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were due to the decline of the martial history, as it has come down to us, virtues among the Egyptians, the dis- absolutely requires. The difficulty is content of the people in consequence considerable with 250 years; it is of the exactions of, and the labours doubled with 511; and it becomes imposed upon them by, the first race altogether insuperable with 922; for of kings, and possibly to domestic it must be remembered that, whatever treachery. Having once established chronology be adopted, we have the their authority, we must suppose one of same story to tell at the end of it, two cases_lst. Either that they con- namely, that the Hyksos were gathered tinued to exist as a separate military together in a single stronghold to the caste, wholly distinct from the Egyp- number of 240,000 souls; that they were tians; or, 2ndly, that they gradually there besieged by a king of Upper adopted the language, manners, and Egypt, and compelled, in terms of a religion of the people they had sub- capitulation, to abandon the territory dued, and through the lapse of time, they had so long oppressed by their intermarriages, and other obvious presence, and to evacuate the country, means, lost those peculiarities which not in detachments, or portions, but were proper to them as foreigners, and as a whole. We repeat, ther, that which caused their name to become considering the peculiar structure of ultimately a byword of reproach. If society in Eastern countries, and parwe take the first case, a comparatively ticularly in ancient Egypt, we can short period of time will suffice, say the believe, if obliged to do so, this to have 250 years commonly assigned to their been practicable after the lapse of two dominion ; if we take the second, a centuries, or thereby, but to be scarcely larger portion of time will be needed, conceivable after the lapse of five censuch as M. Bunsen's 922 years. The turies, and to be wholly unimaginable question, then, lies between the com- after the lapse of nine. Universal parative probabilities of these two as- history furnishes nothing analogous to sumptions, and neither does nor can the conditions on which the Chevalier admit of the intervention of a third. Bunsen's middle empire is founded, for Now, it is a noticeable circumstance it will not be alleged, we presume, that that Manetho-or Josephus speaking the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt for him-gives their number at the is a parallel case, and if not, we know date of their expulsion, and, after a not where one is to be found; for residence in Egypt of, according to though the English are a ruling milihim, 511 years, at 240,000 persons, tary class in Hindostan, they are not the same number which Bryant gives domesticated there as the Hyksos were to them at their entry; whence it in Egypt; while the Chinese example may be inferred that they preserved of the Mantchoo Tartars is so little in to the last their original state of isola- point, that they have governed the tion, though it may be concluded, at Celestial Empire for only 160 years the same time, that their numbers had (1692) and are now so thoroughly inbeen latterly much diminished, possi- corporated with the people whom they bly by the war of thirteen years' dura- subdued, that, though much dissatistion which they had maintained with faction is expressed with their rule, the the natives before they were finally recent movement against them has driven out of the country. The grand failed to make any sensible impression point, however, is the establishment of upon it. At this moment it is 789 the fact of their isolation, for if that be years since the Norman Conquest of once settled, the shorter term of resi. England, less by 133 years than the dence will follow as a matter of neces. Chevalier Bunsen asks for the duration sity; and it will also follow, that the of the shepherd dominion in Egypt ; shorter that term can be made the but who could now separate the Norstronger will the case become ; for, a man from the Saxon, the Saxon from residence extended to upwards of 900 the Dane, or the Dane from the years, the complete domestication Briton ? And unless human nature which this would imply, and the exer- was different in ancient Egypt from cise of imperial functions for so long a what it is in modern Europe, how can time, are irreconcilable with the we believe that after the lapse of nearly theory of a distinct class-existence, and a thousand years it was possible to so entire a separation of the shepherds collect the Canaanitish invaders into from the rest of the population as their one body, to shut them up in a fortress
with their families and their effects, the Hyksos period, it increases them and finally to drive them from the land fifty-fold ; and we must conclude these they had made their own into the wil. very general remarks on this unquesderness, for by this time they could tionably able and learned work, by exhave had no other home, and no other pressing our regret that its accomplishcountry, than Egypt? It appears to ed author should have allowed his zeal us, therefore, that this part of M. in the cause of Egyptian archæology Bunsen's general argument, which he to render him unjust to those who think obviously thinks the strongest, and less highly than he does of the historiwhich he has made so many sacrifices cal value of the Egyptian monumento establish, is really the weakest, since tal records, and whose chief sin is, that it is opposed not only to the canons of they decline to postpone the authority experience, but to the laws of social of Genesis to Lepsius's “ Todtenbuch," progression and amalgamation in every and to give up the Flood in obedience age. So far from removing the diffi- to M. de Ronge's last " Memoire sur culties that have always belonged to quelques Phénomènes Célestes.”
