Side by side with the great mass of literature of a magical and religious character that flourished in Egypt under the Ancient Empire, we find that there existed also a class of writings that are remarkably like those contained in the Book of Proverbs, which is attributed to Solomon, the King of Israel, and in "Ecclesiasticus," and the "Book of Wisdom." The priests of Egypt took the greatest trouble to compose Books of the Dead and Guides to the Other World in order to help the souls of the dead to traverse in safety the region that lay between this world and the next, or Dead Land, and the high officials who flourished under the Pharaohs of the early dynasties drew up works, the object of which was to enable the living man to conduct himself in such a way as to satisfy his social superiors, to please his equals, and to content his inferiors, and at the same time to advance to honours and wealth himself. These works represent the experience, and shrewdness, and knowledge which their writers had gained at the Court of the Pharaohs, and are full of sound worldly wisdom and high moral excellence. They were written to teach young men of the royal and aristocratic classes to fear God, to honour the king, to do their duty efficiently, to lead strictly moral, if not exactly religious, lives, to treat every man with the respect due to his position in life, to cultivate home life, and to do their duty to their neighbours, both to those who were rich and those who were poor. The oldest Egyptian book of Moral Precepts, or Maxims, or Admonitions, is that of Ptah-hetep, governor of the town of Memphis, and high confidential adviser of the king; he flourished in the reign of Assa, a [225]king of the fifth dynasty, about 3500 B.C. His work is found, more or less complete, in several papyri, which are preserved in the British Museum and in the National Library in Paris, and extracts from it, which were used by Egyptian pupils in the schools attached to the temples, and which are written upon slices of limestone, are to be seen in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and elsewhere. The oldest copy of the work contains many mistakes, and in some places the text is unintelligible, but many parts of it can be translated, and the following extracts will illustrate the piety and moral worth, and the sagacity and experience of the shrewd but kindly "man of the world" who undertook to guide the young prince of his day. The sage begins his work with a lament about the evil effects that follow old age in a man—

"Depression seizeth upon him every day, his eyesight faileth, his ears become deaf, his strength declineth, his heart hath no rest, the mouth becometh silent and speaketh not, the intelligence diminisheth, and it is impossible to remember to-day what happened yesterday. The bones are full of pain, the pursuit that was formerly attended with pleasure is now fraught with pain, and the sense of taste departeth. Old age is the worst of all the miseries that can befall a man. The nose becometh stopped up and one cannot smell at all." At this point Ptah-hetep asks, rhetorically, "Who will give me authority to speak? Who is it that will authorise me to repeat to the prince the Precepts of those who had knowledge of the wise counsels of the learned men of old? "In answer to these questions the king replies to Ptah-hetep, "Instruct thou my son in the words of wisdom of olden time. It is instruction of this kind alone that formeth the character of the sons of noblemen, and the youth who hearkeneth to such instruction will acquire a right understanding and the faculty of judging justly, and he will not feel weary of his duties." Immediately following these words come the "Precepts of beautiful speech" of Ptah-hetep, whose full titles are given, viz. the Erpā, the Duke, the father of the god (i.e. the king), the friend of God, the son of the king. Governor of Memphis, confidential servant of the king. [226]These Precepts instruct the ignorant, and teach them to understand fine speech; among them are the following:

"Be not haughty because of thy knowledge. Converse with the ignorant man as well as with him that is educated.

"Do not terrify the people, for if thou dost, God will punish thee. If any man saith that he is going to live by these means, God will make his mouth empty of food. If a man saith that he is going to make himself powerful (or rich) thereby, saying, 'I shall reap advantage, having knowledge,' and if he saith, 'I will beat down the other man,' he will arrive at the result of being able to do nothing. Let no man terrify the people, for the command of God is that they shall enjoy rest.

