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The following is an extract from a letter I received from the governor of Dartmouth, A. H. Holdsworth, Esq., a man of great research and scientific attainments. I have every reason to believe that its perusal may prove interesting to some, as well as instructive to others; I offer no apology, therefore, for giving it so largely. The letter I allude to was dated Brookhill, October 15th, 1485 :".

“ MY DEAR SIR-I believe that man, as he was created, had a mind in that state of perfection which we can best understand by the term 'civilized'--that is, capable of discerning the means of gratifying every wish and providing for every want, whether bodily or intellectual, that circumstances brought upon him, until society became so corrupt that the Almighty found it necessary to destroy the whole human race, except Noah and his family, whom he preserved in the ark, and that through them the same civilized mind was transmitted to those that were born to them, and to those who descended from them; and that all the heathen nations (as they are now termed) have fallen off from that state in which their fore



fathers existed, and that as the local distance increased which divided their several families from the parent stock, so did their minds become more degraded and ignorant, until they arrived at the state in which they are now found, endued with sufficient intellect to enable them to avail themselves of the means which nature has placed around them to supply their bodily wants, but continuing from father to son in the same state of mental ignorance, and devoid of all improvement or intellectual enjoyment. I was first impressed with this view of the heathen nations from finding that the same canoes exist at this time, the same rafts or balzas are seen on the same coasts as were found there when those coasts or islands were first visited by our earliest navigators, although our own ships have been so much improved during the same space of time as to be most sensibly distinguishable.

“ These facts induced me to ask myself this question. If we can trace the same unimproved canoes through such a series of years, how happened it that ships were ever built ? How did those persons who first discovered the people possessing these canoes, get the ships which conveyed them to those distant regions? Or why should one set of men turn their canoes into ships (if our ships grew out of canoes), and other sets of men never make any improvement in theirs ? Why have not the natives of the coasts of Africa turned their canoes into ships, as well as the natives of Britain ? To solve these questions I had to trace back the history of shipping from century to century-rising and falling with the nations to which it belonged, varying in size and form as



adopted by newly civilized countries, but maintaining the same principle of construction; and when I searched from nation to nation in the Mediterranean, and thence up the Nile to Thebes, I could not find any period of time in which it did not appear that ships have existed—that is, vessels composed of ribs and planks with beams and decks, as are seen at the present day. We may pass over the more recent time and go back 1000 years before the birth of Christ. We then find Solomon with a fleet of ships in the Red Sea, and we read in the 1st of Kings* And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.' Hiram, therefore, had long possessed a fleet; and 450 years before Solomon's time we find Balaam saying—And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim and shall afflict Asshur,' from which it is clear that Balaam must have known that those whom he addressed understood what he meant by ships, or his prophecy would have been useless. But there is little doubt but that at that time there was a large fleet of ships in the Red Sea. Sesostris is said to have had about four hundred sail of war ships, with which he carried his army to the conquest of various countries down the coast, and which are represented on the walls of his palace at Thebes. The pictures on the walls of the tombs also afford much information on this subject, as well as some on the inside of mummy cases.

“ The size of these vessels is to a certain extent ascertained by the number of men which are represented within them, but more accurately by the

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models of two vessels which were found in a tomb, and brought to England by Mr. Salt. These were bought for the British Museum at the sale of his Egyptian relics.

I have measured them, and taking the figures on the deck as a scale, and calling them six feet, I make the vessel to be thirty feet long, six feet wide, and four feet deep; and when to the size is added the form, which is that of an irregular halfmoon, it is clear that such vessels could not be made out of a single tree, but must have been regularly built with ribs, planks, and beams to support the deck. And as these were said to have been found in an early tomb, it is clear to my mind that the persons who built them must have been in a state of civilization, that they had a thorough knowledge of the art, and that it affords a proof that those persons who established themselves at Thebes at a very short space of time after the Mosaic flood, had no difficulty in constructing vessels, when such machines were found necessary to them. If the facts are, as I believe them to be-viz., that the canoes of the uncivilized nations or tribes are in the same state as when first seen by our earliest navigators, and if we cannot find any trace that canoes were used by the Thebans before they constructed vessels or ships, although we can find boats or smaller vessels of different sorts existing at the same time with such ships or vessels upon the waters of the Nile, have we not a right to believe that the ship is the work of a civilized mind, and that it has been constructed where it has been required by the civilized inhabitants of our globe from the earliest periods of its existence ? Much might



be added as to the state of shipping at the various periods of history, as nations rose into eminence and fell again into obscurity, and as nations became civilized and adopted the usages of those who had preceded them in civilization; but this is not necessary to the subject at present. There are a variety of other things which are to be found equally curious and worthy of notice, indirectly connected with this subject, but leading to very different considerations; I will not, therefore, touch




“ His perlectis non puto quemquam esse qui non videat Tarsis, vel esse Hispaniam, vel Hispaniæ partem, quam Tyrii maxime frequentabant, Gades nimirum et Tartessum, in loco Ezechielis quo Tyrum ita compellat, cap. 27, v. 12. Tarsis negotiatrix tua præ copia omnium divitiarum : argento, ferro, stanno, et plumbo negotiati sunt in nundinis tuis ; cum his ipsis metallis divitem fuisse Hispaniam, et hanc illecebram Tyrios eo terrarum pellexisse, jam abunde probaverimus. Tartessus aliis est Carteia civitas prope Calpe unde initium freti Herculei, aliis insula Gades in Oceano, aliis denique insula et urbs interamna inter duo Bætis ostia, qui et ipse Tartessus dicitur ab Aristotele, Strabone, Pausania et Avieno. Inde et Straboni Tartessis est regio circa Bætis ostia. Circa hæc loca videtur fuisse Tarsis.

Quin et nomen Hebræum Tarsis potuit a Phonicibus mutari in Tartessum, vel prima geminata per

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