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Euttle and equable increase of the earth from the sediment of The strongest argument which the advocates for the Égype.
the waters is iinpossible. 7. Our author made a great increase of land of Egypt can make use of is, that
131 parts of Aby sania, and before it enters Sennaar, the troduced by the Saracens. On this Mr Bruce very Opini'ns of sediment is composed of fat earth and sand, and its juilly observes, that such an expedient could nut various auquantity is exceedingly small. At the junction of the have answered any good purpose ; as no decrease of thors con
the Nile and Aftaboras the quantity of sediment is very the measure could have augmented the quantity of Cebu
rife of the little augmented; consisting still of the fame materials
, corn produced by the ground. M. Savary observes, Vie in anbut now mostly sand. At Syene the quantity of se- that, to render his calculation concerning the growth cient cines. diment was almost nine times greater than before; but of land in Egypt absolutely exact, it would be newas now composed alıncît entirely of sand, with a very cessary to determine the precise length of the Greek, small quantity of black earth. The conclution of our Roman, and Arabian cubit; and even to know the author's experiments, however, is different from what different alterations which that measure had underwe should have been led to expect from these just men- gone among these people: But this nicety he thinks 'tioned. “The experiment at Rosetta (says he) was needless; looking upon the general fact to be fully eltanot so often repeated as the others : but the result was, blished by what he had said
before. Mi Bruce, how. that in the strength of the inundation the sediment ever, has treated the subject with much greater accura. confifted mostly of sand ; and, towards the end, was
He observes, that from the situation of Canopus, much the greater part earth. I think these experiments the distance betwixt Egypt and Cyprus, and the exconclusive, as neither the Nile coming fresh from A- tension of the land to the northward, it appears that no byssinia, nor the Atbara, though joined by the Mareb, addition of any consequence has been made to it for likewise from the same country, broughít any great 3000 years patt. The only argument left for the in. quantity of soil from thence.”
crease of land therefore must be taken from the nilo. 8. Our author goes on to observe, that had the Nile meter. The use of this instrument was to determine brought down the quantities of mud which it has been the quantity of inundation, that so it might be known faid to do, it ought to have been most charged with it whether the crop would be sufficient to enable the at Syene ; as there it contained the whole that was to people to pay the taxes exacted of them by the sovereign be conveyed by it into Egypt Instead of this, how.
The first step was to know what space of ever, the principal part of the sediment at this place ground was overflowed in a given number of years ; was sand; and this is very naturally accounted for from and this being determined by mensuration, the next the vast quantities of sand taken up by the winds in thing was to ascertain the produce of the ground upthe deserts between Gooz and Syene. Here our tra- on an average. Thus becoming acquainted with the veller frequently saw valt pillars of this kind of sand, greatest and lealt crops produced, together with the which is so fine and light as to form an impalpable exact extent of ground overflowed, they were furnishpowder, traversing the desert in various directions. ed with all the necessary principles for constructing á Many of these were driven upon the river ; and when nilometer; and nothing now remained but to erect à it became calm in the evening, fell down into it en. pillar in a proper place, and divide it exactly into cutirely; thus affording materials for the many fandy bits. This was accordingly done; the pillar was first ifands to be met with in the Nile.
divided into cubits and these again were subdivided into 9. Mr Bruce adopts the opinion of those who sup- digits. The first division of this kind was undoubtedly pofe that there has been a continual decrease of water that mentioned in scripture, and called the cubit of a fince the creation of the world. In this case, there. man; being the length of the arm from the middle of fore, if the land of Egypt had been continually increa- the round bone in the elbow to the point of the middle sing in height while the water that was to cover it de. finger; a measure still in use among all rude nations. creased ; there must have been frequent famines en ac. As no ftandard could be found by which this measure count of the want of a sufficient inundation. But so might be exactly determined, authors have differed very far is this from being the case, that, according to the much concerning the true length of the cubit whea testimony of several Arabian MSS. there had not, reduced to our feet and inches. Dr Arbuthnot rece when Mr Bruce was in Egypt, been one scarce season kons two cubits mentioned in scripture ; one of them from the lowness of the inundation for 34 years; tho' containing one foot nine inches and 15of an inch ; during the same space they had three times experienced the other one foot and city of a foot; but Mr Bruce a famine by too great an abundance of water, which is of opinion that both of these are too large. He carried away the millet.
found, by menfuration, the Egyptian cubit to be ex10. If there had been such an increase of land as actly one foot five inches and three-fifths of an inch ; Herodotus and others suppose, it must now have been and Herodotus mentions, that in his time the cubit used very perceptible in some of the most ancient public for determining the increase of the Nile was the Samian monuments. This, however, is by no means the case. cubit, about 18 of our inches. The latter also informs The base of every obelisk in Upper Egypt is to this us, that in the time of Moeris, the minimum of increase day quite bare and visible. Near Thebes there are still was 8 cubits, at which time all Egypt below the city extant two Colossal ftatues, plainly designed for nilo. of Memphis was overflowed; but that in his time 16 meters, and which ought by this time to have been or at least 15 cubits were necessary to produce the almost covered with earth; but notwithstanding the same effect. But to this account Mr Bruce objects, length of time these have remained there, they are still that Herodotus could have no certain information conbare to the very base.