"If thou art one of a company seated to eat in the house of a man who is greater than thyself, take what he giveth thee [without remark]. Set it before thee. Look at what is before thee, but not too closely, and do not look at it too often. The man who rejecteth it is an ill-mannered person. Do not speak to interrupt when he is speaking, for one knoweth not when he may disapprove. Speak when he addresseth thee, and then thy words shall be acceptable. When a man hath wealth he ordereth his actions according to his own dictates. He doeth what he willeth.... The great man can effect by the mere lifting up of his hand what a [poor] man cannot. Since the eating of bread is according to the dispensation of God, a man cannot object thereto.

"If thou art a man whose duty it is to enter into the presence of a nobleman with a message from another nobleman, take care to say correctly and in the correct way what thou art sent to say; give the message exactly as he said it. Take great care not to spoil it in delivery and so to set one nobleman against another. He who wresteth the truth in transmitting the message, and only repeateth it in words that give pleasure to all men, gentleman or common man, is an abominable person.

"If thou art a farmer, till the field which the great God hath given thee. Eat not too much when thou art near thy neighbours.... The children of the man who, being a [227]man of substance, seizeth [prey] like the crocodile in the presence of the field labourers, are cursed because of his behaviour, his father suffereth poignant grief, and as for the mother who bore him, every other woman is happier than she. A man who is the leader of a clan (or tribe) that trusteth him and followeth him becometh a god.

"If thou dost humble thyself and dost obey a wise man, thy behaviour will be held to be good before God. Since thou knowest who are to serve, and who are to command, let not thy heart magnify itself against the latter. Since thou knowest who hath the power, hold in fear him that hath it....

"Be diligent at all times. Do more than is commanded. Waste not the time wherein thou canst labour; he is an abominable man who maketh a bad use of his time. Lose no chance day by day in adding to the riches of thy house. Work produceth wealth, and wealth endureth not when work is abandoned.

"If thou art a wise man, beget a son who shall be pleasing unto God.

"If thou art a wise man, be master of thy house. Love thy wife absolutely, give her food in abundance, and raiment for her back; these are the medicines for her body. Anoint her with unguents, and make her happy as long as thou livest. She is thy field, and she reflecteth credit on her possessor. Be not harsh in thy house, for she will be more easily moved by persuasion than by violence. Satisfy her wish, observe what she expecteth, and take note of that whereon she hath fixed her gaze. This is the treatment that will keep her in her house; if thou repel her advances, it is ruin for thee. Embrace her, call her by fond names, and treat her lovingly.

"Treat thy dependants as well as thou art able, for this is the duty of those whom God hath blessed.

"If thou art a wise man, and if thou hast a seat in the council chamber of thy lord, concentrate thy mind on the business [so as to arrive at] a wise decision. Keep silence, for this is better than to talk overmuch. When thou speakest thou must know what can be urged against thy words. To [228]speak in the council chamber [needeth] skill and experience.

"If thou hast become a great man having once been a poor man, and hast attained to the headship of the city, study not to take the fullest advantage of thy situation. Be not harsh in respect of the grain, for thou art only an overseer of the food of God.

"Think much, but keep thy mouth closed; if thou dost not how canst thou consult with the nobles? Let thy opinion coincide with that of thy lord. Do what he saith, and then he shall say of thee to those who are listening, 'This is my son.'"

The above and all the other Precepts of Ptah-hetep were drawn up for the guidance of highly-placed young men, and have little to do with practical, every-day morality. But whilst the Egyptian scribes who lived under the Middle and New Empires were ready to pay all honour to the writings of an earlier age, they were not slow to perceive that the older Precepts did not supply advice on every important subject, and they therefore proceeded to write supplementary Precepts. A very interesting collection of such Precepts is found in a papyrus preserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. They are generally known as the "Maxims of Ani," and the following examples will illustrate their scope and character:

"Celebrate thou the festival of thy God, and repeat the celebration thereof in its appointed season. God is wroth with the transgressor of this law. Bear testimony [to Him] after thy offering....

"The opportunity having passed, one seeketh [in vain] to seize another.

"God will magnify the name of the man who exalteth His Souls, who singeth His praises, and boweth before Him, who offereth incense, and doeth homage [to Him] in his work.

"Enter not into the presence of the drunkard, even if his acquaintance be an honour to thee.

