Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/179

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173
NOTES.

with every member so whole and entire that no part of the body seems to be altered, even to the very hairs of the eyelids and the eyebrows, so that the beauty and shape of the face seems just as before. By which means many of the Egyptians laying up the bodies of their ancestors in stately monuments, perfectly see the true visage and countenance of those who were buried many ages before they themselves were born: so that in regarding the proportion of every one of these bodies, and the lineaments of their faces, they take exceeding great delight, even as if they were still living among them. (Book i.)

They believe, says Herodotus (Euterpe, § 123.), that on the dissolution of the body the soul immediately enters into some other animal; and that after using as vehicles every species of terrestrial, aquatic, and winged creatures, it finally enters a second time into a human body. They affirm that it undergoes all these changes in the space of three thousand years. This opinion some among the Greeks have at different periods of time adopted as their own, but I shall not, though I could, specify their names.

How little did the Egyptians apprehend that the bodies which they preserved with such care to be ready again for use when the cycle should be fulfilled, would one day be regarded as an article of trade, broken up, exported piecemeal, and administered in grains and scruples as a costly medicine to rich pa-