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LITTELL’S LIVING AGE.-No. 372.-5 JULY, 1851.
From the Edinburgh Review.
Souvenirs d'un Voyage dans la Tartarie, le Thibet, et la Chine, pendant les Années 1844, 1845, et 1846. Par M. Huc, Prêtre Missionaire de la Congregation de St. Lazare. 2 vols. Paris: 1850.
About the end of 1846, Mr. Alexander Johnston, son of the late Sir Alexander, and secretary to her majesty's minister plenipotentiary in China, was fellow-passenger on board the steamer from HongKong to Ceylon with a French Lazarist Missionary, named Joseph Gabet. It appeared that M. Gabet was then on his way from China to Paris, intend,ing, should circumstances be favorable on his arrival, to bring under the notice of the French government the ill treatment which he himself and a brother missionary had experienced at Lhassa, from Ke-shen, resident on the part of the Emperor of China at the court of the Grand Lama. Some of our readers will recognize in this name that of the Imperial Commissioner who was opposed to Captain Elliot, in 1839, at Canton; and who, on account of the disasters which befell the Chinese arms, was disgraced, plundered, and even condemned to death by the emperor, but has since, with marvellous expedition, contrived to regain nearly all his former honors and credit, and even a great portion of his former wealth, which was colossal, as we shall see. Mr. Johnston found the narrative of M. Gabet so curious and interesting, as the most recent and authentic account of Thibet in its relation to China, that he noted down the principal heads at the time, and, on returning to his official post, presented the manuscript to Sir John Davis, who forwarded a copy in his despatches to Lord Palmerston. Nothing more was heard about the matter, until the appearance of these two volumes, by M. Huc, the companion of M. Gabet in all his adventures. A more interesting as well as diverting book has seldom issued from the French press. The qualifications of a Humboldt are not to be expected in a missionary priest. And though it should contribute nothing to the geographer or savant, we might well be grateful for its information regarding countries nearly inaccessible to Europeans; but this information is conveyed in such an inexhaustible strain of good humor, and fun, as amply to repay the perusal of any class of readers. In these points M. Huc bears some resemblance to his English namesake, Theodore, as we may almost call him. Some eight years before the late “Papal Aggression,” His Holiness of Rome took a rather smaller liberty with the Emperor of China, by appointing a vicar apostolic to Mongol Tartary. The next thing was to ascertain, if possible, the extent and nature of this gigantic vicariat. However dreadful the intolerance and oppression under which Romish priests groan among us, they are a good deal worse off in the Celestial Empire; and yet there, strange to say, they are as quiet as lambs, and the government seldom hears of them, except when some stray missionary is detected and
acked off to the coast, for foreign shipment. MM. 8. and Huc, who happened to be residing a
little to the north of the Great Wall, in Eastern Tartary, at the commencement of 1844, were appointed by their spiritual superior to make their way as well as they could through Western Tartary to Lhassa, the capital of Thibet, and the holy see of Lamanism. This might look, at first sight, like taking the bull by the horns. The reader will find, however, to his surprise, that all the opposition they experienced was not ecclesiastical, but lay—not religious, but political ; and that while they received every encouragement and hospitalit from the Lama's government, they were |...} and at length expelled, by the exertions of the Chinese resident, or ambassador, Ke-shen. In China a Romish bishop or priest is obliged to pass himself off, as well as he can, for a native, in the lay dress of the country; but they were now going to enter a nation of priests, and therefore prepared to disguise themselves as Lamas. Off went the tail, which had been cherished ever since their departure from France, leaving the head entirely shaven. A long yellow robe was fastened on the right side by five gilt buttons; it was drawn round the waist by a red girdle. Over this was worn a short red jacket, without sleeves; or, as they call it in Chinese, “a back and breast;” having a narrow collar of purple velvet. A yellow hat with broad brim, and surmounted by a red silk button, finished off their new costume. Their only attendant was a young Mongol neophyte, named Samdadchiemba, who is thus described:—“Un nex large et insolemment retroussé, une grande bouche fendue en ligne droite, des lèvres épaisses et saillantes; un teint fortement bronzé, tout contribuait a donner a sa physionomie un aspect sauvage et dédaigneux.” This Tartar Adonis had charge