READING LETTERS WRITTEN
4500 YEAI SAGO JL:V
Dr. Langdon of the Uni
versity of Pennsylvania
Museum is finding some
remarkable documents on
clay tablets dug out of
Babylonian ruins. An in
teresting light has been
shed on this ancient civil
ization of the Mystic East
i t li tll t ,lil ! , t lttllt t ' t 2."l'I l .I I. ( '. tookl
NI (\\ n f il' th y'L sl m1 u 1.,U((iyo ''1II \,, Le, h Wl i te r "v.
•i nl - tiuht flithe ,nes 11 1m which li t.he
nlic.ht ilfli i the 1rtaint <com n !li
To his wif le lt, VaIh little hi in
s. l:ltel , :ilid s.rut:t ls fhl it g1"att
styschl s'l tell li tt .1' i l: "Itl s'ved ;l thy
of 1ines1 st : Ti hy ixttrn I n etits .eiii on. 'illt
the p tini ortf 111t 11. lWo h 1 l" thy sla\e is ri e tln
illg Without the sheikels thou so bra:zenliy hulst de
liinded. 'Ever thy devtad hsilief(ii d."
Or, to a slave overseer \\lo hal wit wiily lor
nw11ittilgly done hill in tne hiusehlhl d(eal, the
st lused in ht hastli "It s with sorrowf that thyl
stupidity is b e bornee up in 'on our cos. Thcious
thee, thoo art not worth .three Ihkls a '."
hih is problestingy whlot a sdeciphe'ri foof cst tbletn.
This, being accodin tohed by Dr. Stephen \ in the
New York in Stember nti Ofor, ngl, to:
.1be curator ofts, the greBablonit n (ltvis of tablet reni-s
duers up ity of Pennsyootlania mueu i n rece ilnt years and
leaned and decipyoung mer shtill, s eso ma only little fn
liiving arho has seen and htouch le d all the n abthousndance
of letter writiheg n byll University ofder the sunns
that the possibility of the existence of epistolary
guides then mustained borne upon our conscious
An interesting lot of deciphering of such tablets
is being accomplished by Dr. Stephen Lharatersngdon,
who came in September ftwn Oxford, England, to
be curator of the Babylonian division of the Uni
versity of Pennsylvania museum in Pad spot, America hiadelphia.
He is a young man still, but he is the only man
living who has seen and handled all the thousands
of tablets unearthed by University of Pennsyl
vania museum expeditions above the city of Nit
purones, both those retained by the authorities at Cogue
the colletion, and those sent to Philadelphias
There are only about 15 men in the world who
can read Sumerian and Babylonian characters,
and he is one of them. Thanks to the war, which
has left Oxford a dull, dead spot, America has se
cured him for one year. He will decipher as many
as possible of the thousands of tablets that have
been cleaned at the Univer tabeity of Pennsylvania
museum, will publish translations of all important
ones, now or later, and will classify and catalogue
the collection, a stupendous task.
In 2500 B. C. papyrus and paper for writing
were unknown. o en scratched with a pointed
steel instrument called a stylus on unbaked red
clay tablets of various sizes, mostly abcopyingout the
size, shape and thickness of a small book. They
wrote on lboth sides, and then, if they were not
through. ontinued on archives of ther tableter. The analogy
of these tablets to shey mighets of paper is not hard tablets
comprehend. Sometimes a id tale stops in the mid
pamphdle and the next tablet on which it was contmrinued
In the temples scribes were, lso, great ilbusyrl copying old
agrpiecs of literaultural ne to hand down to poenters, nl ity,
kepust vas lat numer monks spdcunt their days andto theseir
varnightous copyinterestsg laboriously and preserving ol
books for the archives of the been fmonastery. Therin
a library-netes of clittle rows and stples of clay books.rrie
Men diggt for innumg 5,000 years later thmve found theml
and other men have spent their lives in studying
them, tha timekeepers'they might tell us whatof the teablets say.t
The books counts.ver a wide field and comprise ode.
