Pharaoh's Daughter to Philinte

Pharaoh’s Daughter. The daughter of Pharaoh who brought up Moses was, according to the Talmud, Bathia. (Bithiah, see 1 Chron. iv. 18.) Josephus says her name was Thumuthia.

Bathia, the daughter of Pharaoh, came attended by her maidens, and entering the water she chanced to see the box of bulrushes, and, pitying the infant, she rescued him from death.—The Talmud, vi.

Pharaoh’s Wife, Asia daughter of Mozâhem. Her husband cruelly tormented her because she believed in Moses. He fastened her hands and feet to four stakes, and laid a millstone on her as she lay in the hot sun with her face upwards; but angels shaded off the sun with their wings, and God took her, without dying, into paradise.—Sale: Al Korân, lxvi. note.

Among women, four have been perfect: Asia, wife of Pharaoh; Mary, daughter of Imrân; Khadîjah, daughter of Khowailed, Mahomet’s first wife; and Fâtima, Mahomet’s daughter.—Attributed to Mahomet.

There is considerable doubt respecting the Pharaoh meant—whether the Pharaoh whose daughter adopted Moses, or the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea. The tale suits the latter king far better than it does the first.

Pharian Fields, Egypt; so called from Pharos, an island on the Egyptian coast, noted for its lighthouse.

And passed from Pharian fields to Canaän land.

Milton: Psalm cxiv. (1623).

Pharsalia (The), a Latin historic poem in te n books, by Lu can, the subject being the fall and death of Pompey. It opens with the passage of Cæsar acros s the Rubicon. This river formed the boundary of his province, and his crossing it was virtually a declaration of war (bk. i.). Pompey is appointed by the senate general of the army to oppose him (bk. v.); Cæsar retreats to Thessaly; Pompey follows (bk. vi.) , and both prepare for war. Pompey, being routed in the battle of Pharsalia, flees (bk. vii.), and, seeking protection in Egypt, is met by Achillas the Egyptian general, who murders him, cuts off his hea d, and casts his body into the sea (bk. viii.). Cato leads the residue of Pompey’s army to Cyrenê, in Africa (bk. ix.); and Cæsar, in pursuit of Pompey, landing at Alexandria, is hospitably entertained by Cleopatra (bk. x.). While here, he tarries in luxurious dalliance, the palace is besieged by Egyptians, and Cæsar with difficulty escapes to Pharos. He is closely pursued, hemmed in on all sides, and leaps into the sea. With his imperial robe held between his teeth, his commentaries in his left hand, and his sword in his right, he buffets with the waves. A thousand javelins are hurled at him, but touch him not. He swims for empire, he swims for life; ’tis Cæsar and his fortunes that the waves bear on. He reaches his fleet, and is received by his soldiers with thundering applause. The stars in their courses fought for Cæsar. The sea-gods were with him, and Egypt with her host was a by-word and a scorn.

Bk. ix. contains the account of the African serpents, by far the most celebrated passage of the whole poem. The following is a pretty close translation of the serpents themselves. It would occupy too much room to give their onslaught also:-

Here all the serpent deadly brood appears;
First the dull Asp its swelling neck uprears;
The h uge Hemorrhoïs, vampire of the blood;
Chersyders, too, that poison field and flood;
The Water-serpent, tyrant of the lake;
The hooded Cobra; and the Plantain snake;
Here with distended jaws the Prester strays;
And Seps, whose bite both flesh and bone decays;
The Amphisbæna with its double head,
One on the neck, and one of tail instead;
The horned Cerastês; and the Hammodyte,
Whose sandy hue might balk the keenest sight;
A feverish thirst betrays the Dipsas’ sting;
The Scytala, its slough that casts in spring;
The Natrix here the crystal stream pollutes;
Swift thro’ the air the venomed Javelin shoots;
Here the Pareas, moving on its tail,
Marks in the sand its progress by its trail;
The speckled Cenchris darts its devious way,
Its skin with spots as Theban marble gay;
The hissing Sibila; and Basilisk,
With whom no living thing its life would risk,
Where’er it moves none else would dare remain,
Tyrant alike and terror of the plain.
   —E. C. B.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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