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 A little above Elephantine is the lesser cataract, where the boatmen exhibit a sort of spectacle to the governors. The cataract is in the middle of the river, and is formed by a ridge of rock, the upper part [or commencement] of which is level, and thus capable of receiving the river, but terminating in a precipice, where the water dashes down. On each side towards the land there is a stream, up which is the chief ascent for vessels. The boatmen sail up by this stream, and, dropping down to the cataract, are impelled with the boat to the precipice, the crew and the boats escaping unhurt. A little above the cataract is Philæ, a common settlement, like Elephantina, of Ethiopians and Egyptians, and equal in size, containing Egyptian temples, where a bird, which they call hierax, (the hawk,) is worshipped; but it did not appear to me to resemble in the least the hawks of our country nor of Egypt, for it was larger, and very different in the marks of its plumage. They said that the bird was Ethiopian, and is brought from Ethiopia when its predecessor dies, or before its death. The one shown to us when we were there was sick and nearly dead.
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