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

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The flight of Prince Osiris. His Egyptian court.

Dark was the night and still, Osiris sailed. One star alone peeped out from somber clouds.

"A star of destiny we follow; guarding eye of god," spake she, the virgin wife of him, Osiris. For thus he swore, that but as sister she, until the land was reached which yet his kingdom in the future days might be, was this young bride, the beauteous one whose name has died to history.

Not she the "goddess" did become, but one who lived and died and lived again and left no trace, no name save in the hearts of them who loved her.

"Aye, the star! perchance the eye of god we follow," spake the all-appointed king, the banished prince—the father of a line so kingly that the world did speak with awe the names of sons and of descendants all adown the line of Egypt's monarchs.

This was he who drew his barques, who pitched his tents upon the shore where Philae stands, ye call. And near the spot the men of origin from out the clouds—the first created man forms abode nor yet attempted war.

Great trunks of cypress shut the sun from faces dark, and eyes that blazed with feeling looked with awe—with pity, too, upon the son of him who for a beauteous face cast off the bloom of kingly tree. Yet kingly blood will bubble in the fount and raise itself in any land. No clime can make it sluggish, bow to taint nor sink to level of the lowly born.

Aamhotep? He was a prince who set to war a fleet at his command. All men then bowed in honor

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to the high born one who drew first breath in chambers of the king. For old Osiris claimed, as soul to soul, a sister, born in wedlock, passing fair and born in that same hour as he.

And when Osiris—king the first—did wed, the sister also laid her snowy hand in that of consort—brother of the queen who lived a life of sweet content and died with blessings on her lips, and swore the king, her lord, that he would never wed, but keep her line unsullied, centered in the son first born to them—Osiris—named as then the custom was for father—that old king who did break his oath and wed, alas! the pagan woman—she of that lost race who won contempt for deeds so foully done that all looked with alarm when men of her strange land drew nigh.

Aamhotep? brave and true and tender he. A maid he wed with eyes of that rare hue, in that young age of earth, the eyes which catch their color from the sky. And she a waif of ocean cast ashore in shattered barque, a royal barge emblazoned; brave with many a spear, and head of bear, and claw of wolf, the banner token of the North.

And lashed to swivel-bench of slave, wrapped close in robe of fleece with gems, the infant lay in arm all stiff in death's fell bonds!—An arm that, hung with jewels, showed in wondrous shape and texture pure the blood of kings, mayhap, froze in the inert veins.

One gem on that white, burdened arm alone was worth a monarch's crown—one massive emerald that shone, and still doth shine if but the light of day could strike it fair, but hid in mummy's breast it lies.

The child of sea, as sacred thing, esteemed was held in royal nursery. Her youth the childhood of her kind who drank of pleasure and content. No

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daughters blessed the home of king Osiris. Sons but three to him were early born. And she, the winsome, flax-haired maid, blue eyed, a thing of lands where ice prevailed and storms blew fierce with cruel sting, was held as treasure. Sacred she as gift from gods indeed.

And young Aamhotep in his early youth did love and long to wed her. The king but smiled: "In infancy," he spake, "I wed in thought, and by the law of Custom, the son of her—mine other—sister—half—and this strange god-sent creature born 'mid elements I ne’er beheld. Blessed be thy union, O my sister's son, with this loved, radiant one."

And blessed indeed was that strange tie—the child of frost and snow, the castaway of elements, and he, the child of fire, the son of forty lords in line so plainly marked none could dispute his claim.

And in their union winter met with summer's fierce and fervid glow, and unto other souls in line they gave their fire, their pride, their calmness and their grace—all that the sons of kings might claim. And loved was Aamhotep of that young prince and kinsman, Osiris. Nor enmity was there, the twain between, so long as breath did animate each body.

Usertsen second was in naval fleet. A minister of state, his sire, well wed and well endowed with golden grains, and slaves and stately home. His children like the buds about the rose. Twelve sons, three daughters clustered 'round the knee of one who seemed a bride as yet when he, the elder son, Usertsen, gave voice and claimed the robe a mother's hand alone might weave.

