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persons, and it is only on the third, fifth, se venth, and ninth days that they assemble in the open air to bathe, and take a repast, after which they place lamps in the cross roads, and at their own doors, as if to guide the wandering spirit, which, till after the second ceremony or Sradd ha, rambles melancholy between earth and heaven*. The time of mourning having expired, the Sraddha is performed: it consists of offerings, prayers, and texts from the Vedas, besides a kind of exorcism to drive away evil spirits. On offering food one of the formularies is extremely curious, alluding to the mystical sacrifice of Brahme by the immortals by which this world was created; thus signifying that the elements of which bodies are composed are not annihi lated by death, but their forms changed to revive in others; and there is another text, which out of the multitude I select for its beauty. May the winds blow sweet, the rivers flow

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* "Let my pale corse the rites of burial know,
And give me entrance in the realms below;
Till then the spirit finds no resting place."

Iliad, xxiii.

All men feel some anxiety concerning the disposal of their bodies after death; and most nations, in early times, have supposed that the happiness of the soul depended on it. This anxiety for what may come after death would alone distinguish man from "the beasts that perish.”

sweet, and salutary herbs be sweet unto us; may night be sweet, may the mornings pass sweetly; may the soil of the earth, and heaven parent (of all productions) be sweet unto us; may (Sóma) king of herbs and trees, be sweet; may the sun be sweet, may kine be sweet, unto us."

After the food has been offered to the Manes, the Brahmins are fed, and the officiating priest receives his fee before the ashes are collected*. When that is to be done, the nearest relation with his kinsmen carries into the cemetery eight vessels as offerings to Siva and other deities, and presents an Argha with other offerings, after which he walks round the place where the funeral pile stood, and places two vessels at each of the cardinal points, and shifting the sacerdotal thread to the right shoulder, he sprinkles the bones with cow's milkt, and beginning with the skull he draws them from the ashes with a branch of sami and another of palasa. They are then put into an earthen jar lined with yellow cloth and leaves of the palasa, and covered with a lid,

The Brahmins who officiate at funerals are not much esteemed. The priests of Egypt who performed the funeral rites were held in abhorrence.

+ Achilles quenched the ashes of the pile of Patroclus with sable wine, and the urn containing the hero's bones was lined with fat.

which, being wrapped in mud and thorns mixed with moss, is buried, and a tree or other me morial erected on the place. The ashes are thrown into the water, the spot where the pile stood is cleansed, and the deities convoked are dismissed with an oblation, which is thrown into the water, and thus the ceremony of gathering the ashes is completed.

On the last day of mourning, the heir puts on neat apparel, has his head and beard shaved and his nails cut, when he gives the barber the clothes worn during the performance of the obsequies, after which he anoints himself with oil of sesamum, and rubs his body with meal of the same, mixed with white mustard seed, bathes, sips water, touches auspicious things, and returns purified to his house, which concludes the first obsequy.

The Hindûs are not the only people who consider the touching or approaching a dead body as a defilement. The Jews, both ancient and modern, have the same superstition, (see the 21st chapter of Leviticus,) and the Egyptians, who were so anxious to embalm and preserve the dead, held those who touched them in abomination.

The next obsequy is the consolatory oblation, after which a bull is consecrated and let loose in honour of the deceased; I should be curious

to ascertain whether this part of the ceremony is of the nature of turning the scape-goat loosed into the wilderness as loaded with the sins of the people among the Jews.

Various Sradd'has are performed monthly for the first year after the death of a relation, but those at the end of the third fortnight, the sixth month, and the first anniversary are peculiarly holy. The first series of obsequies is intended to effect the re-embodying of the soul, and the second to raise the shade from this world to a place of happiness, for otherwise, like Homer's unburied heroes, it would wander

A naked, helpless, melancholy ghost.

Toperpetuate the felicity of progenitors ninetysix formal obsequies are performed in the course of the year, besides the daily oblations to the Manes, which I mentioned before. And now having fed, married, and buried my Hindû, I shall take leave of him and you for the present, satisfied if I have made you better acquainted, and shewed you at the same time that he is not very unlike some of the heroes of other times whom he has had the fortune, whether good or bad I will not say, to outlive.


YOUR questions, my dear sir, concerning the barrows found in some parts of the interior of India, are in part answered by the injunction to plant a tree, or raise a mound of earth or masonry on the spot where a funeral pile has stood, or where a sepulchral urn is buried. Some of the artificial hillocks you mention, contain urns, in which bones, coins, and ornaments have been found, and others are heaped over rude stone tombs, in which similar vases are deposited.

Barrrows, from

"The mound

Of him who felt the Dardan's arrow,
That mighty heap of gathered ground,
Which Ammon's son ran proudly round,
By nations rais'd, by monarchs crown'd,"

to those on which the shepherd of Mona lies to see the green-clad fairies of his isle, while his flock feeds on its short herbage, are found in every part of the globe. The pile of stones in the African desert which hides the entrance to the sepulchral chamber of the Copt, the grassy hillock which breaks the horizon of the vast plains of Tartary, and the tomb of the Cacique which arrests the steps of the Lama

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