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eligible to proceed with the marriage. Don N., who chose rather to put his conscience than his knees to such discipline, took his own measures on the occasion. What these were, the idle public took the liberty of guessing broadly enough, but no one could say positively. At the end of a week, however, it was announced, that the case had undergone a careful re-examination, and that it had been deemed proper to commute the penance into one week's retirement from the world : that is to say, Don N. was to shut himself up in the Convent of La Cruz, there to fast and pray in solitude and silence for seven days. The manner in which this penance was performed is an appropriate commentary on the whole transaction. The penitent, aided and assisted by two or three of the jovial friars of the convent, passed the evening in discussing some capital wine, sent out for the occasion by Don N. himself, after eating a dinner, prepared by the cook of the convent, the best in New Galicia. As for silence and solitude, his romping boys and girls were with him during all the morning; besides a score of visitors, who strolled daily out of town as far as the convent, to keep up the poor man's spirits, by relating all the gossip which was afloat about his marriage, his penitence, and the wonderful kindness of the church." CAPT. HALL's Journal, vol. ii. pp. 210—214.
“ I have read of a gentleman,” says Bishop Taylor, “who, being on his death-bed, and his confessor searching and dressing his wounded soul, was found to be obliged to make restitution of a considerable sum of money, with the diminution of his estate. His confessor found him desirous to be sa lover of his religion, and yet to have a kindness for his estate, which he desired might be entirely transmitted to his beloved heir : he would serve God with all his heart, and repented him of his sin, of his rapine and injustice; he begged for pardon passionately, he humbly hoped for mercy, he resolved, in case he did recover, to live strictly, to love God, to reverence his priests, to be charitable to the poor; but to make restitution he found impossible to him, and he hoped the commandment would not require it of him, and desired to be relieved by an
easy and a favourable interpretation ; for it is ten thousand pities so many good actions and good purposes should be in vain, but it is worse, infinitely worse, if the man should perish. What should the confessor do in this case ? shall not the man be relieved and his piety be accepted; or shall the rigour and severity of his confessor, and his scrupulous fears and impertinent niceness, cast away a soul either into future misery, or present discomfort ? neither one nor other was to be done; and the good man was only to consider what God had made necessary, not what the vices of his penitent and his present follies should make so. Well : the priest insists upon his first resolution, “Non dimittitur peccatum, nisi restituatur ablatum ;' the sick man could have no ease by the loss of a duty. The poor clinic desires the confessor to deal with his son, and try if he could be made willing that his father might go to heaven at charge of his son, which when he had attempted, he was answered with extreme rudeness and injurious language; which caused great trouble to the priest and to the dying father. At last the religious man found out this device, telling his penitent, that unless by corporal penances there could be made satisfaction in exchange of restitution, he knew no hopes; but because the profit of the estate, which was obliged to restitution, was to descend upon the son, he thought something might be hoped, if, by way of commutation, the son would hold his finger in a burning candle for a quarter of an hour. The glad father being overjoyed at this loop-hole of eternity, this glimpse of heaven, and the certain retaining of the whole estate, called to his son, told him the condition and the advantages to them both, making no question but he would gladly undertake the penance.
But the son with indignation replied, he would not endure so much torture to save the whole estate.' Το which the priest, espying his advantage, made this quick return to the old man: • Sir, if your son will not, for a quarter of an hour, endure the pains of a burning finger to save your soul, will you, to save a portion of the estate for him, endure the flames of hell to eternal ages ?' The unreasonableness of the odds, and the ungratefulness of the son, and the
importunity of the priest, and the fear of hell, and the indispensable necessity of restitution, awakened the old man from his lethargy, and he bowed himself to the rule, made restitution, and had hopes of pardon and present comfort.” — Works of Jeremy Taylor, vol. xiii. p. 38.
The penances which Indian fanatics voluntarily undertake and perform would be deemed impossible in Europe, if they had not been witnessed by so many persons of unquestionable authority. The penances which the Bramins enjoin are probably more severe than they would otherwise be, on this account, lest they should seem trifling in the eyes of a people accustomed to such exhibitions.
