The Story of Mankind - Hendrik van Loon - Страница 1 из 494
THE STORY OF MANKIND
By Hendrik Van Loon, Ph.D.
Professor of the Social Sciences in Antioch College. Author of The Fall
of the Dutch Republic, The Rise of the Dutch Kingdom, The Golden Book of
the Dutch Navigators, A Short Story of Discovery, Ancient Man.
Frontispiece caption= THE SCENE OF OUR HISTORY IS LAID UPON A LITTLE
PLANET, LOST IN THE VASTNESS OF THE UNIVERSE.
To JIMMIE "What is the use of a book without pictures?" said Alice.
For Hansje and Willem:
WHEN I was twelve or thirteen years old, an uncle of mine who gave me
my love for books and pictures promised to take me upon a memorable
expedition. I was to go with him to the top of the tower of Old Saint
Lawrence in Rotterdam.
And so, one fine day, a sexton with a key as large as that of Saint
Peter opened a mysterious door. "Ring the bell," he said, "when you come
back and want to get out," and with a great grinding of rusty old hinges
he separated us from the noise of the busy street and locked us into a
world of new and strange experiences.
For the first time in my life I was confronted by the phenomenon of
audible silence. When we had climbed the first flight of stairs, I added
another discovery to my limited knowledge of natural phenomena--that of
tangible darkness. A match showed us where the upward road continued.
We went to the next floor and then to the next and the next until I had
lost count and then there came still another floor, and suddenly we had
plenty of light. This floor was on an even height with the roof of the
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