Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/97

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We infer the spirit of the nation in great measure from the language, which is a sort of monument to which each forcible individual in a course of many hundred years has contributed a stone.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, XX., "Nominalist and Realist.")

In ages long lost in the abyss of time, when Aryan colonists had not yet established their first settlements on the banks of the river Saraswati in the Punjab, and the primitive Egyptian settlers in the valley of the Nile did not fancy, even in their most hopeful day-dreams, that their descendants would become the great people whose civilization was to be the cradle of that of Europe, there existed on the Western Continent a nation — the Maya — that had attained to a high degree of culture in arts and sciences.

Valmiki, in his beautiful epic the "Ramayana," which is said to have served as model to Homer's "Iliad," tells us that the Mayas were mighty navigators, whose ships travelled from the western to the eastern ocean, from the southern to the northern seas, in ages so remote that "the sun had not yet risen above the horizon;"[1] that, being likewise great warriors, they conquered the southern parts of the Hindostanee

  1. Valmiki, Ramayana, Hippolyte Fauché's translation[B], vol. i., p. 353.

Comment (Wikisource)

B.^  French translation by Hippolyte Fauché