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dyed, through certain saline liquors, was to corrode something that opposed the entering of the colouring principle, and to enlarge the pores of the substances" (the effect of acids in changing the hues being a later discovery); we cannot therefore positively prove that the Egyptians had a knowledge of chemistry, though from their long experience, and from their skill in the employment of the metallic oxides, we may find strong reasons to infer it. For if at first ignorant of the reason of such changes, it is probable that in process of time, they were led to investigate the causes, by which they were effected.

Many discoveries, and even inventions, are more the effect of chance than of studious reflection, and the principle is often the last to be understood. In discoveries this is generally the case, in inventions frequently. But when men have observed, from long practice, a fixed and undeviating result, their curiosity naturally becomes excited, the thirst for knowledge, and above all the desire of benefiting by the discovery, prompt them to scrutinise the causes to which they have been so much indebted; and few people, who have made any advance in the arts of civilised life, long remain ignorant of the means of improving their knowledge.

We may, therefore, suppose some general notions of chemistry, or at least of chemical agency, were known to the Egyptians; and the beautiful colours they obtained from copper, the composition of various metals, and the knowledge of the effects produced on different substances by the salts of the earth, tend to confirm this opinion.

The Egyptian yarn seems all to have been spun with the hand, and the spindle is seen in all the pictures representing the manufacture of cloth. Spinning was principally the occupation of women; and our word “wife” is nearly related to "woof," "weaving," and "web." But men were also employed at the spindle and the loom; though not, as Herodotus would lead us to suppose, to the exclusion of women, who he pretends undertook the duties of men in other countries, "by going to market, and engaging in business, while the men, shut up in the house, worked at the loom." Men, to this day, are employed in making cloth in

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Egypt and in other countries, but it cannot be said that they have relinquished their habits for those of women; and we find from the paintings executed by the Egyptians themselves, that both men and women were employed in manufacturing cloth.

"Other nations," continues the historian, "make cloth by pushing the woof upwards, the Egyptians, on the contrary, press it down;" and this is confirmed by the paintings * which represent the process of manufacturing cloth; but at Thebes,† a man who is engaged in making a piece of cloth, with a co+ Woodcut 384, fig. 2.

* In woodcut 382, fig. 2.

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383.

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Part 1. Men engaged in spinning, and making a sort of network.
2. The horizontal loom, or perhaps mat-making.

Beni Hassan.

loured border or selvage, appears to push the woof upwards, the cloth being fixed above him to the upper part of the frame. They had also the horizontal loom, which occurs at Beni Hassan and other places; and at El Bersheh we see the mode of taking up the increasing length of the cloth by pegs in the ground (as still done in Ethiopia), and how the women wound off numerous threads from balls placed within a slight framework, the fineness of which is indicated by the number taken to form one twist.

In the hieroglyphics over persons employed with the spindle, it is remarkable that the word saht, which in Coptic signifies to "twist," constantly occurs. The spindles were generally small, being about one foot three inches in length, and several, found at Thebes, are now in the museums of Europe.* They were generally of wood, and in order to increase their impetus in turning,

One of those in the British Museum, which I found at Thebes, had some of the linen thread with it.

Woodcut 385, fig. 2.

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k is a shuttle, not thrown, but put in with the hand. It had a hook at each end. See woodcut 382, fig. 2.

the circular head was occasionally of gypsum, or composition; some, however, were of a light plaited work, made of rushes, or palm leaves, stained of various colours, and furnished with a loop of the same materials, for securing the twine after it was wound.* Besides the use of the spindle, and form of the loom, we find the two principal purposes, to which flax was applied, represented in the paintings of the tombs: and at Beni Hassan the mode of

*Woodcut 385, fig. 5. Another of wood, fig. 6.

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385.

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3 Spindles.

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Fig. 1 is a sort of cane split at the top to give it a globular shape.

2 has the head of gypsum.

3 entirely of wood.

4 of plaited or basket work.

5 the loop to put over the twine.

6 a ring of wood for securing the twine.

cultivating the plant, in the same square beds now met with throughout Egypt (much resembling our salt pans), the process of beating the stalks, and making them into ropes, and the manufacture of a piece of cloth, are distinctly pointed out.

It is, however, possible that the part of the picture, where men are represented pouring water from earthen pots, may refer to the process of steeping the stalks of the plant, after they were cut; the square spaces would then indicate the different pits in which they were immersed, containing some less, some more,

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