HotFreeBooks.com
Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel
by Ignatius Donnelly
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

And if Origen is right, and it is absurd to suppose that the sun, moon, and stars were not created until the third day, then the sacred text is dislocated, transposed; and the second chapter narrates events which really occurred before those mentioned in the first chapter; and the "darkness" is something which came millions of years after that "Beginning," in which God made the earth, and the heavens, and all the host of them.

In conclusion, let us observe how fully the Bible record accords with the statements of the Druidical, Hindoo, Scandinavian, and other legends, and with the great unwritten theory which underlies all our religion. Here we have:

{p. 340}

1. The Golden Age; the Paradise.

2. The universal moral degeneracy of mankind; the age of crime and violence.

3. God's vengeance.

4. The serpent; the fire from heaven.

5. The cave-life and the darkness.

6. The cold; the struggle to live.

7. The "Fall of Man," from virtue to vice; from plenty to poverty; from civilization to barbarism; from the Tertiary to the Drift; from Eden to the gravel.

8. Reconstruction and regeneration.

Can all this be accident? Can all this mean nothing?

{p. 341}

PART IV.

(Conclusions)

CHAPTER I.

WAS PRE-GLACIAL MAN CIVILIZED?

WE come now to another and very interesting question:

In what stage of development was mankind when the Drift fell upon the earth?

It is, of course, difficult to attain to certainties in the consideration of an age so remote as this. We are, as it were, crawling upon our hands and knees into the dark cavern of an abysmal past; we know not whether that which we encounter is a stone or a bone; we can only grope our way. I feel, however, that it is proper to present such facts as I possess touching this curious question.

The conclusion at which I have arrived is, that mankind, prior to the Drift, had, in some limited localities, reached a high stage of civilization, and that many of our most important inventions and discoveries were known in the pre-glacial age. Among these were pottery, metallurgy, architecture, engraving, Carving, the use of money, the domestication of some of our animals, and even the use of an alphabet. I shall present the proofs of this startling conclusion, and leave the reader to judge for himself.

{p. 342}

While this civilized, cultivated race occupied a part of the earth's surface, the remainder of the world was peopled by races more rude, barbarous, brutal, and animal-like than anything we know of on our earth to-day.

In the first place, I shall refer to the legends of mankind, wherein they depict the condition of our race in the pre-glacial time. If these statements stood alone, we might dismiss them from consideration, for there would be a strong probability that later ages, in repeating the legends, would attribute to their remote ancestors the civilized advantages which they themselves enjoyed; but it will be seen that these statements are confirmed by the remains of man which have been dug out of the earth, and upon which we can rely to a much greater extent.

First, as to the legends:

If I have correctly interpreted Job as a religious drama, founded on the fall of the Drift, then we must remember that Job describes the people overtaken by the catastrophe as a highly civilized race. They had passed the stage of worshiping sticks and stones and idols, and had reached to a knowledge of the one true God; they were agriculturists; they raised flocks of sheep and camels; they built houses; they had tamed the horse; they had progressed so far in astronomical knowledge as to have mapped out the heavens into constellations; they wrote books, consequently they possessed an alphabet; they engraved inscriptions upon the rocks.

But it may be said truly that the book of Job, although it may be really a description of the Drift catastrophe, was not necessarily written at the time of, or even immediately after, that event. So gigantic and terrible a thing must have been the overwhelming consideration and memory of mankind for thousands of years after it occurred. We will see that its impress still exists on the

{p. 343}

imagination of the race. Hence we may assign to the book of Job an extraordinary antiquity, and nevertheless it may have been written long ages after the events to which it refers occurred; and the writer may have clothed those events with the associations and conditions of the age of its composition. Let us, then, go forward to the other legends, for in such a case we can prove nothing. We can simply build up cumulative probabilities.

In Ovid we read that the Earth, when the dread affliction fell upon her, cried out:

"O sovereign of the gods, if thou approvest of this, if I have deserved it, why do thy lightnings linger? . . . And dost thou give this as my recompense? This as the reward of my fertility and of my duty, in that I endure wounds from the crooked plow and harrows, and am harassed all the year through? In that I supply green leaves to the cattle, and corn, a wholesome food for mankind, and frankincense for yourselves? "

Here we see that Ovid received from the ancient traditions of his race the belief that when the Drift Age came man was already an agriculturist; he had invented the plow and the barrow; he had domesticated the cattle; he had discovered or developed some of the cereals; and he possessed a religion in which incense was burned before the god or gods. The legend of Phaton further indicates that man had tamed the horse and had invented wheeled vehicles.

In the Hindoo story of the coming of the demon Ravana, the comet, we read that he carried off Sita, the wife of Rama, the sun; and that her name indicates that she represented "the furrowed earth," to wit, a condition of development in which man plowed the fields and raised crops of food.

When we turn to the Scandinavian legends, we see

{p. 344}

that those who transmitted them from the early ages believed that pre-glacial man was civilized. The Asas, the godlike, superior race, dwelt, we are told, "in stone houses."

In describing, in the Elder Edda, the corrupt condition of mankind before the great catastrophe occurred, the world, we are told, was given over to all manner of sin and wickedness. We read:

"Brothers will fight together, And become each other's bane Sisters' children Their sib shall spoil. Hard is the world; Sensual sins grow huge. There are axe-ages, sword-ages Shields are cleft in twain, There are wind-ages, murder-ages, Ere the world falls dead."[1]

When the great day of wrath comes, Heimdal blows in the Gjallar-horn, Odin rides to Mimer's well, Odin puts on his golden helmet, the Asas hold counsel before their stone doors.

All these things indicate a people who had passed far beyond barbarism. Here we have axes, swords, helmets, shields, musical instruments, domesticated horses, the use of gold, and stone buildings. And after the great storm was over, and the remnant of mankind crept out of the caves, and came back to reoccupy the houses of the slain millions, we read of the delight with which they found in the grass "the golden tablets" of the Asas—additional proof that they worked in the metals, and possessed some kind of a written language; they also had "the runes," or runic letters of Odin.

[1. "The Vala's Prophecy," 48, 49.]

{p. 345}

In the Norse legends we read that Loke, the evil genius, carried off Iduna, and her apples.

And when we turn to the American legends, similar statements present themselves.

We see the people, immediately after the catastrophe, sending a messenger to the happy eastern land, over the sea, by a bridge, to procure drums and other musical instruments; we learn from the Aztecs that while the darkness yet prevailed, the people built a sumptuous palace, a masterpiece of skill, and on the top of it they placed an axe of copper, the edge being uppermost, and on this axe the heavens rested.[1]

The Navajos, shut up in their cave, had flute-players with them. The Peruvians were dug out of their cave with a golden spade. In the Tahoe legend, we read that the superior race compelled the inferior to build a great temple for their protection from floods; and the oppressed people escaped in canoes, while the world blazes behind them.

Soon after the Navajos came out of the cave, we find them, according to the legend, possessed of water-jars, and we have references to the division of the heavens into constellations.

In the Arabian legend of the City of Brass, we are told that the people who were destroyed were great architects, metallurgists, agriculturists, and machinists, and that they possessed a written language.

We turn now to the more reliable evidences of man's condition, which have been exhumed from the caves and the Drift.

In the seventeenth century, Fray Pedro Simon relates that some miners, running an adit into a hill near Callao,

[1. Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii, p. 71.]

{p. 346}

"met with a ship, which had on top of it the great mass of the hill, and did not agree in its make and appearance with our ships."

Sir John Clerk describes a canoe found near Edinburgh, in 1726. "The washings of the river Carron discovered a boat thirteen or fourteen feet under ground; it is thirty-six feet long and four and a half broad, all of one piece of oak. There were several strata above it, such as loam, clay, shells, moss, sand, and gravel."

Boucher de Perthes found remains of man thirty to forty feet below the surface of the earth.

In the following we have the evidence that the pre-glacial race was acquainted with the use of fire, and cooked their food:

"In the construction of a canal between Stockholm and Gothenburg, it was necessary to cut through one of those hills called osars, or erratic blocks, which were deposited by the Drift ice during the glacial epoch. Beneath an immense accumulation of osars, with shells and sand, there was discovered in the deepest layer of subsoil, at a depth of about sixty feet, a circular mass of stones, forming a hearth, in the middle of which there were wood-coals. No other hand than that of man could have performed the work."[2]

In the State of Louisiana, on Petite Anse Island, remarkable discoveries have been made.[3]

At considerable depths below the surface of the earth, fifteen to twenty feet, immediately overlying the salt-rocks, and underneath what Dr. Foster believes to be the equivalent of the Drift in Europe, "associated with the bones of elephants and other huge extinct quadrupeds," "incredible quantities of pottery were found"; in some

[1. Tylor's "Early Mankind," p. 330.

