cosmogonic myths of the Aztecs. Probably we may reckon in the first or learned and speculative class of tales the account of a series of constructions and reconstructions of the world. This idea is not peculiar to the higher mythologies, the notion of a deluge and re-creation or renewal of things is almost universal, and even among the untutored Australians there are memories of a flood and of an age of ruinous winds. But the theory of definite epochs, calculated in accordance with the Mexican calendar, of epochs in which things were made and re-made, answers closely to the Indo—Aryan conception of successive kalpas, and can only have been developed after the method of reckoning time had been carried to some perfection. "When heaven and earth were fashioned, they had already been four times created and destroyed," say the fragments of what is called the Chimalpopoca manuscript. Probably this theory of a series of kalpas is only one of the devices by which the human mind has tried to cheat itself into the belief that it can conceive a beginning of things. The earth stands on an elephant, the elephant on a tortoise, and it is going too far to ask what the tortoise stands on. In the same way the world's beginning seems to become more intelligible or less puzzling when it is thrown back into a series of beginnings and endings. This method also was in harmony with those vague ideas of evolution and of the survival of the fittest which we have detected in myth. The various tentative human races of the Popol Vuh degenerated or were destroyed because they did not fulfil the purposes for which they were made. In
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