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have not striven to defend their country, will go to Aygnan, the Evil Spirit, to incessant torments. More characteristic, and probably more genuinely native than this, is the fancy of the Caribs, that the braves of their nation should go after death to happy islands, where all good fruits grow wild, there to spend their time in dancing and feasting, and to have their enemies the Arawaks for slaves; but the cowards who feared to go to war should go to serve the Arawaks, dwelling in their waste and barren lands beyond the mountains.
The fate of warriors slain in battle is the subject of two singularly contrasted theories. We have elsewhere examined the deep-lying belief that if a man's body he wounded or mutilated, his soul will arrive in the same state in the other world. Perhaps it is some such idea of the soul being spoilt with the body by a violent death, that leads the Mintira of the Malay Peninsula, though not believing in a future reward and punishment, to exclude from the happy paradise of “Fruit Island ” (Pulo Bua) the souls of such as die a bloody death, condemning them to dwell on “Red Land” (Tana Mera), a desolate barren place, whence they must even go to the fortunate island to fetch their food. In North America, the idea is mentioned among the Hurons that the souls of the slain in war live in a band apart, neither they nor suicides being admitted to the spirit-villages of their tribe. A belief ascribed to certain Indians of California may be cited here, though less as a sample of real native doctrine than to illustrate that borrowing of Christian ideas which so often spoils such evidence for ethnological purposes. They held, it is said, that Niparaya, the Great Spirit, hates war, and will have no warriors in his paradise, but that his adversary Wac, shut up for rebellion in a great cave, takes thither to himself the
slain in battle. On the other hand, the thought which shows out in such bold relief in the savage mind, that courage is virtue, and battle and bloodshed the hero's noblest pursuit, leads naturally to a hope of glory for his soul when his body has been slain in fight. Such expectation was not strange in North America, to that Indian tribe, for instance, who talked of the Great Spirit walking in the moonlight on his island in Lake Superior, whither slain warriors will go to him to take their pleasure in the chace. The Nicaraguans declared that men who died in their houses went underground, but the slain in war went to serve the gods in the east, where the sun comes from. This corresponds in part with the remarkable threefold contrast of the future life among their Aztec kinsfolk. Mictlan, the Hades of the general dead, and Tlalocan, the Earthly Paradise, reached by certain special and acute ways of death, have been mentioned here already. But the souls of warriors slain in battle or sacrificed as captives, and of women who died in childbirth, were transported to the heavenly plains; there the heroes, peeping through the holes in their bucklers pierced by arrows in earthly fight, watched the Sun arise and saluted him with shout and clash of arms, and at noon the mothers received him with music and dance to escort him on his western way. In such wise, to the old Norseman, to die the “straw-death” of sickness or old age was to go down into the dismal loathly house of Hela the Deathgoddess; if the warrior's fate on the field of battle were denied him, and death came to fetch him from a peaceful couch, yet at least he could have the scratch of the spear, Odin's mark, and so contrive to go with a blood-stained soul to the glorious Walhalla. Surely then if ever, says a
i Brebeuf in ‘Rel. des Jes.' 1636, p. 104; see also Meiners, vol. i. p. 769. J. G. Müller, pp. 89, 139.
2 Chateaubriand, “Voy. en Amérique' (Religion).
3 Oviedo, Nicaragua,' p. 22 ; Torquemada, “Monarquia Indiana,' book xiji. c. 48; Sahagun, book iii. app. ch. i.-iii. in Kingsborough, vol. vii. Compare Anderson, ‘Exp. to W. Yunnan,' p. 125. (Shans, good men and mothers dying in childbirth to heaven, bad men and those killed by the sword to hell.)
modern writer, the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent took it by force. Thence we follow the idea onward to the battle-fields of holy war, where the soldier earned with his blood the unfading crown of martyrdom, and Christian and Moslem were urged in mutual onset and upheld in agony by the glimpse of paradise opening to receive the slayer of the infidel.
