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lion, reads Ousirei. In his researches among the tombs in the valley of Beban el Molook at Thebes, Belzoni discovered the magnificent sepulchre of this monarch, which was first, in the imperfect mode of reading hieroglyphics, 'considered to be that of Psammis, a king of far more modern date. Upon the wall of one of the many apartments of this vast excavation, is sculptured a procession representing a few individuals of four different races of men, distinct in their dress, their physiognomy, and their colour. One of these groupes is so characterized by the features which we still call Jewish, that they are at once recognisable as representing individuals of the race of Jacob. They are represented as captives or bondsmen, and the sculpture was supposed, by Belzoni, to refer to the conquests of Necho, the father of Psammis. This was, however, almost purely conjectural, and is refuted by the actual reading of the inscriptions in the tombs. This representation, then, cannot but be considered as referring to the bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and affording a most striking corroboration of the sacred history of that event. The procession appears to be a figurative representation of the power of the entombed monarch, showing his free subjects the Egyptians, and three different races of captives his slaves, Jews, Negroes, and the redhaired Hykschos or Shepherds. On this most remarkable monument, then, we have not only a most valuable historic document, but a curious fact in physiology, namely, that upwards of two thousand years before the Christian era, there existed in Egypt and its immediate vicinity, the types of the four great races into which the human family is still divided--the black, the red, and the white in its two varieties of complexion.
We shall not for the present pursue any farther the illustrations of Egyptian and general history, deducible from hieroglyphic researches. We have done enough, we hope, to excite the curiosity of our readers, and show the importance of the researches in which the younger Champollion is engaged. We have no room to speak of the magnificent collection of Egyptian antiquities made by Drovetti, now deposited in the Museum of Turin, and which has furnished the principal materials for the additional researches of Champollion, which are detailed in the letters to the Duke de Blacas d'Aulps. We regret that we feel compelled to advert to the adulatory style of these letters, and the gross flattery they contain, unworthy of the distinguished writer, and most disgraceful to the person to whom they are addressed, if such means be necessary to secure his patronage. The Duke de Blacas may fill a large space in the gilded saloons of the Tuilleries; but he is so little known to fame, whether military, political, or literary, that, at this distance, the adulation of Champollion sounds almost like irony. When Laplace condescended to praise Napoleon, we could pardon it as the homage of a mighty VOL. II.-NO, 4.
genius to one even greater and more sublime, who swayed the characters and tempers of men, and directed the fate of nations as easily as the other managed his subtile calculus. But that a man who has completed one of the most important literary discoveries that have ever been made, should feel compelled to pay his court to one almost unknown in the world of literature or science, is mortifying to those who have seen scientific and literary merit, roads to distinction in France, as sure as even military prowess.
We have also to notice a weakness in the argument of Champollion in relation to Osymandyas: had he paid more attention to the description of Diodorus, the first part of which he quotes, he would have seen that he ought not to have ventured to ascribe the mutilation of the tomb of that monarch to the Shepherd Kings. Diodorus expressly ascribes this act of violence to Cambyses, who, he says, carried off the golden circle used for astronomic observations, and speaks of the statue and monument itself as actually existing. We ventured, on a former occasion, to surmise, that Osymandyas might be identical with Sesostris; we have since discovered that we are not alone in this. At any rate, we conceive that the exploits ascribed to Osymandyas could not have been performed without receiving the notice their importance would have merited from the sacred historian, unless he had lived between the Exodus of the Israelites, and the passage of the Jordan by Joshua. The whole of this interval is included in the reign of Sesostris; therefore, we conceive, that to him alone the actions of Osymandyas can be attributed. It is however possible, that a king of that name may have lived previously, but not that by him the splendid monument mentioned by Diodorus was erected.
These, however, are unimportant blemishes; they take nothing from the intrinsic merit of his investigations, and we hope that he will pursue his honourable career. For this, there is the widest and most extensive field. Innumerable monuments remain in Egypt, as yet undescribed—the ruins of the walls and gates' of Thebes are covered with hieroglyphic writings; the neighbourhood of the pyramids is said to furnish many inscriptions, that may perhaps shed a light upon the construction of those mighty masses—and neither of these objects has yet received the attention of antiquarians or travellers. And in the wilderness of Sinai, Niebuhr saw sepulchres of Egyptian architecture, loaded with hieroglyphics, that can only be referred to the wandering of the Israelites, and which, probably marking the burial-place of those who died in the wilderness, may, if deciphered, furnish a final corroboration of the history of the signs and wonders by which the promulgation of the law The pretended discoveries of Spohn, and of his coadjutor and successor Seyffarth, have been shown by Champollion to be futile. Vast industry and ingenuity have been wasted by them, in framing a system as wild and inapplicable as the dreams of Kircher. Another labourer too, the Chevalier Goulianoff, has come forward in this fertile field, who claims to have effected the explanation of the principle of the anaglyphs, the only part of the Egyptian system left unexplained by Champollion. Some of the French literary periodical writers seem inclined to award to him the merit, at least, of plausibility in this attempt. It has, however, been, and we conceive successfully, combated by Champollion, in a recent paper, published in the Bulletin Universel of the Baron de Ferussac.
Art. IX. — Report of the Commissioners appointed by the
Act of April 21, 1825, to revise the Statute Laws of the State of New York--No. 19-made to the Senate, April 4, 1827. Albany: Crosswell & Van Benthuysen: 1827. pp. 46.
