The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  And I had
realized the subtlety, essentially feminine, that had placed a temple
there. And Menu-Hotep's temple, perhaps you - Page 70
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And I Had Realized The Subtlety, Essentially Feminine, That Had Placed A Temple There.

And Menu-Hotep's temple, perhaps you say, was it not there before the queen's?

Then he must have possessed a subtlety purely feminine, or have been advised by one of his wives in his building operations, or by some favorite female slave. Blundering, unsubtle man would probably think that the best way to attract and to fix attention on any object was to make it much bigger than things near and around it, to set up a giant among dwarfs.

Not so Queen Hatshepsu. More artful in her generation, she set her long but little temple against the precipices of Libya. And what is the result? Simply that whenever one looks toward them one says, "What are those little pillars?" Or if one is more instructed, one thinks about Queen Hatshepsu. The precipices are as nothing. A woman's wile has blotted them out.

And yet how grand they are! I have called them tiger-colored precipices. And they suggest tawny wild beasts, fierce, bred in a land that is the prey of the sun. Every shade of orange and yellow glows and grows pale on their bosses, in their clefts. They shoot out turrets of rock that blaze like flames in the day. They show great teeth, like the tiger when any one draws near. And, like the tiger, they seem perpetually informed by a spirit that is angry. Blake wrote of the tiger:

"Tiger, tiger, burning bright In the forests of the night."

These tiger-precipices of Libya are burning things, avid like beasts of prey.

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