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hitherto afforded little confirmation to among them many names as falsely conthe names given in the earlier portions joined in a historical point of view as of them, has now to some extent been those which Mr Salt is reported to removed. By the researches, in par- have found written phonetically on ticular, of Lepsius, considerable pro- the granite rocks at Elephantine, exgress has been made in the verifica- hibiting the name Psammitticus imtion upon the monuments of the royal mediately underneath that of Ptolenames which appear in the earlier dy- my? The mere circumstance of Lepnasties, though there are still huge sius having, in a sort of freak, carved gaps to be supplied. But even had out a tablet on a corner of the pedithe identification between the monu- ment, above the mouth of the outer mental names and those of Manetho passage of the great pyramid, and proceeded much farther than it has adorned it with a long hieroglyphical yet done—were it even complete, we inscription in honour of his sovereign should by no means be disposed to ad- King William of Prussia and of Vicmit the chronological data of our au- toria of England, may give us an idea thor to be thereby established. For how easily the monuments might be these monumental sources may have made to speak the sentiments of the been tampered with as well as the priesthood, even when these were farwritten ones, and the one squared and thest removed from any solid foundaadjusted to the other. Indeed, Heeren tion in reality. And on the whole holds it as a matter of certainty that subject of the chronological value of what the priests knew and related con- the monuments, we conceive the three cerning the history of ancient Egypt, following principles, which were origiwas all connected with the monuments, nally advanced as objections to some and extracted from them.* But the of Champollion's hasty conclusions, to monuments also may have had the be equally applicable to those of Buninscriptions upon them framed so as "In the first place, the period to bear false witness in a question of at which any given name was inscribthis kind. Wilkinson gives an instance ed on a monument, may not have been of a name even in a chronological list contemporary with the erection of the of kings, engraved in the Grottoes of monument itself, or with the age of Chenobosicon, having been erased by the individual whose name has been so a certain king and his own substituted inscribed. Secondly, the style of the in its room.t The fraud, it seems, architecture of the inonuments is by was so ill managed, that it has not no means an infallible indication of been able to escape detection amid the the epoch to which their construction diligent researches of modern times; should be referred, inasmuch as the but perhaps more than the king were rise and decline of the art must necesconcerned in the matter, as it is un- sarily exhibit many points in common, derstood that the priests had much to and show nearly the same relative do, at least with the kind of inscrip- imperfection, and the more ancient tions placed upon the monuments. And are consequently in danger of being those monuments especially which pro- confounded with the more modern edifess to give a chronological series, a fices. (Besides, as this age delights regular succession of kings, such as in the Elizabethan style of architecthe table of Abydos, or the buildings ture, why may not the generations beat Karnack, must of course have been longing to the modern kingdom of erected at a period long subsequent to Egypt have delighted to erect obelisks that at which the greater part of the or temples in the style of the middle or personages lived whose names they the old ?) Thirdly, though the dates of bear, and are simply to be regarded the monuments may be ascertained from as the engraved registers of the priest- these dedications, or from independent hood. Why, may there not have been historical authority, the time when any
* Africa, ii. p. 47, etc.
+ Customs and Marne s of Eg. iii. p. 281.
Dame was inscribed on them is not truly-but much more wonderful faith, determinable by the same evidence, that can build itself on such a foundaand can only be inferred from accessory
circumstances, which seldom We by no means wish to be underamount to more than a probability, stood by these remarks as deeming it the value of which, in ordinary cir- impossible to derive from the monucumstances, cannot exceed that of a mental remains of Egypt something reasonable conjecture.”*
of definite information regarding the These just and sober principles are greater landmarks of historical truth, little heeded by the great majority of and much insight into the manners and the Egyptologists, who deem it per- customs, the political condition and the fectly conclusive evidence of the age religious beliefs of a remote antiquity. of a monument, if it is built in a cer- We do not doubt even that the diffetain style of art, or of the contempo- rent ages to which the larger monuraneous existence of a king, if his ments belong may with substantial corname happens to be inscribed on it. rectness be determined, so far at least And even the inscription of a stylus as to have them assigned to a comparaand ink-vessel on a monument of the tively modern or ancient period. But fourth dynasty is paraded as a proof it is in regard to the broad and geneof the knowledge of writing with such ral lines of the system, and not its materials, at a period somewhere be- minuter points and ramifications, that tween three and four thousand years we consider this practicable. And the before the Christian era.
