Selestor’s Men of Atlantis, by Clara Iza von Ravn - Read online
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Atlantis, "the submerged island," some speak of it as a continent, which for unnumbered generations has been considered a myth, must now be accepted by fair-minded archeologists and other scientists as a proven fact that such an island at one time did exist.
The wonderful amount of material, especially fossils of different kinds, relating to the island of Atlantis that were gathered by the Schliemanns, father and son, noted archeologists who devoted their lives to proving that such an island really did once exist. Other scientists of note working independently, or cooperating with the Schliemanns, have added their acquirements to the proof.
In his majestic and poetical language Selestor, to whom we are indebted for the contents of this book, has pictured for us the highly civilized state of Atlantis’ inhabitants, that in several sciences were even farther advanced than our nation is today, especially in mentonomy—a study of the mind.
Atlantis was once a speck blown on the ocean's waves, a spot upon the foam, a floating nut that gathered to itself still other flotsam through the aeons gone and grew as all hath grown.
At first a clod of earth on which no life existed, but the birds of air found rest for weary wings, and sore distress of thirst was quenched in the low pools which caught the water from a weeping sky. Wrecked ships gave matter for its shape and size, and elements in motion added much towards the building of that ocean isle—a grain from out the granary of the deep.
Thus long it floated, sent out roots and sprays down to the coral of the deep sea bed and anchored; solid was it, not else could it have arisen from that dread wall of water in which it was engulfed.
The aeons are the builders in God's building mart, and gave it size and beauty, all that land e’er gathered or land needeth. Fairer far it was than mine which shows its wastes of sand unsightly; blossoms on that isle were touched with rainbow tints as fair as those where ether makes the planes which ye call "Paradise."
The seeds of fruits and trees were wafted from that land named Africa, and gems which made much wealth were once in galleys borne, and boats once torn to fragments by the wind and waves had given treasure to the ocean isle.
The gold had formed in God's great crucible where matter formeth by a method man cannot grasp but through the aeons, for no speck of time can so create that man may turn and say: "Behold the wonders of the earth and sea which have been formed in this brief span of time!"
Volcanoes there rose pointed, high, through that fixed law of earth revolvement known to them who study earthy substances. Hot from friction of a mingled soil the growth is brief and thus a passage gives throughout the cone; gasses then are formed through suction, friction of the ether and the water force and all that activates the law, or task, and liquid from the solid thus is born, as steam from the heart of solid substance forms.
The cooler surface of the earthy crust checks spreading principle and thus, condensed, the vapor rises, bursts the bonds of earth and makes a channel for the heated stone and moulten substance-lava.
Like to all growths of short duration, these volcanic mountains; brief their beauty as a Summer's morn when all is calm, before the thunder's crash bursts fully, rending face of sky, distorting, piling high its clouds of blackness.
And thus had grown Atlantis off the Western coast of Africa one long day's rowing if the winds were fair and waves beat not.
The girth of that lost land was thrice, mayhap, of this strange spot thou callest "State," and every span was made a nest for seed, or to up-bear some work of man's deft art, or yet of forests grand with growth of giant trees.
It rose a jewel on the ocean's breast and not one link of land to land was cast, but he who sought the shore of alien spot must journey in the galleys pierced for oars where slaves sat dumbly rowing all the day, chained, numb with labor or went down to death with shackles smiting and with curse on lips that man dared chain his fellow-God's own son as he—the brother—who was held as slave.
The miles which lay between the isle and Africa were, by computation of the law thy nation knoweth, five hundred stadia; it none the less the refuge was for persecuted men who risked their lives in fragile barks and every refugee was welcomed to that isle.
They built them homes and throve upon its shores, for there was need of many men to till, to weave the golden reed, to build, at first but crudely, then the costly piles that crumble, crumble where the fish desport in sullen pleasure and where bright shells mark a spot within the shadows of the deep.
The verdure on the island's plains from Africa was borrowed. The people of the isle, ere reason taught or one had learned a government to form, made war upon the tribes of that great country—in that day more great than any land of earth, vast temples rose where forests crowd the soil and cities mocked the marts ye view today.
The people of Atlantis, question ye? A boat once drifted from the shore of "Italy"—then a barbarous land of murderous men who only held them higher than the brute, for those who knew them ranked them equal to the lower shape.
Such people drifted, reft of sail and oar and cast by sea upon the fertile isle remained to people and to build in time, when generations passed who owed their lives to this one boat of fishermen and maids. From wreck of ships that drifted there to beat, perchance, in staves upon the shore, they added to their nation, to their grain and to their flocks, which but a bleating lamb began.
The men of old Atlantis held the form of men today, save that the skull did thicker bone growth show and slanting was each forehead. Shape designed to change as ages rolled along.
Aye, beautiful the women of that race; lithe formed and pale the olive tint, nor faces black did mark the race and hair and eyes were dark as bird that croaks complaint.
A people born to look on God's great world as His fair gift must turn to Him their constant thought, and thus a people born to worship they.
Long isolation from the world doth breed much thought, and thought is builder, thus they grew a people none might rival.
With scorn ye learn my people were descended from that race begat by fishermen and wanton maids—but twain. Yet thus I speak: no shame is in my heart, for all God's creatures hold the spark of lust and only mind directeth what the lower will deems needful. Estate and name have had no place in God's creative law.
Atlantis first was peopled by the sons of they who drifted, but through the centuries came an alien horde, and yet the Government observed the purity of strain and none held power save those born on the isle, or when a custom held, by few observed, of taking foreign offspring if it pleased the mood or sight and giving birthright. This was done according to the law of priest, not King who made no laws which did conflict with old observance of his sires from the beginning—first—of Government and code of laws held sacred by the king in line unsullied.
The traders lived apart if alien to Atlantis, such there were in numbers; a people none did love save their own kind. A crafty sect from over sea; a set of men with faces whiter far than their Atlantian lords, but in their brain was craft which knew no check if so a purpose came into that brain.
Long haired were they, with beards that flowed into their knees; their women beautiful and tender-nurtured, all unused to toil. They came from where the sun set. Western land they called "home." A race begot by zealots for a system all their own, nor brooked the customs of their neighbor lords nor yet their speech. Their language teemed in syllables, and names cut short with consonants were theirs.
Their God a unity of forces—matter typified by instinct and intelligence. They flesh abhorred as food, though as the centuries passed the custom grew to eat of flesh as the Atlantians; thus, their early whim in food forgot, they did excell in bartering meat of quality far purer than their neighbors knew or sold.
A care was theirs that animals they slew should bear the stamp of health and symmetry, for their contention was the food one ate gave to the body like condition.
They burned to God such matter as was fit—a simple sacrifice of flowers or fruit was theirs like unto the Atlantians. Their priests were men of mind, yet simple in their speech, nor arrogant like the Atlantian priests—all arrogance and consciousness of a power none should admit save in their soul.
Nay, not of theirs but of Atlantian origin the cross. A symbol in the temples to that god they designated "Ram." Aye, it was born in mind of one who woke to consciousness of God's creative force, not form, and also man's great part in distribution of the gifts of Him—the Mighty One. A crossing of God's work by man's to make a perfect whole.
The symbol of the stars so set in form bespake God's nearness to the land He had created; they taught God's nearness and man's art to so protect that with which He had studded Earth's great plains and hills. A symbol sacred; near the Throne it brought man's consciousness, so, when the cross shone brightest all were joyous; peace and plenty it bespake.
Yea, thus it was and is unto this day; a cross betokens God's great power and man's adaptation of material given for his uses by that One who set the stars on high in form of cross.
The Atlantian language nearer thine than any other tongue extant. Absorbing characters that learned were by man self-taught through wisdom of the soul. Aye, like unto the Greek, perhaps, in measure, for the people of those isles but spake the tongue of their ancestry—all Atlantian as they were.
The characters for speech, at first but crude, soon caught the grace of every art employed by those deft fingered people; greater far than any nation that has trod God's earth since their grand day was set.
The characters? Aye, less Greek than Magyr were they, in their infancy but crude. The picture of some object meant emotion also pictured as a human form in contact point of similarity with need, or grief or pain.
Old records hid neath sand shall yet be brought to light, absorbing men of nations near and far, which show ye all I mention; plates of metal made by skillful smith by skillful chemist's rule.
Thou asketh for proof of characters? This I show as taught me or as eye of soul beholds: A man in drunken frenzy, and all helpless first I show as on the tablets drawn, or cut by tempered "steel" the greater was the cup he held, the grapes full big, extolled the strength of wine which could a man subdue.
A sickness of the heart was well explained. Though man might smile to cover his intense but hidden grief, there ever rose before his eyes the image of his bleeding heart inscribed upon the tablet, or the scroll, in pictured form significant; thus was all conveyed to mind of they who sought to read.
The government was modeled from that of sons of Mars; at first a war-like monarchy whose head descended from the house of one lone shepherd, who rose from skin-clad people to a man of might in brain power; discerning in the sons of his loved land a war-like tribe to overthrow and bind unto them forces from the lands afar through centuries of toil. A course mapped out from sire to son from which none deviated.
And thus the government was shaped, and held for years, by one deft brain that builded as did the host of mortals on the planet ye call "Mars," and thus I swear.
How, ask ye, was the knowledge of those men to him conveyed? By that thought power all own, but not all rightly use. Yet he who was descended from the shepherd learned, through close communion with the laws of Nature, that all "space" was full of thought and listening, at an hour which held for him most leisure, he heard a voice from out the silence speaking to the sense which all men own. Secrets vast were told, unwittingly, for they who told deemed not that "space" hath ears, and thus he learned the lessen of a ruling mind, of power to wield the baton of the law, to quell sedition; justice to present and Peace to hold.
He builded from foundations pure and strong. Twelve trusted friends a council formed with him—the leader born and taught by soul to so direct and so to serve with will that all the others listened to his word.
And one grown old in wisdom of a kind that then prevailed—the making of much wealth in swords and vessels for the water gates—had charge of all the stores; and even he—crowned king—could of no substance give save he—the head—consulted with the twelve and spake the word of promise. King in name yet was his office tempered with the wisdom of his peers in age.
And thus the kingdom grew nor wasted gains in ill-spent revel or ambitious wars, but courted arts and planted, rearing high grand monuments that crumble ’neath the sea!
Wives were chosen not from alien lands for each wise ruler; but with beauty born, a daughter of the twelve who sat and judged, admonished and, perchance, reproved him who was lord of all. Nay, but one wife each knew, though when she passed to higher ether—soul instead of clay—another came to bless with tenderest love.
As centuries passed there reigned one monarch—him ye call Osiris—for such I swear was ancestor to that god-king of my land whom ye are taught to doubt as myth or mock, but who did live indeed and reign.
In this king's day the number of the statemen grew and many thronged the hall where justice held her sway, and kingdoms far learned well the power of him who sat upon Atlantis’ throne.
The years of the duration of the Atlantian government from the time of the formation are not numbered on the tablets, but we gather much from history of other lands and the signs denoting culture following crudest ignorance. Thus we speak: "Seven thousand years Atlantis throve in government." Yea, fully. More mayhap but it is scarcely true that one million years passed by without a change as has been asserted.
Seven thousand years are all I grasp, and still another may a different version give, for even in the histories writ so plain that men today read fully all there written, they differ strongly.
Ever so it was.
We march by epoch.
First the Shepherd King, then followed others of his line for full one thousand years. The stream was lost in other branches then, yet were they fit to govern. Men of that great council who had striven hard to bring to shame the line that mocked the Higher, and asserted that their reign began in gods who handed down to children god-fathered, born of maids, all the mighty line.
A break in line of reign there ne’er had been for centuries, for one, extolled by all, stepped forward and did claim the kingdom's lead and others willingly permitted.
Such kings as this were Ormandorth and Sestrom, Ohydid and old Polcythine with twenty sons who turned to lands afar and wonders wrought in this, thy land, ten thousand years agone, before the plague of fire from the sky —a settling of the star directly over the land, and pebbles hot were cast from a volcanic mould.
The cities were destroyed where rivers now do flow, or forests spring. The rocky strata of a hundred hills bear witness what I speak is truth. And perished thus the line of Polcythine through wandering sons who ne’er returned.
And so the line was taken, when three thousand years of government flew by, by king a rover bold, a son of him who wore the cross of promise; one who stemmed the flood of bitter opposition to a war which nearly wrecked the navy—in that day a feeble line of galleys, later great and striking awe to every heart where sailed the wondrous fleet in southern sea.
That cruel king died ere Osiris reigned; his father, stern and subtle of that line so cruel to his kind and kindred. The taint of cruel blood ran all adown the line like foulest taint of dread disease, to lift its head on some uncertain day, or like to serpent hid it lay beneath the smiling calm—beneath the kindly deed and kingly courtesy.
Broad subjects were discussed amidst the making of Atlantis’ laws, as the Creation—all the laws of growth enlarged upon—expelling of the water from the clouds and Spring and Harvest time were brought to mind.
Close observation of the stars’ poise was made so as to teach best state for permeating books, ye speak, we the tablets.
The hero was sent forth to war at certain periods marked by stars, and Government forbade that ships of commerce sail when stars portended loss. The tablets tell the tale—each moon—change marking destruction by madness or disease, or yet of safety and success with blessed health.
The laws were regulated by the Mars trend for the wars, and Mercury held the subject for the insect plague, and all were guarded from their ravages by the instructions of the Government whose laws fulfilled must be or punishment was meted out, nor stayed.
Ah, nay! The idea of the pyramid was born not in Atlantis. The pyramids were builded from model from afar, nor in Atlantis rose the shape; there round obtained in form, a pretext for much chiselling and caught the fancy of the builders there.
From other land the pyramids; from "Yucatan" a land that rose and fell in government for centuries before Atlantis reared above the sea a mark of civilization.
This is truth.
Unto Atlantis came the sons of Yucatan—in truth as spoilers first, but later stayed to so convert—and did become the citizens who always caused much agitation; in the army, navy, all adown the line where ran their blood.
A fretful, soulful people; turned to war or prayer. To building quaintly, hugely, cornered structures. Angles were their theme and model patterned from a mind that followed rule, not lines of grace, and thus were born the pyramids in brain of one who had conceived a fortress strong, impregnable. A fortress set on mountain top, the blocks of stone raised by the law I mentioned and the help of slaves, or captives, who were held by thousands in the parent land. (Yucatan)
Nor would Atlantis bear the structure-pyramid. Threatened exile to the one who contemplated building, but this one did carry into Egypt when the exodus of princes did proceed the water death. And when the day had come that, at command, a tomb was builded for a monarch old, rose he—the son of sons of him who from Atlantis came—and builded as desired through help of chosen ones who studied so complete the hints obtained from him—descendant of old Yucatan and foster child of lost Atlantis’ shore.
The object strength. No earthquake's shock could overthrow, no whirlwind topple to destruction, no foe could penetrate. In Yucatan—the land of mystery ye call, yet I, "the land of silent power" of speech to them who open wide their ears—that pyramid first builded was a home for hosts of warriors.
Tunneled in the hill on which it rose were chambers vast—a city—well ye call such labyrinth, and sealed to all intruders could it be; its streets, its groves, its parks, save for the opening in the pyramid, a handful guarded in the time of siege. For from the plains, now barren save for "farms" that dot them here and there, came swarms of men akin to brute in force and brain. The offspring of the steppes were they, where solitude breeds thoughts, yet grand or fierce or foul.
Their leaders, men of minds so well endowed they understood all arts and sciences. The rabble, creatures of the outcast-man in that young age when first the cities rose where serpents whirr in deadly stroke, and wolves howl long when night shuts down, and red men creep to labor or sun-warmth on sight of greatness that hath struck with awe the men of worlds now passed away. And this the land that gave Atlantis foes, or allies, when her navy grew so great it were defeat to seek her, warring, on the sea.
Atlantis made her boast that none might build her temples mighty. But in that far off isle was one who wrote on parchment all the mode of rearing and of hewing from the rock such pillars as were needed. His sons, too, learned the method. It was my father's ancestor who spake the way of reading poise. He left that sunken isle while yet it stood in glory.
He was of that band who did betake to boats in young Osiris’ reign, for reign did he in all the state his sire had kept when Egypt's shore was reached. And thus was Karnak builded. Karnak grand, whose pillar’d arches touched the vault of blue in man's imagination.
Yea, Karnak hath a measure all its own. A measure born of greatness of the mind that delved and brought to light from atom's realm the thoughts which soared in beauty, solid worth, and made a city where the night looks down through roofless palace, temple, tomb! A work that man hath wrought, but Fate in stern decree, so linked to the Ages that as one are they, mowed from the earth; its grandeur lost to eye save where a broken arch or pillar speaks in tongue of ruin, potent.
Yet the mood of them who builded lingers still about the arch that crumbles where the stars look down and Moon glints with new glory—glory vast but mocking. Such is ruin—but reminder of a day now passed forever. Yet it holdeth tantalizing mood; for like the gauds which hide not yet entrance, it rests where eye may linger and be held yet meaneth naught save that man's builded greatness is a mock.
It warmeth not the heart, but gnaws its way through all remembrance of another age that may not rest beneath the selfsame sky that once looked on its greatness. Old Karnak stood as warrior-shield on heart-defying hordes that looked with greedy eye, well knowing that within those temples vast lay treasures—"emeralds."
Aye, emeralds the men had brought even from Atlantis; globes whose worth meant fortunes for each owner journeying, but so sacred they that none dared barter for the gold each saw yet dared not gain at risk of ruined life. For such the story, that he who bartered one, if gift it was, brought untold sorrow to the latest of his line. And thus there resteth one within the breast where beat the heart attuned to mine in other age!
Alas! that day has fled and yet another dawns upon my sight. Within these temple cells lie buried, pillar’d o’er, such sheets of metal as had known the fire of old Atlantis’ smiths, who beat so thin the weight was naught, a scroll that tooth of Time eats. not, and characters and lines mark history of the land beneath the waves.
And on one sheet is marked instructions plain to read the colors of the rainbow, Moon and clouds and blossoms; tone of birds, aye, all that star-men taught. And there lies wisdom held from higher planets where the journeying soul resided for a space to learn the tongue, the song or story.
Yea, O Mine Own, the early races of old Yucatan—"Mayans" ye call—had there dwelt long ere peopled was Atlantis, and from the "Orient" came they—subtle souls who knew of "Ur" and "Babylon"—in later day and came unto the wilds of Yucatan through stress of famine not but stress of war. In that young day no jungle growth prevailed in Yucatan; thus was it writ: (hieroglyphics) in alphabet of other age.
Long years have made the tangle; serpents vicious, poisonous, dwelt not there in that young age, but out of "India" came the serpent mass, a treasured "curiosity" for one vicious priest to torture with wild fright his rebel followers in time of war, and thus they multiplied as forests grew, became a menace and ye see today results of one man's vicious mood …
Yea, those Mayans from the heights of India came, and fled one company from king's oppression and remained to people wilds, yet not the tangle of the jungle waste unknown in that first age of Yucatan. Those mighty builders methods used as they did who raised the pyramids in Egypt later and subject they to man's achievement—the poise of stone and currents of the air as I have written on an earlier page.
Behold, O Soul of mine, I bring thee proof that Mayan industries throve through knowledge gleaned from other land in that dim past, for not upon the soil now clogged with rooted trees had they been born, but upon heights with snow besprinkled, or vast plains where they were once inhabitants, but fleeing from oppression set their feet—a generous band of "experts," on the soil of Yucatan.
They grew as nations grow and held throughout the years the knowledge of the past when structures rose through patient toil like to those other ones in land afar, and every man was disciplined to learn the method and to build those piles which crumble ’neath the ravage of the wild and mock the modern trend of minds which vaunt themselves as master builders; thus they grew apace to mock the builded cities of the western land to which they drifted in those later days when population, hunger weakened, war encroached, did set them forth to lands afar or "homeward" unto India; set them forth to perish, some of stern fatigue, of famine reft of life, or on the ocean sailing, sunk by storms.
Yea, wolves did howl among the temples vast where serpents multiplied and warred on weakened man, and many died by poison fangs.
Those ancient Mayans, O mine own, a people were who ravaged not as nations throve beside, but peaceful bode amidst their palaces, grew wise with age and sedulously they worshipped gods who throve on their credulity, for not the image only did they worship, but the living man who represented Deity, grew wise and bold as followers did endow with attributes of wisdom and of power that quelled the storms and caused the gentle rain to fall.
Yea, I give thee origin of human sacrifice as thou hast asked. It rose from subtle motives, power, held by them who would dictate life or death and followers caught the thought, and thus, behold, the lovely virgins hurled to pits or slaughtered on the altar, bathed in blood creating frenzy in the multitudes.
They reasoned, they those priests so arrogant, that subject to their will became the virtuous maids cast at their feet by parents less than brutes, to whom the suffering of their young is agony of self.
They bought them power, those parents vile, by "casting to the gods," the fairest maids, and thus the habit grew and fouled the land by such indulgence. Knowledge in the brain, or mind ye speak, creates not tenderness or pity in the heart, and there was one, called wise, so cruel that the other priests shrank from his proud presence, who did conceive a viler sacrifice than instant death.
"The serpent sacrifice" ’twas called, and in a pit were nurtured poisonous snakes by thousands, and upon a "platform" in that sullied pit was placed the victim and the serpents twined and struck at one who shrank and shrieked for aid and prayed to heedless gods who represented wanton cruelty.
The years passed by and serpents grew and multiplied, but at the last the Mayan "gods" did weary of that mode of sacrifice and lost the habit; yet until the last a sacrifice of man and virgin fair was made to satisfy a senseless thirst for lust and power.
Nay, mine own, Atlantis was not peopled when the monuments to greatness first rose on soil of Yucatan, vast mansions first builded in the mind of them who years before had watched the growth of other palaces, and so designed to build still greater far those habitations and made a mock of greatness borne in minds long passed from bodies.
Yea as one hath said, their tools were simple, yet the toil performed was equal and more lasting than that which implements of modern men do fashion, and exact the poise of stone which, formed by a law they understood full well, that built the pyramids in later age. Yea, from the hills of India came the tribes, sent forth by sore oppression, from a race who once had conquered and who on the plains had dwelt, and also builded from designs of their proud ancestors.
They were men of mind endowed with reason; calculation and that sentiment which yearns to reproduce the works of God, ye call, in marble, stone of certain value bent to methods man designed; stone which caught electric currents; thus the secret note of poise which lifted with aid of men by thousands brought, perchance, from other climes. Men of intellect not yet conversant with the secret law of builders in that age.
Disease did fell that nation-smitten without warning; plague in grimmest form assailed. Yea, records be where men may one day find, that tell of disease encroaching hand which none could stay; of wolves and crawling things which battened on the scattered dead in seasons dark when from a distant isle came men with plague infested, and disease and death unto those early Mayans brought.
No leech of skill had they to warn them, thus many died and others fled from that "accursed spot," and foul became the cities vast and temples spoiled by one invader fell. But ere one temple was destroyed, in hidden crypt the blocks of stone inscribed with name of that disease, disaster, were safe hid from the despoilers who came once yearly to engage the men of that reft land in war.
And thus the people dwindled, fled from that disease-infested spot, and wars and great invasions rid it of the remnant of that race which once dwelt there in great magnificence.
"Accursed spot," ’twas called, with all its grandeurs did it perish as a spot of great fertility, and wondrous structures built from moods of minds attuned to lofty models, and to patient fashioning of structures so designed they stand through centuries.
Thine eyes shall read the writing classified with other ancient tablets’ mysteries, and all, at last, revealed be the mystery of that land.
Chapter 3. The Origin Of Wheat. Marriage Customs. Laws Regarding Children Born. Cremation Of The Dead. Some Industries. Music
Thou asketh of the origin of "wheat," the golden corn that rustled at the breath of eve and drank the waters of the Southern Moon, and glistened as the coin which all do crave?
It sprang to being from a wayside spray that God created for the birds which sang in that lost land, now sunk but shall arise again with all its drowned wealth of upbuilded fanes and walls and palaces which Ocean hides and laves, and yet rebuilds with shapes in pearl, and shell and life that drinketh deep of ocean life and knows not sun-shape.
Upon that isle ’twas nurtured, grown by process learned from nature's secrets by the wise of that sunk land when black as midnight's scroll were, mostly, eyes and hair of men who peopled earth.
They digged and planted, garnered too, and made the fleecy stuff for food that men today call by such name as then they had not spake, yet still the body nourished was the same.
Great ships sailed, dragged to the water's edge by bulk of grains, propelled by oars that sped them onward to a land more blessed, for none save they, my fathers of the ancient line, did grow for centuries that food, that grain which was once a seed.
A liquid yellow as the light of morn was once distilled from out its heart, and drunk alone by sages, kings. Not the fiery fluid which today ye know, but an elixir mixed with well-riped wine which then produced a power of thought and vigor of the brain that gave discernment to the dullest mind.
The raving were made peaceful; the fever-smitten were thus healed; they called it "breath of gods." The liquid, priceless, hidden was in one vast temple when the watery wall rose up engulfing all that land. Nor yet the secret was to Egypt borne, for they who drank, as they who had distilled, were not of that small band which sought fair Egypt's shore.
