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168 GOG AMD MA GOG.
but, when within sight of the magic islands, were driven back by contrary winds.
* Gog and Magog stand in London Guildhall, though much diminished in stature, to suit the English muscles that had to bear them in processions, monuments of the praeternatural size attributed to the enemies which the Aryan race encountered in its great westward migrations. Even to-day, when the progress of civilisation is harassed by untamed Scythian hordes, how strangely fall upon our
ears the ancient legends and prophecies concerning them
In the Koran it is related of Dhulkarnein – He journeyed from south to north until he came between the two mountains, beneath which he found a people who could scarce understand what was said. And they said, O Dhulkarnein, verily Gog and Magog waste the land; shall we, therefore, pay thee tribute, on condition that thou build a rampart between us and them He answered, The power wherewith my Lord hath strengthened me is better than your tribute; but assist me strenuously and I will set a strong wall between you and them. . . . Wherefore when this wall was finished, Gog and Magog could not scale it, neither could they dig through it. And Dhulkarnein said, This is a mercy from my Lord ; but when the prediction of my Lord shall come to be fulfilled, he will reduce the
wall to dust.’ * Ezekiel xxxix.
THE IMPRISOAVED GAAAWTS. 169
The terror inspired by these barbarians is reflected in the prophecies of their certain irruption from their supernaturally-built fastnesses; as in Ezekiel:— Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, Thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, Thou and all thy bands, And many people with thee; and in the Koran, “Gog and Magog shall have a passage open for them, and they shall hasten from every high hill;" and in the Apocalypse, “Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them in battle : the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.' Five centuries ago Sir John Maundeville was telling in England the legend he had heard in the East. “In that same regioun ben the mountaynes of Caspye, that men clepen Uber in the contree. Betwene the mountaynes the Jews of Io lynages ben enclosed, that men clepen Gothe and Magothe: and they mowe not gon out on no syde. There weren enclosed 22 kynges, with hire peple, that dwelleden betwene the mountayns of Sythe. There King Alisandre chacede hem betwene the mountaynes, and there he thought for to enclose hem thorghe work of his men. But when he saughe that he might not doon it, ne bringe it to an ende, he preyed to God of Nature, that he wolde performe that that he had begoune. And all were it so, that he was a Payneme, and not worthi to ben herd, zit God of his grace closed the mountaynes to gydre: so that thei dwellen there, all fast ylokked and enclosed with highe mountaynes all aboute, saf only on o Syde; and on that syde is the See of Caspye.’
IN their adoration of rain-giving Indra as also a solar majesty, the ancient Hindus seem to have been fully aware of his inconsistent habits. ‘Thy inebriety is most intense,” exclaims the eulogist, and soothingly adds, “Thou desirest that both thy inebriety and thy beneficence should be the means of destroying enemies and distributing riches.’" Against famine is invoked the thunderbolt of Indra, and it is likened to the terrible Tvashtri, in whose fearful shape (pure fire) Agni once appeared to the terror of gods and men.” This Tvashtri was not an evil being himself, but, as we have seen, an artificer for the gods similar to Vulcan ; he was, however, father of a three-headed monster who has been identified with Vritra. Though these early worshippers recognised that their chief trouble was connected with 'glaring heat’ (which Tvashtri seems to mean in the passage just referred to), Indra's celebrants beheld him superseding his father Dyaus, and reigning in the day's splendour as well as in the cloud's bounty. This monopolist of parts in their theogony * “Rig-Veda," iv. 175, 5 (Wilson). * Ibid., i. 133, 6.
FAMINE AND SUAV-SPOTS. 171
anticipated Jupiter Pluvius. Vedic mythology is pervaded with stories of the demons that arrested the rain and stole the cloud-cows of Indra—shutting them away in caves, and the god is endlessly praised for dealing death to such. He slays Vritra, the “rain-arresting, and Dribhika, Bala, Urana, Arbuda, “devouring Swasna,” “unabsorbable Süshna, Pipru, Namuchi, Rudhikrá, Varchin and his hundred thousand descendants;" the deadly strangling serpent Ahi, especial type of Drouth as it dries up rivers; and through all these combats with the alleged authors of the recurring Barrenness and Famine, as most of these monsters were, the seat of the evil was the Sungod's adorable self Almost pathetic does the long and vast history appear just now, when competent men of science are giving us good reason to believe that right knowledge of the sun, and the relation of its spots to the rainfall, might have covered India with ways and means which would have adapted the entire realm to its environment, and wrested from Indra his hostile thunderbolt — the sunstroke of famine. The Hindus have covered their lands with temples raised to propitiate and deprecate the demons, and to invoke the deities against such sources of drouth and famine. Had they concluded that famine was the result of inexactly quartered sun-dials, the land would have been covered with perfect sun-dials; but the famine would have been more destructive, because of the increasing withdrawal of mind and energy from the true cause, and its implied answer. Even so were conflagrations in London attributed to inexact city clocks; the clocks would become perfect, the conflagrations more numerous, through misdirection of vigilance. But how much wiser are we of Christendom than the Hindus 2
* “Rig-Veda,” vi. 14.
They have adapted their country perfectly for propitiation of famine-demons that do not exist, at a cost which would long ago have rendered them secure from the famine-forces that do exist. We have similarly covered Christendom with a complete system of securities against hells and devils and wrathful deities that do not exist, while around our churches, chapels, cathedrals, are the actually-existent seething hells of pauperism, shame, and crime. “Nothing can advance art in any district of this accursed machine-and-devil-driven England until she changes her mind in many things.’ So wrote John Ruskin recently. Of course, so long as the machine toils and earns wealth and other power which still goes to support and further social and ecclesiastical forms, constituted with reference to salvation from a devil or demons no longer believed in, the phrase “machine-and-devil-driven” is true. Until the invention and enterprise of the nation are administered in the interest of right ideas, we may still sigh, like John Sterling, for ‘a dozen men to stand up for ideas as Cobden and his friends do for machinery.' But it still remains as true that all the machinery and wealth of England devoted to man might make its every home happy, and educate every inhabitant, as that every idolatrous temple in India might be commuted into a shield against famine. Our astronomers and economists have enabled us to see clearly how the case is with the country whose temples offer no obstruction to christian vision. The facts point to the conclusion that the sun-spots reach their maximum and minimum of intensity at intervals of eleven years, and that their high activity is attended with frequent fluctuations of the magnetic needle, and increased rainfall. In 1811, and since then, famines in India have, with one