Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Volume 01 eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 59 pages of information about Uarda .

“How could that happen?” asked the priest from Chennu.  “A betrothal is sacred.”

[In the demotic papyrus preserved at Bulaq (novel by Setnau) first treated by H. Brugsch, the following words occur:  “Is it not the law, which unites one to another?” Betrothed brides are mentioned, for instance on the sarcophagus of Unnefer at Bulaq.]

“Paaker,” replied Septah, “was attached with all the strength of his ungoverned but passionate and faithful heart to his cousin Nefert, the sweetest maid in Thebes, the daughter of Katuti, his mother’s sister; and she was promised to him to wife.  Then his father, whom he accompanied on his marches, was mortally wounded in Syria.  The king stood by his death-bed, and granting his last request, invested his son with his rank and office:  Paaker brought the mummy of his father home to Thebes, gave him princely interment, and then before the time of mourning was over, hastened back to Syria, where, while the king returned to Egypt, it was his duty to reconnoitre the new possessions.  At last he could quit the scene of war with the hope of marrying Nefert.  He rode his horse to death the sooner to reach the goal of his desires; but when he reached Tanis, the city of Rameses, the news met him that his affianced cousin had been given to another, the handsomest and bravest man in Thebes—­the noble Mena.  The more precious a thing is that we hope to possess, the more we are justified in complaining of him who contests our claim, and can win it from us.  Paaker’s blood must have been as cold as a frog’s if he could have forgiven Mena instead of hating him, and the cattle he has offered to the Gods to bring down their wrath on the head of the traitor may be counted by hundreds.”

“And if you accept them, knowing why they are offered, you do unwisely and wrongly,” exclaimed Gagabu.  “If I were a layman, I would take good care not to worship a Divinity who condescends to serve the foulest human fiends for a reward.  But the omniscient Spirit, that rules the world in accordance with eternal laws, knows nothing of these sacrifices, which only tickle the nostrils of the evil one.  The treasurer rejoices when a beautiful spotless heifer is driven in among our herds.  But Seth rubs his red hands

     [Red was the color of Seth and Typhon.  The evil one is named the
     Red, as for instance in the papyrus of fibers.  Red-haired men were
     typhonic.]

with delight that he accepts it.  My friends, I have heard the vows which Paaker has poured out over our pure altars, like hogwash that men set before swine.  Pestilence and boils has he called down on Mena, and barrenness and heartache on the poor sweet woman; and I really cannot blame her for preferring a battle-horse to a hippopotamus—­a Mena to a Paaker.”

“Yet the Immortals must have thought his remonstrances less unjustifiable, and have stricter views as to the inviolable nature of a betrothal than you,” said the treasurer, “for Nefert, during four years of married life, has passed only a few weeks with her wandering husband, and remains childless.  It is hard to me to understand how you, Gagabu, who so often absolve where we condemn, can so relentlessly judge so great a benefactor to our temple.”

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Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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