of two camels and a white horse, which, with a tent and a dog to guard it, completed the equipment of our adventurous missionaries for the desert. They had no other guide for their route than a compass and a map of the Chinese empire, published in. Paris. The apprehensions expressed by the friends. whom they left behind, regarding what they might suffer in the journey to Lhassa, were fully answered in the event. M. Gabet well-nigh sank under the extreme hardships of this savage and nomadic life; first across an inhospitable desert,. and then over mountains to which the Alps are: trifles. From plunder they escaped tolerably free, though the Mongol robbers would seem to be the civilest in the world. Instead of rudely clapping a pistol to your breast, they blandly observe, “Venerable elder brother, I am tired of going a-foot, please to lend me your horse; I am without money, do give me the loan of your purse; it is very cold to-day, let me have the use of your coat.” If the venerable elder brother has the charity to comply, he is duly thanked; but, if not, the humble appeal is supported by the cudgel; and, should this not do, by something more coercive still. Very little better than the professional robbers were any, bands of Chinese soldiers with whom they might have the bad luck to fall in, and whose neighborhood, therefore, they diligently shunned. During the war with England, on the north-east coast, these
ragamuffin troops were so dreaded by their own countrymen that, when the process of civilized warfare came to be known and understood by the Chinese people, the latter often welcomed us as deliverers, and their satisfaction was increased when the public granaries were thrown open to them for nothing. Our missionaries had a characteristic account of the war with England from a Tartar, whom they met in the desert:
“What, were all the Tartar banners called together 2"–"Yes, all. At first it passed for a very small matter; every one said it would never reach us. The troops of Kitat” (China) went first of all, but they did nothing. The banners of Solón also marched, but they could not resist the heat of the south. The emperor then sent us his sacred order. * * * On the same day we marched to Peking, and from Peking we went to Tien-tsin, where we remained three months.”—“But did you fight—did you see the “enemy?”—“No ; he did not dare to show himself. The Chinese protested everywhere that we marched to certain and unavailing death. “What can you do,” said they, ‘against these sea-monsters ?—They live in the waters like fish. When least expected, they appear on the surface, and throw combustible balls of iron. When the bow is bent against them they take again to the water like frogs.” Thus it was they tried to frighten us, but we soldiers of the eight banners are ignorant of fear. The emperor had provided each leader a Lama instructed in medicine, and initiated in all the sacred auguries. They would cure us of the diseases of climate, and save us from the magic of the sea-monsters—what then need we fear 2 The rebels, on hearing that the invincible troops of Tchakar approached, were seized with alarm, and asked for peace. The sacred master (Shing-chu) of his immense mercy granted it, and then we returned to our pastures, and to the charge of our flocks.”
It is known for certain that when the British force had reached Nanking and the grand canal in 1842, the emperor so fully expected a visit at Peking that he stationed a force at Tien-tsin, as stated by the Tartar, and made every preparation to decamp into Tartary himself. In the confusion of packing up, some dexterous persons contrived to rob the treasury of several millions, and to this day the culprits have never been detected. The parties considered responsible, however, were, with all their relations and connexions, made answerable for the restoration of the treasure to the third and fourth generation. Without adverting to this circumstance, M. Huc observes, in another place, that during the progress of the war with the English, “nous savions que l'empereur était aux abois, et qu'il ne savait on prendre l'argent nécessaire pour empêcher de mourir de faim une poignée de soldats qui étaient chargés de veiller a l’intégrité du territoire Chinois.”
The most distinguished hero, sent by the emperor to exterminate the English during our war, was a Chinese general named Yang. This man had enticed the unfortunate Mahomedan chief, Jehanghir, in the war with Cashgar, to trust himself in his hands, and then sent him in a cage to Peking, where, after amusing the emperor, he was cruelly put to death. M. Huc heard the following account of Yang's tactics:—
As soon as the battle began he tied his beard in two large knots, to keep it out of his way; and then
* Thus, the Chinese town at Moscow is called Kitaigorod, and Marco Polo always calls China Kathay, anglicë, Kathai.
