GHOSTS OF THE DEAD
is going to; how anxious the kinsfolk are that it may be comfortable; how handsome will be the cross set over the grave; how much all desire that it may sleep soundly and not by any means leave the grave and come haunting old scenes and friends; how unreasonable such conduct as the latter hinted at would be—how it would alter the regard entertained for the deceased, how disrespectful to the Almighty who gives rest to the good, and how it would be regarded as an admission of an uneasy conscience. Lively comparisons are drawn between the joys of paradise and the vale of tears that has been quitted, so as to take away from the deceased all desire to return.
This is a survival of primitive usage and mode of thought, and has its analogies in many places and among diverse races.
The Dacotah Indians address the ghost of the dead in the same "soft solder" to induce it to take the road to the world of spirits, and not to come sauntering back to its wigwam. In Siam and in China it is much the same; persuasion, flattery, threats, are employed.
Unhappily, all ghosts are not open to persuasion, and see through the designs of the mourners, and with them severer measures have to be resorted to. Among the Slavs of the Danube and the Czechs, the bereaved, after the funeral, on going home, turn themselves about after every few steps, and throw sticks, stones, mud, even hot coals, in the direction of the churchyard, so as to frighten the spirit back to the grave so considerately provided for it. A Finnish tribe has not even the decency to wait till