In these Cherokee practices the lamentations and the invocations of the Old Woman of the Corn resemble the ancient Egyptian customs of lamenting over the first corn cut and calling upon Isis, herself probably in one of her aspects an Old Woman of the Corn.
Each of these are descended from, or changed from, more ancient, and therefore more mystic, deities of the earth and heaven, and of a finer element of æther supposed to be beyond the heavens;* but at this time we find the four quite definite, both in their kingdoms and in their personalities.
Moscow is beautiful, poetic, sympathetic, and pervaded by an atmosphere of ancient Russia, which is indescribable, though it penetrates to the marrow of one's bones if he tarry long within her walls.
The ancient edifice, which had lasted for eleven hundred and forty-five years, had been threatening to fall in about 1440, and Nicholas V, artistic forerunner of Julius II and Leo X, had had it pulled down, together with the temple of Probus Anicius which adjoined it.
Argos, the capital of Ar'golis, is generally considered the most ancient city of Greece; and its reputed founding by In'achus, a son of the god O-ce'anus, 1856 years before the Christian era, is usually assigned as the period of the commencement of Grecian history.
It is this statue which immigrants, on their way to Ellis Island, are wont to apostrophise. To contemplate it is, we are told, to know the true meaning of life, to taste for the first time the sweets of an untrammelled freedom. No sooner does M. Bartholdi's beneficent matron smile upon you, than you cast off the chains of an ancient slavery.
All friendship is preferring the interest of a friend, to the neglect, or, perhaps, against the interest of others; so that an old Greek said, "He that has FRIENDS has NO FRIEND." Now Christianity recommends universal benevolence, to consider all men as our brethren, which is contrary to the virtue of friendship, as described by the ancient philosophers.
Incidents like this go far to destroy the "ancient grudge" which some Americans have against Britain because a century and a half ago a foolish British King and a still more foolish set of advisers treated British subjects overseas in an absolutely un-British way.
I have to contend, besides, with hunger and thirst, with a tempestuous sea, full of dangerous monsters, and with the ardour of a burning sun, which is not the least of our enemies. Covered with ancient scars and fresh wounds, which I have no means of dressing, it is physically impossible for me to save myself from this extreme danger, if it should be prolonged for a few days."
The practical and devotional prevailed. Humanism was for a time shut out. There was more room for it in the Roman Church than among Protestants. Again, the Renaissance itself had been not so much an era of discovery of a new intellectual and spiritual world. It had been, rather, the rediscovery of valid principles of life in an ancient culture and civilisation.