thatepics, rel big nkiousn houymns, dictd businres, scientifiche
cipamphlets. The old Babylonian and Sumerrsn
iThe grelit bulk of the ablets have been found
on the site of the ancient temple of Nippur in
oabylonia. This temple a t 1)oth a religious
centerand a collegie temeslnd primarily for the
eduantion of priests, but the range of textbooks
unearthed there shower that instruction began at a
eprimare stage nn continpued through elementtrry
and gimmarg adcsn to the regulantion college
acourse, as gbrlonians coceived it, and to theo
logcl classsB.o Ths text ooks show a high or
decr of oellectuitS. Indeed, the resemiblances
eof these people to us of totlay bring home gain
othe tshgeableness o f the great antiquity of
civilization, so been founca rlldt
edly, in thris and in other collections. They were
like present-dS SChlool slates, but made of wet
claye, ans the little fellow marked on them with
a stylus, and when he made a mistake blotted
it out with his thumb. ooss aso
The' quality and rane eof the tsemboks aston-e
iof ones peol s of toaythelurtics ahotmnd they
taught the multipgicato table t an
2,500t tie umuetipi lan their financial transuc
2,500 times anubhd to do stupendous calculations
In their heids. Doctor Langdon has just found,
too, a comprei hensie volume used in the study of
ltawk opresentd goo s books one dealing
la n andy and hrtletel marith the use of the
r ootilsrl oand nthaet has arrived at the prepo
,50si0tione. A rume
. - - )-.L,i,
sition is by no means prinmitive! The date of this
book is 2,300 B. C.
( eeggraphy was taught, as were astronomy and
history. In the collection is the oldest history yet
found, a tablet giving the list of Babylonian kings
going back to the flood. The claim is that it is a
record of 25,01() years; but this may he disputed,
since the names of the monarchs, which seem to
be those of men who reigned successively, may he
of men who ruled simultaneously. in kingdoms
that were adjacent. A conservative estimate is
that this history covers 14,000 years.
There is a book on botany, teaching the people
how to raise the (late palm, an important crop of
the times. Agricultural hooks abound, for the
temple had a collegiate department, just as have
Cornell and other American universities, where
scientific farming was taught. The Babeylonians,
as is well known, were remarkable engineers and
past masters in the field of irrigation. It is not
surprising that Doctor Langidon has found imany
records of this in the museum's Babylonian col
lection. We learn, again, of canals being dug,
and of a tablet that chronicles the opening of a
great waterway, like the Panuma canal-the cele
bration over it. the presence of tihe king, and the
pride felt in the great skill of its engineers.
Further (locuiments are reported verifying previ
ous assert ions that the lambylonian awoman re
ceived an education eiqualt to man's. t ok her piace
with hin in certin lineis, and i was compen sated
with the same wage as tht.
"Books" had io h'aseh anof when found are often
-rihidel. ilt do'n. cracked or so bhalls ciii neiny
that parts of the translttion iimyst he guessed at
or omitted entirely. Others, fortunately, are found
nelopes, ilso of ('lily. Wtite'i the t iblet letining had
a fine clay poiker anl slipped Into ii ollh' clay
that layers of powder peresene thed aout the con
ruicd or scatclhel. The silly opcnitng was then
therl aldl stmllen with the sender's ring.
Afterwa titn ' h1 thress was thllbyl1 an t sainve
lar poi stv l 535t('s. It ns (ilite itlossii, le that that
regime was in existerne in 2liOO w. C.
Mtny letters tire fotd with seals tibroken,
wind these are marvelllusly h re. 'rv'd in tieir soft
powdero huadlls. We ei ti0n111he surmise til reison
for their sealed stitte,. Perhaps'.i man kept chliled
'olplies of the ost inllortlnt letters he lie d to
tionr have een irneai.thedr. somtieiiniel tii m's aparte
and tit ' ste . ractice couil have held, rationally,
(.eiveres, thanks to an inefiyciett postal service
in some partictilar locality 01, an1 this is more
could have cony(eivallly crippledi the Bahyloml tian
post o rices and left atny letters forever inde
Inttulitayly the oldest undelivered letter in the
worel Is in the lctbaniolitn collection of the Utie
versity of Pnl'tsylviiitat T e('tIt. Its (late wotllt
be 2200 B. C. atnd rioctot Lalglon opened and
rend it only Ilst aeek !
