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as a proof of the modernness of the column. With due deference to these learned authors, I do not think that this is a sufficient proof against its antiquity; for it appears that, in 1610, the whole mass was supported or balanced upon the centre square stone, and not surrounded by those hieroglyphic tablets.
“Without the walls,” says Sandys, on the south-west side of the city, on a little hill, stands a column of the same, (i.e. Cleopatra's Needle,) all of one stone, sixty-eight palms high, and thirty-six in compass-set upon a square cube, (and, which is to be wondered at,) not half so large as the foot of the pillar, called by the Arabians, Hemadesleor, which is the column of the Arabians.”
From time to time, this surrounding masonry has been removed in search of treasure. It was restored after the date of Sandys' visit. It was in a dilapidated state when Pococke first saw it.
“When I returned a second time to Alexandria, this part was repaired in such a manner, that the lower is made a seat for the people to sit on; and so it is (i. e. the central supporting stone,) no more to be seen in its 'ancient state.'”
At the date of the British expedition to Egypt, it was again in a ruined state, and has been twice renewed since; so that the stones forming the support of the basement can offer no decided proof as to what date this monument, called Pompey's Pillar, was erected.
He then says,
L.- Page 268.
THE BINNY OF BRUCE.
Among the many inaccuracies attributed to the celebrated and ill-treated Abyssinian traveller, I find the following note in the 10th Volume of Griffith's translation of Cuvier's Animal Kingdom, page 378:-"Bruce, after giving the history of the true Binny, refers to it, by mistake, the figure and description of a Polynemus, which he had designed in the Red Sea, from which has originated the imaginary species of the Polyn. Niloticus.” In answer to this statement, I can say, that I saw several
specimens of the fish he has figured, in my voyage up the Nile, that corresponded to the plate given in Bruce's Travels.
ON THE MEMBRANE OF THE CAMEL'S MOUTH. The peculiarity that this beast possesses of protruding a large inflated bladder-like substance from his mouth, when irritated, or over driven, as I mentioned in the text, is very remarkable, and has but very lately been satisfactorily accounted for. In the “Nuovo Giornale de Litterati,” No. XIV., Dr. Paolo Savi, Professor of Natural History in the University of Pisa, published a most interesting memoir on this subject. His observations were made upon some of the animals of the Camelus Dromedarius, belonging to the celebrated breed of San Rossore, in that neighbourhood. He has discovered that this "guttural bladder" is nothing else than an extraordinary development of the uvula, which is usually fourteen, or fifteen inches in length, and attached not to the free margin of the soft palate, as in other mammalia, but to its anterior or adherent edge, and also to the arches of the palate; so that, hanging like a curtain in front of the velum pendulum palati, it appears to shut up the opening into the fauces. It is united to the posterior or free margin of the soft palate by a kind of frænaculum, divided longtitudinally into two portions. There is also a semilunar reduplication of mucous membrane, that can occasionally close the opening of the posterior nares; "this kind of partition is so placed as to cover the larynx by its inclination; and consequently, it forms with that part and the superior wall of the nasal canal, a cul de sac.” When the animal wishes to project the sac, it raises the soft palate, and with it, and the semilunar partition, closes the posterior nares, expiring at the same time with great force. The air not finding a ready egress by the mouth, owing to the isthmus faucium being closed by the enlarged and distended uvula, forces it forwards, and inflates it into the form of an elongated bladder, owing to its flaccid sides, &c. being attached to the palatine arches by means of the reduplication of membrane before mentioned. In this manner it is protruded from the side of the mouth, and retracted by the azygos muscle, and some of the fibres of the levatores palati mollis.See Jameson's Philos. Journal, Vol. XII. 1825.
My friend, Dr. Houston, informs me, that in the dissection of
the mouth and fauces of the camel now in the collection of the College of Surgeons, he was struck with the very great flaccidity of the folds of membrane lining the arches of the palate, uvula, and all the adjacent parts ; and that the sub-mucous cellular tissue beneath this was particularly lax, allowing the membrane to be drawn out to a great extent. From the appearance that the parts present, it seems to me to partake more of the nature of erectile tissues; and, in all probability, the whole lining membrane of the jaws, palate, and pharynx partake of this flaccid, and, under certain circumstances, and at particular seasons, erectile nature.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE TROCHILUS OF EGYPT.
That the ancient Egyptians paid particular attention to the habits of the lower animals, there can now be little doubt, and that this knowledge of natural history was turned to account in their mythology, there is every reason to believe. Among the many fabulous accounts related of the animals of Egypt, there is a curious story told by Herodotus and Pliny, about a little bird of the plover kind, the Charadrius Spinosus, of Latham, and called by those ancient writers, Trochilus.