cerning the nilometer, because he himself says that the
3 D 2
134 M. Saya
Egypt. priests, who alone had access to it, would tell him no. thor, is the proclamation understood at this day. From Egyp.
thing of the matter. Herodotus alfo informs 118, that his own observations, however, Mr Bruce concludes,
time of Justinian, informs us, that 18 cubits were then is ascertained by terodotus, and is the precise diltance 132 requisite for a minimum.
between Pharos and the Nile, allowing, with M. d'An-
er quantity of water will answer the purpose of produ. half a league from the days of Alexander, should have
a degree, gives one degree and near 20 minutes and an Norin On the conqueft of Egypt by the Saracens, their half. But from the astronomical observations of M. Nie.. more mo. barbarous and ftupid khalif destroyed the pilometer, cau. buhr, who travelled for the king of Denmark in 1761, dern times. fing another to be built in its stead, and afterwards fix. the difference of latitude between Heliopolis, now called
ed the standard of paying tribute confiderably below Matarea, and the fea, being one degree 29 minutes at
tiic lace of
Egypt. to say any thing certain with regard to the nature of Manfalout for the space of more than 25 leagues, ae- Egypt.
the soil or mineral productions. These arise from the cording to the testimony of Father Sicard.
Mr Bruce, however, gives us a much more particular Me Bluce's.
than fix feet in diameter, and about ten in height. Volney's According to this author, the entrance into Egypt The mountains were the most dreary and barren that account of at Rosetta presents a most delightful prospect, by the can be imagined; and the heat of the fun so great,
perpetual verdure of the palm-trees on each side, the that two sticks rubbed together only for half a minute the coun
orchards watered by the river, with orange, lemon, would take fire and flame. In these burning regions
he observed that .
andria, and half a dozen such cities.” It appeared to :-
Fogpt. tard their velocity than any force to pull them for. in the form of small logs cut flanting at the ends, and Egypt.
ward. Concerning the mountains in general, le ob. might easily be taken for petrifactions, though he
F. Sicard mentions two lakes, from the water of Salt Lakes
139 gloss. An unvariegated marble of a green colour is which is produced annually a great quantity of salt generally met with in the same mountain ; and where containing much mineral alkali; and M. Volney in. the two meet, the marble becomes soft for a few inches, forms us, that the whole soil of this country is impreg. but the porphyry retains its hardness. The granite nated with salt; so that, upon digging to some depth has a dirty brown appearance, being covered with fand; in the ground, we always meet with brackish water but on removing this, it appears of a grey colour with impregnated in some degree with the mineral alkali as black spots, with a reddish cast all over it.
well as with common salt. The two lakes mentioned nite mountains lie nearer to the Red Sea, and seem to by Sicard are situated in the desert to the west of the have afforded the materials for Pompey's pillar. The Delta; and are three or four leagues in length, and redness above mentioned seems to go off on exposure about a quarter of a league in breadth, with a solid to the air ; but reappears on working or polishing the and stony bottom. For nine months in the year they stone farther. The red marble is next to the granite, are without water; but in the winter time there oozes though not met with in the same mountain. There out of the earth a reddish violet-coloured water, which is also a red kind with white veins, and valt quantities fills the lakes to the height of five or fix feet. This of the common green serpentine. Some samples of being evaporated by the return of the heat, there re that beautiful marble named Isabella were likewise ob- mains a bed of fast two feet thick and very hard served ; one of them of that yellowish cast called qua- which is broken in pieces with iron bars; and no lesso ker-colour, the other of the bluish kind named dove than 30,000 quintals are procured every year from colour. The most valuable kind is that named verde these lakes. So great is the propensity of the Egypantico, which is found next to the Nile in the moun. tian soil to produce salt, that even when the gardens tains of serpentine. It is covered by a kind of blue are overflowed for the sake of watering them, the surfleaky stone, somewhat lighter than a llate, more beau- face of the ground, after the evaporation and absorptiful than most kinds of marble, and when polished tion of the water, appears glazed over with salt. The having the appearance of a volcanic lava. In these water found in the welis contains mineral alkali, maquarries the verde antico had been uncovered in patches rine salt, and a little nitre. M. Vi Iney is of opinion,
Vegetable cf about 20 feet square. There were small pieces of that the fertile mould of Egypt, which is of a black,
muld of African marble scattered about in several places, but colour, differs esentially from that of the other parts; Exype noc no rocks or mountains of it; so that our author con- and is derived from the internal parts of Ethiopia along originally
derived jectures it to lie in the heart of fome other kind. The with the waters of the Nile. This seems to contradict
from whole is situated on a ridge with a descent to the east what he had before advanced against M. Savary co
con• Ethiopia. and weft; by which means it might easily be conveyed cerning the increase of the land of Egypt by means of either to the Nile or Red Sea, while the hard gravel the waters of this river: but there is no reason at all and level ground would readily allow the heaviest car- to suppofe this kind of earth to be of a foreign origin; riages to be moved with very little force.