2. Maclean's "Manual of Antiquity of Man," p. 60; Buchner, p. 242.

3. Foster's "Prehistoric Races," p. 56, etc.]

{p. 347}

cases these remains of pottery formed "veritable strata, three and six inches thick"; in many cases the bones of the mastodon were found above these strata of pottery. Fragments of baskets and matting were also found.

Here we have evidence of the long-continued occupation of this spot by man prior to the Drift Age, and that the human family had progressed far enough to manufacture pottery, and weave baskets and matting.

The cave of Chaleux, Belgium, was buried by a mass of rubbish caused by the falling in of the roof, consequently preserving all its implements. There were found the split bones of mammals, and the bones of birds and fishes. There was an immense number of objects, chiefly manufactured from reindeer-horn, such as needles, arrow-heads, daggers, and hooks. Besides these, there were ornaments made of shells, pieces of slate with engraved figures, mathematical lines, remains of very coarse pottery, hearthstones, ashes, charcoal, and last, but not least, thirty thousand worked flints mingled with the broken bones. In the hearth, placed in the center of the cave, was discovered a stone, with certain but unintelligible signs engraved upon it. M. Dupont also found about twenty pounds of the bones of the water-rat, either scorched or roasted.[1]

#

EARTHEN VASE, FOUND IN THE CAVE OF FURFOOZ, BELGIUM.

[1. Maclean's "Antiquity of Man," p. 87.]

{p. 348}

Here we have the evidence that the people who inhabited this cave, or some race with whom they held intercourse, manufactured pottery; that they wore clothing which they sewed with needles; that they used the bow and arrow; that they caught fish with hooks; that they ornamented themselves; that they cooked their food; that they engraved on stone; and that they had already reached some kind of primitive alphabet, in which signs were used to represent things.

We have already seen, (page 124, ante,) that there is reason to believe that pre-glacial Europe contained a very barbarous race, represented by the Neanderthal skull, side by side with a cultivated race, represented by the fine lines and full brow of the Engis skull. The latter race, I have suggested, may have come among the former as traders, or have been captured in war; precisely as today in Central Africa the skulls of adventurous, civilized Portuguese or Englishmen or Americans might be found side by side with the rude skulls of the savage populations of the country. The possession of a piece of pottery, or carving, by an African tribe would not prove that the Africans possessed the arts of engraving or manufacturing pottery, but it would prove that somewhere on the earth's surface a race had advanced far enough, at that time, to be capable of such works of art. And so, in the remains of the pre-glacial age of Europe, we have the evidence that some of these people, or their captives, or those with whom they traded or fought, had gone so far in the training of civilized life as to have developed a sense of art and a capacity to represent living forms in pictures or carvings, with a considerable degree of taste and skill. And these works are found in the most ancient caves, "the archaic caves," associated with the bones of the animals that ceased to exist in Europe at the time of the

{p. 349}

#

PRE-GLACIAL MAN'S PICTURE OF THE MAMMOTH

{p. 350}

Drift deposits. Nay, more, a picture of a mammoth has been found engraved upon a piece of mammoth-tusk. The engraving on page 349 represents this most curious work of art.

The man who carved this must have seen the creature it represented; and, as the mammoth did not survive the Drift, that man must have lived before or during the Drift. And he was no savage. Says Sir John Lubbock:

"No representation, however rude, of any animal has yet been found in any of the Danish shell-mounds, or the Stone-Age lake-villages. Even on objects of the Bronze Age they are so rare that it is doubtful whether a single well-authenticated instance could be produced."[1]

In the Dordogne caves the following spirited drawing was found, representing a group of reindeer:

#

PRE-GLACIAL MAN'S PICTURE OF REINDEER.

Here it would appear as if the reindeer were fastened together by lines or reins; if so, it implies that they were

[1. "Prehistoric Times," p. 333.]

{p. 351}

domesticated. In this picture they seem to have become entangled in their lines, and some have fallen to the ground.

And it does not follow from the presence of the reindeer that the climate was Lapland-like. The ancestors of all our so-called Arctic animals must have lived during the mild climate of the Tertiary Age; and those only survived after the Drift, in the north, that were capable of accommodating themselves to the cold; the rest perished or moved southwardly.

Another group of animals was found, engraved on a piece of the palm of a reindeer's horn, as follows:

#

PRE-GLACIAL MAN'S PICTURE OF THE HORSE.

Here the man stands alongside the horse's head—a very natural position if the horse was domesticated, a very improbable one if he was not.

Pieces of pottery have also been found accompanying these palolithic remains of man.

The oldest evidence of the existence of man is probably the fragment of a cut rib from the Pliocenes of Tuscany, preserved in the museum at Florence; it was associated with flint-flakes and a piece of rude pottery.[1]

But the art-capacity of these people was not limited to the drawing of animals; they also carved figures out

[1. Dawkins's "Early Man in Britain," p. 91.]

{p. 352}

of hard substances. The following engraving represents a poniard cut from a reindeer's horn.

#

A SPECIMEN OF PRE-GLACIAL CARVING.

Sir John Lubbock says:

"The artist bas ingeniously adapted the position of the animal to the necessities of the case. The horns are thrown back on the neck, the fore-legs are doubled up under the belly, and the hind-legs are stretched out along the blade."[1]

These things seem to indicate quite an advanced condition; the people who made them manufactured pottery, possessed. domesticated animals, and were able to engrave and carve images of living objects. It is difficult to believe that they could have carved and engraved these hard substances without metallic gravers or tools of some kind.

The reader will see, on page 130, ante, a representation of a sienite plummet found thirty feet below the surface, in a well, in the San Joaquin Valley, California, which Professor Foster pronounces to be—

"A finer exhibition of the lapidary's skill than has yet been furnished by the Stone Age of either continent. "[2]

[1. "Prehistoric Times," p. 335.

2. Foster's "Prehistoric Races of the United States," p. 56.]

{p. 353}

The following picture represents a curious image carved out of black marble, about twice as large as the cut, found near Marlboro, Stark County, Ohio, by some workmen, while digging a well, at a depth of twelve feet below the surface. The ground above it had never been disturbed. It was imbedded in sand and gravel. The black or variegated marble out of which this image is carved has not been found in place in Ohio.

#

STONE IMAGE FOUND IN OHIO

T. W. Kinney, of Portsmouth, Ohio, writes as follows:

"Last summer, while digging a vault for drainage, at the depth of twenty-seven feet, the workmen found the tusk of a mastodon. The piece was about four feet long and four inches in diameter at the thickest part. It was nearly all lost, having, crumbled very much when exposed to the air. I have a large piece of it; also several flakes of flint found near the same depth.

"I also have several of the flakes from other vaults, some of which show evidence of work.

"We also found a log at the depth of twenty-two feet. The log was burned at one end, and at the other end was a gap, the same as an axeman's kerf. Shell-banks below the level of the base of mound-builders' works, from six to fifteen feet."[1]

Was this burned log, thus found at a depth of twenty-two feet, a relic of the great conflagration? Was that

[1. "American Antiquarian," April, 1878, p. 36.]

{p. 354}

axe-kerf made by some civilized man who wielded a bronze or iron weapon?

It is a curious fact that burned logs have, in repeated instances, been exhumed from great depths in the Drift clay.

While this work is going through the press, an article has appeared in "Harper's Monthly Magazine," (September, 1882, p. 609,) entitled "The Mississippi River Problem," written by David A. Curtis, in which the author says:

"When La Salle found out how goodly a land it was, his report was the warrant of eviction that drove out the red man to make place for the white, as the mound-builders had made place for the Indian in what we call the days of old. Yet it must have been only yesterday that the mound-builders wrought in the valley, for in the few centuries that have elapsed since then the surface of the ground has risen only a few feet—not enough to bury their works out of sight. How long ago, then, must it have been that the race lived there whose pavements and cisterns of Roman brick now lie seventy feet underground?"

Mr. Curtis does not mean that the bricks found in this prehistoric settlement had any historical connection with Rome, but simply that they resemble Roman bricks. These remains, I learn, were discovered in the vicinity of Memphis, Tennessee. The details have not yet, so far as I am aware, been published.

Is it not more reasonable to suppose that civilized man existed on the American Continent thirty thousand years ago, (the age fixed by geologists for the coming of the Drift,) a comparatively short period of time, and that his works were then covered by the Drift-dbris, than to believe that a race of human beings, far enough advanced in civilization to manufacture bricks, and build pavements and cisterns, dwelt in the Mississippi Valley, in a past so inconceivably remote that the slow increase of the soil,

{p. 355}

by vegetable decay, has covered their works to the depth of seventy feet?

