Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•245
with him! — cursed befoi'e the flood!' In
this opinion, the result of a careful examin-
ation, all the bystanders concurred.'
One of these magnificent and colossal
figures which belongs to the splendid
collection of M. Botta, and is included
in the Assyrian Museum, lately founded in
the Louvre at Paris. This slab on which
the design is found, was taken from the pa-
lace of Khorsabad in the year 4844, and
therefore before Layard had commenced his
excavations at Nimroud. These splendid
bulls with a human head, hke the human-
headed lions, were used in the construction
of imposing entrances into the palace, and
may be regarded as one of the character-
istic traits of Assyrian and Persian archi-
tecture. It was with inconceivable difficul-
ty that the illustrious Frenchman got such
specimens preserved and removed. The
most difficult to remove were the most in-
teresting and the most valuable. Happily,
they reached Paris in the month of Febru-
ary, 4847, without accident, and are now
accessible to the whole civilised world. Nor
these only. Layard, having made some in-
efl'ectual "attempts to find the exact site of
the ancient Nineveh by an examination of
the great mound of Kouyunjik, resumed his
excavations in the north-west palace of
Nimroud, and entered a hall one hundred
and fifty-four feet in length by thirty-three
in breadth, in which he found a slab four-
teen feet long, cut into a recess, represent-
ing two kings standing face to face, with
their right hands raised in prayer or ador-
ation. Between them was the sacred tree,
above which hovered the emblem of the
supreme deity — a human figure with the
wings and tail of a bird, enclosed in a cir-
cle. The kings appeared to be attired for
the performance of some religious service.
In another chamber he found eagle-headed
deites facing one another, and separated
by the sacred tree. In one instance a king
stood between those mythic figures, and
around whose neck were suspended the five
sacred emblems — the sun, a star, a half-
moon, a trident, and a horned cap similar
to those worn by the human headed bulls.
Another chamber was remarkable for the
elaborate and careful finish of its sculptures.
The principal figure was that of a king
seated on a throne, holding in his right
hand a cup, and resting his left upon his
knee, and surrounded by his attendants.
The whole group designed probably to re-
present the celebration of some signal vic-
tory by the observance of a religious cere-
mony, in which the presiding divinities of
Assyria, or consecrated priests assuming
their form, ministered to the monarch. The
robes of the king and those of his attend-
ants were covered with the most elaborate
designs. In the centre of his breast were
represented two princes in the acts of ador-
ation before the supreme god. Around were
engraved figures of winged deities, and the
king performing different religious ceremo-
nies. The throne was tastefully carved, and
adorned with the heads of rams; the legs
of the footstool, which may have been of
wood or coppcr, inlaid with ivory and other
precious materials, or of solid gold, termin-
ated in lions' paws.
The work of exhumation and discovery
having so far been crowned with success,
our countryman began to think of sending
home some of his accumulated and precious
treasure. If M. Botta found the work of
exportation the most difficult of his diffi-
culties, Layard painfully learned the same
thing. With impaired health, and limited
means, and inexperienced workmen, and few
facilities, he had no common task to per-
form. Still he shrunk not from the under-
taking. He sawed the slabs containing
double bas-rehefs into two pieces, reduced
them as much as possible in weight and
size, packed and conveyed them from the
mound on buffalo carts to the river, where
they were placed upon a raft constructed
of inflated skins and beams of poplar wood,
when they were floated down the Tigris as
far as Baghdad, were then transferred to
the boats of the country, and reached Bus-
rah for transport to Bombay, and thence
to England. The sculptures thus sent home
formed the first collection exhibited to the
public in the British Museum; and their re-
moval awakened among the Arabs of all
classes no little surprise and astonishment.
Before being sent off, the Pacha, with aU
the dignitaries of his household, came to
inspect them. Neither he nor his followers
knew how to give expression to their feel-
ings. The colossal figures were deemed
the idols of the infidels; but some of them
protested that they could not be the handi-
work of unbelievers, that the infidels could
not make anything like them, that they were
the production of the magi, and that they ■
were being sent to England to form a gate-
way to the palace of her queen!
The state of his health compeUing him
to give up for a time his labours at Nim-
roud, we find that Mr. Layard took a jour-
ney to the Tiyara mountains. On his way
he visited Khorsabad, as the scene of the
successful labours of his friend and fellow-
worker, M. Botta, whose fame had spread