, to spite them for my sense of the advantage they have over me, I would ; nor can I say how immense my own valor might become, and how independent of the necessity for some prodigious cause or