The marriage laws, ye question? Priesthood reigned, save for a space at least, and laws for marriages were made to fit the priest's own will; nor king did understand that "counsel" meant the tightening of a bond cast in the name of gods that he did claim as his protectors.
Nay, no voice had they—the wedded—to speak of choice or hate; for at their birth the priest, the leech, the monarch, mayhap counsel held. "We wed these scions of the house of Ram (or Ses)," whichever god the parents claimed. And at the time when "woman" on the brow was writ, and manhood spake in nature's mark and law, the priests assembled and the monarch held a grand assembly, all the state partook of that one union holding revel high and showering gifts.
"The gods are binding fast two hearts," they spake, "’tis well." But should a wife be smitten ere a birth proclaimed her lord a father, he who wed must pray to Ses for years ye number ten ere he another bride could claim; and she must have been blessed at birth as bride of one who passed. "Widows" wedded only with the priesthood. All pertaining to the marriage state was wrought with words so solemn naught but death could change.
Instructors for the youth could claim both wife and slave; a second wife who bore no sons nor daughters (this the leech forbade) and, thus barren found a grave—a saddened lot when motherhood in that young age held all of joy.
An infant born was closely watched by leech, and if, perchance, the moon had risen round six times and it showed weakness of the brain its life went out to gods who bore the soul, they well believed, to heaven for infants' souls. If at its birth the shape lacked aught of symmetry, or strength to wail was lacking, it left no memory of its birth or name upon the parents' minds, who all resigned did speak: "The gods receive."
Aye, named. Named ere the light was shown to those dim eyes that looked from body on the things of earth; for leech's skill foretold a daughter or a son—much longed for; but the matter of the sex could He alone present who giveth all! No wisdom learns the method. Thus God's mark is set on all. He maketh as His will dictateth nor shall man so shape his ways but they shall fit the mood of that great great God-mind. Ye shall read the law!
At death a father portioned off his household goods, the gods had yielded him throughout the years, to every child like portion; and so sacred was the gift, he gave the mother to the eldest's care. Tenderness surrounded her till death and honors heaped on monument proclaimed her name and station, deeds for good or ill, for nothing was withheld.
Nay, Earth received not to her arms the husk of them who passed, but fires were builded high of fragrant wood and subtle breath of spice condensed in fragments of fine stone; and on the pyre was cast, in robes of white, the form once loved but tendered to the gods when soul had fled.
A monument was raised and feasting took the place of fasting, for the gods were said to Celebrate the soul's return unto the Arms that cast it forth. All was well. None feared the end if so it were peaceful. Death did hold enticement unto him who well had wrought his life's appointment.
The priesthood gained its power from sons of men who formed the counsel—nobles. Sent afar to learn the ways of men of other lands, they wondrous knowledge gained and knowledge meaneth power! Each noble of the counsel gave but twain—the elder sons.
For though believing in the gods, a subtle voice contended to the people that the brother priests might plot great power to wield; thus from each household twain at most were given. "To warfare was he born," was written on the tablets when the third son of a household saw the light, and thus his destiny was fixed by fate, by priesthood and through teachings, and those youths were taught the use of spear, of bow and of the missile thrower which the men of later age did cultivate.
Aye, death it dealt to many, scattering fire as well as missiles at the foe; a fire they could not quench; and in the air it circled drawing breath from body; fire so dense with smoke and pungent smell the smitten died ere word could pass his lips. Yet one afar, so wise they named him Calus Heldi (man of mind) did give relief to those—his warrior friends, inventing such a barrier for the mouth, the face, as checked the ravage of the fire until its discontinuation was result.
He wove of "wire" so cunningly designed it held within its coils that gripped the ears two tiny flasks of purest glass which held a drop of strong distilled vapour from a shrub; and this strong vapour met the deadly fumes and checked their virulence. ’Twas simple, seemingly, so simple they who battled scoffed when first he spake "behold, I save from death our valiant men of battle."
Yea, warriors came from lands afar unto Atlantis. Great galleys beat at times upon the sand; great boats which stole at night from out the dark and hungry foe, barbarian, crept to cot or palace walls, beat back by guards or left to slaughter innocence and age or manly priest who spake of gods to ears deaf to the Higher.
Atlantis knew the grace of music; builded instruments to catch the notes of Nature; of that subtle music of the spheres which gross ears attuned to jarring sounds of Earth may never hear, but builded so completely were those harps of metal frame and silken cords, bound down the finest crystal which quivered at a stroke of the magnetic ether so that a tone from out the "silence" came and smote the ear of listener till his soul was all attuned to higher music, drunk by those around the throne of God, ye speak.
Thus every palace held the instrument, and men played not upon it, nor beat they music from the keys of ivory then, but left the task to sighing winds, to streams so vagrant in the atmosphere that one would smile at thought of unseen hands of breeze which gave out music ravishing the soul, yet so it was.
Great instruments there were in fountains set, where marble rose pillar’d, high, embossed with pictured scenes of marriage fête, birds that sang sweet songs, or animal that prowled with grace of shape which mocked, again I speak, the artists wondrous skill.
For, life imbued, the smallest creeping thing is fraught with beauty in comparison with modeled clay or stroke of brush by man. Those courts held vases of the beaten stuff  ye coin, and barter, not "for good of soul," and crystal basins held the bloom of rose, or pungent dust that cast sweet breath around, and tiny trees sprang up, as Nature there had placed, in basket rooted in rich soil.
And everywhere cringed slave to master, blind to beauty, set alone on making life a joy to them who held in bonds of law man-made!
The instrument which made the fountain's tone a murmur of sweet sound asketh thou? Enshaped like fan that cooleth heated brow, and spun of cords of metal made by smith who worked from dawn till midnight on one strand, spun fine as infant's hair, yet toughened by a method lost to art, even then complex and fortunes representing.
Slaves and gems, aye crowns, would have been bartered for the secret. Yet the secret was Baun El's alone, nor king nor noble sought to wrest from him what he had won through strong approval of the gods, they spake, and dared not wrest from him lest plague of blindness smite their eyes, or numbness seize the hands, which sought to grasp the secret of the God-sent knowledge.
Thus he worked in peace and builded for the king, for nobles, fans for water-music sweet.
In every strand was wove a gem of worth which meant a slave or kingdom, and as the fountain rose and fell the song rang soft or loud, and when a storm swept o’er the ocean it did drink the unrest of the atmosphere and made a swelling cloud of music that would smite the soul of listener.
Unto their knees fell slaves, so smiting was that cloud of sound and even nobles wept, the inner sense so torn by strong emotion, as the soul rebelled and strove to burst the bonds that held to form. Ah! music is the language of the heights! Yet not the beaten melody ye hear, but soft, or silent to the clay ear deaf to higher notes.
Aye, skilled were they—the sons of old Atlantis in all arts. They builded volumes from the store of mind, gleaned where strange peoples dwell on other spheres; some, creatures of a form ye ne’er have known, and others like to men of Earth with beauty rare, and heart attuned to all the great and soul-learned knowledge from the first.
Their language but a motion of the lips, yet brain cast out its thoughts so plain to those about that inner sense was touched and tuned to harmony of thought and sound. To sense spake melody in sigh of winds that swept the plains on planets, verdure blessed, and banks of bloom cast out their fragrant speech to souls attuned to language of the beings deemed inanimate, yet holding life in every fiber, these.
Aye, life in color, too, and shape and language which the toiling soul did learn and gathered knowledge where it only wonder held before. Vast knowledge from a source man dared proclaim but made for toy to beautify the state each soul may dare to keep!
They wrote in volumes what the star-men read—from birds a melody of thought which turned unto the Higher-songs of birds. Aye, voicing thought as man may voice his thoughts in accents harsh or low.
Each presence cast a color to the eye. A friend shed softest hues, a foe a glare of light that warned and checked complacency.
They wrote that ether yielded force for labor. Streams of ether carried shape to other realm—the shape akin to substance, yet the clay shape lay in state when soul did journey.
They of Atlantis read by subtle thought cast out and seldom read amiss; and we of Egypt caught a glimmer here, a memory there, of what our sires did know; yet not all the knowledge which men of that sunk land did glean, for war and pillage cursed my land till fled the higher science.
Ah! I wander from Atlantis to that land whose glory passed, as passeth fleeting cloud, where naught save alien force exists today to typify the power that ruled the world!
Atlantis? Aye, Atlantis was our theme; broad isle that held the shrubs of Africa and, later from the land ye name as "Asia"—land of balm and subtle spice.
Atlantis held the sons of self-taught sages; sages taught to read by introspection all which met the eye, and from the silent voice that filleth "space" they caught the meaning of the planet laws—of people on the ether planes—of growth made sure by scientific rule and keenest insight born of observation of each small detail and taught the secret unto others.
Institutions for the training of the mind of youth were builded in a circle, neither high nor grand; and cubes of glass in bars of bronze gave light when storms or clouds the sky obscured.
A garden in this circle shaded o’er from summer's heat by branching palms gave place for exercise, and also for the education of those youths who sought to till the soil; for all was done by pupil-digging of the soil—the planting of the seed—the budding task, to set to foreign wood the home-grown shrub or tree.
Rare fruits, too, were in that circle grown and their progression from a wild and bitter fruit—a food for birds alone, was but a pleasant task for them whose minds were turned to secrets of the growth which nature knows.
Wise men from lands where war and strife prevailed came from afar to teach the art of war, and "statesmen" gave here their garnered lore of forming governments on plans humane and well endowed with all that makes a country great. Some with ambition, hoping soon to lead, bore well in mind the duties of instructors and others studied water navigation.
Plans were laid within the chambers of the "school of mines" to excavate from earth such riches as should make the world stare, dumb with astonishment.
The art of shaping characters was but the work of time. At first the tongue Atlantis spake was barbarous, crude, the accent of the ignorant who ne’er had looked upon a written page. In time that barbarous tongue was softened, rounded out by words from priest or statesman who had sought of other lands the shore; of castaway on ship, or captive.
All the castaways were given welcome, that their tongue be taught to youth, with methods of their country. Many lands thus lent their methods to the shaping of the language—written speech—that in the years gave fame to old Atlantis. There the leech's skill was taught by one grown old in service mild to many—the service of the healer.
No rule for song was taught in great degree, for in that age men sang as sing the birds, their teacher but old Nature. Burst from throat such melody as heart did prompt.
Yet in the temples children of twelve years, none older, younger, once each day did sing in trained rhythm when high noon cast light within the circle marked upon each temple's floor; and in a garland stood they; fingers twined within the fingers of his fellows, slowly circling round the blaze of light. Within the sacred circle stood the youths and voices like the birds from forests depths pierced sunlight golden with their melody.
When reached that tender year ye number "twelve" they stood each noon and sang unto the gods. Old Phenox came to bless, the priests did teach each urchin lifting up his voice. That year of song was called the crossing of the threshold of the door of childhood. None might turn, reentering childhood's state again. And all their melody was as the note the captive bird sends forth when loosened from its thrall; for life stretched out before them, life and hope, the hope of youth, alas, too often drowned in bitter tears!
No child upon that isle so poor he might not taste the joy of knowledge; for the state, the kingdom later, claimed each child when born, and only guardians were the parents named. And so was carefully prepared each mind to farther bend the impulse to greater lore, and worked they all as for one common good when "land" or "country" was the subject for the best endeavor.
No language save their own the women early knew; it was decided wiser to withhold the knowledge gleaned by man, for woman was considered but a toy. A useful adjunct to the pride of man. Yet some proved willful and did gain much lore, all secretly. The priestcraft taught, and held in high esteem, the women of the land who knew of star directions—subtle voice of Nature—all which man might learn.
In the beginning laws were made to fit such disobedience—banishment from home, from husband, and another given in her stead; but later, when the priests did interpose a milder sentence was pronounced. It was that all who stole the knowledge fit for man alone—must don the manly garb. Yet ere the island sunk were many mothers teaching offspring arts, the sciences, and were not held accountable by law.
The arts? Ah, she—Atlantis—was the monarch of the earth in arts. Her carven figures rivalled life indeed! Pale marble spake to sense as flesh were there all animate, and subjects wrought in bronze spake from the temples vast whose paves were laid in symbols, marble flecked with golden groups of birds, or histories wrought in gold and metal fair that science had commingled.
Metal that the waves had cast no foul decay upon nor wrought a change save that the creatures creep about inscriptions to the gods or king whose people loved him well.
A marriage feast with figures true to life lies lapped by waves and coated with fine sand, yet if the power of man could raise the slab, so mighty, it were fit to place in any hall of earth, a work that Time hath touched not with his gnawing fangs which crumbles all, if so man's work as God's be not akin to that eternal wave which marks the growth of Time.
The cups for feast were beaten not from gold, but shaped of that transparent stuff which tossed to pave doth fall in fragments. Clear as bubble blown from foaming sea and tinted with the hues that rainbow showeth. All about the globe were woven with the skill of cunning craftsmen lilies pale, or rose, that all save scent marked perfect as marked God who gave it birth from out the soil.
Still other cups were wove from crystal as a basket grows from taper fingers, each clear strand apart, yet so welded to its fellow that the wine passed not between; in color cups like these were blue or gold or mocking wine with redness. Vases, too, were builded of the braided crystal for the chamber's use, to lave, or hold therein the flowers bright which slaves had gathered.
Gold was beaten fair in dish for flesh and trays to bear the food from fire to banquet hall. The knife, ye call, was shaped as tool thou useth to sever loaf or meat. Not gold but other metal played the part of furnishing the men of old Atlantis their most useful implement; but that thou graspeth of fine gold was wrought, of "silver," brought from far and greater value held than gold which lay among the sands upon the shore in pebbles large or small.
The child at play, perchance, who ne’er had known the city's greed, might pelt his fellows with the grains. "Barbarian" children were they called who dwelt where forest hid their hut, and beasts and fish did furnish all their food, save the date and fig that cast ripe fruit unto their feet.
Couches were built from ivory tusks of creatures wandering where the growth of trees might hide from man. The covering for such couches woven were from strands of thread first spun by worms then fingers soft and deft did fashion.
Linen, too, they knew; but this was brought in galleys from that land whose people passed and in their place had sprung a savage horde who knew the dregs of birth as in that day when first man sprang from force of nature; cradled in the cloud and rocked by winds, and warmed by Sun and fed on God's own atmosphere.
Yea, sandals covered feet that nature made so graceful ’twere a sin to hide in shapen casket that fair print of God on man form. The veils the women wore were made in looms which even the queen did own, and on which her maidens wove, in patterns fair, the fleecy stuff to cover yet not hide.
The graceful grass was bidden to its folds, the vine with purple clusters, the drooping palm and plant ye name as wheat, which giveth food. Most beauteous garments wove Atlantis’ slaves, although the wife of noble, all engrossed in making beautiful her form, did weave a garment that no slave might take into her hands.
This garment glistened as the lily's leaf—a robe of silken splendor wove on loom that nothing of a meaner fiber might employ. The robe was worn by eldest of her flock who sought a bride, if sons had blessed her house, and were she blessed with sons, in marriage bonds the eldest craved and wore the glistening robe. And thus ’twas handed down from sire to son—a marriage robe of worth which marked long years of toil.
But one departing to another land unwed bore not with him the sacred robe of life. Aye, jewels strung on golden cord they wore; great blazing stones which Africa's mines did give and emeralds green as leaf. Aye, emeralds. Thus they called them, spake that self-same word; and from Atlantis brought my sires the great green globes of light which thou shalt see—a record of my line—hid in a mummy's breast awaiting but thy hand.
Volcanoes in a state of lesser rage and heat cast up from mud great shells that bore such pearls the eye did give a thrust of light in viewing what the smith held on his tray—the moon—pale ring of pearl of palest rose, or jet which mocked the eye of the beholder.
All were won from him—the smith—with grains of that pure metal—"gold" to commerce known. No coinage they attempted; scales had they for weight and grains of gold were laid thereon.
Ye ask the food which they consumed—the people of that land? Thy table speaks the answer, in degree; such as thine concoctions harmful, learned of priestly cook who brought to simple-minded peasant ways of food that brought no good to him. Fish, flesh of "sheep," ye speak, and wheat—the mixture of the maize and "rice" with fiery fruits that grew there as the years brought foreign tree and shrub unto that isle.
Wild honey brought in galleys from afar, pomegranates, melons, figs and nectarines, the orange, citron and the grape gave all the nourishment they needed.
They took no blood save that the meat contained; their drink was milk of asses and of goats, not kine which never reached that isle. Later came the method to extract the juice from plant and fruit, and later yet from wheat a draught distilled the priests, sole mark of their own will to so concoct that it became a sacred drink to quaff.
A "feast" was made for men alone. No maid nor wife did sit at festal board such as thou namest, but slaves, light-footed, sped among the guests and danced to beat of hands on polished disc which gave out tone not harsh but ringing, telling of the mood of them who watched the lithesome forms of grace clad all superbly and with modesty.
A household feasted at the well-spread board alone. No guest was bidden when the children grouped about their parents, taking food from their well-loved hands.
Yea, seated not reclining were the elders. Children stood, perchance about the mother's side or grandams.
Not the father's, yet a father's hand did reach to each the fruit it best did love, or when sipping gently his well-sweetened wine, bade each red lip quaff but one draught from out his bowl or vase. A loving service from a father's heart set for his hand.
Yet fasting was the rule for child of the Atlantian. Lithe of form and delicate of face were they. No foul distortion from the over-feeding which did mark the alien inhabitants who pressed upon their children grossest food.
And thus Atlantian bodies, spare, gave vital force unto Atlantian brains, for fed by motive power of thoughts from higher things, not grosser, which must eat the vapour giving life to thoughts that spring from bodies mental poise, suffusing brain, and so our thoughts are born.
But all absorbed the body's finer force, through gross assimilation, brain is starved nor taketh to itself the finer trend of higher thought cast down from Force above.
They measured grains of metal by the weight of rule and caught the secret of another metal still; ’twas made by so compounding several metals, that there stood forth a wondrous slab of lightness and of gloss, on its bright surface, golden slab it seemed, the characters were carven so to represent the objects one might wish to hold in thought, as well as characters denoting time and substance, journeyings, reigns of various kings and deaths of nobles, criminals. All writ so fair upon the gleaming stuff by chiseling, and pleasure brought to science's laws and rules could never be surpassed.
This metal wore not neither rusted, nor yet cleft in particles, but stood superb throughout the ages; aye, ye could see it still if ye, perchance, could raise the block of stone which means the temple wall; and lying prone, or standing where first set would be this tablet; aye, would hundreds be as as fair as any page from master's hand today.
Components for "cement," ye speak, were understood as now, and firm and smoothe rose many a palace wall made of the sand and slime—"bitumen," ye. Pebbles were, too, employed in building. Of colors unknown to you cold people of the North. Aye, shells so turned by flexity of carbon gas that stone they seemed and set in pillars’-walls. The secret of the priesthood, understood by few, to crystallize or "petrify" all things of nature. None that secret took to Egypt, lost.
Aye, even blossoms could they so solidify. A difficult but certain task to them who understood; and these, too, live beneath the feet of things that walk and swim—the monsters of the deep.
"Sea onion" made in cups like ivory seemed when petrified. The "kelp" they wove in nets so strong a "shark" could scarcely rend. Aye, dipped in liquid made by science's rules made perfect in its toughening quality, retaining color, shape, the all which nature gave with added worth.
From bones of certain fish—the "shark," the "gar," they made them weapons in the early-crudest age; such ivory as ye seldom see because the seeming, worthless bones by simple method long ago employed. A bath in nitrate was compounded, though they who made knew not a name for that one simple liquid of which their fathers held the knowledge since earliest dawn of race.
A bath in sunshine, laid on rock which held a property those men of earliest dawn ne’er knew held values, but a certain instinct told them of its worth to harden when in contact with another, foreign matter. Such the work of earlier and of later day that held the hands and minds of old Atlantis’ sons.
A happy custom sprang to life in that past day—the custom of so reaping sound from out the "silence," ye, that melody was brought to ear.
Old instruments are found today which people know not nor can speak their use, and little dream they gleaned the strong, vibrative force of Nature's laws which are exact and reproduction sometimes a work that art may win. The tissue, clear and strong as gold, doth melt to Time's hot touch, but shape of frame have ye in "museum," lauded as some great pedestal, staff, "the origin of looms," perhaps, but never music instrument. Yet so it was.
When breezes strong, salt and full charged with deep vibrations borne from far in circles, as vibrations trend, smote the sheet of luminated composition—silk and metal particles—they made a rhythmic melody of worth which sages studied to determine storm forecast or fate of sun-smote country, passing of a storm upon the desert, peoples on a raid, the nearness of a foe, while all swung to a tune remote or near as circles broken did denote the foreign body in the rhythmic whirl of vibratory coil; for Circle is Eternity! Great master stroke! Completeness.
These the words that God doth change by naught in Nature nor through all His laws!
A simple mind determined all for man to ponder on. The son of statesman sitting where the shade made happy bower, had watched the waves and drawn from out the mind realm, through the eye, a force of wondrous discernment, power. The structure which he builded, with the help of sage, to catch the circle's action long did want completion.
Suddenly, at dawn the sunlight on the water made the mark that smote the power with which to grasp, and all was plain to him.
Ellipse of light. The motes of atmosphere. The current on the dampened surface of the sheets of glass took form before his eyes. The science of ellipse of sound was born! Made perfect by a law well known to mariners of steering by the gurgle of the waves ’gainst rock. A tongue all nature owns.
Discernment taught them then the proper stuff to weave to catch the sound in form. Attraction well was studied, and the shape born in their mind was emulated. Circle made of floss so delicate it seemed the gossamer of the spider's house, yet strength was there. A metal in the sand which made the glass soon told its certain worth by testing.
Strands of glass enwoven with the silk—a sensitive to sound which draws (casts) atmosphere and dryness points to source. A movement breaks the rhythm, ear well trained catches the weight of volume—shape of volume—thus the law is read. Long years of study taught the distance. Near, a medley; far a rhythmic murmur of the chords, the distance for such sounds did he determine by examination.
Sent he boats afar or near which brought to bear a clang of shields and spears, great shouting, all that might disturb, and when the record smote the sheet enwound about a staff of glass he marked the distance to the point where rested fleet, and thus determined distance readily.
The men of that lost land were thinkers. Thought is born in brain which long doth feel the pressure of a word spake with a grain of wisdom; thus it holdeth meaning on which pondering bringeth great results, for like all growths it clingeth to the source, and Source is nurtured in the lap of Age, and thus doth drink of substance which promotes a germ that breeds yet other thoughts that makes a garland of the knowledge scattered through the matter of a mind.
And so it was those men of "lost Atlantis" learned to fashion instrument to cast their thoughts by delving into matter of the brain; it drew such atoms as did smite and yet again cast forth the word to them who waited.
Suddenly the thought did come to one who long had delved in brain-lore, its forces, all that makes a stroke of will of other methods; for a stroke of thought can give a world of power to them who dwell on thought as force—as factor in the world on which ye bide—on planets where thy kind, yet wholly not thy kind, do live a life of nearness to the Source—to breadth—to Scope—to lightness of the heart which is the spring of Form set in a model made from molecules condensed and cell besprinkled, yet with purpose, law and reason.
Nurtured through the ages by that great Force which is the Spring of Life that buildeth worlds and maketh moods from out the work-shop of a Mind so vast that it doth hold the great immensity of "space" within its bounds. And like the insects swarming round seem planets, world, the All.
The law is simple in its workings, but, ah man! Ah, man! the spring is set to beatings of a Heart that grew when Time was not! A Heart that casteth life-blood to the million, million arteries of the world! That checketh not the beatings of the hearts of men by aught that is amiss, but is so well attuned to laws of growth that all may live, but in that vaster Life.
That Life so vast, so full of mystery to thee that thou hast cast the thought from out thy puny mind as something harassing and fraught with woe; and yet the mind rejecting is attuned and liveth in the fullness and the warmth of that so well attuned and perfect Heart.
The law of the beginning none may know; but law of Life on ether planes we drink, who stand bereft of "body" and where mind and shape of soul are formed of ether-force magnetic, which may pierce all substances and yet be soft to feel the moods of sadness in the one it loves.
It penetrates the brain with sense of brain to thee unseen, and yet, that force of brain unseen by eye is stronger far than bands of brass ye weave! And ye, who by the flesh are bound to earth, may drink the higher knowledge through the soul, if so ye live the Soul is recognized and questioned as a thing apart from Mind.
All better promptings cometh from the soul. All evil whispers are the lower self, yet welded are the soul and earth-mind, kin, and yet are severed by the sense of God, ye call for want of name to designate the vast—the mighty—all pervading Force, which entereth every form born from the womb of mother. Blessed state, for she is co-creator, nurturer with the One we name with reverence and awe.
That One so subtly held to self yet casting out the sparks of Life and Knowledge. Growth and reason's flow, yet ne’er depleted. Wondrous birth of Time and forces which we read not, yet they lie about us giving unto each a spray of force.
