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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/449

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

FEBRUARY, 1890.


 

NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

VII. COMPARATIVE MYTHOLOGY.

By ANDREW DICKSON WHITE, LL. D., L. H. D.,

EX-PRESIDENT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

PART I.

A FEW years since, Maxime Du Camp, an eminent member of the French Academy, traveling from the Red Sea to the Nile through the Desert of Kosseir, came to a barren slope covered with bowlders, rounded and glossy.

His Mohammedan camel-drivers accounted for them on this wise:

"Many years ago Hadji Abdul-Aziz, a sheik of the dervishes, was traveling on foot through this desert; it was summer; the sun was hot and the dust stilling; thirst parched his lips, fatigue weighed down his back, sweat dropped from his forehead, when looking up he saw—on this very spot—a garden beautifully green, full of fruit, and, in the midst of it, the gardener.

"'O fellow-man cried Hadji Abdul-Aziz, s in the name of Allah, clement and merciful, give me a melon and I will give you my prayers.'

"The gardener answered, 'I care not for your prayers; give me money, and I will give you fruit.'

"'But' said the dervish, 'I am a beggar; I have never had money; I am thirsty and weary, and one of your melons is all that I need.'

"'No,' said the gardener, 'go to the Nile and quench your thirst.'

"Thereupon the dervish, lifting his eyes toward heaven, made this prayer: 'O Allah, thou who in the midst of the desert didst make the fountain of Zem-Zem spring forth to satisfy the thirst