"Once I Was Worshipped, But I Am Worshipped No Longer."
Buildings have personalities.
Some fascinate as beautiful women
fascinate; some charm as a child may charm, naively, simply, but
irresistibly. Some, like conquerors, men of blood and iron, without
bowels of mercy, pitiless and determined, strike awe to the soul,
mingled with the almost gasping admiration that power wakes in man.
Some bring a sense of heavenly peace to the heart. Some, like certain
temples of the Greeks, by their immense dignity, speak to the nature
almost as music speaks, and change anxiety to trust. Some tug at the
hidden chords of romance and rouse a trembling response. Some seem to
be mingling their tears with the tears of the dead; some their
laughter with the laughter of the living. The traveller, sailing up
the Nile, holds intercourse with many of these different
personalities. He is sad, perhaps, as I was with Denderah; dreams in
the sun with Abydos; muses with Luxor beneath the little tapering
minaret whence the call to prayer drops down to be answered by the
angelus bell; falls into a reverie in the "thinking place" of Rameses
II., near to the giant that was once the mightiest of all Egyptian
statues; eagerly wakes to the fascination of record at Deir-el-Bahari;
worships in Edfu; by Philae is carried into a realm of delicate magic,
where engineers are not. Each prompts him to a different mood, each
wakes in his nature a different response.
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