chronological bearing, either of the tell whether it may not have owed its written or of the monumental records, existence there to the hand of some especially when they carry us far up facetious Lepsius? No suspicion of the stream of time, is precisely the this sort ever seems to cross the ima- subject on which we are disposed to be gination of our author; and in re- jealous of their testimony, and to deference to the point just noticed, cline them as safe and competent authohe rises with the utmost confidence rities. For it was here that the vanity far beyond the fourth dynasty. “We of the Egyptians peculiarly displayed cannot doubt,” he says, " that writ- itself, and where we have abundant ing was known even in the first dy- evidence that they actually played fannasty at the time of Menes, and we tastic tricks, and practised enormous must suppose that the phonetic prin- and systematic frauds on the public. ciple was already applied to it” (ii. p. Wilkinson, who combines, in a rare 85). What evidence is held out to degree, sobriety of judgment with exestablish our belief in such interesting actness and variety of learning, and to facts in the world's history? Why, whose distinguished merits in this inStrabo was pointed to the pyramid of teresting field of inquiry we are glad the labyrinth as being at once the work to see Bunsen everywhere paying a and the grave of Ismandes, the fifth deserved tribute, always appears to king of the first dynasty; and Hero- estimate at their true value in this redotus, who lived some two or three spect the Egyptian sources. He is thousand years later than Ismandes, never betrayed by them to dogmatise actually, “not as a matter of hearsay, about remote eras, and to speak with " but with his own eyes saw that pyra- certainty of the dates of ancient events. mid adorned with great hieroglyphics Even when he comes to the Exodus of on the outside." Wonderful evidence the children of Israel, which he con
* Encycl. Britan. Art. Hieroglyphics, p. 353.
ii. p. 54-58. This same Ismandes may also be given as a good sample of the ingenuity and skill with which the scattered fragments of statues, inscriptions, and names are sorted up so as to make all Egyptian authorities support each other. Ismandes, alias Osymandyas, among the Greeks, in Eratos. thenes Pemphos, in Manetho Semempsos, “is certainly the king that stands first in the series at Karnack," for that first king does or at least should belong to the first dynasty, and this fifth king is the only one in the first dynasty whose name resembles the name on the monument. Then we have the sort of transmigration-process, which the name underwent from its monumental to its matured form: Smntti, Sementhis, Sementhos, Semenses, Semempses, Sempses, Sempsos!
ceives to have taken place in the fourth peculiarly felt the temptation to rise year of Thothmes III., so far down as into the extraordinary and marvellous. the eighteenth dynasty of Manetho, he But the singular fact is, that the Jewyet only “supposes
it to have oc- ish genealogies rather abbreviate than curred at that precise period; and after- unduly extend the chain of successive wards gives Lord Prudhoe's reasons for generations. We know for certain a period about two centuries later (i. p. that names were sometimes left out of 54, 77-81), leaving the decision to the them-generations leapt over, as it learned, as one on which a positive were ; and precisely on that account opinion cannot be pronounced.” And does it often become a difficulty to dein reference to periods centuries earlier termine with exactness the era of parstill, he says,
“ The primeval history ticular events. We are therefore quite of states, especially at so remote an ready to concede to Bunsen, what he epoch, must necessarily be a matter of is at some pains to prove, that the pure conjecture, since they are beyond genealogies given of the Egyptian pethe reach of authentic records ; and if riod of Israelitish history are, if not those nations themselves had handed all, at least many of them, plainly imdown to us what they deemed their perfect. They do not commonly rereal annals, we should find them so count every name in the series, but complicated and improbable, that it only exhibit a part, probably the more would be out of our power to separate important links in the chain. And if truth from fiction. Such is the char- we had no other scriptural data than acter of the uncertain fragments of these to found upon for determining Manetho, preserved by later writers” the length of Israel's sojourn in Egypt, (i. p. 15).
