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poses to be the great western palace' of Nebuchadnezzar ! The appearance of the ruin in his plate, is that of a fortification of somewhat more recent times. If we should allow it to be one of the castles or citadels which were besieged and taken by the son of Antigonus, we think the most zealous Babylonian might be satisfied. Whether the tower' that the German Traveller refers to, be the Circular Mound' of Captain Mignan, or the Mujellibah, we cannot say: his description of its diameter exceeds the dimensions of either.

The most durable monuments of ancient cities, the last vestiges to disappear, are in general the cemeteries. Of the Babylonian necropolis, there have been discovered some decided indications; and Captain Mignan seems to have been on the right scent, though want of funds, or want of time, prevented him from prosecuting his researches. In the north-western face of the huge mound called the Mujellibah, near the summit, is a niche six feet high by three feet deep. The natives call it the serdaub or vaulted chamber. This aperture', says our Traveller, is well worthy the most minute examination, from its being a place of sepulture'.

Rich here discovered a wooden coffin containing a skeleton in high preservation. Under the head of this coffin was a round pebble, attached to the coffin ; on the outside was a brass bird ; and inside, an ornament of the same material, which had been suspended to some part of the skeleton. This places the antiquity of these remains beyond all dispute ; and Rich adds, that the skeleton of a child was also found. These circumstances caused me to exert my utmost attention ; and as far as my means went, I set men to work at a distance of twenty yards eastward of the niche. After four hours' digging perpendicularly from the summit, they discovered six beams of date-tree wood running apparently into the centre of the mound. In half an hour after, I pulled out a large earthen sarcophagus nearly perfect, lined with bitumen, and filled with human bones; but, on attempting to remove it, the vessel broke in pieces. This sarcophagus was larger and broader than any I had ever seen, being upwards of five feet in length, by three and a half in diameter. On the slightest possible touch, the bones became a white powder, and the pieces of date-wood could scarcely withstand the same gentle handling, without being converted into dust. From digging in an easterly direction, every five or six yards, I verified Mr. Rich's conjecture, that the passage filled with earthern urns, extends all along the northern front of the pile; though I could find no gallery filled with skeletons enclosed in wooden coffins ; nor am I inclined to believe that any exist, in this or any other ruin at Babylon.'

..'I should not omit to state, that there are many urns containing ashes (the bones being in the smallest fragments) in the bank from Ananah' (a village opposite the Kasr, on the western side of the river) 'to within 150 yards of the northern end of the town of Hillah; and there are very visible traces of them on the opposite side, and for

the same distance. These are not placed horizontally only, but in every possible position. Their dimensions vary in a great degree, while their contents differ very materially from those urns at the Mujellibah, where the bones are in a perfect state.'

In a note upon the subject of these urns and other sepulchral vases found at Hoomania, on the Tigris, our Traveller says:

By some who have lately described these lugubrious vestiges of the Babylonians, they have been assumed to contain the bones of Greeks and Romans, rather than of Asiatics ; from the presumption that such a mode of burial did not accord with the religious opinions and institutions of these last. The following quotation will prove the contrary, as well as the fact, that similar vases are found in abundance in situations where these two great western empires had not colonised ; at Bushire, for instance, the Mesambria of Nearchus and Arrian. The passage referred to is taken from Mr. Erskine's translation of the Desalir.

"“A corpse you may place in a vase of aquafortis, or consign it to the fire, or to the earth. — Commentary. The usage of the Fersendajians regarding the dead, was this. After the soul had left the body, they washed it in pure water, and dressed it in clean and perfumed vestments; they then put it into a vase of aquafortis, and when the body was dissolved, carried the liquid to a place far from the city, and poured it out; or else they burned it in fire, after attiring it as has been said ; or they made a dome, and formed a deep pit within it, which they built and whitened with stone, brick, and mortar; and on its edges, niches were constructed, and platforms erected, on which the dead were deposited ; or they buried a vase in the earth, and enclosed a corpse in it; or buried it in a coflin in the ground. In the estimation of the Fersendajians, the most eligible of all these was the vase of aquafortis."

