Yea, none returneth again that is gone thither.’
“This pessimism and scepticism were the result, it may be, of the broken spirit of a nation humiliated and subjected by the Hyksos invaders; they bear the same relation to Egypt that Stoicism and Epicureanism bear to a defeated and enslaved Greece. In part such literature represents one of those interludes, like our own moral interregnum, in which thought has for a time overcome belief, and men no longer know how or why they should live. Such periods do not endure; hope soon wins the victory over thought; the intellect is put down to its customary menial place, and religion is born again, giving to men the imaginative stimulus apparently indispensable to life and work. We need not suppose that such poems expressed the views of any large number of Egyptians; behind and around the small but vital minority that pondered the problems of life and death in secular and naturalistic terms were millions of simple men and women who remained faithful to the gods, and never doubted that right would triumph, that every earthly pain and grief would be atoned for bountifully in a haven of happiness and peace.” —Our Oriental Heritage, The Story of Civilization, by Will and Ariel Durant
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