A valiant man was Usertsen. Born a power who brought to Egypt battle lore, and caused the Nile to broaden at command and by the work of slaves full forty score.

He later waged upon the land called Assyria bitter

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war; drove from its plains the kindred, people of that queen who, being queen, brought deep disgrace upon the fairest name Atlantis knew, the bravest king, the kindest heart that ever beat in monarch's breast. Still others of that fleeing band did win great names among the tribes who sought the state of war.

Great names through skill as artisans or builders did they win. One indeed had planned the building of the king's own palace in far Atlantis—a pile of marble, golden, fluted harp in fountain set adorned. The columns of that palace were like the palm and palm indeed in seeming. Notched marble at the base, but upwards, broader grown, took color from the native tree in jasper, a stone from land afar in merchant galleys brought unto Atlantis.

The dome created by his skill showed Moon and Stars—the Pleiades, Orion, Mars the worshipped one, and other sparks of ether there shone down. And in the center of one mighty dome in temple old, well builded, rose and always rose the sun in waves of rare sardonyx; sun of gold and other burnished metal casting out such sheen that Sun indeed it seemed.

Great garlands twined about the columns’ base; the grape with beryl splendor, riper yet, the dusky marble. Leaves of jade in spar mocked nature. All so well was wrought, the leaves did seem to wave at touch of wind across the sea. The selfsame sea that sweeps above and not at base of columns on this day!

The selfsame sea that bore the barques that night; the barques assembling far to sea, as Day, new born, cast her first faint line across the glistening waves in one great fleet, defying stern pursuit.

From northern point of Atlantis floated they. Some from the south, some west, and all intent on one great purpose—fleeing from their homes to

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build a nation unto him, the rightful heir to that stern, dotard king who was thrust from out the palace of his birth to taste humiliation.

To taste humiliation! he, the son of kingly line! and she, the foreign queen, the early slave of one who sold her to a throne, brought forth another son to him—the lord she loathed. Behold! the wailing cry of that young child—"usurper, hated thing" the people called—filled loud the ears of that old, dotard sire when island kingdom melted, palace sunk to deeps and she—the loved, the won by loss of soul, sunk down in waves' embrace.

The luster of her braided hair befouled with slime! Her white hands grasping sand! Her jewels mocking eyes of monstrous things that soon would batten on the beauteous dead!

The sea doth sparkle, sun-smote, as I tell the tale.

I turned from picture of the hastening barques. The barques of men who stern, intent, had but one object to complete; thought not of home; thought not of ease nor luxury which fed the sense. They thought alone of him, their prince bereft, and minds leaped out to future years and drank of joy, of freedom and of power for him who soon would challenge all the world, they spake.

The women of that land were brave, as well. They hushed the cry of peevish child with words so stern that in the future years it still remembered. "Hush! hush, my child! ’tis well; we journey from oppression. He, our king, sits yonder in his galley, and our thoughts are pleasant poems, for they ring to tunes of other kingdoms over which he reigns."

And even the slaves smiled slowly, worn with toil, for haste had sore impelled.

"Our king is young and beautiful," they sang.

“Our king is brave.

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“We journey to that land which soon shall know his power as king.”

Osiris, father, in his island palace spake all lightly as the eyes of her, the temptress, sought his face—the subtle woman with ten thousand wiles: "He hath departed! stole he out at night and seeks, perchance, a land afar. And others go; his friends, his allies. The son of her, our sister loved, our chancellors; the priests who prayed, condemned or yet abode content to listen to the music's plaint nor exercise their minds with matters grave.

"Depart they like the rovers of the sea! I call not back these rebels of my line. 'The world is wide,' they speak—the sages who from far appear through stress of elements. Ah! well! I seek no wider world than is contained within the walls of this, thy chamber, sweet. Let them depart!"

And so his galleys idly swung to play of chains. The slaves slept deeply or deeply quaffed the malted draught or juice of grape, and lovers met and mated, aired their woes; the old died, young were born and Life and Time and atoms of the air all moved to Law.


