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"Pliny mentions a report of 'white lead,' or tin, being brought from certain islands of the Atlantic; yet he treats it as a 'fable,' and proceeds to state that it was found in Lusitania and Gallicia, and was the same metal known to the Greeks in the'days of Homer by the name 'Kassiteros.' Diodorus and Strabo, after noticing the tin of Spain and the Cassiderites, affirm that it was also brought to Masillia [Marseilles] from the coast of Britain, but this was probably after it had been long known to the Phoenicians, who still kept their secret; and it was doubtless through their means that the natives of Britain prevented other foreigners going direct to the mines, supplying them, as they did, with pigs of tin, carried to Vectis, as the Isle of Wight; the established depot where the traders from the continent were accustomed to purchase the metal. And this having become the established line of commerce probably led to the choice of the neighboring port of Southampton, as the place whence the Pilgrims in later times crossed over the Seine.
"Spain, in early-times, was to the Phoenicians what America, at a later period, was to the Spaniards; and no one can read the accounts of the immense wealth derived from the mines of that country, in the writings of Diodorus and other authors, without being struck by the relative position of the Phoenicians towards the ancient Spaniards, and the followers of Cortez or Pizaro towards the inhabitants of Mexico or Peru.
"The whole of Spain,' says Strabo, 'abounds with mines . . . and in no country are gold, silver, copper and iron in such abundance or of such good quality; even the rivers and torrents bring down gold in their beds, and some is found in the sand;' and the fanciful assertion of Posidorius regarding the richness of the country in precious metals, surpassed the phantoms created in the minds of the conquerors of America.
"The Phoenicians purchased gold, silver, tin, and other metals from the inhabitants of Spain and the Cassiterides, by giving in exchange earthenware vessels, oil, salt, bronze manufactures, and other objects of little value, like the Spaniards on their arrival at Hispaniola; and such was the abundance of silver, that after loading their ships with full cargoes, they stripped the lead from their anchors, and substituted the same weight of silver.
"Among those bronze implements were very probably the beautiful swords, daggers, and spearheads found in this country, buried with the ancient Britons, which are of such excellent workmanship and form, that they could only be the work of a highly civilized and skilful people, and as they are neither of a Greek nor Roman type, it is difficult to attribute them to any other people than the Phoenicians.
A strong evidence of the skill of the Egyptians irf working metals, and of the early advancement they made in this art, is derived from their success m the management of different alloys; which, as M. Goguet observes, is further argued from the casting of the golden calf, and still more from Moses being able to burn the metal and reduce it to powder; a secret which he could only have learned in Egypt. It is said in Exodus that 'Moses .Jo*, the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it into the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it,' an operation which, according to the French savan, 'is known by all who work in metals to be very difficult.'
"'Commentators* heads,' he adds, 'have been much perplexed to explain how Moses burnt and reduced the calf to powder. Many have offered vain and improbable conjectures, but an experienced chemist has removed every difficulty upon the subject, and has suggested this simple process: In the place of tartaric acid, which we employ, the Hebrew legislator used natron, which is common in the East. What follows respecting his making the Israelites drink this powder, proves that he was perfectly acquainted with the whole effect of the operation. He wished to increase the punishment of their disobedience, and nothing could have been more Buitable, for gold reduced and made into a draught in the manner I have mentioned, has a most nauseous taste.
"The use of geld for jewellery and various articles 0/ luxury dates from the most remote ages. Pharaoh having "arrayed" Joseph in vestures of fine linen, put a gold chain about his neck." and the jewels of silver and gold borrowed from the Egyptians by the Israelites at the time of their leaving Egypt (out of which the golden calf was afterwards made,) suffice to prove the great quantity of precious metals wrought at that time into female ornaments. It is not from the Scriptures alone that the skill af the Egyptian goldsmiths may be inferred: the sculptures cf Thebes and Beni Hassan afford their additional testimony, and the numerous gold and silver vases, inlayed work, and jewellery represented in common use, show the great advancement they had made in this branch of art.
"But gold \va» known in Egypt, and made into ornaments long before, and the'same mode of washing and working it is figured on the monuments of the fourth dynasty.