It is frotn a nasteet' to his slave or to sotme un
derling or employee. Obviously, it is (ily one if
several letters, since it refers to previous corre
spondence and to a previous trandsactionl over
which the writer Is perturbed. Its archaic Su
merian is dictatorial, overearing and peevish,
and rants of some unsatisfactory flour dhl, that
whatever became of that flour!
Other tahtets now being catalogued have pie
tures on th . One, a hnunting scene, remirils
one of the historic cave drawings found in
France. TI is another of a battle scene, very
much broke rare and interesting.
Thi comi Doctor Langdon to the Univers
ty of Pen museum is timely and for
tunatee letes an division has tad no cu
rator since the beginsg of the European war,
when I)r. Arno I'ceb 'left to Join his regiment
at the (;ernman front. he Eckley '. C(oxe. Jr.,
exp(editions, which )b operations in Egypt in
ISSi and have carri hem on through various
years since, even ti g localities of the war
ridden land where th an still operate this year.
have sent back to museum an incalculable
treasure-trove, not o in tablets, but in all kinds
of articles dug up frh e adfrt layers of Biblieal
and pre-Bit&ial ;Ia .
All this aeeunulati had 'he attention
It deserved. Doctor La lon' labors will De bent
toward arranging the Mby nlan exhihit. The
collection is the largestin the world. No other
museum has such a quatity of sacred Sumerian
documents, which makethis the most important
Balylonlan collection Ir the world. ewven though
it is not so large as thain the British museum.
The war, which alread has done so much dam
age, hi(1. fair to rob u:f this comparative re
cent achievement, the bility, to decipher these
tablets which tell of tb Ilves and histories of
lpeoples who lived so t Uy hundred years ago.
Younger men, like Poehlt afe at the front and
may never come back; dier well-known Egypto
logists are old men.
Not enough young mert'ill be left to carry on
the work of translatingthe ancient cuneiform
writinrz'. When the prernt Scholars pass away
the achievement may die 'th them and Sunmeriant
Akk.dian become again 1 ead language, for not
enough young college m~ are proposing to take
There is today no end! d leat of Assyrlology
in any unIversity. The iIverslty of Pennsyl
vania museunm is exertin very effort to secure
such an endowment, th ,ther intellects of so
high an order as DoctoaaLgilon's may he en
couraged and helped to 'Y on a work shinlar
Eckley B. Coxe, Jr.. d'kin Philadelphia in Sop
temraer last and left an dow1ent fund of $iso),
OMl to carry on the w'orli'e s been equipping
exleditions to do in Egy salmany years. But
one expedilion can only satclithe lurface of the
myriad hills there and tei(ttless buried and
for',itten cities that lie hqath them.
"Our only hope of gettim herest of the tablets
buried there." says Doctot eo0n, "is to go back
to Nippur again and agai 4.Aig for then." En
downwnts for these expedl $re another of the
crying needs of scholars. eforld at large ,will
lose if arcedohlginl ex tits and research
have to be abandoned.
There is no doubt that i ~ternl public appre
ciates the work done by n and by scholars.
To Biblical sttulents alo l is inexhaustible
pleasure and satisfaction etrived from fmcis
unearthed of Biblical nnD O'bllcal peoples.
There Is now complete l nt among arch
cologists that IIammurnbi b same Amraphel
of Genesis 14:1, a conl orary of Abraham.
From chronological lnfe - 8 It follows that
Abraham may well have tded school at the
temple in Nlppur; nay, t tdlied these very
books that are now in thb 1itsity of l'ennsyl
vanla museum. Hle may it .Iad there the ,ie
count of the creation. WP t) The dates dove
my heart that the hand ¶braham must have
held any or all of them n 5,000 years ago !"
Greek Me k.
Some Scots were enjo. e fun of the fair.
Seeing an old fiddler in t'ee a few of them
went over to him, and onn ilg him two-pence,
asked him to play the ,d f Stirling Brig."
The old fiddler took the 8td went rasping
away the same as befor audience getting
tired of this, the spokes ala went over to
the fiddler and said to hi I'nan, that's no'
the 'Battle of Stirling "I ken," replied
the old fiddler, "that's th- 1b before the bat
C P .:,o:°
INFATUATION OF MARY BLANDY.
