תמונות בעמוד

fragrant oils and scented waters.* It is then placed in the bed or chariot (see on 2 Kings ix. 28.), which is covered with white or crimson clotht, and carried on men's shoulders to the place of burning. The funeral pile is seldom more than five feet in height; and is for great men made of sandal, and other aromatic woods; also “ sweet odours," and “divers spices.” † The body is then placed on the pile, and the son or nearest relation has his head shaved.s Deut. xiv. 1. Lev. xxi. 1. Jer. vii. 29. xvi. 6. See also on Deut. xxi. 12 and 13. The son then takes an earthen vessel, which is carried three times round the pile, and then broken, and the water runs on the ground. After this he takes a torch, and lights the funeral pile, with his face turned in another direction, and goes to his homel; and those who remain to see the corpse consumed throw clarified butter and oils on the fire, to hasten its consumption. I

On the third day, the half calcined bones which remain are gathered, and put into a new vessel **, and thrown into the sea or a river, or carried to the Ganges.Ht At other times the

* “ Warm waters then, in brazen caldrons borne,

Are poured, to wash his body joint by joint,
And fragrant oils the stiffening limbs anoint.”

Dryden's Virgil.
+ « Then on a bier with purple cover'd o'er.” Ad supra.
† “ First, from the ground a lofty pile they rear.”
§ “But great Achilles stands apart in prayer,

And from his head divides the yellow hair,
Those curling locks which from his youth he vowd,
And sacred grew to Sperchius' honour'd flood.”

See Homer, book 23. ll “ And fire the pile, their faces turn’d away!”

I “ Pure oil and incense on the fire they throw.” ** Said of Hector :

“ The snowy bones his friends and brothers place,

With tears collected in a golden vase.” ++ The Rev. C. S. Stewart, American Missionary, says, of the funeral rites of the Sandwich Islands, “ They, since time unknown, have been dissected in secret, by their nearest friends, their flesh has been burned and cast into the sea, and their bones carefully preserved and worshipped.” Karamsku said to the king, “What fools we have been to burn our dead, and cast them into the sea,"

bones are kept for a considerable time in the house of the nearest relation, till an opportunity shall occur for sending them to the Ganges. (See on Amos vi. 10.) When the relics are placed in the vessel, the priest takes a branch of the mango tree, and dips it in a liquid composed of milk, clarified butter, cow's urine, and curds, and sprinkles the whole * three times, and then retires.

Here then we see in this, and the notes on Deut. xxi. 12. a similarity in the funeral rites of the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands, of India, of Madagascar, of Siam, of Southern Africa, of Abyssinia, of Greece and Rome, and the ancients of holy writ; all of which serve to prove the common origin of the human race.

But it appears, as in the case of Jacob, for whom they made a “ very sore lamentation,” and Moses, over whom they wept in the plains of Moab thirty days; also in the case of Jonathan, for whom David made such a pathetic lamentation; also, the old prophet, who mourned over him who was slain by the lion, saying, “ Alas ! my brother;" and the citations from Jeremiah, in reference to the mourning women, who were to take up a wailing; and to the lamentations, Ah, my brother ; ah, sister; ah, lord ; ah, his glory: it is plain that the ancients did indulge in expressions of grief. +

Immediately after death the people of the house begin to make a great lamentation: they speak of the virtues of the

“ And dipped an olive branch in holy dew,
Which thrice he sprinkled round, and thrice aloud

Invoked the dead, and then dismiss'd the crowd.” + Mr. Benson says, from Jerome, “ That women at funerals, with dishevelled hair and naked breasts, endeavoured in a modulated voice to unite others in lamentation with them.”

Captain Franklin says, in his Journey to the Polar Sea, vol. iv. 142., “We found several of the Indian families in great affliction for the loss of three of their relations, who had been drowned in the August preceding by the upsetting of a canoe, near Fort Enterprise. They bewailed the melancholy accident every morning and evening, by repeating the names of the persons in a loud singing tone, which was frequently interrupted by bursts of tears."

deceased, and address the body in very touching language. The female relations come together, and beat their breasts. Their long hair is soon dishevelled ; they sit down on the floor around the corpse, put their arms on each others’shoulders, and in a kind of mournful recitative bewail the loss of their friend.

