When first the mounting sun the Lion meets.1And as they term the Nile the efflux of Osiris, so they hold and esteem the earth for the body of Isis; and not all of it either, but that part only which the Nile, as it were, leaps over, and thereby impregnates and mixes with it. And by this amorous congress they produce Horus. Now this Horus is that Hora, or sweet season and just temperament of the ambient air, which nourisheth and preserveth all things; and they report him to have been nursed by Latona in the marshy grounds about Buto, because moist and watery land best feeds those exhaled vapors which quench and relax drought and parching heat. But those parts of the country which are outmost and upon the confines and sea-coast they call Nephthys; and therefore they give her the name of Teleutaea (or the outmost) and report her to be married to Typhon. When therefore the Nile [p. 99] is excessive great, and so far passes its ordinary bounds that it approaches to those that inhabit the outmost quarters, they call this Osiris's accompanying with Nephthys, found out by the springing up of plants thereupon, whereof the melilot is one; which (as the story tells us), being dropped behind and left there, gave Typhon to understand the wrong that had been done to his bed. Which made them say that Isis had a lawful son called Horus, and Nephthys a bastard called Anubis. And indeed they record in the successions of their kings, that Nephthys being married to Typhon was at first barren. Now if they do not mean this of a woman but of a Goddess, they must needs hint that the earth, by reason of its solidity, is in its own nature unfruitful and barren.
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1 From Aratus.
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