Not in fullest power doth Nature fill the form of man, else Man were but a senseless block whose shape and subtle sense, attuned to law of growth alone, were all his heritage, but atoms rarefied build up the form which is the plan of soul. These atoms hold the essence of a Life. God-All-in greatest portion.
Such is Man. Built of the sentient matter from the stars—the work of sunbeams—ether held in leash by strong electric force. Of tide-play of the Moon the creature formed from stroke of Potency which lies within its center and its growth-realms.
Such is Man—the man of clay, all imbued with life which is the motive force. The Soul—that subtle spring which beateth out the numbered days and years, and draws to higher Soul by love inborn through its soul-birth, biddeth man to hold the thought that divine himself is he, and that he may drink the nectar of the thither spheres which bringeth strength to soul.
Chapter 6. Atlantian Knowledge Of Creation's Laws. Origin Of The Priesthood. Authority Of The Priests
Atlantis knew the secret of the past, as ye today know language writ on page familiar. Thus were read the stars through eyes of sages and from the tiny speck first cast from Growth Divine, a mote of Thought from Him—the Builder—they fathomed the mystery of peopling, of the verdure planets bear.
The growth law they did learn by inner sense—to highly strive that all was cast to Mind, yet delved they not as men today must delve, but learned that law was knowledge of the sort which aids the brain to gather all it needs through introspection.
Practice ye who will.
The secret springs of life, if once ye yield to pressure of the inner sense, or soul, speak all of Nature.
No need of tomes to tell of Nature's laws when all is first implanted in the soul of man and, dormant, may be called to life through recognizing of the inner self—a something known before the world loomed large unto the eye.
Great scrolls they made of finest colors woven with the hues of rainbow, sunset clouds and all that Nature casteth from her loom of dyed and mingled substances, so wove to mood of maker that a poem it doth seem.
Atlantians read the moon as page of book or thoughts condensed on pillars. Thus they spake: "The Moon-men, mad, have cast their thoughts to Earth and harm has come to us who dig and delve, and strive to carry to each dome and build such structures as the very sun doth mock. Alas! we cannot ward the harmful stream of thought condensed which smiteth brain with woe!"
Sun language read they. Messages of growth stood forth on parchment, sheets of gold or bronze, ye call, of which they, too, did make them gates as well as barques to carry thither, yon, all merchandise. Great sheets made whole by cunning use of spikes so beat in wood that strength made sure the task of building messenger for water-road abroad.
Heed ye! the secret lies beneath the wave, but semblance have in that carven boat which men of statue shrunk make small in wood of tree-trunk; yet in them no slave sits dumb and plies the blade. Aye, blades were plied which rested in the holes pierced high for oars, and "decks" raised in their midst, where sat in state the noble who did journey.
No great distance, oft made my sires of that sunk land, for all that made a land of worth was there, save in that season of volcanic mud and blight. Then forth to other lands they sailed in fleets of well-made boats when storms, the sages said, were held in leash by great Orion's belt.
To Africa always went they—land of corn—of rice—ye call, of wool, of shrub, of date, of ivory and skins of gloss and ebon hue. Later they went to Asia's shores when fairly peopled. To other lands whose inhabitants were the rioters that strayed from higher shores, their beaten tract lay on to that land which ye call "Egypt," I, the loved and lost, but rising yet again though peopled with the alien. Ah, my land!
My fathers of that lost Atlantis, speak did father much from star-lore through the mind, and learned from Mars the lore of working brass and metal made from lead and grains of powdered pumice. Smoothe and fair to eye the molten mass on which the men of lands afar engraved their higher thoughts, or made a history which is read by peering souls who look beneath the waves and gather much that speaks of conscious mood.
They read the motes and streams of atmosphere, made discs through beating metal from the stone and mixed with brass or bronze, and caught a stream of strong, magnetic force through iron crude with other substance known. A disc of polarized white metal caught the current, drank it up and made the music of a certain word cast out by spiral form—’twas done.
Nay, they knew not messengers of land as thou, nor tubes for speech, but o’er the water flashed the message as the summer air, and sought objective point which skill designed. For speech was caught on disc and read with satisfaction or with dread.
"Bring hither from Atlantis sacks of gold," he read, "twice twenty. We send thee linen—honey—swords and javelins broad." And he, with ready stylus, at the disc marked on his tablets: "Twice twenty sacks of gold they from the upper Nile desire."
And this ere Ophir gave her secret to the hands of one poor slave!
Priesthood came to light in that far island in the early dawn of race. A castaway, who dwelt from birth upon a northern cape, was priest first to Atlantian people, when the world at that one spot was bound to savagery. Yet kind in heart the handful that had sprung from fisher folk, as I have told before, and gave him shelter.
He of all the boat, one hundred toiling slaves had manned, was spared to tell the tale of mountain waves and frightful blasts that heaved the foaming sea and break in staves the ship. And as he spake of hardships all eyes were turned on him in pity, as they understood.
A tongue long lost to most he spake, but one of that small band—himself a fisher castaway—could catch his meaning and expressed his sympathy. The son of Ocean's spite reared to his gods, for preservation of his life, a wall of rock and set thereon a disc of polished gelb he wore upon a thong about his neck.
All understood though having not one god their own.
And thus as he—the son of Ocean's spite—poured forth his gratitude, they knelt beside and lifted up their voice in thankfulness, in imitation of the man who prayed. And thus was priesthood born.
And that first priest—a man of will who boded check but ill—soon made his presence felt and all did turn to him for counsel. Waxed he strong in power and handed down his law to every soul that spake: "I pray thee give me counsel." Thus ’twas done.
Like all beginnings, but a speck—of time—of potency—of that which binds and welds when growth hath been attained, and binding millions by the central thought, all bowed at his command as when a king stepped down.
Yet he was meek in mien. A thoughtful man who knew the power of law and sought to bind the minds of them who dwelt upon the isle, with purpose. This at last was done. His name? They called him "Bernastje" meaning Thought. A name corrupted.
Thus priesthood was established. Down the line which followed all his sons were priests and teachers. Healers of the sick by art drawn from the mind, at first, of that head priest who brought much knowledge. All their power lay in strong heredity.
In the beginning none of other line did give their sons as priests, but as the souls contended for their rights, and many dwelt where but a handful stood, still others were appointed. So the line of priesthood grew and power also grew.
Little felt at first the power, but later, when the august government was formed and nations learned the island was a-weight with gold, the priesthood cast a spell of angry thought about the ministers of state, forbidding them to barter island wealth in quantities, preserving in their line a love of home and that which home contained all jealously.
Then strife arose, but by a threat that gods would bear the wand of stern destruction to the isle were priests but crucified or banished, or yet shifted tor the captive men afar, as sometimes done, fear gripped hard the government and priests remained in power. ’Twas well. The weak submit and strength in mind or hand brings power, awhile at least to him who holds the gifts.
Earth mind is prone to weaken at a threat made in the name of that which is not understood; for darkness holds the evil which we dread, not light of day. For light is intellect so trained that all may know without the word of man what for him lies in store.
The work of priest was fixed by inclination. Some knew the gift of love to man and held them ready to deny self-love and yield to others that which giveth peace. Still others bartered words for golden grains that promised senses joy. They made the laws to govern school and home. The marriage, birth and death.
Health laws in measure also made they and the fixing of the tithes each made for prayer to gods. Also one made a law that man hath known, and needed, since first his eyes were opened to the light—the law of ministering to the unfortunate one whose reasoning mind had fled.
The jangled brain took soothing draught of words from him who patient waited so to learn the words most soothing unto each. Thus was it in that day.
A rhythm made they of the potent words and so completely bound to simple sounds they sang, in tones discordant not but sweet, the jumble to the raving, keeping time to instrument like "zither," a slow, deep music that did lull the sense and often cure effected was by means like this. Adjustment unto certain law—this action of the brain. A single cell adjusts itself to tone—to thought—’tis well—’tis healed; the other cells will act in strict accord, for all are so contained in silken mesh of flesh that each responds.
The law is simple yet complex to them who read not science's method of the whole vast system—man or world—enhung upon a chord—a strand, that vibrates to a tune. And Time doth only change the direct stroke.
The priesthood also understood the law of color on the active, waring brain and with it soothed, or made the sluggish mind to grasp an object. Thus to fall in line in thought and bring forth harmony of thought from senseless round of muttered syllables.
Such disease fell often on the men of galley. Storm, perchance, drove wisdom from their head and Fear's great specter sat beside instead of Hope and Courage. Such malady afflicted child at school who strained much knowledge to absorb and mind was harmed.
A mother at the birth of babe invited such catastrophe by overfeed—a glutton at the feast of Harvest Moon, when brain disease was rampant in that land of heavy light-pressure, under rays of moon, which now has changed its full condition, through the dying out of light important to all planets set in "heaven" and ruled by strong vibrative law.
Moon conditions change each one thousand years. To earth an almost imperceptible change cometh; yet we who study mark the growth or trend, to so distribute ill or good to Earth, which holds the planets.
Mark we, too, the laws that govern Sun irradiating worlds. Its light less luminous this past thousand years than in the former ages. Thus ye say: "The eyes of children dimmer grow; such, science hath discovered." ’Tis not so. No focus for an orb can be obtained if swift vibrations fill the sunlit air. Vibrations which made round a certain point, and in this day a point is passed and thus is blindness on the increase, as ye speak.
So taught the priests of old Atlantis aeons since, and I, today, give but the thought of ages past.
In temples lived the priesthood. Chambers vast reached out designed once for palace court in which the monarch walked when so it pleased his will, and passages whose windings none might walk save the "annointed" stretched their way to home of priest.
Vast gardens set about the temple walls made private bower where dark-eyed children played and dark-eyed mothers smiled and time beguiled by touching cords of finest woven gold, or other metal. which all deftly strung, made melody that soothed the eager ear of child or yet of him all weary grown of clamouring zealot asking good at his unwilling hands.
He the secrets of "the gods" had learned—mere carven shapes to represent the thoughts that dwell within the brain, and yet, in inner soul he grasped the law of higher Intellect that made the earth and all the planets, systems. Time, and measured with His eye the Universe and its beginning.
Aye, so well the priests did know that each endowed the carven shape he represented in his turn with attributes because, indeed, it was a spark of that great Mind cast out, all objects from His being having grown.
The priesthood held much power, as it has held since first man turned his thoughts from God's great works and queried to his fellow: "He that marketh me as man, I understand Him not, but thou art wise. I beg thee state His motive. Give to me the explanation of His ways so vast my puny mind can grasp not."
Man in power is like the creature which playeth with the object of her search ere she destroyeth. By glance of eye he seeketh to show the terror his presence calleth to the one whose life, mayhap, hangs on his word, and play becomes a stern reality till man believeth he is God indeed.
The state succumbed to the assertive power of priests until at last aroused by deeds of blood, they bade the priesthood pray to gods, and fix the mind on things above the clouds, and leave affairs of state to men whose minds were trained to earth-ways, not to higher lore.
The story of the slaying of the priest, asketh thou? ’tis thus enwrit upon the page which speaks the truth of such event: One of the number who did give to Ses his daily offering for the people's good was stern Bolandos. Dark of brow was he; a mixture of Atlantian sire with blood of that dark race that first knew form upon the planet Earth.
A man fierce-hearted. Crafty. Wise in guile and guilty of a wrong we give no name else did it breed like wrong. Thus we contend. And he—Bolandos—sinned in harboring love for one fair woman who did kneel each day before the shrine of Ses—the god of Death. And as she knelt she murmured: "Give, oh give! thou god of death—as life—what my heart craveth.
"I love not him I wed because, forsooth, no shelter for my form was there, save that I wed this scion of the house that caused my sire's downfall. Take, O take from me the son of Abbas, him I call my lord send far in galley, that I see his face no more!"
Bolandos pondered long. Priests might wed, for law permission gave, but she they wed must first have sealed the vow of constancy to one who, dying, left her free to wed with none save men in touch with gods. "The sons of heaven," they spake the priesthood's name.
"And were he dead," Bolandos muttered, "she of right were mine, for he first looking on her tears of widowhood is called entitled to the one who weeps."
No pity dwelt within his heart nor scrupled he to strike the blow to sever form and soul. But fear of his betrayal at the hands of some just brother or some slave, perchance, or fearing that another first might hear the tale of woe—of one struck dead by dark assassin's blow, held long his hand.
But when the rose tree's bloom did make a garden of the gods that favored land, there came an hour when the crafty Abbas' son did seek the confines of a garden fair, unfaithful to his beauteous Olasandron. This the priest did mark.
Before the dawn leaped up from sea and flung the shadow from old Day's broad face the son of Abbas left his garden tryst: The dew clung to the rose trees. Fragrant night did halt in silence. All things seemed to sleep, and o’er the pave the lover's step came softly.
Down beneath the wayside clusters lay the one who waited for his prey. A thrust of steel—a gurgle! Death was there! and on the sands lay Abbas' son to rise no more! Not one thrill rent the breast of his assassin. Fast he fled and flung his dagger on the sands. On to the temple, where at dawn of day the wife—the widow knelt at Ses's feet to plead relief.
She came. A lily tall. Wrapped to the eyes in fleecy mantle. O’er its folds her eyes shone like the stars. Her braids of jet and gloss, enstrung with jewels—like twin serpents fell inert and fragrant to her lithe, arched feet, and on her gorgeous rug, by slaves outflung she cast her beauteous length, besought the god: "O Ses!"
A murmur in her ear. A warm hand clasp. The pressure of an arm beneath the serge of priesthood. "Ses hath heard thy prayer" a deep voice whispered, "Thou art free indeed!"
And she, according to her race and age, bemoaned her fate, her early widowhood, and called upon the great god Phenox to sustain her heart in its deep torment. Thus her slaves bore her away, bemoaning as she passed the great arched door that led into the street.
"All mine indeed," he muttered who had slain. "The slaves bear witness that I first beheld her tears of widowhood, and when the moon shall fail and darkness clothes the night, and yet another rises over Ocean red and full, I shall recall the promise of the king and claim her."
A murmur loud of many voices smote upon his ear. "The rabble calls, and I foretell the doom of some rash lord the state assailed, or sea-king who hath locked with galley vast which bore much treasure and whose clime is known."
It nearer came, it louder grew. He paled; the voices which each possesses in his soul spake of some dire disaster to his hopes of love. It crashed along the arches where the gods in jeweled state, upheld by hordes of priests, sat calmly gazing with their beryl eyes upon the rioters who heeded not the sacred place, but burst upon this vision clamoring with hate.
And at their head, behold, a rival walked! a rival hated of Bolandos, for the priest well knew that he, too, had craved the wife—the widow now—of Abbas' son. Bolandos stood one moment like a lion caged, with eyes whose glare did scorch the looker's blood: and riveted were they upon the steel held in his rival's hand.
"Thine! Thine!" they shouted. "Priest as false as they who swear eternal fealty to the gods they barter for the gems each wears upon his crown!"
Upspringing like a maddened beast of prey, one leap Bolandos gave, his rival's hand did seize, and thrust! and thrust! and the keen dagger drank so well the twain lay on the marble at Ses’ feet!
Punishment for murder meant the tightening of a cord about the source of life, and this mode have men of today learned through tradition and through that stream of events which breaks seldom through the years.
To men grown old in crime the punishment became more lenient, for thus the council argued: "The gods a punishment will mete which days, but few, hold for this wreck of manhood, and thus no need have we to aid." So he, the hardened criminal, was bound within a vault which led unto the sea and there eked out a life of solitude, with naught save needed meat and drink to break the hours' long sway.
None other entered the retreat of crime, but rats ran nimbly to and fro and basked within the spot of sunlight which, perchance, lit up the rock-hewn chamber when high noon was rung from throats of bells that cut the air of rarest purity, so cleansed by breath of sea and atmosphere all purged from dust by breezes born from waves.
And so it was that man met Maker face to face in thought—that gift of joy or torture-weapon sharp as steel beat by the smith. Aye, thought! That ripener of crime, of greed, of hate or yet of love and charity. The growth of mind attuned to catch the motive chords asundered from the body's mass of nerves and muscles. Mechanism subtle that doth breed the all intangible, unknowable stream of harm, or good, which, bred in brain leaps out to cast to death or raises highest pinnacle of joy.
Such hath Thought been since first the skull of man did fit a mood that grew beneath the cap old Nature made for mass ye call "the brain."
And when we speak of Nature, in our hearts the real source doth beat the current strong of God—of All—of atoms—whirling specks and massive products of a Mind alone. Of Law but never force of man, for man alone can nothing make, but leans upon the vast, majestic Mind.
Yea, woman, too, so soft in love, so strong in hate, was punished for that crime of taking life—the gift which man may take but ne’er return again. Aye, God doth never yield again to husk when once the cord of soul and husk is broke. A body dieth when the soul is free and never more doth that take shape which once hath held a soul.
A woman nurtured tenderly was made to kneel on stones, protected from the sun's fierce rays, and there for weeks ye number twelve each day did kneel with arms upraised to gods. Her torture sometimes shortened by the slave who stood with wand to beat the breath from casket frail if she did falter in her pleadings long. And thus she met the soul sent out to quench her hate.
And if perchance, her babe was reft of life while lying at her side in slumber deep, no murder had she done, so she but sat beside the highway wailing sore: "My child is dead!—is dead!" And this long "month of tears" atoned for fault of oversleep, and such example made the care of young a task so well performed that seldom thus they died.
If to an unwed maid a child was born, all undesired, and it died at her hand, four stalwart slaves stripped from her form the gems, the cloth of gold, mayhap, the fine-spun lace and from the shore in barge sped out and cast her, shrieking, in the sea to fierce, finned ghouls.
A father smitten by his son was soon avenged, for he (the son) was reft of hands and eyes and then the strangler's cord did well the task of ridding husk of soul so foul. A theft was punished by the thief enstamped upon the shoulder with the character denoting theft, and he no mantle was allowed to wear for years ye number four.
A maid who had despoiled her mistress wore a scarlet strap about her brow to hide the mark supposed to stand upon the brow of them who pilfered other people's substance. Wife murderer sat in galley all the years that Time drew out for him till death; for he was thought to fit his soul by meditation stern for other plane where (priest told well the tale) great Ses did fix the cord about the neck of soul, enacting well the executioner.
And thus did man take in his hands the task of God to punish for despoiling page of life—the book unsullied first, but blotted sore with stain of unfixed thoughts—of ill to fellow men.
The priesthood punished as was best thought fit, each member of the order who did sin, the nation knowing naught of what befell "the Temple's children." Each was taught the law, and if it were broken by an act forbidden, the highest of the order spake the word of punishment and punishment was given. No plea the order stayed.
Priority among the priests was known alone by age, not service nor yet rank or wealth. The elder priests—the "fathers" called, in dying left their power to next in age. All priests were taught the selfsame laws and science whispered to each ear the same, and mentally they each so strove to grasp, not one could say his wisdom was the less. Such were not law.
Statesmen did so uphold themselves in honor that a crime such as thou namest seldom found a man so base as to demean his sacred word.
To barter power was deemed a sudden freak of madness. Seldom was the mood so turned, but if, perchance, this did occur the one so smitten with greed and vile deceit was cast from chamber of the council, stripped of robe and beaten as a slave in sight of all the populace, then sent afar.
But one such case in many hundred years occurred, and none did know of the intention or deceit till fell a tragedy that woke the horror of the island people—held their indignation long. And yet we do admit, unwillingly, that great events, or race of people, knowledge of new countries, spring from crimes of men—from wrong to kind.
And such events occurred when fair Atlantis reared her head above the sea: a wondrous land with power over many lands afar which she did people from her exiles. Peopled she the wastes and forests deep which lay full many thousand miles away.
The story of the violation of the laws of Government was on the tablets graven long before the island sank, yet in its infancy the tale seemed but a prophecy, which none saw fulfilled, the peopling of vast hills and wastes by one—an outcast and his victim—bride yet not a bride.
She—the victim, too, of Fate and Falsity whose offspring filled tents upon the hills nor sought the plains where dwelt a fairer race until, grown strong, they swept in might one day and conquered. Set their mark in later day on temple wall and carven gods, so massive that a wonder of the world men later did behold in viewing what the hands of their descendants wrought. And this the graven tablets told:
"There once dwelt in Atlantis a maiden whom they called "the Fair" for beauty was her dower. And she was bartered for a seat of power in the great Council Chamber, where the king upheld the law by signing with a word each edict passed that met his favor.
He—the husband—who so wily won the maid, was not in his first youth nor yet his second. Hair of snowy hue clung round a brow no length of knowledge stamped, and eyes were dulled with wine, and form, which God made perfect to contain a soul, was warped with foul excess.
Him they called "The great and rich Bahanan El." And sons had he and daughters that the state had named, and others who bore no rank or name save that their mothers—outcasts from the pure—gave unto them.
One son—Batisis—looked upon his father's wife—the lily pale and dark eyed Attoline—and swore he would espouse her at his father's death. "For," spake he. "Matter not her age when she is freed from that foul lord who brought to life the atom whence I sprang, I still shall love, and thus she shall be mine."
Alas for Attoline who drooped and sighed with dread of that gross presence which they "husband" called and, anger’d, looked not on her father's face when he appeared at feast or in the hall, and on her mother's neck did weep, and moan and pray that death would come and bring her quick relief.
One day she wandered where the sands met sea and chanced to face the youth who swore she should be his by law of Right. And, seeing Attoline, did read the creed of love and so forgot that wives have not the right to love, save him who giveth shelter, name and gold and state, as law of man proscribeth.
Law of God forbids the soul to sully with material gifts its heritage of peace.
Thus spake the youth: "I long have known thy face as one that angels stamped with perfect law, but thy sweet voice, alas; I ne’er have heard. Speak but one word! Thy slave shall drink the tone long after he is banished from thy sight."
"Speak not!" she cried, in voice her slaves might hear. Then lower: "Speak not of thy departure, for the sun will hide its face when thou shalt pass from view!"
He spoke: "Attoline, I have loved thee long and well. Speak but the word and at thy feet I lie like spaniel fawning for a loving look—a creature trodden on yet still alive to one kind word from lips that hold the power to doom to death!"
One glance she gave from eyes whose fire was hid by fringe of jetty lash, and rose his heart with courage.
"Speak, sweet. Shall we depart unto that friendly shore where none may know thy state, or wealth, or past, and humbly live with love our guiding star?"
She spake: "I go. For life is black indeed within the palace where the low-browed lord doth rule and seek to win to his gross soul the love I would withhold for one more noble. Him I know in thee."
"Farewell," breathed he, "for but one hour! and we again shall meet beside the water. Seek thou this spot marked by yon boulder huge and grey. But dead it seems yet it holds in its heart a secret chamber where the torch burns that lighteth me upon the water when by night I roam abroad in galley seeking prey of sea.
"For I am of the people who must wrest from men more blest the bread to nourish life, the goods to cover, gems to deck for fête and gifts to buy the god's approval. Thus I speak that thou mayest know I make no boast of goods, of name or state that men of earth do prize; yet in my breast my heart beats high with hope and Courage calleth me her son indeed!"
"And I," she faltered. "Well thou knowest my state; yet will I toil in cot, as toil the kind who envy me, ere I return to his embrace—the foul-souled one who bartered fortune's smiles to him—my father, for my form, my life, my hopes, for all thou namest as gifts the gods do send.
"Oft have I thrust my hands to heaven and cried unto the gods, and offered gifts the poor would fortunes call, yet not one hope gave they of my release save what thou swearest. Hark! my maids speak: He cometh! Lost indeed is hope and happiness!"
The dark rock closed around him. Magic art it seemed to that fond soul whom love had found; and to her maids, who vied in giving service to the one who ever held them equal in the best, she turned.
Bahanan came with anger on his brow, "To whom speakest thou, my wife?" and she replied: "I spake no word. I looked reproof on him who called my name, as thy wife, honored of the people, should."
Her grace of form, her glance of tenderness, so rare, disarmed suspicion and so stilled the demon of the jealous god within his breast, he spake: "I trust thee fully. Take thy way," and, turning, left her, for affairs did call.
The gay throng passed and laughter filled the ear.
The gay throng heeded not the lover's meeting where the shadow fell from tall, oared, galley, nor the veiled form that melted to the clasp of one bold water-messenger or chief. Afar they sped ere that dread day of wrath had swept Atlantis from the world's great chart. Afar in safety, for the port was gained ere sea was swept by waves of mountain height.
And she—the beautiful, the fond, the happy at the last, bore sons and daughters to her loved lord, and did become ancestress of that great race which called Assyria home.
Chapter 10. The Navy Of Atlantis. Minerals Of The Island And Theories Regarding Them Held By The Mineralogists Of That Day And Country
The boat which bore the fishermen and maids unto the isle which smiled from out the sea was model for still others, builded slow for want of "adz" or tool to shape with grace the rounded contour of the cypress-built and steel-bound bark, which was the first attempt at ship for commerce or yet ship for war which long after followed.
"Steel," question ye? Aye, steel I think ye name the shining blade, the slab of metal welded to the hull, and thus had they this broadened band of "steel," that metal whose method of construction long was lost to science, industries, but was regained again, when centuries had flown by metal workers, "experts" in this thy land.
