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for certain birds, beasts, and insects, that on at least one occasion it proved a valuable aid to their foes, as when Cambyses captured a city, by forming a vanguard of all manner of animals—cats and dogs, bulls and goats — assured that one or other must be held sacred by the besieged ; and so it proved, for the latter dared not throw a dart lest they should injure their “bleating gods.” Each of these had their especial sacred city, where their precious remains were embalmed and their mummies stored. Dogs and ichneumons might indeed be buried in their own cities, but hawks and shrewmice were generally conveyed to Buto, and ibises to Hermopolis. Onuphis was the city specially dedicated to the worship of the asp; but all manner of serpents were worshipped in gorgeous temples over the length and breadth of the land, and the reptiles were fed with flour and honey by their appointed priests, and their bodies eventually embalmed with all possible reverence. Cat-mummies were stored in the sacred city of Bubastis; goats at Mendes; wolves were preserved in pits near Sioux; while the ram, sacred to the sun, was worshipped at Thebes, the sun city. The death of a cat was considered so dire a misfortune, that if a house were to take fire the Egyptians would let it burn to the ground, if only they could rescue the cats, which, however, had an awkward trick of jumping into the flames. Should one of these perish, all the inmates of the house shaved their eyebrows. Should a dog die, the head and beard were also shaved. Each species of animal had its appointed guardians to feed and tend them, the office being hereditary. A heavy fine attended any accident which befell these precious creatures; and should one perish through carelessness, the life of the keeper was forfeit, more especially if the victim were an ibis or a hawk, for whose death there was no forgiveness. The hawk, whose piercing eye can so fearlessly gaze upon the sun, was the special type of that great source of light. It was worshipped in Heliopolis and the other sun temples, where living birds were kept in cages, and pictures of sacred hawks, seated amidst lotus-plants, adorned the walls. With such reverence were they treated, that when the Egyptian hosts went forth to battle, they carried their hawks with their armies; and should some chance to die in foreign lands, their bodies were embalmed, and brought to Egypt to be buried in consecrated tombs. Thus numerous hawk-mummies have been discovered at Thebes and elsewhere. Hence it would appear that each of these creatures was the totem, or representative animal of some tribe, which bestowed thereon all due veneration in life and in death. Probably the totem of one tribe would receive no honour from the next. Hence the battles already alluded to between the cities which worshipped crocodiles and those which ate
them 1 and the still more deadly civil wars that raged between the worshippers of the Oxyrinchus fish and the dog-worshippers of Cynopolis, when the latter were guilty of fishing in the Nile, and not only capturing the holy fish, but also eating them.
No salmon commissioners could be more wrathful at the wilful destruction of salmon-fry than were these fish-adoring Egyptians when tidings of the crime reached their city. Swift vengeance followed; for the deified dogs, worshipped by the gluttonous offenders, were caught and sacrificed to appease the wrath of the fish-gods, their flesh affording a delicious feast for the priests. This of course led to a prolonged civil war, and the sacking of towns and bloodshed were only checked by the arrival of the Roman legions, who punished both parties, and reduced them to order. Such wars continued from time to time, even so late as the fourth century after Christ, by which time, however, various cities (notably that of Oxyrinchus) had adopted the new faith, and the cells set apart for sacred animals were tenanted by the monks.
If we follow out this subject, it may perhaps bring us nearer home than we imagine; for just as the Australian blacks are divided into clans bearing the name of the animal, or even the plant, from which they believe themselves to be descended, and which they must on no account eat or gather—and are thus known as “The Black Snakes,” “The Swans,” “The Turtles,” “The Kangaroos,” &c., so our antiquarians tell us, that many of our tattooed or painted Anglo-Saxon ancestors bore the names of animals or plants, which doubtless were in truth the totem of their family. Thus the Bercings and Thornings traced their descent from the birch and thorn, and the Bockings from the beech ; and the homes of these families still bear such names as Bocking, Birchington, and Thornington. Elmington and Oakington are supposed to have been peopled by sons of the elm and of the oak ; while Ashendon recalls the Ashings or Æscings, who bore the name of the sacred ash-tree; and the Fearnings of Farningham were supposed to descend from a humble fern.
Buckingham and Berrington are said to have derived their names from the Buccings and Berings, sons of the buck and of the bear; while the followers of the wolf did him honour by bestowing on their children such names as Wulfing, Eadwulf, Beowulf, or Ethelwulf. The sacred white horse (whose image remains to this day on the downs of Westbury and Wantage, as clearly defined as when first our Saxon ancestors scraped the green grass from off the chalk hillside) was the symbol reverenced by all Aryan races, and Hengest and Horsa, the leaders of the early English, bore names which entitled them to command their fellows. They have left their mark in such territorial names as Hengestesdun, Horstead, Horsington, and many more. The Otterings of Otterington owed allegiance to the otter.
The snake was as much revered in Britain as in all other corners of the world, and no disrespect was implied in describing him as a worm. Hence the family of Wyrmings, and such geographical traces as Wormington, Wormingford, and even Ormskirk and Great Orm's (or Worm's) Head. The Earnings were adherents of the earn or eagle; the Everings or Eoferings of Eofer, the wild boar, whose home was at Eversley. Raveningham and Cockington are said to bear the name of the old lords of the soil, the sons of the raven and of the cock; while the Fincings of Finchingfield and the Thryscings of Thrushington, are said to represent the families who adopted the Thrush and the Finch as their totem.
Altogether there appears good reason to infer that the reverence for birds and beasts, fishes and reptiles, which excites our compassionate wonder in reading of poor untutored savages, such as these Samoans, was once a powerful influence in our own British Isles."
