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delta, can only be a measure of the time ing shells of oysters, scallops, and other required to fill up the whole, if the annual marine mollusks, with the skeletons of sediment is deposited in a layer of even sea-urchins. The specific characters of thickness over the entire area. But this these marine organic remains leave no is not what takes place. When the river doubt that they lived during the miocene, first spread out from the southern end of or middle tertiary, epoch. Marine beds the delta, it must have deposited the great of the same age occur at Ain Musa, bemass of its solid contents near that end ;tween Cairo and Suez. and this upper portion of the delta must There can be no question, therefore, have been filled up when the lower portion that, in the miocene epoch, the valley of was still covered with water. And, since the delta was, as Herodotus thought it the area to be covered grew wider the must have been, a gulf of the sea. And, further north the process of filling was as no trace of marine deposits of this, or carried, it is obvious that the northern of a later age, has been discovered in Uppart of the delta must have taken much per Egypt, it must be assumed that the longer to fill than the southern. If we apex of the delta coincides with the southsuppose that the alluvium about Memphis ern limit of the ancient gulf. was deposited at the rate of one-twentieib Moreover, there is some curious evi. of an inch per annum, and that there are dence in favor of the belief that, at this fifty feet of it, ten thousand years may be period, however remote as measured by the minimum age of that particular part our standards of time, the Nile fowed of the delta ; but the age of the alluvium down from central Africa as it fows now, of the delta as a whole must be very con- but probably in much larger volume. siderably greater. And indeed there are Every visitor to Cairo makes a pilgrimage some indications that the shore line of to the “petrified forest,” which is to be the nascent delta remained, for a long seen in the desert a few miles to the time, in the parallel of Athribis, five-and-north-east of that city. And indeed it is twenty miles north of Cairo, where the re- spectacle worth seeing. Thousands of mains of a line of ancient sand dunes is trunks of silicified trees, some of them said to attest the fact. Hence, all at twenty or thirty feet long, and a foot or tempts to arrive at any definite estimate two in diameter, lie scattered about and of the number of years since the alluvial partly imbedded in the sandy soil. Not a plain of the delta began to be formed, are trunk has branches, or roots, or a trace of frustrated. But the more one thinks of bark. None are upright. The structure the matter, the more does the impression of wood, wbich has not had time to decay of the antiquity of the plain grow; and I, before silicification, is usually preserved for my part, have no doubt that the ex. in its minutest details. The structure of treme term imagined by Herodotus for these trunks is often obscure, as if they the filling up of the Arabian Gulf-twenty bad decayed before silicification; and thousand years - is very much below the they are often penetrated, like other de. time required for the formation of the cayed wood, by fungi, which, along with delta.
the rest, have been silicified.* Thus far we have traced the unwritten Similar accumulations of fossil wood history of Egypt, and the gulf of the occur on the western side of the delta, Mediterranean, postulated by Herodotus, about the Natron Lakes and in the Bahr. is not yet in sight. Nevertheless, at a bela-Ma. much more remote epoch — in that called All these trunks have weathered out of miocene by geologists — the gulf was as- miocene sandstone; and it has been suredly there.
suggested that when this sandstone was Near the tombs of the caliphs at Cairo deposited, the Nile brought down great (according to Schweinfurth, two hundred masses of timber from the upper country, feet above the level of the Mediterranean), just as the Mississippi sweeps down its in the neighborhood of Sakkaral and in * rafts" into the Gulf of Mexico at the that of the great pyramids, the limestone present day; and that a portion of these, rocks, which look so like a seashore, were after long posure and knocking about found by Professor Fraas to display the in the flood, became silted up in the sandy remains of a veritable coast-line. For shores of the estuary. they exhibit the tunnels of boring marine mollusks (Pholades and Saxicava), and Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie, 1858.
* See Unger, Der Versteinerte Wald bei Cairo, they are incrusted with acorn shells as if Schweinfurth (Zur Beleuchtung der Frage ueber den the surf had only lately ceased to wash yersteinerten Wald, Zeitschrift der deutschen Geothem. At the feet of these former sea
logischen Gesellschaft, 1882), considers that the trees
grew where they are found, but his arguments do not cliffs lie ancient sandy beaches, contain- | appear to me to be convincing.