"Steel" known to Atlantians first as spoil from out the ocean, from galley vast that drifted smitten, storm-tossed. Rent in twain on reef which led to death all boats that through dire misfortune sought to make a landing on the northern shore. A reef whose stony teeth set fast in many a gallant ship.
A reef which still shoots upwards ’neath the waves, imperilling many a bark unto this day, so mountainous its bulk. And far in shore the rock did set, though hid by giant trees which once invited storm-tossed mariners a-starve for fruits and gurgling springs which forests deep enfolded.
The captain, a builder of the supple oar, a cook (and tyrant in his line was he) were cast ashore with one great galley's hulk and fell a prey to importuning of the kindly ones that peopled old Atlantis in its dawn as home of nation.
His a matchless mind, the captain's. Yielding knowledge not, but bartering for the leadership of fleet, if so ’twere builded by direction of his men who brought strong vessels for the journeys to far shores. And this was granted, but they did beswear him solemnly that of their race henceforth he would become on of the sons of their fair isle.
That there his dust should lie, did not the hungry sea, which cryeth for such fare, grasp ere he died with head in lap of slave, or wife who loved and mourned him, raised him high shaft of alabaster o’er the carven chest which held his ashes. Such the custom there.
And he, the foster child of that young nation, grew a man of might. The rudely fashioned craft first made was soon supplanted by the graceful barque that hands, grown skilful, through a tutoring brain, wrought wondrously. A barque whose sides bore gleaming gold with name inscribed and flowers carven, or yet a scene from nature drawn, of bird or graceful leopard.
Tusked creatures, too, shone forth in gold upon the well-spiked sides of galleys of the nobles of the state, as building of great barques progressed.
Yet through the years that first crude barque, part fashioned from the galley of the castaways, part from the fisher boat, held well its place—a boat of peace, which carried envoys to the darker land far up the sea, or yet to smiling islands set in southern seas; for stranger spices and such condiments as old Atlantis knew not till at last one, so skilled in foreign mixtures that his fame was great, came, well pleased to bide upon the island whose fame reached far.
And as the minds of men reached out to grasp the laws of other countries—other planets, a fleet was builded in whose strength and grace combined the cleverness of nations' round. Each boat a wonder for its strength and speed. Each boat, a marvel for its decoration, vied with other barques in richness.
Flashing gems indeed were set about the crown of some fair sea-nymph, graved in gold or metal that doth linger ’neath the waves yet rusts not, nor is marred by beating waves nor play of monsters. Slaves who plied great oars or stood by messengers of murderous mood were once of foreign galley, mayhap, bent on slaughter: or were criminals who, not condemned to death, might linger in the service of their king—their nation.
Pinned were they to seat by chains in early day and thus were given time to ponder of their deeds. The captain of the fleet, ye call—a fleet which challenged sun-rays shot with gold, which cast its sheen for miles over quiet sea, or fought the waves as valiantly as tiger meets its foe—the captain of this royal fleet was Wanandred—captain of the hosts of sea. The meaning of the name? "Atlantian not by birth, but of the galley broke upon the reef."
He came from far—from where pale faces met the pallid sun, the cold of icebergs. Skin-clad people, brave but cruel; knowing naught of guile but much of patience. Skilful with the oar, the spear, the mattock; not in arts nor crafts as southern nations. In that early day so wise the scattered people of the South they seemed to mock at God's creation, so complete the work turned from their hands.
Their brains seemed set to springs of Nature holden in the Hand that fashioned so completely that in time we gaze on growth, on color—on the changes wrought by atmosphere—on wave—play—toss of tide—almost on Time which creeps upon us! leaves us! on the clouds. On all that cometh from the One who doth create.
And those swart men did emulate so well the ether strong was chained to build and bring from far some message light or stern as one dictated. Men, were they, who past and left but meager trace; so meager that the world today turns coldly from such page as I have here embellished with this history and speak: "He doth pervert!"
Those galleys of Atlantis? Eighty feet the longest galley set to war. The wood of cypress, tulip; harder yet a stuff was made from fiber mixed with gum and shaped at will in giant mould of ribbed wood. Thongs, made from the creepers of the jungle, serpent skin and sinews of the bear, borne far with skins from Northern lands, were aids to make the galley strong. Those boats of gum and fiber of the palm were light—were strong—and to the salted water of the sea impervious; but the sweet lake or river pierced with damp and failed to hold to shape the pulpy mass which useless grew.
Each galley held its men in shackles in that early day, and no fierce revolt—no captain smitten by rebellious crew. Yet kindness reigned withal, and kings bestowed some token of their favor upon all on feast days—days when vast pavilions built were named and blessed and the fleet received a store of things deemed needful in that olden time of which ye dream today.
The crew of each wore costume made at fancy of the captain-galley's lord, who yet dared show no unkind mood to men that stern misfortune bound. And smote he one in anger, unprovoked, a punishment was meted out severely by the senate, by the king, and in disgrace he sat and plied the oar, where once he reigned supreme, for days ye count one hundred.
If boat were named the "Vulture," of that early fleet (a name ye would not comprehend if it were spoken in the olden tongue) yet that same bird of foul portent, which drew its life from Nature's gifts and lived as now abhorred by men—if "vulture" were the name, the captain bravely decked, wore golden helm beat into shape of bird of carrion on his brow, and round each naked waist of toiling slave was wound a scarf embroidered with the symbol foul.
When storms beat on the casque, or cloak which wrapped each form, the crimsoned bird was stamped full plain. The prow showed boldly giant bird of prey.
The leopard, tiger, or yet lily, so at variance in its beauty pure to fiercer symbols, were the names employed. And all was writ so plain in symbols that the foeman read, and reading, shuddered as the fleet drew nigh; a menace to the "pirate," joy to them who loved Atlantis, gloried in her strength, her arts.
One barque that made the fleet to nations by the sea a horror was the funeral barge, begirt with ghastly trophies of the passed and valiant warriors. Set with staves, red-painted, golden streamers broidered with white urns fell languidly or fierce upon the breeze. In the cage upon the tower sat the great and skilled embalmer. None so brave he be might sully sea with corpse or feed the foul, fierce creatures of the deep, Atlantis willed.
Her sons were hers indeed, and on her breast must rest their ashes when the soul had fled. Thus to the shore they bore them, to great piles, the pyres that lit the night when Moon was dark and low Orion; and melted husk of them who fell in warfare. Slave or king, in death they equal shared the pomp and were the pride of people who as kin regarded every soul born on Atlantis’ shores.
When homeward bent, the galleys bearing dead did creep at rear of fleet. Low chanting smote the ears of warriors on the barques. A song of peace fell low. Soft sounds of sweet-toned instruments arose and split the curtain of the night or met the glancing sunbeams. Smote the strains fond ears all strained to catch a whispered word of love. Smote ears that drunk, but now, alas! would drink no more the voice of him beloved.
Great bands of priests whose white robes showed the mark that boded ill—the fleshless bones as form of man portrayed—walked slowly to the massive quays and greeted all with blessings; raised voice in murmured chants and promised good to souls that left their husk at call of duty, country's need, and passed each token of the men who died, to weeping sire, or son, or yet a friend. And in their chambers dark the women mourned.
The instruments for war were barbed missiles, shot from prow, from stern, from sides through missile-thrower simple, not complex. A wheel, a pulley, piles of seeming toys which opened jaws and crushed the bone or entered body with their barbed fangs. The spear three sided. The stave, the axe with biting blade, and fiery baubles peering from the box which gathered force from out the atmosphere, were later hung on every prow. And thus held war or struggle to maintain their right to merchandise.
In time of peace sweet strains the waves caressed and even slaves sang gaily, keeping time to rhythm of their blades; and garlands from fair hands were cast in showers when galley sailed afar. The banner of each boat showed name in symbol clear, or characters, and over every name was set the god each worshipped. Thus each captain's god was borne aloft; and as the sun shot up or sank beneath the water, seemingly, each man of all the fleet did lift his voice and cry:
"We laud thee; God of all the gods who doth protect and hold in bonds of safety us—and ours—our land, our captain and this noble barque." So clearly rang across the water loud this cry when stars denoted midnight, or great Orion swinging far in space, and in his language held the token of a storm, or Venus dipped her golden head and Mars swung boldly into sight.
And men upon the shore would shudder, or yet smile, according to their policy or nation. Thus they spake: "The dogs do prowl from fierce Atlantis’ shore!" Or thus: "We need protection, and it comes from dear Atlantis—sister in our need." And never greater or a braver fleet had borne the sun-light on its armoured sides since time began.
Yea, that navy of Atlantis was a fixed mark, from time when first they builded from the wrecked boats, which grew to beauty as the years advanced. The captains of the ships composing fleet were men of mark whose fathers held the state to ancient laws. All, men of wealth and minds superior were theirs.
Yea, the government advanced, or punished for an act of discipline betrayed. A form of service study had the priests maintained. A man must fit himself by deep attention to the navigation rules, and also laws that govern planets high; and waves, which bore the impress of the higher waters, held in check by state of active planetary movement towards the zenith, bearing water held in check of ice or mist that reaches far beyond the lower cloud mass, only loosened by agitation of the poles, or of the planets swirling far in space at certain periods.
Did the laws, so well contained in poise and in cohesion of the molecules of congealed force, but come astray through laxity of ether or electric band—which like a wall withholds one from its mate, the higher from the lower—all the seas might rise, submerge the world, or, tipping outwards, make world so dry that water force were known no more.
Thus learned they to so control all force which man is subject to, yet knows not his subjection. Thus they held control of nations less endowed with knowledge. War they sought not; but when thrust upon them they were not afraid to seek and conquered every foe.
Chapter 11. Mining And Minerals Of Atlantis. The Man Who Came To Atlantis From "Spain" To Study Its Minerals
Atlantis was athirst for gold which lay within her soil, and also for that ruddy metal which abounds in strongest nitrates from the saline trend of earth. Of these she held rich store, and men toiled deep beneath the surface gold and dug such rare and perfect metal blocks as man hath seldom seen.
Aye, harm was done by digging deep through centuries, for by digging, inner fires were loosed, and wall of water seething through it bore beneath the waves the block of land so huge and rich it seemed the home of gods—Atlantis.
Aye, copper ye call, was buried deep, grown from a force, the sages—men of science—taught, of pressure of the world's deep crust in other age. The suction of the water ’gainst the oxide-gas formed crystals which solidified to stone in substance hard and gathered by the magnet law all other minerals held in great or less degree.
Nay, they taught that sulphur enters not the copper growth; bitumen first in making copper stands. Aye, thus they taught; a hardened slime expresses what I wish to give. I can employ no words they spake in other age. Forbear to judge of all I say today in this—thy alien tongue.
The presence of its neighbor, gold, cast a shade of color on the mass. Where gold predominates a ruddy hue is seen; where "lead," the color ye call "peacock" shows, they spake. Blue vitriol, taught they, was an essence of the copper lode, because the overflow of salts was such in casting off when the work perfected was.
Aye, silver, too, but poor in quality, was found thereon, or in, as always when the rock commingling with the leaden pulp, made sure by oxides, in the dawn of growth-formation. Thus the Atlantians spake. Lead bears the proof within itself that all its trend towards the water-force is birthright.
Water is the first formative force of lead; water is the first of lead; a particle of soil, admixed with finest rock so worn through action of the law of molecules in given state doth form. The alum in the water is the hardening property. The iodide, the melting; bitumen in the clay in finest form, the pliable, and thus doth lead stand forth enformed by heat which melted earth's greatest bulk long ages since.
The aeons roll along and leave behind the products of their arcs and pressures, molten state as well. The period of the ice uncovered much, but more is hid where man doth dig and delve to reach.
The copper mines which held the greatest worth lay on the western shore. To East the gold on sands did lie, the grains, they called, the ocean seemingly had washed upon the beach. In that day it was a common product of that land, yet prized as now, for nations far brought products, goods, to barter for the precious metal.
Ornaments were made, some beautiful, and all were prized, for instinct seemed to recognize the purity of gold which they taught God had made of sun-rays smiting rock that held the greatest sulphide matter. Sulphide—a casting out from soil, drawn by the sun rays, and the kindred heat of inner fires.
"The trend of atoms certain forms of metal make," was their philosophy. "The heat or cold makes texture. Heat enformed, a finer growth is there; by pressure formed, a coarser grain doth show. Pure oxide ’gainst the mass (rock) which holds strong sulphur fumes, and saline forms but crystals.
Evaporation, the first cause of rock; then stagnation followed by decomposition produced matter partaking of both saline and acid property. Acid from atmosphere, more pronounced in the beginning than later age; saline through water evaporation and planetary property brought out (which in-so-far has not been explained save by growth laws, a property needful to the sustenance of plant and also planetary life). Salt, etheric property, stimulus, electric. Next came hardening of rock formation in which entered the acid and saline-making mineral.
Bitumen may be formed by interior earth fumes, or lava fumes, admixed with the acidity in the atmosphere caused by excessive drouth. Drouth—fervid pressure of heat destroying certain properties in the atmosphere and in the rock at formative period, and bringing out others which might have been destroyed, had water-force instead of heat deployed the mass when in state of formation.
The intense, creative heat which beat upon this and other globes when directly focussed by the sun-rays which were at that period much nearer and the globes unprotected by haze or separate planes or systems of ether as now exist, cannot be described by numbers—statistics—now employed.
Such state was also a cause for mineralization; the upper and lower fires, or inside and outside forces for heat, bringing about a state which today, with reduced heat system, cannot be accomplished. Yea, bismuth was known in Atlantis, as now, in conjunction with other metals. Nor was its presence detrimental to those other ores. It was there mined with copper and lead.
Iron they claimed was formed from slough of wooden matter first. A rustless property called simply "matter." Iron, they taught, was not formed as other metals. Iron has two methods of formation according to the "quality," spake they.
One, "the drift formation," comes from wooden property reduced through decay, and when all oxides (oxides lie in wood as in metal though in different form) were loosened and became dust property the fruit of the world-growth and the formative growth of shale substance, akin to chalk, took up the work and so commingling made a substance, lost to all analysis today.
The atmosphere they did assert had much to do with the creation of metal. The heat intense the humid character, the charring and blistering ashes made, which, when the water was infused, in age of steam, with all its saline worth and iodine and alum—all that water held—made mass of iron, ye.
Look to the fiber of the newly dug iron. It is the "ashes" heap ye view, hardened by a process Nature knows, not names. The Iodine gives color. In the seas surrounding Earth, in days primeval, waters held the thickening, stiffening quality of "tar," yet in less degree than that to commerce known. Mark ye its hardness, catching all prismatic light, the color of the iron at its best.
No theory today better fits the growth of that dark ore than the Atlantian. Mark ye also its trend in mass or mine. A "drift" ye speak, of snow or ashes blown, or sand, and iron was a drift in days gone by. Days? Aeons! Cycles! all that God doth count, but man may stand appalled and dare not think the ages in one column, for ’tis Time!
Yea, silver was there found, but not in quantities.
Thus bismuth they contended, was more pure, for silver detracted from its value and it cannot be found in quantities where silver predominates. Acidity in metal, they believed, was a test that bismuth could not be found within the radius of its growth, for acidity in metal was bismuth's foe.
That certain acid of the ore was called "glo" a casting out as metal hardens and coats the rock, nor is it found inside the mass. As medicine the use of bismuth was not known, but it was used as softening property in brittle rock when ground to make the composition slab to build, or yet for tablets raised to gods, or for the use of mariner, in stating laws in moist, hot countries under the Atlantian rule. Bismuth as a drug was best understood in Egypt when the old alchemists ruled the world of science. Learned they, too, its uses in a draught—elixir—sluggish medicine for ailments of the mad; those "moon-struck," called, for so tradition spake, that bismuth was a casting out of planets in their growth in dawn of time—Eternity's great dust which maketh worlds. Cementing, bismuth, all the molecules of light or air in one great mass.
Aye, bismuth was our subject; little more I say of what Atlantis taught of that prized substance, for they held it of priceless worth in so cementing rock that pillars grew eternal in their wearing, so to hold the thoughts of men whose bodies turned to dust for centuries had been.
Antimony was to the Atlantians an unknown metal. Tin? The knowledge of that substance, metal, was brought from far to northward in the dawn of old Atlantian knowledge, but its uses were not known as now.
Atlantian minds were bent not on that metal, yet a beaten stuff was sometimes brought for barter and later it led to knowledge of its use, for so intent the priests on learning others’ arts that tin invested was in other metals—flux. And bronze was formed with parts of tin and iron with the copper—flux.
Bronze was formed with parts of tin and iron with the copper flux to give it gloss and substance.
Gold also was sometimes wrought in shape by pouring molten wax and tin of quality, refined into one cauldron, rolling forth the mass upon the sea sand and beating thin. Thus was the metal of the finest quality made. Tough, elastic, brittle not and could withstand the beating blasts of Time and rust not; neither was it rent by waves of sea. And barques were keeled with such—the galleys of the king.
Yea, the copper mines of "Spain" Atlantis knew. A warring tribe took captive such a one as always sought to learn all secrets. He it was who brought the knowledge of such copper ore upon that great peninsula; and forth set men—when he had been loosed from bonds—returning. These men made search for copper, as ye call, and found, alas! a grave beside the "shafts" save one alone.
And he, content to grow in power and knowledge, there abode for "twenty years" upon the soil of alien. But at last his heart turned to his home and kind and he returned unto Atlantis, nor spake he of his intent to those adopted of his heart in "Spain."
But ere his death his early kin and sons he did foreswear to seek the spot and to enrich his early home—his country—with strange weapons, implements of household thrift, by digging, smelting and so turning into shapes the ore as times then taught.
They went—a galley of strong men who learned to toil in mines and those, returning, brought the secret to Atlantis. Men of Spain were not Atlantian born when this occurred, but of a race from northward in that day. But later, all Atlantian was the blood infused by trader, toiler in the mines, and they who sought in commerce to maintain a rank above the "people."
"People! hated word to ears that hear the Higher Voice proclaim: My people all!"
And by those men who delved in mines in Spain, was brought the knowledge that Atlantis held great wealth in ores, and digging was begun. Yea, I spake before, the tin, ye call, was brought in boats at large to carry commerce, and its certain worth was partly understood.
The fuel used in "smelting of the ores?" It was hardened tree trunks; aloes make heat as full of fierce and melting tendency as "coal," and aloe trees abounded there. Tulip is also a fierce, hot wood when fire-smitten. Tulip trees grew upon Atlantis, huge as the trees in this, thy land called wonders of the world by ye in this strange spot; and these great tulip trees were hewn to staves and dried in matter-soaked in slime from out the gushing wells to southward on that island.
Yea, wells of slimy wash as thou hast here, and from which ye make light in this new land. And yet those people knew no light like this ye make from the same stuff which permeated wood, caused it to yield them heat for "furnace" great, to smelt the ore dug in that land, now sunk beneath the waves, alas!
Light, askest thou? Oil of the fish gave all the light Atlantis knew in homes when darkness hid the light of day. In southern seas a monster sometimes did appear all phosphorescent, and the fishers slew such monster. In their nets it havoc made. Its pelt (no scales upon it grew) gave even in death and foul decay a light most luminous.
And to preserve this light, which vanished when it dried and turned to ashes, they soaked the pelt in oil—clarified and pure, and thus was light preserved most luminous and giving out no odor.
A phosphorescent light which softly lit the hall as doth moon rays smiting at the full—the southern moon, when stored in crystal globe the oil. A pleasant light indeed.
The Priestess springeth to the thought of temples old and kings who are but dust, save that their souls died not. Yea, thus I speak.
The king who reigned in Egypt when the flood destroyed Atlantis was Osiris, son of him who reigned in that ripe age when law perfected brought to that doomed land all things of Earth. Son of him who died with terror in his rheumy eyes, who clung in mute despair, with tightening, trembling lips to hand of her who smote with sore disgrace the kingdom. Thrust from throne the son who thought to reign when he—the sire—had passed, but was driven into Egypt.
Egypt, land of sun, of sand, of mighty river which drank deep of blood of sacrifice! For he—Osiris, son—in that past day did offer to his gods a gift of life for preservation from that water-death which smote the land—that, cruel, thrust him forth! But later day he viewed with stern despair that impulse of his youth and placed a ban on such deep wrong.
Ask ye again how "lost Atlantis’" sons bent first their steps to Egypt? Ask ye not in vain, for such would be my question—was, in that dim age when youth held message of the olden line as something to be drunk with ecstasy.
The queen Osiris’ father wed, in age was not of his own land, but stranger to his people. A sage foretold a doom for him who thus perverted law and wed beyond the sea.
Close ties were broken through his choice, for of his house he saw no soul of all who had before been welcome to the feast, these turned their faces from his city fair and sought a home afar, and she who filled another's stead had "welcome" boldly writ to all her house and name.
Of the three sons born to Osiris—king—but twain survived their infancy, and these were strong and beautiful as gods, ye speak. The eldest, for his father named, rebelled against the marriage of his sire when death had claimed the queen the law first gave him—king.
Fondly had he loved the one who gave him birth; And she foretold the fate which waited all when death had claimed her—Queen first chosen—banishment to all her house should he, the king, rued.
Osiris, old and doting, sent his ships afar to bring to him a daughter of that land which since that day Assyria claimed; the race which first inhabited had passed ere I had seen the light—a fairer race than mine whose origin none knew—a subtle race who sold as slaves their kindred, drank of blood and tilled no soil.
They passed as passeth hoar frost; none of earth do hold a record of that race today. One of this race—a monarch—once did seek Atlantis’ shore to barter slaves for fruits, or gold, or jewels, and with him in his train of slaves he bore a sister—beautiful as dawn. And thus the king of proud Atlantis craved another of that house when she, his queen, had passed, the wife he loved in youth. So galleys sailed and gifts were sent, and to the ancient monarch came a bride, more fair than she—the slave. It was then the elders of the council rose in great rebellion, but the king was strong in his determination—threatened death—and with his followers (followers hath every man) he quelled the rioters, restoring peace.
Yet did the prince, first to the monarch born, though banished from the palace of his sires until his sires’ death (and should another heir be born the banishment was for the prince's life and he an outcast), swear by his gods that so disgraced was he, and stung by taunts of them who looked upon the violation of Atlantian law as violation of God's chosen law, that he would never on the island reign, nor stand a subject of the kingdom till his father's death, so, firm, departing took the friends who bode within his halls.
Less than one hundred, ye the number speak, but chosen for their grace of heart and wisdom. Thus they went afar unto my land, a band of resolute and daring hearts who builded well a nation woe befell!
Ah, Egypt! when the heart of earth had ceased to beat within the body that I called my own, I deemed not that thy sun had set! I deemed not that the stranger's hand would rise against thy monuments, my very tomb and tomb of her I loved. That grovelling would become her sons, her daughters menial to an alien horde that writes but agitation on their shield!
Osiris reigned in Egypt first. His court, the rocks that made a mark indeed to them who bode on barren plains, for in that higher spot they first did set their sandaled feet—the feet of refugees. Of them who bowed in grief at thought of palace walls which, kissed by Sun, shot out such gleams of light as comes from towers fair set with polished stones.
I told the tale of how the monarch old made one a queen from out that far-off land, in later time Assyria, and of the son who might have reigned.
Reigned there? Ah, no! for waters licked the throne, and rotted ermine, silken jewelled robe which clung about a form called "king"! And he, the chastened son, had shared that fate had he but lingered on the mother isle where rosy dreams of power, greatness, marked the pathway of his youth.
I speak of friends assembling in the gloom; I tell of whispered discourse, stealthy setting sail by twos, by threes, the barges; of slaves with mouths embound so that no cry cast out upon the night did ring alarm. Osiris, prince, the future king, fared in the galley eighty manned—Aamhotep to the left, Usertsen at the right with men to battle seasoned.
In their rear the merchants, the craftsmen of the line of Har-Dom El; and in the boats of lesser worth and beauty rode the cooks, the slaves, the little beasts who loved the children smiting playfully, and wives and children, priests with altar stores, filled other barges.
Spoil they bore not. Not one grain of gold, one length of linen, silk one thread the more, nor lace one shuttle's length that was not theirs by right. For Justice was the watchword of that band, and also feared they swift and sure pursuit if so they bore them plunder from the state.
Proud, also, were the refugees and scorned the gifts from king degraded, hampered on his road to heights the soul must climb to reach that higher world portrayed by priest. For marriage was the law which brought men good or ill to soul—that roused or crushed all higher impulse, taught the priests.
Wives were thought to hold within their hands the gift of life to soul as body. From higher planes, etheric, did they spring, contended law of marriage read by priest at ceremony. Mismated ones were said to lose all gifts from higher planes.
Earth-trodden, hampered none might hope to reach the heights, and thus in secret did the priest read low—the doom of that old king as set by gods whose laws were violated.
And when afar the refugees did hear the fate befallen king and subjects, all, low spake they in their horror: "Thus the gods decree for violation of the marriage laws read from lips unseen by men of fleshly mood, but law imparted to such priest as sins not, fasts and peers into the higher world through eyes of soul alone.
