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galleys; nor did they who piled up unhewn stones, and laid pieces of wood across them, dream of the pyramids. Every thing is done by degrees, and the glory belongs to no one.
All was done in the dark, until philosophers, aided by geometry, taught men to proceed with accuracy and safety.
It was left for Pythagoras, on his return from his travels, to show workmen the way to make an exact square.* He took three rules, one three, one four, and one five feet long, and with these he made a right angled triangle. Moreover, it was found that the side 5 furnished a square just equal to the two squares produced by the sides 4 and 3; a method of importa ance in all regular works.
This is the famous theorem which he had brought from India, and which, we have elsewhere said,+ was known in China long before, according to the relation of the emperor Cam-hi. Long before Plato, the Greeks made use of a single geometrical figure to double the square.
Archytas and Erastothenes invented a method of doubling the cube, which was impracticable by ordinary geometry, and which would have done honour to Archimedes.
This Archimedes found the method of calculating exactly the quantity of alloy mixed with gold; for gold had been worked for ages before the fraud of the workers could be discovered. Knavery existed long before mathematics. The pyramids, built with the square, and corresponding exactly with the four cardinal points, sufficiently show that geometry was known in Egypt from time immemorial ;-and yet it is proved that Egypt is quite a new country.
Without philosophy, we should be little above the animals, that dig or erect their habitations, prepare their food in them, take care of their little ones in their dwellings, and have besides the good fortune, which we have not, of being born ready-clothed.
* See Vitruvius, book ix. f Essai sur les Meurs, &c. tom. i.
Vitruvius, who had travelled in Gaul and Spain, tells us, that in his time the houses were built of a sort of mortar, covered with thatch or oak. shingles, and that the people did not make use of tiles. What was the time of Vitruvius? It was that of Augustus. The arts had scarcely yet reached the Spaniards, who had mines of gold and silver, or the Gauls, who had fought for ten years against Cæsar.
The same Vitruvius informs us, that in the opulent and ingenious town of Marseilles, which traded with so many nations, the roofs' were only of a kind of clay mixed with straw.
He says, that the Phrygians dug themselves habitations in the ground: they stuck poles round the hollow, brought them together at top, and laid earth over them. The Hurons and the Algonquins are better lodged. This gives us no very lofty idea of Troy, built by the gods, and the palace of Priam:
Apparet domus intùs, et atria longa patescunt;
The halls of audience, and of public state.--DRYDEN. To be sure, the people are not lodged like kings; huts are to be seen near the Vatican and near Vera sailles.
Besides, industry rises and falls among nations by a thousand revolutions :
Et campos ubi Troja fuit. Now waves the sheaf where Troy once stood. We have our arts; the ancients had theirs. We could not make a galley with three benches of oars ; but we can build ships with a hundred pieces of cannon.
We cannot raise obelisks a hundred feet high, in á single piece; but our meridians are more exact.
The byssus is unknown to us; but the stuffs of Lyons are more valuable.
The Capitol was worthy of admiration; the church of St. Peter is larger and more beautiful.
The Louvre is a master-piece when compared with the palace of Persepolis, the situation and ruins of which do but tell of a vast monument of barbaric wealth.
Rameau's music is probably better than that of Timotheus; and there is not a picture presented at Paris in the Hall of Apollo (salon d'Apollon) which does not excel the paintings dug out of Herculaneum.*
APIS. Was the ox Apis worshipped at Memphis as a god? as a symbol? or as an ox? It is likely that the fanatics regarded him as a god, the wise as merely a symbol, and that the more stupid part of the people worshipped the ox. Did Cambyses do right in killing this ox with his own hand? Why not? He showed to the imbecile that their god might be put on the spit without Nature's arming herself to revenge the sacrilege. The Egyptians have been much extolled. I have not heard of a more miserable people. There must always have been in their character, and in their government, some radical vice which has constantly made vile slaves of them. Let it be granted, that in times almost unknown they conquered the earth; but in historical times they have been subjugated by all who have chosen to take the trouble, -by the Assyrians, by the Greeks, by the Romans, by the Arabs, by the Mamelukes, by the Turks, by all in short but our crusaders, who were even more ill-advised than the Egyptians were cowardly. It was the Mameluke militia that beat the French under St. Louis. There are, perhaps, but two things tolerable in this nation; the first is, that those who worshipped an ox, never sought to compel those who adored an ape. to change their religion; the second, that they have always hatched chickens in ovens.
