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MISCELLANEOUS LITERARY NOTICES.

AUSTRIA.

Last year Dr. Jeitteles made a journey in Italy with the intention of publishing his observations on various objects of art and antiquity; but unfortuDately his sudden death frustrated that design.

Literature has sustained a loss by the death of Caroline Pichler, who has long maintained a distinguished rank among the novelists and poetesses of Germany. She was born on the 7th September, 1769. Her mother was one of the Empress Maria Theresa's ladies of the bedchamber, and Caroline Pichler held an appointment in the service of the court of Austria, where her husband was a counsellor of state. She died at Vienna the 9th of July, after an illness of considerable severity and duration. To the last, in conversation with her friends, she manifested a lively interest in literary subjects.

BELGIUM. M. Fetis, the well-known musical historian and critic, has recently made some discoveries in the Royal Library at Brussels, which promise to furnish valuable contributions to the history of music. Among the books of plain chant in the library, he has found a volume of masses and motets by celebrated composers who lived about the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries. The most important pieces of this volume are three masses each for three voices by Guillaume Dufay ; two masses for four voices by the same composer; a mass for three voices by Binchois ; the mass Omnipotens Pater for three voices, by a composer named Jean Plourmel ; and the mass · Deus creator omnium,' by an English composer named Rignardt (Richard) Cox. All these masters wrote during the interval between 1380 and 1420. These masses are followed by the motet · Orbis terrarum' for four voices, by Busnois; a “Magnificat for three voices ; the famous Christmas chant for four ; another · Magnificat for four; the motets ' Ad cænam ogni providi' for three; ‘Anima mea liquifacta est for three ; . Victimæ paschali laudes,' for four ; Regina cæli lætare,' for four; another motet for four on the same text; a mass for three voices, Sine nomine. All these compositions are by Busnois. The volume closes with a mass Ave Regina, for three voices, by Le Roy, commonly known by the name of Regis. By these compositions, a considerable chasm in the history of the musical art is filled up. Another discovery made by M. Fetis, though less valuable than that just described, is nevertheless very important. It consists of a superb manuscript, written on fine vellum, presenting a beautiful specimen of calligraphy, and adorned with curious arabesques, amidst which is traceable the portrait of the court fool of Maria of Burgundy. This manuscript belonged to a volume formerly kept among the Belgian archives, but which was cut up and destroyed.

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In another volume, which has been mutilated by cutting out the miniatures and arabesques, M. Fetis found the following compositions uninjured:

1. An admirable mass, by Josquin de Près, for six voices,' ad fugam in diatessaron super totam missam.' This composition differs from that published in the third book of the same author's masses, by Petrucci di Fassombrone. The whole mass forms a triple canon in fourths, each part for two voices.

2. The mass · De Assumptione Beatæ Mariæ Virginis,' for six voices, composed by Henry Isaak, Chapel Master to the Emperor Maximilian I., about the year 1450. Before the discovery made by M. Fetis, this composition was known only by name.

3. The mass of Sancta Cruce,' for five voices, by Pierre de la Rue, Chapel Master at Antwerp, about the close of the fifteenth century. This last composition is also found in another manuscript in the Royal Library of Brussels. M. Fetis has already scored the masses of Josquin de Près and Isaak ; and he is now engaged in scoring the compositions contained in the other volume.

During the last few years Belgium has rendered a just tribute of honour to several of her illustrious sons, by erecting public monuments to their memory. Some time ago a statue of Gretry was erected in front of the University of Liege; and a statue of Van Eyke (better known by the name of John of Bruges), the inventor of oil-painting, was placed in one of the squares of his native city. The recently finished monument to Rubens has been erected on the Place Verte, at Antwerp. It consists of a finely-executed bronze statue, larger than life, raised on a marble pedestal. The model from which the statue was cast is the work of Geefs, the sculptor. The statue and all its accessories were completed on the 13th of August, on which day its inauguration was celebrated by public rejoicings. The great master of the Flemish school of painting is represented standing, and his shoulders are draped by the ample folds of a long mantle. He wears a sword, and round his neck is a chain, from which a medallion is suspended. On one side of the figure is a stool, on which a palette is lying. The expression of the head is very fine, and the resemblance is striking.

EGYPT.

We have already made our readers acquainted with some important communications from the expedition sent by the King of Prussia to examine the architectural monument and other remains of art in Egypt. We have now to call attention to the most important of the labours of the expedition, viz., the exploration of the Labyrinth of Mæris. We give the account of this great discovery from extracts of the learned professor's own letters, published under the authority of the Prussian government, the same authentic source whence our preceding articles relating to the expedition were derived.