In the position of these tombs and their general character, there is so striking an analogy to the sepulchral excavations in the great plain of Persepolis, as to leave little doubt that they are to be referred to the same people. Nor is it a little remarkable, that the topography of the metropolis of Jemsheed should be involved in the same obscurity as that of Babylon, its great rival, owing in part to the same circumstances. The remark which Gibbon makes on the dispute respecting the site of Memphis, which is said to have been nineteen miles in circuit, applies with equal force to the present subject : 'In their heat, the dis'putants have forgotten, that the ample space of a metropolis

covers and annihilates the far greater part of the controversy.' Istakhar, the native name of Persepolis, is, like Babylon, the equivocal designation of a vast plain forming a metropolitan district; of the city itself; and of a castle, or citadel, which in

after times succeeded to the appellation. The great plain of Istakhar comprehended three strong castles on the summits of as many mountains, with several villages, and a large portion of cultivated land. Like that of Babylon, it is intersected with dikes and canals in all directions; and its extent exceeds that assigned to the Chaldæan metropolis. As at Babylon, we have at Istakhar, a royal mountain (Baoinixòv õpos) with its palace and its sepulchral caves; and the Prison of Jemsheed affords a counterpart to the tradition of Nebuchadnezzar's Prison, the name given by the Jews to the Birs Nemrood. To complete the parallel, the etymology of Istakhar and Persepolis is not less doubtful than that of Babylon, respecting which we have nothing better than the reveries of etymologists to guide us. Thus, some learned lexicographers tell us, that Bab-bel signifies 'the *court or palace of Bel,' the supposed founder. Calmet makes Babylon to be the same as the Hebrew Babel, confusion’; as if the founder or the inhabitants of an imperial city would have adopted for a title a name of reproach! The learned Editor of the Fragments proposes as the proper signification of the word, Bal-bel, the sovereign Belus infant,' (quasi Jupiter puer,) with the addition of the mystic appellative Aun! Jacob Bryant tells us,

that it was called the city of Bel-On, (* sive civitas Dei Solis ') which was afterwards changed to Babylon,' through the incurable mispronunciation introduced by the confusion of tongues !! Unfortunately for the credit of these sagacious conjectures, the word is uniformly written in Greek BaBurav, and is still pronounced by the Orientals Baboul. Had it taken its name from Bel or Baal, it would, no doubt, have been translated into Heliopolis, like Baalbek and Beth Shemesh. That the word is Chaldee, may be presumed; but we much question whether its elements are to be found in either Hebrew or Arabic roots. Happily, it is a point of no sort of consequence.

The present volume contains, in an Appendix, a History of Modern Bussorah, an Itinerary from Bussorah to Tabreez, and a Memoir on the Ruins of Ahwaz; which last has appeared in the second volume of the Royal Asiatic Society's Transactions. There are also some interesting notes. Besides a somewhat meagre map, there are eight engravings and sixteen wood-cuts; which must be admitted as some justification of the high price of a volume, all the original matter in which might have been comprised in the compass of a pamphlet.

manners.

Art. IIÍ. 1. Polynesian Researches, during a Residence of nearly Six

Years in the South Sea Islands ; including Descriptions of the Natural History and Scenery of the Islands; with Remarks on the History, Mythology, Traditions, Government, Arts, Manners, and Customs of the Inhabitants. By William Ellis, Missionary to the Society and Sandwich Islands, and Author of the “ Tour of Hawaii.” 2 vols. 8vo. pp. xvi, 1112. Plates. Price 11. 8s. London.

