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and that she will cheerfully sacrifice those feelings of opposing diffidence that would prevent so desirable a result. Under this impression, we shall deem ourselves justified in acquainting the readers of the MONTHLY REVIEW, that the lady from whose accomplished pen so charming an addition to our literature has emanated, is a stepdaughter of that very distinguished scholar, the Rev. Dr. Henry Tattam, of Bedford, author of the "Coptic Grammar and Lexicon," and other elaborate productions connected with the study of Egyptian antiquities. Miss Eliza Platt accompanied her learned relative on his travels in the East, in search of Coptic and other MSS., in the years 1838, 1889; and the present publication, constituting a journal of the voyage, affords ample evidence of the enthusiastic zeal and ability with which she participated in the high and difficult undertaking which formed the object of their pursuit. It would be needless to refer to Dr. Tattam's numerous and well-known publications, further than to observe how important are the results attained through his arduous and persevering labours. It may be truly asserted, that the compilation of his Coptic Lexicon alone (printed in 1835, at the Clarendon Press, at the expense of the University of Oxford,) might have furnished ample employment for a long life of literary leisure. Since that period, Dr. Tattam has published various other extensive and valuable works connected with the same branch of research, which possess much varied and important information, calculated to throw additional light on the obscure nature of these studies. He has also twice visited Egypt and the Holy Land, for the investigation and recovery of early Coptic MSS. On both these occasions he was accompanied by his daughter, whose assistance in transcribing with himself the scarce and ancient records of biblical learning, discovered in the numerous monasteries and libraries, and other depositories, in the remoter parts of those countries, evinces that our authoress possesses a degree of talent and acquirement rarely united in the same individual. From the second of these voyages Dr. Tattam and Miss Platt have but recently returned, and, it is understood amongst their literary friends, that a wider measure of success has attended the extraordinary exertions of these enterprising tourists than on the previous occasion, which we trust will, at no distant period, fully appear. It would be improper, within the brief limits available for our notice, to present the reader with more than detached sketches of a few of the more prominent situations and objects visited in their various routes; we shall therefore at once plunge in medias res, and, pursuing the same desultory course, select such passages as may appear most conducive to that just appreciation of the authoress's abilities, which a more connected perusal of these elegant volumes could not fail to confirm. Our opening extract describes, with a mirror-like freshness and fidelity of colouring, the gorgeous and-luxurious pospects of the Isle of Rhoda, near Caïro, as

beheld from their temporary villa, situate in the gardens of Ibrahim Pasha, on the banks of the Nile.

In accordance with our resolution, we arose at break of day, breakfasted in our sunny verandah, walked in the gardens, and strolled on the banks of the Nile, from which our house is not more than 100 yards distant. The scene is more particularly attractive at sunset: standing on the western bank, on your right hand are spread out the beds of blooming flowers, of rich and varied hue, emitting the most delicious odour, from thousands of roses, myrtles, geraniums, and jessamines, blended with the fragrant scent. of acacia and orange trees. On the left is the Nile, a broad and glassy stream, still swelled by its expanded waters: beyond, is an Arab village ;. and higher up appears the Palace of Shoobra, embosomed in a cluster of lofty palms to the south-west are the mighty Pyramids, rising from their bed of sand and stretching far towards the south, is the barren chain of the Libyan mountains, beautifully shaded with the softest pencilling of purple and gold. On the eastern bank is another fine palace of Mohamed Ali : and on the north, innumerable minarets and palms, with the range of the Mokattan in the back-ground, radiant with the deep glow of an oriental sunset, mark where stands the far-famed city of "Kahira."

A band of very good music adds an agreeable liveliness to the scene; and here we sat awhile, to enjoy the train of reflections to which the mind was naturally led by the various objects around us. The "River of Egypt," so celebrated in scripture story, is rendered familiar to us from our childhood by the many interesting events with which it is connected:-Once, its delicious waters, considered one of the greatest blessings Heaven has bestowed on this country, were turned into blood: in the present day, we constantly see the natives on their knees at its brink, quaffing to the full: then, the people "loathed to drink of it."-Probably, not far from this spot, the infant Moses reposed safely in his bulrush cradle, amid the flags by the river's side; and near, the anxious Miriam watched, "to wit what would be done to him." Oft in this cooling stream, the Egyptian Princess bathed, or strolled along its banks, attended by her maidens ;-and here she beheld the little Hebrew child, and felt compassion at his tears.

