Progress of Egyptology.
Command of the king to the confidential friend of the king, the hherlieb and
superintendent of the frontier, Herkhuf.
I have understood the word of this thy letter which thou hast despatched to the
king to the . . . ., to inform us that thou didst enter Aam in peace with thy
soldiers which were with thee.
Thou hast said in this thy letter that thou hast brought all great and good gifts
which Hathor, goddess of Amaau, has given to the Tea of the king Nefer-ka-ra
living for ever and ever.
Thou hast said in this thy letter that thou hast brought a Denli of the dances
of the god from the Land of the Blessed Spirits, like to the Denli which the
divine chancellor Baurded brought from Punt in the time of Assa. Thou hast
said to my majesty that there was never one like him brought by any other [who
had been sent] to Aam before. Each year thou doest (?) the pleasure and desire
of thy lord : thy sleeping and thy waking hours [are devoted to the] performance
of that which thy lord desires, praises and commands. His majesty will do thee
many excellent honours to the glory of thy son's son for ever, so that all people
will say when they hear what my majesty hath done unto thee, ' Is there anything
like that which has been done to the confidential friend of the king, Herkhuf,
when he went to Aam, while he was watchful to do what his lord desired, praised
and commanded?' Come thou down to the palace immediately, and bring thou this
Denli with thee, whom thou hast brought from the land of the blessed spirits,
living and well, for the dances of the god and to please and rejoice the heart of
the king Neferkara, living for ever.
If he embarks with thee on a ship, let good people bo behind him on the two
sides of the ship to guard him from falling into the water : and when he is lying
down at night, let good people lie behind him in his tent (?), and inspect them ten
times in the night. My majesty desires to see this Deiik more than the products
of the mines and of Punt; and if thou comest to the palace and this Denli is with
thee alive and well, my majesty will do for thee more than was done for the
divine chancellor Baurded in the time of Assa, according to the disposition of the
heart of my majesty to see this Denk.
Commands have been brought to the prince of the new towns (?) and the royal
friend and superintendent of priests, to order that provisions should be received
from him (the prince or priest) in every establishment of the commissariat and in
every temple, and that there shall be no sparing in it.
This letter is not very important historically, but it has plenty of human
nature. The little king's anxiety about the safety of the rare dwarf
dancer, or Denlt. is amusing to read of.
The name of the king in whose reign the stela of the seven years famine
at Sehel was dated is still a matter of dispute, owing to the poorness
of the engraving. Most scholars read the cartouche as that of Zeser, of
the IUrd Dynasty, from the photographs, while several of those who have