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ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE FROM THE MONUMENTS OF ANTIQUITY. No. XI.
THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT, 2.
Some writers have rashly asserted that fresh-water In the Scripture account of the first plague, it is men
fish do not abound in Egypt, but their error has arisen tioned that “the fish that was in the river died:” this from their having visited the country when the waters was a fearful aggravation of the plague, for fish was
of the Nile were at the lowest. As, however, advana favourite article of food in Egypt, and few employ- tage has been taken of their authority to impugn the ments are more frequently depicted on the monu- Scripture narrative, we shall extract from M. Michaud ments than those connected with catching and curing an account of the present state of the fisheries on the the fish of the river.
lake Menzaleh. We are informed that the ancient Egyptians had a
The waters of Menzaleh are very productive: the Arabs religious scruple against using any of the produce of assert that it contains as many kinds of fish as there are the sea; hence the fisheries of the Nile were pecu: they multiply with amazing rapidity. The fisheries of Men,
days in the year. Whatever may be the number of species, liarly valuable. The Egyptians indeed were the first zaleh have been always farmed out by the government of people who practised the art of curing and preserv. Egypt: they formed an important item in the revenues of ing fish : they both dried them in the sun and salted the Circassian sultans and the Mamelukes, and at present them. For the latter purpose fossil salt was largely they yield eight hundred purses annually to Mohammed imported from the African deserts. It must also be Ali, which is rather more than 8000l. The lake contains observed that the destruction of the fish was a punish- several clusters of islets, but those called the Matharian are
alone inhabited. Their population, however, is so numement operating directly on Pharaoh himself, for the
rous that there is scarce room on the ground to plant a principal fisheries belonged to the crown; and we are shrub, and huts are mixed confusedly with tombs. The en informed by Diodorus Siculus that a portion of the tire population is engaged in catching or curing fish: the revenue derived from them was assigned to the queens best fishing grounds are portioned into divisions by reeds as pin-money. There were several varieties of fish, and rushes, forming as it were the farms of the fishermen, so as to gratify every palate ; and hence, when the and these private properties are far more respected than the Israelites began to murmur against Moses in the tharian islets have all the jealousies of insular people : woe
fields of the unhappy fellahs. The inhabitants of the Ma. wilderness, one of their chief complaints was, “We betide the strange fisherman who would venture his hoat remember the fish that we did eat in Egypt freely.”' into their petty archipelago or who would be caught let
ANIMAL WORSHIP AND SACRIFICES OF THE EGYPTIANS. ting down his nets near their islands. We went into the | Among the tricks mentioned by the Emperor Jehanvillage of Kafi-al-Nossarah, situated at the western extre gueir in his account of the performances of the Indian mity of the lake : near the village is a kind of harbour for jugglers, to which we have already referred, there are the fishing boats: some of these have sails, others are impelled by oars or a long pole. The village is built of mud
several performed with vessels of water : one of them and reeds; the inhabitants are buddled together in wretched
deserves to be quoted. huts ; the children are naked. The men wear coarse caps, They filled a large vessel with water perfectly transparent, fitting tight to the head, and either loose drawers or a cinc
and placed it on the floor before me. One of them had in ture like the Scottish kilt. Their physiognomy has some- his hand a red rose, which he said, by giving it a dip into thing of a sorrowful and savage cast. There are about se the water, he could bring it out of any colour I chose to menventeen villages round the lake Menzaleh, the sole employ tion. Accordingly he gave the rose a plunge, and out it ment of whose inhabitants is fishing : it is also their only
came of a bright yellow; and thus at every dip he brought resource. With the salt fish which they send to Cairo, Syria, it out of a different kind and colour. They then plunged a and the interior of Africa, they purchase dates, rice, coarse skein of white thread into the vessel, and brought it out first cloth, wood to build their boats, hemp for their lines and nets, of a red then of a yellow colour, and so of a different colour and fire-arms for fowling or defence. Not less barbarous a hundred times repeated, if they were required so to do. than the Bedouin Arabs, they have only a vague notion of the Koran ; they scarcely can count the days of the year,
The distinction between the miracle and its spu. and the only means they have of determining the hour of rious imitation is sufficiently explained in the Scripthe day is by the projection of their shadows.
