« 上一頁繼續 »
humblest, had a shrine, with its image, before which burned lamp or candle! There were numerous religious organizations which which celecelebrated anniversaries, by processions through the streets, preceded by sacred banners, the parade ending with the offer of sacrifice before some famous image, to which incense had been so often burned and lamps so often lighted that the holy idol was blackened by the devotional smoke. But who could chide the Romans for holding these begrimed old idols in reverent adoration?
Had not the images testified, unmistakably, their profound interest in human affairs? Wood and stone though they were, had not Divinity made itself manifest, miraculously, through them?
All the Roman world knew that the statue of Fortuna Muliebris had spoken more than once; for the priests so declared, and they had reduced her words to writing. To doubt, were sacrilege. Had not the image of Apollo, at Comæ, wept three days and nights? To be sure: the miracle was solemnly attested. Had not the images in the temple of Juno broken out into a profuse perspiration? Yea, verily. Not only that, but the idols in the sacred grove of Fortuna had sweated blood!
Is there anything in these pagan miracles that differs from those of Roman Catholicism? Even the miraculous healing of Lourdes, and other such places had their prototypes in Pagan Rome. Absolutely, the papal system originated nothing: after departing from the severe simplicity and inexpensiveness of the early Church, it plucked plume after plume from the gorge
ously feathered paganism of the Orient; and a priest of the ancient pagan temple, if brought back to life, would find himself perfectly at home amid the ceremonial of a Roman Catholic street-procession, anniversary celebration, or elaborate church performance.
In his "Marius," Walter Pater describes conditions, as they were under the philosophic Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Rome is in her decline. Her frontiers have not receded, but her vigor has waned. Mercenary troops fight her battles: lewdness prevails even in the royal households: the daughter of Augustus, and the wife of Antoninus Pius have left names that will be bywords to the end of time: after awhile, the Pretorian Guards will sell the Purple to the highest bidder; and Night will come down on the world.
The thoughts of the idle rich are subjective. Men and women discover strange ailments in themselves. They revel in the fact that they have "nerves." They undergo horrible tortures, in the hope of escaping pain. They pine away without visible cause; and they blossom back into buxom strength, by reason of occult ministration. They eat something, and get sick: they drink something, and get well. It is the heyday of the charlatan, the faith-curist, the magician, those who prey upon valetudinarians. Fads Fads rioted: fancies spawned: freaks luxuriated: men strove to be lady-like: women struggled to be mannish. Flourishing like a grove of green bay-trees, were the colleges of Esculapius. These medicinemen were likewise priests. Around the healing art, the faith-cure and
religious rites were entwined. The temples of this Grecian demi-god were laden with the votive offerings of grateful worshippers whose sufferings had been relieved by the precious secrets of the college: the organization of the disciples of Esculapius was almost identical with that of the Roman Catholic priesthood.
And just as the modern priest speaks Latin, while officiating, so the Roman priests spoke Greek. The purpose, in each case being the same, viz. to overawe the uninitiated, by using a tongue which they do not understand..
In reading of the journey of a sick Roman to a "holy" well of paganism, one is startled to realize how precisely the narrative corresponds to a Catholic pilgrimage to Lourdes. (There is nothing new under the sun.)
Marius reaches the holy well, and enters the temple which has been built about it. The walls are covered with thankful acknowledgements of those who have been cured. A lurking fragrance of incense is in the air. Ceremonial lights burn, here and there. "A singular expression of sacred order, a surprising cleanliness and simplicity" prevail. "Certain priests, men whose countenances bore a deep impression of cultivated mind, each with his little group of assistants, were gliding round silently, to perform the morning salutation to the god" (Apollo,) "raising the closed thumb and finger of the right hand with a kiss in the air, as they came and went on their sacred business, bearing their frankincense and lustral water" "holy" water.
Full of faith, the ailing pagan,
Marius, speedily was made whole; and he returned home "brown with health." Selah.
The Roman emperors, returning to the Imperial City to celebrate some victorious campaign, were wont to bend their haughty heads to a couple of observances meant to teach humility. In the chariot with the Conqueror, rode a common person whose duty it was to remark, at regular intervals during the triumphal procession - "Remember that you are mortal." This caution was highly necessary, for the emperors were made gods (Saints?) after their death; and there was always the danger of their becoming gods-in their own eyes-before they departed from this vale of
The other custom was, that the Emperor should go down upon his knees; and, in this painful fashion, go up a long flight of marble stairs. Even the enlightened Marcus Arelius humored the pagan populace by observing this ancient and absurd custom: he made his way up the via sacra, on his knees, after having put down the rebellion of Cassius.
If you will go to Rome, (Italy,) the guide will point out to you a flight of marble steps, called the via sacra; and you will see a parcel of human donkeys (male and female) making their way up these steps, on their knees.
They don't any more know that they are imitating a pagan performance, in doing this, than they know that the entire papal establishment -excepting sermon, song, prayer and baptism-are pagan, from the shaven crown, to the beads on which prayers are "told."
Falconio got a firm clinch on his
The Palo Duro Canon-A Natural National
INCE the introduction of a bill in Congress, a few years ago, to appropriate one hundred thousand dollars for the purpose of converting the Palo Duro Canon into a national park, considerable interest has been manifested in this heretofore comparatively unknown place of American grandeur and beauty. The Bill also provided for the purchase of the buffalo ranch of Colonel Charles Goodnight, on which ranges the largest herd of buffalo in the United States. Mr. Goodnight's ranch is on a branch of the main Palo Duro Canon and adjacent to it.