posted himself in the rear of his troops. There, armed with a long sword, he pressed his troops into action, cutting down without mercy such as were cowardly enough to fall back. This appears to be an odd style of commanding an army, but those who have lived among the Chinese will see that the military genius of General Yang was founded upon knowledge of his troops. His tactics certainly did not succeed against our troops, and as he never made his appearance, it is supposed that he occupied his favorite place of honor at the tail of the rear guard, and led gallantly in a retreat. “We have asked,” says M. Huc, “of several mandarins why the Batourou Yang had not exterminated the English ; all have answered that it arose from his compassion.” We have a terrible description in these volumes of Tartar uncleanliness, and several of the details on this subject are quite unpresentable. The dogma of the transmigration of souls acts, it seems, with some as a protection to the vermin with which they are infested. The interior of their tents is repulsive and almost insupportable to those unaccustomed to the odors that prevail there. Dirty as the Chinese may be, their northern neighbors far exceed them; the former at least have taken it upon themselves to settle the question, by calling the latter Chow Ta-tsze, “stinking Tartars,” as systematically as they call Europeans “foreign devils.” This clever and indefatigable, but not too scrupulous, race, have nearly displaced the Manchows in their original country to the north-east of the Great Wall, and almost as far as the river Saghalien." The Chinese are the inen of business and shopkeepers in all towns, and have very little mercy on the comparatively honest and simple Tartars. It is impossible to help laughing at the stories of their ingenious rascality. They are in fact the checaliers d’industrie—the Scapins and Mascarilles of Eastern Asia. M. Huc, in the following passage, gives an account of their tricks, which might have applied very closely to the way in which they treated our poor sailors in the south of China:—
When the Mongols, an honest and ingenuous race as ever was, arrive in a trading town, they are immediately surrounded by Chinese, who carry them off home as it were by force. Tea is prepared, their beasts looked to, a thousand little services rendered. They are caressed, flattered, magnetized, in short. The Mongols, who have nothing of duplicity in their own character, and suspect none in others, end by being moved and touched by all these kindnesses. They take in sober earnest all the professions of devotion and fraternity with which they are plied, and, in a word, persuade themselves that they have had the good fortune to meet with people they can confide in. Aware, moreover, of their own inaptitude for commercial dealings, they are enchanted at finding brothers—Ahatou, as they call it—who are so kind as to undertake to buy and sell for them. A good dinner gratis, which is served in a room to the rear, always ends by persuading them of the entire devotion of the Chinese confederacy. “If these people were interested,” says the honest Tartar to himself, “if they wished to plunder me, they would hardly give me such a good dinner for nothing; they would not expend so much money on me. It is generally at this first repast that the Chinese bring into play all that their character combines of villany and trickery. Once in possession of the poor Tartar, he never escapes. They serve him with spirits in excess, and
* Maintenant on a beau parcourir la Mantchourie jusqu'au fleuve Amour. 'est tout comme si on voyagait dans quelque province de Chine.
make him drink till he is fuddled. Thus they keep F. of their victim for three or four days, never osing sight of him, making him smoke, drink, and eat ; while they sell his live stock, and purchase for him whatever he may want, charging him generally double or triple for everything.
M. Huc puts in a strong light that appropriation to themselves of Manchow, or Eastern Tartary, (the country of their last conquerors,) which has been effected by the Chinese within something more than a century, and to which we have already alluded. In a map of this country, constructed by the Jesuits, Père Duhalde states his reason for inserting the Tartar names, and not the Chinese. “Of what use,” says he, “would it be to a travel. ler in Manchouria to know that the river Saghalien is called by the Chinese Hé-loung-Keang, (river of the Black Dragon,) since he has no business with them, and the Tartars, with whom he has to deal, know nothing of this name !” “This observation might be true in the time of Kanghy,” says M. Huc, “when it was made, but the very opposite is the fact at present; for the traveller in Manchouria now finds that he has to deal with China, and it is of the Hé-loung-Keang that he hears, and not of the Saghalien.” In our own colonies, the rapidly increasing numbers and wealth of the Chinese, where they exist, are apt to give them a degree of presumption which, with the aid of their vices, might make them troublesome, were it not for the wholesome dread they entertain of European power, wherever they happen to be really acquainted with it.