But thrice three years did pass ere sunk the island home. Egypt already had become a power in war, for certain mighty tribes adhered to young Osiris’ rule ere sunk Atlantis. This the old king learned and knew the power his son had gained.

A city sprung as though from magic touch beside the Nile and to it came "barbarians," in that day, and others learned from the misty west, and from the plains which then did teem with life and energy.

And thus the court of young Osiris bore a dignity, a power and Fame already marked it. Known was it to people of the North. Aye, thrice three years,

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ye call the circles which the sun doth breed, had passed when Nature rent the spot within the bosom of the southern sea and forth belched baleful motion, terror, scourge, and all engulfed went forth the souls from form.

This they in Egypt read through stress and flames which lit the sky. From planet's vortex vast a tale of horror sprang. "They go, alas! We live," they spake. "The world doth spell but happiness for us, and ours, at last."

Ah, Philae, thou art but an island spot upon the sluggish or yet swifter stream, yet in the past, all dim to history lost, thou wast the birthplace of mine ancient sires, who sleep ’neath sand that drifts and drifts to tune of desert winds, and jackal's screams, and shadows chase across the spot where feet of emperors trod all stately!

Philae was rent from shore by slaves who cut the rock, cut sod and made a channel where no water ran before. In carven casket midst the mouldering specks of husk shall be revealed thy history ere this hand that pens is stilled, and Earth may read what once the sun hath witnessed; message old, dug from the earth, and written by the hand of him who held the scepter first to Egypt known, Osiris—king!

Aye, was Egypt peopled when prince Osiris sought her shore. Peopled by the descendants of a race of men who collected knowledge by the mind alone. No graven language held, save marks to warn. This race did pre-exist Atlantian age; full 5000 years before the fishermen did reach Atlantis’ shore. I give thee not the number of the years exact, because no measure for the state of day or week or years exists, and thus no records may appear.

Yet that great race, impelled by store of thought, held well a line of sages, if ye will, who read the law from memory as ’twas held for many years. Made

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records of events through will and mind and stored them in the brains of chosen ones.

Old men taught younger. At an early age, called ten, the boy was learned in all secret thoughts and thus his training was a source of help and safety to the country. Great circles did uprear upon the sands which bordered on the Nile at overflow—the time, they argued, when the thoughts of men flowed freest.

Thus they read the law—"all nature at its flood."

Aye, men in circles sat and pondered long. Brought from the ether streams of knowledge, which may be drawn by all if well is understood the law. This law perfected they, and so they spake "Another word hath come to me."

The sages numbered many hundreds. Tribes of sturdy men held sway upon the steppes where desert sands now drift, not sea then as contended. But all verdure clothed and fruit in clusters grew by every pool and blossoms sprung, amid the grass so long and green that waved as waves the sea.

Yea, many learned the method—to contain the secrets of a nation—Secrets held as life is held, all dearly; told to none save in the council talk. The youths appointed to this sacred task were held in bonds from birth, nor spake to women more. Nor yet to men save on the sacred themes. But learning, teaching, made the sum of life to these.

Thus was the history of the comet handed down the line till men who learned to build, not dig their homes, had caught the history and emblazoned on stone, or skin, in crevice of the rock it lay fair hidden when my sires from Atlantis came.

I tell the tale as told to me. I read it not. The records lost to all save in tradition as some hint in history gave. Yea, world of disintegration. Comet, to thee, is but a ball of ether, yet the central core,

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solidified and casting out of gasses sometimes loses in shock the central force of rock and thus it falls to earth.

The "world" which made destruction on the steppes was but a comet force drawn in the vortex of an older globe, akin to Moon but greater in its bulk. It fell not all on Earth, else it were here no more as Earth, but mass of molten strata. For, to vortex drawn, it made a wall far out of man's research, yet such exists.

"The nether world," ye speak. Aye, so it be; beneath this world of thine is massed a shapeless, formless mass or matter-dead. The drift, the flux, the substance of no name, which sways at times in vapor of the ether bulk, yet all unseen so far and far it lies.

Next: Chapter XIV. The death of Prince Osiris’ bride—Albirothisis