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When the winter came over the land But in the parson's soul there came, the parson had gone, too.
Life had been darkening for him for some time, and even Irene had made no sign of remembrance.
The parson was gradually losing his hopefulnessthat had remained as the last remnant of his youth; now he was losing it. And he was sad. He was ill, too, with a touch of melancholy that oppressed him now and then; and some one recommended the sea. The parson was still poor, but the sea was near, and would not prove a costly holiday. So thither he went.
The sea is not enlivening in dull weather. There is a moan that fills the ears and is haunted by the cries of the loved and the lost, who are borne away into the Silent Land upon the breast of the hurricane, or swifter chariot of sudden death.
And the parson listened to the voices until his heart grew heavy within him, and his hopefulness went down with a wail of agony.
"Instead of feeling better, I am a great deal worse," he said despairingly. "I must go back to-morrow."
That night there was a storm; wild and tumultuous waves rose up to sweep the piers and thunder at the foot of the cliff. Sleep was impossible, and the parson went out into the war; it almost did him good to struggle with the wind, and fight for his footing with the force of the fierce gale. Once he laughed aloud at himself. His old nerve came back, his head grew firm, his eye became bright.
He could even think of Irene with a momentary throb of passionate vigor. He was triumphing over himself and over his pain.
Suddenly there shot up a light, out of the weird darkness of the ocean-a long trail of wild blue light, that flashed into the air, and then died. It was a mute appeal, and the parson knew it.
One or two women near began to pray. They understood the signal; they knew that, out on the sea, human hearts were having a hand-to-hand fight with Death. They prayed aloud.
oddly enough, the awaking echoes: "The trumpet shall sound"—and “We shall be changed," he said, hardly knowing why he said so. No trumpet had sounded, save that one clear call to duty which is ever clarion-tongued; but the parson went forward boldly. A "change" had come to himself, and he knew it.
Down on the shore the men were launching the lifeboat and asking for volunteers; and the parson went amongst them. He looked strong; he took up an oar as if he loved it, and the captain put his hand on his arm:
"Man, I dinna ken ye; can ye row?" "Ay. Many a time have I rowed. straight home to victory."
They were shouting in one another's ears; but the wind was strong. There was a firm grip of hands. It was a sign of the Brotherhood of Rescuers. What the captain wanted was just one who could row "straight home to victory."
Who shall tell the story of that shipwreck?
Who can paint the picture of that rescue?
Not until the lifeboat had ended its perilous work did the men on board her realize that their captain had allowed a "sky-pilot" to take a hand at the oars. They had never before believed in any sort of luck for a craft that carried a "sky-pilot" in it. And as for the lifeboat- Well, it was over now, and the peril was past. The parson stood in the rear, the captain in the foreground grasped the hand of a man whom he led unresistingly towards his new comrade.
"Thank 'im-he made it possible to go to your relief," rang out the cheery tones of the captain's voice, making itself heard above the storm. "Thank 'im." And then-only then-did the parson raise his eyes.
"Mr. Farrant," he said slowly, "I recognized you in the boat.”
The other man stared.
"It's th' parson," he cried aloud. "Th' parson as wanted ter marry Irene, an' wha buried th' Remains. Us wur rude
ter ye, sir; an' ye-ye've saved usme!"
Behind them was the sea, that had so nearly become Thomas Farrant's grave. Between them was a deep darkness, only broken by the red glare of hastily improvised torches.
And the parson lingered behind, while Thomas Farrant peered at him through the dimness. This man had taken Irene from him, and had covered him with insults.
Yet he had helped to save him. The parson was mute beneath the power of diviner inspiration. He waited-he
knew not why. At last Thomas Farrant broke the silence.
"Coom hame wi' us, mon," he said, more gently. "Ye've saved us. Ye shall ha' yer rewaird. There's ane 'at kin thank ye mair nor I. Our hame's heer. Did ye no 'ken it? Ay, an' th' lass is waitin'."
And the parson went-for his reward. "I've bin nigh onto death," said the old man to his niece. "Us hev comed
thro' a deal; an', lass, us is fair vanquished noo. Th' pairson kin read, an' he kin pray; but, ma certes, he's gotten a rare grip o' his ain, an' a han, forbye, that's as saft as selk. I doot ye canna do better."
to confirm this opinion. It was only to be expected that in the course of three or more generations the African traditions handed down by the slaves should have acquired, among American surroundings, a great amount of local color, especially when we remember how strong and vivid in primitive races is the realizing imagination which enables the narrator to describe the events of his story in terms of things familiar to himself.
