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permitting the architect to put his name in the inscription which was fixed on the tower instead of his own.. It was very short and plain, according to the manner of the ancients. Sostratus Cnidius, Dexiphanis F. Diis Servatoribus, pro navigantibus, i. e. “Sostratus the Cnidian, son of Dexiphanes, to the protecting deities, for the use of seafaring people.” But certainly Ptolemy must have very much undervalued that kind of immortality which princes are generally very fond of, to suffer, that his name should not be so much as mentioned in the inscription of an edifice so capable of immortalizing him. P What we read in Lucian concerning this matter, deprives Ptolemy of a modesty, which indeed would be very ill placed here. This author informs us, that Sostratus, to engross the whole glory of that noble structure to himself, caused the inscription with his own name to be carved in the marble, which he afterwards covered with lime, and there. on put the king's name. The lime soon mouldered. away; and by that mean, instead of procuring the architect the honour with which he had Aattered himself, served only to discover to future ages his mean fraud, and ridiculous vanity.
Riches failed not to bring into this city, as they usually do in all places, luxury and licentiousness; so that the Alexandrian voluptuousness became a proverb." In this city arts and sciences were also industriously cultivated, witness that stately edifice called
• Magno animo Ptolemæi regis, quod in ea permiserit Sostrati Cnidhi architecti structuræ nomen inscribi. Plin.
p De Scribend. Hist. p. 706.
the Museum, where the literati used to meet, and were maintained at the public expense; and the famous library, which was augmented considerably by Ptolemy Philadelphus, and which, by the munificence of the kings his successors, at last contained seven hundred thousand volumes.' In Cesar's wars with the Alexandrians, part of this library, situated in the 'Bruchion, which consisted of four hundred thousand volumes; was unhappily consumed by fire.
OF THE MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE EGYPTIANS.
EGYPT was ever considered by all the ancients, as the most renowned school for wisdom and politics, and the source from whence most arts and sciences were derived. This kingdom bestowed its noblest labours and finest arts on the improving mankind; and Greece was so sensible of this, that its most illustrious men, as Homer, Pythagoras, Plato; even its great legislators, Lycurgus and Solon, with many more whom it is needless to mention, travelled into Egypt, to complete their studies, and draw from that fountain whatever was most rare and valuable in every kind of learning. God himself has given this kingdom a glorious testimony, when, praising Moses, he says of him, that she was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.”
Plut. in. Cæs. p. 731. Seneca de tranquill. anim. c. ix.
& Acts vii. 22.
To give some idea of the manners and customs of Egypt, I shall confine myself principally to these para ticulars : its kings and government; priests and religion; soldiers and war; sciences, arts, and trades.
The reader must not be surprised, if he sometimes finds, in the customs I take notice of, a kind of contradiction. This circumstance is owing, either to the difference of countries and nations which did not always follow the same usages; or to the different way of thinking of the historians whom I copy.
CONCERNING THE KINGS AND GOVERNMENT.
THE Egyptians were the first people who rightly understood the rules of government. A nation so grave and serious immediately perceived, that the true end of politics is to make life easy, and a people happy.
The kingdom was hereditary; but, according to "Diodorus, the Egyptian princes conducted themselves in a different manner from what is usually seen in other monarchies, where the prince acknowledges no other rule of his actions but his arbitrary will and pleasure. But here kings were under greater restraint from the laws than their subjects. They had some particular ones, digested by a former monarch, that composed part of those books which the Egyptians called sacred. Thus every thing being settled by ancient custom, they never sought to live in a different way from their ancestors.
* Diod. I. i. p. 63, &c.
No slave or foreigner was admitted into the immediate service of the prince; such a post was too important to be intrusted to any persons, except those who were the most distinguished by their birth, and had received the most excellent education; to the end that, as they had the liberty of approaching the king's person, day and night, he might from men so qualified, hear nothing which was unbecoming the royal majesty, or have any sentiments instilled into him, but such as were of a noble and generous kind. For, adds Diodorus, it is very rarely seen, that kings fly out into any vicious excess, unless those who approach them approve their irregularities, or serve as instruments to their passions.
The kings of Egypt freely permitted not only the quality and proportion of their eatables and liquids to be prescribed them (a thing customary in Egypt, the inhabitants of which were all sober, and whose air inspired frugality), but even that all their hours, and almost every action, should be under the regulation of the laws.
In the morning at daybreak, when the head is clearest, and the thoughts most unperplexed, they read the several letters they received'; to form a more just and distinct idea of the affairs which were to come under their consideration that day.
As soon as they were dressed, they went to the daily sacrifice performed in the temple ; where, surrounded with their whole court, and the victims placed before the altar, they assisted at the prayer pronounced aloud by the highpriest, in which he asked of the gods health, and all other blessings, for the king, because he
governed his people with clemency and justice, and made the laws of his kingdom the rule and standard of his actions. The highpriest entered into a long detail of his virtues; observing that he was religious to the gods, affable to men, moderate, just, magnani. mous, sincere; an enemy to falsehood ; liberal ; master of his passions; punishing crimes with the utmost lenity, but boundless in rewarding merit. He next spoke of the faults which kings might be guilty of ; but supposed, at the same time, that they never com
itted any, except by surprise or ignorance; and loaded with imprecations such of their ministers as gave them ill counsel, and suppressed or disguised the truth. Such were the methods of conveying instruction to their kings. It was thought that reproaches would only sour their tempers; and that the most effectual method to inspire them with virtue, would be to point out to them their duty, in praises conformable to the sense of the laws, and pronounced in a solemn manner before the gods. After the prayers and sacri. fice were ended, the counsels and actions of great men were read to the king out of the sacred books, in order that he might govern his dominions according to their maxims, and maintain the laws which had made his predecessors and their subjects so happy.
I have already observed, that the quantity as well as quality of both eatables and liquids were prescribed, by the laws, to the king : his table was covered with nothing but the most common meats ; because eating in Egypt was designed, not to tickle the palate, but to satisfy the cravings of nature. One would have concluded, observes the historian, that these rules had