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continually turning a wheel with a rope, to which are fastened buckets. The water thus drawn from the first and lowermost well, is conveyed by a little canal, into a reservoir, which forms the second well; from whence it is drawn to the top in the same manner, and then conveyed by pipes to all parts of the Castle. As this well is supposed by the inhabitants of the country, to be of great antiquity, and has indeed much of the antique way of the Egyptians, I thought it might deserve a place among the curiosities of ancient Egypt.

STRABO speaks of such an engine, which, by Lib. 17 wheels and pullies, threw up the water of the Nile p. 8079 to the top of a vast high hill; with this difference, that, instead of oxen, an hundred and fifty Naves were employed to turn these wheels..

This part of Egypt we are treating of, is famous for several rarities, each of which deserves a particular examination. I shall relate only the principal, fuch as the obelisks, the pyramids, the labyrinth, the lake of Mæris and the Nile.

Sect. I. The OBELIS KS. TGYPT seemed to place its chief glory in railL ing monuments for posterity. Its obelisks form at this day, on account of their beauty as well as height, the principal ornament of Rome; and the Roman power, despairing to equal the Egyptians, thought it honour enough to borrow the monuments. of their kings.

An obelisk is a quadrangular, taper, high spire or pyramid, raised perpendicularly and terminating in a point, to serve as an ornament to some open {quare ; and is very often filled with inscriptions or hieroglyphicks, that is, with mystical characters or fyabols, used by the Egyptians to conceal and difgli (e their sacred things, and the mysteries of their tology. .

B 3


iod. l. 1. SESOS TRIS. erected in the city of Helio - 27 two obelisks of an extreme hard stone, brought from

the quarries of Syene, at the extremity of Egypt. They were each one hundred and twenty cubits high,

that is, thirty fathoms, or one hundred and eighty doch foot* The emperor Augustus, having made Egypt

. a province of the empire, caused these two obelisks to

be transported to Rome, one whereof was afterwards lin. 1. 36. broke to pieces. He durst not venture upon a -8, and 9. third, which was of a monstrous size. It was made

in the reign of Ramises : ?Tis said, that twenty thoufand men were employed in the cutting of it. Con{tantius, more daring than Augustus, ordered it to be removed to Rome. Two of these obelisks are still seen, as well as another of an hundred cubits or twenty

five fathoms high, and eight cubits or two fathoms 9 in dianieter. Caius Cæsar had brought it from Egypt

in a ship of so odd a form, that, according to Pliny,
the like had never been seen. .,
** Every part of Egypt abounded with this kind of
obelisks; they were for the most part cut in the quar-
ries of Upper Egypt, where some are now to be seen
half finished. But the most wonderful circumstance is,
that the ancient Egyptians should have had the art
and contrivance to dig even in the very quarry a ca-
nal, through which the water of the Nile ran in the
time of its inundation ; from whence they afterwards
raised up the volums, obelisks, and statues on rafts +
proportioned to their weight, in order to convey
them into Lower Egypt. And as the country abound-
ed every where with canals, there were few places to
which those huge bodies might not be carried with
ease ; although their weight would have broke every
other kind of engine. iio . .

in It must be obferosed, once for all, that an Egyptian cubit, according to Mr. Greaves, was ľ foot 9 inches and about of our


t Rafts are pieces of flat tir ber put together, to carry'g on rivers.


Sect. II. The PYRAMID S.

PYRAMID is a solid or hollow body, having Herod. 1. o a large, and generally a square base, and ter-C 124, & minating in a point. io

Diod. 1.

p.39-4 THERE were three pyramids in Egypt more fa- Bing lint mous than the rest, one whereof * desery'd to be 36. C. 1: rank'd among the seven wonders of the world ; they did not stand very far from the city of Memphis. I shall take notice here only of the largest of the three. This pyramid, like the rest, was built on a rock, having a square base, cut on the outside as so many steps, and decreasing gradually quite to the summit. It was built with stones of a prodigious size, the least of which were thirty foot, wrought with wonderful art, and covered with hieroglyphicks. ACcording to several ancient authors, each side was eight hundred feet broad, and as many high. The fummit of the pyramid, which to those who viewed it from below, seemed a point, was a fine platform composed of ten or twelve massy stones, and each side of that platform sixteen or eighteen fast long.

M. des Chazelles of the academy of Sciences, who went purposely on the spot in 1693, gives us the following dimensions :

The side of the square base 110 fathoms,

The fronts are equilateral trian· ·gles, and therefore the super-S 12100 iquare

fices of the base is S t athoms. The perpendicular height 1771 fathoms.

The folid contents *313590 cubical fathoms. An hundred thousand men were constantly employed about this work, and were relieved every three months by the same number. Ten complete Years were spent in hewing out the stones, either in Arabia or Ethiopia, and in conveying them to

The per contents na men were

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Egypt; and twenty years more in building this im. mense edifice, the inside of which contained numberless rooms and apartments. There was expressed on the pyramid, in Egyptian characters, the sums it cost only in garlick, leeks, onions and the like for the workmen, and the whole amounted to sixteen hundred talents of silver, that is, four millions five hundred thousand French livres ; from whence it was easy to conjecture, what a vast sum the whole must have amounted to

Such were the famous Egyptian pyramids, which by their figure, as well as size, have triumphed over the injuries of time and the Barbarians. But what efforts foever men may make, their weakness will always be apparent, Thefe pyramids were tombs ; and there is seen at this day, in the middle of the largest, an empty fepulchre, cut out of one entire

stone, about three foot deep and broad, and a little ... above fix feet long *. Thus all this bustle, all this ex.

pence, and all the labours of so many thousand men ended in procuring a prince, in this yaft and almost boundless pile of building, a little vault fix foot in length. Besides, the kings who built these pyramids, had it not in their power to be buried in them ; and To did not enjoy the fepulchre they had built. The publick hatred which they incurred, by reason of their unheard-of cruelties to their subjects, in laying such heavy tasks upon them, occasioned their being interred in fome obscure place, to prevent their bo

dies from being exposed to the fury and vengeance of

· the populace. Eod. 1. 1. This last circumstance which historians have taken 40. particular notice of, teaches us what judgment we

ought to pafs on these, edifices, so much boasted of by the ancients. It is but just to remark and esteem the noble genius which the Egyptians had for architecture; a genius that prompted them from the

and all the loi Thus all this head; and a lits

Strabo nientions the fepulcbre, Lib. 17, p. 808.

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