M. Huc explains how Thibet, and even Mongol Tartary, to a considerable extent, is a nation of Lamas. He says he may venture to assert that in Mongolia * form at least a third of the whole population. In almost every family, with the exception of the eldest son, who remains “homme noir,” all the rest of the males are destined to be Lamas. Nothing can be more obvious than the fact that, in China Proper, Buddhism and its temples are in ruins, and the priests left in a starving condition ; while, on the other hand, the government gives every encouragement to Lamanism in Tartary. The double object is said to be thus to impose a check on the growth of the population, and at the same time render that population as little warlike as possible. The remembrance of the ancient power of the Mongols haunts the court of Peking. They were once masters of the empire, and, to diminish the chances of a new invasion, the study is now to weaken them by all possible means.
With this large proportion of the male population condemned to celibacy, M. Huc gives us the following reasons for his thinking that polygamy, under all the circumstances, is the best thing for the Mongol Tartars.f. It seems generally to have existed in the pastoral and nomadic state.
* This is a distinguishing term for the Laity, who wear their black hair, while the Lamas shave the whole head.
t M. Huc is here treating of the Mongol Tartars; not of the Thibetians. Father Regis, in his memoir annexed to Duhalde, speaking of the polyandry of Thibet, states expressly that “the Tartars admit of no such irregularity.” Turner, Moorcroft, and Skinner, found a plurality of husbands common at Teshoo Loomboo, Ladak, and on the Himalayas. We found it too in Ceylon, as Caesar had found it in Britain. Barbarous as the custom seems to us, and inexplicable by any supposed disproportion of the sexes, we perceive no more satisfactory explanation of its existence among the Thibetians, than among the Nairs in Malabar. There is no incompatibility, it is true, between polyga
Polygamy, abolished by the gospel, and contrary in itself to the happiness and e of families, should, perhaps, be considered as a good for the Tartars. In the actual state of their society, it acts as a barrier to the libertinage and corruption of manners. Celibacy being imposed upon the Lamas, and the class which shaves the head, and lives in the lamaseries, being so numerous, if the daughters could not place themselves in families in the rank of secondary wives, it is easy to imagine the disorders which would arise from this multiplicity of young women left to themselves without support.
The married state, however, is anything but the conjugal, in the literal and derivative sense of the term. The husband can send back the lady to her parents without even assigning a reason. He is quits by the oxen, the sheep, and the horses which he was obliged to give as the marriage present; and the parents, it seems, can sell the same merchandise over again to a second bidder!
Our travellers, in their progress westward, had to cross the Yellow River more than once where it makes a bend northwards through the Great Wall and back again, enclosing in this curve an area of some three degrees square, the miserably waste and sandy country of the Ortous. Unhappily for the poor missionaries, this ruthless and ungainly stream (which a late emperor justly called “China's sorrow”) was in its frequent condition of overflow, and we have a pitiable description of the miseries endured by themselves and their camels, of all beasts the least adapted to deal with floods. The waters of the Yellow River, pure and clear at their source among the Thibet mountains, do not assume their muddy tinge until they reach the alluvial tracts of the Ortous, where they spread over thousands of acres during the inundations, altogether concealing the bed of the stream. Being from this point always nearly on a level with the country through which they flow, this defect of encaissement is the cause of disastrous accidents, when the rapid stream is swollen by melting snows near its source. The same velocity, which charges the river thickly with comminuted soil, prevents its deposition on the passage until it reaches the F. of Honan and Keangnan, where the actual bed of the river is now higher than a great portion of the immense plain through which it runs. This evil being continually aggravated by further depositions of mud, a fearful catastrophe seems to overhang that unfortunate region at the same time that the constant repair of the dikes taxes the ingenuity, while it exhausts the treasury, of the Chinese government. Sir John Davis offered to the minister Keying, a relation of the emperor, the aid of English engineers in an emergency where science could scarcely fail of beneficial results; but he shook his head, and said he dared not even mention the subject.
