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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
number of trials of the water of the Nile during the the measures by which the quantity of inundation
time of its inundation in different places. At Baf. is determined are smaller now than in former times ;
boch, when just coming down from the cultivated and these finall measures are said to have been in.

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

priests,

134 M. Saya

Phares re

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,
in the time of Moeris, great lakes were dug to carry that 15 cubits are now the minimum of inundation,
off the waters of the inundation; and this luperfluous and as this coincides with the accounts of it in the
quantity Mr Bruce supposes to have been conveyed in- times of Herodotus and Adrian, he supposes with
to the desert for the use of the Arabs, and that by great probability, that the fame quantity of water has
such a vart drain the rise of the water on the nilometer been necessary to overflow this country from the earliest
would undoubtedly be diminished. But even granting accounts to the present time.
that there was such a difference between the rise of It now remains only to take notice of what is said
the water in the time of Moeris and in that of Hero- by M. Savary concerning the former distance of the ry's opinion
dotus, it does not appear that any thing like it has illand of Pharos from the land to which it is now join-concerning
appeared ever since. Strabo, who travelled into Egypt ed... With regard to his other assertions concerning the eine of
40 years after the time of Herodotus, found that city of Metelis having been once a fea-port, M. Volney pued hydi.
eight cubits were then the minimum, as well as in proves that he has quoted Strabo unfairly, and confe. Volley.
the time of Moeris. From fome passages in Strabo, quently no ttress is to be laid upon them. The prin-
however, it appears that it required a particular exer- cipal, indeed the only, evidence therefore which remains,
zion of induitry to cause this quantity of water proo is the passage aiready quoted from Fiomer, viz. that
duce a plentiful crop; but there is not the leaft reason " the island of Pharos is as far distant froin one of the
to suppose, that the very fame industry was not ne. mouths of the Nile as a vessel can fail in one day before
cessary in the time of Moeris ; so that still there is the wind.” “ But (lays M. Volney) when Homer
not any increase of land indicated by the nilometer. speaks of the distance of this island, he does not mean
About 100 years afterwards, when the einperor Adrian its distance from the shore opposite, as that traveller
visited Egypt, we are informed from unquestionable (M. Savary) has tranfated him, but from the land of
authority, that 16 cubits were the minimum when the Egypt and the river Nile. !n the second place, by a
people were able to pay their tribute; and in the fourth day's fail we must not underitand that indefinite space
century, under the emperor Julian, 15 cubits were the which the vessels, or rather the boa!s, of the ancient
standard; both which accounts correspond with that Greeks, could pass through in a day; but an accurate
of Herodotus. Lastly, Procopius, who lived in the and determined measure of 540 ftadia. This measure

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-
No increase From these accounts, so various and discordant, it is ville, 27,000 toises to 540 ftadia. It is therefore far
of land in obvious that no certain conclusion can be drawn. It from being proved, that the increase of the Delta or of
these
carrearon is not indeed easy to determine the reason of this dif- the continent was so rapid as has been represented;
ably be fup- ference in point of fact. The only conjecture we can and, if we were disposed to maintain it, we should till
posed; offer is, that as it appears that by proper care a small. have to explain how this shore, which has not gained

er quantity of water will answer the purpose of produ. half a league from the days of Alexander, should have
cing a plentiful crop, so it is not unreasonable to sup. gained eleven in the far shorter period from the time
pole that at different periods the industry of the people of Menelaus to that conqueror. The utmost extent of
has varied so much as to occasion the disagreement in the encroachment of this land upon the sea, however,
question. This would undoubtedly depend very much may be learned from the words of Herodotus; who in-
upon their governor; and indeed Strabo informs us forms us, that “the breadth of Egypt, along the fea-
that it was by the care of the governor Petronius, that coast, from the gulph of Plinthine to the lake Serbonis
such a sinall quantity of water was made to answer the near mount Cafius, is 3600 ftadia; and its length from
purpose. The conclufion drawn by Mr Bruce from the sea to Heliopolis 1500 ftadia.” Allowing there.
the whole of the accounts above related, is, that from fore the stadium of Herodotus to be between 50 and
them it is most probable that no increase of land has 51 French toises, the 1500 ftadia juft mentioned are
been indicated by the nilometer from the time of Moe- equal to 76,000 toises; which, at the rate of 57,000 to
ris to that of Justinian.