ture narrative : Moses smote the river ; the magicians From the prophet Isaiah we learn that the Egyptian practised their art only on some limited quantity of fisheries were in his day reckoned among the most water, and in such a case deception was not only pracvaluable possessions of the nation, and that they
ticable but easy. knew the art of catching fish, not only with the line The second plague of frogs is remarkable, because but the net. This is fully confirmed by the monu the beloved river the Nile is again made the instruments, on which we find both modes of fishing deli- ment of punishment, and because it was imitated by neated. Isaiah's severe denunciation of divine wrath the magicians. The third plague of lice, (or, as the includes little more than a portion of the first plague, word kinnim may perhaps be translated, musquitoes,) actually inflicted by Moses.-—"And they shall turn the was beyond the power of the jugglers, for they at once rivers far away, and the brooks of defence shall be acknowledged the supernatural character of the miraemptied and dried up : the reeds and flags shall cles wrought by Moses and Aaron, exclaiming, “This wither. The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth is the finger of God !" Such an exclamation fully of the brooks, and everything sown by the brooks, proves that their former attempts to rival Moses and shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. The Aaron were juggling delusions. The Jewish and Ara. fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle bian traditions concur in asserting that some of the into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread magicians were on this occasion converted to the wornets upon the waters shall languish. .... And they ship of the true God, and were in consequence perseshall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make cuted by the Egyptian tyrant. sluices and ponds for fish.” (Isaiah xix. 6—10.) After the fourth plague of flies an important inci
The circumstances we have mentioned are fully dent is recorded, which throws considerable light on sufficient to show how severe was this first plague, and the preceding part of the narrative. “ And Pharaoh they also prove that the Scripture narrative is sup- called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice ported by all that we know of the natural condition to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not of Egypt, and all that we can learn from its historic meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination records.
of the Egyptians to the Lord our God : lo, shall we It is said further by the sacred historians, “the ma- sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their gicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments :" to eyes, and will they not stone us? this two objections have been made ; first, that there The proposal of Pharaoh is one which could never are no means by which jugglers could imitate such a have been made by a native Egyptian, for it is clear miracle, and secondly, that all the waters were already from what follows that the Hebrews were notoriously changed. Now it seems pretty clear that in the se- about to sacrifice some of the animals deemed sacred cond objection we can find an answer to the first. by the Egyptians. The cow, reverenced as the emThe magicians could easily procure fresh water by dig blem of Isis, and the ram, which typified Ammon, ging, and an illusion similar to the change effected by were held objects of religious worship among the the miracle is possible with small quantities of water. Egyptians, and we find their votaries on the monu
ments actually engaged in this degrading adoration. | down to the departure of Moses, every particular A foreign conqueror like Pharaoh might despise, or mentioned by the sacred historian is minutely conat least be reckless of, the national superstition ; but firmed by monuments now brought to light after a a native prince would have never sanctioned so gross concealment of more than two thousand years, and a violation of his country's most inveterate usages. that the authenticity of the Pentateuch is supported
The accuracy of the sacred historian in this im- by contemporary records ; for monuments are records portant passage will be still more apparent, if we removed beyond the chances of error in transcripenter upon a brief examination of the Zoolatry, or tion, or the possibility of modern corruption. animal worship, of Egypt.
