Page:A Book of Dartmoor.djvu/61

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33
THE NEOLITHIC MAN

and Northern Africa, and are now represented by the Koumirs and Kabyles. To this race the name of Iberian, Ivernian, or Silurian has been given. It contributed its name to Ireland (Erin or Ierne), where it maintained itself, but was known to the conquering Gaels as the Tuatha da Danann and Firbolgs, two branches of the same stock. The name of Damnonia given to Devon is probably due to these same Danann, who were also found in the south of Scotland. When this great people reached Europe, Japan, India, Africa, before its branches had begun to ramify to east and west, to south and north, its religious doctrines and its practices had become stereotyped, and almost ineradicably ingrained into the consciousness of the entire stock.

If we desire to understand what their peculiar views were, what were the dominant ideas which directed their conduct, and which led them to erect the monuments which are marvels to us, even at the present day, we must go to China.

Let us look for a moment into China at the present day. At first sight, the Chinese strike us as being not only geographically our antipodes, but as being our opposites in every particular—mental, moral, social; in language as in ideas.

The Chinese language is without an alphabet and without a grammar. It is made up of monosyllables that acquire their significance by the position in which they are placed in a sentence. In customs the Chinese differ from us as much. In mourning they wear white; a Chinese dinner begins with the dessert and ends with the soup; a scholar, to recite