Dark was the night and still, Osiris sailed. One star alone peeped out from somber clouds.
"A star of destiny we follow; guarding eye of god," spake she, the virgin wife of him, Osiris. For thus he swore, that but as sister she, until the land was reached which yet his kingdom in the future days might be, was this young bride, the beauteous one whose name has died to history.
Not she the "goddess" did become, but one who lived and died and lived again and left no trace, no name save in the hearts of them who loved her.
"Aye, the star! perchance the eye of god we follow," spake the all-appointed king, the banished prince—the father of a line so kingly that the world did speak with awe the names of sons and of descendants all adown the line of Egypt's monarchs.
This was he who drew his barques, who pitched his tents upon the shore where Philae stands, ye call. And near the spot the men of origin from out the clouds—the first created man forms abode nor yet attempted war.
Great trunks of cypress shut the sun from faces dark, and eyes that blazed with feeling looked with awe—with pity, too, upon the son of him who for a beauteous face cast off the bloom of kingly tree. Yet kingly blood will bubble in the fount and raise itself in any land. No clime can make it sluggish, bow to taint nor sink to level of the lowly born.
Aamhotep? He was a prince who set to war a fleet at his command. All men then bowed in honor to the high born one who drew first breath in chambers of the king. For old Osiris claimed, as soul to soul, a sister, born in wedlock, passing fair and born in that same hour as he.
And when Osiris—king the first—did wed, the sister also laid her snowy hand in that of consort—brother of the queen who lived a life of sweet content and died with blessings on her lips, and swore the king, her lord, that he would never wed, but keep her line unsullied, centered in the son first born to them—Osiris—named as then the custom was for father—that old king who did break his oath and wed, alas! the pagan woman—she of that lost race who won contempt for deeds so foully done that all looked with alarm when men of her strange land drew nigh.
Aamhotep? brave and true and tender he. A maid he wed with eyes of that rare hue, in that young age of earth, the eyes which catch their color from the sky. And she a waif of ocean cast ashore in shattered barque, a royal barge emblazoned; brave with many a spear, and head of bear, and claw of wolf, the banner token of the North.
And lashed to swivel-bench of slave, wrapped close in robe of fleece with gems, the infant lay in arm all stiff in death's fell bonds!—An arm that, hung with jewels, showed in wondrous shape and texture pure the blood of kings, mayhap, froze in the inert veins.
One gem on that white, burdened arm alone was worth a monarch's crown—one massive emerald that shone, and still doth shine if but the light of day could strike it fair, but hid in mummy's breast it lies.
The child of sea, as sacred thing, esteemed was held in royal nursery. Her youth the childhood of her kind who drank of pleasure and content. No daughters blessed the home of king Osiris. Sons but three to him were early born. And she, the winsome, flax-haired maid, blue eyed, a thing of lands where ice prevailed and storms blew fierce with cruel sting, was held as treasure. Sacred she as gift from gods indeed.
And young Aamhotep in his early youth did love and long to wed her. The king but smiled: "In infancy," he spake, "I wed in thought, and by the law of Custom, the son of her—mine other—sister—half—and this strange god-sent creature born 'mid elements I ne’er beheld. Blessed be thy union, O my sister's son, with this loved, radiant one."
And blessed indeed was that strange tie—the child of frost and snow, the castaway of elements, and he, the child of fire, the son of forty lords in line so plainly marked none could dispute his claim.
And in their union winter met with summer's fierce and fervid glow, and unto other souls in line they gave their fire, their pride, their calmness and their grace—all that the sons of kings might claim. And loved was Aamhotep of that young prince and kinsman, Osiris. Nor enmity was there, the twain between, so long as breath did animate each body.
Usertsen second was in naval fleet. A minister of state, his sire, well wed and well endowed with golden grains, and slaves and stately home. His children like the buds about the rose. Twelve sons, three daughters clustered 'round the knee of one who seemed a bride as yet when he, the elder son, Usertsen, gave voice and claimed the robe a mother's hand alone might weave.
A valiant man was Usertsen. Born a power who brought to Egypt battle lore, and caused the Nile to broaden at command and by the work of slaves full forty score.
He later waged upon the land called Assyria bitter war; drove from its plains the kindred, people of that queen who, being queen, brought deep disgrace upon the fairest name Atlantis knew, the bravest king, the kindest heart that ever beat in monarch's breast. Still others of that fleeing band did win great names among the tribes who sought the state of war.
Great names through skill as artisans or builders did they win. One indeed had planned the building of the king's own palace in far Atlantis—a pile of marble, golden, fluted harp in fountain set adorned. The columns of that palace were like the palm and palm indeed in seeming. Notched marble at the base, but upwards, broader grown, took color from the native tree in jasper, a stone from land afar in merchant galleys brought unto Atlantis.
The dome created by his skill showed Moon and Stars—the Pleiades, Orion, Mars the worshipped one, and other sparks of ether there shone down. And in the center of one mighty dome in temple old, well builded, rose and always rose the sun in waves of rare sardonyx; sun of gold and other burnished metal casting out such sheen that Sun indeed it seemed.
Great garlands twined about the columns’ base; the grape with beryl splendor, riper yet, the dusky marble. Leaves of jade in spar mocked nature. All so well was wrought, the leaves did seem to wave at touch of wind across the sea. The selfsame sea that sweeps above and not at base of columns on this day!
The selfsame sea that bore the barques that night; the barques assembling far to sea, as Day, new born, cast her first faint line across the glistening waves in one great fleet, defying stern pursuit.
From northern point of Atlantis floated they. Some from the south, some west, and all intent on one great purpose—fleeing from their homes to build a nation unto him, the rightful heir to that stern, dotard king who was thrust from out the palace of his birth to taste humiliation.
To taste humiliation! he, the son of kingly line! and she, the foreign queen, the early slave of one who sold her to a throne, brought forth another son to him—the lord she loathed. Behold! the wailing cry of that young child—"usurper, hated thing" the people called—filled loud the ears of that old, dotard sire when island kingdom melted, palace sunk to deeps and she—the loved, the won by loss of soul, sunk down in waves' embrace.
The luster of her braided hair befouled with slime! Her white hands grasping sand! Her jewels mocking eyes of monstrous things that soon would batten on the beauteous dead!
The sea doth sparkle, sun-smote, as I tell the tale.
I turned from picture of the hastening barques. The barques of men who stern, intent, had but one object to complete; thought not of home; thought not of ease nor luxury which fed the sense. They thought alone of him, their prince bereft, and minds leaped out to future years and drank of joy, of freedom and of power for him who soon would challenge all the world, they spake.
The women of that land were brave, as well. They hushed the cry of peevish child with words so stern that in the future years it still remembered. "Hush! hush, my child! ’tis well; we journey from oppression. He, our king, sits yonder in his galley, and our thoughts are pleasant poems, for they ring to tunes of other kingdoms over which he reigns."
And even the slaves smiled slowly, worn with toil, for haste had sore impelled.
"Our king is young and beautiful," they sang.
“Our king is brave.
“We journey to that land which soon shall know his power as king.”
Osiris, father, in his island palace spake all lightly as the eyes of her, the temptress, sought his face—the subtle woman with ten thousand wiles: "He hath departed! stole he out at night and seeks, perchance, a land afar. And others go; his friends, his allies. The son of her, our sister loved, our chancellors; the priests who prayed, condemned or yet abode content to listen to the music's plaint nor exercise their minds with matters grave.
"Depart they like the rovers of the sea! I call not back these rebels of my line. 'The world is wide,' they speak—the sages who from far appear through stress of elements. Ah! well! I seek no wider world than is contained within the walls of this, thy chamber, sweet. Let them depart!"
And so his galleys idly swung to play of chains. The slaves slept deeply or deeply quaffed the malted draught or juice of grape, and lovers met and mated, aired their woes; the old died, young were born and Life and Time and atoms of the air all moved to Law.
But thrice three years did pass ere sunk the island home. Egypt already had become a power in war, for certain mighty tribes adhered to young Osiris’ rule ere sunk Atlantis. This the old king learned and knew the power his son had gained.
A city sprung as though from magic touch beside the Nile and to it came "barbarians," in that day, and others learned from the misty west, and from the plains which then did teem with life and energy.
And thus the court of young Osiris bore a dignity, a power and Fame already marked it. Known was it to people of the North. Aye, thrice three years, ye call the circles which the sun doth breed, had passed when Nature rent the spot within the bosom of the southern sea and forth belched baleful motion, terror, scourge, and all engulfed went forth the souls from form.
This they in Egypt read through stress and flames which lit the sky. From planet's vortex vast a tale of horror sprang. "They go, alas! We live," they spake. "The world doth spell but happiness for us, and ours, at last."
Ah, Philae, thou art but an island spot upon the sluggish or yet swifter stream, yet in the past, all dim to history lost, thou wast the birthplace of mine ancient sires, who sleep ’neath sand that drifts and drifts to tune of desert winds, and jackal's screams, and shadows chase across the spot where feet of emperors trod all stately!
Philae was rent from shore by slaves who cut the rock, cut sod and made a channel where no water ran before. In carven casket midst the mouldering specks of husk shall be revealed thy history ere this hand that pens is stilled, and Earth may read what once the sun hath witnessed; message old, dug from the earth, and written by the hand of him who held the scepter first to Egypt known, Osiris—king!
Aye, was Egypt peopled when prince Osiris sought her shore. Peopled by the descendants of a race of men who collected knowledge by the mind alone. No graven language held, save marks to warn. This race did pre-exist Atlantian age; full 5000 years before the fishermen did reach Atlantis’ shore. I give thee not the number of the years exact, because no measure for the state of day or week or years exists, and thus no records may appear.
Yet that great race, impelled by store of thought, held well a line of sages, if ye will, who read the law from memory as ’twas held for many years. Made records of events through will and mind and stored them in the brains of chosen ones.
Old men taught younger. At an early age, called ten, the boy was learned in all secret thoughts and thus his training was a source of help and safety to the country. Great circles did uprear upon the sands which bordered on the Nile at overflow—the time, they argued, when the thoughts of men flowed freest.
Thus they read the law—"all nature at its flood."
Aye, men in circles sat and pondered long. Brought from the ether streams of knowledge, which may be drawn by all if well is understood the law. This law perfected they, and so they spake "Another word hath come to me."
The sages numbered many hundreds. Tribes of sturdy men held sway upon the steppes where desert sands now drift, not sea then as contended. But all verdure clothed and fruit in clusters grew by every pool and blossoms sprung, amid the grass so long and green that waved as waves the sea.
Yea, many learned the method—to contain the secrets of a nation—Secrets held as life is held, all dearly; told to none save in the council talk. The youths appointed to this sacred task were held in bonds from birth, nor spake to women more. Nor yet to men save on the sacred themes. But learning, teaching, made the sum of life to these.
Thus was the history of the comet handed down the line till men who learned to build, not dig their homes, had caught the history and emblazoned on stone, or skin, in crevice of the rock it lay fair hidden when my sires from Atlantis came.
I tell the tale as told to me. I read it not. The records lost to all save in tradition as some hint in history gave. Yea, world of disintegration. Comet, to thee, is but a ball of ether, yet the central core, solidified and casting out of gasses sometimes loses in shock the central force of rock and thus it falls to earth.
The "world" which made destruction on the steppes was but a comet force drawn in the vortex of an older globe, akin to Moon but greater in its bulk. It fell not all on Earth, else it were here no more as Earth, but mass of molten strata. For, to vortex drawn, it made a wall far out of man's research, yet such exists.
"The nether world," ye speak. Aye, so it be; beneath this world of thine is massed a shapeless, formless mass or matter-dead. The drift, the flux, the substance of no name, which sways at times in vapor of the ether bulk, yet all unseen so far and far it lies.
Osiris sought that farther border from the fear of swift and stern pursuit.
A thousand galleys did comprise Atlantis’ fleet; and so had he no hope to reach that land to which their thoughts had turned if so the king directed men to follow, barge on barge and barque with barque.
The fleet could overtake through force of oar, for rested twelve while twelve did furious ply the long day through, and when the night had set they also plied, nor lacked a light to so direct their stroke, that distance, too, was gained.
In that past age, as now, the cage that swung at prow did hold a fearsome bird which shot forth from its eyes a light that mocked the stars. Full half a mile it showed the pathway of the sea. And "farther still! still farther!" was the loud command of him, Aamhotep, when the Nile bore refugees upon its breast. "Still up and up."
The desert passed, the plains which later hid their city's wealth. For storms of sand have filled the arches broad and hid the dome, the wall of brittle spar, the pride of King Osiris. It lieth deep where sands still drift.
The strength of numbers stemmed the cataract. Philae was reached—a point of rock-set land. "We tarry," spake the king, "for she doth feel the stress of flight—our queen."
And so they bode a space where barren rocks mocked hunger. Bode till she had passed—the loved one, virgin wife of him, the king.
Alas! I see the picture as ’twas drawn for me. Slaves were so stilled at thought of sorrow smiting, that no voice rose in a wail. The night breeze flapped the standards borne at prow of anchored galleys, barques.
The galley-slave lay still with eyes fixed on the stars and thought, perchance, beyond was rest from toil.
She lay—the loved, the beautiful, the blessed, her beauty fading as the rose leaf dies; the film slow creeping o’er her jet black eyes, her hands all listless lying clasped in her lord's. "I go," she murmured. “Go from hence. But thou, beloved, shalt dwell long years upon this ball called Earth. Long years where palms wave moodily above the spot where rests the urn that doth contain my ashes.
“One shall come at last and thou shalt her behold and dream thou lovest; what care I? for in that higher world I shall be crowned queen and still be thine. She is of earth for thee, I for Eternity.
“Down near the rapids where the slaves tugged long upon the chain of galley let me sleep—’neath carven shape—to meet the eye of man long centuries hence. Let sleep the semblance. I shall watch the night fold wings above the spot, and smile and keep close vigil over thee, my loved, my lord, when in a casket clasped with golden bands the all shall lie in ashes that thy earth-mind deemest that thou lovest. ’Tis not so; the state and semblance of a queen may live on earth, but I am of the stars!
“I go to keep the watch of one who wanders from her earthly home to claim her heritage, in courts of ether built, where One holds sway in mind and love and all the senses. There shall come a day, far distant, when thou, too, shalt claim thy heritage— that of a throne less than the builded pile where One, whose face we may not see, abideth.
“Down where the cataract doth lull the sense of vastness and of loneliness thou, too, shalt rest—thy mortal part—thine ashes by my urn, for Earth hath, too, her heritage and claims her children. Brittle toys they seem beside the splendor drawn from Light and Life, from whom the soul descendeth.
“Let my husk—the mortal part—be born upon the barge thou calledst ours in that day we two were wed. That barge a gift from him—my father in the island home.
“Down, down the river sweepeth. I shall be no more of earth. Mourn not. The stars at night shall speak to thee of me, and He—the One whom lesser gods would thrust from out the temple home, holds safely.
“Mourn never thou for me, oh Lord, so loved the day seems night when from my side thou strayest!
“One shall come at last who in thy arms shall lie and down the line of history be absolved from sin, but her thou lovest never, for the tie of soul to soul is held between us, born on heights where Nature readeth Law at first, breathed from the lips of Majesty, the king God of the gods.”
She passed. A fitting splendor marked the day they piled the wood, the spice on carven throne, and over all was cast a moulten mass which caught the flames that leaped unto the clouds and bore the soul from husk, they then believed.
Her ashes in the urn of golden metal stands far down amid the rocks that circle round the spot. A carving of her face, divine in love and youth, still holdeth semblance of the one who died—young Albirothisis, child of old Amsolabis—that grandest minister, who ruled the king though meek in mien and seeming ruled by him.
No history gives her name, yet shall it live on page of alien people side by side with his—Osiris, King of Egypt first.
The spot where she had died Osiris sought to shield from vulgar purpose. Thus they digged a channel deep, made island of that spot where first their feet in Egypt rested. "Barren be the spot, and lone" he spake, "where I bereft did mourn in this strange land the one I loved."
And down the graceful river moved the fleet and builded grandly where the cataract marked the sacred spot—the tomb of one who passed—nor wife nor maid of him—Osiris. Yet so dear he held her memory that the years fled by and left him aging ere he held his hand to maiden, speaking: "Come to me as bride."
The sand still drifts and, underneath, the urns with ashes of a king and queen hold court. Deliverance is at hand and all the world shall drink the history of the king who mourned a score of years for one they named his queen.
Philae asketh thou? Aye, such of old bore mark in that dim day of numbers. Yet no wall doth stand, but farther down are palace walls of marble buried deep in sand. And one hath shown an architrave of white, embossed marble writ with figures of the gods they worshipped in Atlantis.
Thus it is the past leaps out, a ghost of olden time, of time remote. Of time that held the arts, as thou today dost know, with added numbers wrought in gold. That wealth of stone, of metal made from brass and stone fine ground and other matter, held at bay old Time and lieth yet up-bearing arch.
A statue wrought to life is also of that metal. Statue made to show the features beautiful of him—Osiris—never found as mummy. False the world hath breathed! Osiris lieth in his rock-bound tomb below Abydos; thus ye speak the name; his hands outspread to bless his followers, his loved wife beside him, wrought in stone.
False the word that husk of him doth meet the eye embalmed and seen in walls of glass! Ah, no! such is not nor has been. Osiris’ tomb is hid from prying eye. His generals stand at portal, sword in hand, to guard the sacred dead! Three sculptured forms shall meet the eye of man—Osiris, Aamhotep, Usertsen, wrought so well that later art seems crude.
A casket wrought of cypress bound with gold held once the ashes. Egypt's art to hold the husk was later yet employed, for in Atlantis ashes but remained of forms once loved. Yea, the spot which holds is near to man; is bound by rock and sand. Yet priceless store still lies where camels browse and other creatures stamp in angry mood, and toiling man seeks rest from burning sun.
The temples raised by skill are ruins now, but here an arch, a pillar shattered there, shows still the wondrous colors. Cleft the marble base, and sculptured leaf is broken, yet there lies a wondrous store for man who dreams, and dreams above, and seeks to shape a history from the blocks that teach of peoples once so versed in arts that other ways seem baubles set by gems.
Great vases wrought of many-colored glass lie far beneath the bed of hungry Nile, with histories writ in colors. Foreign form speaks loud … of craft which mocks at any plan to imitate. Broad braids tell calmly that a smith may beat, entwine, and weave his vase at will, but bubbles blown from forms, or cords in shape, may not this day hold wine or lotus. With the strength of gold, thus ancient vase was wove.
A quaintly fashioned volume bound with gems and made from jasper, block on block, so thin the words of other page show through, doth lie within Osiris’ tomb.
On this is told the history of the flight. Shows kingly emblem. Stars tell point of date, if so the men versed well in star-lore read. Ah, man in husk of flesh, think not that Earth hath seen the all old Egypt's bosom holds, for thou shalt read in language of the past a history which doth make thee seem a child.
Atlantis thou hast sunk, but Earth doth hold today the records of thy greatness and thy power.
Aye, where Thebes stood the camel still may browse, but parchment hid in golden case is still intact, and wall that carven image shows of him—Osiris—still doth stand enwrapped in sands which clog the well-wrought lines depicting flight and subsequent events.
Aye, there is writ a volume on the arts by one named Ad-em. Such the name they spake; none knew his origin. A mother dying at his birth, the victim of some bold marauder; such the state of country at that age.
I know no more. And yet God's image, sometimes sore defaced, did linger in his brain power to extent that carven lines were wonder of all ages. And his tales thus told in stone were listened to with wonder by the king who held in bonds a thousand versed in story-telling art.
In line of other digging lies this lair of wonders—objects hid by depth of sand none yet have sought to "shovel." At the base of one great crag another store is hid far out from water's reach; and this shall tell the story of the Norsemen as it was told by mighty Norse invader to the old Atlantians.
The histories of today shall lie ’neath buried earth in centuries to come, and there shall moulder to the prying eye of them who follow, but the stone shall give its secret to the world when volumes frail shall crumble. Speak I thus in prophecy.
Atlantis held no kings who warred upon the land thou names, for they were wise and as allies held the people near and far nor yet desired war where peace could give all that they asked.
They knew the law of greed, and this they read with eyes so well attuned to higher moods that all was wisely done, and Mercy tempered Greed.
Those yellow forms thou namest first came to shape, and soon a nation formed, in that dim morn when in the time of dearth Atlantis drew her bread supply from plains now rank with growth of trees—with bloom that cloys the sense, where serpents twine amid the broad, lush leaves, and beasts prowl greedily among coarse reeds which stand where once great grains of maize did grow.
A people dark, but lacking not in brain, lived where the river which knows fleet of boats for commerce laves the banks of slime; yet once upon those banks grew grain to feed the world. And thither sent Atlantis men of trust to barter what the smiths did beat from gold, or yet those pictures rare wrought in the metal fair ye name upon the scroll, and yet not so exact in every point of worth, for it still held another added part which saved the metal for the tooth of Time to gnaw and yet not crumble. Aye, I give the method when the hour hath struck.
One man whom king Arman Dorth sent to hold commercial speech with people of that land was Kling. A wise and crafty and far seeing one, who bore him wife and babe with train of slaves. And as he bartered for the filling of his galley's vast, a crafty spokesman of the land of grain held thus his ear:
"Oh man of worth," spake he, “the plains lie to the northward in the sun that thou couldst people with thy slaves and kin and garner greatest wealth. Wild camels prowl o’er sands whose richness, when the river drinks the drouth, will yield thee wealth of grain like this we hold. And where the ooze of rivers ply the soil great grains, whose whiteness mocks the bloom of lilies, grow.
“Let us depart. Take store of grain and make a nation all our own; thou king, I lord of finance to thy house; and thus in time the world shall wonder at our courage and our wealth, and people thrive where now alone the night bat flies and night beasts prowl.”
Then he from Atlantis shore spake slow: “I value much thy trust in me, but kindred have I none. None have I save these I bear in carven device—wife and child; for I am but a waif of Ocean. All save I went down in galley.
“I alone am left of four score souls. My father of the plains, my mother, brother, sisters—all, alas! and lesser ties did break in that wild siege of Nature ’gainst mankind.”
Spake one: “Thou shalt know a people all thine own ere thou goest hence to that, unseen, far land which shadows people, and where light that laves doth draw its glow and worth from out a Heart that once was all when Earth revolved about a central Sun that held the Life-spark. Nothing else was there.
“Take thou wives of this, my land, and bear with her thou now namest wife to that far country. In secret go we. Of the coffers of this state hold I the key, and we depart with store sufficient for our needs.”
He pondered, Kling, the man of varying moods, was tempted, fell! The stores ne’er reached that isle where he as wanderer met and loved the one who mother of a nation did become, and lives again on earth, revered, in shape on strange and battered jar which sheddeth incense o’er the worshippers who live and die, give place to other hordes.
Aye, Kling did turn within his mind these promptings of the one who learned of growth of nations by much study. Knew the worth of power, and long had held in ample cave such "goods" as he had pillaged through the years of his high office.
Kling this crafty one had named as chief. "For," argued he, "the chief hath but the word, the power to bind with reason. I hold power in keys that lock and unlock all the coffers great the state doth own. An empty title tempts me not, for matter not what I am called. Praise is an empty casket. Gold doth fill the mind with fairest visions; in their midst the one who owneth gold is shrined."
And thus began their journey secretly. At night the ships set out for northern point well known to the advisor. Many days both long and weary sailed they until that point was reached. Their ships they bartered to squat men with craft for beasts, for food and for safe conduct to the kingdom's boundary.
At last the boundary reached, the caravan's great beasts went crashing through the forests' rim which bordered on the desert. Keen, alert rode spearsmen to the rear as to the front, for in that day the world teemed with fierce ones who sought but slaughter.
Mankind is restless. None may taste the joys of peace while in the body. Earth must fade from mortal vision ere the mind is well prepared to grasp the note of peace. And thus the heart of man turns fierce when long balked of adventure.
Interruption is the spur in side of beast which brings forth thought of slaughter; and the tribes inhabiting the land through which they passed made protest—pricked by spleen; and greed was also born through visions of the state the well-born plunderers did affect, and men were made bold by trespass, fit excuse for war.
The hordes hung long upon the footsteps of the caravan, and once attacked where desert met the trees which hid the wild assailants; but their mode of warfare being crude they fell an easy prey to those swart spearmen on the great brute's flanks perched arrogant. So peace at last was won and safety held.
Kling's thoughts were wavering still on his forsaking that fair isle—his home, on deeds of kindness at the hand of her, the foster mother, old and sore beset with ingrate children of her blood; on him—the patriarch Atlantian, who had held his hand that day the storm-cast lad lay weeping sore, with bruised limbs and heart that ached for them who sank in that wild storm which cast him forth upon the harbor of the fruitful isle.
And she, his wife, had father, mother there, beneath whose roof her rosy childhood passed, and from whose sheltering arms he had decoyed with promises of love unfailing as the gods!