We are told of their pyramids; but they are monuments of an enslaved people. The whole nation must have been set to work on them, or those unsightly masses could never have been raised. And for what use were they? To preserve in a small chamber the
See ANCIENTS AND MODERNS.
mummy of some prince, or governor, or intendant, which his soul was to re-animate at the end of a thousand years. But if they looked forward to this resurrection of the body, why did they take out the brains before embalming them? Were the Egyptians to be resuscitated without brains ?
Justin the Martyr, who wrote about the year 270 of the Christian era, was the first who spoke of the Apocalypse; he attributes it to the apostle John the Evangelist. In his dialogue with Tryphon, that Jew asks him if he does not believe that Jerusalem is one day to be re-established ? Justin answers, that he believes it, as all Christians do who think aright.
« There was among us,” says he, “ a certain person named John, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus; he foretold that the faithful shall pass a thousand years in Jerusalem.”
The belief in this reign of a thousand years was long prevalent among the Christians. This period was also in great credit among the Gentiles. The souls of the Egyptians returned to their bodies at the end of a thousand years; and, according to Virgil, the souls in purgatory were exercised for the same space of time ;-et mille per annos. The New Jerusalem of a thousand years was to have twelve gates, in memory of the twelve apostles; its form was to be square; its length, breadth, and height, were each to be a thousand stadii, i. e. five hundred leagues; so that the houses were to be five hundred leagues high. It would be rather disagreeable to live in the upper story; but we find all this in the 21st chapter of the Apocalypse.
If Justin was the first who attributed the Apocalypse to St. John, some persons have rejected his testimony; because, in this same dialogue with the Jew Tryphon, he says that, according to the relation of the Apostles, Jesus Christ, when he went into the Jordan, made the water of that river boil,which, however,
is not to be ! found in any writing of the Apostles.
The same St. Justin confidently cites the oracles of
the Sibyls; he moreover pretends to have seen the remains of the places in which the seventy-two interpreters were confined in the Egyptian pharos, in Herod's time. The testimony of a man who had had the misfortune to see these places, seems to indicate that he might possibly have been confined there himself.
St. Irenæus, who comes afterwards, and who also believed in the reign of a thousand years, tells us, that he learned from an old man, that St. John wrote the Apocalypse. But St. Irenæus is reproached with having written, that there ought to be but four gospels, because there are but four quarters of the world, and four cardinal points, and Ezekiel saw but four animals. He calls this reasoning a demonstration. It must be confessed, that Irenæus's method of demonstrating is quite worthy of Justin's powers of sight.
Clement of Alexandria, in his Electa, mentions only an Apocalypse of St. Peter, to which great importance was attached. Tertullian, a great partisan of the thousand years' reign, not only assures us that St. John foretold this resurrection and reign of a thousand years in the city of Jerusalem, but also asserts that this Jerusalem was already beginning to form itself in the air, where it had been seen by all the Christians of Palestine, and even by the Pagans, at the latter end of the night, for forty nights successively; but, unfortunately, the city always disappeared as soon as it was day-light,
Origen, in his preface to St. John's Gospel, and in his homilies, quotes the oracles of the Apocalypse; but he likewise quotes the oracles of the Sibyls. And St. Dionysius of Alexandria, who wrote about the middle of the third century, says, in one of his fragments preserved by Eusebius, that nearly all the doctors rejected the Apocalypse as a book devoid of reason; and that this book was composed, not by St. .John, but by one Cerinthus, who made use of a great name to give more weight to his reveries.
The council of Laodicea, held in 360, did not reckon the Apocalypse among the canonical books. It is very singular that Laodicea, one of the churches to