The deception in the appearance of distant objects in this country, on account of the extreme clearness of the atmosphere, is most surprising. The Pyramids of Gizeh appear seated on the opposite side of the river, at the distance of less than two miles; whereas they must be at least eight from Caïro. No object intervenes by which to measure their gigantic size: they stand alone-the overwhelming monuments of ages long passed away, and days that are thought on as though they had never been. Their immensity is lost while gazing on them; but when their actual extent is calculated, the mind is overpowered with astonishment. The height of the largest Pyramid is said to be 461 feet, or 117 feet above St. Paul's cathedral: the base occupies 746 feet, about equal to the area of Lincoln's Inn Fields. Their date is too remote even for minute investigation correctly to ascertain; but, from all the contending opinions on this subject, it may be gathered, that they had seen little less than 1000 years before the birth of Christ. The world itself looks young, for its luxuriant verdure ever returns to gladden

the eye; but these stupendous chambers of the dead-the work of beings whose very names are unknown-remain to bear witness to the existence of heroes whose designs were colossal, and whose resources were equal to the lofty conceptions of their minds.

How paltry does all connected with the mosques and domes of Cairo appear, after contemplating works of nearly 3000 years' duration! Yet El Kahira, "the Victorious," deserves some attention in its turn. At this moment, burnished by the last gold of the sinking sun, adorned with its verdant palms, encircled by the distant mountains, it looks beautifully picturesque. Four huudred mosques are within its walls; and innumerable minarets rise amidst its green foliage. We see not here its narrow streets, ruined buildings, and half-clothed inhabitants: we hear not, from this sequestered isle, the mad ravings of fanatics; but the misery, the ignorance, the oppression of this degraded people will glance across the mind, and destroy the charm of a scene which wants one thing only to perfect it,—the inestimable blessing which Christianity alone can bestow.

The reader will have appreciated, with ourselves, the stronglymarked intelligence, and delightful tone of quiet animation, which pervade Miss Platt's style; indicating the total absence of laboured effort, or affected desire of display, and rendering her communications as acceptable for their easy, pleasant, and familiar address, as for the truthful descriptions and just observations with which they are stored. Our next quotation refers to an interview between the Coptic bishop and our travellers, at Caïro, which may serve in some degree to mark the characteristic distinction of oriental manners. It will also provide an appropriate specimen of our authoress's peculiar quickness of observation and graphic powers of narrative:

We repaired early to the large public room at Hill's Hotel, to receive our expected visitors; and stationed ourselves on the upper divân, which is covered with rich crimson cloth, and has rich luxurious cushions all round. In every Turkish house is found the divân or sofa, extending along the sides and one end of the apartment: the floor of about a third of the chamber is raised five or six inches above the rest: this is called the high divân; and is fitted up in the richest style, being covered with purple or crimson cloth, chintz, Cashmere, velvet, Turkey carpets, &c., according to the rank of the individual; and furnished with large cushions, thickly placed at the back. The more honourable guests are always conducted to the higher end; while their attendants, or persons less distinguished, are seated on the lower part of the divân. This custom throws light on the parable of our Lord, addressed to those who chose out "the uppermost rooms at feasts." So that the guests were probably not separated-as we might suppose from the word "room" being used, but merely placed according to rank.

Colonel Campbell soon arrived; and introduced the bishop, who was accompanied by five Coptic priests; Mr. Mazzara, secretary to the ViceConsul, who speaks English tolerably; janissaries, and attendants. [Some time previously Dr. Tattam had sent out to the bishop, at the suggestion of a friend, his own Coptic Lexicon, then just published, his gospels, and twelve

Minor Prophets.] The bishop, who is an Italian, is a fine old man he was richly attired, in a flowing garb of blue cloth; is polished and gentle in his manners; and appeared really pleased to meet Dr. Tattam. He spoke French very well; and conversation was carried on in English, French, and, between him and Dr. Tattam, occasionally in Latin. He said he could not read Coptic very well, and was ashamed that a foreigner should know the language better than himself; and when he received Dr. Tattam's letter and Coptic works, he could only read them by the help of the accompanying Lexicon. We followed the usage of the country, and took coffee together. This is an important part of making and receiving calls in the East, and by no means to be omitted. To refuse a cup of coffee is contrary to all etiquette consequently, at every visit it is necessary to repeat the ceremony. The bishop politely requested that he might soon have the pleasure of seeing us both at his house; and Mr. Mazzara has undertaken to conduct us there in a few days.