of Egypt. Some were divinely honoured because they were feared, others on account of their utility. Those most reverenced were the
ON THE USES OF KNOWLEDGE. single bull Apis, the cow, the sheep, the cat, the dog, The first end to which all wisdom or knowledge the wolf, the crocodile, the ibis, the ichneumon, and ought to be employed, is to illustrate the wisdom or the hawk. Lands were set apart for the support of goodness of the Father of Nature. Every science those sacred animals whilst they were living; men that is cultivated by men leads naturally to religious and women were employed in feeding and maintain thought, from the study of the plant that grows ing them, and children succeeded their parents in the beneath our feet, to that of the host of heaven above office, which was so far from being declined, or us, who perform their stated revolutions in majestic thought despicable by the Egyptians, that they con silence, amid the expanse of infinity. When in the sidered it the most honourable of all employments, youth of Moses, “the Lord appeared to him in and wore certain cognizances as signs of their office, Horeb,” a voice was heard, saying,
“ draw nigh which were always saluted with great respect by their hither, and put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for countrymen. If a person killed any of these sacred the place where thou standest is holy ground." It animals designedly, he was punished with death ; it is with such a reverential awe that every great or involutarily, his punishment was referred to the elevated mind will approach to the study of nature, priests; but if a man killed either a cat, a hawk, or and with such feelings of adoration and gratitude, an ibis, whether by design or not, he was to die with that he will receive the illumination that gradually out mercy, and the enraged multitude seldom waited opens upon his soul. even for the formalities of trial. While Diodorus It is not the lifeless mass of matter he will then Siculus, the celebrated historian, was in Egypt, he feel that he is examining,—it is the mighty machine witnessed an example of this sanguinary bigotry. A of eternal wisdom; the workmanship of Him, " in Roman, in the train of an embassy sent to conclude whom every thing lives, and moves, and has its a peace with the king, happened accidentally to kill a being." Under an aspect of this kind, it is imposcat; a mob instantly gathered round the house, and sible to pursue knowledge without mingling with it neither the remonstrances of the royal officers, nor the most elevated sentiments of devotion ;--it is imfear of the Roman power, could mitigate their fero- possible to perceive the laws of nature without percity, or save the unfortunate man's life. On this ceiving, at the same time, the presence and the proviaccount, if any one by chance found one of these dence of the Lawgiver :-and thus it is that, in every sacred animals dead, he stood at a convenient dis- age, the evidences of religion have advanced with the tance from it, and with great lamentations protested progress of true philosophy; and that science, in that he was innocent of the death. And what may erecting a monument to herself, has, at the same seem still more incredible, it is reported that, in time time, erected an altar to the Deity. of famine, which drove the inhabitants to the cruel The knowledge of nature is not exhausted. There necessity of devouring one another, there was are many great discoveries yet awaiting the labours person accused of having tasted of any of these of science, and with them there are also awaiting to sacred animals. When any one of these animals humanity, many additional proofs of the wisdom and died, they lamented them as if they had been their benevolence “ of Him that made us." To the hope dearest children, and frequently expended vast sums of these great discoveries few indeed can pretend; on their funeral. We are told that, in the beginning yet let it ever be remembered, that he who can trace of the reign of Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, the bull any one new fact, or can exemplify any one new inApis, dying of old age at Memphis, his keeper ex stance of divine wisdom or benevolence in the system pended more than fifty talents of silver, or 13,0001. of nature, has not lived in vain ; that he has added on his costly interment.
