Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 112

This was done: his horses were fed and tied up, the baggage was searched, and the magic cane found.

The Stratagem

Hearing this, the Prince of Joppa expressed his eager wish to behold the magic cane. Thoutii went and fetched it; then suddenly seizing the Prince by his clothes, he said, "Behold here King Thothmes' magic cane," and with that he raised his hand and struck the Prince on the forehead so that the latter fell down unconscious before him. Then he put him into the big leather sack he had with him and clapped the handcuffs on his wrists and the irons on his feet. The face of the dead man being invisible, Thoutii's stratagem was to pass off the corpse as his own. He had the two hundred soldiers put into an equal number of the four hundred jars he had brought with him and filled the remainder with the ropes and wooden shackles; then he sealed them, corded them, and gave them to as many strong soldiers, saying, "Go quickly and tell the Prince of Joppa's equerry that I am slain. Let him go and tell his mistress, the Princess of Joppa, that Thoutii is conquered, that she may open the city gates[Pg 251] to receive the dead body of the vanquished and the jars of booty that have been taken from him." The equerry received this message and ran to tell the joyful news to his mistress. The gates of the town were opened, and Thoutii's men carried the jars containing the other soldiers into the town. Then they released their companions, and the Egyptian force fell upon the inhabitants of the city and took them and bound them.

After he had rested Thoutii sent a message to Pharaoh saying, "I have killed the Prince of Joppa and all the people of Joppa are prisoners. Let them be sent for and brought to Egypt, that your house may be filled with male and female slaves who will be yours for ever. Let Amen-Ra, thy father, the god of gods, be glorified."

[1] Vansleb at the end of the seventeenth century perhaps heard it spoken.

[2] The Rosetta Stone is written in three scripts, hieroglyphic, Demotic, and Greek.

[3] Properly speaking, it should be written from right to left horizontally. Only for decorative purposes is it inscribed from right to left or in columns.

[4] Or Usertsen.

[5] This expression argues a greater decency in matters convivial in the Egypt of 526 B.C. than obtained in Georgian England.

[6] Called Her-tata-f in another part of this manuscript.

[7] The Demotic gives the name (or title) as Setne or Setme, and the name of the miraculous child as Si-Osiris (i.e. son of Osiris).

[8] The whole of this is very obscure in the original.

[Pg 252]


To the peoples of antiquity Egypt appeared as the very mother of magic. In the mysterious Nile country they found a magical system much more highly developed than any within their native knowledge, and the cult of the dead, with which Egyptian religion was so strongly identified, appeared to the foreigner to savour of magical practice. If the materials of the magical papyri be omitted, the accounts which we possess of Egyptian magic are almost wholly foreign, so that it is wiser to derive our data concerning it from the original native sources if we desire to arrive at a proper understanding of Egyptian sorcery.