Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 551 pages of information about Uarda .
[Vases of clay, limestone, or alabaster, which were used for the preservation of the intestines of the embalmed Egyptians, and represented the four genii of death, Amset, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Khebsennuf.  Instead of the cover, the head of the genius to which it was dedicated, was placed on each kanopus.  Amset (tinder the protection of Isis) has a human head, Hapi (protected by Nephthys) an ape’s head, Tuamutef (protected by Neith) a jackal’s head, and Khebsennuf (protected by Selk) a sparrow-hawk’s head.  In one of the Christian Coptic Manuscripts, the four archangels are invoked in the place of these genii.]

lay this heart in it, and take out in its stead the heart of a human being.  No one—­no one will notice it.  Nor need you do it to-morrow, or the day after tomorrow even.  Your son can buy a ram to kill every day with my money till the right moment comes.  Your granddaughter will soon grow strong on a good meat-diet.  Take courage!”

“I am not afraid of the danger,” said the old man, “but how can I venture to steal from a dead man his life in the other world?  And then—­in shame and misery have I lived, and for many a year—­no man has numbered them for me—­have I obeyed the commandments, that I may be found righteous in that world to come, and in the fields of Aalu, and in the Sun-bark find compensation for all that I have suffered here.  You are good and friendly.  Why, for the sake of a whim, should you sacrifice the future bliss of a man, who in all his long life has never known happiness, and who has never done you any harm?”

“What I want with the heart,” replied the physician, “you cannot understand, but in procuring it for me, you will be furthering a great and useful purpose.  I have no whims, for I am no idler.  And as to what concerns your salvation, have no anxiety.  I am a priest, and take your deed and its consequences upon myself; upon myself, do you understand?  I tell you, as a priest, that what I demand of you is right, and if the judge of the dead shall enquire, ’Why didst thou take the heart of a human being out of the Kanopus?’ then reply—­reply to him thus, ’Because Nebsecht, the priest, commanded me, and promised himself to answer for the deed.’”

The old man gazed thoughtfully on the ground, and the physician continued still more urgently: 

“If you fulfil my wish, then—­then I swear to you that, when you die, I will take care that your mummy is provided with all the amulets, and I myself will write you a book of the Entrance into Day, and have it wound within your mummy-cloth, as is done with the great.

   [The Books of the Dead are often found amongst the cloths, (by the
   leg or under the arm), or else in the coffin trader, or near, the
   mummy.]

That will give you power over all demons, and you will be admitted to the hall of the twofold justice, which punishes and rewards, and your award will be bliss.”

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