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that the very sight of these remnants of former ages drives away much of doubt, and brings much of certainty to the mind. We do, in general, but half credit the annals of antiquity: we are, in a degree, sceptics, while professing to believe the records of Holy Writ; but these mummy cases reprove us, and seem to say to us, "See and believe." While our sight and senses are, beyond a doubt, convinced that these are the remains of ancient Egypt; our faith is confirmed in the recorded verities of Scripture. Yes, it is a truth, and we feel it as such, that "Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites," Gen. xxxix. 1. It is a truth that Joseph sent for his father Jacob to dwell with him in the land of Egypt, and that, "when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob revived." "It is enough," said he; "Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die," Gen. xlv. 27, 28. The miracles that God performed for his people, rise to our remembrance, and the plagues that were spread over the land,
When Moses stretch'd his wonder-working rod,
I have wandered from one piece of sculpture to another. Here the chisel of Phidias, and there that of Praxiteles, has been at work, giving an inestimable value to stone. The Elgin marbles; the relics of the Athenian temples; the statues of Theseus, Illyssus,and the Fates; the frieze of the Parthenon; the alto-relievo representations of the strifes of the Centaurs and the Lapithse; the Townley marbles, and the Egyptian collection of sculpture, have all been visited, and I could now sit me down opposite this huge hieroglyphical sarcophagus, and muse and moralize. The temples of olden time; the artists of genius and talent, whose works are before us, and those to whose fame they have vainly sought to give immortality — " where are they?" The mutilated marbles, and time-worn inscriptions of the most splendid works of art, seem to press on the reflective mind the lesson, "Gratefully enjoy the things of time, but forget not those of eternity."
The print room is a treat absolutely inexhaustible. Historical subjects, landscapes, seascapes, architectural designs, portraits, animals, birds, fishes, insects, trees, shells, fossils, fruit, flowers, and ornaments, by the most eminent artists, are kept in the nicest order. The library is, perhaps, after all, still more generally valuable than any other part of the Museum, containing, as it does, almost every book from which pleasure and information can be derived.
Latterly, a new front has been erected, and great additions have been made to the British Museum, rendering it still more attractive and useful.
There is the College, and there are the grey-headed old soldiers, in their red coats and cocked hats! I must go nearer, and exchange a word or two with these veterans.
To say that this is a handsome building, is not saying much; for we may rest assured that every edifice designed and built by sir Christopher Wren has much to recommend it. I am now drawing near the aged soldiers, some sitting in rows, some standing in groups, and others walking about by themselves.
After all, there is a sobriety about this brick and freestone edifice which pleases me; for I question if the magnificence of a more imposing building would harmonize so well with the purpose to which the college is applied, and with the plain habits of its inmates. Not for a moment, much as I am opposed to war, with its multiplied sins and sorrows—not for a moment would I abridge of any real comfort or convenience those who have fought the battles of my country. Would that I could make them more happy than they are, and see the warriors of by-gone days the partakers of a peace that "passeth all understanding;" but a plain building seems to me more suitable to them, as a dwelling-place, than a structure of magnificence and splendour. I never see a Greenwich pensioner by that splendid palace of a building, Greenwich Hospital, without thinking that custom alone has reconciled us to so strange a contrast. How would Old Humphrey, with his homely habits, appear, and how would he feel, sitting down to the banquet at Buckingham Palace, or the castle at Windsor, with a silver service before him, and a set of crimson-liveried serving men at his back 1
But think not that I am ignorant of the general bearing of these things. It is not only thought necessary that disabled soldiers and sailors should be provided for, but that the attention paid to them should be visible to the public eye; that they have pensions granted them, and live in palaces. I blame not this policy, and only say, Would that we were all as wise for another world as we are for this!
Sir Stephen Fox, the grandfather of the statesman, who projected Chelsea College, died in his ninetieth year. A good old age truly; but if after threescore years and ten our strength is labour and sorrow, it will be far better to prepare to quit the world at a much earlier period, than to desire so lengthy a pilgrimage.