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jects for ceraceous art than are any self is standing, all day long, over a humbler folk. The high remoteness of number, to be gazed at and “looked out" their life tends to clear them of obvious in the catalogue-is standing there, all vivacity, and these wax-works are apt night long, in the dark. Is the contravesties of faces whose Olympian demned murderer, I wonder, ever apcalm is unmingled with Olympian con- palled by the thought of his sure surtemplativeness. But even this crowd of vival under Madame's roof? Does he models is a failure. See how each ever think that, soon after he, poor figure stands solitary! It is only those wretch, has been slung down to eterimperceptible nerve-currents, passing nity, another figure will be propped up from one being to another, that create in the Chamber of Horrors? a bomogeneous scene.
Such were the speculations that filled Though these wax-works are made in my brain, as I roamed morbidly around so close an imitation of life, they have, the exhibition. Though with every moindeed, less verisimilitude than the out- ment my vitality seemed to be ebbing come of any fine art. They are most lower and lower, though I cursed mynearly akin with statuary, I suppose, self bitterly for being there, I could in that they are themselves a form of not tear myself from that gaunt plastic art. But statuary, as Pater hierarchy of tongueless orators, patriots pointed out, in a pregnant (if rather without blood, and kings whose insignia uncouth) sentence, moves us to emotion, are colored glass. The unreality of "not by accumulation of detail, but by everything oppressed me, in brain and abstracting from it.” I think that wax- body, with an indescribable lassitude. works fail, because they are not made I felt dimly that the place was terrible, within any of those "exquisite limita- everything in it terrible. Life was a tions” of color, texture, proportion, to sacred thing-why had it been profaned which all visual arts must be subjected. here, for so many years? Whence came Life, save only through conventions, is this hateful craft? With what tools, in inimitable. The more closely it be aped, what workshop, who, for whose pleasthe more futile and unreal its copy. ure, fashioned these awful images? Well! And herein, perhaps, lies the Images? Yes, of course, they were secret of that enervation, which wax- images. . . . But why should Garibaldi works do produce in many of their be- and those others all stare at me so holders. Good painting and good gravely? Had they some devil's power sculpture inspire us with some illusion, of their own, some mesmerism? It thus compensating us for what were flashed upon me that, as I watched otherwise the fatigue of gazing at them. them, they were stealing my life from But the best wax-works can only be re- me, making me one of their own kind. garded as specimens of ingenuity, My brain seemed to be shrinking, all mysterious and elaborate, always abor- the blood ceasing in my body. I would tire. One marvels not that Æneas wept not watch them. I dropped my eyelids. when he saw Troy's fall frescoed on the My hands looked smooth, waxen, withwalls of Carthage. But could Louis out nerves. I knew now that I should Napoleon, coming up from Chislehurst never speak nor hear again, never move. and visiting Madame Tussaud's, have I took a dull pride, even, in the thought turned away, from the presentment of that this was the very frock-coat in his lost pomp, with so terrible a heart- which I had been assassinated. ... cry as “Quæ regio in terris nostri non
With an effort, I pulled myself together. plena laboris"? I can hardly suppose Looking neither to the right nor to the that any one who ever saw his own left, I passed, through that morgue of war-work did not feel mortified and upstanding corpses, to the entrance, sickened. I can imagine a man being down the marble staircase, out into the haunted, for the rest of his life, by the street. . . . Ah! It was good to be in knowledge that a ghastly double of him- the street!
From The Speaker. tance that one party could obtain the FETICH.
help of the Fetich men, such circumWe have just destroyed another stantial evidence was forthcoming that stronghold of Fetichism in West Africa, he had found himself obliged to deliver perhaps the foulest of all; but more than judgment against his own strong conenough still remain for the study of viction. But it was not false swearing those inquirers who seek the meaning exactly—that never calls for remark in and the explanation of the system. We negro-land. Mr. Marshall was satisfied used to think that explanation was not
that the witnesses who described a needed. The word “superstition” scene or a document, when he had sufficed to account for any practice of reason to think they were committing human beings, just as “instinct” did in perjury, did, in fact, believe every word the case of animals. Each blocked the they said. And he concluded upon the path of the investigator, who con
whole that the Fetich men impressed tentedly set himself to gather facts and these ideas upon them by acting the illustrations, not trying to push further scene in their presence when under the towards the hidden sources of things. influence of a drug. Thus they had an But of late it has been discovered that answer always ready when questioned Fetichism is a stage in the evolution of upon any detail, and they were unanreligious sentiment which perhaps imous. Dr. Charcot had not published every race of mortals has traversed. It his observations then or Mr. Marshall succeeds the state of blank
would have explained the mystery, no sciousness to things supernatural, and it doubt by hypnotic suggestion.
