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be supposed to have operated in preventing that curiosity which prompted the opening of the great pyramid of Cheops. M. Belzoni, however, perceived certain indications of sufficient weight to induce him to make the attempt, the account of which we are enabled to give in his own words : but first we shall quote Mr. Salt's observation on this most wonderful undertaking, from a letter which now lies before us. • The opening of this pyramid had long been considered an object of so hopeless a nature that it is difficult to conceive how any person could be found sanguine enough to make the attempt; and even after the discovery with great labour of the forced entrance, it required great perseverance in Belzoni, and confidence in his own views, to induce him to continue the operation, when it became evident that the extensive labours of his predecessors in the enterprise had so completely failed. He himself has pointed outin some degree his motives for trying the particular point where he came upon the true entrance, otherwise, on examining it, nothing can present a more hopeless prospect. The direct manner in which he dug down upon the door affords, however, the most incontestable proof that chance had nothing to do with the discovery. Of the discovery itself, M. Belzoni has given a very clear description, and his drawings present a perfect idea of the channels, chambers, and entrances. Of the labours of the undertaking, no one can form an idea. Notwithstanding the masses of stone which he had to remove, and the hardness of the materials which impeded his progress, the whole was effected entirely at his own risk and expense.'
The following is M. Belzoni's own account of his operations in penetrating to the centre of the pyramid of Cephrenes, which will the more readily be understood by a reference to the annexed diagram.
According to M. Belzoni, the base of this pyramid is 684 feet, and the perpendicular 456, which is considerably more than the French made it; but it may be doubted whether any one before him worked down to the foundation,
'On my return to Cairo, I again went to visit the celebrated pyramids of Ghiza ; and on viewing that of Cephrenes, I could not help reflecting how many travellers of different nations, who had visited this spot, contented themselves with looking at the outside of this pyramid, and went away without inquiring whether any, and what chambers, exist within it; satisfied perhaps with the report of the Egyptian priests, " that the pyramid of Cheops only contained chambers in its interior." I then began to consider about the possibility of opening this pyramid; the attempt was perhaps presumptuous; and the risk of undertaking such an immense work without success deterred me in some degree from the enterprise. I am not certain whether love for antiquity, an ardent curiosity, or ambition, spurred me on most in spite of every obstacle, but I determined at length to commence the operation. I soon discovered the same indications which had led to the developement of the six tombs of the kings in Thebes, and which induced me to begin the operation on the north side. It is true, the situations of the tombs at Thebes, their form and epoques are so very different from those of the pyramids, that many points of observation made with regard to the former, could not apply to the latter; yet, 1 perceived enough to urge me to the enterprise. I accordingly set out from Cairo on the 6th of February, 1818, under pretence of going in quest of some antiquities at a village not far off, in order that I might not be disturbed in my work by the people of Cairo. I then repaired to the Kaiya Bey, and asked permission to work at the pyramid of Ghiza in search of antiquities. He made no objection, but said that he wished to know if there was any ground about the pyramid fit for tillage ; I informed him that it was all stones, and at a considerable distance from any tilled ground. He nevertheless persisted in inquiring of the Caschief of the province, if there was any good ground near the pyramids; and, after receiving the necessary information, granted my request.
'Having thus acquired permission, 1 began my labours on the 10th of February, at a point on the north side in a vertical section at right angles to that side of the base. I saw many reasons against my beginning there, but certain indications told me that there was an entrance at that spot. I employed sixty labouring men, and began to cut through the mass of stones and cement which had fallen from the upper part of the pyramid, but it was so hard joined together, that the men spoiled several of their hatchets in the operation; the stones which had fallen down along with the cement having formed themselves into one solid and almost impenetrable mass. I succeeded however in making an opening of fifteen feet wide, and continued working downwards in uncovering the face of the pyramid; this work took up several days, without the least prospect of meeting with any thing interesting. Meantime, I began to fear that some of the Europeans residing at Cairo might pay a visit to the pyramids, which they do very often, and thus discover my retreat, and interrupt my proceedings.