it being always the result of vegetation and cultivation. Travellers have talked of an emerald mine in these Even the most barren and sandy spots in the world, if . of any po deserts ; but from the researches of Mr Bruce, it does properly watered, and fuch vegetables planted in them
indeed, in the latitude of 25° 3', at a small distance this black earth as well as others : and of this kind of
perceived. This subitance, however, he conjectures pears particularly are of such eleem at Cairo, that Stones of a
to have been the smaragdus of the Romans. In the there is a present of them sent every year to the bacurious a, .
mountains of Cofleir, as well as in some places of the shaw and persons of the first quality. Neither are peara.ce. deserts of Nubia, our author found some rocks exactly their grapes inferior in size and favour to any whal. resembling petrified wood.
soever: it being fully demonstrated, by what this little
F.gype. cypt is not diminished in modern times, provided the has one of there canals. In those parts of the coun- Egypt.
same pains were taken in the cultivation of it as for. try where the inundation does not reach, and where
merly ; but this is not to be expected from the pre- more water is required than it can furnish, as for waNatural fertility of
fent degenerate race of inhabitants. “ The Delta tering of gardens, they must have recourse to artiñcial Egypt not (lays Mr Savary) is at present in the most favourable means for railing it from the river. In former times dimitished. Ttate for agriculture. Washed on the east and west they made use of Archimedes's fere w* ; but that is now • see Hyu
by two rivers formed by the division of the Nile, cach disused, and in place of it they have chosen the Persian droflatics. of which is as large and more deep than the Loire, in- wheel. This is a large wheel turned by oxen, having tersected by innumerable rivulets; it presents to the eye a rope hung with several buckets which fill as it
goes an immense garden, all the different compartments of round, and empty themselves into a cistern at the top. which may be easily watered. During the three months Where the banks of the river are high, they frequentthat the Thebais is under water, the Delta possesses ly make a bason in the side of them, near which they fields covered with rice, barley, vegetables, and winter tix an upright pole, and another with an axle across fruits. It is also the only part of Egypt where the the top of that, at one end of which they hang a great fame field produces two crops of grain within the stone, and at the other a leathern bucket ; this bucket year, the one of rice, the oher of barley."
being drawn down into the river by two men, is raised
through the flat country, and its waters are very the sea. When any of their gardens or plantations
substance, render the contained fluid very cool even in tween Geeza and Cairo, on the point of an island * See Eva- the greatest heats*. The river continues muddy for six named Rhoda, about the middle of the river, but paretion. months; and during the three which immediately pre. somewhat nearer to Geeza. It is a round tower with
cede the inundation, the stream being reduced to an an apartment, in the middle of which is a cistern neatly
divided into 24 parts call digits; the whole height of of the
This river, swelled by the rains which fall in Abyf- the pillar being 36 feet 8 inches. inundation finia, begins to rise in Egypt about the month of May;
When the river has attained its proper height, all of the ca
145 of the Nile. but the increase is inconsiderable till towards the end the canals are opened, and the whole country laid un-nals by
of June, when it is proclaimed by a public crier thro' der water. During the time of the inundation a cer- which the the itreets of Cairo. About this time it has usually tain vortical motion of the waters takes place ; but water is risen five or fix cubits; and when it has risen to 16, notwithstanding this, the Nile is so easily managed, &c.
c. great rejoicings are made, and the people cry out l'af- that many fields lower than the surface of its waters fah Allah, that is, that God has given them abundance. are preserved from injury merely by a dam of moisten- . This commonly takes place about the latter end of ed earth not more than eight or ten inches in thickness. July, or at fartheft before the 20th of Auguit; and This method is made use of particularly in the Delta ihe sooner it takes place, so much the greater are the when it is threatened with a flood. hopes of a good crop. Sometimes, though rarely, As the Nile does not always rise to an height fulfi. the necessary increase does not take place till later. cient for the purposes of agriculture, the former soveIn the year 1705, it did not swell to 16 cubits till reigns of Egypt were at valt pains to cut proper ca. the 19th of September; the consequence of which nals in order to supply the deficiency. Some of these was, that the country was depopulated by famine and are still preserved; but great numbers are rendered peftilence.
useless through the indolence or barbarity of their fucWe may easily imagine that the Nile cannot over. ceffors. Those which convey the water to Cairo, into the How the whole country of itself in such a manner as to province of Fayoom, and to Alexandria, are beft taken yender it fertile ; for which reason there are innumer- care of by government. The laft is watched by an able canals cut from it across the country, as has al- officer appointed for that purpose, whose office it is to ready been observed, by which the water is conveyed hinder the Arabs of Bachria, who receive this superto distant places, and almost every town or village fluous water, from turning it off before Alexandria be