"Beware of the woman in the street who is not known in her native town. Follow her not, nor any woman who is [229]like her. Do not make her acquaintance. She is like a deep stream the windings of which are unknown.

"Go not with common men, lest thy name be made to stink."

"When an inquiry is held, and thou art present, multiply not speech; thou wilt do better if thou holdest thy peace. Act not the part of the chatterer.

"The sanctuary of God abhorreth noisy demonstrations. Pray thou with a loving heart, and let thy words be hidden (or secret). Do this, and He will do thy business for thee. He will hearken unto thy words, and He will receive thy offering.

"Place water before thy father and thy mother who rest in their tombs.... Forget not to do this when thou art outside thy house, and as thou doest for them so shall thy son do for thee."

"Frequent not the house where men drink beer, for the words that fall from thy mouth will be repeated, and it is a bad thing for thee not to know what thou didst really say. Thou wilt fall down, thy bones may be broken, and there will be no one to give thee a hand [to help thee]. Thy boon companions who are drinking with thee will say, 'Throw this drunken man out of the door.' When thy friends come to look for thee, they will find thee lying on the ground as helpless as a babe.

"When the messenger of [death] cometh to carry thee away, let him find thee prepared. Alas, thou wilt have no opportunity for speech, for verily his terror will be before thee. Say not, 'Thou art carrying me off in my youth.' Thou knowest not when thy death will take place. Death cometh, and he seizeth the babe at the breast of his mother, as well as the man who hath arrived at a ripe old age. Observe this, for I speak unto thee good advice which thou shalt meditate upon in thy heart. Do these things, and thou wilt be a good man, and evils of all kinds shall remove themselves from thee."

"Remain not seated whilst another is standing, especially if he be an old man, even though thy social position (or rank) be higher than his.

[230]"The man who uttereth ill-natured words must not expect to receive good-natured deeds.

"If thou journeyest on a road [made by] thy hands each day, thou wilt arrive at the place where thou wouldst be.

"What ought people to talk about every day? Administrators of high rank should discuss the laws, women should talk about their husbands, and every man should speak about his own affairs.

"Never speak an ill-natured word to any visitor; a word dropped some day when thou art gossiping may overturn thy house.

"If thou art well-versed in books, and hast gone into them, set them in thy heart; whatsoever thou then utterest will be good. If the scribe be appointed to any position, he will converse about his documents. The director of the treasury hath no son, and the overseer of the seal hath no heir. High officials esteem the scribe, whose hand is his position of honour, which they do not give to children....

"The ruin of a man resteth on his tongue; take heed that thou harmest not thyself.

"The heart of a man is [like] the store-chamber of a granary that is full of answers of every kind; choose thou those that are good, and utter them, and keep those that are bad closely confined within thee. To answer roughly is like the brandishing of weapons, but if thou wilt speak kindly and quietly thou wilt always [be loved].

"When thou offerest up offerings to thy God, beware lest thou offer the things that are an abomination [to Him]. Chatter not [during] his journeyings (or processions), seek not to prolong (?) his appearance, disturb not those who carry him, chant not his offices too loudly, and beware lest thou.... Let thine eye observe his dispensations. Devote thyself to the adoration of his name. It is he who giveth souls to millions of forms, and he magnifieth the man who magnifieth him....

"I gave thee thy mother who bore thee, and in bearing thee she took upon herself a great burden, which she bore without help from me. When after some months thou wast [231]born, she placed herself under a yoke, for three years she suckled thee.... When thou wast sent to school to be educated, she brought bread and beer for thee from her house to thy master regularly each day. Thou art now grown up, and thou hast a wife and a house of thy own. Keep thine eye on thy child, and bring him up as thy mother brought thee up. Do nothing whatsoever that will cause her (i.e. thy mother) to suffer, lest she lift up her hands to God, and He hear her complaint, [and punish thee].

"Eat not bread, whilst another standeth by, without pointing out to him the bread with thy hand....

"Devote thyself to God, take heed to thyself daily for the sake of God, and let to-morrow be as to-day. Work thou [for him]. God seeth him that worketh for Him, and He esteemeth lightly the man who esteemeth Him lightly.