On the 17th of the same month we had made a considerable advance downwards, when an Arab workman called out, making a great noise, and saying that he had found the entrance. He had discovered a hole in the pyramid into which he could just thrust his arm and a djerid of six feet long. Towards the evening we discovered a larger aperture, above three feet square, which had been closed in irregularly, by a hewn stone; this stone I caused to be removed, and then came to an opening larger than the preceding, but filled up with loose stones and sand. This satisfied me that it was not the real but a forced passage, which I found to lead inwards and towards the south ;- the next day we succeeded in entering fifteen feet from the outside, when we reached a place where the sand and stones began to fall from above. I caused the rubbish to be taken out, but it still continued to fall in great qırantities; at last, after some days labour, I discovered an upper forced entrance, (2), communicating with the outside from above, and which had evidently been cut by some one who was in search of the true passage. Having cleared this passage, I perceived another opening (3) below, which apparently ran towards the centre of the pyramid. In a few hours I was able to enter this passage, and found it to be a continuation of the lower forced passage (1), which runs horizontally towards the centre of the pyramid, nearly all choked up with stones and sand. These obstructions I caused to be taken out; and at half way from the entrance I found a descent, (xx), which also had been forced; and which ended at the distance of forty feet. I afterwards continued the work in the horizontal passage above, in hopes that it might lead to the centre; but I was disappointed, and at last was convinced that it ended there, (xo), and that, to attempt to advance in that way would only incur the risk of sacrificing some of my workmen; as it was really astonishing to see how the stones hung suspended over their heads, resting, perhaps, by a single point. Indeed one of these stones did fall, and had nearly killed one of the men. I therefore retired from the forced passage, with great regret and disappointment.
Notwithstanding the discouragements I met with, I recommenced my researches on the following day, depending upon my indications. I directed the ground to be cleared away to the eastvard of the false entrance; the stones incrusted and bound together with cement, were equally hard as the former, and we had as many large stones to remove as before. By this time my retreat
had been discovered, which occasioned me many interruptions from visiters; among others was the Abbé de Forbin.
On February 28, we discovered a block of granite (at 4) in an inclined direction towards the centre of the pyramid, and I perceived that the inclination was the same as that of the passage of the first pyramid or that of Cheops ; consequently I began to bope that I was near the true entrance. On the first of March we observed three large blocks of stone one upon the other, all inclined towards the centre: these large stones we had to remove as well as others much larger as we advanced, which considerably retarded our approach to the desired spot. I perceived, however, that I was near the true entrance, and, in fact, the next day about noon, on the 2d of March, was the epoch at which the grand pyramid of Cephrenes was at last opened, after being closed up for so many centuries, that it remained an uncertainty whether any interior chambers did or did not exist. The passage I discovered was a square opening of four feet high and three and a half wide, formed by four blocks of granite ; and continued slanting downward at the same inclination as that of the pyramid of Cheops, which is an an. gle of 26°.-It runs to the length of 104 feet 5 inches, lined the whole way with granite. I had much to do to remove and draw up the stones which filled the passage (4, 5,) down to the port-cullis (6) or door of granite, which is fitted into a niche also made of granite. I found this door supported by small stones within 8 inches of the floor, and in consequence of the narrowness of the place it took up the whole of that day and part of the next to raise it sufficiently to afford an entrance; this door is 1 foot 3 inches thick, and, together with the work of the niche, occupies 6 feet 11 inches, where the granite work ends: then commences a short passage, (7) gradually ascending towards the centre, 22 feet 7 inches, at the end of which is a perpendicular of 15 feet: on the left is a small forced passage (9) cut in the rock, and also above, on the right, is another forced passage, (8) which runs upwards and turns to the north 30 feet, just over the port-cullis. There is no doubt that this passage was made by the same persons who forced the other, in order to ascertain if there were any others which might ascend above, in conformity to that of the pyramid of Cheops. I descended the perpendicular (x) by means of a rope, and found a large quantity of stones and earth accumulated beneath, which very nearly filled up the entrance into the passage below (12) which inclines towards the north. I next proceeded towards the channel (10) that leads to the centre, and soon reached the horizontal passage. This passage is 5 feet 11 inches high, 3 feet 6 inches wide, and the whole length, from the above-mentioned perpendicular (x) to the great chamber (11) is 158 feet 8 inches. These