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according to him, people believed “ that the souls of the dead have need of corporeal sustenance and maintenance, wherefore several times a year, according to their custom, they make splendid and sumptuous banquets, children to their deceased parents, husbands to their wives, friends to their friends, waiting a long while for the dead guest to come and sit down at table to eat." The missionaries argued against this proceeding, but were met by ridicule of their ignorance, and the reply "that there were two things in the food, one the substance, and the other the accidents of quantity, quality, smell, taste, and the like. The immaterial souls of the dead, taking for themselves the substance of the food, which being immaterial is food suited to the incorporeal soul, left only in the dishes the accidents which corporeal senses perceive; for this the dead had no need of corporeal instruments, as we have said.” Thereupon the Jesuit proceeds to remark, as to the prospect of conversion of these people, “it may be judged from the distinction they make between the accidents and the substance of the food which they prepare for the dead,” that it will not be very difficult to prove to them the mystery of the Eucharist. Now to peoples among whom prevails the rite of feasts of the dead, whether they offer the food in mere symbolic pretence, or whether they consider the souls really to feed on it in this spiritual way (as well as in the cases inextricably mixed up with these, where the offering is spiritually conveyed away to the world of spirits), it can be of little consequence what becomes of the gross material food. When the Kafir sorcerer, in cases of sickness, declares that the shades of ancestors demand a particular cow, the beast is slaughtered and left shut up for a time for the shades to eat, or for its spirit to go to the land of shades, and then is taken out to be eaten by the sacrificers. So, in more civilized Japan, when the survivors have placed
· Borri, “Relatione della Nuova Missione della Comp. di Giesu,' Rome, 1631, p. 208; and in Pinkerton, vol. ix. p. 822, etc.
? Grout, ‘Zulu Land,'p. 140 ; see Callaway, 'Rel. of Amazulu,' p. 11.
their offering of unboiled rice and water in a hollow made for the purpose in a stone of the tomb, it seems to them no matter that the poor or the birds really carry off the grain.
Such rites as these are especially exposed to dwindle in survival. The offerings of meals and feasts to the dead may be traced at their last stage into mere traditional ceremonies, at most tokens of affectionate remembrance of the dead, or works of charity to the living. The Roman Feralia in Ovid's time were a striking example of such transition, for while the idea was recognized that the ghosts fed upon the offerings, “nunc posito pascitur umbra cibo," yet there were but "parva munera,” fruits and grains of salt, and corn soaked in wine, set out for their meal in the middle of the road. “Little the manes ask, the pious thought stands instead of the rich gift, for Styx holds no greedy gods :"
“ Parva petunt manos. Pietas pro divite grata est
Munere. Non ayidos Styx habet ima deos.
Et sparsæ fruges, parcaque mica salis,
Hæc habeat media testa relicta via.
Still farther back, in old Chinese history, Confucius had been called on to give an opinion as to the sacrifices to the dead. Maintainer of all ancient rites as he was, he stringently kept up this, " he sacrificed to the dead as if they were present," but when he was asked if the dead had knowledge of what was done or no, he declined to answer the question; for if he replied yes, then dutiful descendants would injure their substance by sacrifices, and if no, then undutiful children would leave their parents unburied. The evasion was characteristic of the teacher who expressed his theory
· Caron, “Japan,' vol. vii. p. 629 ; sce Turpin, “Siam,' ibid. vol. ix. p.
2 Ovid. Fast. ii. 533.
of worship in this maxim,“ to give oneself earnestly to the duties due to men, and, while respecting spiritual beings, to keep aloof from them, may be called wisdom.” It is said that in our own time the Taepings have made a step beyond Confucius; they have forbidden the sacrifices to the spirits of the dead, yet keep up the rite of visiting their tombs on the customary day, for prayer and the renewal of vows. How funeral offerings may pass into commemorative banquets and feasts to the poor, has been shown already. If we seek in England for vestiges of the old rite of funeral sacrifice, we may find a lingering survival into modern centuries, doles of bread and drink given to the poor at funerals, and “soul-mass cakes” which peasant girls perhaps to this day beg for at farmhouses with the tradi, tional formula,
“ Soul, soul, for a soul cake,
Pray you, mistress, a soul cake." 2
Were it not for our knowledge of the intermediate stages
Brand, ‘Pop. Ant.' vol. i. p. 392, vol. ii. p. 289.