The legislature of the state of New York is, at the present moment, engaged in a revision of its statute laws. Preparatively to this revision, a board of commissioners was appointed, by an act passed 21st April, 1825, to reduce the several subjects, scattered throughout the laws of many years, into order; to reconcile their discrepancies, and propose such fresh enactments as the public interest seemed to require. The principal part of this arduous and useful work, has been performed by Messrs. John Duer, B. F. Butler, and Henry Wheaton ; and, on the departure of the last of these gentlemen as Envoy from the general government to the Court of Copenhagen, his place has been ably filled by Mr. John C. Spencer, who, both from his legal attainments, and his position as a member of the higher house of the legislature of the state, has rendered most efficient aid to his colleagues. In respect to the more technical, and strictly legal parts of this revision, we have merely to state, that it is agreed, upon all hands, that the reported form of the laws, is not only well worthy of the high reputations earned by these gentlemen as jurists, but shows strong evidence of talent and correct judgment, in the manner in which they have stripped the ancient statutes of the verbiage and tautology, with which, in imitation of those of the mother country, they had hitherto been encumbered.
The number of the report, whose title we have prefixed to the present article, embraces objects of more general interest than those which form the greater part of collections of statutes ;
it is entitled, “Of the computation of Time; of Weights and Measures; and the Money of Account.” The second of these subjects will more especially engage our attention.
The revisers commence their report by stating, that this chapter of their report " embraces some of the most interesting subjects of legislation. The regulation of two of them, was deemed by the framers of our national constitution, an object of such paramount importance, that they expressly gave to Congress the power to coin money, to regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and to fix the standard of weights and measures. But as Congress has hitherto only legislated partially on one of these subjects, and not at all on the other, it becomes necessary that the state should provide for its own welfare in these respects, by the enactment of laws applicable within its own territory, and to its own citizens.”
This necessity had become more pressing, inasmuch as it was found that the standards in use, in the province, on the 4th of July 1776, and recognised by law as the standards for future time, had many of them disappeared, and been replaced by others of questionable authority; as additions had been made unauthorized by the original law; and as material discrepancies had been detected between the weights and measures in the custody of the Secretary of State, and those kept for use in the public offices of the several cities and countries. These evils, the revisers were of opinion, and we think correctly, could not be remedied by the existing law, which provides only for making the county and town standards coincide with those in the Secretary's office; but points out no means for determining whether the latter be correct or not; for remedying their errors, if such should be found to exist; or for restoring them in case of loss or wear by the lapse of time.
The revisers having come to the conclusion that a new law was indispensable, go on to state, that fortunately, “the means of legislation are as abundant, as the necessity is pressing." Our own country furnished them the able reports of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Adams: the British government, whence the standards were originally derived, had recently, after a careful examination of the subject, passed an act to remedy the defects and discrepancies which were discovered to exist; and experiments had been performed, in a scientific institution in the state, by which the length of the seconds pendulum, in terms of the British standard of 1769, had been determined. In order to derive the greatest practical advantage from this last circumstance, they made a call for information upon one of the persons who had been engaged in these experiments, and with his aid prepared the projêt of the law.
The principle that appears to have been kept steadily in view,
in drawing up this statute, is, that all the essential existing denominations of weights and measures should be retained, with no further alteration than would be necessary to restore them to their original magnitude, or to render their recovery more easy in case of loss. Assuming that the provincial yard of 1776, was identical with the British Parliamentary standard of 1769, it is first declared, that this unit of length shall bear to the pendulum vibrating seconds, in Columbia College, the proportion determined from the experiments of Captain Sabine in that building. But this enactment is to continue only until the same measure can be transferred to some appropriate edifice, the property of the state. Thus, as the pendulum of a specific place is now admitted, on all hands, to be an invariable measure of length, not only determinate, but easily determinable, provision is made, by which to test the present lineal standards, and to recover, at any future time, their true dimensions. As, however, the experiments would be affected by change of temperature, it became necessary to enact the specific circumstances of heat under which they should be made, or to which they should be reduced. Rejecting all arbitrary thermometric scales, the revisers adopted the plan suggested to them, of taking a temperature, determined by a physical phenomenon, and independent of all extrinsic causes: such is the temperature of melting ice.
In determining the unit of weight, the revisers had it in their power to choose between the Troy and the Avoirdupois pound. The former, however, being little used in the state, and partially settled, by an act of the national legislature, as the measure of the current coin, they made choice of the latter. By this, they both made the most usual existing weight their standard, and avoided the necessity of introducing a pound different from that used in the Mint of the United States, which would have been the case, had they, as the British government has done, restored the troy pound to the dimensions it had at the time the first existing authentic transcript was derived from it.
Their next object was to point out the means by which this pound should be deduced from the standard yard, in the most easy manner, and yet without sacrificing its identity to ease of determination. Weights may be derived, as is well known, from measures of length, by prescribing the number of the units of weight that a given cubical measure of pure water shall weigh at a given temperature. The revisers adopt, as the basis of their proposed standard, the principle, that a cubic foot of water, at its maximum density, weighs exactly one thousand ounces avoirdupois. The recent experiments of Kater have shown, that this long received relation between weight and lineal measure is not absolutely correct; he has therefore, in opposition to the
; authorities of Playfair and Wollaston, preferred making the