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· As Osiris and Brahma' thus nearly resemble
During the whole of our progressive sur... vey of the caverns of Upper Egypt, and the my
thological sculptures illustrative of the an- tient worship of that country, increasing evi
dence seems to have arisen, that they were originally invented by the same ingenious race and fabricated by the same skilful hands. Travellers, who have visited Egypt in periods far more recent than those in which the abovecited authors journeyed thither, confirm the truth of their relation, in regard both to the number and extent..of the excavations, the beauty of the sculptures, and their similitude to those carved in the caverns of India. The final result, therefore, of this extended investigation is, that, in the remotest periods, there has existed a most intiinate connection between the two nations, and that colonies.emigrating from Egypt to India, or from India
to Egypt, transported their deities into the country in which they respectively took up their abode. But, as the Brahmin, if he quit his native shore, violates the precepts of his religion, of the two hypotheses, that is the , more probable which assigns the fabrication of them to the enterprising, the daring, Cuthites, the ancestors of the race of Mizraim. When we farther consider, that some of these travellers, more intimately exploring the Egyptian caverns, and more minutely examining the sculptures with which they are adorned, have positively asserted, that they discovered among them the figures of the gods * JAGANAUT, GANees, and Veeshnu, we can hardly refuse our assent to an opinion supported by such strong evidence. “ Opposite Miniah," says M. Savary in his thirteenth letter on Egypt, “ is the village of Gerabia; and, farther up, that of Saonadi. Here the grottoes of the Thebais begin, famous for the austerity of the anchorets, who retired hither during the primitive ages of ChristianityThey extend for twenty leagues, as far as facing Manfelout, and were excavated by the antient
* These, in particular, are the sentiments of M. CHEVALIER, many years governor of CHANDERNAGORE. Şee Savary's Let. lers, vol. ii. p. 6.
Egyptians. The hieroglyphics, found in them, attest their antiquity," To those who are decidedly of opinion that the Indians are descended from HAM, by RAMA, the son of Cush, the pointed similitude in these and innumerable other instances, between them and the Egyptians, will appear by no means surprising; but how far that opinion may be probable is a subject which in the ensuing history will be considered at some extent.
Other writers, indulging a still wider scope of conjecture, have traced to Ethiopia, that country of eternal rock, the original fabricators of this kind of cavern-temple. Their opinion is founded upon the description which Ludolphus* gives of the early and flourishing state of architecture in that country, evident in the vast ruins of the antient capital of AXUMA, and of many magnificent temples cut out of the live rock.. Indeed, in confirmation of the opinion, that religious ceremonies in Ethiopia, at no very remote period, were performed in caverns. I may observc, that, in an edition of that author now lying before me, there is a very curious engraving on the lid of a coffin, “ dug up,” says Ludolph, “ in a Christian church-yard, near the high-way called Priscillas,” which represents the partici
• Ludolphus's Hist. Ethiop. p. 170, edit. 1682.
.: pation of the holy communion, by some early
Christian converts, in the dark recess of a sacred grotto. A remark of Mr Hunter may also with more propriety be noted here than it could have been before; that many circumstances would induce us to suppose the Indian caverns to have been constructed by a very different race of men from those who at this day inhabit the country. The reasons, which that gentleman assigns for holding this opinion, are founded upon the natural indolence that distinguishes the present inhabitants, apparently incapacitating them for works of such enormous labour, and upon their general ignorance of that graceful elegance of form and proportion of feature which constitute the principal beauty of sculpture, and which, in so remarkable a manner distinguish the majority of the figures just described. 66 But, farther, it is natural to suppose that those artists would take the model of their work from among themselves; these figures, however, are very far from resembling the present race of Indiaris.. The general form of the body is more robust and muscular; but the most remarkable difference lies in the countenance, which is broad aad full; the nose ftat; the' lips, particularty the under-lip, remarkably thick ; and the whole combination
of features of a drowsy appearance, very un-