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Selestor's Men of Atlantis, by Clara Iza von Ravn, [1937], at

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Selestor's Men of Atlantis


Growth of an island. Its location. Physical features and peopling.

Atlantis was once a speck blown on the ocean's waves, a spot upon the foam, a floating nut that gathered to itself still other flotsam through the aeons gone and grew as all hath grown.

At first a clod of earth on which no life existed, but the birds of air found rest for weary wings, and sore distress of thirst was quenched in the low pools which caught the water from a weeping sky. Wrecked ships gave matter for its shape and size, and elements in motion added much towards the building of that ocean isle—a grain from out the granary of the deep.

Thus long it floated, sent out roots and sprays down to the coral of the deep sea bed and anchored; solid was it, not else could it have arisen from that dread wall of water in which it was engulfed.

The aeons are the builders in God's building mart, and gave it size and beauty, all that land e’er gathered or land needeth. Fairer far it was than mine * which shows its wastes of sand unsightly; blossoms on that isle were touched with rainbow tints as fair as those where ether makes the planes which ye call "Paradise."

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The seeds of fruits and trees were wafted from that land named Africa, and gems which made much wealth were once in galleys borne, and boats once torn to fragments by the wind and waves had given treasure to the ocean isle.

The gold had formed in God's great crucible where matter formeth by a method man cannot grasp but through the aeons, for no speck of time can so create that man may turn and say: "Behold the wonders of the earth and sea which have been formed in this brief span of time!"

Volcanoes there rose pointed, high, through that fixed law of earth revolvement known to them who study earthy substances. Hot from friction of a mingled soil the growth is brief and thus a passage gives throughout the cone; gasses then are formed through suction, friction of the ether and the water force and all that activates the law, or task, and liquid from the solid thus is born, as steam from the heart of solid substance forms.

The cooler surface of the earthy crust checks spreading principle and thus, condensed, the vapor rises, bursts the bonds of earth and makes a channel for the heated stone and moulten substance-lava.

Like to all growths of short duration, these volcanic mountains; brief their beauty as a Summer's morn when all is calm, before the thunder's crash bursts fully, rending face of sky, distorting, piling high its clouds of blackness.

And thus had grown Atlantis off the Western coast of Africa one long day's rowing if the winds were fair and waves beat not.

The girth of that lost land was thrice, mayhap, of this strange spot thou callest "State," * and every span was made a nest for seed, or to up-bear some

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work of man's deft art, or yet of forests grand with growth of giant trees.

It rose a jewel on the ocean's breast and not one link of land to land was cast, but he who sought the shore of alien spot must journey in the galleys pierced for oars where slaves sat dumbly rowing all the day, chained, numb with labor or went down to death with shackles smiting and with curse on lips that man dared chain his fellow-God's own son as he—the brother—who was held as slave.

The miles which lay between the isle and Africa were, by computation of the law thy nation knoweth, five hundred stadia; it none the less the refuge was for persecuted men who risked their lives in fragile barks and every refugee was welcomed to that isle.

They built them homes and throve upon its shores, for there was need of many men to till, to weave the golden reed, to build, at first but crudely, then the costly piles that crumble, crumble where the fish desport in sullen pleasure and where bright shells mark a spot within the shadows of the deep.

The verdure on the island's plains from Africa was borrowed. The people of the isle, ere reason taught or one had learned a government to form, made war upon the tribes of that great country—in that day more great than any land of earth, vast temples rose where forests crowd the soil and cities mocked the marts ye view today.

The people of Atlantis, question ye? A boat once drifted from the shore of "Italy"—then a barbarous land of murderous men who only held them higher than the brute, for those who knew them ranked them equal to the lower shape.

Such people drifted, reft of sail and oar and cast by sea upon the fertile isle remained to people and to build in time, when generations passed who owed their lives to this one boat of fishermen and maids.

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[paragraph continues] From wreck of ships that drifted there to beat, perchance, in staves upon the shore, they added to their nation, to their grain and to their flocks, which but a bleating lamb began.

The men of old Atlantis held the form of men today, save that the skull did thicker bone growth show and slanting was each forehead. Shape designed to change as ages rolled along.

Aye, beautiful the women of that race; lithe formed and pale the olive tint, nor faces black did mark the race and hair and eyes were dark as bird that croaks complaint.