“ If a Shoodru go to a Bramhunee of bad character, he must renounce life by casting himself into a large fire. If a Shoodru go to a Bramhunee of unsullied character, he must tie straw round the different parts of his body, and cast himself into the fire. The woman must be placed on an ass and led round the city, and then go the Great Way: the meaning of this is, she must wander to those sacred places of the Hindoos where the climate is exceedingly cold, and proceed till she actually perish with cold. This is a meritorious way of terminating life, and is mentioned as such in the Hindoo writings." - Ward, vol. i. p. 427.
Sometimes the law is frustrated by its own severity. “ It is a dogma of general notoriety, that if a Jungum has the mischance to lose his Lingum, he ought not to survive the misfor
Poornia, the present minister of Mysoor, relates an incident of a Ling-ayet friend of his, who had unhappily lost his portable god, and came to take a last farewell. The Indians, like more enlightened nations, readily laugh at the absurdities of every sect but their own, and Poornia gave him better counsel. It is a part of the ceremonial, preceding the sacrifice of the individual, that the principal persons of the sect should assemble on the banks of some holy stream, and placing in a basket the lingum images of the whole assembly, purify them in the sacred waters. The destined victim, in conformity to the advice of his friend, suddenly seized the basket, and
overturned its contents into the rapid Caveri.
• Now, my friends,' said he,' we are on equal terms : let us prepare to die together.' The discussion terminated according to expectation. The whole party took an oath of inviolable secresy, and each privately provided himself with a new image of the lingum.” - Wilks, vol. i.
506. In 1790, when the Mahrattas were to have co-operated with Lord Cornwallis at Seringapatam, their general, Parasu Ram Bhao, became unclean from eating with a Bramin who had kissed a cobler's wife. There was no stream near holy enough to wash away the impurity, so he marched his whole immense army to the junction of the Tungha and the Badra. Major Moor, who was with him, says, during this march, uncalled for in a military point of view, the army laid waste scores of towns and thousands of acres, . . indeed, whole districts; we fought battles, stormed forts, destroyed a large army, and ran every military risk.
Having reached the sacred place of junction, he washed, and having been made clean, was weighed against gold and silver ; his weight was 16,000 pagodas, about 70001., which was given to the Bramins. They who had eaten with the Bramin at the same time, in like manner washed away the defilement; but the weighing is a ceremony peculiar to the great.” — Moor's Hindu Infanticide, p. 234.
“ The present king of Travancore has conquered, or carried war into all the countries which lay round his dominions, and lives in the continual exercise of his arms. To atone for the blood which he has spilt, the Brachmans persuaded him that it was necessary he should be born anew : this ceremony consisted in putting the prince into the body of a golden cow of immense value, where, after he had lain the time prescribed, he came out regenerated, and freed from all the crimes of his former life. The cow was afterwards cut up, and divided amongst the seers who had invented this extraordinary method for the remission of his sins."
Orme's Fragments. A far less expensive form was observed among the ancient Greeks, in cases wherein a second birth was deemed indispensable, “ for in Greece they thought not those pure and clean
who had been carried forth for dead to be interred, or whose sepulchre and funerals had been solemnized or prepared; neither were such allowed to frequent the company of others, nor suffered to come near unto their sacrifices. And there goeth a report of a certain man named Aristinus, one of those who had been possessed with this superstition ; how he sent unto the oracle of Apollo at Delphos, for to make supplication and prayer unto the god, for to be delivered out of this perplexed anxiety that troubled him by occasion of the said custom, or law, then in force, and that the prophetess Pythia returned this answer :
66 Look whatsoever women do
in childbed newly laid,
the very same, I say,
and after that, be sure,
to sacrifice, most pure.
“ Which oracle thus delivered, Aristinus, having well pondered and considered, committed himself as an infant new born unto women, for to be washed, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, and to be suckled with the breasthead : after which all such others, whom we call Hysteropotmous, that is to say, those whose graves were made as if they were dead, did the semblable. Howbeit some do say that, before Aristinus was born, these ceremonies were observed about these Hysteropotmoi, and that this was a right ancient custom kept in the semblable case." — Pluturch's Morals, tr. by Philemon Holland, p. 852.
The lamps went out.
-p. 195. There is the authority of a Holy Man in the Romance of Merlin, . . which is as good authority for such a fact as anything in the Acta Sanctorum, ... that the Devil, like other wild beasts who prowl about seeking what they may devour, is