THIS is one of the most beautiful objects on the island of Philæ, and seems to have been built for its striking and picturesque effect. It is placed on the eastern side of the island, and, in our view, appears as it is seen by the traveller who ascends the Nile. This little Temple is only sixty feet long and forty-five feet wide: the style of its proportion is elongated, as if the architect had thus intended to increase its effect as seen from the river. It has five columns on each side, and four at each end, between the centre columns at each of these is an entrance; all else around is enclosed by walls, which reach to two-thirds of the height of the columns. The architrave is raised high above the columns, being placed on upright stones, which rest upon the lotus-headed capitals; the open spaces between are out of all architectural rule or proportion, but, in spite of this, it is strikingly elegant. The entrances are open to the Great Temple on the west, and to the Nile on the east; outside the river-gate is a platform, or terrace, which forms also a quay that extends nearly round the island; the principal landing-place for travellers is below this Temple, and here their boats are usually moored.

    Within the Temple there is no cornice, nor any ruins of structures around, which can lead to the conjecture that this beautiful

little building had any connexion with the Great Temple, or with any other structure on the island. Dr. Richardson says it was probably exhibited in ancient times as the tomb of Osiris, who, the Egyptian priests maintained, was buried here: the Theban oath was to swear by Osiris, who lies buried at Philæ.

    In the account of her recent visit to Egypt, Miss Martineau says: – “I found my party preparing to lunch on the terrace of the Temple called Pharaoh’s Bed. This Temple was built with a view to its aspect from the river; and, truly, the Ptolemies and Cæsars have given a fine object to voyagers who gaze up at Philæ. We, who live in an English climate, can hardly reconcile our unaccustomed taste to an hypæthral building any where, the only building of that kind that we have at home being the village pound; and walls without roof not answering to our idea of an edifice at all. But I felt here, and at night, how strong is the temptation to abstain from roofing public buildings, where, above the canopy of the clear air, there are the circling stars to light them. When I saw this Temple, roofed with Orion and Aldebaran, I could ask for nothing better.”



Roberts’s Journal.             Dr. Richardson’s Travels.          Miss Martineau’s Eastern Life.