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The Lives were in some sense, as they have often been called, the Bible of the Revolution. It is difficult for any book to which destiny has ever given a biblical or authoritative character, to escape misconstruction, first at the hands of its own more fanatical expositors, and then from the outer world, which is naturally apt to confound the mischief committed in the name of a teacher with the doctrines he originally disseminated. It was wisely put into the mouth of a modern oracle, that the bearings of his own oracular observations lay in the application of them. Plutarch is not responsible for the ineptitude and wickedness of any bastard Brutus or Aristides of the Republic one and indivisible. Limited as his ideal of human virtue may be deemed to be, it was not that ideal which was sought after by those who quoted his heroes most volubly. They never tried to live up to the lights of the gospel they proclaimed. There were many lessons which they might have drawn from the pages of Plutarch, had they sincerely sought to apply the results of his teaching to their actual situation, not to force their own epoch and circumstances into an artificial and utterly absurd parallelism with the field of the pictures which Plutarch has drawn. If the English legislature were suddenly to be struck with a zeal for directly imitating Solon and Lycurgus, England would be in a state of irretrievable bankruptcy, lawlessness, and immorality before the end of the year. Yet Lycurgus and Solon, after a short education in the ways of modern life, might not be out of place in the English legislature. Most of Plutarch's heroes are marked by some exceptional hyperbole (so to speak) of individuality in character or fortune, easily to be seized upon and outwardly reproduced to exaggeration by a superficial caricaturist or imitator. Yet the most constant moral of Plutarch's writings and of Plutarch's own life, is the preaching of a contented, trustful, reverent, modest temperateness of judgment and nature, and an unambitious mediocrity of career, as the chief and soundest blessings which the Destinies could bestow on mortal man.



An Account of some recent Researches near Cairo, undertaken with

the view of throwing light upon the Geological History of the Alluvial Land of Egypt; instituted by Leonard Horner, Esq., V.P.R.S. Phil. Trans. of Royal Society for 1855, p. 105, and

1858, p. 53. Reliquia Diluviance: Observations on the Organic Remains contained

in Caves, Fissures, and Diluvial Gravel. By the Rev. W. Buck

land, D.D., F.R.S. 4to. London, 1823. Cavern Researches; or, Discoveries of Organic Remains and of British

and Roman Reliques in the Caves of Kent's Hole, Anste's Cove, Chudleigh, and Berry Head. By the late Rev. J. MacEnery.

Edited from the original Manuscript by E. Vivian. London, 1859. Antiquités celtiques et antédiluviennes. Mémoire sur l'Industrie

primitive et les Arts à leur Origine. Par M. Boucher de Perthes.

2 vols. 8vo. Paris : Vol. I., 1847; Vol. II., 1857. The progress of discovery in geology has already set aside so many of what were long considered fundamental facts of natural history, and has enforced such a complete modification of the views at one tiine entertained concerning the history of the earth and its inhabitants, that moderate men and lovers of truth have agreed for some time past not to attempt to harmonise apparently conflicting truths, but simply to discover such facts as come within the range of observation. This is indeed a wise conclusion; for whenever a clear statement of facts, and a fair deduction from them, is opposed only by a received but doubtful interpretation of the sacred record, which in matters of physical science ought only to be regarded as an uncertain guide, there is no doubt what the ultimate result must be; and those who shut their eyes to truth, because it is opposed to their preconceived notions and convictions, are little aware how damaging to themselves and those guided by them is the ultimate decision against them, which must some day be given.

These remarks are intended to apply to a subject already attracting great attention, and likely soon to be the question of the day among all who take an interest not only in geology and archæology, but in the recognised chronology as applied to human and biblical history. Probably few non-scientific persons would hesitate to reply, if asked how long the human race has existed on the globe, that the period was something less than six thousand years; and perhaps most such persons would think themselves bound to this belief by their respect for and confidence in the Bible. With matters of biblical criticism, and the various differences of opinion amongst commentators in this matter, we have here nothing to do; but we may set forth with stating our conviction that the chronology, like the natural history and astronomy, of the Bible is an open question, and a legitimate subject of human research.

There is ample ground in the ordinary range of history, and yet more in the study of language and of the physical differences of the various branches of the human family, to justify an inquiry into the antiquity of our race. That certain events followed each other in a certain sequence, may be true; but that they succeeded each other so rapidly as they must have done to occupy only a few thousand years, is in the highest degree improbable.

