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need not be repeated here of the soul's dread journey by caverns and rocky paths and weary plains, over steep and slippery mountains, by frail bark or giddy bridge across gulfs or rushing rivers, abiding the fierce onset of the souldestroyer or the doom of the stern guardian of the other world. But before describing the spirit-world which is the end of the soul's journey, let us see what the proof is which sustains the belief in both. The lower races claim to hold their doctrines of the future life on strong tradition, direct revelation, and even personal experience. To them the land of souls is a discovered country, from whose bourne many a traveller returns.
Among the legendary visits to the world beyond the grave, there are some that seem pure myth, without a touch of real personal history. Ojibwa, the eponymic hero of his North American tribe, as one of his many exploits descended to the subterranean world of departed spirits, and came up again to earth. When the Kamchadals were asked how they knew so well what happens to men after death, they could answer with their legend of Haetsh the first man. He died and went down into the world below, and a long while after came up again to his former dwelling, and there, standing above by the smoke-hole, he talked down to his kindred in the house and told them about the life to come ; it was then that his two daughters whom he had left below followed him in anger and smote him so that he died a second time, and now he is chief in the lower world, and receives the Italmen when they die and rise anew. Thus, again, in the great Finnish epic, the Kalewala, one great episode is Wainamoinen's visit to the land of the dead. Seeking the last charm-words to build his boat, the hero travelled with quick steps week after week through bush and wood till he came to the Tuonela river, and saw before him the island of Tuoni the god of death. Loudly he called to Tuoni's daughter to bring the ferry-boat across :
Schoolcraft, ‘Algic. Res.' vol. ii. pp. 32, 64, and see ante, vol. i. p. 312. Steller, ‘Kamtschatka,' p. 271 ; Klemm, *C. G.' vol. ii. p. 312.
“ She, the virgin of Manala,
She, the washer of the clothing,
Wainamoinen replies with lying reasons. Iron brought him, he says, but Tuoni's daughter answers that no blood drips from his garment; Fire brought him, he says, but she answers that his locks are unsinged, and at last he tells his real mission. Then she ferries him over, and Tuonetar the hostess brings him beer in the two-eared jug, but Wainamoinen can see the frogs and worms within and will not drink, for it was not to drain Manala's beer-jug he had come. He lay in the bed of Tuoni, and meanwhile they spread the hundred nets of iron and copper across the river that he might not escape ; but he turned into a reed in the swamp, and as a snake crept through the meshes :
“ Tuoni's son with hooked fingers
Iron-pointed hooked fingers
Many they who travel thither,
From the dwellings of Manala.'”i It is enough to name the familiar classic analogues of these mythic visits to Hades,—the descent of Dionysos to bring back Semele, of Orpheus to bring back his beloved Eurydike, of Herakles to fetch up the three-headed Kerberos at the command of his master Eurystheus; above all, the voyage of Odysseus to the ends of the deep-flowing Ocean, to the clouded city of Kimmerian men, where shining Helios looks not down with his rays, and deadly night stretches always over wretched mortals,—thence they passed along the banks to the entrance of the land where the shades of the departed, quickened for a while by the taste of sacrificial blood, talked with the hero and showed him the regions of their dismal home.?
The scene of the descent into Hades is in very deed enacted day by day before our eyes, as it was before the eyes of the ancient myth-maker, who watched the sun descend to the dark under-world, and return at dawn to the land of living men. These heroic legends lie in close-knit connexion with episodes of solar myth. It is by the simplest poetic adaptation of the Sun's daily life, typifying Man's life in dawning beauty, in mid-day glory, in evening death, that mythic fancy even fixed the belief in the religions of the world, that the Land of Departed Souls lies in the Far West or the World Below. How deeply the myth of the Sunset has entered into the doctrine of men concerning a Future State, how the West and the Under-World have become by mere imaginative analogy Regions of the Dead, how the quaint day-dreams of savage poets may pass into
Kalewala, Rune xvi. ; see Schiefner's German Translation, and Castrén, * Finn. Mytlı,' pr. 128, 134. A Slavonic myth in Hanusch, p 412.