THE MYSTERY OF THE BEASTS.
In that tract of time which lies between ing, are the heroes of the most extrathe ages of fable and the epoch when vagant legends. The whole world is the blended civilisation of Rome and metamorphosed by superstition. Truth Greece assumed its most gorgeous as- is ignominiously swept out, and dreams pect, in all antiquity, the sciences substituted for reality. Writers stride which rest on the observation of posi- forward from prodigy to prodigy, with tive facts made no progress.
the arrogance and self-esteem of aunot say they did not exist. One man thors who scorn to be observers. In opened the inquiry, but in this line of the presence of brute instinct, manphilosophy that solitary individual had the king of the creation-abdicates his no disciples. Aristotle, the philoso- reason, in order to endow the meanest pher we allude to, perused with atten- animals with this prerogative. Nothing tion the habits of brutes, and recorded is more strange. When every being in them with care, and classed them in existence is metamorphosed, he next accordance with the laws of a rude proceeds industriously to invent a world comparative physiology. But he had of impossible beings, and his childish no followers in this path. The sciences credulity greedily believes in all that of which he laid the basis, and of which his own teeming fancy invents. Fi. he foresaw the results, were stifled by nally, Polytheism attributes prescience the swarming luxuriance of fable. In to brutes — the power of ascertaining lieu of observations, the most incredi- and indicating futurity; and, by way ble and preposterous romances were of climax to this pile of absurdities, massed together in the pages, for in- sublimates them into deities. It is, stance, of Ælian, Ctesias, and even Pliny we think, worthy of inquiry, why the himself, philosophers who seem to have inferior animals should be thus human-. swallowed the grossest figments with- ised at once by superstition, and poeout a twinge of fastidiousness. It is try, and philosophy. perfectly amazing, and we can only According to the doctrine of the meaccount for it by supposing in those tempsychosis-introduced into Greece ages writing was so rare and costly an by Pythagoras and Timæus--the brute accomplishment, that individuals who animals are human beings in an altered could use the pen deemed it unbecom- form. In their new shape, they preing to use their eyes. If the theolo- serve a recollection of their former gians of pagan antiquity were poets, condition. They were believed by as Bacon observes, their naturalists some philosophers to possess three were even worse. Animals that crowd- souls--the sensitive, rational, and veed about their steps, and which they getative soul-corresponding to what, could not move their eyes without see- in recent times, has been termed in
tellectual, organic, and animal life. ed at, when history itself teems with A book was written by Plutarch, to similar examples. On the fall of Tarprove that animals possess reason, in- quin, a dog, in the open streets, could asmuch as the operations of our boast- not contain his political sentiments, but ed understanding are more liable to gave expression to his republican opi. error than the mysterious operations nions by loudly vociferating his conof instinct. Poets, and even philoso- gratulations. When Domitian was asphers, regarded them as our earliest sassinated, an observant crow, perched teachers of the useful arts. At an on the capitol, favoured the city with early period (according to Pope) its regicidal views by applauding the
murderers. “ It's a good deed," “ To man the voice of nature spake :Gol from the creatures thy instruction take;
screamed the crow; “ it is right well Learn from the birds what food the thickets yield- done.” When Otho oppressed Rome, Jearn from the beasts the physic of the field.
and Vitellius threatened the walls, the Thy arts of building from the bee receive ; Learn of the mole to plough, the worm to weave ; golden reins, to the terror of the alarm. Learn of the little nautilus to sail, Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale.
ed city, dropped from the hands of the
statue of Victory, and the oxen, in a Learn each small people's genius-policies,
low tone, were overheard exchanging The ant's republic, and the realm of bees: How those in common all their wealth bestow,
private opinions on public affairs. And anarchy, without confusion, know.
