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'Tis the west is the goal of the sun's daily race! 'Tis the west that first shows you the moon's silver face!'
The dirhems of the west are but little ones, 'tis true; but then you get more for them!" (Just as in the good o^d days of another dear Land of the West; where, if the pound was but twentypence, the pint anyhow was two quarts !)
His travels, however, were not yet over ; he traversed Andalusia and Granada, and penetrated to the heart of Negroland, before he finally settled. He died in 1377-78, aged seventy-three.
Ibn Batuta has drawn his own character in an accumulation of slight touches through the long history of his wanderings; but to do justice to the result in a few lines would require the hand of Chaucer, and something perhaps of his freedom of speech. Not wanting in acuteness nor in humane feeling; full of vital energy and enjoyment of life ; infinite in curiosity; daring, restless, impulsive, sensual, inconsiderate, and extravagant; superstitious in his regard for the saints of his religion, and plying devout observances, especially when in difficulties; doubtless an agreeable companion, for we always find him welcomed at first, but clinging like one of the Ceylon leeches which he describes, when he found a full-blooded subject, and hence too apt to disgust his patrons, and to turn to intrigues against them. Such are the impressions which one reader at least has gathered from the surface of his narrative.
We shall now quote one or two passages as examples of his narrative. The following extract shows how the Chinese so long ago, though without the aid of photography, had anticipated a modern expedient of the detective police :—
"As regards painting, no nation, whether of Christians or others, can come up to the Chinese; their talent for this art is something quite extraordinary. I may mention, among astonishing illustrations of this talent of theirs which I have witnessed myself, viz., that whenever I have happened to visit one of their cities, and to return to it after awhile, I have always found my own likeness and those of my companions painted on the walls, or exhibited in the bazars. On one occasion that I visited the emperor's own city, in going to the imperial palace with my comrades, I passed through the bazar of the painters ; we were all dressed after the fashion Irak. In the evening, on leaving
the palace, I passed again through the same bazar, and there I saw my own portrait and the portraits of my companions, painted on sheets of paper and exposed on the walls. We all stopped to examine the likenesses, and everybody found that of his neighbor to be excellent! . . . Indeed the thing is carried so far that, if by chance a foreigner commits any action that obliges him to fly from China, they send his portrait into the outlying provinces to assist the search for him, and whenever the original of the portrait is discovered, they apprehend the man."
The next extract illustrates strikingly the manner in which the freemasonry of common religion facilitated the wanderings of the Mahometans over the world. The traveller is staying at the city of Kanjanfu, apparently Kianchanfu, in Kiangsi, where, as usual, he is hospitably received by his co-religiqnists:—
"One day, when I was in the house of Zahiruddin al Kurlani (the sheikh of the Mahometans in this city), there arrived a great boat, which was stated to be that of one of the most highly-respected doctors of the law among the Mussulmans of those parts. They asked leave to introduce this personage to me, and accordingly he was announced as 'Our master, KiwSmuddin the Ceutan.' * I was surprised at the appellation ; and when he had entered, and after exchanging the usual salutations we had begun to converse together, it struck me that I knew the man. So I began to look at him earnestly, and he said, 'You look as if you knew me.' 'From what country are you?' I asked. * From Ceuta.' 'And I am from Tangier!' So he recommenced his salutations, moved to tears at the meeting, till I caught the infection myself. I then asked him, 'Have you ever been in India?' 'Yes,' he said,' I have been at Delhi, the capital.' When he said that, I recollected about him, and said, 'Surely you are AI-Bushri?' 'Yes, I am.' He had come to Delhi with his maternal uncle, Abu'l Kasim
of Murcia I had told the Sultan of
India about him, and he had given him 3,000 dinars, and desired to keep him at Delhi. He refused to stay, however, for he was bent on going to China, and in that country he had acquired much reputation and fi great deal of wealth. He told me that he had some fifty male slaves and as many female ; and, indeed, he gave me two of each, with many other presents. Some years later, I met this man's brother in Negroland. What an enormous distance lay between those two!"
This meeting, in the heart of China, of the two Moors from the adjoining towns
* i.e. of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar.
of Tangier and Ceuta, has a parallel in that famous, but we fear mythical, story of the capture of the Grand Vizier on the Black Sea by Marshal Keith, then in the Russian service. The venerable Turk's look of recognition drew from the marshal the same question that Al-Bushri addressed to Ibn Batuta, and the answer came forth in broad Fifeshire dialect—" Eh man ! ay; 1 mind you weel, for my father was the bellman of Kirkaldy!"
