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entreat the deceased to eat or drink,” i the idea evidently being that the soul may be tempted by these delicacies to return. In Eastern Asia, again, the Arafuas tie the deceased to an upright ladder, and invite him to join in the funeral feast; and it is only when they have placed food in his mouth in vain that they bury him. On the Slave Coast, too, “the corpse is washed, attired in the best clothes, bedecked with ornaments, and placed in a chair, before which a small table with food and drink is set out ... the deceased is implored to eat, and portions of food are put to his lips.” 3 In China, too, according to the Li Yun," when one died they went upon the house-top and called out his name in a prolonged note, saying, ‘Come back, So-and-So.' After this they filled the mouth (of the dead) with uncooked rice, and (set forth as offerings to him) packets of raw flesh.” 4
At this point perhaps it is fitting that I should frankly state to the reader what is my object in making these quotations and those which I am about to make. Many learned, and many unlearned, anthropologists hold that the original, and, so to speak, the “natural” sentiment of man towards his dead, is that of fear. So, too, many writers have seen in fear the sole source of religion. So, too, again, many moral philosophers, from the time of Thrasymachus or earlier, have regarded selfishness, the selfish desires, personal fear, and the baser passions, as the only natural impulses to action. In this book the opposite view—that of Bishop Butler—is maintained, namely, that love, gratitude, affection, are just as "natural" as their opposites. Now, as regards the family affections, there can be no possibility of doubt; the infancy of man is longer than that of any of the animals, most of which can walk and take care of themselves almost, if not quite, as soon as they are born. Man's infancy, on the other hand, is so long that the human race could not have survived in the struggle for existence, had not the parental instincts and family affections been strong in primitive man. Existing savages are in this respect “men, so to speak.” In Samoa, for instance, “whenever the eye is fixed in death, the house 1 Ellis, Tshi-speaking Peoples, 238.
Bastian, Oest. Asien, v. 83. 3 Ewe-speaking Peoples, 157–8. 4 Legge, The Li Ki, 369 (Sacred Books of the East).
becomes an indescribable scene of lamentation and wailing.
Oh, my father, why did you not let me die, and you live here still !' 'Oh, my child, had I known you were going to die! of what use is it for me to survive you ? would that I had died for you!' . . . These and other doleful cries ... are accompanied by the most frantic expressions of grief.” 1 Among the negroes of the Slave Coast, “the widows and daughters lament their lonely and unprotected state, somewhat as follows:-'I go to the market, it is crowded. There are many people there, but he is not among them. I wait, but he comes not. Ah me! I am alone. Never more shall I see him. It is over; he is gone. I shall see him no more. Ah me! I am alone. I go into the street. The people pass, but he is not there. Night falls, but he comes not. Ah me! I am alone. Alas! I am alone. Alone in the dayalone in the darkness of the night. Alas! my father (or husband) is dead. Who will take care of me?'"2 Amongst the negroes of the Gold Coast,“ no sooner has the breath left the body than a loud wailing cry bursts forth from the house, and the women rush into the streets with disordered clothes and dishevelled hair, uttering the most acute and mournful cries.”3 Amongst the Ewe-speaking peoples of the Slave Coast,“ a death in a family is announced by an outbreak of shrieks and lamentations on the part of the women, who throw themselves on the ground, strike their heads against the walls, and commit a variety of extravagances; calling upon the deceased meanwhile not to desert them, and endeavouring, by all kinds of supplications, to induce the soul to return and reanimate the body." 4 It not unfrequently happens that what, in its origin, was spontaneous, comes in time to be conventional; and in Bonny 5 (as in China) there is a regular ceremony entitled “recalling the soul to the house." Perhaps also in the feast which is spread with the dead man's favourite delicacies, to tempt his soul to return, we may have the origin of the funeral feasts and wakes, which are universal, and therefore need not be illustrated.
The natural affection which makes the relatives of the *G. Turner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia, 227. ? Ellis, Yoruba-speaking Peoples, 157. 3 Tshi-speaking Peoples, 237. 4 Ellis, 157.
5 Bastian, Expedition an der Loango Küste, i. 114.
deceased reluctant to believe that he can be dead, and which leads the negroes of the Loango Coast to try to induce him to eat, and makes them talk of his brave exploits, peradventure he may be beguiled into listening and returning, does not cease immediately, when it is ascertained that he is beyond doubt dead. “Thus we read of the Mandan wè nen going year after year to take food to the skulls of their dead kinsfolk, and sitting by the hour to chat and jest in their most endearing strain with the relics of a husband or child; thus the Guinea negroes, who keep the bones of parents in chests, will go to talk with them in the little huts which serve for their tombs.”i We cannot doubt the affection with which the Hos invite the soul to return to them when the body has been burned
“We never scolded you ; never wronged you ;
Come to us back!
Under the same roof;
Desert it not now!