"Follow not after a woman, and let her not take possession of thy heart.

"Answer not a man when he is wroth, but remove thyself from him. Speak gently to him that hath spoken in anger, for soft words are the medicine for his heart.

"Seek silence for thyself."

For the study of the moral character of the ancient Egyptian, a document, of which a mutilated copy is found on a papyrus preserved in the Royal Library in Berlin, is of peculiar importance. As the opening lines are wanting it is impossible to know what the title of the work was, but because the text records a conversation that took place between a man who had suffered grievous misfortunes, and was weary of the world and of all in it, and wished to kill himself, it is generally called the "Talk of a man who was tired of life with his soul." The general meaning of the document is clear. The man weary of life discusses with his soul, as if it were a being wholly distinct from himself, whether he shall kill himself or not. He is willing to do so, but is only kept from his purpose by his soul's observation that if he does there will be no one to bury him properly, and to see that the funerary ceremonies are duly performed. [232]This shows that the man who was tired of life was alone in the world, and that all his relations and friends had either forsaken him, or had been driven away by him. His soul then advised him to destroy himself by means of fire, probably, as has been suggested, because the ashes of a burnt body would need no further care. The man accepted the advice of his soul, and was about to follow it literally, when the soul itself drew back, being afraid to undergo the sufferings inherent in such a death for the body. The man then asked his soul to perform for him the last rites, but it absolutely refused to do so, and told him that it objected to death in any form, and that it had no desire at all to depart to the kingdom of the dead. The soul supports its objection to suffer by telling the man who is tired of life that the mere remembrance of burial is fraught with mourning, and tears, and sorrow. It means that a man is torn away from his house and thrown out upon a hill, and that he will never go up again to see the sun. And after all, what is the good of burial? Take the case of those who have had granite tombs, and funerary monuments in the form of pyramids made for them, and who lie in them in great state and dignity. If we look at the slabs in their tombs, which have been placed there on purpose to receive offerings from the kinsfolk and friends of the deceased, we shall find that they are just as bare as are the tablets for offerings of the wretched people who belong to the Corvée, of whom some die on the banks of the canals, leaving one part of their bodies on the land and the other in the water, and some fall into the water altogether and are eaten by the fish, and others under the burning heat of the sun become bloated and loathsome objects. Because men receive fine burials it does not follow that offerings of food, which will enable them to continue their existence, will be made by their kinsfolk. Finally the soul ends its speech with the advice that represented the view of the average Egyptian in all ages, "Follow after the day of happiness, and banish care," that is to say, spare no pains in making thyself happy at all times, and let nothing that concerns the present or the future trouble thee.

[233]This advice, which is well expressed by the words which the rich man spake to his soul, "Take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry" (St. Luke xii. 19), was not acceptable to the man who was tired of life, and he at once addressed to his soul a series of remarks, couched in rhythmical language, in which he made it clear that, so far as he was concerned, death would be preferable to life. He begins by saying that his name is more detested than the smell of birds on a summer's day when the heavens are hot, and the smell of a handler of fish newly caught when the heavens are hot, and the smell of water-fowl in a bed of willows wherein geese collect, and the smell of fishermen in the marshes where fishing hath been carried on, and the stench of crocodiles, and the place where crocodiles do congregate. In a second group of rhythmical passages the man who was tired of life goes on to describe the unsatisfactory and corrupt condition of society, and his wholesale condemnation of it includes his own kinsfolk. Each passage begins with the words, "Unto whom do I speak this day?" and he says, "Brothers are bad, and the friends of to-day lack love. Hearts are shameless, and every man seizeth the goods of his neighbour. The meek man goeth to ground (i.e. is destroyed), and the audacious man maketh his way into all places. The man of gracious countenance is wretched, and the good are everywhere treated as contemptible. When a man stirreth thee up to wrath by his wickedness, his evil acts make all people laugh. One robbeth, and everyone stealeth the possessions of his neighbour. Disease is continual, and the brother who is with it becometh an enemy. One remembereth not yesterday, and one doeth nothing ... in this hour. Brothers are bad.... Faces disappear, and each hath a worse aspect than that of his brother. Hearts are shameless, and the man upon whom one leaneth hath no heart. There are no righteous men left, the earth is an example of those who do evil. There is no true man left, and each is ignorant of what he hath learnt. No man is content with what he hath; go with the man [you believe to be contented], and he is not [to be found]. I am heavily laden with misery, and I have [234]no true friend. Evil hath smitten the land, and there is no end to it."

