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few days later, and the disaster was of course ascribed to Mr. Rigg's profanation. The Chilians said that the soul goes westward over the sea to Gulcheman, the dwellingplace of the dead beyond the mountains; life,' some said, was all pleasure there, but others thought that part would be happy and part miserable.? Hidden among the mountains of Mexico lay the joyous garden-land of Tlalocan, where maize, and pumpkins, and chilis, and tomatos never failed, and where abode the souls of children sacrificed to Tlaloc, its god, and the souls of such as died by drowning or thunderstroke, or by leprosy or dropsy, or other acute disease. A survival of such thought may be traced into medieval civilization, in the legends of the Earthly Paradise, the fire-girt abode of saints not yet raised to highest bliss, localized in the utmost East of Asia, where earth stretches up towards heaven.* When Columbus sailed westward across the Atlantic to seek the "new heaven and a new earth" he had read of in Isaiah, he found them, though not as he sought. It is a quaint coincidence that he found there also, though not as he sought it, the Earthly Paradise which was another main object of his venturous quest. The Haitians described to the white men their Coaibai, the paradise of the dead, in the lovely Western valleys of their island, where the souls hidden by day among the cliffs came down at night to feed on the delicious fruit of the mameytrees, of which the living ate but sparingly, lest the souls of their friends should want.5
Secondly, there are Australians who think that the spirit of the dead hovers a while on earth, and goes at last toward
St. John,' Far East,' vol. i. p. 278. Rigg in ‘Journ. Ind. Archip.' vol. iv. p. 119. See also Ellis, ‘Polyn. Res.' vol. i. p. 397 ; Bastian, 'Oestl. Asien,' vol. i. p. 83 ; Irving, ‘Astoria,' p. 142.
Molina, 'Chili,' vol. ii. p. 89. 3 Brasseur, ‘Mexique,' vol. iii. p. 496 ; Sahagun, iii. App. c. 2, x. c. 29 ; Clavigero, vol. ii. p. 5. 4 See Wright, 1. c. etc. ; Alger, p. 391 ; Maundevile, etc.
· History of Colon,'ch. 61; Pet. Martyr. Dec, i. lib. ix. ; Irving, ‘Life of Columbus,' vol. ii. p. 121.
the setting sun, or westward over the sea to the island of souls, the home of his fathers. Thus these rudest savages have developed two thoughts which we meet with again and again far onward in the course of culture—the thought of an island of the dead, and the thought that the world of departed souls is in the West, whither the Sun descends at evening to his daily death. Among the North American Indians, when once upon a time an Algonquin hunter left his body behind and visited the land of souls in the sunny south, he saw before him beautiful trees and plants, but found he could walk right through them. Then he paddled in the canoe of white shining stone across the lake where wicked souls perish in the storm, till he reached the beautiful and happy island where there is no cold, no war, no bloodshed, but the creatures run happily about, nourished by the air they breathe.” Tongan legend says that, long ago, a canoe returning from Fiji was driven by stress of weather to Bolotu, the island of gods and souls lying in the ocean north-west of Tonga. That island is larger than all theirs together, full of all finest fruits and loveliest flowers, that fill the air with fragrance, and come anew the moment they are plucked ; birds of beauteous plumage are there, and hogs in plenty, all immortal save when killed for the gods to eat, and then new living ones appear immediately to fill their places. But when the hungry crew of the canoe landed, they tried in vain to pluck the shadowy bread-fruit, they walked through unresisting trees and houses, even as the souls of chiefs who met them walked unchecked through their solid bodies. Counselled to hasten home from this land of no earthly food, the men sailed to Tonga, but the deadly air of Bolotu had infected them, and they soon all died.3
Stanbridge in Tr. Eth. Soc.' vol. i. p. 299; G. F. Moore, 'Vocab. W. Austr.'p. 83 ; Bonwick, “Tasmanians,' p. 181. 2 Schoolcraft, ‘Indian Tribes,' part i. p. 321 ; see part iii. p.
229. 3 Mariner, “Tonga Is.' vol. ii. p. 107. See also Burton, W. and W. fr. W. Africa,' p. 154 (Gold Coast).
