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designated any of the personages who figure in the Maya books as does Dr. P. Schellhas,' and after him many whose name is legion, who pretend to be authorities on Maya palæography, the god with the banded face,' the god with the long nose,' etc., instead of giving each his proper title, such as Ppa and Uacach, which are plainly written in the ornaments that adorn these anthropomorphic personifications of the forces and phenomena of nature.
They assert that their god with the long nose' is the 'god of rain,' disdaining to take heed of the broad hint as to who he is, given by the author of the Dresden Codex on the lower division of plate lxv. of his work, where he represents Uacach paddling a canoe, under which a big fish is figured swimming in the ocean. May we be allowed to ask on what occasion the 'god of rain' had to paddle his own canoe, and when big fishes swam in the clouds?
"It may truthfully be said that a very great part of what has been published in modern times on the subject of Maya writings can only be ranked with comic literature, though not very amusing either. Even the beautifully printed papers of the Smithsonian Institution, on the subject, are as meaningless as they are pretentious; and I challenge any Americanist, authorized or not authorized, to disprove this assertion.
"I will add: more than any of those who have followed in his wake on the road opened by him, the learned Abbé was competent and well prepared to surmount the difficulties with which it is strewn. His knowledge of the Maya as well as of the Quiché, a cognate tongue; his acquaintance with the lore and traditions of the Indians of Rabinal, in the moun'Schellhas, P., Die Maya Handschrift der Köliglichen Bibliothek zu Dresden, p. 149.
tains of Guatemala; his sojourn among the Quichés and the Mams to whom he administered the rites of the Catholic Church, and preached in their own vernacular, besides his many other scholastic attainments-I repeat, qualified him preeminently for undertaking the interpretation of the Maya texts. He erred in letting his imagination and his preconceived opinions blind his judgment. But who on earth is perfect? To err is human. Did not his self-appointed judges err when they condemned him because he dared say that the Troano contained the narratives of geological events? Yet the learned Abbé was right in so saying; and they were wrong in presuming to pass an opinion on what they did not know, and do not even at present. Whilst disapproving his translation, it was their duty to point out where it was incorrect. Have they done this? No! Why not? Because they themselves are unable to interpret the Maya texts, and are ignorant of their meaning.
"Instead of accusing him of having impeded the study of Maya palæography, they should have thanked him for having made known the existence of Maya books in Europe in our day. These books had been preserved in libraries, private and public, since they were sent to Charles V., and presented to him in 1520 by Dn. Francisco de Montejo, the conqueror of Yucatan, and Porto Carrero, by order of Hernando Cortez, whose companions in arms they were. No one knew in what language they were written, nor to what kind of alphabet the characters belonged, until Brasseur recognized them as being similar to those preserved by Landa in his work 'Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan,' which had remained unpublished in the library of the 'Royal Academy of History' in Madrid. Brasseur again unearthed it from beneath the coating of dust
where it had lain for more than three centuries, and in 1860 had it printed. Is not that alone sufficient to cause his memory to be respected by all students of American archæology?” My interlocutor, who had been listening with manifest impatience to my just panegyric of the learned Abbé, interrupted me and exclaimed: "Do not speak so, or you will kill your own reputation and lose the fruits of your own labors; all authorized Americanists will condemn you as they have Brasseur."
"Indeed! Well, sir, they are welcome to do it; that is, when they can do it knowingly. Meanwhile, before they pronounce their sentence, let them remember the words of Themistocles to the over-hasty Eurybiades: 'STRIKE, BUT HEAR ME!'
NOTE XVI. (Pages 132, 133.)
(7) This custom of carrying children astride the hip still prevails in Yucatan, as it does in India ("Buddaghosha Parables,' translation by H. T. Rogers, R.E.) and other places where we find Maya customs and traditions.
(1) Landa, "Las Cosas de Yucatan " (p. 236): "El primer dia del año desta gente era siempre a xvi dias de nuestro mes de Julio, y primero de su mes de Popp."
Champollion Figeac, "Egypte " (p. 336): " Or pendant plus de trois mil ans avant l'ère chrétienne et quelques siècles après cette belle étoile (Sirius) s'est levée le même jour fixe en Egypte (parallèle moyen) un peu avant le soleil (lever héliatique) et ce jour a été le 20 Juillet de notre calendrier Julien."
Censorius, "De die Natali," says that the canicula in Egypt regularly rises on the first of Thoth, that corresponded to the 20th of July, 1322 B.C.
Porphyry says "that the first day of the month Thoth and of the year are fixed in Egypt by the rising of Sothis, or Dogstar."
NOTE XVII. (Page 124.)
(2) During the reconstruction of the temple of Jerusalem, under the reign of Josiah, on a certain morning the High Priest Hilkiah, in the year 621 B.C., told Shapham, a scribe, that he had found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. Shapham took the book and presented it to the king, who named a committee to go and consult the prophetess Huldah regarding the genuineness of the book. She, wise woman that she was, not wishing to make an enemy of Hilkiah, gave an evasive answer, that, however, satisfied the king, who, it seems, was not of a very critical turn of mind. The prevalent opinion at the beginning of the Christian era, regarding the authorship of the Pentateuch, was that Moses never wrote the book. (Clementine, Homily, II., § 51; Homily, VIII., § 42.)
NOTE XVIII. (Page 127.)
(1) Henry Grose, "Voyage in the East Indies" (chap. vii., p. 95): "Elephanta Island, near Bombay, contains cave temples so old that there is no tradition as to who made them. There are paintings round the cornices that, for the beauty and freshness of the coloring, not any particularity in the design, call the attention; which must have lasted for some thousands of years, on supposing it, as there is all reason to suppose it, contemporary with the building."