we might safely allow the world and In this respect, indeed, there is a re- science to adjust our belief on the submarkable difference between the earlier ject. In proof of what has been said, Jewish records and those of all other it might be enough to compare the eminent nations—such as forms of it. genealogies of Aaron and Joshua: in self no mean proof of the superior cre- the former we find simply Levi, Kodibility of the former. The Jews had hath, Amram, Aaron (Exod. ii., vi.), much the same temptation as the other while in the other we have Joseph, nations of antiquity to exhibit in their Ephraim, Beriah, Rephah (or Reseph), annals an ancestry of superhuman Telah, Tahan, Laadan, Ammihud, Eligreatness and interminable length. It shama, Nun, Joshua (1 Chron. vii.). is well known how keenly. Josephus It is manifestly incredible that the four felt cut at the reproaches cast upon his generations mentioned in the first of people by Apion and Manetho respect- these lists should have stretched over ing the supposed lateness of their ori- the same space as the eleven of the gin, and the original meanness of their second; and we can only account for circumstances. And if the fathers of such a vast disparity in point of number the Jewish nation had been actuated by certain names in the full series being by the same spirit as their later Rab- dropt from the first. Nor could we, bins, and had possessed the same un- looking simply at this genealogy of limited control over their national re- Joshua, which makes him the eleventh cords which the Egyptian priests did from Jacob, find much fault with the over theirs, we can easily conjecture opinion of our author formerly adwhat dependence could have been verted to, in so far as it holds the 215 placed on them as a groundwork of years, commonly allowed for the resihistorical certainty. Even the stern dence of the Israelites in Egypt, to be impartiality and unvarnished truth less than the real period of their sowhich appears in them.did not operate journ; as that certainly appears to be as a sufficient check upon Josephus to too short a time for the eleventh deprevent him from intermingling much scendant from Jacob to be found among that is fabulous with his history, espe- the full-grown men who left Egypt, cially when he comes upon the terri- and too short also for the families of tory of Egyptian affairs, as if he then Israel at large, having grown into such a
multitude. At the sametime, it is not to the work. But for the ultimate result be overlooked that the history evidently we entertain no apprehension. And indicates something extraordinary, if if we needed anything to strengthen not unprecedented, in the rate of in- us in this confidence, beyond the infalcrease; for the words in Ex. i. 7 are lible character of the sacred record itliterally, “ The children of Israel were self, we might certainly find it in the fruitful, and swarmed, and multiplied, friendly aspect which all that has yet and inereased most exceedingly.” But with any certainty been reaped from still we are rather inclined to agree with the hieroglyphical field, carries towards those chronologists who take the 430 the plain and simple literalities of the Fears mentioned in Ex. xii. 40 in re- books of Moses. ference to the time of the sojourn in It was an eventful moment for these Egypt from the period of Jacob's de- books, however little thought of at the scent, and regard St Paul, when speak- time, when the famous stone of Roing of 430 years having elapsed be. setta was dug up with its threefold intween the covenant with Abraham and scription, in hieroglyphic, enchorial, the giving of the law (Gal. iii. 17) as and Greek, proving, as it did, the first. referring to the covenant, not when step in a long and complicated process, originally made with Abraham, but which has at length restored to life and when finally confirmed with Jacob, and utterance the monumental remains of made the foundation of their existence Egypt. When these witnesses of as a separate people. That term, how- ancient generations once more found ever, is plainly the longest that can be themselves in a condition to deliver admitted consistently with the veracity their testimony, and, partly through of Scripture; and we cannot regard written words, partly through pictorial the attempt of our author to establish representations, brought up to view a much longer one, in any other ligbt life and society as it existed in Egypt, than a blow directed, however uninten- at the very time when Abraham went tionally on his part, against the divine down to sojourn there, when Joseph authority of the Bible.