The bill was unsuccessful; first, because this canon is so unfamiliar; second, because our people do not sufficiently appreciate the park idea; and, lastly, because many of the members of Congress believe that the Federal government has no right or power to establish parks of any kind. But in a very different spirit the Canadian government has purchased and moved into the Dominion every buffalo that could be secured in the Dakotas. This action was approved and commended by the British government.
The first of the above reasons is rapidly disappearing, because the plains country, or Panhandle of Texas, where the canon is situated, is now the most rapidly developing part of the country. So phenomenal has been the growth of this section that to well informed people the West is still wild and wooly, an unbroken, untrodden expanse, where the cowboys hold domain over their herds, and the Indians chase the buffalo over bare and trackless prairies. There are geographies and histories still used as text books in which the plains of Texas are pictured as a vast and un
ending desert, across which may be seen toiling a wagon train, while the desolate way is strewn with the white bones of horses and hapless emigrants who have perished in the attempt to cross this Sahara of America. But instead of a barren, arid waste there is an empire rising as if by magic on these once fruitless plains. Railroads are being hurriedly built; magnificent automobiles fly over the level prairies at a rate of sixty miles per hour; cities are rising to the music of progress; some said that God made the plains for the cattle, but now the large ranches are being cut up into farms, the cowboy is giving place to the farmer, who turns the wide, flat acres with great steam plows; the earth is being made to furnish water that the heavens have denied, and bountiful harvests are produced; there are churches, schools, and other public enterprises; and, withal, there is a healthy spirit of push and progress that must, in a few years, attract the attention of the whole country. Opportunities there are calling and beckoning to the young men and women of the crowded communities of the North and East.
The second reason, that our people not not sufficiently appreciate the park idea, is also undergoing a logical change. The older our nation becomes the more attention will be paid to the esthetic side of our national life, to early landmarks, to places of historical interest, to our natural scenery, to the preservation of the monuments of the past, and the creation of new ones, and to the creation of those things that may add to the beauty, attractiveness, and pleasantness of American life.
And with this change of opinion it is
impossible that the Palo Duro Canon will be entirely overlooked. The canon extends from near the line of New Mexico, about one hundred miles in a southeasterly direction across the Panhandle. It varies in width from a halfmile to a mile and a half, and its extreme depth is about fifteen hundred feet. It has been described by an early writer as "a great saber slash in the heart of the plains." Notwithstanding the fact that this is the second largest canon in the world, that the natural scenery there rivals any to be found in Colorado, that it was the last great battle ground of the pioneers, the most stubbornly disputed Indian strongholds and the most typical part of the West, it has remained practically unnoticed until recent years.
The history of previous expeditions into this region may be written in a short paragraph. George Wilkins Kendal, in his "Narrative of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition" (New York, 1844), merely makes mention of crossing Palo Duro creek. The report published in 1854, of Lieut. R. B. Marcy, 5th Infantry, U. S. A., of an exploration of Red river two years prior, gives a short account of the Palo Duro Canon, Gen. George B. McClellan, then a captain, acted as astronomical observer for the expedition. In 1899 Mr. W. L. Black, of the Geological Survery of Texas, made a small collection of fauna in the Panhandle country, but did not enter the canon. Professor Cope, of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, made a similar but more extensive trip two years later. In 1908 members of the United States Biological Survey, collected specimens north of the Palo Duro.
But last summer an expedition much more elaborate and extended than previous ones, fitted out under the auspices of Baylor University, Waco, Texas, was conducted by Mr. John K. ohn K. Strecker, naturalist. The principal objects of the enterprise were to make a
scientific exploration of the canon, map it, obtain photographs of its scenery, note the minerals, and make a collection of its fauna and other museum specimens.
In June our party arrived at Goodnight, Texas, whose history is inseparably linked with that of the canon. Just at the foot of the plains, where the table land drops down into the valley, and the cold water runs through the big rocks, in the very shadow of the cap rock of the "baldies," is this little town, named in honor of the veteran ranch and cattleman of the West, Col. Charles Goodnight. Before the war, when the fierce Comanches and buffalo held possession of the beautiful plains, he selected the Palo Duro canon and the adjacent territory as the best adapted place in all the West, every mile of which he had traversed, as the ideal place for a great stock and cattle ranch. The natural scenery and picturesqueness of the country lent charm to the land in the eyes of this cultured man in an uncultured country.
Mr. Goodnight still lives on a small ranch which extends up to the Fort Worth and Denver railroad, and upon which grazes the herd of buffalo, and, including the government herd in the Grand Canon, comprises the remnant of the great herds that once roamed at will over the prairies of the Dakotas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. It required much labor, patience and skill to bring within stated limits these fierce, powerful animals. Now, however, they are fairly well domesticated, so that one may ride or drive among them in safety. But these proud beasts still maintain the reserve and bearing of freedom; they were never meant to be tamed. Since this is the native home of the buffalo, as fine specimens as ever tempted the arrows of the fierce Comanches may be found on Mr. Goodnight's ranch. night's ranch. He slaughters one occasionally, sells a few here and there, and now and then makes some of his