The state of the world being thus, the man who was tired of life is driven to think that there is nothing left for him but death; it is hopeless to expect the whole state of society to change for the better, therefore death must be his deliverer. To his soul he says, "Death standeth before me this day, [and is to me as] the restoration to health of a man who hath been sick, and as the coming out into the fresh air after sickness. Death standeth before me this day like the smell of myrrh, and the sitting under the sail of a boat on a day with a fresh breeze. Death standeth before me this day like the smell of lotus flowers, and like one who is sitting on the bank of drunkenness.[1] Death standeth before me this day like a brook filled with rain water, and like the return of a man to his own house from the ship of war. Death standeth before me this day like the brightening of the sky after a storm, and like one.... Death standeth before me this day as a man who wisheth to see his home once again, having passed many years as a prisoner." The three rhythmical passages that follow show that the man who was tired of life looked beyond death to a happier state of existence, in which wrong would be righted, and he who had suffered on this earth would be abundantly rewarded. The place where justice reigned supreme was ruled over by Rā, and the man does not call it "heaven," but merely "there."[2] He says, "He who is there shall indeed be like unto a loving god, and he shall punish him that doeth wickedness. He who is there shall certainly stand in the Boat of the Sun, and shall bestow upon the temples the best [offerings]. He who is there shall indeed become a man of understanding who cannot be resisted, and who prayeth to Rā when he speaketh." The arguments [235]in favour of death of the man who was tired of life are superior to those of the soul in favour of life, for he saw beyond death the "there" which the soul apparently had not sufficiently considered. The value of the discussion between the man and his soul was great in the opinion of the ancient Egyptian because it showed, with almost logical emphasis, that the incomprehensible things of "here" would be made clear "there."

[1] i.e. sitting on a seat in a tavern built on the river bank.

[2] Compare,
"There the tears of earth are dried;
 There its hidden things are clear;
 There the work of life is tried
 By a juster judge than here."
Hymns Ancient and Modern, No. 401.

The man who was tired of life did not stand alone in his discontent with the surroundings in which he lived, and with his fellow-man, for from a board inscribed in hieratic in the British Museum (No. 5645) we find that a priest of Heliopolis called Khakhepersenb, who was surnamed Ānkhu, shared his discontent, and was filled with disgust at the widespread corruption and decadence of all classes of society that were everywhere in the land. In the introduction to this description of society as he saw it, he says that he wishes he possessed new language in which to express himself, and that he could find phrases that were not trite in which to utter his experience. He says that men of one generation are very much like those of another, and have all done and said the same kind of things. He wishes to unburden his mind, and to remove his moral sickness by stating what he has to say in words that have not before been used. He then goes on to say, "I ponder on the things that have taken place, and the events that have occurred throughout the land. Things have happened, and they are different from those of last year. Each year is more wearisome than the last. The whole country is disturbed and is going to destruction. Justice (or right) is thrust out, injustice (or sin) is in the council hall, the plans of the gods are upset, and their behests are set aside. The country is in a miserable state, grief is in every place, and both towns and provinces lament. Every one is suffering through wrong-doing. All respect of persons is banished. The lords of quiet are set in commotion. When daylight cometh each day [every] face turneth away from the sight of what hath happened [during the night].... I ponder on the things that have taken place. Troubles [236]flow in to-day, and to-morrow [tribulations] will not cease. Though all the country is full of unrest, none will speak about it. There is no innocent man [left], every one worketh wickedness. Hearts are bowed in grief. He who giveth orders is like unto the man to whom orders are given, and their hearts are well pleased. Men wake daily [and find it so], yet they do not abate it. The things of yesterday are like those of to-day, and in many respects both days are alike. Men's faces are stupid, and there is none capable of understanding, and none is driven to speak by his anger.... My pain is keen and protracted. The poor man hath not the strength to protect himself against the man who is stronger than he. To hold the tongue about what one heareth is agony, but to reply to the man who doth not understand causeth suffering. If one protesteth against what is said, the result is hatred; for the truth is not understood, and every protest is resented. The only words which any man will now listen to are his own. Every one believes in his own.... Truth hath forsaken speech altogether."