The personal observations of M. Huc settle the question as to the real nature and amount of what is called the “Great Wall” towards the west :—
We had occasion (he says) to cross it at more than fifteen different points, and several times we travelled for whole days in the line of its direction, and kept it constantly in view. Often, in lieu of those double turreted walls, which exist near Peking, we met with
my and polyandry. The Nair, we suspect, does not limit himself to his coparcenary wise; and in the Mahabarat, although Draupadi is the wise of the Five Pändus brothers, some of them—if not all—and Arjuna especially, have several other wives. But, in case M. Huc found polyandry at Lhassa, in either form, the omission is unaccountable. It must have been as #. a novelty to a European, as the rumor of Mr. odgson's “live unicorn.”
nothing more than a simple piece of masonry, and to give us a proof of his sagacity, called upon us to sometimes a modest rampart of earth. We even say without hesitation whether we were not English : occasionally saw their famous wall reduced to its most and, to leave no doubt of the meaning of his question, simple expression, and composed solely of some heaped he added, that by Ing-kie-li, be meant the “seastones. *
devils” who had made war on Canton.—“No, we It may be observed, with reference to the land are not English ; and not devils of any kind, whether frontiers of the Chinese empire on the west, that of the sea or of the earth.” An idler came up, very the authority of the emperor, instead of abruptly luckily, just in time to remove the ill effect of this encountering the hard outline of an entirely inde- keeper, do not know how to look at the human form.
tempestuous examination : “ You,” said he to the innpendent authority, is shadowed off by something Ilow dare you pretend that these people are Yangof a blended jurisdiction.“ There exists in the Kan- kouei-tse ? Don't you know that they have all blue sou, and upon the frontiers of the province of Sse- eyes and red hair?"_“You are right,” said the innTchouan, many tribes who thus govern themselves, keeper, “I had not considered it well.”—“No, cerunder special laws. All bear the denomination of tainly,” added we, “you have not. Do you think Tou-sse, to which is added the family name of their that marine monsters could live upon land as we do, chief or sovereign.” (P. 36.) We find in another and ride on horseback ?"_“Oh, that's right, it is place that this prevails to the south-west, on the just so; the Ing-kie-li, they say, never dare to quit borders of Ava. “On the outskirts of the empire, the sea; as soon as they get on land they tremble and towards the west, are a number of towns or stations, die, like fish taken out of water.”—They talked much called Too-sse, or native jurisdictions,' where the of the manners and character of sen-devils, and after aborigines are more or less independent, and where all was said, it was settled that we were not at all of
the same race.] there is, in fact, a kind of divided authority, each party being immediately subject to its own chiefs. These volumes contain the most detailed and This is particularly true of the Lolos.”—The complete account of Lamanism that we remember Chinese, vol. i.
ever to have met with ; and they confirm, on the It is an odd result of our war with China, that authority of these Romish priests themselves, the something of the same principle should have been astonishing resemblance that exists between the established by treaty at the Five Ports of trade on external rites and institutions of Buddhism and the opposite side of the empire. British subjects those of the Church of Rome. Besides celibacy, are there entirely independent of the Chinese law, fasting, and prayers for the dead, there are enshrined and governed by their own consuls, who act under relics, holy water, incense, candles in brvad day, ordinances framed by the governor and legislative rosaries of beads counted in praying, worship of council of Hong-kong, confirmed by her majesty in saints, processions, and a monastic habit resembling council. The inference from the frequency of these that of the mendicant orders. Although our “native jurisdictions” is, that Chinese law, as worthy missionaries call the images of Lamanism administered towards foreigners, becomes intoler- idols, and the Romish idols images, we do not think able ; so at least it proved at Canton.
