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empire: the second, a tribute roll of the several tributes which each conquered town or province paid into the royal treasury; and the third, a digest of their civil law, the largest branch of which was, de jure patrio.
This was the first, and most simple way of recording their conceptions ;* obvious to every one, and common not only to the North as well as South Americans, but to all mankind.
But the inconveniencies attending the too great bulk of the volume in writings of this kind would soon set the more ingenious and better civilized people upon contriving methods to abridge their characters : and of all the improvements of this kind, that which was invented by the EGYPTIANS, and called HIEROGLYPHICS, was by far the most celebrated. By this contrivance, that writing, which amongst the Mexicans was only a simple painting, became in Egypt a pictured character. I
This abridgment was of three kinds ; and, as appears from the more or less art employed in the contrivance of each, made by due degrees; and at three different periods.
1. The first way was, To make the principal circumstance in the subject stand for the whole. Thus when they would describe a battle, or two armies in array, they painted (as we learn from that admirable fragment of antiquity, the hieroglyphics of Horapollo) two hands, one holding a shield, and the other a bow ; $ when a tumult, or popular insurrection,-an armed man casting arrows ; || when a siege, a. scaling ladder. This was of the utmost simplicity; and, consequently, we must suppose it the earliest way of turning painting into an hieroglyphic; that is, making it a picture-character. And this is
embassadour in France) bonght the same for twenty French crowns; and procured master Michael Locke, in Sir Walter Raleigh's name, to translate it. It seems that done were willing to be at the cost of cutting the pictures, and so it remained amongst his papers till his death: whereby (according to his last will in that kind) I became possessour thereof, and have obtained, with much eamestness, the cutting thereof for the press.”—PURCHAS'S “ Pilgrimage,” 3d part, pp. 1065, 1066. See plate 1.
“Quant aux caracteres, ils n'en avoient point: et ils y suppleoient par des especes d'hieroglyphes.”—Charlevoix, of the Northern Americans, vol. v. p. 292. Lafitau gives us a specimen of these hieroglyphics. See plate II.
† Tbe game kind of characters Stahlenberg found upon rocks in Siberia in the province of Permia, and near the river Jenesei. Of which he has given a drawing. See plate 111. The author De tet. Lit. Hunn. Scyth. p. 15, seems to admire this natural expression of things, as some uncommon stretch of invention.
“ Miratus ego sæpe fui caupones idiotas (nempe in Hungaria) istis, quibus aliquid credere hujusmodi ficto charactere inter debitores non alscribere tantum, sed longioris etiam temporis intervallo post, non secus, quam si alphabethario scribendi genere adnotati fuissent, promere, debitamque summam et rationes indicare potuisse ; ita si-debitor miles est, rudi quadam linea frameam aut pugionem pingebant; si faber, malleum aut securim: si auriga, lagrum, atque sic porro." 1 See plate IV. § HORAPOLL. llierogl. lib. ij. cap. 5, ed. Corn. De Pauw, Traj. ad Rhen. 1727, 4to.
|| Idem, lib. ii. 12.
lib. i. cap. 28.