Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/306

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I am convinced that careful investigation will demonstrate that the preservation of the "duff" is another and a very important reason why the destruction of the forests around the head-waters of the Hudson should be discontinued.


WHAT the obeisance implies by acts, the form of address says in words. If the two have a common root, this is to be anticipated; and that they have a common root is demonstrable. Instances occur in which the two are used indifferently, as being the one equivalent to the other. Speaking of Poles and Slavonic Silesians, Captain Spencer remarks:

"Perhaps no distinctive trait of manners more characterizes both than their humiliating mode of acknowledging a kindness, their expression of gratitude being the servile "Upadam do nog" (I fall at your feet), which is no figure of speech, for they will literally throw themselves down and kiss your feet for the trilling donation of a few halfpence."

Here, then, the attitude of the conquered man beneath the conqueror is either actually assumed or verbally assumed; and, when used, the oral representation is a substitute for the realization in act. Other cases show us words and deeds similarly associated: as when a Turkish courtier, accustomed to make humble obeisances, addresses the sultan, "Centre of the Universe! Your slave's head is at your feet;" or as when a Siamese, whose servile prostrations occur daily, says to his superior, "Lord Benefactor, at whose feet I am;" to a prince, "I the sole of your foot;" to the king, "la dust-grain at your sacred feet." Still better when a Siamese attendant on the king says, "High and excellent lord of me thy slave, I ask to take the royal commands, and to place them on my brain, on the top of my head," we have verbally indicated that absolutely-subject attitude in which the head is under the victor's foot.

Nor are there wanting instances from nearer countries showing this substitution of professed for performed obeisances. In Russia, even in these days of moderated despotism, a petition begins with the words, "So-and-so strikes his forehead" (on the ground); and petitioners are called "forehead-strikers." At the court of France, as late as 1577, it was the custom of some to say, "I kiss your grace's hands," and of others to say, "I kiss your lordship's feet." Even at the present time in Spain, where Orientalisms descending from the past still linger, we read: "When you get up to take leave, if of a lady, you should say,