When Lepidus and Catullus were conAnd these for ever, though a monarch reign,
suls, a cock, in the farm-yard of GaleTheir separate cells and properties maintain."
rius, conversed like a human being ; A grasshopper, instructed by the and Pliny, animadverting on this fact, melodious
teachings of the nightingale, gravely remarks, that "speaking cocks carried off the prize in the Pythian are very rare in history. games. The chargers of the Sybarites One of the most extraordinary feawere famous for pleasing manners and tures in this superstition is, that while accomplishments. They particularly beasts are adepts in the language of surpassed in dancing; and on one oc- men, it is only in exceedingly rare casion, when the battle-trumpet sound- cases that men ever attain to any ed a charge, and all the Sybarite ca- knowledge of the language of beasts. valry were advancing at the signal, the All antiquity produced but five indiviCrotonian enemy suddenly struck up a duals who reached this extraordinary reel, or jig, or dancing tune, where- height of science, namely - Tiresias, upon the Sybarite chargers, mistaking Helenus, Cassandra, Apollonius of a battle for a ball, began to foot it feat- Tyana, and Melampus. Apollonius ly to the measure, and capered, and was suddenly gifted with this privilege pranced, and tramped, so as to disor- in India, while manducating the heart der the ranks, and, through love of of a dragon; and serpents communipleasure, forfeited victory.
cated the faculty to Melampus. Here Narratives and statements such as is the story :-The servants of Melamthese frequently occur in the writings pus found a nest of serpents in a hollow of the ancients, who tell them with the oak, which, after killing the old ones, grave air of satisfied and undoubting they brought to Melampus, who or. credulity. Indeed they saw no reason dered the young creatures to be carefully to doubt them, when their philosophers, brought up.
When these serpents whose names were symbolical of wis- reached maturity, their gratitude for dom, recognised men in brutes, in the care bestowed on their education birds, and even in insects; and when caused thein one day, while Melampus beasts were assimilated in intellect to was wrapped in profound repose, to men, we cannot be surprised if animals glide close to his ears and lick them employed human language; that is, repeatedly, a process which improved when reason dwelt in the mind, we his hearing to such exquisite fineness, can readily suppose it spoken by the that he was astonished, on awaking, tongue. The narratives of the fabu- to hear the brutes utter sounds that lists are only dramatic versions of uni. were quite intelligible to bim. versally accredited traditions. That While it must be confessed that the Æsop's fox should converse with the zoology of antiquity is as fantastic and stork, or that a philosophic discussion fabulous as an Arabian tale, it must be should beguile the leisure of the town also admitted that, as far as we have rat, when visited by an acquaintance yet gone, it is perfectly logical. For from the country, is not to be wonder- example: the brute has three souls ;
he has consequently the same faculties was inconsolable; it rushed into her as man, and the faculties being the funeral pyre, and perished upon her same, the passions must be identical. asbes. A dolphin died of grief for the Though modern science yields its un- loss of a child, during the reign of willing assent to the undoubted and Augustus. This child was accustomed, melancholy fact, that the material ap- on its way to school, to cross the petites and instincts of man are only Lucrine lake every day, which the too identical with those of the brute, dolphin observing, approached the yet it refuses to admit of this analogy child and bore it on its back, safely in the moral sentiments. A profound depositing its burden on the opposite and even infinite difference is clearly shore. One day the child failed to recognised, though to define what this appear, and the dolphin was seen difference consists in is a task of which waiting with evident uneasiness. The modern science is incapable. It knows dolphin came the next day, and the and proclaims, however, that the sa- next, but the child was dead, and the cred ray which enlightens and warms sympathetic fish, as if it were man has not reached the lower ani
"A crime in heaven to love too well," mals. Now, antiquity was blind to this distinction. To the lower ani- sickened and perished of grief. mals it attributed not merely the pas- Such tales justify us in maintaining sions which agitate, but the moral sen- that antiquity assimilated beasts to timents which dignify, and the affec- men. The marvellous predominates tions which console, mankind. Rivals in these facts :-On every hand real are found among the beasts and birds creatures are strangely transfigured; for the heroes of tragic passion, such but the unbridled fancy of antiquity as Phædra, Orestes, Pylades, &c. A is not satisfied with transfiguration. goose, according to Pliny, fell despe- When it has described grasshoppers rately in love with a youth named that excelled in music, serpents that Egius; and in Egypt a tender passion were profound linguists, eagles that was conceived for the beautiful Glauce, committed suicide, and oxen that disa female musician of distinguished cussed politics, it turns from them in merit in the Court of Ptolemy, by an disgust to delight its greedy credulity amorous ram. A sublime constancy with monsters made up of the discorin friendship has been manifested from dant fragments of living types. Antime to time by horses, eagles, and tiquity passionately loved a monster, dolphins.
and slighted or neglected existing aniA young girl in Sestos reared and mals, to conjure up with eager avidity fed an eagle, which, upon her death, animals that could never exist. The
• Thc poet Campbell seems to have been a convert to the doctrine of antiquity, when he says:
“ The deep affections of the breast,
That Heaven to living things imparts,
By human hearts.