But is followed by Nature-Worship—that is, his perplexity and distress were greatFetichism represents the earliest faint est when the matter at issue concerned adumbration of a deity. True negroes
one of the chiefs. He had the worst have never got beyond that stage un- opinion of these men; but I say no more aided.
on that point, since I have no personal The theory is reasonable enough-it knowledge. He declared, however, that can be argued without inconsistency; when a chief came before his court he though if Nature-Worship were put first felt perfectly helpless. The Fetich and Fetichism behind nothing would be men took the case out of his hands, prolost apparently. But the word must be ducing witnesses of the highest retaken in a limited sense, excluding spectability-as respectability goes out much that persons practically familiar there—to depose . whatever might be with it understand thereby. The desirable. Not seldom, when the case learned refer to that form of Fetichism touched
matters outside the which may be called domestic, where ordinary experience of natives, they an individual chooses some paltry ob- swore to a flat impossibility. But that ject, as a pebble or a bit of wood, and demonstration puzzled without makes it his "god" until another object founding them. Tant pis pour les faits of the same sort catches his fancy. would express their frame of mind. They do not take account of the de- I myself had a little experience of velopments which produce a theocracy the Fetich—that is, the incident passed like that of Dahomey or Benin, nor of under my observation. Mr. Selby, the the strange and potent influence which merchant who hospitably entertained Fetichism enjoys in our Christian col- me at Cape Coast Castle, was robbed of onies. But there lies the interest of the his cash-box. He had such strong system to ordinary men. Well do I ground to suspect his head clerk that I remember a conversation with Mr. Mar- was surprised to see the man at his shall, chief justice of the Gold Coast, in desk next day. But Selby, who was 1872. He told me that “the Fetich curiously reticent on this occasion, told drove him to despair.” He felt himself me he had not informed the police. encompassed by it as soon as he entered There was a considerable sum in the his court. If any case of such impor- box. “The man will abscond with it,”
I said. “Oh, no,” replied Selby; “I have black man who wore shoes would say spoken to Chief Something”-a long- that it was against his Fetich. Indeed, legged veteran who dwelt in a tumble- many of our old-world beliefs relating down barrack across the road. And the to witchcraft may be paralleled in West man did not run away. After this I Africa. There was a sort of bowl bemet negroes of rather curious aspect hind the door of the “palace" at Quisa, always hanging about the yard in which shaped of mud, attached to the wallhe had his office. From time to time our servants taught us to call it the they held a brief interview with him. “Fetich hole.” It had been emptied Every day I asked, "What news?" before my arrival, in search of gold, and There was none, and Selby began to get the rubbish taken out lay on the floor. irritateu. At length the head clerk van. Amongst it was a string of egg-shells, ished, but I heard that he had not run with a feather tied on betwixt each away. Some weeks afterwards, on my pair. I think the famous "Witches' return from a trip, Selby showed me the ladder" had not been discovered then, cash-box; the man had confessed, but in the thatch of a Scottish farmhouse; he would not give up the money. After when I came to hear the description, I another pause, he brought half of it recognized that object from the Fetich and Selby took him back into his service. hole at Quisa without the egg-shells. Then I heard the story, kept from me To apply the word Fetichism to the hitherto lest I should chatter.
religious organization of the great negro Old traders do not ask assistance monarchies appears to me misleading. from the law in such a case. They go It prevails there, of course. Kings and to a friendly chief and invoke his priests and subjects all have their Fetich. That paralyzes the thief to Fetich, but the gods are above that. begin with-he cannot escape. Then In the case of Dahomey, indeed, snakes the Fetich urges him somehow to con- are worshipped. The use of the term fess. If he remain obstinate, he is “Fetich"
confusion. It is taken away, unable to resist, and Portuguese, but the natives have treated. Selby told me I might have adopted it widely, and they apply it to seen his clerk in the chief's house all all matters connected with their superthe time, free apparently to walk out at stitions, for which, of course, they have his pleasure. But whatever the proc- a distinct word. Before the philosoess, I should say that man never out- phers can master the principle of Fetichlived the effects. It was a sleek, sly, ism they must learn the different smiling negro who committed the crime; notions and practices all lumped tothe wretch who returned from the do- gether under that title. minion of the Fetich was wrinkled and terror-stricken. He seemed to be always listening. But Selby assured me that the torture was altogether moral, and Mr. Marshall inclined to the same belief. Both ascribed an extraordinary
From Public Opinion. knowledge of poisons to the Fetich men,
THE DACOITS OF BURMAH. wbich is at anybody's service for a
Burmah is one of the cuntries that trifle.