Whether the copy of the work from which the above extracts is taken be complete or not cannot be said, but in any case there is no suggestion on the board in the British Museum that the author of the work had any remedy in his mind for the lamentable state of things which he describes. Another Egyptian writer, called Apuur, who probably flourished a little before the rule of the kings of the twelfth dynasty, depicts the terrible state of misery and corruption into which Egypt had fallen in his time, but his despair is not so deep as that of the man who was tired of his life or that of the priest Khakhepersenb. On the contrary, he has sufficient hope of his country to believe that the day will come when society shall be reformed, and when wickedness and corruption shall be done away, and when the land shall be ruled by a just ruler. It is difficult to say, but it seems as if he thought this ruler would be a king who would govern Egypt with righteousness, as did Rā in the remote ages, and that his advent was not far off. The Papyrus in which the text on which these observations are based is preserved [237]in Leyden, No. 1344. It has been discussed carefully by several scholars, some of whom believe that its contents prove that the expectation of the coming of a Messiah was current in Egypt some forty-five centuries ago. The following extracts will give an idea of the character of the indictment which Apuur drew up against the Government and society of his day, and which he had the temerity to proclaim in the presence of the reigning king and his court. He says: "The guardians of houses say, 'Let us go and steal.' The snarers of birds have formed themselves into armed bands. The peasants of the Delta have provided themselves with bucklers. A man regardeth his son as his enemy. The righteous man grieveth because of what hath taken place in the country. A man goeth out with his shield to plough. The man with a bow is ready [to shoot], the wrongdoer is in every place. The inundation of the Nile cometh, yet no one goeth out to plough. Poor men have gotten costly goods, and the man who was unable to make his own sandals is a possessor of wealth. The hearts of slaves are sad, and the nobles no longer participate in the rejoicings of their people. Men's hearts are violent, there is plague everywhere, blood is in every place, death is common, and the mummy wrappings call to people before they are used. Multitudes are buried in the river, the stream is a tomb, and the place of mummification is a canal. The gentle folk weep, the simple folk are glad, and the people of every town say, 'Come, let us blot out these who have power and possessions among us.' Men resemble the mud-birds, filth is everywhere, and every one is clad in dirty garments. The land spinneth round like the wheel of the potter. The robber is a rich man, and [the rich man] is a robber. The poor man groaneth and saith, 'This is calamity indeed, but what can I do?' The river is blood, and men drink it; they cease to be men who thirst for water. Gates and their buildings are consumed with fire, yet the palace is stable and nourishing. The boats of the peoples of the South have failed to arrive, the towns are destroyed, and Upper Egypt is desert. The crocodiles are sated with their prey, for men willingly go to them. [238]The desert hath covered the land, the Nomes are destroyed, and there are foreign troops in Egypt. People come hither [from everywhere], there are no Egyptians left in the land. On the necks of the women slaves [hang ornaments of] gold, lapis-lazuli, silver, turquoise, carnelian, bronze, and abhet stone. There is good food everywhere, and yet mistresses of houses say, 'Would that we had something to eat.' The skilled masons who build pyramids have become hinds on farms, and those who tended the Boat of the god are yoked together [in ploughing]. Men do not go on voyages to Kepuna (Byblos in Syria) to-day. What shall we do for cedar wood for our mummies, in coffins of which priests are buried, and with the oil of which men are embalmed? They come no longer. There is no gold, the handicrafts languish. What is the good of a treasury if we have nothing to put in it? Everything is in ruins. Laughter is dead, no one can laugh. Groaning and lamentation are everywhere in the land. Egyptians have turned into foreigners. The hair hath fallen out of the head of every man. A gentleman cannot be distinguished from a nobody. Every man saith, 'I would that I were dead,' and children say, '[My father] ought not to have begotten me.' Children of princes are dashed against the walls, the children of desire are cast out into the desert, and Khnemu[1] groaneth in sheer exhaustion. The Asiatics have become workmen in the Delta. Noble ladies and slave girls suffer alike. The women who used to sing songs now sing dirges. Female slaves speak as they like, and when their mistress commandeth they are aggrieved. Princes go hungry and weep. The hasty man saith, 'If I only knew where God was I would make offerings to Him.' The hearts of the flocks weep, and the cattle groan because of the condition of the land. A man striketh his own brother. What is to be done? The roads are watched by robbers, who hide in the bushes until a benighted traveller cometh, when they rob him. They seize his goods, and beat him to death with cudgels. Would that the human race might perish, and there be no more conceiving or bringing to the [239]birth! If only the earth could be quiet, and revolts cease! Men eat herbs and drink water, and there is no food for the birds, and even the swill is taken from the mouths of the swine. There is no grain anywhere, and people lack clothes, unguents, and oil. Every man saith, 'There is none.' The storehouse is destroyed, and its keeper lieth prone on the ground. The documents have been filched from their august chambers, and the shrine is desecrated. Words of power are unravelled, and spells made powerless. The public offices are broken open and their documents stolen, and serfs have become their own masters. The laws of the court-house are rejected, men trample on them in public, and the poor break them in the street. Things are now done that have never been done before, for a party of miserable men have removed the king. The secrets of the Kings of the South and of the North have been revealed. The man who could not make a coffin for himself hath a large tomb. The occupants of tombs have been cast out into the desert, and the man who could not make a coffin for himself hath now a treasury. He who could not build a hut for himself is now master of a habitation with walls. The rich man spendeth his night athirst, and he who begged for the leavings in the pots hath now brimming bowls. Men who had fine raiment are now in rags, and he who never wore a garment at all now dresseth in fine linen. The poor have become rich, and the rich poor. Noble ladies sell their children for beds. Those who once had beds now sleep on the ground. Noble ladies go hungry, whilst butchers are sated with what was once prepared for them. A man is slain by his brother's side, and that brother fleeth to save his own life."