But it seems unnecessary to infer, as some have done, that the animal myths of the Amazon and other Indians which present points of resemblance to the "Remus" stories must have been imported by African slaves. As Mr. Andrew Lang has so ably pointed out in "Myth, Ritual, and Religion," and elsewhere, the human intellect at a certain primitive stage is apt to reach much the same conclusions, all the world over, and to embody them in tales which have a striking similarity to each other. One of the characteristics of this state of mind is a readiness to "regard all things as on one level of personal life and intelligence." Uncle Remus's Brer Rabbit and Brer Terrapin are quite human in their feelings, motives, and mental capacity, and frequently per
And this was the love-making of the form acts suggestive of the narrator's parson and Irene.
First, the shadow of death-the paiu of grief-then the song of the lark. Again, a bitterness akin to death-a great soul-hunger-the war of the elements.
From The Contemporary Review. AFRICAN FOLK-LORE. "If ethnologists should discover," says Mr. Joel Chandler Harris in his introduction to "Uncle Remus," "that these myth-stories did not originate with the African, the proof to that effect should be accompanied with a good deal of persuasive eloquence."
All that is known of original folk-tales collected on the African continent tends
having forgotten for the moment that they are not men. This trait comes out very strikingly in the stories of which I am about to give a few specimens.
It was my fortune to spend a good many months of the years 1893 and 1894 in that part of East Central Africa now known as the British Protectorate. During this time I acquired sufficient of the Mang'anja (or Chinyanja) language to converse with a certain amount of facility, and made some attempts at collecting the traditional tales of the natives. Had I been able to make a longer stay, the result would have been more satisfactory; as it was, I never succeeded in getting any stories from the old men and women, who are the accredited authorities. I wrote down a fair number from the recitation of boys and girls, who could not be expected to 1 Myth, Ritual, and Religion, vol. i., p. 33.
know them so well as their elders, and who, I suspect, in many cases have given very incomplete and fragmentary versions. It may even have happened that, in their eagerness to supply the Donna's demand for stories, they made them up as they went along-as some of the Zulus are said to have done for the late Bishop Callaway. But if soand I hardly think it is the case their invention ran very much on the lines of received tradition.
Many of these stories deal exclusively with animals; all proceed on the assumption that animals, human beings, and inanimate objects feel and act in much the same manner. Rabbits, tortoises, elephants, and others, hoe their gardens, cook their food in clay pots over the fire, and sleep on mpasas just like the relations and neighbors of the taleteller. Baskets, calabashes, and the like are endowed with volition and mo tion whenever convenient. In one myth-fragment we see the sun and the rain figuring as personalities. Another point to be noticed is the frequency and facility with which metamorphoses take place. "The savage," says Mr. Lang, "is he who ... drawing no hardand-fast line between himself and the things in the world, is readily persuaded that men may be metamorphosed into plants, beasts, and stars." The inhabitants of the Shire and Nyasa regions have by no means outgrown the state of mind which holds such transformations possible and normal. Sandula, "to transform," and its passive, sanduka, are words frequently on their lips even in daily life. Of this I remember rather an amusing instance at Blantyre Mission. A girl in the service of a mission. ary's wife was several times called by her mistress to come and take the baby, and at first returned no answer. On the third or fourth call of "Nchafuleni!" a voice (her own) was heard from the back regions: "Nchafuleni is not there she is turned into a frog!" (a sanduko chule). Such a joke, of course, would scarcely-unless, indeed, by way of literary allusion-occur to a civilized, mind unaccustomed to regard such changes as possible.
Perhaps the tendency to personify inanimate objects is exemplified in a remark of the headman at Matope's village on Ndirande (not to be confounded with Matope on the Shire, where you get ferried across into Angoniland). I was sketching there one day, and Matope (this was his official designation-I don't know his personal name) looked on with interest. There was a curious white granite rock, standing out like an obelisk on the precipitous side of the mountain. I questioned him concerning it, thinking it might have a name and legend, but all I could arrive at (after some profound reflection on his part) was this: "It has a bad heart, therefore it stands by itself. The other stones-those that are all joined together, and make up the mountain-they have good hearts." In short, the white stone was (from a Socialist point of view) an arrant Ind!vidualist!