Such ideas, current among the lower races as to the soul's future happiness or misery, do not seem, setting aside some exceptional points, to be thoughts adopted or degraded from doctrines of cultured nations. They seem rather to belong to the intellectual stratum in which they are found. If so, we must neither ignore nor exaggerate their standing in the lower ethics. “ The good are good warriors and hunters,” said a Pawnee chief; whereupon the author who mentions the saying remarks that this would also be the opinion of a wolf, if he could express it. Nevertheless, if experience has led societies of savage men to fix on certain qualities, such as courage, skill, and industry, as being virtues, then many moralists will say that such a theory is not only ethical, but lying at the very foundation of ethics. And if these savage societies further conclude that such virtues obtain their reward in another world as in this, then their theories of future happiness and misery, destined for what in this sense they call good and bad men, may be fairly looked on as belonging to morality, though at no high stage of development. But many or most writers, when they mention morality, assume a narrower definition of it. This must be borne in mind in appreciating what is meant by the statements of several well-qualified ethnologists, who have, in more or less degree, denied a moral character to the future retribution as conceived in savage religion. Mr. Ellis, describing the Society Islanders, at least gives an explicit definition. When he tried to ascertain whether they connected a person's con
· Alger, · Future Life,' p. 93.
dition in a future state with his disposition and conduct in this, he never could learn that they expected in the world of spirits any difference in the treatment of a kind, generous, peaceful man, and that of a cruel, parsimonious, quarrelsome one. This remark, it seems to me, applies to savage religion far and wide. Dr. Brinton, commenting on the native religions of America, draws his line in a somewhat different place. Nowhere, he says, was any welldefined doctrine that moral turpitude was judged and punished in the next world. No contrast is discoverable between a place of torments and a realm of joy; at the worst but a negative castigation awaited the liar, the coward, or the niggard. Professor J. G. Müller, in his 'American Religions,' yet more pointedly denies any “ethical meaning” in the contrasts of the savage future life, and looks upon what he well calls its “ light-side" and "shadow-side” not as recompensing earthly virtue and vice, but rather as carrying on earthly conditions in a new existence. • The idea that admission to the happier region depends on the performance of religious rites and the giving of offerings, seems scarcely known to the lowest savages. It is worth while, however, to notice some statements which seem to mark its appearance at the level of high savagery or low barbarism. Thus in the Society Islands, though the destiny of man's spirit to the region of night or to elysium was irrespective of moral character, we hear of neglect of rites and offerings as being visited by the displeasure of deities. In Florida, the belief of the Sunworshipping people of Achalaque was thus described : those who had lived well, and well served the Sun, and given many gifts to the poor in his honour, would be happy after
death and be changed into stars, whereas the wicked would be carried to a destitute and wretched existence among mountain precipices, where fierce wild beasts have their dens. According to Bosman, the souls of Guinea negroes reaching the river of death must answer to the divine judge how they have lived; have they religiously observed the holy days dedicated to their god, have they abstained from all forbidden meats and kept their vows inviolate, they are wafted across to paradise ; but if they have sinned against these laws they are plunged in the river and there drowned for ever.2 Such statements among peoples at these stages of culture are not frequent, and perhaps not very valid as accounts of original native doctrine. It is in the elaborate religious systems of more organized nations, in modern Brahmanism and Buddhism, and degraded forms of Christianity, that the special adaptation of the doctrine of retribution to the purposes of priestcraft and ceremonialism has become a commonplace of missionary reports.
It is well not to speak too positively on a subject so difficult and doubtful as this of the history of the belief in future retribution. Careful criticism of the evidence is above all necessary. For instance, we have to deal with several statements recorded among low races, explicitly assigning reward or punishment to men after death, according as they were good or bad in life. Here the first thing to be done is to clear up, if possible, the question whether the doctrine of retribution may have been borrowed from some more cultured neighbouring religion, as the very details often show to have been the case. Examples of direct adoption of foreign dogmas on this subject are not uncommon in the world. When among the Dayaks of Borneo it is said that a dead man becomes a spirit and lives in the jungle, or haunts the place of burial or burning, or when some distant mountain-top is pointed to as the abode of spirits of departed friends, it is hardly needful to question
1 Rochefort, 'Iles Antilles,' p. 378. 9 Bosman, Guinea,' letter x. ; in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. p. 401.