Adams, Walter M.
The house of the hidden places: a clue to the creed of early Egypt from Egyptian sources — London, 1895

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IV.] The Cycle of the River. 125

latter in the " intolerable stench" made by
Osiris in the river. About the period corre-
sponding to our month of July, the waters
begin to rise ; and the " Sailing of the Bark
of Ra" was celebrated, together with the
birthday of Osiris. A few days later was held
the great Assembly at the Nilometer, or sacred
"Tat," the most venerated symbol known to
their worship ; and the first proclamation of
the rise was made. Towards the middle of
August took place the cutting of the Grand
Dyke, whereby the risen stream was permitted
to overflow into private channels ; a ceremony
celebrated in more modern times as the
" Marriage of the Nile," but known to the
ancient world as the festival of the " Digging
of the Earth." No less a sanctity, in short,
attached to every phase of that stream of life
than to the " Celestial Nile " itself, of which the
earthly river was the image and counterpart.

It may now be not uninteresting or unin-
structive to compare for a moment the system
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