Sore beset with memories did Kling glide forth from out his tent at night and paced the sands, unmindful of the eyes which gleamed and glowed, where hillocks vast held long-haired brutes that fought to death. One night he wandered far and halted in surprise, for in the starlight, making hideous moan, lay form of man with speech he once had known.
"Ah, son!" so spake the creature, tattered, long of hair and beard, a thing of skin which tightly clung to bone—"My son, why fearless wander on the steppes where prowls the tiger that doth live by blood, and serpents, which do sting the prisoned soul to Light? So young, so fearless, who art thou, I pray?" The voice spake low, Kling fell unto his knees.
“Ah, Father! Stranger! Man with tongue that draws from out the chambers of my mind the mark of speech like unto them who made my life a heaven when boyhood held my form! My father thus did speak, my mother sweet, with eyes aslant and sparkling, sang fond lays in this, thy tongue which then was mine own tongue.
“Whence cometh thou? Do the gods cast down to earth such self-neglected ones as thou to sight appearest? Or from the sands send up the nether gnomes such manhood to the beasts that prowl and sting?”
And, in a voice as feeble as the sigh of wind across the plain when first is born the mists of eve, the stranger made reply: “I am the last of a lost clan. Though lost to men of other lands we held in kinsmen's bonds till came dissension.
“My brothers one by one, with followers, set to reach again our land that always far and far away did seem; then famine smote those lingering, and thirst and pestilence. Thus all were lost to history of the World, for none save I survived.
“The others' fates through years I know not, nor shall know till I have passed! For Death is nigh, but He, my people's God, will gather to Himself the scattered shards and make again a mighty tribe if so He wills; but I shall seek the sky ere this be done.
“I bore the name of Asher; I knew thy father, for I feel the touch of mind with meaning in this hour. Thy father was my kinsman. Side by side we fought in battle. Love touched both our hearts, its rosy finger pointing to the same sweet face, vet he, not I, was chosen by the god to claim the one who bore thee.
“He to other land from our far home set sail in galley manned by many oars. I watched them sail—those brothers who with me had wandered far—and then turned I and mine our faces to the eastern sun, intent on seeking burial place, for to this end doth man forever trend.
“The tribes beset us; reft us of our instruments, our beasts, our women. Driven thus to seek but food for sustenance for our worn bodies, not of North or South thought we, but wandering on and on we set at last our feet upon the desert confines.
“Some of the tribe died early, stung by serpents. Others followed, lingering wanly, clung to life till fell disease had claimed, as I have told. I, last of all, was left as though the life which had imbued my form refused to lift itself to kindred ether.
“Long years passed by. I counted not their flight, for I have scorned to measure Time as man may count, but brain hath wove its stories; brain conjectured. Brain hath teemed with products of a state so grown to fit conditions that it felt no woe in loneliness.
“Thus I read the stars. Have peered into the lives of things that prowl and gnash white fangs at all save of their breed. To me an open book the weather's moods. I learn of tempests, sand storms, days to come. I learned to crush with foot, all bared, the deadly head and yet remain unharmed.
“Low at my feet creep wounded beasts; the young that whimper at desertion of their dam beside my door are fed. (If door, indeed, be skins from thorny rod suspended.)
“Now doth the body shrink and soul look forth, I read of future methods which shall be employed by thinkers wise in many crafts and arts in ages yet to come. I read, alas! my earth-eyes soon must close, and soul be borne to strange and brilliant planes where sense of touch, they taught, is dead, and sight alone and voice and hearing shall so linger one forgets that Earth is his no more.
“And yet I read of earth's strange change. Of people crowding steppes where now the sand alone doth move to mood of wind, or agitation of the globe, or law that doth prevail and which is life! And thus these sands shall move by drops of dew into a mass of blackness. Blades of grass shall cover all, and beauteous blossoms.
“All is writ so plain upon a parchment swinging in the 'space' where sunbeams, making big the tiny dust-speck, laugh at man's all futile grasp, for growth is all about us. This I read in days so long, with solitude alone to call my friend, companion, that the heart stood still with dread lest Night and Sleep and Death might never fall!
“I read thy purpose. Read, and for long days I watched and waited for thy coming. Get thee hence when I have passed and to the northward turn thy face to solitude; and where long stretches of green reeds wave broad raise thou thy tents.
“In time a city vast shall spring of people all thine own. A race of men adhering to thy teachings through all time. A race of cunning craftsmen, skilled in arts, shall rule. The world at large apart shall view with keen surprise.
“Behold, thou art the son of him I loved full well, who hath communed through soul since that wild day when, reft of body, lying on the sands he fled in speech to me! And I have woven thoughts as strands to draw to me thy presence, son of him once loved, of her I loved, but later, she—the bone of strife that brought me hence!
“I wander from my purpose through this speech and, weaker growing, cannot hope to tell my secret—secret of the desert. Wild the barren plain where Death stalks white and dread! Aye, even here with none to peer at me, I hold my secret cuddled to my heart!
“In yonder cave it lies. The new day dawns soon. Hold thou my hand till it's appearing, for the chill of night is yet supplanted by another thrill that loosens cords and muscles, rends the bonds and frees the dove that nestles in my breast. To freedom, dove, which is a soul!
“And ere it flieth take, my son, this talisman. Hand loosen! soon thou’lt know the touch of gold no more! Why clingeth thou?”
And feebly, in the hand of Kling he laid a bauble, once worn by her he loved—the mother of the man who knelt beneath the sky, red-stained with hint of dawn, nor knew his history would cling to centuries.
“Take thou the path that wanders from this tiny spring and by a rock, all whitened, seek the long, loose hanging of my portal. Pass within and ’neath the stone which makes the inner threshold find thou that which thou shalt hand adown the years.
“That which the myriad eyes of nations read. That which shall dictate unto kings, that crowns shall bow to, Death himself divert.”
He passed as wandering sunbeams smote the rocks and sand and called the serpents from their sleep and sent to lair the graceful leopard. As he spake so Kling indeed performed.
The hiding place gave forth a priceless store. Long histories of peoples passed of whom no other trace was held. Of people to the westward, where great temples rose, where sons had set them forth to find a land more fitted to their needs. Of those who perished on the great sea flight, of others of the tribe who now abode neath Orient sun. His brothers all in speech and mode of thought, and mode of harmony in song.
And yet they stood apart from alien tribes. Were strangers in a land where strangers sought commingling with the nations at their door. Would stand apart, a race intensified by thought and custom from the centuries’ line for ages yet to come.
Marked were they by the hand of isolation. Strong the will still binding to the country left afar. A people chosen for their stolid worth to self. A chosen race to hold tradition strong and mark in time the history of the world. His race that lives today!
There stored, the forming of a government made plain. The law of Life—of Death—the full, deep thought born of communion with the unseen world through sense attuned to Reason. Toil of many years was there bound stone to stone or traced on skins as custom held that age.
And to the North the wanderers bore, fulfilling prophecy of him who learned in solitude the lessons for the world to glean and make it wiser, better, all fulfilled as he had said who in the desert died at stroke of day. The secret learned, the story told in teachings to the young adown the years.
Ah, Kling! thy monument still stands, though Time hath strove to crumble; yet the proof is there and in great tomes the speech of other days speaks potently. Thy blood but passed to younger rulers. Down the line hath History handed something of the tale I tell with lips that lie not, neither do pervert, from the first sentence.
Nations grow but slow, yet thou hast grown, O Nation, of such people as ne’er change, to fill the crannied spaces of the plain and overflow to seas. The land which teemed with plenty at its birth hath fallen. In the wilds and ’neath the sands are hid vast temples where stored knowledge lies. And yet they shall endure when brighter lands have darkened—shall become a star of destiny to nations that have scoffed at thee.
I tell no tale of flight across the waste and waters. Of death struck beasts who fell a prey to creeping things that love the night. Of famine-threatened creatures pining sore for homes of plenty left, alas! too far to turn again to home for help they needed.
Of how at last the river, long and serpent-wise that spews its clear, sweet waters in the sea, that giveth life to banks all decked with green which feeds the multitudes, was made from straggling brook by hands of men who rent the toughened sod and formed a channel broad and deep.
Upon its banks their tents were pitched. The city, populous at first, was built in mind, then took it shape from hands of skilful workers.
Streets which cross and wind were but the fancy of the crafty one who held the keys which locked the nation's useless horde, for many years but useless—useless, as they sought no more their ancient home where gold in grains were held for merchandise.
He argued: “Streets that broadly lie invite the hordes which soon will gather from afar for spoil when known becomes our hiding place. But serpent winding way will show each face to him who peereth from his window low or high. Condensed be our city. All who dwell therein be known. No spy who seeketh word of Kling—our monarch, Kling, the great, or I, who bartered fame adown the centuries long for greed of gold, now worthless, lives to cast an eye to gods.
“He dieth at a stroke who seeketh our land nor liveth to plead to ear.”
The temples founded none might hope for life who deviated from the teachings of the priests. The leeches' skill was tempered to conditions of the land, and teachers taught as seemed good to him who lauded Kling, yet ruled him heart and soul!
They passed—those plotters. In their place strange creatures sprung, the growth of mind impressed with greed and fear and solitude of steppes; yet round the base of that vast temple builded first they clung, athirst for learning.
Thus each mind was shaped according to a law formed from stern need and inclination of a brain that grasped all law and made it fit caprice.
A nation vast there sprung where but a group of wanderers first had cast their tents, yet still a people like and like as kin. For following certain details warps the will, and trendeth to one point a thousand wills bent to the stronger mood of him who seeks the law as whip to lash to purpose every soul within his reach.
Akin; yet not akin, they grew with certain bonds unbroken. Mark of Time rests on the central point where wisely built the One who keeps stern council.
Shape the mind to one example it may grow unchanged and pass its unchanged moods to them that follow. All seek a symbol of some higher mind and bow submissive to a stronger will, and shape their moods to fit the mood of one who wills submission. They grew apace, possessed wise minds and drank the crafty poise of him, their teacher, in the dawn of race; for crafty he and thus adown the line ran guile.
And later, when the land did teem with people who forgot the source of their great nation, seemingly, war was proclaimed aloud and tribe met tribe and slaughter fouled the land.
In history the race held the place of hybrid. Atlantian sires, but other races mixed their puny blood through mothers—slaves, the weaklings of the world in that new age. Still, training brought to bear on sons made men of strength surpassed by none in early age, and well were grown the hordes that peopled steppes.
The cities lesser growth in man form knew; for air and water, food which builds the brain and bulk, were there but poison for the child to thrive on. Mind indeed was fed, but body strength seemed lost to growth of mind. The law which worketh out its will that one may thrive but at the others’ loss.
Atlantis, thou art lost, thy people of pure blood but represented in my land by those who pour o’er tomes and sigh for glories passed. In that land the hybrid creeps to leash and nothing knows, perchance, of that great island's loss where, in the dim past age, his sires far out in line had dwelt. Ah, yellow slant of eye, the hordes we see, but glorious in their youth in that past day, when swarthy-browed the plunderers bold first set their feet on sands that teem with men who shrink from new conditions; bravery of soul of order that will suffer, yet not draw the sword on foe.
Atlantis knew but bravery in war. The sons of Yucatan have grown a peaceful tribe. Atlantis spake for peace in early age. With both, the mind was all supreme and speech and craft held sway above the sword. The drop which lingereth yet of kinship giveth proof—the gift of barter—of concealment— truth to vows if they perchance are made according to conditions naught shall break.
In tomes ye read of one who sought that land in that dim age so far agone it seems but as a vision firmly set in midst of actual life. This one made mention of a fruitful isle that sunk, and struck with terror—so tradition planteth in his breast—the ruler willed the stranger die by stealth lest he create a thirst for knowledge strong of other lands.
"We live and die," spake he—the ruler—"in bonds of country. Cursed be the bones that lie in alien soil. Unrest shall seize the soul which feels its husk a part of any land save of its birth. Ah, people of this earth! thy ways and moods shall change to fit the planes on which ye trend; yet ever are there gleams of that far spot amid the higher scenes ye yet shall know. A memory of the Earth home.
The fight on Mars? An old Atlantian tale, learned from one who read the planets with a lens of lightest glass made double, treble, full one hundred thick by process learned in that great age, but never more employed because, alas! the method sunk, with him who learned when water wall engulfed.
One read, and, reading told so plain the tale to eager sage beside him, that the mood of all upon the island then was turned unto the story.
Story long forgot by men of earth, and we, who dwell where ether makes a plane of light, remember us that in our youth the tale was told by some old knight, or nurse, with bated breath and whispered accent. Secrecy was pledged lest angry gods cast foul disease upon the eye that pictured—lips which told.
One morn the master mind of him who dwelt in tower made high with marble columns formed for strength, and steps wound cunningly among the carven leaves and blossoms rivaling the snow on mountain spur of North, heard with the inner sense the note preluding conflict. Heard with the inner sense, which in that age was factor brought to bear on all the speech of Earth, and taught by science.
Long ago the tone was needed not by certain learned men, and in Atlantis dwelt the art perfected. In this day the men on mountain spur afar, ye view with scorn, hold simple speech in manner of the Atlantian sage—through current of the mind.
The brain casts out an ether potent, all unseen yet swift and subtle as the lightning's stroke to them who understand; a potency of mind which dormant hath become in all mankind save favored few who, guided by the mind, seek not the outward mark to glean, but cultivate the inner force of man.
I spake, he heard with inner sense the note preluding conflict. Calm he spake to his attendant: "Swing in line the glass which stands beside the trident. Make it clear by passing silken substance o’er the face and wheel it to my couch.
"Throw wide the casement that my eyes may drink the sparkle on the sea—the forest top that comes unto my casement. Thus my mind grows calm and clear and I may mark events, so that no dream I name the wondrous sights that I shall hand adown the line of sons who follow after."
Light-footed slaves brought scented bath, and laved he well his body—body of a prince whose father sat upon the throne in that Atlantian isle.
He broke no meat, but drank he long and deep a draught of milk of goat mixed strong with spice which nourished mind and body; then cast his length upon a carven seat, with silken screen, beside the casement. Far below the sea danced in the light of sun just rising. Far below the gardens, rose-besprinkled, lay; the breath of million blossoms rose to meet his sense of ecstasy and calm commingled.
He drank the note of warbling buhl that called unto its mate, or osprey's shriek and thrush's note low-hidden in the rose's nest of bloom. Afar were ships of fishers toiling in from work of early morn, and galleys gay with colors wove in silk and fiber of the shrub which stronger holds.
The people at their prayers looked like the flies which dart from bird or beak of hungry asp; and soldiers in the lines upon the quays were but as moving dolls—aye, so were they, the puppets of a king who ruled through judgment of the priests; for in that age of priest's supremacy fell this tale.
Aye, long before the sea-fight of the northmen bold or Asia's subtle souls, Zambesi—tool of these, and old Atlantians guarding well their homes. Nay, after years so long—the sea fight—that I do not count, yet speak, mayhap, the tale I tell fell many thousand years before Atlantis sank.
"Wheel to my side the instrument," spake he to his attendant sage, far younger. The man who learned to read each thought made no reply, but wheeled well in line with stars, to eye unaided all invisible, the trumpet-shapen instrument, whose base was metal of that ruddy hue and gold en-beaten in one gleaming mass, with stones that studded here and there the base.
Great dull, white pebbles to the eye of ignorance, but holding meaning to the man so learned, that everything had tongue and speech and mind.
Great pebbles hurled from planets down to Earth in storm-time of that age. The time of mud from those volcanoes which now lie to sight as spurs of green, so steep and smoothe to eye they seem a fairy garden shaped as cone with carpet made from finest mosses spun. Great cones of beauty yet they worked much harm at seasons.
Slowly bent the sage his eye to instrument and long he gazed. The moon he sullen saw, worn hollow here, at variance there with all the laws of symmetry. The lesser stars, mere floating balls of air, yet shot with rocks from higher zones. At last his eyes grew bright with leaping light, as Mars—the great sky war-god swung on high.
"Behold great Mars!" he cried aloud with joy. “I ne’er before have seen his fields of green, for higher hath he floated than mine eyes could reach with all the cunning of this instrument, made from a method learned at the cost of years of life—of study. Instrument supreme!
“But in this day, oh joy! he swingeth nigh in transit lower down by reason of the laxity of ether. The gods be praised! This moment cometh each one thousand years! and I, the blessed, have lived to see this day which none shall see again till I forgot shall be! And yet the knowledge and the history gained shall live long after I have passed from earth.
“Behold!“ he cried, all sudden to attending sage, “The Mars men gather for a battle! Ah! magnificent the armor for each leader. Scales of metal earth-eye hath not seen but later shall invest. The scales of copper part, yet part of silver-smoothed the mottled surface by the smith who welds with beaten stroke, nor forges; metal scales made slow by patient toil, they seem; Ah, I shall learn the method.
“Behold the tridents, fiery balls are shot from such as those. I see the fine-wrought spring (by inner sense) the spring which leaps to throw its missile to the foe. The spears, three-pointed, savage instruments—that tear so well the breast. A javelin at the belt made of the woven links and discs and wire of copper hardened.
“Mars men, too, carry spikes of wood like steel; behold the polished point dipped in the blood of adversary—poisoned! doth the inner sense contend, and thus is life all quickly ended. And now behold the shield each bears! a shield en-shaped like leaf of grape; shields made of light yet toughened stuff—of hide, so toughened by a liquid bath (tradition hath), that even steel can scarcely penetrate.
“About their limbs are tangled cords of silk, each cunningly concealing fiery veins, I wist, encased in metal which to pierce means death when foemen clutch, but well the body bath of wearer doth protect so as a ray of noon-day sun it feels, nor harms.
“Their mode of warfare I as yet see not. Ah! I behold great ships sail outward—upward; one alone doth man each boat, and he unarmed save for his deadly dress which burneth foe, but leaveth him unscathed, for outward point the various tubes and lines concealing deadly methods. Around his body warm, bathed in fumes of smoke from some rare shrub which does protect from death, is wound a silken substance soaked in strong solution of a nitrate which protects, the sages wise have told.
“The ships sail outward from the land and bear a keen-eyed messenger to spy on foe. The foe? I see them not. O men of Mars, whence comes thy foe?—Hark! In their hands they bear them trumpets long, such as our sages spake, their eyes beheld on Mars.
“I hear their music. Nay, alas! I hear it not. Too great the distance for my strained ears to catch, yet I can see the gleam of light on burnished metal; see the fingers lithe press cunning keys—toy gently with the stops and pull from pierced sides the chain which carries note to other portion of the trumpet long—as long as man with outstretched arms could span. The color of their garments? Sanguine hue, a redder than the light which sun casts ere it sinks behind the hills of Ocean. Men of Mars, ye learn the meaning well of hues the gods make in the worlds to gladden orbs of men and make the heart to leap, the blood run quicker yet, and pulse beat fast which once felt sluggish thrill. White tufts of silk upon each helm are set. Such helms! of scales the fish might deftly grow, embroidered with each name all set in gems of azure, yellow, too, I see the noble captains of the host affect—the color of the shifting light on corn, the yellow symbol, too, of holiness—the flower's heart—the center of an orb—the pigment pure that mellows flesh in tint.
“Embroidered robes I see not as our day has fashioned, but behold the carven lilies as have we. The golden lotus—white, too, they employ.”
"Aye, I will finish now the tale of Mars men on that day when sage—Atlantian—peered with eye—sense, heightened by tradition's flow of explanation. Explanation of the habits, garb and methods of those men who long before had taught their arts and sciences to others of their kind through that broad stream of interchanging thought which then was practiced.
"Later lost that art of interchange of speech through subtle note of Nature, understood and practiced by creatures who are less than we.
"Ye ask what foe he spied him through his glass? As he was pondering, on his sight there burst a wondrous vision. The tiny specks long floating to his eye, grew larger; birds at first they seemed, then clearly, flying ships of shape and size unlike the galleys sailing on the sea. Yet longer, lighter, woven from the fiber of some plant and held in shape by polished strands that metal seemed, yet Earth-man hath not seen its like.
"Aye, sails had they enwoven with a care for magnet draughts. Electric entered there, but seemingly abeyed by other force, a combination of etheric gas and magnet cubes which, like the ocean buoy employed for balance ’gainst a certain poise to carry or convey the sailing boat to motive point.
"Great sails set transversely on the sides made coveted balance sweeps. Of lengthened hemp made fan-like, outer sails and cords that caught the breeze and slackened (speed?) steered by one observant man who held both magnet and a lever in his hands. Condensed atmosphere rose in a globe placed near the center of the ship, adjusted by a spring of purest 'platinum' and glass to ward electric shock."
Thus, afterwards, learned he the ships were made.
At last he spied the foe-men in the ships as on they came. A race of men whose faces lacked not intellect, but low upon their brows the stubborn hair did grow as apes. Their nether limbs lacked garment or yet greaves, but there a coat of fur showed to the sight.
"What men are these?" quoth he. "The sages of old have told no tale of such as these! As men, yet ape, they seem! The men of Neptune!" cried he loud, at last. "I see the silver spears four-pronged! The circling light above each head that as a halo seems!
"I wist thine eyes ne’er saw such shape"—to him beside. "Deft fingered, yet the fingers longer grown than man's on earth. Not claw-point, but a clean white tip which feels as keenly as the brain contends."
The men of Mars stand watching with the helm on head and spear well pointed. Javelin throwers by the thousand stand with foot pressed hard upon the bars of shields that hold them from the foemen. Shields of toughened wood.
"But why not break in air the ships, these men of Mars, ere these, their foes, alight?"
All strong a stream of thought smote full his brain: "The law forbiddeth strife uneven. Man may hold his land, his home, by vantage of the spear and yet give to his foe a chance for life, nor send the shuddering soul unfairly from its shell." Thus came the power of thought unto him.
"Mars’ ships have warned of numbers. Stand her sons defensive. March the Neptune foemen at advance on leaving ships, well guarded at their anchorage.
"Mars spearsmen make attack! The javelin-throwers stand, and all are so directed by the leading chiefs that colors tell their movements. These he holds in hand—the standards made from carven stem and silken stuff that casts a shimmer 'round and to the eye speaks method of attack."
All was done in silence. Not a voice was heard, but trumpet blew loud blasts unheard by him who in the tower high did eager watch the fray. He saw the fiery, darting prongs of spears which tore the body in that fight. It was a fight of skill which men of Earth ne’er dreamed could be unfolded.
A fight where science stood by science's side with mind all paramount, and body playing part of motive force. For years of mental toil unfolded in that hour in stroke of missile-thrower from the suction-valve, and every spear was poised so that one thrust some vital part did pierce, and fell the man all painless dying.
Science taught the point of vantage to the eye; to northward meant that action on the eye most irritating. The stroke less sure. Who faced the south was sun-smote. This the word; the glare within the circle where the spears tipped white with metal, hardened, dazzled, blinded and no aim was sure.
Each army strove to face the vantage point of compass or yet the breeze that blowed with potency. To east or west was soldiers’ vantage point to face upon that planet. Sun-rays smote less the eye, nor carried shadow of a burnished blade to orb with such intensity. Thus they contended and each soldier strove to face the point to east or west as case might be or foe distributed.
At last the foemen fierce engaged were conscious of a cloud low over Mars. A denser cloud than e’er they sensed before. It shut the sun-light from the field of strife and caused a chill to creep upon each warrior there.
"Behold!" a general cried, "the hands of gods lie low above us smiting us in turn, perchance, as we smite one another!"
As he spake a rush of icy air encircled, a fall of seeming forms, and where the men of Mars stood red enrobed or Neptune's blue, or white like lily leaf, stood shadows—one for every warring man. And yet they seemed not shadows.
Hair was blown from cheeks all rounded, youth was there enthralled beneath the helm of waving plumes and eyes, dark, laughing, scorning, perchance, looked from beneath their silken lash. Their limbs turned perfect as a statue stands of carven marble, and the flesh tint showed them fairer than the pausing warriors there.
Their garment was the simple gown that shepherds wear and reached but to the knee, and sandals, made from hide, bound feet of slender mould.
No sound came from their lips, tradition speaks, but trumpets raised were shimmering bright as light on water. Arrows flew from bows of supple, carven wood and thongs of hide—a deer's, mayhap, or bears, I know not—and upon each shoulder bore each man his quivered arrows—pointed—sharp with stone that shone as diamond drops of dew.
They charged impartially upon Mars and Neptune—seemed to smite with shortened axes to the left and right and fought in line of single, compact hordes; each line a wall of bristling marble seemed, with not one break. A line so long it wound its way yet thrice about the foemen armies, and to distance seemed to creep so far the eye reached not. A line of seeming solid flesh, arms touching, knee to knee, with not one break to show that any man had fallen. Fell they not—that host of shadows.
The Mars-men, bold, recovered first and strove to pierce with spear. Next Neptune's fuller charge, impotent, broke not the ranks. A thrill of horror he could mark by look—the sage within the tower—ran through each warrior's frame as loud they seemed to cry: "Our spears pierce not! Our javelins, hurled at air, fall heavy! Bloodless! smiting naught! These men so bold, so fearless, from the clouds come they? Cloud spectres?"
