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BELZONI IN EGYPT.

CHAP. I.

"THE last-the very last pyramid! dear Laura," exclaimed the little Bernard, as he climbed upon his sister's chair, and surveyed a sketch that she was copying, from one in a large folio volume.

"And now, when you have shaded the side of that pyramid, will you draw the wheel of my cart? I am quite, quite tired of your tombs, and your pillars, and your ruins, and your monuments, falling this way and that way:-I would much rather know how to draw the spokes of the wheels of my little cart it is impossible for me to finish my picture ;-you see I have made my waggon turning down a shady lane,-it is evening-the lamps are lit on the posts-the moon is peeping behind the trees, and the smoke is rising from the chimnies of my carter's cottage-but my poor cart has no wheels because I cannot draw spokes-and now, is that tiresome pyramid done, dear Laura ?"

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"If you knew all that renders those pyramids so interesting to Laura, my love," said Bernard's mother, "you would not be in such great haste to see them finished; indeed I believe you would willingly give up the pleasure of seeing your own little picture completed, to watch your sister draw her's."

"Indeed, mother!" exclaimed the lively boy -"where are they, and why do you think that the account of them will amuse me so much?"

"My story is a long one," replied his mother, "so I will not begin it till after tea, and then we can go on without interruption."

"Oh, mamma! that will be delightful! quite delightful! for we can have a settled evening; and as to my cart, Laura may put in the spokes to-morrow-the wheels will not signify for one night, will they, mother?" exclaimed Bernard, and, without waiting for an answer, he jumped up, fetched his little straw hat from its hook in the hall, and ran across the lawn, to tell Owen and Emily, who were busily engaged training a white clematis round one of the pillars of the alcove. They quickly returned together. Tea was despatched, and the cheerful group repaired to the library. The maps were laid open on the library table. Laura seated herself between her two brothers, and Emily, whose blue eyes sparkled with joy, placed herself by the side of her mother.

"And now, why did you think that Laura's picture would please me so much, mother ?" said Bernard; "where are those pyramids ?" "Think for a moment, my dear. dear. Do Do you not know the name of the country so renowned for these famous mementos of ancient art ?-you have often been told."

Bernard paused-" In Egypt, mamma,in Egypt, an ancient kingdom of Africa." "Can you give me any account of Egypt-do you know anything respecting that country?" Bernard paused again, but Emily looked up wishfully and said,

"May I tell you what I know, mother ?" Her mother nodded assent.

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Egypt," said Emily, "consists of a narrow vale on both sides of the Nile, bounded by ridges of mountains or hills. Nubia is on the south; on the west it joins the great sandy deserts; on the north it is washed by the Mediterranean; and on the east by the Red Sea, except where it is joined to Asia by the narrow neck of land called the Isthmus of Suez."

"I recollect more about Egypt, now that Emily mentions the Nile," exclaimed her little brother; "I have often heard of the rushes that grew on the banks of that river -the people used to make their paper of them, and write all their books upon it-all that they wrote-they placed the thin leaves of the stem one over the other, then

flattened them, and platted them as Fanny plats her little paper mats; so that one leaf lay one way and another another way, and then they were stuck together with the muddy water of the Nile, and the leaves were dried and pressed with heavy weights -and rubbed and pressed again a great many times."

"And," said Owen," papa has often told us that in Egypt there is very little rain, and that the Nile at certain periods overflows its banks, and carries with its waters a rich mud, which renders the soil fruitful, without that labour which the farmers in England are obliged to bestow, before the fields are fit to receive the grain. In Egypt, they have only to put the seeds into the ground.

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"But if the Nile should not overflow, just when they expected it," said Bernard, "what would they do then?"

"This sometimes happens," said Laura, "but you will hear by and bye of the means which have been taken to prevent the famine which is generally occasioned by such a calamity, and of the mode which is used to supply the deficiency, if the river do not afford its usual assistance."

Well, mamma," said Owen, "now that we know where Egypt is-now for the pyramids whereabouts are they, and for what purpose were they erected ?"

"Not so fast, my love. Let us proceed gradually. I have not yet told you that Egypt is divided into Upper, Middle, and Lower; and that it is a country renowned in history, having been once the seat, if not the parent of the sciences. It is not only remarkable for those surprising monuments of antiquity, the famous pyramids, which baffle the researches of the deepest antiquary to fix upon their origin, but also for many other "glorious structures," astonishing remains of ancient temples, pompous palaces, obelisks, columns, statues, and paintings. Thus is Egypt rendered so interesting; and it is at the present time peculiarly so to us, because a gentleman has lately, with indefatigable zeal, made many researches in that country, and his curious discoveries among the pyramids and temples have excited the public attention in no small degree. He has spent many years in this arduous employment, and is now amply compensated in knowing that they have not been spent in

vain."

"Oh, mamma!" exclaimed Emily, "tell me the name of this gentleman :—why did he go there? Was he fond of antiquities? How did he manage to enter the pyramids? and what did he find in them?"

"I cannot give a reply to so many

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