I come now to the most singular and marvelous revelation of all:

Professor Alexander Winchell, in an interesting and recent work,[1] says:

"I had in my possession for some time a copper relic resembling a rude coin, which was taken from an artesian boring at the depth of one hundred and fourteen feet, at Lawn Ridge, Marshall County, Illinois.

"Mr. W. H. Wilmot, then of Lawn Ridge, furnished me, in a letter dated December 4, 1871, the following statement of deposits pierced in the boring:

Soil 3 feet. Yellow clay 17 " Blue clay 44 " Dark vegetable matter 4 " Hard purplish clay 18 " Bright green clay 8 " Mottled clay 18 " Soil 2 " Depth of coin 114 " Yellow clay 1 " Sand and clay. Water, rising 60 feet. "In a letter of the 27th of December, written from Chillicothe, Illinois, he stated that the bore was four inches for eighty feet, and three inches for the remainder of the depth. But before one hundred feet had been reached the four-inch portion was 'so plastered over as to be itself but three inches in diameter,' and hence the 'coin' could not have come from any depth less than eighty feet.

"'Three persons saw "the coin" at the same instant, and each claims it.' This so-called coin was about the

[1. "Sparks from a Geologist's Hammer," p. 170.]

{p. 356}

thickness and size of a silver quarter of a dollar, and was of remarkably uniform thickness. It was approximately round, and seemed to have been cut. Its two faces bore marks as shown in the figure, but they were not stamped as with a die nor engraved. They looked as if etched

# #

COPPER COIN, FOUND ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN FEET UNDER GROUND IN ILLINOIS.

with acid. The character of the marks was partly unintelligible. On each side, however, was a rude outline of a human figure. One of these held in one hand an object resembling a child, while the other was raised as if in the act of striking. The figure wore a head-dress, apparently made of quills. Around the border were undecipherable hieroglyphics. The figure on the opposite side extended only to the waist, and had also one hand upraised. This was furnished with long tufts like mule's ears. Around the border was another circle of hieroglyphics. On this side also was a rude outline of a quadruped. I exhibited this relic to the Geological Section of the American Association, at its meeting at Buffalo in 1876. The general impression seemed to be that its origin could not date from the epoch of the stratum in which it is represented to have been found. One person thought he could detect a rude representation of the signs of the zodiac around the border. Another fancied he could discover numerals, and even dates. No one could even offer any explanation of the objects or the circumstances of its discovery. The figures bear a close resemblance to rude drawings executed on birch-bark and rock surfaces by the American Indians. But by what means were they etched? And by what means was the uniform thickness of the copper produced?

{p. 357}

This object was sent by the owner to the Smithsonian Institution for examination, and Secretary Henry referred it to Mr. William E. Dubois, who presented the result of his investigation to the American Philosophical Society. Mr. Dubois felt sure that the object had passed through a rolling-mill, and he thought the cut edges gave further evidence of the machine-shop. 'All things considered,' he said, 'I can not regard this Illinois piece as ancient nor old (observing the usual distinction), nor yet recent; because the tooth of time is plainly visible.' He could suggest nothing to clear up the mystery. Professor J. P. Lesley thought it might be an astrological amulet. He detected upon it the signs of Pisces and Leo. He read the date 1572. He said, 'The piece was placed there as a practical joke.' He thought it might be Hispano-American or French-American in origin. the suggestion of 'a practical joke' is itself something which must be taken as a joke. No person in possession of this interesting object would willingly part with it; least of all would he throw so small an object into a hole where not one chance in a thousand existed that it would ever be seen again by any person.

"If this object does not date from the age of the stratum from which obtained, it can only be a relic of the sixteenth or seventeenth century, buried beneath the alluvium deposited more recently by the Illinois River. The country is a level prairie, and 'Peoria Lake' is an expansion of the river ten miles long and a mile and a half broad. It is certainly possible that in such a region deep alluvial deposits may have formed since the visits of the French in the latter part of the seventeenth century. But it is not easy to admit an accumulation of one hundred and fourteen or one hundred and twenty-feet, since such a depth extends too much below the surface of the river. In Whiteside County, fifty miles northwest from Peoria County, about 1851, according to Mr. Moffat, a large copper ring was found one hundred and twenty feet beneath the surface, as also something which has been compared to a boat-hook. Several other objects have been found at less depths, including stone pipes and pottery, and a spear-shaped hatchet, MADE OF IRON. If these

{p. 358}

are not 'ancient,' their occurrence at depths of ten, forty, fifty, and one hundred and twenty feet must be explained as I have suggested in reference to the 'coin.' An instrument of iron is a strong indication of the civilized origin of all."

This is indeed an extraordinary revelation. Here we have a copper medal, very much like a coin, inscribed with alphabetical or hieroglyphical signs, which, when placed under the microscope, in the hands of a skeptical investigator, satisfies him that it is not recent, and that it passed through a rolling-mill and was cut by a machine.

If it is not recent, if the tooth of time is plainly seen on it, it is not a modern fraud; if it is not a modern fraud, then it is really the coin of some pre-Columbian people. The Indians possessed no currency or alphabet, so that it dates back of the red-men. Nothing similar has been found in the hundreds of American mounds that have been opened, so that it dates back of the mound-builders.

It comes from a depth of not less than eighty feet in glacial clay, therefore it is profoundly ancient.

It is engraved after a method utterly unknown to any civilized nation on earth, within the range of recorded history. IT IS ENGRAVED WITH ACID!

It belongs, therefore, to a civilization unlike any we know of. If it had been derived from any other human civilization, the makers, at the same time they borrowed the round, metallic form of the coin, would have borrowed also the mold or the stamp. But they did not; and yet they possessed a rolling-mill and a machine to cut out the coin.

What do we infer? That there is a relationship between our civilization and this, but it is a relationship in which this represents the parent; and the round metallic

{p. 359}

coins of historical antiquity were derived from it, but without the art of engraving by the use of acid.

It does not stand alone, but at great depths in the same clay implements of copper and of IRON are found.

What does all this indicate?

That far below the present level of the State of Illinois, in the depths of the glacial clays, about one hundred or one hundred and twenty feet below the present surface of the land, there are found the evidences of a high civilization. For a coin with an inscription upon it implies a high civilization:—it implies an alphabet, a literature, a government, commercial relations, organized society, regulated agriculture, which could alone sustain all these; and some implement like a plow, without which extensive agriculture is not possible; and this in turn implies domesticated animals to draw the plow. The presence of the coin, and of implements of copper and iron, proves that mankind had passed far beyond the Stone Age. And these views are confirmed by the pavements and cisterns of brick found seventy feet below the surface in the lower Mississippi Valley.

There is a Pompeii, a Herculaneum, somewhere, underneath central and northwestern Illinois or Tennessee, of the most marvelous character; not of Egypt, Assyria, or the Roman Empire, things of yesterday, but belonging to an inconceivable antiquity; to pre-glacial times; to a period ages before the flood of Noah;—a civilization which was drowned and deluged out of sight under the immeasurable clay-flood of the comet.

Man crawled timidly backward into the history of the past over his little limit of six thousand years; and at the farther end of his tether he found the perfect civilization of early Egypt. He rises to his feet and looks still backward, and the vista of history spreads and

{p. 360}

spreads to antediluvian times. Here at last he thinks he has reached the beginning of things: here man first domesticated the animals; here he first worked in copper and iron; here he possessed for the first time an alphabet, a government, commerce, and coinage. And, lo! from the bottom of well-holes in Illinois, one hundred and fourteen feet deep, the buckets of the artesian-well auger bring up copper rings and iron hatchets and engraved coins—engraved by a means unknown to historical mankind—and we stand face to face with a civilization so old that man will not willingly dare to put it into figures.

Here we are in the presence of that great, but possibly brutal and sensual development of man's powers, "the sword-ages, the axe-ages, the murder-ages of the Goths," of which God cleared the earth when he buried the mastodon under the Drift for ever.

How petty, how almost insignificant, how school-boy-like are our historians, with their little rolls of parchment under their arms, containing their lists of English, Roman, Egyptian, and Assyrian kings and queens, in the presence of such stupendous facts as these!

Good reader, your mind shrinks back from such conceptions, of course. But can you escape the facts by shrinking back? Are they not there? Are they not all of a piece—Job, Ovid, Rama, Ragnarok, Genesis, the Aztec legends; the engraved ivory tablets of the caves, the pottery, the carved figures of pre-glacial Europe; the pottery-strata of Louisiana under the Drift; the copper and iron implements, the brick pavements and cisterns, and this coin, dragged up from well-holes in Illinois?

And what do they affirm?

That this catastrophe was indeed THE FALL OF MAN.

Think what a fall!