On the Ruins of the Labyrinth, June 20, 1843. “ For some weeks past we have had our camp pitched on the ruins of the Labyrinth. I write to Cairo, for the purpose of communicating to you by the packet which sails from Alexandria on the 27th, the first intelligence of the definitive discovery and examination of the real labyrinth of the Mæris Pyramid. It was impossible, even on the first superficial inspection, to doubt that we had the Labyrinth before us and beneath our feet, though early travellers have scarcely mentioned these structural remains. We at once discerned some hundreds of chambers rendered plainly perceptible by their walls. When you shall have an opportunity of seeing the plan drawn by Herr Erbkam, the architect, who has devoted great labour to his task, you will be astonished to perceive how much still remains of these remarkable edifices. Former descriptions, even those of Jomard and Courtelle, do not correspond with the locali. ties as we found them on the spot ; and my confidence in the representations of Perring, Colonel Vyse's able architect, is greatly diminished on account of his sketches of these ruins. All that is in best preservation, the part lying to the west of the chasm Bahr Sherkié, is omitted ; neither has Mr. Perring given the original circumference of the whole. The chasm Bahr Sherkié seems to have been the principal stumblingblock to previous travellers ; but we easily passed it by placing across it two poles, and so forming a sort of bridge.

“ The principal results of our exploration is the monumental evidence of the name Mæris—the confirmation of the actual construction of the Labyrinth for a palace, and of the Pyramid for a tomb. We have here also the confirmation of the account of Manethon, who placed Mæris in the 12th dynasty, and not the 17th, as has been supposed. With this letter I send you a Treatise on the Structure of the Pyramids, which I wrote at Cairo, when recovering from a severe attack of illness. I am also forming a collection of the stones found in the Labyrinth. They will interest you on account of the prevalence of black minerals, as you doubt the existence of basalts of the proper olive kind. I have likewise collected some specimens of the innumerable kinds of pottery, fragments of which have been employed in covering and facing the chambers of the Labyrinth. The same sort of facing with shell or thin pieces of stone or tile,- or what may be called ostracious structure,-we had previously observed in the ruins of Memphis. Our drawing of the ruins of Memphis, also the work of Erbkam, exhibits the ground plan of that splendid structure. We live altogether here in the greatest harmony, enjoying excellent health. We submit to the various unavoidable plagues indigenous to this land of Egypt, and of which we have already had no slight experience, but we have passed through them with spirits undepressed, and tempers unruffled.”

In another letter from Professor Lepsius, of the same date as the above, he writes as follows:

“Since the 23d of May, our camp has been pitched near the southern foot of the Pyramid of Mæris. This said Mæris reigned from 2194 to 2151 before our era, and was the last king of the Egyptian empire before the conquest of the Hyksos. The Labyrinth, and more especially the Lake Moris, are testimonies of his power, of his love of grandeur, and of his proneness to great undertakings for the general benefit of the country. Contemporaneous with our arrival at Fayoum, M. Linant, the French architect in the service of the pasha, who devotes himself chiefly to hydraulic works, made the highly interesting discovery (which he has described in a special treatise), that the ancient Lake Mæris, which has hitherto been an object of anxious research with the learned, no longer exists; the water having nearly all been carried off by some channel, whilst there remains only a portion of the gigantic dam by which it was kept back. Throughout the whole province no lake is to be found except Birket-el-Kerun, which lies to the north-west ; therefore it would be a remarkable instance of injudicious criticism to refer to it the descriptions of the ancients; since it has neither been the work of human hands, nor did it ever water the principal town Crocodilopolis and the Labyrinth. Neither is the existence of its fishery proved by the fact of the saline property of its waters. Besides, it does not lie in the specified direction, nor does it encircle two pyramids, and the great object which fame has recorded, could not have been adequately

accomplished That object was to intercept the water during the overflowing of the Nile, and to let it out again in the season of drought; thus supplying due moisture for the plains of Memphis and the adjoining provinces of the

by it.

Miscellaneous Literary Notices.

277

Delta. The dry lake discovered by Linant is bounded by dams of 160 feet in breadth, and is equal in extent and depth to the Berket-el-Kerun Lake. It perfectly fulfils all the required conditions, and this would be recognised by any impartial eye, for the ground which yet embraces the whole of that part of the province is apparently soil from the bed of the lake. We daily look out from the Labyrinth, not across the water as Herodotus looked, but over the black bottom of Lake Mæris towards the minarets of Fayoum, the present capital of the province of the same name, built partly on the ruins of the ancient Crocodilopolis.