A people born to look on God's great world as His fair gift must turn to Him their constant thought, and thus a people born to worship they.

Long isolation from the world doth breed much thought, and thought is builder, thus they grew a people none might rival.

With scorn ye learn my people were descended from that race begat by fishermen and wanton maids—but twain. Yet thus I speak: no shame is in my heart, for all God's creatures hold the spark of lust and only mind directeth what the lower will deems needful. Estate and name have had no place in God's creative law.

Atlantis first was peopled by the sons of they who drifted, but through the centuries came an alien horde, and yet the Government observed the purity of strain and none held power save those born on the isle, or when a custom held, by few observed, of taking foreign offspring if it pleased the mood or sight and giving birthright. This was done according to the law of priest, not King who made no laws which did conflict with old observance of his sires from the beginning—first—of Government and code of laws held sacred by the king in line unsullied.

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The traders lived apart if alien to Atlantis, such there were in numbers; a people none did love save their own kind. A crafty sect from over sea; a set of men with faces whiter far than their Atlantian lords, but in their brain was craft which knew no check if so a purpose came into that brain.

Long haired were they, with beards that flowed into their knees; their women beautiful and tender-nurtured, all unused to toil. They came from where the sun set. Western land they called "home." A race begot by zealots for a system all their own, nor brooked the customs of their neighbor lords nor yet their speech. Their language teemed in syllables, and names cut short with consonants were theirs.

Their God a unity of forces—matter typified by instinct and intelligence. They flesh abhorred as food, though as the centuries passed the custom grew to eat of flesh as the Atlantians; thus, their early whim in food forgot, they did excell in bartering meat of quality far purer than their neighbors knew or sold.

A care was theirs that animals they slew should bear the stamp of health and symmetry, for their contention was the food one ate gave to the body like condition.

They burned to God such matter as was fit—a simple sacrifice of flowers or fruit was theirs like unto the Atlantians. Their priests were men of mind, yet simple in their speech, nor arrogant like the Atlantian priests—all arrogance and consciousness of a power none should admit save in their soul.

Nay, not of theirs but of Atlantian origin the cross. A symbol in the temples to that god they designated "Ram." Aye, it was born in mind of one who woke to consciousness of God's creative force, not form, and also man's great part in distribution of the gifts of Him—the Mighty One. A crossing of God's work by man's to make a perfect whole.

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The symbol of the stars so set in form bespake God's nearness to the land He had created; they taught God's nearness and man's art to so protect that with which He had studded Earth's great plains and hills. A symbol sacred; near the Throne it brought man's consciousness, so, when the cross shone brightest all were joyous; peace and plenty it bespake.

Yea, thus it was and is unto this day; a cross betokens God's great power and man's adaptation of material given for his uses by that One who set the stars on high in form of cross.

The Atlantian language nearer thine * than any other tongue extant. Absorbing characters that learned were by man self-taught through wisdom of the soul. Aye, like unto the Greek, perhaps, in measure, for the people of those isles but spake the tongue of their ancestry—all Atlantian as they were.

The characters for speech, at first but crude, soon caught the grace of every art employed by those deft fingered people; greater far than any nation that has trod God's earth since their grand day was set.

The characters? Aye, less Greek than Magyr were they, in their infancy but crude. The picture of some object meant emotion also pictured as a human form in contact point of similarity with need, or grief or pain.

Old records hid neath sand shall yet be brought to light, absorbing men of nations near and far, which show ye all I mention; plates of metal made by skillful smith by skillful chemist's rule.

Thou asketh for proof of characters? This I show as taught me or as eye of soul beholds: A man in drunken frenzy, and all helpless first I show as

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on the tablets drawn, or cut by tempered "steel" the greater was the cup he held, the grapes full big, extolled the strength of wine which could a man subdue.

A sickness of the heart was well explained. Though man might smile to cover his intense but hidden grief, there ever rose before his eyes the image of his bleeding heart inscribed upon the tablet, or the scroll, in pictured form significant; thus was all conveyed to mind of they who sought to read.


11:* Egypt.

12:* State of Washington.

16:* English.

Next: Chapter II. The government of Atlantis. Educational methods. Peopling and customs.