From comfort to misery; from plowed fields to the

{p. 361}

thistles and the stones; from sunny and glorious days in a stormless land to the awful trials of the Drift Age; the rains, the cold, the snow, the ice, the incessant tempests, the darkness, the poverty, the coats of hides, the cave-life, the cannibalism, the Stone Age.

Here was a fall indeed.

There is nothing in antiquity that has not a meaning. The very fables of the world's childhood should be sacred from our laughter.

Our theology, even where science has most ridiculed it, is based on a great, a gigantic truth. Paradise, the summer land of fruits, the serpent, the fire from heaven, the expulsion, the waving sword, the "fall of man," the "darkness on the face of the deep," the age of toil and sweat—all, all, are literal facts.

And could we but penetrate their meaning, the trees of life and knowledge and the apples of paradise probably represent likewise great and important facts or events in the history of our race.

And with what slow steps did mankind struggle upward! In some favored geographical center they recovered the arts of metallurgy, the domestication of animals, and the alphabet.

"All knowledge," says the Hindoo Krishna, "was originally bestowed on mankind by God. They lost it. They recovered it as a recollection."

The poor barbarian Indians of America possess traditions of this ancient civilization, traditions in forms as rude as their own condition.

It was represented by the Great Hare, Manibozho, or Nanaboshu.

Do we not find his typical picture, with those great mule-tufts, (referred to by Professor Winchell,) the hare-like ears, on this coin of Illinois?

{p. 362}

Read what the Indians tell of this great being

"From the remotest wilds of the Northwest," says Dr. Brinton, "to the coast of the Atlantic, from the southern boundaries of Carolina to the cheerless swamps of Hudson's Bay, the Algonquins were never tired of gathering around the winter fire and repeating the story of Manibozho or Michabo, the Great Hare. With entire unanimity their various branches, the Powhatans of Virginia, the Lenni-Lenape of the Delaware, the warlike hordes of New England, the Ottawas of the far North, and the Western tribes, perhaps without exception, spoke of this 'chimerical beast,' as one of the old missionaries calls it as their common ancestor. The totem or clan which bore his name was looked up to with peculiar respect. . . .

"What he really was we must seek in the accounts of older travelers, in the invocations of the jossakeeds or prophets, and in the part assigned to him in the solemn mysteries of religion. In these we find him portrayed as the patron and founder of the Meda worship, the inventor of picture-writing, the father and guardian of their nation, the ruler of the winds, even the maker and preserver of the world and creator of the sun and moon. From a grain of sand brought from the bottom of the primeval ocean, he fashioned the habitable land, and set it floating on the waters till it grew to such a size that a strong young wolf, running constantly, died of old age ere he reached its limits. . . . He was the founder of the medicine-hunt. . . . He himself was a mighty hunter of old. . . . Attentively watching the spider spread its web to trap unwary flies, he devised the art of knitting nets to catch fish."[1]

This is a barbarian's recollection of a great primeval civilized race who established religion, invented nets, and, as the other legends concerning him show, first made the bow and arrow and worked in the metals.

There is every reason to think the division of the people into several classes, or families, who take the name of

[1. "Myths of the New World," p. 175.]

{p. 363}

some animal whose picture is their totem, dates back to the very beginning of the human race. The animal fables, as I have suggested, grew out of these animal totems; we find them everywhere among the American tribes; and in some cases they are accompanied by mental and physical traits which may be supposed to indicate that they originated in primal race differences. This is the belief of Warren, the native historian of the Ojibways. I am indebted to Hon. H. Al. Rice, of St. Paul, for an opportunity to examine his valuable manuscript history of that tribe of Indians.

The great totem of the Algonquins is the Hare; he represents a ruling class, and is associated with recollections of this Great Hare, this demi-god, this man or race, who taught them all the arts of life with which they are acquainted. Then there is a turtle totem, associated with myths of the turtle or tortoise, which are the images all over the world of an island.[1]

And when we cross the Atlantic we find[2] that the Arabs are divided up in the same way into tribes bearing animal names.

"Asad, lion; 'a number of tribes.' Aws, wolf; 'a tribe of the Ancar, or Defenders.' Badau, ibex; 'a tribe of the Kalb and others.' Tha'laba, she-fox; 'a name of tribes.' Garad, locusts; 'a sub-tribe of the Azol.' Thawr, bull; 'a sub-tribe of Hamdan and of Abel Manah.' Gahah, colt of an ass; 'a sub-tribe of the Arabs.' Hida', kite; 'a sub-tribe of Murad.'

"The origin of all names is referred, in the genealogical system of the Arabs, to an ancestor who bore the tribal or gentile name. Thus the Kalb or dog-tribe consists of the Beni-Kalb—sons of Kalb (the dog), who is in turn son of Wabra (the female rock-badger), son of Tha'laba

[1. Tylor's "Early History of Mankind."

2. W. J. F. Maclennan, "Fortnightly Review," 1869 and 1870.]

{p. 364}

(the she-fox), great-grandson of Quoda'a, grandson of Saba', the Sheba of Scripture. A single member of the tribe is Kalbi—a Kalbite—Caninus."

"The same names which appear as totem tribes reach through Edom, Midian, and Moab, into the land of Canaan."[1]

Among the Jews there was the stock of the serpent, Nashon, to which David belonged; and there is no doubt that they were once divided into totemic families.

And in all this we see another proof of the race-identity of the peoples on the opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Permit me to close this chapter with a suggestion:

Is there not energy enough among the archologists of the United States to make a thorough examination of some part of the deep clay deposits of Central Illinois or of those wonderful remains referred to by Mr. Curtis?

If one came and proved that at a given point he had found indications of a coal-bed or a gold-mine, he would have no difficulty in obtaining means enough to dig a shaft and excavate acres. Can not the greed for information do one tenth as much as the greed for profit?

Who can tell what extraordinary revelations wait below the vast mass of American glacial clay? For it must be remembered that the articles already found have been discovered in the narrow holes bored or dug for wells. How small is the area laid bare by such punctures in the earth compared with the whole area of the country in which they are sunk! How remarkable that anything should have been found under such circumstances! How probable, therefore, that the remains of man are numerous at a certain depth!

Where a coin is found we might reasonably expect to

[1. W. J. F. Maclennan, "Fortnightly Review," 1869 and 1870.]

{p. 365}

find other works of copper, and all those things which would accompany the civilization of a people working in the metals and using a currency,—such as cities, houses, temples, etc. Of course, such things might exist, and yet many shafts might be sunk without coming upon any of them. But is not the attempt worth making?

{p. 366}

CHAPTER II.

THE SCENE OF MAN'S SURVIVAL

LET us pass to another speculation:

The reader is not constrained to accept my conclusions. They will, I trust, provoke further discussion, which may tend to prove or disprove them.

But I think I can see that many of these legends point to an island, east of America and west of Europe, that is to say in the Atlantic Ocean, as the scene where man, or at least our own portion of the human race, including the white, yellow, and brown races, survived the great cataclysm and renewed the civilization of the pro-glacial age and that from this center, in the course of ages, they spread east and west, until they reached the plains of Asia and the islands of the Pacific.

The negro race, it seems probable, may have separated from our own stock in pre-glacial times, and survived, in fragments, somewhere in the land of torrid heats, probably in some region on which the Drift did not fall.

We are told by Ovid that it was the tremendous heat of the comet-age that baked the negro black; in this Ovid doubtless spoke the opinion of antiquity. Whether or not that period of almost insufferable temperature produced any effect upon the color of that race I shall not undertake to say; nor shall I dare to assert that the white race was bleached to its present complexion by the long absence of the sun during the Age of Darkness.

{p. 367}

It is true Professor Hartt tells us[1] that there is a marked difference in the complexion of the Botocudo Indians who have lived in the forests of Brazil and those, of the same tribe, who have dwelt on its open prairies; and that those who have resided for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years in the dense forests of that tropical land are nearly white in complexion. If this be the case in a merely leaf-covered tract, what must have been the effect upon a race dwelling for a long time in the remote north, in the midst of a humid atmosphere, enveloped in constant clouds, and much of the time in almost total darkness?

There is no doubt that here and then were developed the rude, powerful, terrible "ice-giants" of the legends, out of whose ferocity, courage, vigor, and irresistible energy have been evolved the dominant races of the west of Europe—the land-grasping, conquering, colonizing races; the men of whom it was said by a Roman poet, in the Viking Age: "The sea is their school of war and the storm their friend they are sea-wolves that prey on the pillage of the world."

They are now taking possession of the globe.

Great races are the weeded-out survivors of great sufferings.

What are the proofs of my proposition that man survived on an Atlantic island?

In the first place we find Job referring to "the island of the innocent."

In chapter xxii, verse 29, Eliphaz, the Temanite, says

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person."

Where shall he save him? The next verse (30) seems to tell

[1. "The Geology of Brazil," p. 589.]