"The engraving of gold, the mode of casting it, and inlaying it with stones, were evidently known at the same time; they are mentioned in the Bible, and numerous specimens of this kind of work have been found in Egypt.*)
"The origin of the sign signifying gold has been happily explained by Champollion as the bowl in which the metal was washed, the cloth through which it was strained, and the dropping of the water, united into one character, at once indicative of the process and the metal.
"Much cannot of course be expected from the objects found in the excavated tombs, to illustrate the means employed in smelting the ore, 01 to disclose any of the secrets they possessed in metallurgy; and little is given in the paintings beyond the use of the blow-pipe, the forceps, and the mode of concentrating heat by raising cheeks of rae
• Exod. Xxxii. 4.5 xxvii. 9 and 11.
tal round three sides of the fire in which the crucibles were placed. Of the latter, indeed, there is no indication in these subjects, unless it be in a preceding woodcut [403, fig. c.,] ; but their use is readily suggested, and some which have been found in Egypt are preserved in the museum of Berlin. They are nearly five inches in diameter at the mouth, and about the same in depth, and present the ordinary form and appearance of those Used at the present day.
"At Beni Hassan, the process of washing the ore, smelting or fusing the metal, with the help of the blow-pipe, and fashioning it for ornamental purposes, weighing it, and taking an account of the quantity so made up, and other occupations of the goldsmith, are represented, but, as might be supposed, these subjects merely suffice, as they were intended, to give a general indication of the goldsmith's trade, without attempting to describe the means employed.
"From the mentionf) of ear-rings, and bracelets, and jewels of silver and gold, in the d iys of Abraham, it is evident that in Asia as well as in Egypt, the art of metallurgy was known at a very remote period, and workmen of the same countries are noticed by Homerf) as excelling in the manufacture of arms, rich vases, and other objects inlaid or ornamented with metals. His account of the shield of Achilles proves the art of working the various substances of which it was made—copper, tin, gold, and silver—to have been understood at that time, and the skill required to represent the infinity of subject he Mentions, was such as no ordinary artisan could possess.
"The ornaments of gold found in Egypt consist of rings, bracelets, armlets, necklaces. e1ir-ring, and numerous trinkets belonging to the toilet, many of which are of the time of Osirtasen I. and Thotomes III., about 3930. and 3290 years ago. Gold and silver vases, statues, and other objects of gold and silver, of silver inlaid with gold, and of bronze inlaid with the precious metals, were also common at the same time; and besides those manufactured in the country from the produce of their own mines, the Egygtians exacted an annual tribute from the conquered provinces of Asia and Africa, in gold and silver, and in vases made of those materials.
"There was great elegance in the form of many of the oldest Egyptian vases, expecially of those of gold and silver. Much taste was also displayed in other objects as well as in the devices which ornamented them, among whish may be mentioned the golden basket in the tomb of Remeses III.
"The gold mines of Egygt or of Ethiopia, though mentioned by Agatharchides and later writers, and worked even by the Arab Caliphs, long remained unknown, and their position has only been ascertained a few years since by M. Linaut and Mr. Bonomi. They lie in the Bisharee desert—the land of Bigah (or of the "Bugaitae" mentioned in the inscription of Axum) about seventeen or eighteen days journey to the southeastward from Deraw, which is situated on the Nile, a little above Kom Ombo, the ancient Ombos.
"Those two travellers met with some Cufic funeral inscriptons there, which from their dates show that the mines were worked in the years
f Gen. xxiv. 47, 53.
t Horn. Iliad, xxn. 74. A silver cup, the work of the Sidonians, Od. IM, 816, &c. Iliad. H. 872; vi. 236; Xvii. 474.
339 A. H., (951, A. D.), and 378 A. H. (989, A. D.); the former being; in the fifth year of the Caliph Mostukfee Billah, a short lime before the arrival of the Fatemites in Egypt, the latter in the fourteenth of El Azeez, the second of 1he Faiemite dynasty.
"They continued to be worked till a much later period, and were afterwards adandoned, the value of the gold barely covering the expenses; nor did Mohammed Ali, who sent to examine them, and obtain specimens of the ore, find it worth while to reopen them.