Yet the horror of the fight was on them. Helpless fell the hand that held the spear, and to their air boats rushed old Neptune's sons while Mars’ stood helpless, dumb! The men of air rose slowly, seemingly returning whence they came.
I know the science-body is the shell, and soul the all. The "form of thought" once seen seems but as man imbued with every attribute of flesh, yet frail to touch as shadow on the wall it be.
Aye, such is thought. The men of Earth strove long to learn the secrets of old Mars and long had waited for the moment, thus, by science trained, the line of warriors slept as body sleeps but in the soul they wandered. Scarce three seconds had they stood upon the planet when the "fight" was done.
I tell the story in all truth as it was told to me: A general of that age when Thought did rule, so planned and taught that from a solitary point of Earth—this very land, ye speak, those warriors, men, were sent long ages since.
And yet ye speak: "In old barbaric days!"
On other planets that which hath no form, but is a force on earth, takes shape and substance, too, in time.
And to the eyes of Mars’ men grows the shape or body. This is Law. A science of the matter formed in cloud on other planes or planets where the growth law differs from our own of earth.
Where vapor forms in whorls and added growth makes spirals, branching, that which to our eyes is but the mist which sun drinks.
Thy mood is ill, my scribe, for learning all of that great sea fight of the centuries gone—a thousand years before Atlantis sank.
Yea, thus I swear who read the time by Stars and Moon in transit. Mars in mood of harm and Mercury fiercer yet with venom plied. Great nations then as now did sprinkle Earth with tribes of warriors born with love of spoil.
A thousand years before Atlantis sank there rose a cry from Northern borders peopled with the "Slav"—the Norsemen of a line that later cast their lot in lower country, driven from their homes by one oppressor—later king of North.
In early life a henchman, later king. His blood the blood of peasant mingled strong with some bold, roving warriors from the South who ventured far into that frozen clime.
This king was Olaf. Aye, dim history speaks that selfsame name so "common" to thine ear. A clod sometimes, sometimes a keener soul doth answer to that name, but in that day when "Olaf-of-the-bear’s-claw-set-on-helm" did strike a blow, his name took on the meaning of a single star, there was none other.
The meaning? I know not. But a sound, perchance, from childish lips took to it other sound and made the name.
King Olaf called his warriors—fur-clad men whose flaxen locks hung low, encrowned with cap of fur and steel combined, a cunning builded structure meant for war.
“Ho! to the southward! Black-eyed maids are there, with lips that madden mood, and laughing glance and arms soft twining. Aye, for I have seen in train of captives many such and I will bring anon such in my train.
“The southland holds much treasure. Gold in grains so large they are but painted pebbles, one might think; such precious stuff hath seldom lay within man's sight as we shall garner in that distant land. The mighty Lars, 'the-Eagle-of-the-Crags,' hath sailed him thither in his early youth and tells the tale. He speaks of island set in laughing sea where 'palms' wave.
“Know ye what that name may mean? A tree with plumes and fruitage sweet to lips and gladdening to eye, when day by day the barque has glided swift and brought the word of land to them who wait all eager at the prow. Aye, 'palms' they speak, and roses dot the sod so green it seems but one vast emerald set upon the sapphire sea.
“Great temples, too, have they and palaces and wondrous pictures, true to beauteous life and state, and music met the ear, as in the dark he stole up softly; muffled oars dipped slow and slaves mouth-bound so that no cry escaped.
“I know not all the wonders there may be upon that island. Ye shall see and name in our own tongue, for by our gods I swear that ere the snow falls on Britanji's spur we start us southward; winter is there Spring, and Spring a joyous time of warmth and gayest life in nature. Southward, Ho! we journey, set for war.”
The planets breed dissension. War and strife float on the winds. The sun strikes sheen on spears in many lands at seasons, for it throws dissension in its beams which smite all shores.
Thus Asia—land of yellow peopling forms—had turned her mood unto that island fair, the home of her ancestry. Land where first her ruler dwelt in youth and manhood, fraught with greed of power which wrecked full many a home, and tore the child from parent arms and made his name a by-word—word for theft of trusted grains and theft of talents great bestowed not on the land to which he owed his fealty—Kling.
To southward set the sons of Asia, over barren sands, through tempests, crossing sea upon the borders of that land where the Zambesi ran. Upon its banks were cities grand with fairest temples set. Revolt was rampant. Slaves were worn with toil and spoil spake big to them, and hate and wrong called out in tongue of flame: "Revenge!"
Thus their ears were open to the wiles of those bold men of Asia, strong in mind and subtle as the serpent; brains were theirs condemned to carry guile, to plot, to hold in keen abhorrence any state of mind that dealt with pity where an enemy was held in bonds.
There, within the shade of templed marts they dwelt apace—those men of Asia. Spake softly they, the leaders: "Well we know thy state, the state of slave bereft of all that makes life joyous. Master wills hold closely every impulse; souls are warped to suit the mood of them whom Nature made of lesser worth invested though more favored state.
"We go to wrest from tyrants gold and gems and fairest women. Wizards on that isle who do create most beauteous things, and wealth so lavish that it piles the sands with gold. Come ye, too, with us. The fleet ye watch lies far out to sea. Unto her captains, brave, take ye this store, this parchment, too, which tells of all our needs—our brother love." Then bolder:
“What matter if the city loses fleet? It holds great power still and gems, and lofty piles, in which your children groan in bonds of toil! Be free, O men of Africa; To the sea! Thy galleys loose; they lie at anchor guarded but by thee, their captains willing to my service turn.
“Let loose the galleys manned by thee and thine, and these, my trusted warriors fill the bulk of ships which hold so proudly many hundred souls, aye, thousands! and my warriors, like the sands of desert, droop where deep in forest paths draw to the hills.
“Awake! cast off the bonds of slavery and come, O men of Africa's city great! Set thou to sea! I hold thee worthy of this prompting. Thou shalt know the joy of spoil! the bliss of power thou shalt know. Come, sail to sea!”
And thus from day to day the wily strangers plied with words, and wine, the officers of duty to the fleet that stretched out proudly-whitened wood and bark, great iron bands that made the cypress firm; and floating banners, dangling in the breeze, were later wafted broadly as they set them forth at midnight when the plot had worked its potency.
And he—the crafty leader of the Asiaites, hied him forth to whisper to the leaders of the bands that lurked amidst the forest leaves and trunks like domes and pillars of some mighty hall whose setting was the stars which peeped from folds of purple curtains.
Heavy scent of bloom checked breath and made the night a dangerous time, and beasts prowled hungrily and sniffed the scent of human bodies, filled with rushing blood that tasted in their senses warm and sweet.
"Come forth," the leaders whispered. "Dawn shall come and find but leafy isles where now ye lie in wait. Let beasts prowl growling for your absence; spears are needed for another duty. Come! The galleys lie at anchor down the stream and ye have but to step upon their decks and waft away to pleasure on the sea.
"No man hath wings, and these alone can bear the king and his retainers in pursuit. So, free are we to sail at leisure, swiftly, to the island fair where that awaits which makes the eye to leap, and cause to sigh in lover's deep delight the tender-hearted youth.
"The bravest first shall land to gather spoil. Haste ye! The night falls swiftly, dawn shall break if swift ye come not. To the galleys, men!"
The city, wrapped in slumber, heard no sound. No light shone forth to show the hurrying forms of slaves. No voice harsh rose to beckon thought to plunderer's crime. The city slept since revel worn, and stilled in slumber king and noble lay; and thus the foreign army sailed that night with scores of sailors at the helm or plying oars of galleys.
Even the kings begirt with golden staves, and sculptured plumes, and garlands swung on prow, went down the "river" never to return. So went Zambesi's fleet to war, with alien hordes to man, and win them glory or yet feel the shame of swift defeat.
The sun danced on the dimpling sea. A cool breeze rocked the galleys. Stern and grim rode Asia's chief at head—the Mongol lord so subtle and so brave. The Northmen rode with cries of joy to feel the soft breeze on their cheeks that, bitten sore by frost, had grown as toughened as the reed which waves o’er pool.
"I see a speck of life upon yon height of water," Olaf spake to one who stood beside, and in his hand he held an instrument, then rare, made from a lens of glass and horn of ibis, instrument to throw such action on the eye as might impress the mind.
"A moving speck? It is some bird that wings across the water," spake another knight who doubted always what his brother spake.
"It is a fleet of fishers. We shall take their spoil!" a general named for vulture piped, as near and nearer drew the mass outlined against the sky. But no! the vision burst upon them swift and true at last—a line of galleys numbering as their own three hundred, aye and more.
The sun shone on the galley's spears. A light that seemed from sea flashed on the staves each common held in hand and made the line of boats a line of fire seem.
"Our gods are false!" cried Olaf. "We are made the sport of tyranny, of rank deceit! Atlantis sailed northward and we meet her fair in battle! No surprise we give, no spoil held easily; but spear to spear and stave to stave and galley locked with barque, manned by as many and as brave as we, perchance; we may not gain the day!"
One versed in war—one from the southern isles—cried loudly: "Not Atlantis’ fleet, for fleet hath she, but this is from the forests. I have seen such standards. Where the water laps the banks with marble set, such galleys lie.
"The standard of the leader bear you well in eye. It is the king of forests, inlet broad. Zambesi hath the serpent, eye of fire—the palms at prow. Behold the blood-red garments of the captains of her barques. Zambesi sets to war as we. A rival!
"Yea, but waste we not our spears nor war on such foe as she. We will combine our forces; the victory won—that makes the island ours—we battle with our allies, spoil their fleet thus double booty, double glory, waits."
And thus a truce was made. Full willingly did Asia's leader hold the offer good, and side by side they sailed—the crimson kite and polar bear, each holding in his heart the selfsame thought of brotherhood in strife against Atlantis; later, war on each and spoil fierce wrested from a rival's hand.
The men of Asia planned attack, as did the Northmen, on the northern coast where trees set closely hid the inlets deep and no great quays with ships to guard were there. For trusted they—Atlantians—to the rocky heights that girt the northern coast that few, thought they, might scale.
Yet strategy was Asia's strongest mood, and Northmen laughed at heights they could not scale, and rock-hedged inlets seemed but pleasant brooks, so sought they that stern shore.
Aye, from the south Zambesi's sons did sail to reach the northern point. Atlantis held a menace at her Southern ports—a menace to marauders all well knew.
The blue waves dimpled in the morning light and all Atlantis met in fête, nor thought that nearer, nearer drawing yet were barques by hundreds—hurrying wolves of war that hovered nigh and waited for the night, to set their feet on forest bordered spot and march on home and wrest its treasures all, in human life and gems and gold.
To wrest the marvels that the years—the centuries—had wove, had beaten, wrought, in weeks, in years a single piece, enwrought with thoughts that spring from other climes and planets.
The fête—the birthday of the monarch's son, young Ambisamis, born to wear a crown in that same year when the great sea-fight fell; for died his sire ere the sun set upon that fête day.
Loud the music called to banquet hall or dance, or yet to prayer, for them whose days were few and who did turn their eyes to gods, as then, and only then the people learned to pray. Prayed they with mind so set on higher mood, that Earth was all forgot and roamed the soul afar as body knelt, and in the suppliant's eyes a light that borrowed not from Earth.
All sudden, faint and far away, the call of trumpet crossed the cadence sweet of voices raised in song, and instruments of strings that fingers smote all deftly—the harps of air or yet the water harp whose music rose and fell so soft and low, then loud and clear as bell from tower calling men to war.
"A herald!" spake the king who sat at meat in splendor of his office—gold and gems and silken robe and crown that seemed as stars.
Adown the board his ministers, clad all in gaily painted robes of state. Some showing roses twined in garlands bright, some golden, painted, waving ears of corn, some vines with tendrils, Nature's beauties all. Each statesman holding in the hand which showed his monarch's ring—a gift all prized—a goblet fair of that rare fluid, yellow shot with rose, a wine distilled with care. Elixir made for kings alone.
The trumpet's call grew louder, near.
"A herald!" murmured each. "Who dareth on this day to send our king a message?"
Spake the king: "Our mood is sore displeasure! Let him wait."
And waited he. Out on the carven marble of the outer court reclined in angry mood a man of lordly mien who bode alone and drank such wisdom rare as few may hope to gain.
"I wait, indeed! when in my hand's palm hold I the life of all who bide upon this isle! This isle is doomed, speak they not fair as I had deemed my king might speak to me!" And swift as spear thrust came the thought to him—the king: "A favor granted is a blessing gained when stress of pleasure holds. Bring to us him who calleth for our ear," spake he.
A kingly form in robes of plainest jet. No gem upon his hand nor on his breast. Black browed, with curling lips. A warrior frame, yet born denying strife. Vigils long o’er tomes and studies of the farther globes and planets marked the far off mood of heavy lidded eyes.
"I come," he spake in answer to the call, "to show my monarch that his country's good is my delight. The voice of Nature speaks to me in silent tones. Eye glance hath told me not this hour, but later shall. The dip of galley oars fill now mine ears.
"The Northmen come for plunder; fiercer yet, the men of Asia hover where the line of sea and island verdure hides. Tonight they fain would creep upon our land and fell destroy. I speak, but thou art king, thy galleys swift and thou a man of action." Low he bent, then left the banquet hall.
A thrill ran through the frame of each who heard. The message called to mind a woeful state. The king rose slowly, braided glass in hand that trembled as he spake: "Men, rise and cast aside those robes of fête and to the boats bid every slave that pulls a galley's oar! Each captain of a host, of twenty men the leader!
"Bugles blow the call! the leeches to their towers—men who make the body whole when rent by spear—and those grim souls who bare the body Death hath smote and make it fit for funeral pyre, come all!
"We need a leader. I, thy king know battle not. What warrior leads today our fête that blooms to battle's fuller rose whose petals, dyed in blood, shall meet the sun?
"To northward lies the fleet. Aye, fleets, the sage hath said who never error made, nor had his fathers of the olden line who came from that dim land where forests wave above a slimy river.
"Men, to battle on the sea!"
None shrank from duty. All had strength of mind to so upbear him in his monarch's eye none faltered:
"We are thine, O king! For life and death! For battle, too, are we! Set sail, we, in this hour."
Loud rang the bells that called the men to quays. Wine drunken some were treated to the flow of fountain filled with nauseous drink and soon their muddled brains drank the command.
"To war!" The cry rang through the festooned streets, rose garlanded in honor of the prince.
Stern faces looked with love on weeping maids, and mothers sighed in meeting eyes of him who first lay on her breast—the son, perchance, to look no more with reverence on her aging form.
The galleys swung in line; a showing brave they made. Less than a thousand in that day and yet—the timbers new, the axes clasped with hide, spears burnished bright—the slave that rowed whose former langour nothing spake in sinews for the beating waves.
Those slaves were men in mien, for that past king bade all behold the soul within and live as free as One intended when He cast the mould of man about the ether form. Each slave of galley bore himself a stave, and in the thickest of the fight he bounded from the swivel bench and struck such blows as soldiers learn to strike and foemen fell, through him, on every hand.
"Far, far to sea!" the captains called to each full galley of their eager men. "We meet in war the wolves that come from North! The serpent of the forest lends his fleet to other nation! Thus hath said the Sage who never told what has not soon befallen."
And in their midst the galley of Ulsantis, a mighty admiral who first drew breath in galley; chosen son of old Hambrydisis—crafty lord of sea—who knew each isle and shore for leagues and leagues, and countries far, so far that none save he had set his foot, from that calm isle of men, upon their borders.
Chosen, too, his son that day to lead in battle; for the rightful lord of fleet lay writhing sore in pain that none could soon allay, although the king's own leech sat by his couch with cooling mixtures.
Incense burned on coals that glowed within a chalice woven from the gold which had wrapped the king's own infant cradle; coals from pungent wood that cast an odor on the atmosphere for many paces round.
"Aye, let him lead until my pain be passed—Ulsantis," spake the stricken one. "His brain doth leap to message from my mind; so I direct that he will not mistake. Bid him be calm, O Herald! Bid him speak to men as slowly as the sun steps to its rounds from out the ocean when the morn is clear and naught disturbeth Nature.
"Bid him to speak as bell rings out its summons, clear and firm and true each order ringing to the ears of men."
Ulsantis in the galley, painted, broad, with lilies jasper set, and studded thick with metal made from foreign ores, rode at the head of fleet. Twelve galleys deep at left, a hundred at the right, the foremost line of chosen men those at his side; and thus they kept the long day through in order of their setting out.
Not one oar's length from its fellow forward rode, but prow to prow they glided, leaped the waves. The sun set like a fiery wheel, of air and many leagues to North the invading fleet still lay.
The galleys of the island rested not, but row on row of men sank down to rest while others filled their places, slowly rowing as the night fell down and stars hung glittering. All keenly felt the stress of caution. Lips were shut to speech. The breath came slowly. Muscles strained and chests expanded as the morn drew nigh and galley leaped to stroke.
"Bring from the casket deep the instrument which telleth of the presence of much life upon the wave," spake he, the great commander, as the light of dawn flashed o’er the sky.
They bared the casket from its silken folds, which checked the jar of rower's stroke, and bore it to the bower of the leader, perched high above the deck on which the soldiers lay, and yet were they above the rowers.
Carefully the hands let loose from casket that no jar might break the keen, absorbing sense of spring and bar that made the instrument a thing to fear. Springs of hair and metal wheels, and fastenings that were made from substance of the stars cast down on earth. The magnet of the moods of men mayhap it was, for the keen-eyed thing directed, so it seemed, that gods indeed had builded for the use of chosen ones.
And he alone of all that fleet might read—Ulsantis. Read he, too, with eager face the message from the springs when, set on pivot high, it took the meaning from the fresh sea air and turned in dizzy whirl, then stood at bay with finger pointing northward.
"There they lie—yet distant, for no shrinkage towards the core doth indicate their nearness. One hundred stadia they to northward lie. We meet them not this dawn. The sea laps yet another night our Galleys ere we conquer them," the warrior cried. He spake to him attending: "Set the instrument no longer. Bear away as carefully as thou wouldst bear thine eldest son were he by illness smitten.
"Careful lock in iron casket, cushioned rare with silk enwound, nor let the jar of oars disturb the rest which meaneth unto us a kingdom's liberty."
The smiles of Nature, hidden, burst at last as one faint flush chased others o’er the sea.
Slow crept the fleet. No trumpet sounded morn, nor bells clanged: "to thy prayers, the gods awake!"
No voice in song cleft shrill the freshening air, but whispers told the needs to all who sat at bow, at stern or in the galley sheet, that metal harbor for the one who spake the evening's approach.
The cup of warmth passed swift from lip to lip by youths who served. The broken meat still held, but sparingly they ate. "We feast anon when stress of war is passed," they murmured, "if the gods so will; if not, we feast on blossoms fraught with spice where nectar holdeth for the one who asks—but asketh, all is his who asks, indeed!"
Up higher rose the sun. The morning born was well towards its zenith when spake one who held his instrument to eye in galley of the leader: "Methinks the sky-line dark about the northern boundary of our isle."
"What? Hold the galleys! They are come indeed! Let low the anchors! Bide here till the night shall fall! The long night through the great Moon circles, gives us light to send the souls from bodies sheltering.
"Halt the barques within the shelter of yon wooded cape and close to shore, that not one prying eye may dream the soldier faithful guards his isle."
All swiftly sped the men, so sure of word none asked for repetition. Anchors cast, deep sheltering point with giant palms protected even from the Northmen's eyes.
Swift came the foemen's galleys ere the night fell down upon the sea.
They danced upon the waves and boded ill if supple, smiting hand of that invading army held to grim and wanton slaughter. Wolves, in truth, were they!
"They pray to gods with black, black hair and eyes!" sang Olaf merrily.
"To gods who so forget that sleep falls heavily upon the galley's lord who bides on shore while galleys swing to anchor.
"Sleep falls upon the watchmen at their gates, on youth trained well for battle.
"Age, too, sleeps, for so my gods do whisper in mine ear.
"My men, row gleefully, for night doth fall all soon and we must reach that border faint—outlined—the outline of an isle so ladened with its riches wonder we that it sinks not.
"O beauteous isle of sea and sun, I come with arms outstretched to seek a welcome!"
Loud he laughed and long, and others took the laughter from his mood, and voices mingling echoed on the waves.
Behind the wooded cape the stern Atlantians sat in galleys stilled but for the rippling sea. Each thought of home, of loved, of altars where the ashes of their dead were blessed and urned for centuries.
The leaders, every man a king in mien and thought, for unto him looked every soul for succor on his isle. He failed them not.
"The tide doth higher rise and closer we to shore must creep, nor show one spear to foeman yet." This was the order silently obeyed.
"Tonight our feet shall tread the flowery isle," sang Olaf's men, as near and nearer drew the galleys to the shore.
A league beyond the border!
Sunk the sun and bright as burnished silver swung the Tropic Moon, her million lamps all lighted. Day indeed it seemed again had dawned.
The wily men of Asia spake at length: “Ye men of Northland love the cold, white moon, but we who dwell where reach its smiting beams know well its virulence, its baleful power.
“The forest aisles are lit as well for beasts that prowl as man, and if, perchance, Atlantis’ king and guards sleep not, what better target for their spears than we who land with moonlight showing well each helm?
“Seek we not at night our booty. By the light of day let warriors wander through those aisles of green where serpents lurk and beasts, for ivory slain, go crashing.
“Seek the isle at morn and set us men as vanguards, to the rear—keen-eyed, alert, who know the island's speech and they are faithful to their leaders.”
Bold Olaf pondered and at last he spake: "Let bide the galleys near the shore; when day shall dawn we wander through those aisles of green indeed! for night shall see us reeking, heavy—piled with spoil."
Impatient bode they on the drifting barques throughout the night, and when the morning broke again the isle which seemed as shadow rose full clear.
"Oh, beauteous isle we come!" sang Olaf loud, and flax-haired warriors joined again in song despite protesting of the Mongol hordes who took their joy in silence. No halting of the men whose homes were menaced, then, but from the sheltering curve, past wooded point, which well had hid their fleet, the galleys shot with speed.
By tens and tens they hurled them to the wondering eyes until the sea seemed filled with flying boats that caught the sun on spear-point, helm; and prow gave back the color of the rising sun. A glorious sight that in the heart must live long after all had passed, and Time grown old to tale, and men had died and others born again who sailed the selfsame waters.
The Northmen gazed and lips fell parting. "Whence comes the fleet?" they asked in awe-struck tones, and every face showed wonder—wonder turned to hate.
"Betrayed! Betrayed! what galley left our fleet? What traitor babbled to approaching hordes? Cut out his tongue when these Atlantian dogs, first beaten back to land, shall so divulge his name we know the traitor; Asiaite is he! Forth to battle, Men!"
Thus Olaf; and each Northman at the sound leaped to his spear, or axe or yet a stave that smote and cleft.
"To battle," was the cry.
"The snow land wolves are false!" the Asiaites softly spake. "We know their value! Know their blackened hearts, and after death is dealt to them of that proud, flying fleet we tear the wolves in twain, and hearts that beat in breasts of traitors now, shall quiver on our lances! Aye, they all shall perish! lying dogs of snow!"
Ah, bright the sun bore on the armored hordes!
A trumpet from Atlantis’ fleet called low. Called louder, and fierce thousands caught the note and swelled the sound in volume floating o’er the sea. Low calls, low answers. Louder yet the strain had swelled again. The answer seemed a challenge to the foe. It rose triumphant; every listening heart was thrilled with that wild prelude to the fight.
It brought to eye the vision of the strife. There clung the clutching warriors, heard the calls of captains calm, the hurry of the conflict when the foe fell thickest; then there came the tranquil strain that marked the end when victory was won.
The foemen heard and wondered at the cloud of sound. The troubled, shivering waves seemed waters dark indeed.
The trumpet's call a voice from Hecla's base: "Come hither! Hither! Hither!" floating died, in moans.
The brow of Olaf dampened, turned to ice. His heart sunk, laughed he loud withal: "What play of children! Warriors! look to swords. We still yon harper's notes! death-gurgle sounds shall be all sweet beside that strangling wail of trumpet in barbarian's sinewy, grimy hand."
His locks were yellow as the light on corn, his form as pine the straightest, his mien a king's indeed, but—Olaf—!
Asia in her borrowed boats felt thrill; a sound, in mind, familiar spake to them of lands where once their blood had run in veins now ashes—dust; perchance the things that grew upon the plains afar where now their homes awaited after—victory? each asked the question doubting in his heart.
"We fight with gods," they muttered, man to man. "What hope have we with such, who hold in sway the voice of birds, of nightingales, the moan of ravens, reed-gull calling to her young?"
Their leaders felt the mood and swiftly spake: "To war! To spoil! To black-eyed maids whose lips shall speak of love as slow the summer days wear on!
"To spoil! To sands where grains of gold doth lie! Great garlands of bright gems! Where piles of silk hold scent that makes the rose seem rank as any weed! To spoil!"
The sullen men of Zambesi but fixed their eyes on the well favored men who from Atlantis oft had sailed unto their shores in boats unlike their own yet equal in their worth, and strength and swiftness.
Sullen spake these men: "We war not on Atlantis."
