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gaiety were proverbial. His wit, more than his politics, baving the misfortune to displease the queen of Naples, Marie Caroline, at the period of the emigration, he incurred her disgrace and retreated from Naples and went to reside at Venice, where he was known as the Chevalier Denon; his talents, his amiable disposition, and the elegance of his manners, gave him a ready introduction to the celebrated Madame Albrizzi, and he soon became one of her greatest favourites, and the soul of her delightful parties. She has drawn his portrait in all the flattering colours of an exalted and an Italian friendship. Devoted to the arts with a passion that knew no limits, his mornings were entirely occupied, in Italy, in improving himself in the study of the Fine Arts, and particularly in drawing, as if he had had the presentiment that one day he should have the good fortune to render his talents of use to society, in rescuing from the ravages of time, and the still more barbarous hand of ignorance, the treasures of remote antiquity. Denon possessed a mind that revolted at tyranny and superstition, and when the revolution broke out he adopted its principles, at least in pearance; for we can hardly suppose the man really to be a violent jacobin, who only made use of his revolutionary zeal for the purpose of preserving many persons from the revolutionary axe. Denon did not seek merely to preserve his personal friends; virtue and innocence were always regarded by him as friends and relatives, and he always sought to succour them; and not only did he save their lives, but sent them money to make their escape.
Selected by Bonaparte to accompany him to Egypt, he by turns wielded the sword and handled the pencil, and it was difficult to say whether he excelled in arts or arms. His stock of gaiety never left him, even in the greatest reverses, and under the severest privations: it was not an insensibility to suffering, but an enlightened philosophy, that bore him up under evils for which there was no remedy. Many instances are recorded of Denon's humanity and feeling, on crossing the Desert. Those who have visited his cabinet at Paris, will recollect the terrific picture of the Arab dying in the desert of hunger and thirst: the sketch was taken from nature by Denon, whose modesty would not suffer the painter to tell the whole of the story. Denon returned with Bonaparte to France, and prepared his immortal travels in Upper and Lower Egypt, during the campaigns of General Bonaparte: it would be totally unnecessary here to descant on the merits of a work which has obtained the highest suffrages, and been translated into almost all the languages of Europe. Napoleon said one day, on looking over Denon's work, “If I lost Egypt, Denon has conquered it.”-Napoleon rewarded our traveller's attachment and superior talents by appointing him director and administrator-general of the museums and medal-mint. No medals were allowed to be struck, of which the design and execution had not received the approbation of Denon; and to this cause is to be attributed the uniform superiority of the Napoleon medals in beauty of execution over every other collection in the world. When it was proposed to erect a column in the Place Vendome in honour of the grand army and the battle of Austerlitz, which was to be composed of cannon taken from the enemy in that campaign, Denon was appointed to superintend its execution. The column of Trajan, at Rome, was intended as the type, but Denon has greatly surpassed his model. In casting the bronzes in basso relievo, many imperfections occurred in the plates, which puzzled M. Denon to remedy: he at length hit upon a plan which perfectly succeeded, and he fancied himself the happy inventor or discoverer of the secret. A less enlightened mind would, therefore, have felt mortified on finding that his secret had been known and practised above two thousand years. On the fall of Napoleon, Denon was maintained by Louis XVIII. in his place; but on the return of the ex-emperor from Elba, he could not resist the ties of old affection and gratitude, and he of course lost his place on the second return of the king. He since lived in retirement, enjoying the otium cum dignitate in its fullest extent. His cabinet, open several days in the week, was the resort of strangers from all parts of the world; and his kindness and affability rendered him the most interesting object of his cabinet. For the last seven years he had employed the leisure moments stolen from the offices of friendship, in the composition of a work on the History of Art, with about 300 to 400 plates from his own cabinet. The subscription was closed in a short period after his intention was known. He resolved not to print one copy more than was subscribed for, and the number of subscribers was limited to 500. His loss will be very severely felt. He was the protector of rising merit, which he aided both by precept and example. Many of the first French artists owe their becoming known to his interest and influence. He was born to be beloved, and will be long and deeply regretted by all who knew him, or had heard of his talents, and were acquainted with the amenity of his character; and the number composes the enlightened part of the civilized world. He died at Paris, on Thursday the 28th April, aged 84 years, preserving his gaiety to the last moment. [New Monthly Mag.