Like all the travellers of that age, Ibn Batuta seems to lack words to describe the magnitude and glories of the city of Kinsai, or Hangcheufu. He represents himself as received with great honor there, both by the Mahometan colony and by the officials of the Mongol government. The following, last of our extracts, refers to this :—
"The Amir Kustai (the Viceroy of the Province) is the greatest lord in China. He offered us hospitality at his palace, and gave us an entertainment at which the dignitaries of the city were present. He had got Mahometan cooks to kill the cattle and cook the dishes for us, and this lord, great as he was, carved the meats and helped us with his own hands! We were his guests for three days, and one day he sent his son to escort us on a trip on the canal. We got into one barge, whilst the younglord got into another, taking singers and musicians along with him. The singers sang songs in Chinese, Arabic, and Persian. The lord's son was a great admirer of the Persian songs, and there was one of them sung by them which he caused to be repeated several times, so that I got it by heart from their singing. This song had a pretty cadence in it, and thus it went:—
"' My heart given up to emotions
Was o'erwhelmed in waves like the ocean's,
My troubles were gone from me !' •
Crowds of people in boats were on the canal. The sails were all of bright colors, the people carried parasols of silk, and the boats themselves were gorgeously painted. They skirmished with one another, and pelted each other with lemons and oranges. In the afternoon we went back to pass the evening at the Amir's palace, where the musicians came again and sang very fine songs.
"That same night a juggler, who was one of the Great Kaan's slaves, made his appearance, and the Amir said to him, 'Come and
* We may note that the "pretty cadence" of the lines which Ibn Batuta gives in the Persian is precisely that of—
"We won't go home till morning,
show us some of your wonders I' Upon this he took a wooden ball with several holes in it, through which long thongs were passed, and laying hold of one of these, slung it'into the air. It went so high that we lost sight of it altogether. (It was the hottest season of the year, and we were outside in the middle of the palace court.) There now remained only a short end of a thong in the conjurer's hand, and he desired one of the boys who assisted him to lay hold of it and mount. He did so, climbing by the thong, and we lost sight of him. The conjurer then called to him three times, but getting no answer, he snatched up a knife, as if in a great rage, laid hold of the thong, and disappeared in his turn 1 By-and-by he threw down one of the boy's hands, then a foot, then the other hand and the other foot, then the trunk, and, last of all, the head! Lastly, he came down himself, puffing and blowing, and with his clothes all bloody, kissed the ground before the Amir, and said something to him in Chinese. The Amir gave some order in reply, and our friend then took the lad's limbs, laid them together in their places, and gave a kick, when, presto! there was the boy, who got up and stood before us 1 All this astonished me beyond measure, and I had an
attack of palpitation They gave me
a cordial, however, which cured the attack. The Kazi of Khansi, Af karuddin by name, was sitting next to me, and quoth he, ' Wal/aA/'tis my opinion there has been neither going up nor coming down, neither marring nor mending; 'tis all hocus-pocus !'" t
With this marvellous story of prestidigitation, and the learned Kazi's comment on it, we must close these extracts.
The subject is large—China, indeed, in any point of view is a large subject—and it has been difficult to compress without running to dry bones. But we trust even this fragmentary view of one phase of the history of communication with the Chinese may have preserved some small flavor of that interest which has always attached to that remote and peculiar nation. The ancients felt this in the dim legends which crossed the length of Asia about the Seres dwelling in secluded peace and plenty on the shores of the Eastern Ocean ; mediaeval Christendom was strangely fascinated by the stories which these travellers, of whom we have been speaking, brought home—of the vast population, riches, and orderly civilization of this newly-revealed
f Omitting the marvellous disappearance in the air, this trick is still a favorite in China. See Doolittle's "Social Life of the Chinese," London ed., 1868, p. 543. .
land of Cathay; the re-discovery of the country as China by the Portuguese kindled a fresh curiosity which three centuries of partial knowledge scarcely abated. Familiarity of late years has in some degree wrought its proverbial result; but among all the clouds of change that are thickening on the world's horizon, some are surely big with great events for this hive of four hundred millions, for whom also Christ died. The empire, which has a history as old as the oldest of Chaldasa,
seems to be breaking up. It has often broken up before, and been again united; it has often been conquered, and has either thrown off the yoke or absorbed its conquerors. But they derived, what civilization they had from the land which they invaded. The internal combustions that are now heaving the soil coine in contact with a new and alien element of western origin. Who can guess what shall come of that chemistry?
British Quarterly Review.
MODERN GEOLOGY AND THE MOSAIC ACCOUNT OF CREATION.