Such ideas took strong hold on classic thought, in the belief in a paradise in the Fortunate Islands of the far Western Ocean. Hesiod in the 'Works and Days' tells of the half-gods of the Fourth Age, between the Age of Bronze and the Age of Iron. When death closed on this heroic race, Zeus granted them at the ends of Earth a life and home, apart from man and far from the immortals. There Kronos reigns over them, and they dwell careless in the Islands of the Happy, beside deep-eddying Oceanblest heroes, for whom the grain-giving field bears, thrice blooming yearly, the honey-sweet fruit :
«Ενθ' ήτοι τους μέν θανάτου τέλος αμφεκάλυψε
These Islands of the Blest, assigned as the abode of blessed spirits of the dead, came indeed to be identified with the Elysian Fields. Thus Pindar sings of steadfast souls, who through three lives on either side have endured free from injustice; then they pass by the road of Zeus to the tower of Kronos, where the ocean breezes blow round the islands of the happy, blazing with golden flowers of land and water. Thus, also, in the famous hymn of Kallistratos in honour of Harmodios and Aristogeiton, who slew the tyrant Hipparchos :
« Φίλταθ’ Αρμόδι, ου τι πω τέθνηκας
Νήσοις δ' εν μακάρων σε φασίν είναι,
This group of legends has especial interest to us Englishmen, who ourselves dwell, it seems, on such an island of the
| Hesiod. Opera et Dics, 165. Pindar, Olymp. ii. antistr. 4. Callistrat. Hymnu. in Ilgen, Scolia Græca, 10. Strabo, iii. 2, 13; Plin. iv. 36.
dead. It is not that we or our country are of a more ghostly nature than others, but the idea is geographical, we are dwellers in the region of the setting sun, the land of death. The elaborate account by Procopius, the historian of the Gothic War, dates from the 6th century. The island of Brittia, according to him, lies opposite the mouths of the Rhine, some 200 stadia off, between Britannia and Thule, and on it dwell three populous nations, the Angles, Frisians, and Britons. (By Brittia, it appears, he means our Great Britain, his Britannia being the coast-land from modern Brittany to Holland, and his Thule being Scandinavia.) In the course of his history it seems to him needful to record a story, mythic and dreamlike as he thinks, yet which numberless men vouch for as having been themselves witnesses by eye and ear to its facts. This story is that the souls of the departed are conveyed across the sea to the island of Brittia. Along the mainland coast are many villages, inhabited by fishermen and tillers of the soil and traders to this island in their vessels. They are subject to the Franks, but pay no tribute, having from of old had to do by turns the burdensome service of transporting the souls. Those on duty for each night stay at home till they hear a knocking at the doors, and a voice of one unseen calling them to their work. Then without delay rising from their beds, compelled by some unknown power they go down to the beach, and there they see boats, not their own but others, lying ready but empty of men. Going on board and taking the oars, they find that by the burden of the multitude of souls embarked, the vessel lies low in the water, gunwale under within a finger's breadth. In an hour they are at the opposite shore, though in their own boats they would hardly make the voyage in a night and day. When they reach the island, the vessel becomes empty, till it is so light that only the keel touches the waves. They see no man on the voyage, no man at the landing, but a voice is heard that proclaims the name and rank and parentage of each newly arrived passenger, or if women, those of their
husbands. Traces of this remarkable legend seem to have survived, thirteen centuries later, in that endmost district of the Britannia of Procopius which still keeps the name of Bretagne.
Near Raz, where the narrow promontory stretches westward into the ocean, is the ‘Bay of Souls' (boé ann anavo); in the commune of Plouguel the corpse is taken to the churchyard, not by the shorter road by land, but in a boat by the “ Passage de l'Enfer,” across a little arm of the sea ; and Breton folklore holds fast to the legend of the Curé de Braspar, whose dog leads over to Great Britain the souls of the departed, when the wheels of the soul-car are heard creaking in the air. These are but mutilated fragments, but they seem to piece together with another Keltic myth, told by Macpherson in the last century, the voyage of the boat of heroes to Flath-Innis, Noble Island, the green island home of the departed, which lies calm amid the storms far in the Western Ocean. With full reason, also, Mr. Wright traces to the situation of Ireland in the extreme West its especial association with legends of descents to the land of shades. Claudian placed at the extremity of Gaul the entrance where Ulysses found a way to Hades
“Est locus extremum qua pandit Gallia litus,
Oceani prætentus aquis, ubi fertur Ulysses,” etc.
No wonder that this spot should have been since identified with St. Patrick's Purgatory, and that some ingenious etymologist should have found in the name of “Ulster” a corruption of “Ulyssisterra," and a commemoration of the hero's visit.
Thirdly, the belief in a subterranean Hades peopled by the ghosts of the dead is quite common among the lower races. The earth is flat, say the Italmen of Kamchatka,
Procop. De Bello Goth. iv. 20 ; Plut. Fragm. C'omm. in Hesiod. 2; Grimm, 'D. M.' p. 793; Hersart de Villemarqué, vol. i. p. 136 ; Souvestre, • Derniers Bretons,' p. 37; Jas. Macpherson, 'Introd. to Hist. of Great Britain and Ireland,' 2d. ed. London, 1772, p. 180 ; Wright, ‘St. Patrick's Purgatory,'
Pp. 64, 129.