to the sum of human knowledge, and, what is far On the history of the remaining p.agues it is un more, that he has added to the evidence of those necessary to dwell, for they are evidently of such a greater truths upon which the happiness of time and nature as to be scarcely susceptible of illustration eternity depends. from monuments. The murrain of the beasts, and The second great end to which all knowledge ought the plague of boils and blains, were followed by two to be employed, is to the welfare of humanity. Every particularly alarming to the Egyptians; the storm of science is the foundation of some art beneficial to thunder, lightning, and hail must have been exceed- men; and while the study of it leads us to see the ingly formidable in a land where these atmospheric beneficence of the laws of nature, it calls upon us phenomena are scarcely known ; the plague of locusts also to follow the great end of the Father of Nature is to this day dreaded as one of the most grievous in their employment and application. I need not say visitations to which eastern nations are exposed, and what a field is thus opened to the benevolence of the plague of “ darkness which could be felt," was knowledge ;-I need not tell you that, in every well calculated to strike terror into a nation, which department of learning, there is good to be done to made the sun-god the chief object of its idolatry, and mankind;-I need not remind you, that the age in in whose country a fog, or even a dense mist, is never which we live has given us the noblest examples of produced by nature. The smiting of the first-born, this kind, and that science now finds its highest glory was the fearful consummation of these Divine judg- in improving the condition, or in allaying the miseries ments; Pharaoh and his subjects hasted to send the of humanity. But there is one thing, of which it is Israelites away, and they quitted the land of Egypt. ever proper to remind you, because the modesty of We have seen that, from the first visit of Abraham knowledge often leads us to forget it,--and that is,
that the power of scientific benevolence is far greater i mode of life; but they are so shy and cautious, that than that of all others, to the welfare of society. it is no easy matter to get a sight of them, for hear
The benevolence of the great or the opulent, how- ing a person's footsteps as he advances, they stop ever eminent it may be, perishes with themselves; short in the midst of their song, and retire backward but the benevolence of knowledge is of a kind as nimbly into their burrows, where they lurk till all extensive as the race of man, and as permanent as suspicion of danger is over. the existence of society. He, in whatever situation At first we attempted to dig them out with a spade, he may be, who, in the study of science, has dis- but without any great success; for either we could covered a new means of alleviating pain, or of remedy- not get to the bottom of the hole, which often tering disease ; who has described a wiser method of minated under a great stone, or else in breaking up preventing poverty, or of shielding misfortune; who the ground we inadvertently squeezed the poor insect has suggested additional means of increasing or im- to death. Out of one so bruised we took a multitude proving the beneficent productions of nature, has left of eggs, which were long and narrow, of a yellow a memorial of himself which can never be forgotten, colour, and covered with a very tough skin. By this which will communicate happiness to ages yet unborn, accident we learnt to distinguish the male from the and which, in the emphatic language of scripture, female; the former of which is shining black, with a renders him a fellow-worker” with God himself, in golden stripe across its shoulders; the latter is more the improvement of his creation.
dusky, more capacious about the abdomen, and carThe third great end of all knowledge is the im- ries a long sword-shaped weapon at her tail, which provement and exaltation of our own minds. It was probably is the instrument with which she deposits the voice of the Apostle,
" What manner of men her eggs in crannies and safe receptacles. ought ye to be, to whom the truths of the Gospel When violent methods will not avail, more gentle have come?" It is the voice of nature also, « What means will often succeed, and so it proved in the manner of men ought ye to be, to whom the treasures present case ; for, though a spade be too boisterous of wisdom are opened ?". Of all the spectacles, in- and rough an implement, a pliant stalk of grass, deed, which life can offer us, there is none more pain- gently insinuated into the caverns, will probe their ful or unnatural, than that of the union of vice with windings to the bottom, and quickly bring out the knowledge. It counteracts the great designs of God inhabitant, and thus the humane inquirer may gratify in the distribution of wisdom, and it assimilates men his curiosity without injuring the object of it. not to the usual characters of human frailty, but to It is remarkable that, though these insects are those dark and malignant spirits who fell from heaven, furnished with long legs behind, and brawny thighs and who excel in knowledge only that they may for leaping, like grasshoppers, yet when driven from employ it in malevolence.