Full young and early caged, came o'er
Of Mulla's shore :
His plumage of resplendent hue-
He bade adieu.
A heathery land, and misty sky,
His golden eye.
He lived and chattered many a-day,
His wings grew gray.
He scolded, laughed, and spoke no more ;
To Mulla's shore :
In Spanish speech the bird replied,
Dropt down, and died I"
woods, mountains, seas, and even the stroll through dismal solitudes and uninfernal regions teem with horrible inhabited forests, until the day of and dreadful forms—such as dragons judgment. with enormous pinions, winged horses, These hybrid beings are dispersed crocottes, that cunningly lured wood. in considerable numbers over the whole men from their toils by calling them earth ; but there are creatures comby name, and enticing them into the bining the limbs of men with the forms solitudes of the forests, where they of beasts, which fail to reproduce their devoured them; griffins, with sharp kind, or at best give birth to monsnouts; four-legged birds, furnished sters of a different nature. One of with lion's claws, and covered with these, termed the chimæra, the daughred feathers; the catoblepas, which ter of Echidna, presented shot from its terrible eyes glances that
" A cherub's head, a serpent all the rest." killed the most powerful warriors. The marticorus, according to the de- This interesting creature was united scription of Ctesias, was a strange to the fierce and terrific Typhon, to jumble of incongruous parts. It had whom she bore four very anomalous green eyes, ą scarlet skin, a lion's children, renowned for an extravagant body, three rows of teeth, and the tail superfluity of members—such as the of a scorpion, in which, like a hand, it the hydrá of Lerna with a hundred brandished a javelin. According to heads; the cerberus with fifty heads; Pliny, fishes with horses' heads were and another chimæra which had the often seen in the Arabian Sea, out of undesirable peculiarity of possessing which they crawled at night to graze
four feet and three heads; as well as in the fields. The backs of whales the dog of Geryon, slain by Hercules, were often seen rising above the sur- &c. T'he heroes of antiquity, Theseus, face of the Indian Ocean, to the ex- Bellerophon, and Hercules, amused tent of four acres; while in the waves their leisure meritoriously, in braining of the Ganges enormous eels, thirty this unnecessary, plurality of heads, cubits long, slowly rolled their vast just as the solitary dragons that volumes. The fleet of Alexander was watched by the fountains or haunted met by a shoal of monstrous tunnies, the forests of the Celts were destroyed which opposed it with the discipline
with the discipline by the heroes of a later period. As and numbers of an army.
The Præ. paganism and the devil were pertorian guards fight with sea-serpents, sonified by the dragons of the Chrisand crimson the ocean with their blood tian legends, we may take it for to the extent of thirty thousand paces. granted that the destructive carnivora In the centaurs, the onocentaurs, and of archaic ages (which retarded the the hippocentaurs, the human shape progress or arrested the foundation of is blended with that of the horse, the civilisation) were represented by the goat, the monkey, and the fish. monsters described above. Æschylus speaks of the daughters of Amid this crowd of grotesque monPhorcys, who had one common eye strosities, the phenix appears as the among five sisters, an eye which passed type of beauty, gentleness, and granfrom hand to hand, apparently like a deur. The existence of the phenix is modern opera-glass. Snakes were seen not simply asserted by the naturalists, curling on the heads of the Gorgons, the very gravest historians attest its in lieu of ordinary locks.
existence. The appearance of a phenix All these monsters, according to a in the consulship of Paulus Fabius, tradition which reminds us of the and Vitellius, or the thirty-fourth year theories of geology, and which was of our era, is described by Tacitus as known in the middle ages, were engen- an event of the first importance, and dered in chaos, anteriorly to the for- worthy of transmission to the remotest mation of the earth. It was not posterity-Every five hundred years merely poetry and popular credulity- the phenix,” says Tacitus,“ science itself attested their existence. into existence, though it is true," he Pliny saw a centaur, embalmed in adds, “some assign four hundred and honey, exhibited in Rome in the reign sixty-one years as the true period. of Claudius. The earliest Christian The first plienix appeared in the reign writers, Justin, Cyprian, and Jerome, of Sesostris ; the second was seen in admit their existence, believing them the reign of Amasis ; and the last to be fallen angels, condemned to under Ptolemy III. This last phænix,