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In one of the temples of the empire of Pegu they bring up a number of virgins. One of these unfortunate creatures is annually sacrifice'd at the feast of the idol. The priest, in his facerdotal habits, strips her, strangles her, puls out her heart, and casts it in the face of the idol. In other temples they only sacrifice men. A slave, bought for the purpose, handsome, and wel made, clothe'd in a white robe, and wash'd for three successive mornings, is, afterward, shewn to the people. On the fourth day the priests open his belly, tear out his heart, besmear the idol with his blood, and eat his flesh as facred. " Innocent blood,” say they, “ought to flow, in order to expiate the fins of the nation. Beside, it is highly necessary that some one fhould go now and then near the great god, to put him in mind of his people.” It is worth remarking, however, that the priesis never charge themselves with the commission.*
This horrid superstition stil prevails in some parts of Guinea. It is usual, on the gold coast, at the funeral-folemnity of any person of distinction to kil and sacrifice several of his flaves, in order to serve him in the other world : and, according to Bosman, poor wretched men, who,
* Helvetius, De l'esprit, I, 139, n.
through age or inability, are become incapable of labour, are sold on purpose to be made victims in these accurfe’d offerings. * This writeër, who is of good authority, saw eleven persons kild on such an occasion in the most barbarous manner.f Captain Snelgrave, a very intelligent and respectable authour, saw a young child about ten months old, which had been sacrifice’d, by the advice of the priests, for the recovery of the king of Jabrua, hung up on the bough of a tree, with a live cock tye'd near it. I
The subjects of the king of Dahomé are so barbarous and favage as to offer human facrificeës whenever they gain a victory. S In one place captain Snelgrave faw, pile'd on two large stageës, the heads of 4000 of the Whidaws, who had been facrifice'd by the Dahomes to their
* Description of tbe coast of Guinea, 1705, p. 231.
| Account of some parts of Guinea, Introduction. "The Bussou and Praba, the confidential man and favourite woman, of every person of distinction, are usually put to death and interred with him. , . Upon the death of a chief a great many slaves are sacrifice'd, which the Europeans find it impossible to prevent." (Report of the lords of council on the Nave-trade, 1789, fig. D. and L.) Consult allso this part of the Report passim.
$ Ibi, p. 12.
god, as an acknowlegement for some great conquest."
The Giagues are anthropophagi, and eat their enemys. When the grain is ripe, the queen, surrounded by her courtiers, issues out of her palace, and, cuting the throats of all who are found in her route, gives them to be eaten by her followers. These facrificeës, she says, are necessary to appease the manes of her ancestors, who see with regret, the vulgar enjoy a life of which they are deprive'd; and this feeble consolation can alone engage them to bless the har. vest.t
The Oran Idaan, or Maroots, a people near and upon the skirts of the mountain of Keeneebaloo, in the north of Borneo, believe the deity to be please’d with human victims. Each individual must, for once at least, have imbrue'd his hands in a fellow-creatures blood. The rich are fay'd to do it often, adorning their houseës with sculs and teeth, to fhew how much they have honour'd their authour, and labour'd to avert his chastisement. Several, in low circumstanceës, wil club to buy a Bisayan CHRISTIAN Nave, or any one that is to be sold cheap, that all may partake the benefit of the execution. So at Ka, lagany in Mindano, when the god of the mountain gives no brimstone, they sacrifice some old slave to appease his wrath."*
* Ibi, p. 31. See allso pp. 37, 41, 100; and at p. 43, a description of the ceremony, of which the authour was an eyewitness, and which is too shocking to be transcribe’d. Capt. Snelgraves veracity is confirm'd by Robert Norris, authour of a curious work intitled “ Memoirs of the reign of Bosfa Abadee, king of Dabomy,” &c. London, 1789,' of which see pp. 87, 93, 100, 110, 126.
+ Helvetius, De l'esprit, I, 1414
The Carthaginians, a brave and polish'd peo. ple, who rivald the Romans in arms, and excel'd them in arts, sacrifice'd their children to Saturn; sometimes singlely upon the altar, in consequence of a vow, or for their private advantage; sometimes in numbers, by throwing them into a large fire, or incloseing them in a red-hot ftatue of their favourite deity, for the general good. The latter of thefe usageës was generally the subject of a great and folemn festival; drums and trumpets play'd dureing the ceremony, and every thing was conducted with the utmost decorum. Those who had no children themselves, or who had any they were un
* Forrests Voyage to New-Guinea, p. 368.
wiling to part with, bought, borrow'd, or stole them, from others.* This laudable practice was, likewise, common to the Phoenicians and Cananaeans.
The ancient Peruvians sacrifice'd men and women of all ageës, whom they had takeën in war : and some nations amongst them so far exceeded the rest in inhumanity that they offer'd not onely their enemys, but, on some occasions, their very children to their idols. The manner of these sacrificeës was to rip open the breasts of the miserable victims while they were yet alive, and so tear out their heart and lungs, with the blood of which they sprinkle'd the idol ; then they inspected the lungs and heart to take an
* Dureing a fiege, two hundred of the best familys in Carthage were sacrifice'd in one day, to appease the resentment of the deity, incur'd by the prostitution of borrow'd children: upward of three hundred citizens, who had been guilty of this impious fraud, at the same time offering themselves as expiatory victims. The statue of the god sometimes appear'd with a smileing countenance, to encourage the children to trust themselves on his hand, whence they immediately fel through an opening, into a deep firey furnace. In some parts of Africa, as we learn from Minucius Felix, mothers facrifice'd their own children; and, left they should offend the compas. fionate god with a mournful victim, stop'd their mouths with kisses and caresses. Tertullian says the same thing, observeing that " even now these villainys are done in private.".