Speaking of the crocodile, the former says, “Beasts and birds universally avoid it—the trochilus alone excepted—which, from a sense of gratitude, it treats with kindness. When the crocodile leaves the water, it reclines itself on the sand, and generally towards the west, with its mouth open ; the trochilus, entering its throat, destroys the leeches; in acknowledgment for which service, it never does the trochilus injury.”-Herod. Euterpe, LXVIII.
The recital of Pliny is still more extravagant. The following quaint translation of it may offer an apology for its insertion verbatim. “When he (the crocodile) hath filled his belly with fishes, he lieth to sleep upon the sands in the shore; and for that he is a great and greedy devourer, somewhat of the meat sticketh evermore between his teeth. In regard thereof, cometh the wren—a little bird, called there Trochilos, and the king of the birds in Italy—and shee, for her victual's sake, hoppeth first about his mouth; falleth to pecking or picking it with her little
neb or bill, and so, forward to the teeth, which she cleanseth; and all to make him gap. Then getteth shee within his mouth, which he openeth the wider, by reason that he taketh so great delight in this her scraping and scouring of his teeth and chaws.” -Pliny, B. VIII. chap. 25.
Should the crocodile by chance close his mouth, it is again related by other authorities, how the little picktooth expands its wings, which, being provided with spurs, prick the monster, to remind him of the confinement of his benefactor. This little bird is still very common in Egypt, and called by the natives, sicsac. Foolish as this legend may appear, there is some foundation for it; and although we cannot credit the polite understanding and friendly footing between these animals, yet, it is a very remarkable fact, that the great difficulty at present attending the shooting, or near approach to the reptile, is owing to the inva. riable presence of the sicsac. As soon as the crocodile comes ashore to sleep, it is sure to be attended by the plover, who remains near it, either seated on the same bank, or wheeling above it in the air; and hence, in all probability, its name of Trochilus, from the Greek word, Tpokoo. Its note is peculiarly wild and startling, particularly on the approach of man; and, by this means, giving warning to the sleeping monster. Its remaining in the vicinity of the crocodile, may be to procure food either from its exuvies or the great number of flies and other insects that haunt and annoy it, the moment it appears on land; and this apparent sympathy between them may have given rise to the tales of Herodotus and Pliny.
OFFERS another and still more striking example of the interest taken by the Egyptian priests in zoology. No animal formed a more important part, not only in the mysteries of their religion, but in their hieroglyphic and phonetic writings, than did this. There is scarcely a monument in that country on which it is not either carved or painted. Seals, rings, necklaces, and amulets, formed of amethyst, green stone, cornelian, agate, and numberless other
stones, were carved into the form of this insect, as well as porcelain and common blue pottery ware.
The animals that I have figured in the text, are a male and female Copris, one of the species of the Scarabeides, and which, I am inclined to believe is the insect represented more frequently upon the Egyptian paintings than the Scarabæus Sacer. The male Copris differs from the female by the prominences in the form of horns of the head and corslet in the former. The Scar. facer is somewhat smaller, and without these horns, and both it and the Ateuchus—another beetle of the Scarabeides, are very common in that country—much more so than the Copris. The best proof, however, that can be offered as to this latter insect being the true mythological or symbolic beetle of the ancients is, that an embalmed Scarabee was found at Thebes, which Latreille pronounced to be the Copris Sabæus of Fabricius.
To enumerate the various surmises and conflicting opinions that have been set forth, accounting for the worship of this animal, would form a volume in itself. Like most of the other animals, it had in all likelihood many mystical meanings, the interpretations of which are to us still a secret. The most generally received opinions are, that it was emblematic of the sun, and also of the great reproductive power of the universe. It holds a conspicuous place in the representation of the zodiac at Dendera, where it is supposed to mean the sign Cancer; or at least that the Greek sign of that creature was derived from it. Clemens Alexandrinus says—“The oblique course of the heavenly bodies is represented by a snake, but that of the sun by a scarabee; because, shaping a piece of dung into a circular form, he rolls it backwards, his face being turned in a contrary direction to his course.” Plutarch says—"the scarabee depositing his seed in a piece of dung made into a circular form, rolls it backwards, as the sun appears to turn the heavens round in a contrary direction, himself being borne from west to east." Porphry gives a like statement. That it does roll its ball backwards I have no doubt, and in that way
may be emblematical of the supposed annual course of the sun, from west to east, contrary to his diurnal course from east to west, as here stated; but I have seen them much more frequently in the position I have described at page 369, of which more hereafter.