No illustration of this is more apposite than the case of Egypt, where we look back with all the aids of history, and with actual records, to a certain point, and trace without much difficulty a series of races, more or less civilised, till we reach the age of the Pharaohs in the time of Moses, when the Israelites departed from Egypt, and the actual history of the Jews as a people may be said to have commenced. At this time the hieroglyphics clearly prove that there existed among the Egyptians an amount of civilisation not inferior in many respects to the highest advances of subsequent centuries; and there is equally satisfactory proof that all the typical varieties of the human race were well known, and were as clearly marked as they are now by social as well as physical peculiarities. The negro, for example, was then a woolly-headed, thick-lipped black, with a receding forehead, indicating a humbly-developed intellect, adapted to serve rather than command. It is fair to inquire how far the time assumed to have elapsed between the Noachian deluge and the birth of Moses could in the natural course of things have brought about this result; for we find nowhere intimated any miraculous interference with the laws of nature, and are certainly not justi. fied in assuming any thing of the kind in reference to this point. The history, as read by the picture-writing of the country, and as measured by the ancient monuments and by the change of surface of the ground, tells a very different story; and a careful investigation of the former kind of evidence has led to the conclusion expressed by the Chevalier Bunsen in the following passage, extracted from the preface to the fourth book of his Ægyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschichte, published in 1856:

“An examination of the time from Alexander to Menes, and of the vastly remote contemporaneous events of Asiatic life, lead us to docu

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mentary beginnings of a great development more or less chronologi. cally determinable. But when we come to consider more closely the unmistakable purely historical time, before Menes, of separate kingdoms and particular provinces, we discover that these earlier ages belong to a period when the foundation of that entire development rested upon the formation of language and mythology. The author believes that he is justified in maintaining this to be a fact in historical science.

Records, forming a documentary history of nations, extend to about 4000 years before our era ; and an early period of long duration must necessarily have preceded these. When we assign to that period a duration of from 6000 to 9000 years for Egypt, and from 15,000 to 16,000 years for man's existence, it is no arbitrary and presumptuous application of research, but an emancipation of ourselves from an error which throws every thing into confusion. The first epochs of the history of the human race demand at the least a period of this extent; and its commencement 20,000 years before our era is a fair starting-point in the earth's history."

It is not in Egypt alone that this kind of evidence exists. Throughout the East there are, among the ancient people there settled, sufficiently strong indications of antiquity to justify at least an impartial inquiry; and if there is some want of strict records, there is beyond a doubt every probability that the civilisation of those countries dates much farther back than the assumed period of the origin of our race. Even in Central America, and among savage nations, the varieties of language, as well as the prevalence of an existing type difficult to modify in many generations, throws back into remote antiquity the first origin of the tribes; while there has long been an opinion, kept back by considerations of respect for known prejudices, but always present, that the races inhabiting Central, Southern, and Western Europe, before the Romans swept over those countries, were not only themselves of very long standing, but could hardly have been the earliest races in possession. It remained for the progress of discovery in geology to bring proofs of this ; but, up to a very recent date, even our boldest geologists, both in England and France, have uniformly declined to meet and fairly discuss cases that were from time to time put before them for consideration ; although several observations have tended to show that the human race existed and flourished in association with other animals now unquestionably extinct. Among such cases, the most striking are the facts submitted by M. Boucher de Perthes in the work cited at the head of this article; but others, less clearly determinable, had been noticed in the celebrated bone-caverns of England, Belgium, France, and Germany; others, again, in the gravel of England; and others in North America, where a remarkable skeleton of the mastodon, brought to England some years ago, was said to have had an axe and other implements of savages lying underneath some of the bones in the swampy ground in which it was buried in Kentucky.

The evidence thus gradually accumulated in various directions has at length been considered worthy of attention; and two or three discoveries, very carefully watched by competent observers, have proved that human remains exist which were not only buried at the same time as the bones of extinct quadrupeds, but to all appearance belonged to a race of men who lived when such quadrupeds were common in Europe. One of our English geologists, Dr. Falconer,—whose researches in the Sewalik hills in India brought to light a large ancient tertiary fauna, formerly ranging across India to the kingdom of Siam, and who has since devoted his attention to the fossil bones of elephantine animals found in the gravel,--seems to have been struck by the chain of evidence submitted by M. Boucher de Perthes; while nearly at the same time a new discovery of sculptured flints in a cave at Brixham, in Devonshire, mixed up with bones of cavern animals, brought the whole question prominently under discussion.

The geological evidence in relation to this inquiry seems at present to arrange itself naturally enough under three heads. First, that obtainable from deposits of mud mixed with human remains in river-deltas, where a certain degree of regularity of deposit can be shown to have taken place; secondly, that which can be traced in caverns, where such indications of man are mixed up with bones of other animals, the whole having since been sealed up, as it were, while other deposits of later date have been covering them; and thirdly, that derived from the careful exploration of gravel-beds, whose geological age is known from independent proof, and where also the remains of man are mixed with bones of other animals,—the whole having been drifted together, and together covered with newer deposit.

The only case at present adduced in respect to the first class of evidence is the Delta of the Nile, at a point where historical monuments of great antiquity exist, originally constructed on the Nile mud at a certain level, and since covered up by such a thickness of deposit as belongs to the time that has elapsed. For the clear determination of this matter, we have to thank Mr. Leonard Horner, who, by suggesting a series of operations of the simplest but most satisfactory kind, has succeeded in proving several very important points. The researches and conclusions alluded to are recorded in two memoirs read before the Royal Society, and since published in the Transactions of that body for the years 1855 and 1858; and we shall proceed to give an outline of the result.

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