Their visit to the bishop is thus described:

We had next to pay a visit to the Catholic Coptic Bishop, or Patriarch, as he is sometimes called: and Mr. Mazzara led the way, through many intricate streets, to the residence of the bishop and his priest; which, with the greater part of their library, had but a short time since been nearly destroyed by a fire that had made frightful ravages in the neighbourhood. We were seated with much ceremony on the high divan, our servants remaining at the lower end of the room: sherbet, coffee, and pipes, were brought by an Abyssinian boy, and incense was waved before us. After much interesting conversation, relative to the present state of the Coptic church, some fine MSS. were produced. Dr. Tattam was busily engaged with these; and the old bishop, in high glee, immediately engaged me in reading to him: he appeared to know very little of the ancient language; and I could scarcely help smiling, when he came to a hard word, to see him turn to the Arabic, to find it out; and at last send for a priest, to decide some word in dispute between us; while, on the other hand, he sometimes laughed heartily at my pronunciation of the Egyptian tongue. Dr. Tattam selected a most beautiful Coptic MS., containing Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, and the Minor Prophets, and requested permission to transcribe it; which was readily given; and we took charge of our first prize with great satisfaction.

We may here not inappropriately offer a few brief remarks on the great utility of the Coptic language to the divine and to the student in Egyptian antiquities. Fabricius informs us, on the authority of Zosimus, that the bible was translated into Egyptian, or Coptic, when the Septuagint version was made. "Biblia, tunc non in Græcam tantum, sed etiam Ægyptiis in vernaculam linguam fuisse translata.” Professor Lee has expressed an opinion, that the Coptic translation of the New Testament was made in the second century. This ancient Egyptian language has been preserved by the Christians in Egypt, in their religious books, as the Hebrew by the Jews. It is even now the language used in their churches, and in all their religious services.

A decipherment of the hieroglyphic and Enchorial characters can only be effected through its medium. Words phonetically written can only have their meaning established by some Coptic word of similar import. The Egyptian language, as preserved to us in the records of Coptic Christians, is an original tongue. It bears no resemblance to any known language; and, as Dr. Murray observes, derives its declinable words, and even its particles, from its own radicals. Before the Macedonian conquest, the characters used to express it were the Enchorial, or common character, the Hieratic, and the Hieroglyphic. We have the whole of what has been deciphered in the Enchorial character, in the rudiments of an Egyptian Deity, by the late Dr. Young, appended to Dr. Tattam's Coptic Grammar. These are compendiously introduced in the latter gentleman's Lexicon, under the Coptic words of the same signification. Very little of the Hieratic character has been deciphered. In the explanation of the Hieroglyphic, considerable progress has been made by Dr. Young, M. Champollion, Salt, Rossilini, Tomlinson, and others. Dr. Tattam has inserted most of the deciphered words, on the same plan as he adopted in giving an explanation of the Enchorial characters. The characters now used by the Copts are derived from the Greek, with the addition of seven peculiar letters. This character superseded the Enchorial soon after the conquest of Egypt by the Greeks; when, from intercourse with their conquerors, many Greek words were introduced. The Coptic is a very simple language. Nouns and adjectives are without inflections. The relation of one noun to another is eitheir denoted by their proximity, or by prefixed particles, as in Hebrew, or by prepositions as in English: their number by the articles or pronouns. Verbs are often merely nouns applied in a verbal sense without any alteration. They have but one conjugation, and no passive voice. The various tenses are chiefly formed by prefixes; but of these and other minutiæ of the language we have no time for examples. Besides the Coptic, which was spoken in Lower Egypt, the Mizur of the scriptures, Dr. Tattam's Lexicon includes the two dialects. The Saphidic, or, more properly, the Thebaic dialect, was spoken in Upper Egypt; and the Bashmuric was a dialect of the inhabitants of Bashmour, a province of the Delta. Dr. Tattam has carefully examined all the existing MSS., and from these original sources has very much enriched his Lexicon, which, being written in neat and familiar Latin, renders it a convenient manual for the continental literati. A literal Latin translation also accompanies his Coptic edition of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Coptic literature now assumes a very interesting aspect. We have before observed, that the only safe clue for deciphering the ancient monuments of Egypt is derivable from this source; while it is equally important to the biblical student. The Egyptian versions were amongst the earliest translations of the sacred writings. Hence their version of

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