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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/126

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Part I.

writing. The same want of power to assimilate with surrounding nations. Both hating war, but reverencing their kings, and counting their chronology by dynasties exactly as the Egyptians have always done. Their religions seem wonderfully alike, and both are characterized by the same fearlessness of death, and the same calm enjoyment in the contemplation of its advent.[1]

In fact, there is no peculiarity in the old kingdom of Egypt that has not its counterpart in China at the present day, though more or less modified, perhaps, by local circumstances; and there is nothing in the older system which we cannot understand by using proper illustrations, derived from what we see passing under our immediate observation in the far East. The great lesson we learn from the study of the history of China, as bearing on that of Egypt is, that all idea of the impossibility of the recorded events in the latter country is taken away by reference to the other. Neither the duration of the Egyptian dynasties, nor the early perfection of her civilization, or its strange persistency, can be objected to as improbable. What we know has happened in Asia in modern times may certainly have taken place in Africa, though at an earlier period.

  1. By a singular coincidence, China has been suffering from a Hyksos domination of Tartar conquerors, precisely as Egypt did after the period of the Pyramid builders, and, strange to say, for about the same period—five centuries. Had the Taepings been successful, we should have witnessed in China the exact counterpart of what took place in Egypt when the first native kings of the eighteenth dynasty expelled the hated race.