1829. 2. The History of the South Sea Mission applied to the Instruction

and Encouragement of the Church. A Discourse. By William Orme, Foreign Secretary to the London Missionary Society. 8vo.

pp. 48. London. 1829. :OTAHEITE has lost its dances, its songs, its voluptuous

The females of the new Cythera, whose beauty was perhaps too highly extolled by Bougainville, are now become, under their bread-fruit and their elegant palm-trees, puritans who attend preaching, read the Scriptures with Me• thodist missionaries, hold religious controversies from morning

till night, and atone by a profound ennui for the too great 'gayety of their mothers. Bibles and ascetic works are printed • at Otaheite '.* Such are the terms in which the imaginative Author of the “ Beauties of Christianity" adverts to a fact, which it has become useless to deny, but which philosophical rhapsodists find it difficult to understand. Does not M. Chateaubriand regret the sombre change which has passed upon the · Queen of the Pacific'? The Eleusinian orgies of the arreoy, the Parisian 'gayety' of these voluptuous Cythereans, the elegant mythology of these susceptible Islanders, which peopled all nature with sylphs, gnomes, and genii,-all have disappeared before the intolerant, ascetic spirit of that same faith which, ages ago, wrought such merciless desolation among the costly fanes and sculptured altars of classic idolatry, putting to flight

the religion of the loves and the luxuries. And as the puritanism of the first Christians was insipid and offensive to the Plinies and Tacituses of that age, so, must the exhibition of Christianity in its naked force and purity, appear repulsive to the philosophic infidels and poetical rhapsodists of the present day. The fact is, that, in the transition from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge, from vice to purity, there is nothing to excite and gratify the imagination. On the contrary, the imagination is the loser by the change which sweeps away its illusions. Idolatry is the natural religion of the imagination, with all its attendant impurities; and long after it has been banished as a creed, it may retain its hold upon the sympathies

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* Travels in America and Italy. Vol. I. p. 53.

of men who have not faith, and are therefore worshippers of the work of their own minds. This more subtile idolatry is not less really opposed to the genius and true moral beauty of Christianity, than the palpable fooleries of Greece and India. It may veil itself under a Christian creed, but must ever be the antagonist of the religion of Christ.

But we should perhaps wrong M. Chateaubriand, were we to infer from the equivocal expressions we have cited, that he seriously regrets the revolution that has banished infanticide, lascivious·ness, theft, and abominable idolatries from these Islands; notwithstanding that it has been effected by Methodist missionaries, and that the simple rites of Protestantism are little congenial to his taste. There are, at least, many persons in our own country, who would unhesitatingly admit, that the reformation of manners that has been effected among a barbarous nation, is to be viewed with satisfaction; that the Missionaries are to be commended for their useful and philanthropic labours ; and yet, this cold approbation may be far enough from a cordial interest in the cause of Christianity, or a correct appreciation of the means and agency by which this signal triumph of the word of God has been achieved. And such persons would be likely enough to speak of what has taken place in the South Sea Islands in much the same manner as M. Chateaubriand, bating the Frenchman's flippancy, with a view to save their own credit with the philosophic and polite by the tacit disclaimer of puritanism.

There are some persons again, we have reason to apprehend, within the precincts of the religious world, whose satisfaction at the work which God has wrought, has been not a little repressed by the spirit of party; some whose constitutional incredulity has rendered them indisposed to yield full credence to events so far beyond the little circle of their experience; and not a few whose excessive distaste for what they may deem highcoloured statements, has led them to make this a plea for a siipine inattention to substantial facts. In all these cases, however, it may require self-examination, whether a lurking spirit of infidelity has not a criminal influence upon the decisions of the understanding.

· It is now fifteen years', remarks Mr. Orme, since the extraordinary change took place which is the subject of the following dis

A sufficient length of time has therefore elapsed to ascertain its nature and probable continuance. The first accounts of it were received by many with the suspicion that they were either untrue or greatly exaggerated; or it was hinted, that the change was very superficial in its nature, and not likely to be permanent in its duration. It was apprehended that the missionaries had been too easily impressed with the unexpected reception of their doctrine by some of the savages,

VOL. II.-N.S.

course.

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