"To the gyves! To chains, they go!" called he, the leader, head of that bold band of Mongols.
But one captain eager spake, who peril saw—one captain of Zambesi:
"Men, we may not fight this day within the narrow confines of our galleys, on our brothers warring—brothers in our need. They gave us freedom, chance for equal spoil. Atlantis is our foe, since we are part of this great army which hath set to war."
Thus in the galleys of the plunderers peace prevailed.
Swift rowed the invaders; Olaf of the north at head of fleet to right; to left, the yellow men, and black and strong as tiger old and hardened in his fights rode men of Zambesi beside.
Atlantis with her eagles, yellow bloom of lilies at her prow, came swiftly; heeded not the stroke of missiles at her left and right.
Ten slaves to the front of bold Ulsantis stood with shields of metal rare that blunted spear and warded stroke from that proud head whose brain directed all.
"Ho, men of snow," they shouted, "come ye nigh! We feed the fish upon thy northern bulk today, a dainty rare for sharks.
"Ho, robbers! Wanderers! Ye of Asia! Plotting in your line for centuries, keep thy lances for thy victims less, alas, than we!"
Then from the throats of all there burst the long, sad wail presaging war or death. A wail that shook the fleet with trembling mood. A wail that o’er the desert have I heard when mighty men were met in savage war. A cry, which, handed down the line gave foe in Egypt, centuries after, fear.
It was the cry of Ram and Phenox, Ses and other gods "who victory gave."
The Northmen's cry rang out, at first but trembling; for the foemen's cry spake tombs and places where the souls of Northmen trend, not to their minds.
Low fell the cry of Asia. Plains and sands, to them familiar, seemed afar, and thoughts turned from the water to the waste and made the voice to falter, yet the blood of stern resolve took fire at last and ran in fire and made the hand to spring to weapon, fierce the cry rose then.
Thus galley met with galley. Spears which gleamed drank of a redder fluid than the light that showered over, heeding not the fray that reddened sea, made waves to dance as body leaped on body, thrown to sea by mad encounter that would rock the land and cause the sea to bubble, foam and roar, and waves dashed high as sped the galleys on.
Fierce cries marked battle of the common horde, but silent on his swivel bench the slave, bold eyed with lips a-twitch with wrath, had held his oar till at some well aimed stroke he fell all palsied and his duty done.
Atlantis, silent from the first long cry, dealt blow on blow. The master mind, that drank from him who lay in pain upon his couch, directing all with even words and calm, through instrument which made his voice to sound familiar in the ear of every man who fought in galley of his land.
Ten galleys did engage ten of the foes. Reserves flew swift to aid when one succumbed to stroke, and thus a wall of warriors met each charging boat. Condensed the numbers, so that none might say: "The gap is made! The break we pass with speed!"
The empty galleys swiftly bore to rear. The wounded followed in the cushioned barques, and fierce as tiger dam twelve long-speared warriors guarded well each boat, so that no foeman dared to brand the dead, or captive make of wounded.
Thus taught the men of Mars, and thus Atlantian sages learned. The galleys of the Northmen sought to lock with the Atlantian, but their three-edged spears beat hard on wood and clave it, broke to left and right, the Atlantians, nor halted.
"Fare away!" cried they.
The galley slaves who rowed with wondrous skill, made boats as rams that fight and drave the foemen far, some overturned, some cleft by axe so sharp that steel itself was bitten; rent in twain the stoutest timbers by the Atlantian's spik’ed sides and valves of fire at prow, that men ne’er dreamed were heated by a force drawn from the air, but showed not fire, was keen surprise indeed which boded death to every man who made a point of entry where the balls hung low from iron caskets, but ornament in truth they seemed.
With numbers sought the Mongol to maintain his vantage.
Flesh is frail when formed in wall, and every fierce advance was checked by missile-throwers of Atlantis who fought, nor made attack, for thus Atlantians were forbade, but held protection of the life and home a duty all must learn.
As creature playing with the thing which lieth dead by one soft stroke, the island soldiers fought till came an hour when Law was all forgot and man leaped forth a demon of the sea.
One boat held priests who prayed with men who died—young priests who side by side had strove with these, their brothers of the spear, when from an island of the southern sea came men for plunder.
The Northmen spake: "They shrive their dead!" they smiled. "What need have warriors for the parting boon when war absolves from sin they who have died? Sail out with me. The man who battles not in galley now must die! The fish of foul portent shall batten upon priestly fare today!" And so three galleys sailed to beat to nothingness the galley of the priests.
Swift sailed they and swift halted; their intent so sudden that the men of peace turned pale though fearing not for self but for the wounded men who called on gods with pain-drawn, quivering lips.
A crash! A crash! the ladened galley sank at blows of Northmen. Far to sea it lay.
Like lions roused to anger rose the men of that great island fleet. "Behold! the blood ye shed shall be as naught to that which we this day shall spill, to redden sea for league on league of Northmen's, Asia's blood! Look well!"
’Tis done! The serpent-shapen caskets took for aiming the clayed, death-dealing matter, great spears were set and staves made ready in the hands of slaves and silent-lipped as wings of Death fold down swept every galley—each for every foe.
Fell slaughter reigned. The great and three-edged spears held by Atlantians fell as swift as shafts of lightning on the helm of steel or toughened fiber; deep on skull they drave. A pulpy mass it seemed beneath the metal made by science learned from nations far, and planet-men and they with brain so tuned to subtle notes of usage that it seemed as gods had talked to men with lips to ear.
Proud Olaf fell beneath a mass of dead, and sullen rowed his slaves far out to sea and followed many.
"We take no captives here! We ask no wolf to share our beauteous isle! The sea may swallow and the fish may eat!" was each Atlantian's thought.
The men of Asia fiercer battled yet Zambesi's warrior's silent fought with spear that drank not deep of the Atlantian blood.
The shock on shock of galleys sent by oars that snapped not, neither failed in object sought, made noise as muttered thunder; the fiery missiles swiftly flung from hand so skilled that never man escaped; the shouting, shrieking of the rabble of Zambesi's horde, when closely pressed, fell like frail reeds before the silent thrust and deft—shot showers of fiery balls.
One galley sunk another followed close, sucked down, or shattered by the bolts of stone fierce-heated, which Atlantis’ steel-clad galleys bore.
The Northmen's last fierce effort to surpass that silent army was a gallant thing to witness:
King Olaf's son, a youth of tender years, stood at the helm of galley turning from retreat; with armed hand and breast secured from spear by rows of steel-shod shields by mighty men upborn, and in his wake one hundred galleys bore with remnant of the Northmen, caught the Admiral's eye.
Like thorn-set stems the Northmen's bristling spears protruded, ten on ten, and staves glanced high, and missile-throwers’ shot, from tridents.
"Lost the Atlantians now, nor dare their men throw missiles save in extremest moments," spake the youth, for thus was told the island's custom.
Those northern galleys flew across the waves and smote with prow such galley as the captains marked to smite, with force like that flung out by giant's hand.
Men staggered, fell, nor fell in death, perchance, but rose sore bruised in body yet with soul so willed to battle that each hand clutched harder yet the spear.
All loved the foeman youth for that brave front, and not one spear was pointed, stave was thrown at that proud flaxen head, whose locks strayed bright beneath the heavy casque.
And stood he proudly still, young Olaf, when had fallen twelve hundred warriors; fell in sea or writhing sore in galleys, bearing dead and wounded, which was sunk by Atlantis’ spear-like spikes resembling those about a palace tower set.
There clouds of fire. There silent, sullen, mien; there galleys smiting charges hold the foe at bay and show their hopeless mission and the day was done!
There dead-filled galleys pile on earlier pile; the fish float heavy from their feed of dead, and to the northward hastening are seen such numbers as have chosen flight to glorious death.
"We homeward turn, O men, O gods of this great isle of sea!" so wailed the foe in song.
"The day is done! the chance for victory o’er! we to the desert go!" With glittering eyes the Mongol softly spake.
Zambesi's somber men spake scarce a word, but, hopeless, glared:
"A king of this Atlantis is our friend; behold! henceforth his subjects, we. What ho! We swear our fealty," loud the leaders spake.
And galley met with galley, back to Atlantis bore the slaves of him, Zambesi's king, who later pardoned all, the fragment of a band. And over all, the shattered, saddened souls who bode in battered galley—bode in shell of body still, there fell a calm when voice of trumpet spake.
The night lust falling. Soft and low the call as mother's to her babe, then loud and clear, then angry murmur swelling, later fell in fierce glad cry of victory as sunk the sun to rest, the sun which vied in blood-red glow with foam upon the waves of stranger hue, all spotted with the life-blood from the veins of men so brave their names were spake with reverence by younger lips that followed o’er the sea.
Atlantis laid her dead in funeral barge and slowly homeward set. The trumpets plaint the long night through foretold disaster to the waiting ones, and to their ears it numbered all their dead, but spake no fell defeat.
"The dead are warriors, such their fate," they spake, but far beyond the shining Moon their souls are wending.
"We mourn not for them; they are quaffing glory from the Fount.
"Their life-pulse beateth on the ether planes.
"We still of earth may envy but not grieve, and yet our galleys number less by half than when we fared us forth.
"But, joy! Our foe hath ridden out to sea in battered hulk—a remnant of that army mocking us this morn."
Thou asketh of the fate of him, the king who reigned when the great nations met in war upon the day that followed fête?
Aye, thus I speak as through thy hand I mark events to make the world of knowledge learn that I am man, though yet unseen by thee or others’ eyes—am called but "Selestor."
False the name, and history writes in tomes my name once known to nations; yet I hold it well to guard the secret—secret of a line which, sunk in deep oblivion all that bore the emblem of a state but mocked today.
The death of him who reigned when Northmen bold did seek to barter strength for beauty's prize, for gems, the isle itself, exchange perchance for northern border cold and grey, the haunt of bear and snarling wolf, and frost, black, deadly to the tender Southern ones. Such was our theme.
He whom Atlantis called her king was wise, not wily, and excess he did abhor; and yet that day his galleys sailed to war he drank him deep of "liquor," as ye speak in modern times.
An alcoholic liquor made from wheat and juice of palm. A mixture fiery and reserved for revelers; but the king befitting thought the draught in time of stress, so drank he long and deep.
His brain grew dizzy nor sight nor sound he knew, and falling prone, ere slaves could spring to save, the kingly brow smote marble and his senses fled and yet he lingered. Slaves stood near to spring at leeches' bidding for the quickening draught or cooling mixture, for the bowl of gold that caught the flow from pierced arm.
And yet no sense returned till evening. No glance of recognition met the gaze of her, his queen, nor of them—the buds of kingly tree to bloom when he had passed, the daughters fair, and son, the prince—the king!
And as he lingered came an ancient one unto his door—door bereft of hanging, that the wind of eve might freshly blow across the clammy brow, perchance bring healing in its salted breath all scented with the kisses of the rose, the lily white which marked the king's domain, the jasmine growing where the palm tree's shade cast cooling shadows.
All was peace and calm, save in the hearts of subjects, torn that day with various woes—the youth of nation on the sea to war—the king in stupor—waiting they.
Crept an ancient one into the hall where on the ivory couch the king lay prone.
Spake she, unchecked, for grief had so sore beset the leech that vaunted skill fulfilled no purpose.
Statesmen stood dumb, the queen had fled and by the hand led children weeping sore—the offspring of a line of kings for generations, but their hearts, as tender as the slaves bore sorrow ill.
With lips that set all firmly, brow that frowned, spake she, the ancient: "King, but not a god, ye now are called! and going take not state nor thing of earth, not life nor love nor gold to mark thee aught save but a wandering soul!
"And yet, mayhap, the state which Earth doth keep the gods permit in realms more fair than thine, which yet is fairer than this earth holds other-where."
“Why speakest thou? Begone! hushed the voice of one big with authority. And slaves were bidden take the intruder from the palace.
“But the ancient rose to height unthought of: “Touch me not! He dieth! He—the son who drew his life from this shrunk form! This do I swear who face the stroke of Ses and shall I, whose moments thus are numbered, dare speak me false?
“Ah, nay! His sire a king, but I, whose glorious crown of womanhood was beauty and my curse, bore him who lieth on the ivory couch!
“The rightful heir, ye men of earth may speak, died at his birth; yet ye knew naught of this, so well my secret kept the favored slaves.
“He liveth yet again on ether planes—my son! Not her’s—the hated rival's—the queen ye knew who early passed. My son! The pomp and state, with knowledge, too, were mine as thine and in them gloated I. No less a king because, forsooth, the maid they chose for him—thy sire—was not thy dam.
“I was and am no slave. A 'trader' was my sire. One of that land ye speak of as a cloud, or mist, so far away it seems to you who journey not. And scorn ye, too, its people who, born to war, in time of stress take to them deadly moods and harbor hate, and so demand what thou dost deem a sin—the eye for eye and tooth for tooth—adown their line for centuries.
“As the sun sinks!
“Low lies he!
“The well beloved!
“The son of him beloved in my youth and loving me till beauty fled. Farewell!”
Her chant was finished, sank she on the threshold. Passed her soul.
The secret, kept so well by them who, awe-struck heard, no seeming break in line occurred; and thus the prince born of the sinning line reigned long reigned well.
The sun had set ere called the gods the soul of him, the king, to realms of peace.
And double sorrow had the people all, and double mourning, for them, the battle slain, and for their reigning king. A monarch wise in much that wisdom gives to thought—a purpose for the betterment of people subject unto him. And kindly spake the nation as one voice:
"The son, now king, perchance will strive to reign with just humility, yet fail to reach the standard of his sire."
And thus it fell.
All day, I spake, the king did linger, but at eve the mists of deep oblivion left the sunken eye, and reaching out his arms as though to clasp he cried:
“’Tis won! I see them meet the foe!
“Tonight Earth's sun doth set for me indeed, but subjects spring around me on the ether planes where soul doth trend.
“My subjects sent in haste through stress of battle, yet I seek not alone the planes, but with fitting band, a king and subjects!”
Thus he spake and died.
The third in line was he. His sires brave and wise. His son no traitor to ancestral grasp of power.
Chapter 23. The Destruction Of Atlantis. Activities Of The Inhabitants On The Morning The Island Sank Into The Ocean
I thus explain the destruction of Atlantis—land of the beautiful, land of gold, of knowledge, of science, art, music; all that man beneath God perfecteth added to God's own work.
Aye, beauty of form as well, for died at birth the child who bore not the imprint of the higher model in perfect form, lacking naught that would please the eye of man, or god, they taught, for the people of that lost land worshipped as did we of Egypt.
But to the theme again I turn.
No curse weighted the atmosphere nor brought harmful conditions upon the land as hath been asserted. The unfixed condition of worlds at that early age caused the vast upheaval which destroyed the fairest spot the sun has shone upon in its rounds of aeons.
Law did not then as now exist, perfected through the patient ellipse of centuries, aye, aeons, that brought to one great focus the lines which denote a perfect balance of globes, descending at a certain ratio as they meet at one fixed point, to continue their round to other point, assigned through law which hath adjusted the motion of the moving bodies designated as Moon, Stars, Earth.
The law was not perfected which adjusts gravity and points to danger signals, known in nature by those so-called senseless objects and by them avoided.
Not by the higher Intelligence are they guided, but by the intelligence of Law which all, so named, inanimate things possess.
We who create not globes cannot explain the inner working of this law, which regulates the revolvement and growth of bodies whose vastness strikes with awe the minds of men.
But we gather from effect what may be termed the "silent" mechanism of those wonders of the Divine and gathering a particle from one direct our attention to still others and, through patient study, the whole plan is borne upon the mind—that reflex of the higher Mind which needeth no toil to perfect that which hath grown from His own growth and is part of His Magnitude.
Thou shalt yet see with mortal eyes a spot of that vast Atlantis whose fairness lies beneath the waters.
So plainly marked shall be the spot on which once stood a temple dedicated to Ra, yet not so called by those wise scholars of the sunk land, that thou shalt not mistake the fragment which through the swing of the centuries and the sweep of the cycles hath defied Time and the roll of Eternity.
I bear in mind the day when first I peered with soul-eyes into the mysteries of that land from which came mine own fathers and their fathers for generations. The records tell not the date of their abandonment of that early home which has known devastation.
I first beheld the figure of a maiden clad in sacrificial robes kneeling at an altar, her face distorted by the death agony, the hands uplifted to the impotent god who scowled upon her body, reft of soul; and then mine eyes turned to the higher plane. The soul was there, all heedless of the form that knelt beneath the waves.
And thus I saw them—maid and wife and child—the form—but useless cask which spilled the golden wine that means the breath of God.
THE DESTRUCTION OF ATLANTIS
The force of will is strong within, but elements do war, and speech from me to thee is difficult; yet thus I tell, as plainly as the powers permit, the history taught me by the lips of him, the ancestor of ten thousand years agone who marked the day of doom to that, his land.
Thou yet shalt see with eyes of flesh, and mind shall drink the wonders on the stone—the carven symbol of a mighty race.
Yea, day had dawned. Not by the Moon's pale ray or starlight's flutter went the land to rest beneath the water, but like wheel of blood the solar orb rose fully.
Just a span it seemed above the water when he who looked from highest point to mark the planet's course as he had been appointed, saw the light and muttered in his beard—a century grown: "God's doom is on us! But one God is there, though others swear that Ab-Dallah, Soam, Phenox, Ram and Ses have equal power with Him, but I say nay, for I have sought in Nature all the tongue that teacheth wisdom. But one God is there!
"And I forebode the doom that doth befall, for hither cometh on the 'wings of Ram' the water's mighty sledge of Death," and folding calmly to his breast the cross—prophetic symbol of his age and mind—he knelt and sought to pray.
Low down where city's walls were wave-kissed—for the ships to sail from, drift to, for the pleasure boat's advantage—rose the sound of noisy traffic.
Slave marts showed their wares—the young, the beautiful, the strong in war a prize, and greed and lust stood by agape and gold beladened.
And there the withered miser's trembling hand held close the casket where the gems were hid which he had destined for his monarch's eye, if so the monarch's Minister of State, but spake the word to weigh the grains of gold and barter for the jewels, water clear or green as spray in Springtime.
Great pearls had he hid in the casket lined with fleece, the finest from the shrub and tinted fair with henna. Pearls whose weight alone bore well the scales which held the hollow globe of jet, or snow or primrose dawn, whose worth meant ships, or palaces or the slave who would outweigh their weight a thousandfold.
Wares of gold and silver, stuffs from Tyre and Gom were spread on what the merchant knew would best display the gleam of golden thread and floss made by that insect horror in its shape doth show to timid ones.
Fair fruits lay basking in the fiery light the golden globe more golden for its ray; pomegranates took to them still a deeper blood, and blossoms turned from snow to rose, and showed red masses where the lilies blossomed pale.
Corn merchants spread their wares in porcelain tubs, or baskets woven of the golden reed or linen basquets.
Heaps of well-riped grain, crushed pulse or lentils, other grains had they, but those I know not as they stand enstamped in this, thy tongue, which is not all, mine own.
The unclad vendors of the ocean's gifts went crying through the arches of the place where flesh was bartered for the well-loved grains that lie with check of earth.
Their trays of brass, or yet of costlier stuff, heaped high with shells of broad and comely shape, or wriggling fins and scales agleam with hues that borrowed yet another color from the sun still rising—rising soon to look upon a scene of wild confusion, storm and death!
Strong men walked upright bearing "bricks" or stone to build, or yet rebuild, the costly piles that marked the beauty of the cities strewn like gems throughout the land whose day was set, though not complete its doom
The children—heart-beats of a nation—danced to task, or lesson or their play beneath the spreading palms or rose tree's fragrant shade, or vines hung purple with the globes of life-blood for the weak. The mothers to their tasks of rearing broods, or carefully preparing stuff to cover forms of symmetry. The priest lay in his temple, dead with wine, or knelt, as is the way of priest, before a gem-lit shrine to catch the eye of the kneeling, shrinking throng who caught a hint of doom.
Within the palaces the slaves bowed low as those advanced who held the power to quell, and costly "silk" and fleecy "lace" swept soft over paves of marble, and the fountains played soft measures; from the drops of water came a tinkling song as every drop did hold a certain tone, and all commingling made a rhythm sweet to ear.
For one had builded by the power of mind, an instrument which kings alone might buy, so costly was it; wove of gems and cords of that rare metal which I cannot name, for ye would never know its import or significance.
Yet, all entwined, made instrument which rivalled in its tone the song of birds, of thrushes in the woods, of lark at morn or bulbul when her mate doth hover nigh.
Thus all seemed peace and joy, with beauties’ glow to give it emphasis, and made the morn to seem the opening to events of life. In the vast chambers where the men of mind had gathered, big with knowledge gleaned and rich in scrolls upborn by pampered slaves, the dignity of State was duly emphasized by the appearance of the ruling lord.
And as the music died that every morn bespake that duty followed melody of sound, a herald, old and trusted, trembling came: "My lords," he whispered, but the stillness reigned supreme and every ear had caught.
“My master of the Tower—one hundred years—a sign hath read in that vast wheel of blood, and bids ye seek the shrine of such a god as each doth trust, but thus he bade me speak:
“There is but One, and He today is wroth and crushes with His breath.
“It comes upon the water. Look ye well! A trembling of the waves, that dance and gleam, show but the quiver of the serpent form before it striketh. Look ye well, O lords!
“The stars last night shone with a baleful light, like eyes of lions caged and thirsting strong for blood; and in the mountains, pointing spear-wise, high, a muttered voice was speaking to the soul of him, so formed of fiber and of flesh are we that one doth tremble when the elements are wroth in unison with God.
“Look well, O lords, and cease to talk of good to land or to estate, for all shall pass as the mist of morn rolls upward, drunk by Sun—the essence of that Life which holdeth all.”
He ceased, and sank the hearts of them who never quailed in battle, or when death in milder form had faced them, but his voice was pregnant with the doom which he foretold, and each stood with heart throbbing dully, as the sea swells after storm when quiet seems to reign, but Death hath faced the world and still it thrills with that dread presence which ye name as finish to all deeds.
"Our dear ones!" Ah, that taint of self which all the world doth poison! Not his neighbor's grief, but grief of self he dare not face.
"My loved ones! At their peaceful sports they stray or duties for my pleasure and I stand! An atom on the wind is not more weak to aid!"
But one who doubted ever, cried aloud: "Smite him! He lieth! Old and hoar hath he grown lying! Smite the hind who crieth Death on this fair morn when all speaks life. We die not on this day! I swear it by the soul of Him who liveth—Him who holdeth—Him who Both appoint be what His name!"
But as he spake a wail of sorrow rose. A wail so loud it pierced the marble walls and caused them, strong as were the halls of Fate, to quiver at the mad, vibrating sound.
And as it ceased in measure all arose, with faces rivaling the marble walls and sought the court which led into the street, and where in wild confusion swept the throngs on through the darkling streets, for the sun, which shone as blood, had hid its face in clouds of deadly vapour, dense and black, and damp and steaming with a substance foul to breathe as floats the breath of "hell."
And flashes fierce as fiery serpents spun across the sky which but an hour before was like a dome of turquoise turned with beryl.
Close-clinging, clasping, crying each for each, some waited awe-struck, some did seek to pray, and others cursed and moaned and fell upon their fellows with the sword, and "Life for life" cried madly. "Now mine hour hath come, what matter how ye die!"
Thus mad and sane they mingled. Weak and strong. The pure, the vile, the greybeard and the child; while in the shelter of the house of wealth, or lowly cot, where when the day had dawned, was hope for yet another life to bless, lay mother's wailing in the hour of birth and adding wails of fear to wails of agony.
Then, like a monster spurning earth and seeking sky, there rose from out the bosom of the deep a something which no man had given name.
Uprearing as the wild steed flies the ground when blast of danger smiteth on his ear, then with the voice of thunder multiplied it burst the bonds of shape and nature's law of law restraint and fell upon the land.
A wall of water as the mountain tall! Black, shrieking beings! Shapes from depths of sea, and wrecks that long had mouldered in their graves of ocean slime, and rocks from depths where rocks long buried lay; and all swept on unheeded and the cities fair that kissed the borders of a smiling sea went down.
Yet higher, where the pointed mountain sides smiled green and fruitful, some had lingered still with horror on their faces, for where the land had blossomed like the rose, and fane and palace, mart and builded wall, and forests vast had stood, when the sun went down was but a swirl of foam, of writhing, hungry waves that seeming mounted upwards, upwards fast ascending to the eye.
Yet those few pictured "When the water fell," the death-struck valleys, ruined walls and towers and forests, lacking naught save leaves of green. Alas, the dream that had no end! their hope bore no fruition.
The quivering mountain sank—an inch, the measure of a man's broad palm—a fathom! Then a quiver and a roar marked moment when the land that mocked the sun went down!
Atlantis, thou hast sunk, but shall arise, a slimy thing of Ocean, still to bear much beauty, offering riches to the world which hath not known thy fate.
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 State of Washington.
 Perhaps the dragon of the Norse sagas.
 The law of poise.
 Reo Tinto.
 Redwoods of California.
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