Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/419

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CEREMONIAL GOVERNMENT.

homey, "the sovereign's words are spoken to the meu, who informs the interpreter, who passes it on to the visitor, and the answer must trickle back through the same channels." And, concerning Abyssinia, where even the chiefs sit in their houses in darkness, so "that vulgar eyes may not gaze too plainly upon" them, we are told the king was "not seen when sitting in council," but "sat in a darkened room," and "observed through a window what was going on in the chamber without;" and also that he had "an interpreter, who was the medium of communication between the king and his people on state occasions; his name meant the voice or word of the king." I may add that this parallelism between the secular and sacred agents of communication is in some cases recognized by peoples whose institutions display it. Thomson tells us that the New Zealand priests were regarded as the embassadors of the gods.

There is a further evidence of this homology. Where, along with social development considerably advanced, ancestor-worship has remained dominant, and where gods and men are, consequently, but little differentiated, the two organizations are but little differentiated. China furnishes a good instance. Hue tells us that "the Chinese emperors are in the habit of deifying. . . . civil or military officers, whose life has been characterized by some memorable act, and the worship rendered to these constitutes the official religion of the mandarins." Further, we read in Gutzlaff that the emperor "confers various titles on officers who have left the world, and shown themselves worthy of the high trust reposed in them, creating them governors, presidents, overseers, etc., in Hades, and thus establishing his government even among the manes." And then we learn from Williams that the Lipu, or Board of Rites, examines and directs concerning the performances of the five kinds of ritual observances—those of a propitious and those of a felicitous nature, military and hospitable rites, and those of an infelicitous nature. Among its departments is that of ceremonial forms—the etiquette to be observed at court, the regulations of dresses, of carriages and riding-accoutrements, of followers and insignia, personal and written intercourse between the various ranks of peers. Another department superintends the rites to be observed in worshiping deities and spirits of departed monarchs, sages and worthies, etc.—statements showing that the same board regulates both religious ceremonial and civil ceremonial. To which summarized account I may add this quotation: "In court, the master of ceremonies stands in a conspicuous place, and with a loud voice commands the courtiers to rise and kneel, stand or march"—that is, he directs the worshipers of the monarch as a chief priest directs the worshipers of the god. Equally marked were, until lately, the kindred relations in Japan. With the sacredness of the mikado, and with his divine inaccessibility, travelers have familiarized us; but the implied confusion between the divine and the human went to a much greater