The greater part of the “petrified for- of its denizens gave rise to the ooze, est” is at present one thousand feet above which has since hardened into chalk and the level of the sea, in the midst of the nummulitic limestone. And it is quite heights which form the eastward continu- certain that the whole of the area now ation of the Mokattam. It has, there- occupied by Egypt, north of Esneh, and fore, shared in the general elevation of probably all that north of Assouan, was the land which took place after the begin- covered by tolerably deep sea during the ning of the miocene epoch. That such cretaceous epoch. It is also certain that elevation occurred is proved by the fact, a great extent of dry land existed in south that the marine beds of that period lie Africa at a much earlier period. How upon the upraised limestone plateau of far it extended to the north is unknown, Lower Egypt; and it must have reached but it may well have covered the area now seven or eight hundred feet, before the occupied by the great lakes and the basins Pholades bored the rocky shore of the of the White and Blue Niles. And it is gulf of the delta.
quite possible that these rivers may have A flood of light would be thrown on existed and may have poured their waters the unwritten history of Egypt by a well into the northern ocean, before the eledirected and careful re-examination of vatory movement possibly connected several points, to some of which I have with the outpour of the huge granitic directed your attention. For example, masses of the Arabian range and of Nusingle line of borings carried across the bia commenced, which caused the calmiddle of the delta down to the solid careous mud covering its bottom to berock, with a careful record of what is come the dry land of what is now the found at successive depths; a fairly exact southern moiety of Upper Egypt, some survey of the petrified forest, and of the time towards the end of the cretaceous regions in which traces of the ancient epoch. Middle and northern Egypt remiocene seashore occur; a survey of the mained under water during the eocene, Selsileh region, with a determination of and northern Egypt during the commencethe beights of the alluvial terraces be- ment, at any rate, of the miocene epoch; tween this point and Semneh; and an so that the process of elevation seems to examination of the contents of the natu- have taken effect from south to north at ral caves which are said to occur in the an extremely slow rate. The northward limestone rocks about Cairo and else- drainage of the equatorial catchment bawhere, would certainly yield results of sin thus became cut off from the sea by great importance. And it is to be hoped, a constantly increasing plain sloping to that, before our occupation of the country the north. And, as the plain gradually comes to an end, some of the many com- rose, the stream, always flowing north, petent engineer officers in our army will scooped the long valley of Nubia and of turn their
attention to these matters. Egypt, and probably forıned a succession But although so many details are still of deltas which have long since been vague and indeterminate, the broad facts washed away. At last, probably in the of the unwritten history of Egypt are middle, or the later part, of the miocene clear enough. The gulf of Herodotus epoch, the elevatory movement came to unquestionably existed and has been filled an end, and the gulf of the delta began up in the way he suggested, but at a time to be slowly and steadily filled up with its so long antecedent to the furthest date to comparatively modern alluvium. which he permitted his imagination to Thus, paradoxical as the proposition carry him, that, in relation to it, the his. may sound, the Nile is not only older torical period, even of Egypt, sinks into than its gift, the alluvial soil of Egypt, insignificance.
but it may be vastly older than the whole However, we moderns need not stop at land of Egypt; and the river has shaped the time when the delta was a gulf of the the casket in which the gift lies out of
The limestone rocks in which it is materials laid by the sea at its feet in the excavated and which extend east, west, days of its youth. and south for hundreds of miles, are full The fourth problem of Herodotus of the remains of marine animals, and the origin and the antiquity of the Egypbelong, the latest to the eocene, the oldest tian people – is much more difficult than to the cretaceous formation. The mio the other three, and I cannot deal with it cene gulf of the delta was, in fact, only at the end of a discourse which has althe reinains of the wide ocean which for- ready extended to an undue length. merly extended from Hindostan to Mo- But I may indicate a few cardinal facts rocco; and at the bottom of which, the which bear on the discussion. accumulation of the shells and skeletons According to Figari Bey's investiga,
tions, a marine deposit, which probably ber of that body, who, if he were not is of the same age as the miocene beaches restrained by his colleagues, would enof Cairo and Memphis, forms the Aoor of deavor to abolish the traditional studies the delta. Above this, come the layers of of the school, and set the sixth form sand with gravel already mentioned, as working at the generation of gases and evidencing a former swifter Aow of the the dissection of crayfishes, to ihe excluriver: then follow beds of mud and sand; sion of your time-honored discipline in and only above these, at three distinct Greek and Latin. levels, evidences of human handiwork, To put the matter very gently, that the last and latest of which belong to the statement is unhistorical; and I selected age of Ramses II.
my topic for the discourse which I have It is eminently desirable that these just concluded, in order that I might statements should be verified, for the show you, by an example, the outside doubts which have been thrown, to some limits to which my scientific fanaticism extent justly, upon various attempts to would carry me, if it bad full swing. Be. judge the age of the alluvium of the Nile fore the fall of the second empire, the do not affect the proof of the relative French liberals raised a cry for “ Liberty antiquity of the human occupation of as in Austria.” I ask for “Scientific EdEgypt, which such facts would afford; ucation as in Halicarnassus," and that the and it is useless to speculate on the an- culture given at Eton all be, at any rate, tiquity of the Egyptian race, or the con- no narrower than that of a Greek gentle. dition of the delta when men began to man of the age of Pericles. people it, until they are accurately inves- Herodotus was not a man of science, in tigated.