Journey of the Soul to the Land of the Dead-Visits by the Living to the
Regions of Departed Souls—Connexion of such legends with myths of Sunset : the Land of the Dead thus imagined as in the West-Realization of current religious ideas, whether of savage or civilized theology, in narratives of visits to the Regions of Souls— Localization of the Future Life-Distant carthly region : Earthly Paradise, Isles of the BlestSubterranean Hades or Sheol-Sun, Moon, Stars- Heaven-Historical course of belief as to such localization - Nature of Future Life-Con. tinuance-theory, apparently original, belongs especially to the lower races -- Transitional theories-Retribution-theory, apparently derived, belongs especially to the higher races-Doctrine of Moral Retribution as developed in the higher culture-Survey of Doctrine of Future State, from savage to civilized stages-Its practical effect on the sentiment and conduct of Mankind.
The departure of the dead man's soul from the world of living men, its journey to the distant land of spirits, the life it will lead in its new home, are topics on which the lower races for the most part hold explicit doctrines. When these fall under the inspection of a modern ethnographer, he treats them as myths; often to a high degree intelligible and rational in their origin, consistent and regular in their structure, but not the less myths. Few subjects have aroused the savage poet's mind to such bold and vivid imagery as the thought of the hereafter. Yet also a survey of its details among mankind displays in the midst of variety a regular recurrence of episode that brings the everrecurring question, how far is this correspondence due to transmission of the same thought from tribe to tribe, and how far to similar but independent development in distant lands?
From the savage state up into the midst of civilization, the comparison may be carried through. Low races and high, in region after region, can point out the very spot whence the flitting souls start to travel toward their new home. At the extreme western cape of Vanua Levu, a calm and solemn place of cliff and forest, the souls of the Fijian dead embark for the judgment-seat of Ndengei, and thither the living come in pilgrimage, thinking to see there ghosts and gods. The Baperi of South Africa will venture to creep a little way into their cavern of Marimatlé, whence men and animals came forth into the world, and whither souls return at death. In Mexico the cavern of Chalchatongo led to the plains of paradise, and the Aztec name of Mictlan, “Land of the Dead,” now Mitla, keeps up the remembrance of another subterranean temple which opened the way to the sojourn of the blessed. In the kingdom of Prester John, Maundevile tells of an entrance to the infernal regions : “Sum men clepen it the vale enchanted, some clepen it the vale of develes, and some clepen it the vale perilous. In that vale heren men often tyme grete tempestes and thonders, and grete murmures and noyses, alle dayes and nyghtes, and gret noyse, as it were soun of taboures and of nakeres and trompes, as though it were of a gret feste. This valle is alle fulle of develes, and hathe ben alleways; and men seyn there that it is on of the entrees of helle." +
North German peasants still remember on the banks of the swampy Drömling the place of access to the land of departed souls. To us Englishmen the shores of lake Avernus, trodden daily by our tourists, are more familiar than the Irish analogue of the place, Lough Derg, with its cavern entrance of St. Patrick's Purgatory leading down to the awful world below. The mass of mystic details
Williams, 'Fiji,' vol. i. p. 239 ; Seemann, 'Viti,' p. 398. ? Arbousset and Daumas, p. 347 ; Casali's, p. 247. 3 Brasseur, ' Mexique,' vol. iii. p. 20, etc. 4 Sir John Maundevile, Voiage.'
• Wuttke, “Volksaberglaube,' p. 215. Other cases in Bastian, 'Mensch,' vol. ii. pp. 58, 369, etc.