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
what it had usually beer.. The Egyptians were thus Damietta, and one degree 14 minutes at Rosetta, there
kept in continual terror, and constantly watched the is a difference on one lide of three minutes and an half,
new nilometer to observe the gradual increase or de- or a league and an half encroachment; and eight minutes.
crease of the water. On this he ordered the new and an half, or three leagues and an half on the other."
pilometer to be destroyed, and another to be con- Thus the dispute concerning the augmentation of the
structed, and all access to it to be denied to the people. land of Egypt by the Nile seems to be absolutely decided;
Which prohibition is still continued to Christians ; and the encroachments of it on the sea so trifling, that we
though our author found means to get over this obstacle,, may juftly doubt whether they exist, or whether we are.
and has given a figure of the inftrument itself. That the not entirely to attribute the apparent differences to those
people might not, however, be supposed to remainin total which certainly take place betwixt the ancient and mo-
ignorance of their fituation, he commanded a proclama- dern menfuration. M. Volney gives a very particular
tion to be daily made concerning the height of the description of the face of the country; but takes notice
water, but in such an unintelligible manner that no- of the inconveniences under which travellers labour in.
body was made any wiser, nor, according to our au- this country, by which it is rendered extremely difficult

to

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account of

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135

tiic lace of

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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.
barbarity and fuperitition of the people, who imagine

Mr Bruce, however, gives us a much more particular Me Bluce's.
all the Europeans to be magicians and sorcerers, who account of the sources from whence were derived the
come by their magic art to discover the treasures which vast quantities of marble met with in the remains of the deserts,.
the genii have concealed under the ruins. So deep ancient buildings in this country. These he discovered marble,
rooted is this opinion, that no person dares walk alone during his journey from Kenne to Coffeir on the Red mountainsy,
in the fields, nor can he find any one willing to accom: Sea, before he took his expedition to Abyssinia. He
pany him ; by which means he is contined to the gives a most dismal idea of the deserts through which he
banks of the river, and it is only by comparing the ac. passed. What houses he met with were constructed,
counts of various travelers that any satisfactory know. like those M. Volney mentions, of clay, being no more
ledge can be acquired.

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
and other fruit-trees, which grow there in valt abun- no living creature was to be met with, even the poiso- .
dance; and the faine beautiful appearance is continued nous ferpents and scorpions not being able to find sub-
all the way to Cairo. As we proceed farther up the listence. The first animal he saw was a species of
river, he says, that nothing can more resemble the ap- ants in a plain called Hamra from the purple colour of
pearance of the country than the marshes of the lower its fand; and it was remarkable that these insects were
Loire, or the plains of Flanders: inftead, however, of of the same colour with the sand itself. No water was
the numerous trees and country-houses of the latter, any where to be met with on the surface; though at
we must imagine some thin woods of palms and syca- a place called Legeta there were some draw-wells, the
mores, with a few villages of mud-walled cottages, water of which was more bitter than foot itself. At
built on artificial mounds. All this part of Egypt is Hamra the porphyry mountains and quarries begin,
very low and flat, the declivity of the river being so the stone of which is at firit soft and brittle ; but the
genike, that its waters do not flow at a great rate quantity is immense, as a whole day was taken up in :
than one league in an hour. Throughout the coun- passing by them. These porphyry mountains begin in
try nothing is to be seen but palm-trees, fingle or in the latitude of nearly 24 degrees, and continue along
clumps, which become more rare in proportion as you the coast of the Red Sea to about 22° 30', when they ·
advance; with wretched villages composed of huts are fucceeded by the marble mountains; these again
with mud-walls, and a boundless plain, which at dif- by others of alabatter, and these lait by basaltic
ferent seasons is an ocean of fresh water, a miry morass, mountains. From the marble mountains our author
verdant field, or a dusty desert ; and on every side an selected twelve kinds, of different colours, which he
extenfive and foggy horizon, where the eye is wearied brought along with him. Some of the mountains ap-
and disgusted. At length, towards the junction of the peared to be composed entirely of red and others of
two branches of the river, the mountains of Cairo are green marble, and by their different colours afforded
discovered on the east ; to the south-west three an extraordinary spectacle. Not far from the porphyry
detached masses appear, which from their triangular mountains the cold was so great, that his camels died:
form are known to be the pyramids. We now. enter on his return from Abyflinia, though the thermome-
a valley which turns to the southward, between two ter stood no lower than 42°.
chains of parallel eminences. That to the east, which Near to Cosseir he discovered the quarries whence :
extends to the Red Sea, merits the name of a moun- the ancients obtained those immense quantities of mar--
tain from its steepness and height, as well as that of a ble with which they constructed fo many wonderful :
desert from its naked and savage appearance. Its name works. The first place where the marks of their ope-
in the Arabic language is Mokattam, or the hewn- rations were very perceptible, was a mountain much :
mountain. The western is nothing but a ridge of rock higher than any they had yet passed, and where the
covered with fand, which has been very properly term- stone was so hard that it did not even yield to the
ed a natural mound or causeway. In short, that the blows of a hammer. In this