the ordinary sense of the word; but he As to the ethnological relations of the was familiar with the general results obEgyptian race, I think all that can be said tained by the “physiologists "of bis day, is, that neither the physical nor the phi. and was competent to apply his know). lological evidence, as it stands, is very edge rationally. If he had lived now, a satisfactory. That the Egyptians are not corresponding education would certainly negroes is certain, and that they are to have put him in possession of the vers tally different from any typical Semites is simple facts which I have placed before also certain. I am not aware that there you; and the application to them of bis are any people who resemble them in own methods of reasoning would have character of hair and complexion, except taken him as far as we have been able to the Dravidian tribes of central India, and go. But, thirty years ago, Herodotus the Australians; and I have long been could not have obtained as much knowl. inclined to think, on purely physical edge of physical science as he picked up grounds, that the latter are the lowest, at Halicarnassus in any English public and the Egyptians the highest, members school. of a race of mankind of great antiquity, Long before I had anything to do with distinct alike from Aryan and Turanian the affairs of Eton, however, ihe Governon the one side, and from negro and ne. ing Body had provided the means of givgrito on the other. And it seems to me ing such instruction in physical science that the philologists, with their “Cush. as it is needful for every decently eduites” and “ Hamites” are tending towards cated Englishman to possess. I hear a similar differentiation of the Egyptian that my name is sometimes peculiarly stock from its neighbors. But, both on connected in the genitive case) with certhe anthropological and on the philologi- tain new laboratories; and if it is to go cal sides, the satisfactorily, ascertained down to posterity at all, I would as soon facts are few and the difficulties multitu. it went in that association as any other, dinous.
whether I have any claim to the left
handed compliment or not. I have addressed you to-night in my must recollect that nothing which has private capacity of a student of nature, been done, or is likely to be done, by the believing, as I hope with justice, that the Governing Body, is the doing of this or discussion of questions which have long that individual member; or has any other attracted me, would interest you. But I end than the deepening and widening of have not forgotten, and I dare say you the scheme of Eton education, uniil, withhave not, that I have the honor to stand out parting with anything ancient that is in a very close official relation to Eton as of perennial value, it adds all that modern a member of the Governing Body. And training, which is indispensable to a comI have reason to think that, in some quar- prehension of the conditions of modern ters, I am regarded as a dangerous mem-l life.
T. H. HUXLEY.
But you Fifth Sories, Volume XLII.
No. 2034,- June 16, 1883.
CONTENTS. I. HENRY J, STEPHEN SMITH, .
Fortnightly Review, II. No New THING. Conclusion,
Cornhill Magazine, III. MRS. CARLYLE By Mrs. Oliphant,
Contemporary Review, . IV. MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW,
All The Year Round, VIII. WHITSUNTIDE AT HOME AND ABROAD, Saturday Review,
642 | SONNET,
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THE SILVER AND THE GOLDEN. They talked and chatted o'er the meal,
They even laughed with temperate glee,
And each one knew the other well
And all were good as good could be.
Benevolence and Gratitude
Alone of all seemed “strangers yet,"
They stared when they were introduced Golden crowns must follow silver;
On earth they never once had met.
WILLIAM E, A. AXON.
Oh, who will give me, chained to thought's dull WO DIE GOTTER NICHT SIND, WALTEN
A draught of Lethe, salt with final tears, WHERE, gods are not, ghosts reign. When Were it no more than fills the hollow hand? Phoebus fled
Ob, who will rid me of the wasted years, Forth from his laurel.girt Parnassian shrine
The thought of life's fair structure vainly With hollow shriek, that shivering o'er the
And each false hope, that mocking reap. brine Thrilled through earth, air, the news that
EUGENE LEE-HAMILTON. Dragons and demons reared their obscene
head From fanes oracular, fierce serpentine Hissings, in lieu of Pythian runes divine,
Poured on the night perplexity and dread. Thus, in the temple of man's mind, when faith,
SONNET Hope, love, affection, gods of hearth and home,
WHEN Philomel her evening psalm hath Have vanished; writhe dim sibilant desires, ceased, Phantasmal superstitions, lust the wraith Whilst raptured Echo sinks to sleep again, And greed the vampire, sphinx-like fiends And men return to consciousness of pain, that roam
On glow-worms doth she solitary feast.* Through ruined brain-cells, ringed with fret. E'en so the poet in his deepest breast ful fires.
Seeks for that mystic light which, not in vain Academy J. A. SYMONDS. Bestowed by Him whose wisdom, as his
reign, Is boundless, leads to everlasting rest; And of this gift celestial weaves such charm
As penetrates the clouds of earthly night, BENEVOLENCE AND GRATITUDE. Stealing the souls of men from vain alarm,
And Heav'n discloses to their erring sight, IMITATED AND CONDENSED FROM THE
Song born of light to light is turned at will, “SENILIA" OF TOURGENIEFF.
For poetry is silent music still. THE Virtues were invited once
C. M. F. To banquet with the Lord of All. They came — the great ones rather grim * There is an old tradition that nightingales are supo And not so pleasant as the small.
posed to feed on glow-worms.