not exactly pre-Christian Chinese, and probably in other tongues--but it is ill talking of what one does not know. In the Scriptures themselves letters do not come early, and the "token" period probably lasted long. Isaac does not even send a token with Jacob to validate his suit for a daughter of Laban. But one would have enjoyed a letter from Ishmael to his half-brother, when his daughter was married to Esau, who was so much more like a son of Ishmael himself than of the amiable husband of Rebekah. She, by the way, had herself been fetched in an equally unlettered transaction. It would of course be impossible, and might be regarded as improper, to devote much space here to the sacred epistolographers. But one may wonder whether many people have appreciated the humour of the two epistles of the great King Ahasuerus-Artaxerxes, the first commanding and the second countermanding the massacre of the Jews--epistles contained in the Septuagint "Rest of the Book of Esther" (see our Apocrypha), instead of the mere
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