are changing very fast, and one of the It appears, then, that Fetichism in tuings that has changed in Burmah is this aspect is identical with the Obi and the dacoit. The sportive gentlemen deVoodoo of the West Indies. In another scribed by Rudyard Kipling and others. aspect it represents to the negro a who crucified villagers wholesale were superstitious feeling common enough flourishing in full vigor less than ten among ourselves. A good many of us years ago, but they already belong as recognize, for example, that it is “un- completely to the past as Dick Turpin lucky” to put on the left shoe before the and his colleagues in England. No right, though we all mock the notion; a doubt a fresh war, or any event se
riously shaking the British power or Three of them came from the same vilreputation, might produce a recrudes- lage—not a common thing, as it makes cence of the old disease, but in the detection easier—the fourth from anmean time the dacoits have entirely other village, and as for the fifth, no changed their habits. Instead of living man knows whence he came, for reatogether in bands in the jung.e they are sons that will appear. One night these scattered through separate villages in five men, armed with nothing but their the guise of peaceful cultivators. Dur- knives and spears, which are used for ing the day each man attends to his fishing in Lower Burmah, entered a paddy fields just like his neighbors, and house, tied up the owner, and began it is only at night that they meet to plundering. Now, this house was in a gether for the despatch of their more large village, containing not only a important and lucrative business. population of some fourteen hundred
Dacoity as defined by law is simply but a police post with fifteen native robbery committed by a band of five policemen armed with Sniders. The men or more, and it is important only alarm was given and the house surbecause of the Burman's strong natural rounded and—then there was a pause. propensity toward it, and the great The robbers continued their work undifficulties which his national charac- disturbed within. The villagers-some ter places in the way of his detection. two hundred or three hundred ableIt must always be remembered that, bodied men, all more or less armedBurmab being in a transition stage and sat around on the dam which surrounds much less settled than India, and the and protects every house on the delta, government being extremely short- looked down on the house, and dishanded, an immense amount of various cussed the question; the police stood kinds of work falls upon each single rather nearer the house and fired shots English official. Hence it is wholly im- into it through the bamboo walls, hurtpossible for him to exercise any close ing no one. or detailed supervision over any par- One solitary policeman, after a time, ticular part of his district. This of volunteered to advance. He crept up itself renders the detection of criminals quite close to the house, and fired in a difficult matter. When the dacoits through an opening in the wall; then were in the woods it was simply a case he went further and actually put his of turning out occasionally to hunt head and part of his body through the them down. At present the matter hole, apparently to see what execution must necessarily be left chiefly in the he had done. One of the robbers hands of natives. Now, the natives are promptly pinned him to the ground for the most part honest and tolerably with a fish-spear, and killed him. By law-abiding, and they have no sym- this time they had completed their preppathy whatever with a man who goes arations, so they sallied forth, each dacoiting; but the dacoit goes armed, man with his pack of plunder on his and the supineness and cowardice of back. Though the house the Burman in the presence of arms, rounded, they appear to have had no more particularly of firearms, are some- difficulty in making their way through, thing almost incomprehensible to the only the police fired after them with Western mind. It is quite sufficient for vuck-shot and hit three of them in the a party of half-a-dozen men to have a wack, not seriously wounding them. gun among them and they may go fear. But one of the band had the misfortune lessly to work in the midst of a crowd. to stumble and fall. Instantly the
But perhaps the strange workings of crowd rushed upon him, and before he the native character are best exhibited could rise literally hacked him to in the following case, which occurred pieces, and so effectively that not the quite recently. The facts are vouched slightest clue to his identity remained. for by an English officer. There was a He was absolutely destroyed; no one band of five men who were in the habit knows even what was his nationality. of practising dacoity occasionally. The other four got clear away.