{p. 368}

"He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine [Job's] hands."

And, as I have shown, in Genesis it appears that, after the Age of Darkness, God separated the floods which overwhelmed the earth and made a firmament, a place of solidity, a refuge, (chap. i, vs. 6, 7,) "in the midst of the waters." A firm place in the midst of the waters is necessarily an island.

And the location of this Eden was westward from. Europe, for we read, (chap. iii, v. 24):

"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the EAST of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

The man driven out of the Edenic land was, therefore, driven eastward of Eden, and the cherubims in the east of Eden faced him. The land where the Jews dwelt was eastward of paradise; in other words, paradise was west of them.

And, again, when Cain was driven out be too moved eastward; he "dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden," (chap. iv, verse 16.) There was, therefore, a constant movement of the human family eastward. The land of Nod may have been Od, Ad, Atlantis; and from Od may have come the name of Odin, the king, the god of Ragnarok.

In Ovid "the earth" is contradistinguished from the rest of the globe. It is an island-land, the civilized land, the land of the Tritons or water-deities, of Proteus, geon, Doris, and Atlas. It is, in my view, Atlantis.

Ovid says, (book ii, fable 1, "The Metamorphoses")

"The sea circling around the encompassed earth. . . . The earth has upon it men and cities, and woods and wild beasts, and rivers, and nymphs and other deities of the

{p. 369}

country." On this land is "the palace of the sun, raised high on stately columns, bright with radiant gold, and carbuncle that rivals the flames; polished ivory crests its highest top, and double folding doors shine with the brightness of silver."

In other words, the legend refers to the island-home of a civilized race, over which was a palace which reminds one of the great temple of Poseidon in Plato's story.

The Atlantic was sometimes called "the sea of ivory," in allusion, probably, to this ivory-covered temple of Ovid. Hence Croly sang:

Now on her hills of ivory Lie giant-weed and ocean-slime, Hiding from man and angel's eye The land of crime."

And, again, Ovid says, after enumerating the different rivers and mountains and tracts of country that were on fire in the great conflagration, and once more distinguishing the pre-eminent earth from the rest of the world:

"However, the genial Earth, as she was surrounded with sea, amid the waters of the main," (the ocean,) "and the springs dried up on every side, lifted up her all-productive face," etc.

She cries out to the sovereign of the gods for mercy. She refers to the burdens of the crops she annually bears; the wounds of the crooked plow and the barrow, which she voluntarily endures; and she calls on mighty Jove to put an end to the conflagration. And he does so. The rest of the world has been scarred and seared with the fire, but he spares and saves this island-land, this agricultural, civilized land, this land of the Tritons and Atlas; this "island of the innocent" of Job. And when the terrible convulsion was over, and the

{p. 370}

rash Phaton dead and buried, Jove repairs, with especial care, "his own Arcadia."

It must not be forgotten that Phaton was the son of Merops; and Theopompus tells us that the people who inhabited Atlantis were the Meropes, the people of Merou. And the Greek traditions[1] show that the human race issued from Upa-Merou; and the Egyptians claim that their ancestors came from the Island of Mero; and among the Hindoos the land of the gods and the godlike men was Meru.

And here it is, we are told, where in deep caves, and from the seas, receding under the great heat, the human race, crying out for mercy, with uplifted and blistered hands, survived the cataclysm.

And Ovid informs us that this land, "with a mighty trembling, sank down a little" in the ocean, and the Gothic and Briton (Druid) legends tell us of a prolongation of Western Europe which went down at the same time.

In the Hindoo legends the great battle between Rama and Ravana, the sun and the comet, takes place on an island, the Island of Lanka, and Rama builds a stone bridge sixty miles long to reach the island.

In the Norse legends Asgard lies to the west of Europe; communication is maintained with it by the bridge Bifrost. Gylfe goes to visit Asgard, as Herodotus and Solon went to visit Egypt: the outside barbarian was curious to behold the great civilized land. There he asks many questions, as Herodotus and Solon did. He is told:[2]

"The earth is round, and without it round about lies the deep ocean."

[1. "Atlantis," p. 171.

2. The Fooling of Gylfe—The Creation of the World—The Younger Edda.]

{p. 371}

The earth is Ovid's earth; it is Asgard. It is an island, surrounded by the ocean:

"And along the outer strand of that sea they gave lands for the giant-races to dwell in; and against the attack of restless giants they built a burg within the sea and around the earth."

This proves that by "the earth" was not meant the whole globe; for here we see that around the outside margin of that ocean which encircled Asgard, the mother-country had given lands for colonies of the giant-races, the white, large, blue-eyed races of Northern and Western Europe, who were as "restless" and as troublesome then to their neighbors as they are now and will be to the end of time.

And as the Elder and Younger Edda claim that the Northmen were the giant races, and that their kings were of the blood of these Asas; and as the bronze-using people advanced, (it has been proved by their remains,[1]) into Scandinavia from the southwest, it is clear that these legends do not refer to some mythical island in the Indian Seas, or to the Pacific Ocean, but to the Atlantic: the west coasts of Europe were "the outer strand" where these white colonies were established; the island was in the Atlantic; and, as there is no body of submerged land in that ocean with roots or ridges reaching out to the continents east and west, except the mass of which the Azores Islands constitute the mountain-tops, the conclusion is irresistible that here was Atlantis; here was Lanka; here was "the island of the innocent," here was Asgard.

And the Norse legends describe this "Asgard" as a land of temples and plowed fields, and a mighty civilized race.

And here it is that Ragnarok comes. It is from the

[1. Du Chaillu's "Land of the Midnight Sun," vol. i, pp. 343, 345, etc.]

{P. 372}

people of Asgard that the wandering Gylfe learns all that he tells about Ragnarok, just as Solon learned from the priests of Sais the story of Atlantis. And it is here in Asgard that, as we have seen, "during Surt's fire two persons, called Lif and Lifthraser, a man and a woman, concealed themselves in Hodmimer's holt," and afterward repeopled the world.

We leave Europe and turn to India.

In the Bagaveda-Gita Krishna recalls to the memory of his disciple Ardjouna the legend as preserved in the sacred books of the Veda.

We are told:

"The earth was covered with flowers; the trees bent under their fruit; thousands of animals sported over the plains and in the air; white elephants roved unmolested under the shade of gigantic forests, and Brahma perceived that the time had come for the creation of man to inhabit this dwelling-place."[1]

This is a description of the glorious world of the Tertiary Age, during which, as scientific researches have proved, the climate of the tropics extended to the Arctic Circle.

Brahma makes man, Adima, (Adam,) and he makes a companion for him, Hva, (Eve).

They are upon an island. Tradition localizes the legend by making this the Island of Ceylon.

"Adima and Hva lived for some time in perfect happiness—no suffering came to disturb their quietude; they had but to stretch forth their hands and pluck from surrounding trees the most delicious fruits—but to stoop and gather rice of the finest quality."

This is the same Golden Age represented in Genesis, when Adam and Eve, naked, but supremely happy, lived

[1. Jacolliet, "The Bible in India," p. 195.]

{p. 373}

upon the fruits of the garden, and knew neither sorrow nor suffering, neither toil nor hunger.

But one day the evil-one came, as in the Bible legend the Prince of the Rakchasos (Raknaros—Ragnarok?) came, and broke up this paradise. Adima and Hva leave their island; they pass to a boundless country; they fall upon an evil time; "trees, flowers, fruits, birds, vanish in an instant, amid terrific clamor";[1] the Drift has come; they are in a world of trouble, sorrow, poverty, and toil.

And when we turn to America we find the legends looking, not westward, but eastward, to this same island-refuge of the race.

When the Navajos come out of the cave the white race goes east, and the red-men go west; so that the Navajos inhabit a country west of their original habitat, just as the Jews inhabit one east of it.

"Let me conclude," says the legend, "by telling how the Navajos came by the seed they now cultivate. All the wise men being one day assembled, a Turkey-Hen came flying from the direction of the morning star, and shook from her feathers an ear of blue corn into the midst of the company; and in subsequent visits brought all the other seeds they possess."[2]

In the Peruvian legends the civilizers of the race came from the east, after the cave-life.

So that these people not only came from the east, but they maintained intercourse for some time afterward with the parent-land.

On page 174, ante, we learn that the Iroquois believed that when Joskeha renewed the world, after the great battle with Darkness, he learned from the great tortoise

[1. Jacolliet, "The Bible in India," p. 198.

2. Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii, p. 83.]

{p. 374}

—always the image of an island—how to make fire, and taught the Indians the art. And in their legends the battle between the White One and the Dark One took place in the east near the great ocean.