SELECTED POR THE MUREUM.
ANALOGIES OP MEXICAN AND EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES. One of the first convictions impressed on the mind by a survey of Mr. Bullock's valuable collection of the ancient monuments of Mexico, is the resemblance which they bear to the monumental records of ancient Egypt. The glance of the antiquarian falls with familiar recognition on the same graduated pyramids; on marks of the same Ophite worship, a picture-writing and symbolic language of a similar description; vestiges of the same tri-une and solar deity, or planispheres and temples; and stone idols, which, though of ruder workmanship, and characterized by some distinctions entirely American, exhibit a great analogy, in posture and gesture, to the style of sculpture pre-eminently called Egyptian. "The Mexican costume also, as collected from the specimens of paintings which Mr. Bullock has preserved-still more from the sculptures which surround the circular altar formerly appertaining to the great temple of the sun-exhibits the same striking analogy: and the analogy is still further corroborated by other pictural and sculptural representations preserved by Purchas, by Robertson, and by Captain Del Ria, in his Description of the Ruins of an Ancient City, lately discovered in the Kingdom of Gualtelama.
There is another circumstance calculated to excite surprise in the survey of these monuments, viz., that so excellent a judge as Robertson should have been deceived into a belief, that “there is not, in all the extent of New Spain, any monument, or vestige of building, more ancient than the conquest;" that the temple of Cholula was “nothing but a mound of solid earth, without any facing or any steps, covered with grass and shrubs;" and that “the houses of the people in Mexico were mere huts, built with turf or branches of trees, like those of the rudest Indians.”
In real fact, there exists abundant monumental proofs, which are constantly accumulating, that the Mexicans were advanced much farther in the arts of civilization than the Doctor (betrayed, apparently, by Spaniards, who wished to keep him in the dark) was inelined to admit. Pyramids, not much inferior to the Egyptian, exist in many parts of the Mexican territory; vestiges of important architecture are still visible at Cholula, Otumba and Tlascola; the mountain of Zezcoco is nearly covered with the ruins of ancient buildings; and the town discovered near Palanque exhibits not only excellent workmanship in the remains of the palaces, temples and baths, but a boldness of design in the architect, as well as a skill in the execution, which will not shrink from a comparison with the works of, at least, the earlier ages of Egyptian power.
Dr. Robertson notices, that "the unfortunate Boturiori made an amazing catalogue of Mexican maps, paintings, tribute-rolls, calendars, &c.” Some of these are in Mr. Bullock's collection; and the plate which the historian supplies from the Imperial library at Vienna, bears strong resemblance, in the materials and workmanship, as well as the apparent design of the picture-writing, to some of those at the Egyptian-hall.
The historian casts the same doubt upon the authenticity of the “ Chronological Wheel," representing the manner in which the Mexicans computed time; a specimen of which was published by Carrieri. “If it be genuine," he coldly says, “it proves that the Mexicans had arbitrary characters, which represent several things besides numbers.” Now, we believe that the original of this “Chronological Wheel," to which Acosta also refers, is that from which Mr. Bullock has taken the model in his Museum. But, how depreciated a value he sets upon a monument so sublimely in
dicative of a people advanced, in some respects, as he is compelled to admit, beyond the point of European civilization,--especially in regard to its regular posts and its police!
But, what is the fact with regard to this proof of Mexican attain. ment in astronomy? It is impossible not to be surprised, and somewhat humiliated, in discovering that the Mexican Indians, from a very remote period, have possessed a singular system in their divi. sion of days, months, years and centuries, which, far from being inferior to, actually excels that of the most polished nations of the world. It is in vain that sceptics endeavour to trace an origin for this system in imitation; it is in vain that they resort to Greece, to Rome, to Asia, and to Egypt, the cradle of science, to divest the ancient Mexicans of the superior talent and research requisite for this arrangement. From the earliest times, in Chaldea, in India, in Rome, in Greece, and in Egypt, the zodiac was divided into twelve signs, and the year into twelve months, averaging thirty days. But the Mexican zodiac is divided into twenty signs, and the year inte eighteen months, averaging twenty days. Now, this fact alone would seem to go to break all link of connexion between the Mexicans and the ancient people to whom we have referred; or, if it had established any connexion, it would seem to go to establish the fact of the Mexicans being a Chinese colony, driven out by an irruption of the Tartars (and, not improbably, that which was headed, in 1279, by the Tartar Emperor Coblai). In fact, the calendars of each country strikingly agree: for both nations have no more than 360 days to the year, which they divide into months of twenty days each;-—both, as Acosta states with regard to the Mexicans, begin their year on the 26th of February; and both added five intercalary days to the end of the year. But, in this latter point, both agree with the Egyptians; and they were spent, among the Mexicans, as they were in Egypt and throughout the entire East, in eating, drinking, and diversions.