[1] The god who fashioned the bodies of men.

Apuur next, in a series of five short exhortations, entreats his bearers to take action of some sort; each exhortation begins with the words, "Destroy the enemies of the sacred palace (or Court)." These are followed by a series of sentences, each of which begins with the word "Remember," and contains one exhortation to his hearers to perform certain duties in connection with the service of the gods. Thus they are told to burn incense and to pour out libations each [240]morning, to offer various kinds of geese to the gods, to eat natron, to make white bread, to set up poles on the temples and stelæ inside them, to make the priest to purify the temples, to remove from his office the priest who is unclean, &c. After many breaks in the text we come to the passage in which Apuur seems to foretell the coming of the king who is to restore order and prosperity to the land. He is to make cool that which is hot. He is to be the "shepherd of mankind," having no evil in his heart. When his herds are few [and scattered], he will devote his time to bringing them together, their hearts being inflamed. The passage continues, "Would that he had perceived their nature in the first generation (of men), then he would have repressed evils, he would have stretched forth (his) arm against it, he would have destroyed their seed (?) and their inheritance.... A fighter (?) goeth forth, that (he?) may destroy the wrongs that (?) have been wrought. There is no pilot (?) in their moment. Where is he (?) to-day? Is he sleeping? Behold, his might is not seen." [1] Many of the passages in the indictment of Apuur resemble the descriptions of the state of the land of Israel and her people which are found in the writings of the Hebrew Prophets, and the "shepherd of mankind," i.e. of the Egyptians, forcibly reminds us of the appeal to the "Shepherd of Israel" in Psalm lxxx. 1.

[1] See A.H. Gardiner, Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage, Leipzic, 1909, p. 78.