,•The matrix is quartz: and so diligent a search did the Egyptians establish, throughout the whole of the deserts cast of the Nile, lor this precious metal, that I never remember to have seen a vein of quartz in any of the primitive ranges there, which had not been carefully ex^ amined by their miners; certain portions having been invariably picked out from the fissures in whioh it lay, and broken into small fragments. The same was done in later times by the Romans; and evidences of their searching for gold in quartz veins are even found in some parts of Britain. 1
"The gold mines are said by Aboolfeda to be situated at El Allaga (or Ollagee): but Eshuranib (or Eshuanib), the principal place, is about three days' journey beyond Wadee AHaga according to Mr. Bonomi, to whom I am indebted for the following account of the mines. LThe direction of the excavations depends on that of the slrata in which the ore is found; and the position of the various shafts differs rccordingly. As to the manner of extracting the metal, some notion may be given by a description of the ruins at Eshuranib, the largest station, where sufficient remains to explain the process they adopted. The principal excavation, according to M. Linaut's measurement, is about 180 feet deep, it is a narrow oblique • chasm, reaching a considerable way down the rock. In the valley near the mrst accessible part of the excavation are several huts, built of the unhewn fragments of the surrounding hills, their walls not more than breast high, perhaps the houses of the excavators or the guardians of the mine; and separated from them by the ravine or course of the torrent a group of houses, about three hundred in number, laid out very regularly in straight lines. In those nearest the mines lived the workmen who were employed to break the quartz into small fragments, the size of a bean, from whose hands the pounded stone passed to the persons who ground it in handmills, similar to those now used for corn in the valley of the Nile made of a granitic stone; one of which is to be found in almost every house at these mines, either entire or broken.
"The quartz thus reduced to powder was washed on inclined tables, furnished with two cisterns, all built of fragment of stone collected there; and near these inelined planes are generally found little white mounds, the residue of the operation. Besides the numerous remains of houses in this station, are two large buildings, with towers at the angles, built of the hard blackish granitic, yet luminous rock, that prevails in the district. The valley has many trees, and in a high part of the torrent bed is a sort of island, or isolated bank, on which we found many tombstones, some written in the ancient Cufic character, very similar to those at A'Sonan.'
"Mr. Bonomi's account agrees very well with those given by Aga! harchides and Diodorus, who both mention the great labour of extracting- the gold, and separating it from the pounded stone by frequent washings; a process apparently represented in the tombs of the early time of the Osirtasens; and the descriptions of the old "Diggins" have acquired additional interest from those of the modern days.
•'But in Australia and California they are carried on under more auspicious circumstances than those of old, where the workers in the mines were principally captives taken in war, and men condemned to hard labor for crimes, or in consequence of offences against the government. They were bound in fetters, and obliged to work night and day; every chance of escape being carefully obviated by the watchfullness of the guards, who in order that persuasion might not be used to induce them to relax in their duty, or feelings of compassion be excited for the sufferings of their fellow-countrymen, were foreign soldiers, ignorant of the Egyptian language.
"Such was the system in the time of Diodorus; but it is uncertain whether it was introduced under the Ptolemies, or had already existed under the later Pharaohs. "The soil," says the historian, "naturally black, is traversed with veins of marble of excessive whiteness, surpassing in brilliancy the most shining substances, out of which the overseers cause the gold to be dug, by the labor of a vast multitude of people; for the kings of Egypt condemn to the mines notorious criminals, prisoners of war, persons convioted by false accusations, or the victims o\ resentment. And not only the individuals themselves, but sometimes even their whole families, are doomed to this labor, with the view of punishing the guilty, and profiting h -. their toil.''"'
(Prom a forth-coming work by H E. Garland on slavery.)
England and the Slave Trade.
Not only mankind, says a profound thinker6, but all that mankind does or beholds, is in continual growth and self-perfecting vitality. Cast forth thy act, thy word, into, the ever-living, everworking universe; it is a seedgrain that cannot die—unnoticed, today, it will be found flourishing as a banyan-grove (perhaps also as a hemlock forrest) after a thousand years. Seven hundred and eighty-eight years ago, the act done was the landing of William of Normandy on the shores of England with sixty thousand fighting men under his command—the result was the battle of Hastings—the death of Harold and the conquest of England. These sixty thousand men with their wives and children stalked into the houses of the defenceless Saxons and turned them out and. too