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"Why," replied the count, very much astonished, "I am little more than seven hundred years old! My father lived a thousand, and was by no means in his dotage when he died."

Here ensued a brisk series of questions and computations, by means of which it became evident that the antiquity of the mummy had been grossly misjudged. It had been five thousand and fifty years, and some months, since he had been consigned to the catacombs at Eleithias.

"But my remark," resumed Mr. Buckingham, "had no reference to your age at the period of interment; (I am willing to grant, in fact, that you are still a young man,) and my allusion was to the immensity of time, during which, by your own showing, you must have been done up in asphaltum."

"In what!" said the count.

"In asphaltum," persisted Mr. B.

"Ah, yes; I have some faint notion of what you mean: it might be made to answer, no doubt; but in my time we employed scarcely anything else than the bi-chloride of mercury."

"But what we are especially at a loss to understand," said Doctor Ponnonner, "is, how it happens that, having been dead and buried in Egypt, five thousand years ago, you are here to-day all alive, and looking so delightfully well."

"Had I been, as you say, dead," replied the count, "it is more than probable that dead I should still be; for I perceive you are yet in the infancy of galvanism, and connot accomplish with it what was a common thing among us in the old days. But the fact is, I fell into catalepsy, and it was considered by my best friends that I was either dead, or should be; they accordingly embalmed me at once. I presume you are aware of the chief principle of the embalming process?" "Why, not altogether."

"Ah, I perceive;-a deplorable condition of igno

rance! Well, I cannot enter into details just now; but it is necessary to explain that to embalm, (properly speaking,) in Egypt, was to arrest indefinitely all the animal functions subjected to the process. I use the word 'animal' in its widest sense, as including the physical not more than the moral and vital being. I repeat that the leading principle of embalment consisted, with us, in the immediately arresting, and holding in perpetual abeyance, all the animal functions subjected to the process. To be brief, in whatever condition the individual was, at the period of embalment, in that condition he remained. Now, as it is my good fortune to be of the blood of the scarabæus, I was embalmed alive, as you see me at present."

"The blood of the scarabæus," exclaimed Doctor Ponnonner.

"Yes. The scarabæus was the insignium, or the arms,' of a very distinguished and very rare patrician family. To be of the blood of the scarabæus,' is merely to be one of that family of which the scaraæbus is the insignium. I speak figuratively."

"But what has this to do with your being alive?"


Why, it is the general custom in Egypt, to deprive a corpse, before embalment, of its bowels and brains : the race of scarabæi alone did not coincide with the custom. Had I not been a scarabæus, therefore, I should have been without bowels and brains; and without either it is inconvenient to live."


I perceive that," said Mr. Buckingham; " and I presume that all the entire mummies that come to hand are of the race of scarabæi."

"Beyond doubt."


"I thought," said Mr. Gliddon, very meekly, "that the scarabæus was one of the Egyptian gods."

"One of the Egyptian what!" exclaimed the mummy, starting to its feet.

"Gods!" repeated the traveller.

“Mr Gliddon, I really am astonished to hear you

talk in this style," said the count, resuming his chair.


No nation upon the face of the earth has ever acknowledged more than one god. The scarabæus, the ibis, &c., were with us, (as similar creatures have been with others) the symbols, or media, through which we offered worship to the Creator, too august to be more directly approached."

There was here a pause. At length the colloquy was renewed by Dr. Ponnoner.


It is not improbable, then, from what you have explained," said he, "that among the catacombs near the Nile, there may exist other mummies of the scarabæus tribe, in a condition of vitality."

"There can be no question of it," replied the count; "all the scarabæi embalmed accidentally while alive, are alive. Even some of those purposely so embalmed, may have been overlooked by their executors, and still remain in the tombs."


Will you be kind enough to explain," I said, "what you mean by 'purposely so embalmed?'

"With great pleasure," answered the mummy, after surveying me leisurely through his eye-glass-for it was the first time I had ventured to address him a direct question.


"The usual du

With great pleasure," he said. ration of man's life, in my time, was about eight hundred years. Few men died, unless by most extraordinary accident, before the age of six hundred; few lived longer than a decade of centuries; but eight were considered the natural term. After the discovery of the embalming principle, as I have already described it to you, it occurred to our philosophers that a laudable curiosity might be gratified, and, at the same time, the interests of science much advanced, by living this natural term in instalments. In the case of history, indeed, experience demonstrated that something of this kind was indispensable. An historian, for example, having attained the age of five hundred, would write a

book with great labour and then get himself carefully embalmed; leaving instruction to his executors pro tem, that they should cause him to be revivified after the lapse of a certain period-say five or six hundred years. Resuming existence at the expiration of this time, he would invariably find his great work converted into a species of hap-hazard note-book-that is to say, into a kind of literary arena for the conflicting guesses, riddles, and personal squabbles of whole herds of exasperated commentators. These guesses, &c., which passed under the name of annotations or emendations, were found so completely to have enveloped, distorted, and overwhelmed the text, that the author had to go about with a lantern to discover his own book. When discovered, it was never worth the trouble of the search. After re-writing it throughout, it was regarded as the bounden duty of the historian to set himself to work, immediately, in correcting from his own private knowledge and experience, the traditions of the day concerning the epoch at which he had originally lived. Now this cess of re-scription and personal rectification, pursued by various intervals by various individual sages, from time to time, had the effect of preventing our history from degenerating into absolute fable."


"I beg your pardon," said Doctor Ponnonner at this point, laying his hand gently upon the arm of the Egyptian-"I beg your pardon, sir; but may I presume to interrupt you for one moment?"

"By all means, sir," replied the count, drawing up. "I merely wished to ask you a question," said the doctor. "You mentioned the historian's personal correction of traditions respecting his own epoch. Pray, sir, upon an average, what proportion of these Kabbala were usually found to be right?"

"The Kabbala, as you properly term them, sir, were generally discovered to be precisely on a par with the facts recorded in the un-re-written histories themselves; -that is to say, not one individual iota of either, was

ever known, under any circumstances, to be not totally and radically wrong."

“But since it is quite clear," resumed the doctor, "that at least five thousand years have elapsed since your entombment, I take it for granted that your histories at that period, if not your traditions, were sufficiently explicit on that one topic of universal interest, the Creation, which took place, as I presume you are aware, only about ten centuries before."

"Sir!" said the Count Allamistakeo.

The doctor repeated his remarks; but it was only after much additional explanation, that the foreigner could be made to comprehend them. The latter at

length said, hesitatingly :

"The ideas you have suggested are to me, I confess, utterly novel. During my time I never knew any one to entertain so singular a fancy as that the universe (or this world, if you will have it so,) ever had a beginning at all. I remember once, and once only, hearing something remotely hinted, by a man of many speculations, concerning the origin of the human race; and by this individual, the very word Adam, (or Red Earth,) which you make use of, was employed. He employed it, however, in a generical sense, with reference to the spontaneous germination from rank soil-(just as a thousand of the lower genera of creatures are germinated)-the spontaneous germination, I say, of five vast hordes of men, simultaneously upspringing in five distinct and nearly equal divisions of the globe."

Here, in general, the company shrugged their shoulders, and one or two of us touched our foreheads with a very significant air. Mr. Silk Buckingham, first glancing slightly at the occiput, and then at the siniciput of Allamistakeo, spoke as follows:

"The long duration of human life in your time, together with the occasional practice of passing it, as you have explained, in instalments, must have had, indeed, a strong tendency to the general development and con

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