their holes they show no activity, but crawl along in To the wise and virtuous man, on the contrary, a shiftless manner, so as easily to be taken ; and, -to him whose moral attainments have kept pace again, though provided with a curious apparatus of with his intellectual, and who has employed the great wings, yet they never exert them when there seems to talent with which he is intrusted to the glory of God, be the greatest occasion. The males only make that and to the good of humanity,—are presented the shrilling noise, which is raised by a brisk friction of sublimest prospects that mortality can know. one wing against the other. They are solitary beings, my Father's house," says our Saviour, " are many living singly, male or female, each as it may happen. mansions;" mansions, we may dare to interpret, When the males meet they will fight fiercely, as I fitted to the different powers that life has acquired, found by some which I put into the crevices of a dry and to the uses to which they have been applied. stone wall, where I should have been glad to have
Of that great scene, indeed, which awaits all, made them settle. For though they seemed distressed whether ignorant or wise, it becomes us to think by being taken out of their knowledge, yet the first with reverential awe. Yet we know," that it will that got possession of the chinks, would seize on then be well with the good, though it will not be well any that obtruded upon them with a vast row of with the wicked ;” and we are led by an instinctive serrated fangs. With their strong jaws, toothed like anticipation, to suppose that they who here have the shears of a lobster's claws, they perforate and excelled in wisdom and benevolence, will be rewarded round their curious regular cells, having no forewith higher objects, upon which they may be em claws to dig, like the Mole-Cricket. When taken in ployed, and adinitted into nearer prospects of the hand, I could not but wonder that they never offered government of eternal wisdom. “ In his light they to defend themselves, though armed with such forshall see light.” They shall see him, not as through midable weapons. Of such herbs as grow before a glass darkly, but as he is. They shall know, the mouths of their burrows they eat indiscrimieven as they themselves are known." -Alison. nately, and on a little platform, which they make just
by, they drop their dung, and never in the day-time seem to stir more than two or three inches from
home. Sitting in the entrance of their caverns, they CRICKETS.
chirp all night as well as day, from the middle of the (Gryllus campestris) or FIELD-CRICKET.
month of May to the middle of July, and in the hot
weather, when they are most vigorous, they make the THERE is a steep abrupt pasture-field, interspersed hills echo, and in the still hours of darkness may with furze, close to the back of this village (Selborne), be heard to a considerable distance. In the beginwell known by the name of the Short Lithe, consist ning of the season their notes are more faint and ing of a «rocky dry soil, and inclining to the afternoon inwards, but become louder as the Summer advances,
This spot abounds with the Gryllus campestris, and so die away again by degrees. or Field-Cricket, which, though frequent in these Sounds do not always give us pleasure according parts, is by no means a common insect in many other to their sweetness and melody, nor do harsh sounds counties.
always displease. We are more apt to be captivated As their cheerful summer cry cannot but draw the or disgusted with the associations which they proattention of a naturalist, I have often gone down to mote, than with the notes themselves. Thus the examine the economy of these Grylli, and study their shrilling of the Field-Cricket, though sharp and stri
dulous, yet marvellously delights some hearers, filling / set in their haunts ; for, being always eager to drink, their minds with a train of Summer ideas of every- they will crowd in till the bottles are full. thing that is rural, verdurous, and joyous. About the 10th of March the Crickets appear at
(Gryllus gryllo talpa,) or, MOLE-Cricket. the mouths of their cells, which they then open and How diversified are the modes of life not only of bore, and shape very elegantly. All that ever I have incongruous but even of congenerous animals; and seen at that season were in their pupa state, and had yet their specific distinctions are not more various only the rudiments of wings lying under a skin or than their propensities. Thus, while the Field-Cricket coat, which must be cast before the insect can arrive delights in sunny dry banks, and the House-Cricket . at its perfect state, from whence I should suppose rejoices amidst the glowing heat of the kitchen that the old ones of last year do not always survive hearth or oven, the Gryllus gryllo talpa, (the Molethe Winter. They cast these skins in April, which Cricket,) haunts moist meadows, and frequents the are then seen lying at the mouths of their holes. In sides of ponds and banks of streams, performing all August their holes begin to be obliterated, and the its functions in a swampy wet soil. With a pair of insects are seen no more till Spring.
fore-feet curiously adapted to the purpose, it burrows
and works under ground like the mole, raising a (Gryllus domesticus,) or House-CRICKET.
