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and a future state? We shall see. Here is an earthern mound, heaped over the grave of some chief. When dug into, it is found to contain a rude stone coffin. In the coffin with the skeleton are flint arrow-heads, a spearhead, also of flint, and perhaps the stone head of a battle-axe, the wooden portions of these weapons having long since mouldered away.
13. Now we know that the savage expects to go after death to the happy hunting grounds, and to follow again the war-path. His implements of war and the chase are therefore buried with him, that he may start up fully equipped' in the new state of being. His favourite horse or dog, and perhaps his favourite attendants, are laid beside his grave, that at his rising he may appear in a manner fitting his rank. The contents of the burial-mound unmistakably proclaim that the men of these long-forgotten ages had the same rude idea of a future state which the Red Indian still has.
14. In all probability, this ancient race occupied the country, with unchanging habits and with little or no progress, for many centuries. At length, however, the elements of a great change were introduced : the savage tribes became acquainted with the use of metals.
15. The introduction of metals is the first great stage in the history of civilisation. Armed with an axe of metal instead of the old axe of stone, the savage can go into the forest and cut down trees at will.
split them, and hew them into planks. He needs not now to pile up overlapping blocks of stone to roof in his dark, underground abode. He can make a far more convenient dwelling of rough, axe-hewn boards.
16. He needs not now to hollow out a logcanoe, for his new tools have given him the power of building boats of plank. He can now increase the size of his little vessel, and thus make further and bolder ventures out to
The trees nearest his village fall first by his axe; but, year by year, he cuts his way deeper into the forest. The clearings extend, and the soil, which will be corn-land by-and-by, is laid open. He now can form a variety of tools suited to a variety of purposes. New wants are created with the increased facility of meeting them. In a word, with the introduction of metal among a savage race, stationary till then, the march of improvement has begun.
17. The discovery of copper, silver, and gold naturally takes place before the discovery of iron. The smelting of iron is an art much too difficult for the savage to master, till he has been long familiar with the working of the softer and easier metals. Accordingly, we find that the earliest metallic implements used in Britain were not of iron, but of bronze.
18. Copper and tin are soft metals; but if a portion of tin is mixed with copper, the result is bronze, a metal harder than either of the two of which it is composed. Tools and weapons made of this metal are a great advance upon those made of stone or flint. Bronze, however, is but a poor substitute for iron and steel, and we may be very sure that the people who made use of bronze tools knew nothing of iron.
19. That period during which the ancient inhabitants of a country, ignorant as yet of iron, made use of bronze tools and weapons, is called the Bronze Period.
Let us again suppose ourselves present at the opening of an ancient British tomb. It is under a cairn heaped on the top of a hill which overlooks a wide tract of moorland. The stone coffin is very short--not over four feet in length.
20. From the position of the bones, the body has evidently been placed in a sitting or folded posture. There are cups or bowls of pottery, one or more. There is a bronze sword, but it has been broken in two before it was laid beside its owner in his long rest. And what is that which glitters among
the warrior's dust? It is an ornament of gold—a bracelet or a collar—which he had worn.
21. The skeleton of a dog is found beside the coffin; for the warrior knew hunting-craft by lake and wood, and loved to pursue his game with hound and bow. So they laid his four-footed favourite, which had licked his hand and followed his halloo, in his long home beside him.
22. Now observe the cup or bowl, which