Dr. Brinton says, speaking of the Great Hare, Manibozho:

"In the oldest accounts of the missionaries he was alleged to reside toward the east, and in the holy formula of the meda craft, when the winds are invoked to the medicine-lodge, the east is summoned in his name, the door opens in that direction, and there at the edge of the earth, where the sun rises, on the shore of the infinite ocean that surrounds the land, he has his house, and sends the luminaries forth on their daily journey."[1]

That is to say, in the east, in the surrounding ocean of the east, to wit, in the Atlantic, this god, (or godlike race,) has his house, his habitation, upon a land surrounded by the ocean, to wit, an island; and there his power and his civilization are so great that he controls the movements of the sun, moon, and stars; that is to say, he fixes the measure of time by the movements of the sun and moon, and he has mapped out the heavenly bodies into constellations.

In the Miztec legend, (see page 214, ante,) we find the people praying to God to gather the waters together and enlarge the land, for they have only "a little garden" to inhabit in the waste of waters. This meant an island.

In the Arabian legends we have the scene of the catastrophe described as an island west of Arabia, and it requires two years and a half of travel to reach it. It is the land of bronze.

In the Hindoo legend of the battle between Rama, the

[1. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 177.]

{p. 375}

sun, and Ravana, the comet, the scene is laid on the Island of Lanka.

In the Tahoe legend the survivors of the civilized race take refuge in a cave, in a mountain on an island. They give the tradition a local habitation in Lake Tahoe.

The Tacullies say God first created an island.

In short, we may say that, wherever any of these legends refer to the locality where the disaster came and where man survived, the scene is placed upon an island, in the ocean, in the midst of the waters; and this island, wherever the points of the compass are indicated, lies to the west of Europe and to the east of America: it is, therefore, in the Atlantic Ocean; and the island, we shall see, is connected with these continents by long bridges or ridges of land.

This island was Atlantis. Ovid says it was the land of Neptune, Poseidon. It is Neptune who cries out for mercy. And it is associated with Atlas, the king or god of Atlantis.

Let us go a step further in the argument.

{p. 376}

CHAPTER III.

THE BRIDGE.

THE deep-sea soundings, made of late years in the Atlantic, reveal the fact that the Azores are the mountaintops of a colossal mass of sunken land; and that from this center one great ridge runs southward for some distance, and then, bifurcating, sends out one limb to the shores of Africa, and another to the shores of South America; while there are the evidences that a third great ridge formerly reached northward from the Azores to the British Islands.

When these ridges—really the tops of long and continuous mountain-chains, like the Andes or the Rocky Mountains, the backbone of a vast primeval Atlantic-filling, but, even then, in great part, sunken continent, were above the water, they furnished a wonderful feature in the scenery and geography of the world; they were the pathways over which the migrations of races extended in the ancient days; they wound for thousands of miles, irregular, rocky, wave-washed, through the great ocean, here expanding into islands, there reduced to a narrow strip, or sinking into the sea; they reached from a central civilized land—an ancient, long-settled land, the land of the godlike race—to its colonies, or connections, north, south, east, and west; and they impressed themselves vividly on the imagination and the traditions of mankind, leaving their image even in the religions of the world unto this day.

As, in process of time, they gradually or suddenly settled

{p. 377}

into the deep, they must at first have formed long, continuous strings of islands, almost touching each other, resembling very much the Aleutian Archipelago, or the Bahama group; and these islands continued to be used, during later ages, as the stepping-stones for migrations and intercourse between the old and the new worlds, just as the discovery of the Azores helped forward the discovery of the New World by Columbus; he used them, we know, as a halting-place in his great voyage.

When Job speaks of "the island of the innocent," which was spared from utter destruction, he prefaces it by asking, (chap. xxii):

"15. Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

"16. Which were (was?) cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood."

And in chapter xxviii, verse 4, we have what may be another allusion to this "way," along which go the people who are on their journey, and which "divideth the flood," and on which some are escaping.

The Quiche manuscript, as translated by the Abb Brasseur de Bourbourg,[1] gives an account of the migration of the Quiche race to America from some eastern land in a very early day, in "the day of darkness," ere the sun was, in the so-called glacial age.

When they moved to America they wandered for a long time through forests and over mountains, and "they had a long passage to make, through the sea, along the shingle and pebbles and drifted sand." And this long passage was through the sea "which was parted for their passage." That is, the sea was on both sides of this long ridge of rocks and sand.

[1. Tylor's "Early Mankind," p. 308.]

{p. 378}

The abb adds:

"But it is not clear how they crossed the sea; they passed as though there had been no sea, for they passed over scattered rocks, and these rocks were rolled on the sands. This is why they called the place 'ranged stones and torn-up sands,' the name which they gave it in their passage within the sea, the water being divided when they passed."

They probably migrated along that one of the connecting ridges which, the sea-soundings show us, stretched from Atlantis to the coast of South America.

We have seen in the Hindoo legends that when Rama went to the Island of Lanka to fight the demon Ravana, he built a bridge of stone, sixty miles long, with the help of the monkey-god, in order to reach the island.

In Ovid we read of the "settling down a little" of the island on which the drama of Phaton was enacted.

In the Norse legends the bridge Bifrost cuts an important figure. One would be at first disposed to regard it as meaning, (as is stated in what are probably later interpolations,) the rainbow; but we see, upon looking closely, that it represents a material fact, an actual structure of some kind.

Gylfe, who was, we are told, A king of Sweden in the ancient days, visited Asgard. He assumed the name of Ganglere, (the walker or wanderer). I quote from the "Younger Edda, The Creation":

"Then asked Ganglere, 'What is the path from earth to heaven?'"

The earth here means, I take it, the European colonies which surround the ocean, which in turn surrounds Asgard; heaven is the land of the godlike race, Asgard. Ganglere therefore asks what is, or was, in the mythological past, the pathway from Europe to the Atlantic island.

{p. 379}

"Har answered, laughing, 'Foolishly do you now ask. Have you not been told that the gods made a bridge from earth to heaven, which is called Bifrost? You must have seen it. It may be that you call it the rainbow. It has three colors, is very strong, and is made with more craft and skill than other structures. Still, however strong it is, it will break when the sons of Muspel come to ride over it, and then they will have to swim their horses over great rivers in order to get on.'"

Muspel is the blazing South, the land of fire, of the convulsions that accompanied the comet. But how can Bifrost mean the rainbow? What rivers intersect a rainbow?

"Then said Ganglere, 'The gods did not, it seems to me, build that bridge honestly, if it shall be able to break to pieces, since they could have done so if they had desired.' Then made answer Har: 'The gods are worthy of no blame for this structure. Bifrost is indeed a good bridge, but there is nothing in the world that is able to stand when the sons of Muspel come to the fight.'"

Muspel here means, I repeat, the heat of the South. Mere heat has no effect on rainbows. They are the product of sunlight and falling water, and are often most distinct in the warmest weather.

But we see, a little further on, that this bridge Bifrost was a real structure. We read of the roots of the ash-tree Ygdrasil, and one of its roots reaches to the fountain of Urd:

Here the gods have their doomstead. The Asas ride hither every day over Bifrost, which is also called Asa-bridge."

And these three mountain-chains going out to the different continents were the three roots of the tree Ygdrasil, the sacred tree of the mountain-top; and it is to this "three-pronged root of the world-mountain" that the

{p. 380}

Hindoo legends refer, (see page 238, ante): on its top was heaven, Olympus; below it was hell, where the Asuras, the comets, dwelt; and between was Meru, (Mero Merou,) the land of the Meropes, Atlantis.

The Asas were clearly a human race of noble and godlike qualities. The proof of this is that they perished in Ragnarok; they were mortal. They rode over the bridge every day going from heaven, the heavenly land, to the earth, Europe.

We read on:

"Kormt and Ormt, And the two Kerlaugs These shall Thor wade Every day, When he goes to judge Near the Ygdrasil ash; For the Asa-bridge Burns all ablaze— The holy waters roar."

These rivers, Kormt and Ormt and the two Kerlaugs, were probably breaks in the long ridge, where it had gradually subsided into the sea. The Asa-bridge was, very likely, dotted with volcanoes, as the islands of the Atlantic are to this day.

"Then answered Ganglere, 'Does fire burn over Bifrost?' Har answered: 'The red which you see in the rainbow is burning fire. The frost-giants and the mountain-giants would go up to heaven if Bifrost were passable for all who desired to go there. Many fair places are there in heaven, and they are protected by a divine defense.'"

We have just seen (p. 371, ante) that the home of the godlike race, the Asas, to wit, heaven, Asgard, was surrounded by the ocean, was therefore an island; and that around the outer margin of this ocean, the Atlantic,

[1. Elder Edda, "Grimner's Lay," 29.]

