Uarda : a Romance of Ancient Egypt — Complete eBook

Georg Ebers
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 684 pages of information about Uarda .
[The harbors of the Red Sea were in the hands of the Phoenicians, who sailed from thence southwards to enrich themselves with the produce of Arabia and Ophir.  Pharaoh Necho also projected a Suez canal, but does not appear to have carried it out, as the oracle declared that the utility of the undertaking would be greatest to foreigners.]

“Such things can only benefit the Asiatics.  But Seti would not listen to our counsel.  We desired to preserve the old division of the land, but Rameses introduced the new to the disadvantage of the priests; we warned him against fresh wars, and the king again and again has taken the field; we had the ancient sacred documents which exempted our peasantry from military service, and, as you know, he outrageously defies them.  From the most ancient times no one has been permitted to raise temples in this land to strange Gods, and Rameses favors the son of the stranger, and, not only in the north country, but in the reverend city of Memphis and here in Thebes, he has raised altars and magnificent sanctuaries, in the strangers’ quarter, to the sanguinary false Gods of the East.”

   [Human sacrifices, which had been introduced into Egypt by the
   Phoenicians, were very early abolished.]

“You speak like a Seer,” cried old Gagabu, “and what you say is perfectly true.  We are still called priests, but alas! our counsel is little asked.  ‘You have to prepare men for a happy lot in the other world,’ Rameses once said; ‘I alone can guide their destinies in this.’”

“He did say so,” answered Ameni, “and if he had said no more than that he would have been doomed.  He and his house are the enemies of our rights and of our noble country.  Need I tell you from whom the race of the Pharaoh is descended?  Formerly the hosts who came from the east, and fell on our land like swarms of locusts, robbing and destroying it, were spoken of as ‘a curse’ and a ‘pest.’  Rameses’ father was of that race.  When Ani’s ancestors expelled the Hyksos, the bold chief, whose children now govern Egypt, obtained the favor of being allowed to remain on the banks of the Nile; they served in the armies, they distinguished themselves, and, at last, the first Rameses succeeded in gaining the troops over to himself, and in pushing the old race of the legitimate sons of Ra, weakened as they were by heresy, from the throne.  I must confess, however unwillingly, that some priests of the true faith—­among them your grandfather, and mine—­supported the daring usurper who clung faithfully to the old traditions.  Not less than a hundred generations of my ancestors, and of yours, and of many other priestly families, have lived and died here by the banks of the Nile—­of Rameses race we have seen ten, and only know of them that they descend from strangers, from the caste of Amu!  He is like all the Semitic race; they love to wander, they call us ploughmen,—­[The word Fellah (pl.  Fellahin) means ploughman]—­and

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