quarry

he observed that .
reader may at once form an idea of this country, let some ducts or channels.for conveying water termina-
him imagine on one side a narrow sea and rocks; on ted; which, according to him, shows that water was
the other, immense plains of sand; and in the middle, one of the means by wbich these hard stones were cut.
a river, flowing through a valley of 150 leagues in. In four days, during which our author travelled among
length and from three to seven wide, which at the di- these mountains, he says, that he had “ passed more
ftance of 30 leagues from the sea separates into two granite, porphyry, marble, and jasper, than would build
arms; the branches of which wander over a soil almost. Rome, Athens, Corinth, Syracuse, Memphis, Alex-
free from obstacles, and void of declivity:

andria, and half a dozen such cities.” It appeared to :-
From comparing his own observations with those of him that the passages between the mountains and
other travellers, our author concludes, that the basis of which he calls defiles, were not natural but artificial
all Egypt from Ajoulan (the ancient Syene) to the Me. openings ; where even whole mountains had been cut
diterranean, is a continued bed of calcareous stone of out, in order to preserve a gentle slope towards the
whitish hue, and somewhat soft, containing the same river. This descent our author supposes not to be
kind of shells met with in the adjacent seas, and which above one foot in 50; so that the carriages must have :
forms the immense quarries extending from Saouadi to gone very easily, and rather required fomething to re-

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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
ferves, that the porphyry is very beautiful to the eye, is convinced that they are real minerals.
and is discovered by a fine purple sand without any

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

eme.
rald pine. not appear to have any existence. In the Red Sea as would grow there, in time would be covered with

indeed, in the latitude of 25° 3', at a small distance this black earth as well as others : and of this kind of
from the south-weltern coast, there is an island called artificial formation of soil travellers give us a remark.
the Mountain of Emeralds; but none of these precious able initance in the garden of the monks at Mount
stones are to be met with there. Here, as well as on Smai, where the country is naturally as barren as in
the continent, there were found many pieces of a green any place of the world. “ The monks of Sinai (says
pellucid substance; but veined, and much fofter than Dr Shaw), in a long process of time, have covered
rock-crystal, theugh somewhat harder than glass. A over with dung and the sweepings of their convent
few yards up the mountain he found three pits, which near four acres of naked rocks; which produce as
are supposed to have been the mines whence the an- good cabbage, roots, sallad, and all kinds of pot-herbs,
cients obtained the emeralds ; but though many pieces as any soil and climate what forver. They have like-
of the green substance above mentioned were met with wise raised olive, plum, almond, apple, and pear trees,
about these pits, no figns of the true emerald could be not only in great numbers, but of excellent kinds. The

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
The only metal said by the ancients to be produced garden produces, how far an indefatigable industry
in Egypt is copper. On the road to Suez are found can prevail over nature ; and that several places are ca-
great numbers of those stones called Egyptian fints and pable of culture and improvement which were intend-
pebbles, though the bottom is a hard, calcareous, and ed by nature to be barren, and which the lazy and sloth-
fonorous stone. Here also M. Volney tells us, that ful have always suffered to be fo.”
the stones above mentioned, and which resemble petri. From this general account of the country, we may
fied wood, are to be met with. These, he fays, are reafonably conclude, that the patural fertility of E-

gypt

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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
Method of The only cause of all this fertility is the Nile, with. by the descent of the tone, and emptied into a cistern
purifying out which the whole country would foon become an placed at a proper height. This kind of machine is.
and cooling uninhabitable defert, as rain falls very feldom in this used chiefly in the upper parts of the country, where
the water
in Egypt. part of that world. It Aows with a very gentle stream the railing of water is more difficult than in places near

through the flat country, and its waters are very the sea. When any of their gardens or plantations
muddy, so that they must have time to settle, or even want water, it is conveyed from the cisterns into little
require filtration before they can be drunk. For pu. trenches, and from thence conducted all round the beds
rifying the water, the Egyptians, according to M. in various rills, which the gardener easily stops by
Volney, use bitter alinonds, with which they rub the raifing the mould againft them with his foot, and di-
vessel containing it, and then the water becomes light verts the current another way as he sees occasion.
and good ; but on what principle this ingredient acts, The rise of the inundation is measured, as has

Nilometer
we cannot pretend to determine. Unglazed earthen already been observed, by an instrument adapted for described.
vessels filled with water are kept in every apartment; the purpose, and called mikras, which we translate
which by a continual evaporation through their porous nilometer. Mr Bruce informs us, that this is placed be-

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
inconsiderable depth, becomes heated, green, fetid, and lined with marble. The bottom of this ciitern reachés
full of worms. The Egyptians in former times paid to that of the river, and there is a large opening by
divine honours to the Nile, and still hold it in great vene. which the water has free access to the inside. The
ration. They believe its waters to be very nourishing, rife of the water is indicated by an octagonal column
and that they are superior to any in the world ; an of blue and white marble, on which are marked 20
opinion very excusable in them, as they have no other, peeks or cubits of 22 inches each. The tuo lower moit
and large draughts of cold water are among their high. of these have no subdivisions; but each of the rrit is
eft luxuries.

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

pram

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