{p. 381}

the godlike race had given lands for the ice-giants to dwell in. And now we read that this Asa-bridge, this Bifrost, reached from earth to heaven, to wit, across this gulf that separated the island from the colonies of the ice-giants. And now we learn that, if this bridge were not defended by a divine defense, these troublesome ice-giants would go up to heaven; that is to say, the bold Northmen would march across it from Great Britain and Ireland to the Azores, to wit, to Atlantis. Surely all this could not apply to the rainbow.

But we read a little further. Har is reciting to Ganglere the wonders of the heavenly land, and is describing its golden palaces, and its mixed population of dark and light colored races, and he says:

"Furthermore, there is a dwelling, by name Himinbjorg, which stands at the end of heaven, where the Bifrost bridge is united with heaven."

And then we read of Heimdal, one of the gods who was subsequently killed by the comet:

"He dwells in a place called Himinbjorg, near Bifrost. He is the ward," (warder, guardian,) "of the gods, and sits at the end of heaven, guarding the bridge against the mountain-giants. He needs less sleep than a bird; sees an hundred miles around him, and as well by night as by day. His teeth are of gold."

This reads something like a barbarian's recollection of a race that practiced dentistry and used telescopes. We know that gold filling has been found in the teeth of ancient Egyptians and Peruvians, and that telescopic lenses were found in the ruins of Babylon.

But here we have Bifrost, a bridge, but not a continuous structure, interrupted in places by water, reaching from Europe to some Atlantic island. And the island-people regarded it very much as some of the English look

{p. 382}

upon the proposition to dig a tunnel from Dover to Calais, as a source of danger, a means of invasion, a threat; and at the end of the island, where the ridge is united to it, they did what England will probably do at the end of the Dover tunnel: they erected fortifications and built a castle, and in it they put a ruler, possibly a sub-king, Heimdal, who constantly, from a high lookout, possibly with a field-glass, watches the coming of the turbulent Goths, or Gauls, or Gael, from afar off. Doubtless the white-headed and red-headed, hungry, breekless savages had the same propensity to invade the civilized, wealthy land, that their posterity had to descend on degenerate Rome.

The word Asas is not, as some have supposed, derived from Asia. Asia is derived from the Asas. The word Asas comes from a Norse word, still in use in Norway, Aas, meaning a ridge of high land.[1] Anderson thinks there is some connection between Aas, the high ridge, the mountain elevation, and Atlas, who held the world on his shoulders.

The Asas, then, were the civilized race who inhabited a high, precipitous country, the meeting-point of a number of ridges. Atlas was the king, or god, of Atlantis. In the old time all kings were gods. They are something more than men, to the multitude, even yet.

And when we reach "Ragnarok" in these Gothic legends, when the jaw of the wolf Fenris reached from the earth to the sun, and he vomits fire and poison, and when Surt, and all the forces of Muspel, "ride over Bifrost, it breaks to pieces." That is to say, in this last great catastrophe of the earth, the ridge of land that led from the British Islands to Atlantis goes down for ever.

[1. The Younger Edda," Anderson, note, p. 226.]

{p. 383}

And in Plato's description of Atlantis, as received by Solon from the Egyptian priests, we read:

"There was an island" (Atlantis) "situated in front of the straits which you call the Columns of Hercules; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from the islands you might pass through the whole of the opposite continent," (America,) "which surrounds the true ocean."

Now this is not very clear, but it may signify that there was continuous land communication between Atlantis and the islands of the half-submerged ridge, and from the islands to the continent of America. It would seem to mean more than a passage-way by boats over the water, for that existed everywhere, and could be traversed in any direction.

I have quoted on p. 372, ante, in the last chapter, part of the Sanskrit legend of Adima and Hva, as preserved in the Bagaveda-Gita, and other sacred books of the Hindoos. It refers very distinctly to the bridge which united the island-home of primeval humanity with the rest of the earth. But there is more of it:

When, under the inspiration of the prince of demons, Adima and Hva begin to wander, and desire to leave their island, we read:

"Arriving at last at the extremity of the island"—

We have seen that the bridge Bifrost was connected with the extremity of Asgard—

"they beheld a smooth and narrow arm of the sea, and beyond it a vast and apparently boundless country," (Europe?) "connected with their island by a narrow and rocky pathway, arising from the bosom of the waters."

This is probably a precise description of the connecting ridge; it united the boundless continent, Europe, with

{p. 384}

the island; it rose out of the sea, it was rocky; it was the broken crest of a submerged mountain-chain.

What became of it? Here again we have a tradition of its destruction. We read that, after Adima and Hva had passed over this rocky bridge—

"No sooner did they touch the shore, than trees, flowers, fruit, birds, all that they had seen from the opposite side, vanished in an instant, amidst terrible clamor; the rocks by which they had crossed sank beneath the waves, a few sharp peaks alone remaining above the surface, to indicate the place of the bridge, which had been destroyed by divine displeasure."

Here we have the crushing and instant destruction by the Drift, the terrific clamor of the age of chaos, and the breaking down of the bridge Bifrost under the feet of the advancing armies of Muspel; here we have "the earth" of Ovid "settling down a little" in the ocean; here we have the legends of the Cornishmen of the lost land, described in the poetry of Tennyson; here we have the emigrants to Europe cut off from their primeval home, and left in a land of stones and clay and thistles.

It is, of course, localized in Ceylon, precisely as the mountain of Ararat and the mountain of Olympus crop out in a score of places, wherever the races carried their legends. And to this day the Hindoo points to the rocks which rise in the Indian Ocean, between the eastern point of India and the Island of Ceylon, as the remnants of the Bridge; and the reader will find them marked on our maps as" Adam's Bridge" (Palam Adima). The people even point out, to this day, a high mountain, from whose foot the Bridge went forth, over which Adima and Hva, crossed to the continent; and it is known in modern geography as "Adam's Peak." So vividly have the traditions of a vast antiquity come down to us! The legends

{p. 385}

of the Drift have left their stamp even in our schoolbooks.

And the memory of this Bridge survives not only in our geographies, but in our religions.

Man reasons, at first, from below upward; from godlike men up to man-like gods; from Csar, the soldier, up to Csar, the deity.

Heaven was, in the beginning, a heavenly city on earth; it is transported to the clouds; and there its golden streets and sparkling palaces await the redeemed.

This is natural: we can only conceive of the best of the spiritual by the best we know of the material; we can imagine no musical instrument in the bands of the angels superior to a harp; no weapon better than a sword for the grasp of Gabriel.

This disproves not a spiritual and superior state; it simply shows the poverty and paucity of our poor intellectual apparatus, which, like a mirror, reflects only that which is around it, and reflects it imperfectly.

Men sometimes think they are mocking spiritual things when it is the imperfection of material nature, (which they set so much store by,) that provokes their ridicule.

So, among all the races which went out from this heavenly land, this land of high intelligence, this land of the master race, it was remembered down through the ages, and dwelt upon and sung of until it moved upward from the waters of the Atlantic to the distant skies, and became a spiritual heaven. And the ridges which so strangely connected it with the continents, east and west, became the bridges over which the souls of men must pass to go from earth to heaven.

For instance:

The Persians believe in this bridge between earth and

{p. 386}

paradise. In his prayers the penitent in his confession says to this day:

"I am wholly without doubt in the existence of the Mazdayanian faith; in the coming of the resurrection of the latter body; in the stepping over the bridge Chinvat; as well as in the continuance of paradise."

The bridge and the land are both indestructible.

Over the midst of the Moslem hell stretches the bridge Es-Sirat, "finer than a hair and sharper than the edge of a sword."

In the Lyke-Wake Dirge of the English north-country, they sang of

The Brig of Dread Na braider than a thread."

In Borneo the passage for souls to heaven is across a long tree; it is scarcely practicable to any except those who have killed a man.

In Burmah, among the Karens, they tie strings across the rivers, for the ghosts of the dead to pass over to their graves.

In Java, a bridge leads across the abyss to the dwelling-place of the gods; the evil-doers fall into the depths below.

Among the Esquimaux the soul crosses an awful gulf over a stretched rope, until it reaches the abode of "the great female evil spirit below" (beyond?) "the sea."

The Ojibways cross to paradise on a great snake, which serves as a bridge.

The Choctaw bridge is a slippery pine-log.

The South American Manacicas cross on a wooden bridge.

Among many of the American tribes, the Milky Way is the bridge to the other world.

[1. Poor, "Sanskrit Literature," p. 151.]

{p. 387}

The Polynesians have no bridge; they pass the chasm in canoes.

The Vedic Yama of the Hindoos crossed the rapid waters, and showed the way to our Aryan fathers.

The modern Hindoo hopes to get through by holding on to the cow's tail!

Even the African tribes, the Guinea negroes, believe that the land of souls can only be reached by crossing a river.

