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Euterpe   


built the eastern gateway of the temple of Vulcan, which in size and
beauty far surpasses the other three. All the four gateways have
figures graven on them, and a vast amount of architectural ornament,
but the gateway of Asychis is by far the most richly adorned. In the
reign of this king, money being scarce and commercial dealings
straitened, a law was passed that the borrower might pledge his
father's body to raise the sum whereof he had need. A proviso was
appended to this law, giving the lender authority over the entire
sepulchre of the borrower, so that a man who took up money under
this pledge, if he died without paying the debt, could not obtain
burial either in his own ancestral tomb, or in any other, nor could he
during his lifetime bury in his own tomb any member of his family. The
same king, desirous of eclipsing all his predecessors upon the throne,
left as a monument of his reign a pyramid of brick. It bears an
inscription, cut in stone, which runs thus:- "Despise me not in
comparison with the stone pyramids; for I surpass them all, as much as
Jove surpasses the other gods. A pole was plunged into a lake, and the
mud which clave thereto was gathered; and bricks were made of the mud,
and so I was formed." Such were the chief actions of this prince.
He was succeeded on the throne, they said, by a blind man, a
native of Anysis, whose own name also was Anysis. Under him Egypt
was invaded by a vast army of Ethiopians, led by Sabacos, their
king. The blind Anysis fled away to the marsh-country, and the
Ethiopian was lord of the land for fifty years, during which his
mode of rule was the following:- When an Egyptian was guilty of an
offence, his plan was not to punish him with death: instead of so
doing, he sentenced him, according to the nature of his crime, to
raise the ground to a greater or a less extent in the neighbourhood of
the city to which he belonged. Thus the cities came to be even more
elevated than they were before. As early as the time of Sesostris,
they had been raised by those who dug the canals in his reign; this
second elevation of the soil under the Ethiopian king gave them a very
lofty position. Among the many cities which thus attained to a great
elevation, none (I think) was raised so much as the town called
Bubastis, where there is a temple of the goddess Bubastis, which
well deserves to be described. Other temples may be grander, and may
have cost more in the building, but there is none so pleasant to the
eye as this of Bubastis. The Bubastis of the Egyptians is the same
as the Artemis (Diana) of the Greeks.
The following is a description of this edifice:- Excepting the
entrance, the whole forms an island. Two artificial channels from
the Nile, one on either side of the temple, encompass the building,
leaving only a narrow passage by which it is approached. These
channels are each a hundred feet wide, and are thickly shaded with
trees. The gateway is sixty feet in height, and is ornamented with
figures cut upon the stone, six cubits high and well worthy of notice.
The temple stands in the middle of the city, and is visible on all
sides as one walks round it; for as the city has been raised up by
embankment, while the temple has been left untouched in its original
condition, you look down upon it wheresoever you are. A low wall
runs round the enclosure, having figures engraved upon it, and
inside there is a grove of beautiful tall trees growing round the
shrine, which contains the image of the goddess. The enclosure is a
furlong in length, and the same in breadth. The entrance to it is by a
road paved with stone for a distance of about three furlongs, which
passes straight through the market-place with an easterly direction,
and is about four hundred feet in width. Trees of an extraordinary
height grow on each side the road, which conducts from the temple of
Bubastis to that of Mercury.
The Ethiopian finally quitted Egypt, the priests said, by a
hasty flight under the following circumstances. He saw in his sleep
a vision:- a man stood by his side, and counselled him to gather
together all the priests of Egypt and cut every one of them asunder.
On this, according to the account which he himself gave, it came

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