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of the soul, and that very juftly, because the soul was there cur'd of ignorance, the most dangerous and the parent of all her maladies.
; As their country was level, and the air of ic always serene and unclouded, they were some of the first who observed the courses of the planets. These observations led them to regulate the year t from the course of the sun; for as Diodorus observes, their year, from the most remote antiquity, was composed of three hundred sixty five days and six hours. To adjust the property of their lands, which were every year covered by the overflowing of the Nile,
they were obliged to have recourse to surveys; $ and this first caught them geometry. They were
great observers of nature, which, in a climate so ferene, and under so intense a sun, was vigorous and fruitful.
By this study and application they invented or improved the science of physick. The sick were not abandoned to the arbitrary will.and caprice of the physician. He was obliged to follow fixed rules, which were the observations of old and experienced practitioners, and written in the sacred books. While these rules were observed, the physician was not answerable for the success; otherwise a miscarriage cost him his life. This law checked indeed the temerity of enipiricks; but then it might prévent new discoveries, and keep the art from attaining to
. + It will not seem surprising fight, by calculating their interthat ibe Egyptians, who were the calations, that those who firft dimost ancient observers of the celesti- "vided the year in this manner, ai motions should have arrived to were no ignorant, that to three this knowledge; when it is con- hundred sixty five days, fome hours fider'd, that the lunar year, made were to be added, to keep pace with use of by the Greeks and Romans, the fun. Their only error lay, in the tho it appears fo inconvenient and supposition that only fix hours pere irregular, suppos'd nevertheless a wanting ; whereas an addition knowledge of the folar Year, such of almost eleven minutes motte som cas Diodorus Siculus afcribes to the requisite. moment Egyptians. 'Twill appear at first
of tion, and in whichous remains Itill clilks, temples and
its just perfection. Every physician, if Herodotus 1. 2.C. 84 may be credited, confined his practice to the cure of one disease only; one was for the eyes, another for the teeth, and so on.
What we have said of the pyramids, and the laby. rinth ; and that infinite number of obelisks, temples and palaces, whose precious remains still strike with admiration, and in which were display'd, the magnificence of the Princes who raised them, the skill of the workmen, the riches of the ornaments diffused over every ? part of them, and the just proportion and beautiful, symmetry of the parts in which their greatest beauty consisted; works, in many of which the liveliness of che colours remain to this day, in spite of the rude hand of time, which either deadens or destroys them: All this, I say, Thews the perfection to which architecture, painting, sculpture, and all other arts had arrived in Egypt.
The Egyptians entertained but a mean opinion Diod. I. 1. of that sort of exercise, which did not contribute to p. 73. invigorate the body, or give a vigorous health * ; nor of musick, which they considered as a useless and dangerous diversion, and only fit to enervate the mind.
U USBANDMEN, shepherds, and artificers, Diod. I. is IT formed the three stages of lower life in Egypt, p. 67, 68. but they nevertheless were had in very great esteem, particularly husbandmen and shepherds. The body
en fon than
with this long pre
politick requires a superiority and fubordination of its several members; for as in the latural body, the eye may be said to hold the first rank, yet its lustre does nor dart contempt upon the feet, the hands, or even on those parts which are less honourable. In like manner, among the Egyptians, the Priests, Soldiers, and Scholars were distinguished by particular honours; but all professions, to the meaneft, had their share
in the publick efteem, because the despising any man, ve whose labours, however inean, were useful to the State, was thought a crime.
A BETTER reason than the foregoing, Inight have inspired them at the first with these sentiments of
equity and moderation, which they so long preferv'd. or Ham. As they all descended from * Cham their common fa
ther, the memory of their origin occurring fresh to
red as groveling or sordid. By this mean arts were raised to their highest perfection. The honour which cherished them mixed with every thought and care for their improvement. Every man had his way of life afligned him by the laws, and it was perpetuated from father to son. Two professions at one time, or a change of that which a man was born to, were never allowed. By this means,' men became more able and expert in employments which they had always exercised from their infancy; and every man adding his own experience to that of his ancestors, was more capable of attaining perfection in his parti
of life afin ther to fonwhich a man
incular art. Besides, this wholesome institution which
had been established anciently throughout Egypt, i extinguished all irregular ambition ; and taught every ! man to sit down contented with his condition, with
out aspiring to one more elevated, from interest, vaini glory or levity.
From this source flowed numberless inventions to bring every art to its perfection, and render life more commodious, and trade more easy. I once could not believe that Diodorus was in earneft, in what he re- Diod. 1. a. laces concerning the Egyptian industry, viz. thatp.67. this people had found out a way, by an artificial fecundity, to hatch eggs without the sitting of the hen; but all modern travellers declare it to be a fact, which certainly is worthy our curiosity, and is said to be pracțised in Europe. Their relations inform us, that the Egyptians stow eggs in ovens, which are heated so temperately, and with such just proportion to the natural warmth of the hen, that the chickens produced from these ovens are as strong as those which are hatched the natural way. The season of the year proper for this operation is, from the end of December to the end of April; the heat in Egypt being too violent in the other months. During these four months, upwards of three hundred thousand eggs are ļaid in these ovens, which tho' they are not all success ful, they nevertheless produce vast numbers of fowls at an easy rate. The art lies in giving the ovens a just degree of heat, which must not exceed a fixed proporti. on. About ten days are bestowed in heating these ovens, and very near as much time in hatching the eggs. It is very entertaining, say these travellers, to observe the hatching of these chickens, some of which shew at first nothing but their heads, others but half their bodies, and others again come quite out of the egg ; These laft, the moment they are hatched, make their way over the unhatched eggs, and form a diverting, spectacle. Corneille le Bruyn, in his travels, has
. p.64. collected the observations of other travellers on this
Lib. 10. fúbject. Pliny likewise mentions it ; but it appears,
warm dung, not ovens, to hatch eggs *.
It is astonishing to reflect what advantages the Egyp-
of no great extent, but whose foil was made wonderfully fruitful by the inundations of the Nile, and the laborious industry of the inhabitants.
It will be always so with every Kingdom, whose Governors direct all their actions to the publick wel. fare. The culture of lands, and the breeding of cattle will be an inexhaustible fund of wealth in all countries, where, as in Egypt, these profitable cal. lings are supported and incouraged by maxims of state and policy: And we may consider it as a misfortune, that they are at present fallen into so general a disesteem; though 'tis from them that the most elevated ranks (as we esteem chem) are furnished not only with the necessaries, but even the delights of
* The words of Pliny referr'd womb, and we are told, says to by Mr. Rollin are theje. Nuper Pliny, that he was not deceiv'd. inde fortasse inventum, ut Ova It is probable Mr. Rollin may have in calido loco impofita paleis met with some other place in Pliigne modico foverentur homine ny favourable to his sentiment, versante, pariterque & ftato die tho' after fome fearch I cannot find illinc erumperet fætus. He any. Speaks of this invention as modern, † Hogherds, in particular, had and seems to refer it to the curi- a general ill name throughout osity of Livia the mother of Tibe- Egypt, as they had the care of so rius Cæfar, who, desirous of hav- impure an animal. Herodotus ing a male-child, put an egg in (1. 2. C. 47.) tell us, that they her bofom, and when he parted were not permitted to enter the with it, deliver'd it to one of her Egyptian Temples, nor wou'd any women to preserve the heat. This man give them his daughter in The made an augury to guess at the marriage. jex of the child she had then in her