Hugh Miller frankly avowed in his later works that the view which he originally held as to the scientific interpretation of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis had been modified. He had believed, with Chalmers and Buckland, that the six days were natural days of twenty-four hours each ; that the operations performed in them had reference to the world as inhabited by man; that a "great chaotic gap" separated the "latest of the geologic ages" from the human period; and that Scripture contained no account whatever of those myriads of ages during which the several geological formations came into the state in which we now find them. As his geological knowledge extended, and in particular when he engaged in close personal inspection of the Tertiary and Post-tertiary formations, he perceived that the hypothesis of a chaotic period, dividing the present from the past, in the history of our planet, was untenable. "No blank chaotic gap of death and darkness," thus he announces the result of his investigations, "separated the creation to which man belongs from that of the old extinct elephant, hippopotamus, and hyaena; for familiar animals, such as the red deer, the roe, the fox, the wild cat, and the badger, lived throughout the period which connected their times with our own; and so I have been compelled to hold that the days of creation were not natural, but prophetic days, and stretched far back into the by-gone eternity."
It was legitimate for theologians, sixty
* (I) Life and Letters of Hugh Millet, by Peter Bayne, M.A.
(2) Works of Hugh Miller.
years ago, to put their trust in the theory of a chaotic state of the planet immediately before the commencement of the human period, and to allege that the Scripture had folded up all reference to preceding geological ages, in the words " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The authority of Cuvier was then supreme in the world of science, and Cuvier held that "not much earlier than 5,000 or 6,000 years ago" the surface of the globe underwent a sudden and subversive catastrophe. But no theologian who now maintains- this hypothesis can place his theology on a level with the scientific acquirement of the day. Dr. Kurtz is the only theologian of any standing who is known to us as still holding the view of Chalmers; and if we were asked how a person accurately acquainted with geological science might best obtain a conception of the untenability of the theory of a recent chaos, we should advise him to read Dr. Kurtz's defence of the hypothesis. The German divine repeatedly specifies 6,000 years as the period during which man and the existing order of terrestrial beings have occupied our planet "According to the Scriptures," he says, "the present order of things has existed for nearly 6,000 years." He has a theory of his own on the subject of fossils. "The types buried in the rocks were 'not destined to continue perpetually, or else have not attained their destination." They were mere transient phenomena. It would be difficult to put into language a proposition more inconsistent with geological fact. The species of the Silurian mollusca have changed, but mollusca of Silurian type abound at this hour. Evi
ence amounting almost to absolute demonstration identifies the globigerina of the Atlantic mud of to-day with the globigerina of the Cretaceous system ; and Sir Charles Lyell calculates that the Cretaceous system came to an end 80,000,000 years ago. Pronouncing the types of the past evanescent, Dr.Kurtz pronounces the types of the present permanent The creatures called into existence on the six days of Genesis, which last he holds to have been natural days, "were intended to continue, and not to perish, and their families were not to be petrified in strata, but each individual was to decay in the ordinary manner, so that their bones have mostly passed away without leaving any trace." This is a pure imagination. There is no reason to believe that the petrifactive agencies are less active at present than they were, in by-gone geological epochs. The essential and irreconcilable discrepancy, however, between the views of Dr. Kurtz and the conclusions of geology, consists in his assumption of a universal deluge, sweeping away all life, and leaving the surface of the world a tabula rasa, immediately before the appearance of man. He speaks of "a flood, which destroyed and prevented all life, and after the removal of which the present state of the earth, with its plants, animals, and man, was immediately restored." With marvellous simplicity he declares that "the only thing" he "demands," "and which no geological theory can or will deny," is that "the globe was covered with water" before the appearance of man "and the present plants and animals." There is no geologist deserving the name at present alive who would admit this proposition ; and we suppose that a large majority of living geologists would maintain that the earth has certainly not been covered with water since the time of those forests whose remains are preserved for us in Devonian strata. To name one among many proofs, the state of the fauna of the Atlantic islands, Madeira and the Desertas, demonstrates that the earth has not been enveloped by the ocean for a period compared with which Dr. Kurtz's 6,000 years dwindle into insignificance. Geology pronounces as decisively against the occurrence of a universal chaos upon earth 6,000 years ago as against the accumulation of all the strata of the earth's crust in six natural days. There is no sense recognizable by geological science
in which the word "beginning" can be applied to the condition presented by the surface of the earth at any period nearly so recent as 6,000 years ago.