LEAVE SAMOA—REACH TAHITI—GREY SHADOWS-DEATH OF QUEEN POMARE —LA LOIRE AND HER PASSENGERS — A GENERAL DISPERSION – LIFE Ashore. At PAPEETE – ADMIRAL SERRE AND the ROYAL FAMILY— FAMILIES OF SALMON AND BRANDER—ADOPTION.
H.B.M. CoNsulate, APIA, Sunday Evening, 30th September.
It is finally settled that I am really going on to Tahiti. From what I have told you, you can fully understand that Samoa would not be an inviting place in which to lie stranded for an unlimited period; and though I, individually, have received the greatest possible kindness from many of the foreign residents, and from the Samoan chiefs of both parties, still the whole atmosphere is tainted with lies and the strivings of self-interest, and is altogether unwholesome. So I have definitely accepted the invitation so repeatedly and heartily given, and to-morrow I am to return on board the Seignelay.
1 See an interesting article on the origin of clan names in Britain, ‘Cornhill Magazine,' September 1881—"Old English Clans.”
A SAINTLY HEART. 140
I have just received letters from some, and messages from all on board, expressing cordial pleasure at my decision, especially from M. de Gironde, whose cabin I occupy; so I really feel that I shall be a welcome guest. The great difficulty will lie beyond Tahiti, but I must e'en trust to my luck. It is also decided that the bishop is to proceed at once to France, both on Church business and for medical advice. It is a good thing that he is so soon to leave this place, where he is terribly worried by the attempt to reconcile so many conflicting interests. He looks much worse than when we arrived.” This morning he officiated at High Mass; and all the men and officers of the Seignelay attended in full uniform. The service was choral, and of course the church was crowded. I passed it on my way to a very small Congregational chapel, where Dr Turner conducted an English service. We met numbers of people on their way to the Protestant native churches; and I was amused to observe how many carried their Bibles neatly folded up in a piece of white tappa, just as an old wife in Scotland would wrap hers in a white handkerchief
1 It is hard to have to think of that tender and loving heart as of a mere material relic. Yet, as the heart of the Bruce, enshrined in its golden casket, was carried by his true knight to that Holy Land which his feet might never tread, so has the heart of this saintly prelate—the first Bishop of Samoa-been borne by his faithful followers, to find its resting-place in the church where for so many years he pleaded for, and with, his people. It was brought from France by Père Lamaze, now consecrated Bishop of the Isles. The heart is enclosed in a glass urn, with an outer case of gold, ornamented with precious stones, and supported by four angels. On the lid of this reliquary is a representation of a bishop appearing before the judgment-seat of our Lord. On reaching Samoa, the casket was deposited at Vaea, while preparations for its reception were made at Apia. On the 24th May 1881, about six hundred Catholics assembled at sunrise at the church at Vaea, to pay a last tribute of respect and devotion to their loved bishop; then forming in solemn procession, they moved towards Apia. The children from the convent school at Savalalo walked first, followed by their teachers; next the Catholics of Apia and the surrounding districts. These were followed by the clergy, four of whom acted as pall-bearers, while four others carried the heart. Last of all came the Catholic chiefs, the catechists of Vaea College, and the natives residing at the mission-house at Apia. On reaching the church, a sermon was preached by Bishop Lamaze, and the heart was then deposited in a niche in the wall, there to remain enshrined, as a perpetual memorial to the people of Samoa of the earnest and noble life that was spent in striving to exemplify the holiness he preached.
In the afternoon my hostess accompanied me to the convent, where the children sang prettily while we sat in the pleasant garden. The sisters bade me good-bye quite sadly. “It has been des adieux all day,” said one.
ON BoARD LE SFIGNELAY,
M. de Gironde came at daybreak to escort me on board. All the Puletoa chiefs crowded round to say good-bye—and Iran down the garden for a last word with their “orator,” a fine young fellow, who was nursing his new-born baby in the large native house. His wife is such a nice pretty young woman. I felt quite sorry to leave them all, not knowing what may be the next tidings of woe. We know that war may be renewed at any moment."
Saturday, 6th October 1877,
With a dreary waste of grey waters on every side of us, and no
1 The following paragraph is from a recent Hawaiian Gazette, showing the course of events in Samoa :—
“We learn, through the courtesy of Lieutenant Abbot of the Lackawanna, some interesting particulars in relation to the political condition of the Samoan archipelago. The chief Malietoa, whose name is identified with the sovereignty of Samoa, is dead, and his nephew and namesake has succeeded to his political authority and state; but a rival chief, Kepua Tomisasu, has been contesting the succession, and previous to the arrival of the Lackawanna there had been a series of desultory semi-barbarous war campaigns—not resulting in any decisive action or notable slaughter of men, but causing widespread ruin, robbery, and unrest. The American commander Gillis now presented his good offices in the way of reconciliation, and to establish between rival chiefs and peoples of the same land a more harmonious and patriotic spirit. And we are happy to say that, after many baffling discussions, a political unity and harmony on Samoa have been effected—Malietoa II. being proclaimed King of Samoa, and his rival, Kepua, the Premier of Samoa, with an authority on public questions somewhat like our former Kuhina Nui.
“The Samoan warriors have all dispersed and returned to peaceful pursuits. The terms of peace were drawn up and signed on board the Lackawanna in the harbour of Apia, and a royal salute of 21 guns was fired from the vessel in honour of the event.
“We are glad to recognise that in this instance the commander of an American man-of-war intervenes solely as a peacemaker, and to promote the best welfare of a boolynesian people."