.\l Y l'L A,..N I)Y 41 Imu.u t,, a :ii with
A lV ( :,l'(':it :trti"[< i:I t'"1i111. 111t aý
itit III i l'l> t, tion I )l ' ulUll :tli , r'I'\,' i g'
Slit' Itulttainrs <"ulr'vlth'. 'lie' t:t e,'< :11il1
sll('5 iiil;: 441 1( 41' h :" iF:M'iF' i,"' 1,, ',, .,`' ,.t -
(I 1t le i IIt and ,\u t itn ". :: : : I kitLis
of a;tt l"r hl;te [as<* il (F [ ' tl)(th',
but h(e' r um: ie tili8 l llv - ; 1 : t vl,
tril N11.11 4411 lawyers 4,Ie lt4u:t'" ' Ie
culiarly cold-ti14141,',!d crimitia:l, tht .• :tr,'
,want to say that he is au hawl us Ma\Iry
Ml:try livid with hlr p:tr, ts at 1 l,.n
ley-o11-'rh:lt'es. Helr 1:her 1 :t lille,
co1 ttfortablte lua . stliit( r iwh!i had
ta see't'ly p:t141kug.e of pi('ece's 41 e'iht
sa lted d4low\4 )+ t41 his 14l ,.'', andl to 1e't\w,
to his 14loved (daughter whI i he Wtenlt
to sleep with his fathr'. Mary was
ithe' iy '.u: l prid.e ,f his life. lie
thought so 1ituii] of her that he us.,d to
bore his friI(lends teSr'ilig her ntll( le
and c(harmilg qtualitiI';, atdl seeted to
be unde4r the it1mpressi, n that 1she ought
to have )bee(n presnted1 with a golth
lheaded c4ne ait tleast 41oi'c t a day. And,
really, the ,old m1n wavs nit without
excuse, 4for Mary was a )()45t attractive
damsel. She wtas Vyoung. well educat
ed, of d(livers ac('m(Illlishtt(ents, tand a
pleatsant perso)nality. The father was
Justified in believing that sthe eventu
ally would marry usome excellent citi
zen, and live happy ever after.
If she didn't do this it was not be
cause of a lack of excellent citizens,
or a backwardness on their part. Her
suitors fairly trampled down all the
flowers in the front yard in their eager.
Mary's Adamantine Conscience Was
hess to propo.se to her, and among
them were sone of the most desirable
and promising young men in the neigh
borho4. She treated the all as good
friends, and turn(,d them down, one
after nathe, wh they volunteered
to escort her to the altatr. In view of
what followed it is well to renmember
that MIary B;lundy hnal her chance to
pick und elhoose front tll the beautiful
young men of the countryside.
In the fullness of tinme Captain
Cranstoun catte to Htenley on recruit
ing service. The calptain was a cutrica
ture of a nman. H[e was snmall flnd
withered, badly pitted with the small
pox, cross-eyed and possessed of a
hideous muddy complexion, 1ie was
the ugliest thing seen on the main
street of the town in many a day. hm.
agine, therefore, the consternation of
the heautiful young men who had been
rejected in ont,-two-three order, when
they learned that Cranstoun was pay
ing his attentions to Mary, and evi
dently with success. Mary seemed
infatuatted with her shriveled calptain.
,So the young mn hlu]id an indigmt
tlo, mell(etiing, and resolved to look up
the c, ptain's record, which theoy did.
It was a had ont,, and includ(,d the
fact that he had at wife anid children
Proof of this was sent to Mr. Blandy,
and he tried to ctall a hatlt. 1In put his
foot down, as becomes the head o)f a
hloulse, and announced that the captain
wou]ld Itav'( to co,'te his visits, and
Mary must have nothing further to do
with him. The next tim(" the, captain
called Mar" explained the situation to
him, and he seemed to think it amus
ing. H~is mawrtage with the woman in
S cotland wa:'n't a legal marriage, he
said. It could be declared off at any
time tie wats a great talker, and
could make Mary believe that white
was black. She took his word about
that Scotch marriage. and refused to
L'Iv. l' 1114 p 1 ();. ( 1:' (f tf e '!ri:1. ' ' T
,.1 ' 4 I i ,1 ,,''1 ,, ' ' , '. ' "
I '.: 'l 1 ., : :!- ' . :, ' :. .:"
-"'" :, un ;'; 11,',1I',u _ ,,' . ' ,' :.. -
:n .,' l1iJt 4n 11 I' 1I' ' .I:
Ii. ' , iI" w h.i'.' !' " '.\ '' I( - I1.