I have sometimes been not a little affected to hear their exclamations. See the wife bending over the dead body of her husband; listen to her lamentations:“Ah, how many years have we been married, and lived happily together ? never were we separated, but now! Alas, my king, my kingdom, my master, my wealth, my eyes, my body, my soul, my god. Shall I make an offering to Brahma, because thou art taken away ? Now will your enemies rejoice, because you are gone. Did the gods call for you? are you in Siva's mount ? Though I saw you die, I am still alive. When shall I again see the light of your beautiful countenance ? O when again shall I behold his noble mien ? how can I look upon that face which was once like the full-blown lotus, but now withered and dry. When shall I again see his graceful bearing in the palankeen. Alas! my name is now the widow. When will my aged father again say to you, son-in-law ? Do the eyes which saw the splendour of my bridal day witness this deathly scene ? In future, by whom will these children be defended? When I am sick, who will go for the far-famed doctor? When my children cry, to whom shall I complain? When they are hungry, to whom will they say, father? Ah! my children, my children, you must now forget that pleasant word.”

Hear the daughter over her father — "My father, had I not my existence from you? Who had me constantly in his arms, lest I should fall? Who would not eat except I was with him? Who fed me with rice and milk? When I was dejected, who purchased me bracelets ? Who purchased the beautiful jewel for my forehead ? O! my god, you never

* Has no English wife looked with pride on her husband when mounted on a stately horse ? A native gentleman sits with peculiar grace in his palankeen, and moves with great dignity to those who pass him on the road.

could bear to look in my withered face. Who will now train my brothers ? Who procured me the tali ? (husband). To whom shall I go when my husband is angry? Under whose shade shall my husband and children now go? To whom will my children now say, grandfather? In whose face will my mother now look? Alas! my father, my father, you have left us alone.”

Listen to the son over his father :-“ From infancy to manhood you have tenderly nursed me. Who has given me learning ? Who has taught me to conduct myself with discretion? Who caused me to be selected by many? Who would not eat if I had the headach? Who would not allow me to be fatigued by walking ? Who gave me the beautiful palankeen ? Who loved to see his son happy? Whose eyes shone like diamonds on his son? Who taught me to prepare the fields; who taught me agriculture ? Ah! my father, I thought you would have lived to partake of the fruits of the trees I had planted. Alas! alas ! I shall now be called the fatherless son."

Hear the aged father over the body of his son :-“My son, my son, art thou gone? What ! am I left in my old age ? My lion, my arrow, my blood, my body, my soul, my third eye! gone, gone, gone. Ah ! who was so near to his mother? To whom will she now say, son? What! gone without assisting us in our old age? Ah! what will thy betrothed do? I hoped thou wouldest have lived to see our death. Who will now perform the funeral rites for us? Who will light up the pile? Who will perform the annual ceremonies ? To the bats, to the bats, my house is now given.”

The daughter over the body of her mother says, “ Alas ! what shall I do in future? We are like chickens, whose mother is killed. Motherless children are beaten on the head. *

The Hindoos beat their children with the knuckles on the head, and a child thus chastised often asks, “ Am I a motherless child ?” Mothers in the East are exceedingly fierce when their children are beaten. Woe be to the offender, if they have power to punish him.

We are like the honeycomb hanging on the trees, at which a stone has been thrown: all, all are scattered.” She says to the females who are coming to mourn over her mother, “ I am the worm which has to eat a dead body. Though you should give me a large vessel full of water, it will not quench my thirst so well as a few drops from the hand of my mother! My mother has gone, and left us for the streets. Who lulled me to repose ? Who bathed me near the well? Who fed me with milk? Ah ! my father also is dead.* Why have you gone without seeing the splendour of my bridal day? Did you not promise to deck me for the festive scene? What ! am I to be alone that day? Ah! my mother, how shall I know how to conduct myself? When I am married, should my husband use me ill, to whom shall I go? Who will now teach me to manage household affairs ? Ah ! there is nothing like a mother! How many pains, how many difficulties, , have you had with me? What have I done for you? Alas! alas ! had you been long sick, I might have done something

you told me disobedience would be my ruin. You are gone : why did I not obey you? My fate, my fate ! my mother, my mother! will you not look at me? Are you asleep? You told us you should die before our father. + My mother, will you not again let me hear your voice ? When I am in pain, who will say, fear not, fear not? thought you would have lived to see the marriage of my daughter. Come hither, my infant, look at your grandmother. Was I not nursed at those breasts? You said to my father, when you were dying, 'Love my children.' You said to my husband, ‘Cherish my daughter.' Ah! did you not bless us all? My mother, my mother, that name I will not repeat again.”

The son says to the mourning women, “Ah! was she not the best of mothers ? Did she not conceal my faults ? Can

for you.


* Meaning, he will marry again, and that his affections will be weaned from them.

+ Hindoo females greatly desire to die before their husbands, because they are believed to be blessed of the gods,

« הקודםהמשך »