held the supreme direction of its afPerhaps our readers think we have fairs, and the Hebrews endured within devoted too much attention to the its borders their long period of hard merely chronological bearing of the bondage ; how searching as well as unwork before us. Our apology is, the looked for an ordeal was thereby distinguished rank and reputation of brought to bear on the historical verity the author, the high character of his of the sacred narrative ! Moving' as work in a literary point of view, and this does with perfect freedom among the certainty of its not only appearing the occurrences of those remote periods, ere long in an English form, but also and touching incidentally on an inbeing pressed into the service of infi- mense variety of particulars respecting delity. It is to us matter of profound the political and social condition of the regret that Egyptology is taking so people, their modes of life and degree strongly the direction of a chronological of civilization, their manners and occuopposition to Scripture. Bunsen cer pations, their religious character and tainly was not the first to give it that domestic habits—had it been any thing direction ; with inferior resources, but but the testimonyof soberness and truth with equal ardour, Champollion and how surely would it have been found to Rossellini both evinced their determi- cross at some points the evidence tennation to maintain the credit of the dered by the singular array of witEgyptian authorities ; but in Bunsen nesses with which it is now confronted ! the accumulating materials have first It is scarcely possible to conceive a found a master-builder to raise them severer touch-stone for an historical into a compact and gigantic system. record, or a descriptive account of other What may be the immediate effect of and distant times. Herodotus, who his labours can scarcely be divined till visited Egypt for the express purpose: the public have been for some time in of becoming acquainted with its affairs, possession of the remaining portions of and who certainly had no intention to bring back a false report, has not been upon his head ; and if Herodotus had able perfectly to abide this test; on not told us the same, as one of the sincertain points he has been found to have gular customs he saw in Egypt, we written from imperfect information, should only have needed to cast our eye and to have given an erroneous view on yonder busy scene, the representaof things. Later inquirers have in tion of a cooking and confectionary esvast numbers fallen before it, and those tablishment in a tombat Thebes, where, especially, who have taken it as their among other operations, we see a perpeculiar calling to correct the misre- son bearing off the finished loaves in presentations of the Books of Moses ; a row upon his head. + Pharaoh's while, strange to relate, these Books chief butler, according to Moses, was themselves come forth without the so familiar with the vine and its fruit, slightest taint of suspicion upon their that he could dream of seeing a vine accuracy ; nay, verified and confirmed before him with its branches and in the very points, where a shallow in- grapes, and of his taking the grapes fidelity prided itself in having disco- and pressing them into Pharaoh's cup; vered blemishes.
nor only so, but the vine was among However defective the monumental the fruit-bearing trees, the want of remains of Egypt are, as furnishing which in the wilderness was so much the materials necessary for construct- regretted by the Israelites. Impossiing an exact and well-founded system ble, the German rationalists have once of chronology, we may confidently ap- and again exclaimed, for the vine was pealto them as constituting, by their va- not introduced into Egypt till the time riety, the multiplicity of their inscrip- of Psammitticus, considerably more tions, and the fulness of their pictorial than a thousand years later, and the representations, sources at once of com- older Egyptians, would neither drink petent authority, and of ample infor- wine nor offer it in sacrifice. What mation regarding every thing belong- mean, then, those gardens so frequently ing to the manners and customs, or the represented in the tombs at Thebes civil and religious state of ancient and elsewhere, in which the cultivation Egypt. At a period certainly not less of the vine holds so prominent a place, remote than that at which Scripture where in one corner we see boys with lays the scene of its events in the land their noisy instruments frightening the of the Pharaohs, the monuments pre- birds from the ripening fruit, in anosent a vast amount of evidence of the ther, labourers employed in gathering kind referred to, and evidence that is the clusters, and in another again all all found to correspond with the testi- the operations of the wine-press busily mony of Moses, as face answereth to proceeding. I And thou Herodotus, face. Every body knows how the Jews Father of history,” as thy country and Arabians gloried in their heards, too fondly named thee, who hast all but Joseph, Moses informs us, shaved unwittingly given a handle to superfihimself when he made ready to appear cial and profane men, by reporting the before Pharaoh, implying that the long vine not to have been grown in Egypt, beard of other nations was in little as if thou hadst inspected every region favour there ; and Wilkinson tells us of its territory,—what hast thou to from the monuments, that so particular say beside these faithful and impartial were the Egyptians on this point, that witnesses from the dead, but to confess to have neglected it was a subject of thy error, and surrender thy title to reproach and ridicule ; and that when another, even Moses, who wrote truer ever they intended to convey the idea and better history than thyself, ten of a man of low cor.dition, or a slo- centuries and more before thou wert venly person, the artists were sure to born ? represent him with a beard.* Pharoah's The Egyptians, Moses tells us, chief baker, according to Moses, was
counted it an abomination to eat with wont to carry a basketful of bread the Hebrews, and viewed with special
• iii. p. 358.
+ W’ilkinson, ii. 385.
I ii. p. 143-7.