As antedating the reign of Rai Gwauxln, attention is called to a period of time embracing four thousand three hundred and forty years, inclusive of the main events of Poseid history. This interval, notwithstanding its long duration, had been singularly free from internecine wars, and, while not wholly unmarked by martial events, was certainly more peaceful than any subsequent world-epoch of equal length occurring within the one hundred and twenty centuries whose lapse furnishes the incidents of this history.
At the initial date of the period referred to, the Poseidi, a powerful, numerous race of mountaineers, semi-civilized at best, but of splendid physique, had swept down "like the wolf " and had, in many sanguinary contests, finally conquered the pastoral people of the plains, the Atlantides. The war was long and fierce, consuming years in its duration. The admirable valor of the hill-tribes found almost its equal in the
desperate courage of their primitive foe; one body of combatants fought for fife and, like the Sabines, for the preservation of their women against capture by mate-seeking tribes, while the other warred for conquest and, like the Romans, for wives. It was superior strategy which finally gave victory to the Poseid hosts.
As time went on, racial coalition obliterated all distinctions, so that the union resulted in producing earth's greatest nation. Inconsequential civil wars had several times made a change of political complexion, so that Poseid had seen itself governed by absolute autocrats, by oligarchic and by the theocratic rule, by masculine and by feminine rulers, and at last by a republican monarchial system, of which Rai Gwauxln was the head, when I lived as Zailm, in Atlantis.
Gwauxln was of a long line of honorable ancestors, and his house had several times furnished successful candidates whom the people had placed on the throne, during the seven centuries that the present political system had ruled.
Such is the synopsis of the history of Poseid which I gathered from a volume drawn from the Agacoe library. I might relate other scenes, other features, of that long historic period, and show how Poseid came to found great colonies in North and South America, and in those three great remnants of Lemuria, of which Australia is but the one-third left to the world by that cataclysm which sunk Atlantis; also of how Atl founded certain large colonies in eastern Europe at an age when there was no western Europe, and in parts of Asia and Africa. But I will not do so here, although by and by reference will be made to our Umauran possessions, when such reference is relevant to the subject-matter of this history.
Fatigued with late reading in the absorbing history, I arose and went out into the quiet ravine in which our abode was situated, and my tired eyes rested upon a scene which in the glorious moonlight was one of fairy-like beauty.
In the bed of the ravine, quite near, was a miniature lake, but none the less a lake in seeming, because it was in fact only
a good-sized pond. Bits of shore, then steep banks, flower-hidden; the song of the nossuri, and the calls of various other birds and furry-folk of the night-time, intermingled with the soft plash of falling water, the voice of the cascade which fed this lacustrine gem. Somewhere out of the night came the sound of flutes and harps and viols in harmony, rising in swelling cadence or lulling with dreamy languor, as the light breeze rose or fell. Over all shimmered the silvery rays of Nosses, round as a shield in her soft brilliancy, and oh! so beautiful! Presently, I turned from the lake, and looked down the ravine along which a few people were yet moving, despite the lateness of the hour, the fourteenth since the beginning of the day at meridian. Here and there the gleaming white rays of householders' lamps were observable, shining from underneath some seeming ledge, revealing the presence of quaint windows or doorways. But not on these did I gaze over long. I could not, with the wonderful Maxt, the greatest tower of human construction in the world, rising in the perspective. In the very mouth of the canon it seemed to ascend, with nothing between itself and me to interfere with the view. Although apparently near, it was in truth over a mile away from my dwelling.
In this year A. D., 1886, chemists count the process costly which produces the metal, aluminum. In that day, forces arising from the Night-Side rendered inexpensive the production of any metal which might be found in nature, either native, or as an ore. As it might be done to-day didst thou but know how, and that day is not far off when thou wilt again uncover the knowledge, so, in that time, we transmuted clay, first raising its atomic speed so that it became white light of a pale illuminating power and then reducing it to the, so to speak, chemical "mile-post" of aluminum, and this at a cost not nearly so great as in this modern day it takes to get iron from its ores. The mines of native metals, as gold, silver, copper, and so on, were valuable then, as now, requiring no processing save smelting. But a metal which might be obtained from any ledge of slate rock, or a bed of clay, was so inexpensive as to be the chief base metal in use.
Of aluminum was the giant tower of the Maxt constructed. I could see its base from where I stood, an enormous cube of masonry, then the superstructural round shaft of solid metal of the tower proper, a dully white, tapering column, lit by lunar rays. From base upward, my gaze traveled until it rested on the top, an apical point nearly three thousand feet in height. Entranced by this crowning triumph of the scene, I gazed at the heaven-piercing shaft; sentinel over the garden city, warding off the lightnings, when the lord of thunder was abroad; and all my thought was of its grandeur, and its majestic beauty.
"How often, oh, how often,
In the days that have gone by-"
I have stood and gazed on some scene of loveliness, or of sublimity--handiwork of God, or possibly of man--God in man! And, as I have looked, my soul sang with praise, and my breath was the breath of inspiration. Always in such an experience, the soul, be it that of man or beast, takes an advance step. However much a soul may be steeped in sin or misery, synonymous terms, an inspiration breaks over it, and bears away a little of its sordidness, a little of its pain and fever.
So, therefore, the glories and marvels of Atlantis the Great were not in vain. Thou and I, reader, lived then, and before then. The glories of those long-dead centuries seen by us have lived enshrined in our souls, and made us much, aye, most, of what we are, influenced our acts, soothed us with their beauty. What, then, though the forms of the dim, mysterious past are effaced from all existence save in the record of the great book of life, the soul? Their influence lives, and forever. Shall we not, then, strive that our labors may ennoble, may live in soul and in spirit, and be looked back upon by ourselves and others, even as I, here, look back upon the record of my dead, but ever-living, past? It is a great joy thus to have attained the eminences of the spirit which enable me to scan the history of lives from which I passed through the portal of the grave; lives which now I am returned to gaze upon through the eyes of a different personality, a personality strung, greatest one of a
chain, like pearls upon a thread, teaching me I AM I! Smoky, some of these pearls; black, others, or white or pink, aye, some are even red! Could tears add to their number, I would have more.; oh! so many more, for the white ones are so few, and the smoky, the black and the red, so many. But my pearl of great price is my last life. Of white is it, and by my Master was it cut cruciform. When He gave it me, He said, "It is done." Verily so! It marks the junction of finity with infinity. So is it the period set to all time, for me, save I elect.