Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/470

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ably in hell; that there was life in the salt statue; and that it was still curious regarding its old neighbors.

Hence such travelers in the latter years of the century as Count Albert of Löwenstein and Prince Nicholas Radzivill are not at all weakened in faith by failing to find the statue; what the former is capable of believing is seen by his statement that in a certain cemetery at Cairo during one night in the year the dead thrust forth their feet, hands, limbs, and even rise wholly from their graves.

There seemed, then, no limit to these pious beliefs. The idea that there is merit in credulity, with the love of myth-making and miracle-mongering, constantly made them larger. Nor did the Protestant Reformation, which now came in, diminish them at first; it rather strengthened them and fixed them more firmly in the popular mind. They seemed destined to last forever. How they were thus strengthened at first, under Protestantism, and how they were finally dissolved away in the atmosphere of scientific thought, will be shown in the following chapter.[1]


AMONG the ancient peoples of the far East any exchange of productions was necessarily on a small scale. Means of transport were limited by land, to the backs of men and animals; and by water, to rivers and such lakes or inland seas as could be safely navigated by small and rudely constructed boats. Most commodities were raised, manufactured, and consumed within very restricted areas, with little division of labor; and excepting naturally abundant agricultural products and domestic animals were, therefore, inferior and expensive, and men could only accommodate themselves to variations in crops by lavish consumption when they were abundant, and by starvation when they were scanty. In later times, the art of navigation was so far improved as to extend trading along the shores of the Mediterranean, and eventually across it, by which means countries situated round about that great inland sea were brought into close communication with each other, a rapid advance in the arts and sciences resulted, countries hitherto little known were explored, a larger exchange of commodities was effected, and surpluses and deficits were made to bal-

  1. For Father Anselm, see his "Descriptio Terræ Sanctæ," in H. Canisius, "Thesaurus Monument. Eccles.," Basnage edition, Amsterdam, 1725, vol. iv, p. 788. For Giraudet, see his "Discours du Voyage d'Oultre Mer . . . et autres Lieux de la Terre Saincte," Paris, 1585, p. 50a. For Radziwill and Löwenstein, see the "Reyssebuch," especially p. 198a.