According to the theory of Mosaic geology ultimately adopted by Hugh Miller, the "beginning" spoken of in the first verse of the Bible corresponds to that period when the planet, wrapt in primeval fires, was about to enter upon the series of changes which is inscribed in the geologic record. The chaos, dark and formless, which preceded the dawn of organic existence upon earth, was no temporary inundation, no miraculous catastrophe, but an actual state of things of which the evidence still exists in the rocks. Strictly speaking, indeed, the term "chaos" has no scientific meaning. Science is acquainted with no period in time, no locality in space, where there has been a general suspension of law; and it may be worthy of remark that, although Scripture speaks of the original state of things as without form and void, there is no hint that it was beyond control of Divine and ■ natural ordinance. Relatively to man, however, and to those changes in the structure and organisms of the planet which the geologist chronicles, the fiery vesture, in which advocates of the Age theory of reconciliation between Genesis and geology allege the earth to have been at one time enveloped, constitutes an interruption to all research, a commencement of all that can be called scientific discovery. If it could be shown that the first chapter of Genesis contains an intelligible and accurate account of the changes which have taken place in the crust of the earth from the time when form first rose out of formlessness, and light sprang from darkness, to the time when man began to build his cities and till his fields, no candid judge would refuse to admit that the problem presented by the chapter had been satisfactorily solved, and that the chapter itself formed a sublimely appropriate vestibule to the temple of Revelation.
Let us state Miller's conception of the meaning and scientific purport of the first chapter of Genesis in his own words :—
"What may be termed," we quote from the Testimony of the Rocks, "the three geologic days—the third, fifth, and sixth—may be held to have extended over those carboniferous periods during which the great plants were created—over those Oolitic and Cretaceous periods during which the great seamonsters and birds were created—and over those Tertiary periods during which the great terrestrial mammals were created. For the intervening, or fourth day, we have that wide space represented by the Permian and Triassic periods, which, less conspicuous in their floras than the periods that went immediately before, and less conspicuous in their faunas than the periods that came immediately after, were marked by the decline and ultimate extinction of the Palaeozoic forms, and the first partially developed beginnings of the secondary ones. And for the first and second days there remains the great Azoic period, during which the immensely developed gneisses, mica-schists, and primary clayslates were deposited, and the two extended periods represented by the Silurian and Old Red Sandstone systems. These, taken together, exhaust the geological scale, and may be named in their order as, first, the Azoic day or period ; second, the Silurian, or Old Red Sandstone day, or period; third, the Carboniferous day, or period; fourth, the Permian or Triassic day, or period; and sixth, the Tertiary day, or period."
It is important to observe that Miller here expressly fits into his scheme the work of each of the six days. In another passage he remarks that it is specifically his task, as a geologist, to account for the operations of the third, fifth, and sixth days, and this circumstance has occasioned the mistake, which has crept into so respectable a work as Smith's "Dictionary of the Bible," that he did not profess to explain the creative proceedings of the first, second, and fourth days. In the passage we have quoted he assigns to each successive day its distinctive character and work. The entire scheme, then, may be thrown into a single sentence. A beginning of formlessness and fire, indefinite in duration; a first and second day not discriminated by Miller from each other, during which light, though created, did not reach the surface of our planet, but gradually struggled through the thick enveloping canopy of steam rising from a boiling ocean; a third day, in which an enormous development of vegetable life took place, a development due in part to the warm and humid atmosphere, which no clear sunbeam could as yet penetrate; a fourth day, marked by the emergence of sun, moon, and stars in unclouded splendor, but by no striking phenomena of organic life; a fifth day, in which the most imposing features in the creative procession
were sea-monsters and birds; and a sixth day, in which huge mammals crowded the stage of existence, and man appeared. Each of these days is, of course, supposed to have occupied an indefinite number of years.
It is obviously the principle or method of this scheme of reconciliation between Genesis and geology to look for points in the Mosaic narrative which correspond with the facts revealed by geology. The words in the Scriptural account are few; are they so express, vivid, and characteristic that they epitomize, as in a Divine telegram, the geological history of millions of years? A consummate artist looks upon a face and throws a few strokes, quick as lightning, upon his canvas. The countenance seems to live. Revealings of character, which we might have required years to trace, flash on us from the eye, and chronicles of passion are written in a speck of crimson on the lip. The portrait is only a' sketch; weeks or months might be spent in elaborating its color, and perfecting its gradations of light and shade; but not the less, on this account, does it accurately correspond with the original, and show the man to those who knew him. The advocates of the Age theory of Mosaic geology maintain that, few as are the touches in the pictured history of the world in the first chapter of Genesis, the geologist can recognize them as unmistakably true to the facts of the past. The correspondence alleged to exist has been illustrated in yet another fashion. Look upon a mountainous horizon, in the far distance, on a clear day, and you perceive a delicate film of blue or pearly grey, relieved against the sky. The outline of that film, faint though it be, is, for every kind of mountain range, more or less characteristic. The horizon line of the primaries will be serrated, peaked, and jagged. The horizon line of the metamorphic hills, though fantastic, will have more of curve and undulation. The horizon of the tertiaries will be in long sweeps, and tenderly modulated, far-stretching lines. Those minute jags and points of the primaries are dizzy precipices and towering peaks. The glacier is creeping on under that filmy blue; the avalanche is thundering in that intense silence. Rivers that will channel continents and separate nation from nation bound along in foam