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THE Nile is a river in Egypt, that runs by the city of Alexandria. It was formerly called Melas, from Melas the son of Neptune; but afterwards it was called Aegyptus upon this occasion. Aegyptus, the son of Vulcan and [p. 496] Leucippe, was formerly king of the country, between whom and his own subjects happened a civil war; on which account the river Nile not increasing, the Egyptians were oppressed with famine. Upon which the oracle made answer, that the land should be again blessed with plenty, if the king would sacrifice his daughter to atone the anger of the Gods. Upon which the king, though greatly afflicted in his mind, gave way to the public good, and suffered his daughter to be led to the altar. But so soon as she was sacrificed, the king, not able to support the burden of his grief, threw himself into the river Melas, which after that was called Aegyptus. But then it was called Nilus upon this occasion.

Garmathone, queen of Egypt, having lost her son Chrysochoas while he was yet very young, with all her servants and friends most bitterly bemoaned her loss. At what time Isis appearing to her, she surceased her sorrow for a while, and putting on the countenance of a feigned gratitude, kindly entertained the goddess. She, willing to make a suitable return to the queen for the piety which she expressed in her reception, persuaded Osiris to bring back her son from the subterranean regions. When Osiris undertook to do this, at the importunity of his wife, Cerberus —whom some call the Terrible—barked so loud, that Nilus, Garmathone's husband, struck with a sudden frenzy, threw himself into the river Aegyptus, which from thence was afterwards called Nilus.

In this river grows a stone, not unlike to a bean, which so soon as any dog happens to see, he ceases to bark. It also expels the evil spirit out of those that are possessed, if held to the nostrils of the party afflicted.

There are other stones which are found in this river, called kollotes, which the swallows picking up against the time that Nilus overflows, build up the wall which is called the Chelidonian wall, which restrains the inundation of [p. 497] the water and will not suffer the country to be injured by the fury of the flood;—as Thrasyllus tells us in his Relation of Egypt.

Upon this river lies the mountain Argyllus, so called for this reason.

Jupiter in the heat of his amorous desires ravished away the Nymph Arge from Lyctus, a city of Crete, and then carried her to a mountain of Egypt called Argillus, and there begat a son, whom he named Dionysus (or Bacchus); who, growing up to years of manhood, in honor of his mother called the hill Argillus; and then mustering together an army of Pans and Satyrs, first conquered the Indian's, and then subduing Spain, left Pan behind him there, the chief commander and governor of those places. Pan by his own name called that country Pania, which was afterward by his posterity called Spania;—as Sosthenes relates in the Thirteenth Book of Iberian Relations.

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