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ALL THE WORLD AKIN.

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between different sexes put the most solemn barrier against all personal liberties." Here is evidenced that same view of the absolute oneness of nature through a oneness of blood, which shows itself among the Semites of Syria, among the Malays of Timor,3 and among the Indians of America.1

And so this close and sacred covenant relation, this rite of blood-friendship, this inter-oneness of life by an inter-oneness of blood, shows itself in the primitive East, and in the wild and pre-historic West; in the frozen North, as in the torrid South. Its traces are everywhere. It is of old, and it is of to-day; as universal and as full of meaning as life itself.

It will be observed that we have already noted proofs of the independent existence of this rite of blood-brotherhood, or blood-friendship, among the three great primitive divisions of the race-the Semitic, the Hamitic, and the Japhetic; and this in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and the Islands of the Sea; again, among the five modern and more popular divisions of the human family: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, Malay, and American. This fact in itself would seem to point to a common origin of its various manifestations, in the early Oriental home of the now scattered peoples of the world. Many references to

1 Miss. Voyage to So. Pacif. Ocean, p. 360 f.

2 See page 10, supra. 3 See page 54, supra. 4 See page 55 f., supra.

this rite, in the pages of classic literature, seem to have the same indicative bearing, as to its nature and primitive source.

6. LIGHT FROM THE CLASSICS.

Lucian, the bright Greek thinker, who was born and trained in the East, writing in the middle of the second century of our era, is explicit as to the nature and method of this covenant as then practised in the East. In his "Toxaris or Friendship," Mnesippus the Greek, and Toxaris the Scythian, are discussing friendship. Toxaris declares: "It can easily be shown that Scythian friends are much more faithful than Greek friends; and that friendship is esteemed more highly among us than among you." Then Toxaris goes on to say: "But first I wish to tell you in what manner we [in Scythia] make friends; not in our drinking bouts as you do, nor simply because a man is of the same age [as ourselves], or because he is our neighbor. But, on the contrary, when we see a good man, and one capable of great deeds, to him we all hasten, and (as you do in the case of marrying, so we think it right to do in the case of our friends) we court him, and we [who would be friends] do all things together, so that we may not offend against friendship, or seem 2 Toxaris, chap. 37.

1Opera, p. 545.

THE LEAGUE OF THE THUMB.

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worthy to be rejected. And whenever one decides to be a friend, we [who would join in the covenant] make the greatest of all oaths, to live with one another, and to die, if need be, the one for the other. And this is the manner of it: Thereupon, cutting our fingers, all simultaneously, we let the blood drop into a vessel, and having dipped the points of our swords into it, both [of us] holding them together, we drink it. There is nothing which can loose us from one another after that."

Yet a little earlier than Lucian, Tacitus, foremost among Latin historians, gives record of this rite of blood-brotherhood as practised in the East. He is telling, in his Annals, of Rhadamistus, leader of the Iberians, who pretends to seek a covenant with Mithridates, King of the Armenians (yet farther east than Scythia), which should make firm the peace between the two nations, “düs testibus," "the gods being witnesses." Here Tacitus makes an explanation: "It is the custom of [Oriental] kings, as often as they come together to make covenant, to join right hands, to tie the thumbs together, and to tighten them with a knot. Then, when the blood is [thus] pressed to the finger tips, they draw blood by a light stroke, and lick it in turn.

2

1 See references to arms as accessories to the rite, in Africa, and in Madagascar, and in Timor, at pages 16, 32, 35 f., 45 f., 53, supra. "Annales, XII., 47. 3 See page 11, supra.

This they regard as a divine1 covenant, made sacred as it were, by mutual blood [or blended lives]."

There are several references, by classical writers, to this blood-friendship, or to this blood-covenanting, in connection with Catiline's conspiracy against the Roman Republic. Sallust, the historian of that conspiracy, says: "There were those at that time who said that Catiline, at this conference [with his accomplices] when he inducted them into the oath of partnership in crime, carried round in goblets human blood, mixed with wine; and that after all had tasted of it, with an imprecatory oath, as is men's wont in solemn rites [in "Sharb el-'ahd,"2 as the Arabs would say] he opened to them his plans." Florus, a later Latin historian, describing this conspiracy, says: "There was added the pledge of the league,-human blood,-which they drank as it was borne round to them in goblets." And yet later, Tertullian suggests that it was their own blood, mingled with wine, of which the fellow-conspirators drank together. "Concerning the eating of blood and other such tragic dishes," he says, "you read (I do not know where), that blood drawn from the arms, and tasted by one another,

4

1 Arcanum; literally "mysterious,"—not in the sense of secret, or occult, but with reference to its sacred and supernatural origin and sanction.

2 See p. 9, supra. 3 Catilina, cap. XXII. 4 Historia, IV., I, 4.

THE COVENANT OF CATILINE.

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was the method of making covenant among certain nations. I know not but that under Catiline such blood was tasted."1

In the Pitti Palace, in Florence, there is a famous painting of the conspiracy of Catiline, by Salvator Rosa; it is, indeed, Salvator Rosa's masterpiece, in the line of historical painting. This painting represents the covenanting by blood. Two conspirators stand face to face, their right hands clasped above a votive altar. The bared right arm of each is incised, a little below the elbow. The blood is streaming from the arm of one, into a cup which he holds, with his left hand, to receive it; while the dripping arm of the other conspirator shows that his blood has already flowed into the commingling cup.2 The uplifted hand of the daysman between the conspirators seems to indicate the imprecatory vows which the two are assuming, in the presence of the gods, and of the witnesses who stand about the altar. This is a clear indication of the traditional form of covenanting between Catiline and his fellow conspirators.

As far back, even, as the fifth century before Christ, we find an explicit description of this Oriental rite of blood-covenanting, in the writings of "the Father of History." "Now the Scythians," says Herodotus,3 "make covenants in the following manner, with whom1Apologet., cap. IX. 2 See stamp on outside cover. Hist., IV., 70.

3

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