Il r. 1 ',l ', 1:1 1. . '., '.I ,
t di,',f i n 1,, 1'11 1 ;1ii1. I: ' , ' ' I
ithe i r o ; \"\" ', 'I . . ' !" . th •.
1il1ts tv,n,' hI. , .ill bl's' th.,- . '1 . d
!\,' rtl, , fti r t-i''ls he diXd. !n: he.
las in his L' IL 1 . .. i l uPic'. - w's,
ir cterd t, 'rd i r, Y. . Then \ ' r1 .
,; ' (4'' il *,, " I 1.'. ' I l- "hi
,Jl 4i4' X ':11\ .'. :111:n111ni )1f.'1 , " --o il l ll
:I1nts beguni ''iIl li talk, ll1lnd 111'n 1F ic'i 1,
once a'r ll aroused, there lllu as n: itti
cult in slcl'ri1in g evid(nt Ill , fr tI! girl.,.
iallld !1n Iilrfc. (tlI reckll, ss in contluc't
1ting h4r oprltions. fSh1 e ,'l '1 h.' :stc d,"
tried and c.nvicth ad , and one fine lhor
to) curse litr. "I (,urs'.te tlht', 1144." '' Lid
ing she apoo onded the sold, I l tyoung.
and hndsme st1 will bless theeuff allnd
thatnd thy life."
CShrtly after this he died, of her
was in his grave before iand int towts
hunected toward thery, Then tiloed on to
antders, begn to talk, a and when sUspidion
onA ceger is sroed, there was no diffi
culty in Watering evidence, for tQuee gin
had beon therfectly recklofss in coucht
ingia hr toperatlccos. She waspound of tirested,
tried and oeinvid.burned, and one fine orighed
ing she ascended the scaffold, young
anheld handsome still, and suffettled all
that the law calls for In such cases.
Cranstoun, when he heard of her ar
rest, fled from Scotland and went to
uu ofance. Fearing that he would be
hunted down there, he moved on to
Flanders, where furthe fell Ill and died.
Overlooked Points in Wager.
of suchager is said to have been won
by Sir Walter Raleigh, frorevealed Queen
Ellzpbeth on the question of how much
sor is containedght toin a p ound of Vir
thinls tolicch so.e desired. It weedr
dryas weighedot, burned and then wighed
again, in ashesly for. The questl it owac
hlcurrd to tbe litsatisfactorilyt settled by
detey for rmining, and she weighted of r ithe
pulsoke at xctly. Shortly aof the tohcre
before gullied outrned, minus the re'· ld-n
uuftr tof als. Tile fac t that the ahesr
fa(und her staneceive additong at the ingto lok
inlng out with tha rueful fac the uin the
pdebris, and the furd her fact in an ,teril
s truck voice:o ere liouht f by te
"of such things not have ing then been"
Too Rich Cream.revealed.
"To illuRsatther Overdid It.f drtis
nThe litthlre d isughter of collegxine pro
hd fessor hadhich I oftaugt think.o pray for the
ftinlg whllcre thre adesired. It wado~ tory
eurrt. Tto the litoner of tle miss ftalt sli ,ould
pery for raieI, and she ater nn h.runcin
thpulse at oth mce. Shortly aftlr s erd
Ce a terrific tuder shower. Streetsfollos:
"'Twere gullied to ut, trees 'rnte adr1)\s,
found her standing at the widolw itt
tlie, or cuttl with a strong acetit uli hte
to draze h leard her saySS in an awe-rich
fostruck voicerst orso.' "
Everybody'Justice to Thomas Paine M:glzle.
s Too Rich Cream.s r SO
"Tfamo ilar tl ustra ofte toie usy t at it is hard
to iielieve the hul' a welioo the o .itti'icai
intrnatiger, "ller Is (lltrtion, tlti-l-eilry I
justice to riomvn and len I came to ani
mals. He proposed of this far4-i ouls,
hveto poor children, endod advment of senenth
gerhood, fopublic ork for th annun'iem-ng
poyed, and a graduated follows:ncome ta to
ay for these refst eek or so.'-Echane.
pay for these reforms.--Exchange.
xml | txt