ridge as it proceeds, but seldom throwing up hillocks. While many other insects must be sought after in
As Mole-Crickets often infest gardens by the sides the fields, and woods, and waters, the Gryllus domes- of canals, they are unwelcome guests to the gardener, ticus, or House-Cricket, resides altogether within our raising up ridges in their subterraneous progress, and dwellings, intruding itself upon our notice whether rendering the walks unsightly. If they take to the we will or no. This species delights in new-built kitchen quarters, they occasion great damage among houses, being, like the spider, pleased with the the plants and roots, by destroying whole beds of moisture of the walls; and, besides, the softness of the cabbages, young legumes, and Aowers. When dug mortar enables them to burrow and mine between out they seem very slow and helpless, and make no the joints of the bricks or stones, and to open com
use of their wings by day; but at night they come munications from one room to another. They are
abroad and make long excursions, as I have been particularly fond of kitchens and bakers' ovens, on convinced by finding stragglers, in a morning, in account of their constant warmth.
improbable places. In fine weather, about the midTender insects that live abroad either enjoy only dle of April, and just at the close of day, they begin the short period of one Summer, or else doze away to solace themselves with a low, dull, jarring note, the cold uncomfortable months in profound slumbers; continued for a long time without interruption, and but these, residing as it were in a torrid zone, are not unlike the chattering of the fern-owl, or goatalways alert and merry : a good Christmas fire is to sucker, but more inward. them like the heats of the dog-days. Though they About the beginning of May they lay their eggs, are frequently heard by day, yet is their natural time
as I was once an eye-witness; for a gardener, at a of motion only in the night. As soon as it grows house where I was on a visit, happening to be mowdusk, the chirping increases, and they come running ing, on the sixth of that month, by the side of a forth, and are from the size of a flea to that of their canal, his scythe struck too deep, pared off a large full stature. As one might suppose, from the burn-piece of turf, and laid open to view a curious scene ing atmosphere which they inhabit, they are a thirsty of domestic economy. race, and show a great propensity for liquids, being
There were many caverns and winding passages found frequently drowned in pans of water, milk, leading to a kind of chamber, neatly smoothed and broth, or the like. Whatever is moist they affect; rounded, and about the size of a modern snuff-box. and therefore often gnaw holes in wet wollen stock. Within this secret nursery were deposited near an ings and aprons that are hung to the fire : they are hundred eggs of a dirty yellow colour, and enveloped the housewife's barometer, foretelling her when it in a tough skin, but too lately excluded to contain will rain ; and are prognostics sometimes, she thinks, any rudiments of young, being full of a viscous subof ill or good luck. These Crickets are not only stancc. The eggs lay but shallow, and within the very thirsty, but very voracious ; for they will eat influence of the sun, just under a little heap of fresh the scummings of pots, and yeast, salt, and crumbs
moved mould, like that which is raised by ants. of bread; and any kitchen offals or sweepings. In
When Mole-Crickets fly, they move cursu undoso, the Summer we have observed them to fly, when it rising and falling in curves, like the other species became dusk, out of the windows, and over the mentioned before. In different parts of this kingdom neighbouring roofs. This feat of activity accounts people call them fen-crickets, churr-worms, and evefor the sudden manner in which they often leave their churrs, all very apposite names. haunts, as it does for the method by which they
Anatomists who have examined the intestines of come to houses were they were not known before.
these insects, say, that from the structure, position, It is remarkable that many sorts of insects seem
and number of their stomachs, or maws, there seems never to use their wings but when they have a mind to be a good reason to suppose that this and the two to shift their quarters and settle new colonies. When former species ruminate or chew the cud like many in the air they move volatu-undoso, in waves or curves, quadrupeds. like woodpeckers, opening and shutting their wings at
[White's Natural History of Selborne.) every stroke, and so are always rising or sinking.
When they increase to a great degree, they become noisome pests, flying into the candles, and dashing It is a most Christian exercise to extract a sentiment into people's faces : but they may be blasted and of piety from the works and appearances of nature.destroyed by gunpowder discharged into their crevices CHALMERS. and crannies. Their shrilling noise is occasioned by a brisk attrition of their wings. Cats catch hearth
LONDON: crickets; and, playing with them as they do with JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. mice, devour them. Crickets may be destroyed, like PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTALY PARIS, wasps, by phials half filled with beer, or any liquid, Sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in the Kingdom.