But, in one point, the Mexicans stand alone, namely, in their Cycle of fifty-two years, the duplication of which constituted the Mexican century. The astronomical wheel, preserved in a painting in Mr. Bullock's possession, fully bears out this bigh estimate of Mexican proficiency in astronomy:-and this painting illustrates his model of a Sculptured Cycle of Time, in the same Museum. In the inner circle, the eighteen months are represented by their appropriate symbol; and in the outer, the cycle of fifty-two years is represented in the precise characters described by Acosta: the first year being Tothil, or the rabbit; the next, Cagli, or the house; the next, Tecptl, or the flint; and the next, Acatl, or the reed.
It appears, then, that their astronomical system, taken generally, is like that of no other nation but the Chinese; but that it still bears a partial resemblance to the Egyptian, both in the arrangement and the employment of the five intercalated days. The analogy, indeed, between Chinese antiquities, more especially Chinese hieroglyphics, and the Egyptian, need not be here insisted upon. The above astronomical coincidence is almost the sole ground of affinity which can be referred to between the Chinese and the Mexicans. The hieroglyphics of Mexico exhibit no other resemblance to the Chinese, than what must naturally ensue from the fact of arbitrary images being conventionally employed to express ideas. The harsh structure of the Mexican pronounced language is as opposite to that of China, as consonants are opposite to vowels. Neither, indeed, does it bear a strong resemblance, in that respect, to the Egyptian. So far, every thing indicates, in the Mexicans, an independent and talented race of people, striking out a new astronomical, political and social system for themselves. But, as we began by affirming, so we shall conclude with inferring, from a comparative survey of the valuable records of Mexican art and science,that there is a strong family-likeness between them and those of Egypt, which may justify the opinion of national affinity.
The Cycle in question is evidently constructed so as to represent a wheel. Now, wheels, we know, were unfailing ornaments of Egyptian temples. The sun, in the form of a human face, is placed in its centre, as it is in many of the planispheres in Egypt, preserved by Kircher: and it is similarly surrounded by a symbol, universal throughout the East, and more especially a favourite emblem in Egypt, of the two conflicting serpents of light and darkness, of good and evil. The planetary battlements, with the eight houses of the planets, which constitute the third circle out of seven, exhibit the same astrological theory which was current in Persia, India, Chaldea and Egypt, and which is preserved in the Rabbinical Sephyroth.
The dress of the Mexicans, more pronounced in the Description of the Ancient City, to which we have adverted, than in the picture-writing on Mr. Bullock's manuscripts, is perfectly Egyptian; that is to say, there is an apron descending from the abdomen, and covering midway down the thigh; which is analogous to the same part of Egyptian costume. In many cases, the head.dress, though more bizarre (indeed, somewhat arabesque) than the Egyptian, is generally constructed of the same symbolic materials: the breastplate and collar, to which a mimic sun is similarly suspended, is precisely the same as those worn by Egyptian kings and heroes ; frequently, the mimic tail of an animal (indicative of ancient origin) is appended to the Mexican hero, as it were to the Egyptian demigod; the sandals are, in most cases, precisely the same; the head-dress often consists of the lotus, the bisrus, birds, animals, agricultural and musical instruments, &c., like the Egyptian, from whence the Crests of Heraldry are derived.
Mexican heroes are represented enthroned upon couches perfectly Egyptian in their model, namely, constructed so as represent animals, and supported by animal claws. Over the heads of these deities, tables of hieroglyphics, expressive of their titles and qualities, are similarly arranged; and devotees are offering to them, in the same posture, and with the same gesture, as exhibited