However if it was difficult to find the ancient Lake of Mæris in Birket-el-lierun, it certainly was not more easy to overlook the Labyrinth, the ruins of which correspond with the descriptions of the ancients in all respects. The agreement as to distances is generally exact, as also are the relative positions of the real lake Crocodilopolis. The pyramid in which Mæris was interred lies to the south of the great plain of ruins, and to the south is the village mentioned by Strabo now only ruins, and separated from the site of the Labyrinth by a later eruption of water. With respect to the ruins themselves, present observers must not rely entirely on their own eyes, whether in surveying the portions now existing, or comparing them with the accounts of more early travellers. Where those travellers saw only formless heaps of rubbish and a few walls, we found, even on the first rapid inspection, several hundreds of chambers and corridors, of different sizes, some with roofs, floors, and partitions ; with pedestals for pillars and stone facings. In two of these structures, which had four flats, one above the other, we observed none of those hole-like windings described in early accounts. Though all the walls have their directions in conformity with the celestial rhumbs, yet we found so much irregularity in their structure, and so much variety in the forms of the rooms, that at first we could not thread our way through the mass of buildings without the help of a guide. Three thousand rooms below and above ground are mentioned by Herodotus, and from the remains which we have before us, this number seems by no means excessive. The forms of the more important parts of the palace are not now discernible. According to Herodotus, they consisted of twelve aulæ, that is to say, open courts, surrounded by covered colonnades. The site of the palace, which was surrounded on three of its sides with the mass of labyrinthine chambers, is now a large deep square, spotted here and there with low hillocks of rubbish, and intersected by an oblique canal or ravine. In this hollow our colony is now encamped : and a number of little huts, built with the bricks of the pyramids, almost picture to the mind's eye the ancient village described by Strabo, which stood on the same level with the Labyrinth. Around us, on every side, lie scattered immense blocks, some of granite, others of a white and

very hard kind of calcareous stone, resembling marble. Fragments of the ancient columns and architraves of the aulæ are likewise visible. These remains have acquired much interest by our expedition ; for we have found in different fragments the name of the founder of the Labyrinth, Mæris, and of his sister who succeeded him. On the summit of the pyramid of Mæris, commanding a view of every thing to a great distance, we have planted the Prussian eagle, as a symbolical evidence that northern science has had the gratifying task of describing these remains of antiquity so remote.

We daily employ 100 labourers on the ruins, making excavations to facilitate the examination of the foundations of the structures and their groundfloors; cleaning out the apartments, and laying open the proper entrance to the pyramid. We are now on the north side, crowded into a large chamber formed in the rock, the floor of which is in part covered with thin plates, and the walls faced with other lamina. This chamber was entirely

filled with rubbish, beneath which we found the often described and figured stones, having the name of Mæris and of his royal sister inscribed on them. It is, however, still not quite evident that this was the sepulchral vault, which might indeed be expected to be found more in the centre of the pyramid. At any rate, the determination of the historical question of the founder is, by the discovery of the hieroglyphic names, the most important result that we could have been expected to reach ; and we shall therefore leave this memorable place with more satisfaction than, from the descriptions of preceding travellers, we had reason to anticipate. This will be clearly seen as soon as our zealous and indefatigable architect, Erbkam, shall have finished his special plan of the Labyrinth, which will assuredly make one of the most remarkable plates of our collection. He will accompany me on a tour for the inspection of other interesting objects in this province. We shall then have completed our course over the first pyramid station or stadium. We shall probably pass rapidly through central Egypt, to take for ourselves in Thebes a proper position, before we commence our journey to Meroë. That journey we must be obliged to postpone until April in the ensuing year, in order that we may be inured to the ungenial climate which may then have spent its whole force upon us.”

The above is all that has yet appeared of the last letters received in Berlin. To the official publication of the extracts by the Prussian government, the following note is added :

“ From the introduction to the Treatise. On the Construction of the Pyramids,' which Professor Lepsius has sent to the Academy, we perceive that in the expedition to the Pyramids of Giseh 106 tombs were explored, of which drawings of only three or four have been given by previous travellers. They are all exceedingly copious in hieroglyphic representations and inscriptions, which are of immense importance in throwing light on chronology and history, arts and manners, and for the explanation of the Egyptian character and language. We have already in deposit in Cairo a collection of original documents and memorials, which relate to twenty great monuments, and which would load more than thirty camels. There are already five hundred sheets of impressions on paper of the most interesting inscriptions, and we have above three hundred drawings in great folio. Nearly all the sepulchres are of the fourth and fifth Manethonian dynasties, or 3000 and 2500 years before our

The Camera lucida has been of good service to us in making these copies and drawings. Our topographic plans embrace the whole coast of the desert as far as it is covered with pyramids. These monuments succeed each other along a margin of four and a half geographical miles (eighteen English) in a row almost entirely uninterrupted from Abu Roash, three leagues north of the Giseh Pyramids to near Dahshar. Thence in a series towards the south are the pyramidal groups of Lisht, Meidom, and Fayoum, to the extent of about ten geographical miles (a German geographical mile is equal to four English). Dr. Lepsius is of opinion that the pyramids of Sakhara are of more modern creation than those of Giseh. The two large stone pyramids of Dahshar, which are attributed to the third Manethonian dynasty, are, in the opinion of Lepsius, the most ancient of any. Numerous drawings accompany the treatise, whereby it appears that the pyramids are of various construction. The greater number of them have a small one internally, as a nucleus. This may be seen in the stone pyramid of Sakhara and in those of Meidom, Abusir, and Illahun, which, mantle-like encompassing the nucleus, are of necessity gradually elevated and enlarged.”

era.

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