Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/305

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Reviews. 269

of the Folk-Lore Society. The principal dish in the banquet is, of course, the account of the holy tomb itself, and the various ceremonies on the pilgrimage and at the shrine. The cult of the sacred dead is nowhere more in vogue than in Persia, and the magnificence of the Meshed mausoleum and its surroundings, with the wealth of presents outpoured by pilgrims of every status through the centuries, will give an idea of the pitch to which this kind of adoration can reach. The fact that the Saints thus worshipped were not celibate, like the holy men of Europe, must have had much to do with this state of affairs. It is of immense advantage in this world to the descendants of a great religious personage if they are able to induce others to keep up their pious adherence, and to testify to their piety in the usual concrete form. An account is also given of the holy man whose tomb is in Mahon and who prophesied the Indian Mutiny. The completion of his prophecy, that the English should all be slain, was hampered in advance by the tyranny of Aurangzeb, not only towards the Sikhs, whose Guru was forward with a counter-prophecy, but towards the Shias and Sufis. We find, too, the accentuation of the doctrine that no one can stand alone m the spiritual world without someone else, other than the Deitj', to guide him. Moses, according to our author, had to be put under the tutelage of Khwaja Khizr, a sacred person of much renown, sometimes identified with Elijah and in India turned into the tutelary god of the river Indus.

Within the story are woven descriptions of the ceremonies at birth, marriage, and death, and on other occasions, such as the feast of the New Year. This, far more naturally than ours, comes with the advent of spring. The account is very minute, and should be studied in detail, but to give particular instances would necessitate much space. We learn, also, how two cunning men escaped death in the desert, where vampires seize on the soles of sleeping travellers, and suck their blood out. This pair escaped by lying feet to feet, and the vampire, after prowling round and round, departed in despair of a successful attack on a two-headed man. The occasion on which the hero of the volume was robbed in the desolate regions of the Lut was ushered in with adverse omens. One man sneezed just as they were starting, and.