Do not wander here !
Come to your home! It is swept for you and clean ; and we are there who loved you ever ; And there is rice put for you ; and water ;
Come home, come home, come to us again !"9
The natural reluctance to believe that the beloved one has gone from us for ever does not among savages limit itself merely to poetical invitations to the spirit to return. In the Marian Isles a basket is provided in the house for the soul to rest in when it revisits its friends ; 3 and on the Congo the relatives abstain for a year from sweeping the house of the deceased, for fear they should unwittingly and involuntarily sweep out the soul. In Hawai, where ghosts usually go to the next world, the spirit of a dear friend dead may be detained by preserving his bones or clothes. The
? Tylor, Prim. Cult. ii. 150 ; Catlin, N. A. Indians, i. 90 ; J. L. Wilson, W, Africa, 394. 2 Tylor, loc. cit. ii. 32.
8 Bastian, Oest. Asien, v. 83. * Bastian, Der Mensch, ii. 323.
5 Bastian, Allerlei, i. 116.
belief that the spirit is attached to his former earthly tenement is common enough, and indeed is a necessary outcome of a very natural association of ideas; a modern graveyard is the haunt of ghosts, though the soul is in the next world; in ancient Rome
“Terra tegit carnem, tumulum circumvolat umbra
Manes Orcus habet, spiritus astra petit”; the Fantees believed that the ghost remains in the neighbourhood of the corpse ;1 and this belief enables the savage to cheat his grief to some extent. In Fiji, “a child of rank died under the care of Marama, the queen of Somosomo. The body was placed in a box and hung from the tie-beam of the chief temple, and for some months the best of food was taken to it daily, the bearers approaching with the greatest respect, and, after having waited as long as a person would be in taking a meal, clapping their hands, as when a chief has done eating, and retiring."2 The persistence, even amongst savages, of natural affection when the object of affection is dead, may be further illustrated by a similar example from a different quarter of the globe: “When a child dies among the Ojibways, they cut some of its hair and make a little doll, which they call the doll of sorrow. This lifeless object takes the place of the deceased child. This the mother carries for a year. She places it near her at the fire, and sighs often when gazing on it. She carries it wherever she goes. They think the child's spirit has entered this bundle, and can be helped by its mother. Presents and sacrificial gifts are made to it. Toys and useful implements are tied to the doll for its use." 3 In Guinea, so far from being afraid of the dead man, they keep him for a whole year or even several years in the house before burying him
-which leads to a sort of mummification. In Bonny, where also he is embalmed, they do not part with him even when buried, but bury him in the house, as is customary on the Amazon 6 and was the custom amongst the early Romans, Greeks, Teutons, and other Aryan peoples. Even when the corpse is buried at a distance from the house, measures may be and are taken to facilitate the return of the spirit to his friends. Thus the Iroquois leave a small hole in the grave in order that the soul may pass freely in and out;1 and Count Goblet d’Alviella ? conjectures that this practice was known to Neolithic man: “There is a certain detail, frequently observed in these dolmens, which has not failed to exercise the minds of the archæologists, especially when the dolmens were supposed to be the work of one particular people. It is the presence in one of the walls—generally the one that closes the entrance—of a hole not more than large enough for the passage of a human head. In the Caucasus and on the coast of Malabar, these holes have given the dolmens the popular name of "dwarf - houses. The hole is too small to serve as a passage for living men or for the introduction of the skeleton; or even for inserting the sacrifices, which, moreover, would be found piled up against the interior wall. The most probable explanation seems to be that it was intended for the soul to pass through.”
1 Bastian, Der Mensch, ii. 335.
Dorman, Primitive Superstitions, 116 (Kohl's Kitchi Gami, 108). * Bastian, Loango Küste, i. 232.
5 Der Mensch, loc. cit. 6 Wallace, Amazon, 346.
The belief that the soul cannot bring itself to desert its body leads some peoples, who wish the soul to stay with them, to burn the body, in order that the soul may be detached and free to revisit them. Thus in Serendyk the corpse is burnt to enable the soul to return, and the Catal (on the coast of Malayala) burn the good and bury the bad, for then the bad cannot return. But the soul, when released, whether by burning or otherwise, from the body, is apt to lose its way when it seeks to come home; so to the present day in the Tirol the corpse is always conveyed to the cemetery by the high-road, in order that the souls may have no difficulty in retracing the route. Or care is taken to catch the soul as soon as possible, so that it may not get lost; the Tonquinese cover the dying man's face with a cloth, the Marian Islanders with a vessel, to catch the soul; the Payaguas (South America) do not cover the corpse's head
1 Bastian, Oest. Asien, iii. 259. "The Ohio tribes bore holes in the coffin to let the spirit pass in and out," Dorman, Prim. Sup. 20. » Hibbert Lecture, 24.
* Bastian, Der Mensch, ii. 331.