the distinction is worth much, and therefore may It would be a pity to spoil the following passage throw in this item with the rest; the more especby a translation :
ially as, on the summary principle of “inveniam Notre aubergiste, un Chinois pur-sang, pour nous
viam, aut faciam," the commandment against idol donner une preuve de sa sagacité, nous demanda sans
worship has been thrust bodily out of their Decatergiverser si nous n'étions pas Anglais ; et pour ne
logue by the Romanists, as may be seen from any laisser aucun doute à sa question, il ajouta qu'il enten- copy of the Missal. It is remarkable that these dait par Ing-kie-li les " diables marins," qui faisai- very missionaries had an image made for their own ent la guerre à Canton. Non, nous ne sommes pas adoration, from a European model, at a place on Anglais; nous autres, nous ne sommes diables d'au- their journey where a huge image of Buddha had cune façon, ni de mer, ni de terre. Un désæuvré vint just been cast, and sent off to Lhassa. (Vol. i., fort à propos détruire le mauvais effet de cette inter- p. 41.). Thus the object of their worship was a pellation intempestive.—Toi, dit-il à l'aubergiste, tu molien image, the work, not only of men's, but ne sais pas regarder les figures des hommes. Com- pagan hands, employed indifferently for either ment oses-tu prétendre que ces gens là sont des Yang. Buddhism or Romanism. kouei-tse ? Est-ce que tu ne sais pas que ceux-ci ont It is at once curious, and an instructive lesson to les yeux tout bleus, et les cheveux tout rouges ?—C'est juste, dit
. l'aubergiste, je n'avais pas bien réfləchi. unprejudiced minds, to observe that M. Huc, while Non, certainement, ajoutầmes-nous, tu n'avais pas bien he indulges in pleasantries at the expense of the réfléchi
. Crois-tu que des monstres marins pourraient, Buddhists, entirely forgets how applicable his commes nous, vivre sur terre, et seraient capables d'al- sarcasms are to his own side of the question. After ler à cheval?—Oh, c'est juste, c'est bien cela ; les describing an assembly in a college of Lamas, Ing-kie-li, dit-on, n'osent jamais quitter la mer; aus- where the explanations given by the priests or sitôt qu'ils montent à terre, ils tremblent et meurent professors on certain points of their religion proved comme les poissons qu'on met hors de l'eau. On parla as vague and incomprehensible as the thing to be beaucoup des mæurs et du caractère des diables marins, explained, he adds, “ On est, du reste, convaincu et d'après tout ce qui en fut dit, il demeura demontré que la sublimité d'une doctrine est en raison dique nous n'étions pas du tout de la même race. recte de son obscurité et de son impénétrabilité."
(Our inn-keeper, a full-blooded Chinese, in order Let us only suppose M. Huc expounding 10 those * Père Gerbillon informs us, that beyond the Yellow Lamas the dogma of Transubstantiation, and addRiver, to its western extremity, (or for full one half ing, in testimony of its truth, that St. Ignatius of its total length,) the wall is chiefly a mound of Loyola, with eyesight sharpened by faith, declared earth or gravel, about fifteen feet in height, with only he actually saw the farinaceous substance changoccasional towers of brick. Marco Polo's silence con- ing itself into flesh. “Les hommes,” observes our cerning it may therefore be accounted for on the suppo- author in another place, “sont partout les mêmes!" sition that, having seen only this imperfect portion, he did not deem it an object of sufficient curiosity to the devotees and recluses of Buddhism, are similar
• The jokes in which M. Huc indulges, against deserve particu'ar notice, without the necessity of imagining that he entered China to the south of the to what have been repeated a thousand times with greal barrier.-The Chinese, vol. i.
reference to those of Romanism :
This young Lama of eighty years old was a large well made fellow, whose lumbering and stout figure seemed to prove a great consumption of butter, in his strict seclusion. We could never see him put his nose out of his house door, without thinking of La Fontaine's rat, who, out of devotion, had retired into a Dutch cheese.
The monasteries of the Lamas, resembling as they do in so many respects those of the Romanists, differ from them on some few points. The members are all subject to the same rule and the same discipline; but they do not seem to live to the same extent in community ; and exclusive rights of property prevail among them. Our missionaries o some months in these establishments. Besides is holiness, the Supreme Lama at Lhassa, there are Grand Lamas, who derive their investiture from him, and descend from past ages in uninterrupted succession. With reference to one of these, it is observed:—
If the person of the Grand Lama drew little of our admiration, it was not so with his dress, which was exactly that of bishops: he wore on his head a yellow mitre ; a long staff in form of a crosier was in his right hand; and his shoulders were covered with a mantle of violet taffety, held over his breast by a clasp, and in everything resembling a cope. Afterwards we noticed many resemblances between the Catholic worship and the ceremonies of the Lamans.