2 Homer. Odyss. xi. On the vivification of ghosts by sacrifice of blood, and on libations of milk and blood, see Meiners, vol. i. p. 315, vol. ii. p. 89; J. G. Müller, p. 85 ; Rochholz, ‘Deutscher Glaube und Brauch,' vol. i. p. 1, etc.
honoured dogmas of classic sages and modern divines,-all this the crowd of details here cited from the wide range
of culture stand to prove.
Moreover, visits from or to the dead are matters of personal experience and personal testimony. When in dream or vision the seer beholds the spirits of the departed, they give him tidings from the other world, or he may even rise and travel thither himself, and return to tell the living what he has seen among the dead. It is sometimes as if the traveller's material body went to visit a distant land, and sometimes all we are told is that the man's self went, but whether in body or in spirit is a mere detail of which the story keeps no record. Mostly, however, it is the seer's soul which goes forth, leaving his body behind in ecstasy, sleep, coma, or death. Some of these stories, as we trace them on from savage into civilized times, are no doubt given in good faith by the visionary himself, while others are imitations of these genuine accounts. Now such visions are naturally apt to reproduce the thoughts with which the seer's mind was already furnished. Every idea once lodged in the mind of a savage, a barbarian, or an enthusiast, is ready thus to be brought back to him from without. It is a vicious circle; what he believes he therefore sees, and what he sees he therefore believes. Beholding the reflexion of his own mind like a child looking at itself in a glass, he humbly receives the teaching of his second self. The Red Indian visits his happy hunting-grounds, the Tongan his shadowy island of Bolotu, the Greek enters Hades and looks on the Elysian Fields, the Christian beholds the heights of Heaven and the depths of Hell.
Among the North American Indians, and especially the Algonquin tribes, accounts are not unusual of men whose spirits, travelling in dreams or in the hallucinations of extreme illness to the land of the dead, have returned to reanimate their bodies, and tell what they have seen.
" See for example, various details in Bastian, ‘Mensch,' vol. ii. Pp. 369-75, etc.
Their experiences have been in great measure what they were taught in early childhood to expect, the journey along the path of the dead, the monstrous strawberry at which the jebi-ug or ghosts refresh themselves, but which turned to red rock at the touch of their spoons, the bark offered them for dried meat and great puff-balls for squashes, the river of the dead with its snake-bridge or swinging log, the great dog standing on the other side, the villages of the dead beyond. The Zulus of our own day tell of men who have gone down by holes in the ground into the underworld, where mountains and rivers and all things are as here above, and where a man may find his kindred, for the dead live in their villages, and may be seen milking their cattle, which are the cattle killed on earth and come to life anew. The Zulu Umpengula, who told one of these stories to Dr. Callaway, remembered when he was a boy seeing an ugly little hairy man called Uncama, who once, chasing a porcupine that ate his mealies, followed it down a hole in the ground into the land of the dead. When he came back to his home on earth he found that he had been given up for dead himself, his wife had duly burnt and buried his mats and blankets and vessels, and the wondering people at sight of him again shouted the funeral dirge. Of this Zulu Dante it used to be continually said, “ There is the man who went to the underground people.”2 One of the most characteristic of these savage narratives is from New Zealand. This story, which has an especial interest from the reminiscence it contains of the gigantic extinct Moa, and which may be repeated at some length as an illustration of the minute detail and life-like reality which such visionary legends assume in barbaric life, was told to Mr. Shortland by a servant of his named Te Wharewera. An aunt of this
| See vol. i. p. 481; also below, p. 52, note. Tanner's Narr.' p. 290 ; Schooleraft, ‘Inilian Tribes,' part iii. p. 233 ; Keating, vol. ii. p. 154; Loskiel, part i. p. 35 ; Smith, · Virginia,’ in Pinkerton, vol. xiii. p. 14. See Cranz, 'Grönland,' p. 269.
? Callaway, “Zulu Tales,' vol. i. pp. 316 20.