Among some of the North American tribes "the souls come to a great lake," (the ocean,) "where there is a beautiful island, toward which they have to paddle in a canoe of white stone. On the way there arises a storm, and the wicked souls are wrecked, and the heaps of their bones are to be seen under the water, but the good reach the happy island."[1]

The Slavs believed in a pathway or road which led to the other world; it was both the rainbow (as in the Gothic legends) and the Milky Way; and, since the journey was long, they put boots into the coffin, (for it was made on foot,) and coins to pay the ferrying across a wide sea, even as the Greeks expected to be carried over the Styx by Charon. This abode of the dead, at the end of this long pathway, was an island, a warm, fertile land, called Buyau.[2]

In their effort to restore the dead men to the happy island-home, the heavenly land, beyond the water, the Norsemen actually set their dead heroes afloat in boats on the open ocean.[3]

Subsequently they raised a great mound over boat, warrior, horses, weapons, and all. These boats are now being dug up in the north of Europe and placed in the

[1. Tylor's "Early Mankind," p. 362.

2. Poor, "Sanskrit and Kindred Literatures," pp. 3 71, 372.

3. Ibid.]

{p. 388}

great museums. They tell a marvelous religious and historical story.

I think the unprejudiced reader will agree with me that these legends show that some Atlantic island played an important part in the very beginning of human history. It was the great land of the world before the Drift; it continued to be the great land of the world between the Drift and the Deluge. Here man fell; here he survived; here he renewed the race, and from this center he repopulated the world.

We see also that this island was connected with the continents east and west by great ridges of land.

The deep-sea soundings show that the vast bulk of land, of which the Azores are the outcroppings, are so connected yet with such ridges, although their crests are below the sea-level; and we know of no other island-mass of the Atlantic that is so united with the continents on both sides of it.

Is not the conclusion very strong that Atlantis was the island-home of the race, in whose cave Job dwelt; on whose shores Phaton fell; on whose fields Adam lived; on whose plain Sodom and Gomorrah stood, and Odin and Thor and Citli died; from which the Quiches and the Aztecs wandered to America; the center of all the races; the root of all the mythologies?

{p. 389}

CHAPTER IV.

OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED.

LET ME consider, briefly, those objections to my theory which have probably presented themsevles {sic} to some of my readers.

First, it may be said:

"We don't understand you. You argue that there could not have been such an ice-age as the glacialists affirm, and yet you speak of a period of cold and ice and snow."

True: 'but there is a great difference between such a climate as that of Scotland, damp and cold, snowy and blowy, and a continental ice-sheet, a mile or two thick, reaching from John o' Groat's House to the Mediterranean. We can see that the oranges of Spain can grow to-day within a comparatively short distance of Edinburgh; but we can not realize that any tropical or semitropical plant could have survived in Africa when a precipice of ice, five thousand feet high, frowned on the coast of Italy; or that any form of life could have survived on earth when the equator in South America was covered with a continental ice-sheet a mile in thickness, or even ten feet in thickness. We can conceive of a glacial age of snow-storms, rains, hail, and wind—a terribly trying and disagreeable climate for man and beast—but we can not believe that the whole world was once in the condition that the dead waste of ice-covered Greenland is in now.

{p. 390}

Secondly, it may be said—

"The whole world is now agreed that ice produced the Drift; what right, then, has any one man to set up a different theory against the opinions of mankind? "

One man, Mohammed said, with God on his side, is a majority; and one man, with the truth on his side, must become a majority.

All recognized truths once rested, solitary and alone, in some one brain.

Truth is born an acorn, not an oak.

The Rev. Sydney Smith once said that there was a kind of men into whom you could not introduce a new idea without a surgical operation. He might have added that, when you had once forced an idea into the head of such a man, you could not deliver him of it without instruments.

The conservatism of unthinkingness is one of the potential forces of the world. It lies athwart the progress of mankind like a colossal mountain-chain, chilling the atmosphere on both sides of it for a thousand miles. The Hannibal who would reach the eternal city of Truth on the other side of these Alps must fight his way over ice and hew his way through rocks.

The world was once agreed that the Drift was due to the Deluge. It abandoned this theory, and then became equally certain that it came from icebergs. This theory was, in turn, given up, and mankind were then positive that glaciers caused the Drift. But the glaciers were found to be inadequate for the emergency; and so the continents were lifted up fifteen hundred feet, and the ice-sheets were introduced. And now we wait to hear that the immense ice-masses of the Himalayas have forsaken their elevations and are moving bodily over the plains of India, grinding up the rocks into clay and gravel

{p. 391}

as they go, before we accept a theory which declares that they once marched over the land in this fashion from Hudson's Bay to Cape Horn, from Spitzbergen to Spain.

The universality of an error proves nothing, except that the error is universal. The voice of the people is only the voice of God in the last analysis. We can safely appeal from Caiaphas and Pilate to Time.

But, says another:

"We find deep grooves or striations under the glaciers of to-day; therefore the glaciers caused the grooves."

But we find striations on level plains far remote from mountains, where the glaciers could not have been; therefore the glaciers did not cause the striations. "A short horse is soon curried." Superposition is not paternity. A porcelain nest-egg found under a hen is no proof that the hen laid it.

But, says another

"The idea of a comet encountering the earth, and covering it with dbris, is so stupendous, so out of the usual course of nature, I refuse to accept it."

Ah, my friend, you forget that those Drift deposits, hundreds of feet in thickness, are there. They are out of the usual course of nature. It is admitted that they came suddenly from some source. If you reject my theory, you do not get clear of the phenomena. The facts are a good deal more stupendous than the theory. Go out and look at the first Drift deposit; dig into it a hundred feet or more; follow it for a few hundred miles or more; then come back, and scratch your head, and tell me where it came from! Calculate how many cart-loads there are of it, then multiply this by the area of your own continent, and multiply that again by the area of two or three more continents, and then again tell me where it came from!

{p. 392}

Set aside my theory as absurd, and how much nearer are you to solving the problem? If neither waves, nor icebergs, nor glaciers, nor ice-sheets, nor comets, produced this world-cloak of dbris, where did it come from?

Remember the essential, the incontrovertible elements of the problem:

1. Great heat.

2. A sudden catastrophe.

3. Great evaporation of the seas and waters.

4. Great clouds.

5. An age of floods and snows and ice and torrents.

6. The human legends.

Find a theory that explains and embraces all these elements, and then, and not until then, throw mine aside.

Another will say:

"But in one place you give us legends about an age of dreadful and long-continued heat, as in the Arabian tale, where no rain is said to have fallen for seven years; and in another place you tell us of a period of constant rains and snows and cold. Are not these statements incompatible?"

Not at all. This is a big globe we live on: the tropics are warmer than the poles. Suppose a tremendous heat to be added to our natural temperature; it would necessarily make it hotter on the equator than at the poles, although it would be warm everywhere. There can be no clouds without condensation, no condensation without some degree of cooling. Where would the air cool first? Naturally at the points most remote from the equator, the poles. Hence, while the sun was still blazing in the uncovered heavens of the greater part of the earth, small caps of cloud would form at the north and south poles, and shed their moisture in gentle rain. As the heat brought to the earth by the comet was accidental and

{p. 393}

adventitious, there would be a natural tendency to return to the pre-comet condition. The extraordinary evaporation would of itself have produced refrigeration. Hence the cloud-caps would grow and advance steadily toward the equator, casting down continually increasing volumes of rain. Snow would begin to form near the poles, and it too would advance. We would finally have, down to say the thirty-fifth degree of north and south latitude, vast belts of rain and snow, while the equator would still be blazing with the tropical heat which would hold the condensation back. Here, then, we would have precisely the condition of things described in the "Younger Edda" of the Northmen:

"Then said Jafnhar: 'All that part of Ginungagap' (the Atlantic) 'that turns toward the north was filled with thick, heavy ice and rime,' (snow,) 'and everywhere within were drizzling gusts and rain. But the south part of Ginungagap was lighted up by the glowing sparks that flew out of Muspelheim' (Africa?). Added Thride: 'As cold and all things grim proceeded from Niflheim, so that which bordered on Muspelheim was hot and bright, and Ginungagap' (the Atlantic near Africa?) 'was as warm and mild as windless air.'"

Another may say:

"But how does all this agree with your theory that the progenitors of the stock from which the white, the yellow, and the brown races were differentiated, were saved in one or two caverns in one place? How did they get to Africa, Asia, and America?"

In the first place, it is no essential part of my case that man survived in one place or a dozen places; it can not, in either event, affect the question of the origin of the Drift. It is simply an opinion of my own, open to modification upon fuller information. If, for instance, men dwelt in Asia at that time, and no Drift deposits

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse