The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  Pure and perfect
is its design - broad propylon, great open courtyard with pillared
galleries, halls, chambers, sanctuary. Its dignity and - Page 84
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Pure And Perfect Is Its Design - Broad Propylon, Great Open Courtyard With Pillared Galleries, Halls, Chambers, Sanctuary.

Its dignity and its sobriety are matchless.

I know they must be, because they touched me so strangely, with a kind of reticent enchantment, and I am not by nature enamored of sobriety, of reticence and calm, but am inclined to delight in almost violent force, in brilliance, and, especially, in combinations of color. In the Alhambra one finds both force and fairylike lightness, delicious proportions, delicate fantasy, a spell as of subtle magicians; in the Cappella Palatina, a jeweled splendor, combined with a small perfection of form which simply captivates the whole spirit and leads it to adoration. In Edfu you are face to face with hugeness and with grandeur; but soon you are scarcely aware of either - in the sense, at least, that connects these qualities with a certain overwhelming, almost striking down, of the spirit and the faculties. What you are aware of is your own immense and beautiful calm of utter satisfaction - a calm which has quietly inundated you, like a waveless tide of the sea. How rare it is to feel this absolute satisfaction, this praising serenity! The critical spirit goes, like a bird from an opened window. The excited, laudatory, voluble spirit goes. And this splendid calm is left. If you stay here, you, as this temple has been, will be molded into a beautiful sobriety. From the top of the pylon you have received this still and glorious impression from the matchless design of the whole building, which you see best from there.

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