M. Huc afterwards recapitulates as follows:—
The cross, the mitre, the dalmatic, the cope or charuble which the Grand Lamas wear in travelling, or when they perform some ceremony outside the temple, the service of two choirs, the psalmody, the exorcisms, the censer supported by five chains, opened or shut at pleasure; the benedictions given by the Lamas with the right hand stretched over the heads of the faithful; the chaplet; the celibacy of the clergy; the spiritual retreats; the worship of saints; fasts ; processions; litany; holy water;-see, in how many ways the Buddhists agree with us!
He might have added, that they likewise have a goddess, whom they call Tien-how, literally regina cali, “Queen of Heaven;” but with a different legend.
Our author very naturally endeavors to persuade himself and his readers that by some process of diablerie these things have been borrowed from his own church ; but why should we do such violence to the subject, when there is the much easier, more intelligible, and more straightforward course of deriving both from something older than either; and remaining persuaded, as most of us must have been long ago, that the Pagan rites and Pontifex Maximus of the modern Rome represent, in outward fashion, the paganism and Pontifex Maximus of the ancient 1 §. to say, instead of blinking the matter, a sort of parallel has often been studiously preserved and paraded, as when the Pantheon, the temple of “all the gods,” was consecrated by Pope Boniface to “all the saints.” Is it necessary for us to compare the annual sprinkling of horses with holy water to the like process at the Circeusian games—the costly gifts at |. to the like gifts at Delphi—the nuns to the virgines sanctae of old Rome — the shrines of “Maria in triviis” to the like rural shrines of more ancient idols—the flagellants (whose self-discipline Sancho so dexterously mitigated in his own case) to the practices of the priests of Isis? In running the parallel, the only disficulty is where to stop. It is impossible to look at the innumerable votive
pictures and tablets which conceal, without adorning, the walls and pillars of many a church at Rome, and not to think of
nam posse mederi Picta docet templis multa tabella tuis.
To instance a higher department of art—as the old artist, in painting his Venus, is said to have combined “each look that charin'd him in the fair of Greece,” so the Italian painters have sometimes immortalized the features of their own mistresses in pictures of saints and martyrs, intended to adorn churches.
In its modern traits, as well as in its ancient, Lamanism maintains its resemblance to Romanism. Prodigies and miracles of constant occurrence come to the aid of the priesthood, and maintain their influence over the stupid multitude. Some of the instances adduced are palpable cases of ingenious jugglery; but M. Huc, with characteristic facility, believes in the miracle, while he attributes it to the agency of the devil:—
A purely human philosopher would reject, without doubt, such facts, or without hesitation would set them down as Laman tricks. As for us, Catholic missionaries, we believe that the great liar, who deceived our first parents in Paradise, still carries on his system of lies; he who had the power of supporting in the air Simon the sorcerer, may very likely now speak to man by the mouth of a child, to strengthen the faith of his worshippers.
Whatever Protestants may think and say of the means by which the Romish Church has maintained and extended its influence over the masses of mankind, it is impossible to deny the thorough knowledge of human nature on which all its measures have been calculated. The same causes which have aided it so long against the reforms of a purer faith are likely to aid it much longer; and we really see very little chance of a change. The priestly array, the lighted taper, and the histrionie pantomime, are aided by smoking censers, graven images, and all the paraphernalia by which so many temples of so many different religions have been before distinguished. We entirely agree with M. Huc, that the Romish Church has a fair field for proselytism in the vast regions where Buddhism at present prevails. In external forms, the transition is the easiest possible; and during his short residence at Lhassa, he remarked :—“Il nous semblait toujours que la beauté de nos cérémonies edit agi puisamment surce peuple, si avide de tout ce qui tient au culte extérieur.”
* In a book which had belonged to a Romish missionary in China was sound this estimate written on the fly-leaf in Italian:“Numbers included under different known religlons
Catholic Apostolic Church of Rome, - 139,000,000
Schismatic Greek Church, - - - - - - - 62,000,000 Protestant Church and its branches, - - 59,000,000 Total of Christianity, - - - - - - - 260,000,000 Jews, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4,000,000 Mahometans, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 96,000,000 Hindoos, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 60,000,000 Buddhists, - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 170,000.000 Confucianists and others, - - - - - - - 147,000,000 737,000,000
“The number of Buddhists is probably not overrated, considering that they extend from Japan to Lhassa, and from the confines of Siberia to Siam.”