ELEGANT ANECDOTES about ART: THE STATUES OF MEMNON.
There were many colossal statues of Memnon in Egypt, but the most remarkable were the two in the Memnonium or palace of Memnon, at Thebes. The largest is of rose-colored granite, and stood in the centre of the principal court; its height was sixty-four feet, and its remains are scattered forty feet around it. Rigaud, one of the French savans, says, “the excavations are still visible where the wedges were placed which divided the monument when it was thrown down by Cambyses.” The trunk is broke off at the waist, and the upper part lies prostrate on the back; it measures six feet ten inches over the front of the head, and sixty-two feet round the shoulders. At the entrance of the gate which leads from the second court to the palace, is the famous colossal sounding statue, which, according to Herodotus, Strabo, and Pausanias, uttered a joyful sound when the sun rose, and a mournful one when it set. It is also
related that it shed tears, and gave out oracular responses in seven verses, and that these sounds were heard till the fourth century after Christ. These phenomena, attested by many ancient and modern writers, are variously accounted for by the learned, as priestcraft, peculiar construction, escape of rarified air, &c. This statue is in excellent preservation. The head is of rose-colored granite, and the rest of a kind of black stone. Two other colossal statues, about fifty feet high, are seated on the plain.