The first story I am about to give was dictated to me by a boy at Blantyre Mission, who was, I believe, a Yao, though he spoke Mang'anja very well. It will be seen that it well sustains "Brer Tarrypin's" character for sagacity, though not otherwise exhibiting him in an amiable light. In fact, he shows a degree of cold-blooded vindictiveness which is truly fiendish. There is something of Shylock about him. I had some little difficulty in making sense of one or two parts, and am by no means sure that my version is correct, but such as it is, I give it:
Now the tortoise made friendship with the ng'anzi [iguana], and the tortoise went to (get) salt, and his friend gave him some salt, and the tortoise said, "How shall I carry my salt, friend?" "Go and look for luzi [bark], twist string, and tie up your salt.' And he tied up his salt and went on his way (and said), "Friend, good-bye." And he put (the bundle) under his arm, and tied it round his neck and as he walked and walked along, the (bun
dle of) salt slipped round to his back, rolling over and over; and the ng'anzi came
1 I.e., in a bark-cloth wrapper, or bag, like the oads of native salt brought down by the Shirwa ulendos.
2 Or, "wobbling up and down"-in the original,
up behind him, and took hold of the bundle, and the tortoise walked along, jiggety-jig [njutu!]; and he turned round, "Let me see what has taken hold of my salt!" And he found that the ng'anzi had taken hold of the bundle by the middle; and he said, "Do not seize my salt-I have brought it from my friend's." And the ng'anzi said, "I picked it up" (on the road); and he insisted very strongly that he picked it up. And the tortoise said, "You see the string passing round my neck. We tied it-I, the tortoise, am its owner;" and the ng'anzi said, "Let us go to the smithy,1 that the elders may judge between
And they went to the smithy, and they found (there) eight elders. The ng'anzi said, "I have a mlandu with the tortoise." The elders answered, "Concerning what is this case of yours with which you have come hither to us?" And the ng'anzi said, "I picked up some salt, and the tortoise keeps on saying 'It is mine,' and so I said, 'Let us go to the smithy, that the elders may judge us.' ” And the elders said, "It is good (for you) to come with your disputes to us, the elders;" and they said, "How did he pick up the salt of the tortoise?" And the tortoise said, "Through my being short as to the legs; and I tied my salt to my neck, and it slipped round to my back . . . and I, the tortoise, turned back to see what was taking hold of my salt. And my companion, the ng'anzi, said, 'Let us go to the smithy,' and we have come here." And the ng'anzi said, "Let us cut the (bundle of) salt in half," and the tortoise said, "It is my salt;" and the ng'anzi said "Yes," and the tortoise said, "Perhaps I have done wrong in walking on the path alone, and you have brought me to your (own) brothers, and they say thus, that 'you are to cut the salt in half,' and I answer 'Cut it.'' And they divided the salt, and the ng'anzi got a great deal of it, and the owner, the tor toise, had a very little, because his claws were short, and he was not able to take hold of it and tie it up. And the elders picked up (and kept for themselves) what had fallen down in the dirt; and the tortoise went away and wept (saying) that
gubudu gubudu—one of the curious interjectional onomatopoeas which abound both in Mang'anja and Yao.
1 The usual rendezvous of the men in any village, where they gossip and smoke. 2 Quarrel or lawsuit.
"My salt is wasted." And the tortoise went away and wept (saying) that "My salt is wasted." And the tortoise went on to his village, and entered into his house; and he grumbled, "They have robbed me or my salt;" and he brought (the empty?) parcel on his arm, and his wife asked, "Where is the salt gone to?" And he said, "The ng'anzi robbed me on the road; (but) to-morrow I will go to my friend, and I will tell him that they robbed me of that salt." And he started on the road, and came to his friend and said, "My friend, they have robbed me of that salt on the road, and I have come to say that it was the ng'anzi who robbed me of it." The tortoise slept four days at his friend's, and on the fifth he returned. He found the ng'anzi, he entered his hole; he was eating winged white ants. And the tortoise came up, walking very softly, and looked carefully, and saw the ng'anzi. And he seized the ng'anzi by the middle; and the ng'anzi said, "Who has taken hold of me by the middle? I myself am eating white ants." And the tortoise said, "I have picked (you) up-I, too, have picked (you) up; the other day you picked up my salt, and to-day I have picked you up by your head and your legs" (?). And the tortoise said, "Let us go to the smithy, as we did the other day." And the ng'anzi said, "Are you determined?" (lit. strong, and the tortoise said "Yes;" and the ng'anzi came out of his hole, and they went to the smithy, and they found (there) nine elders, and they heard (i.e., the elders said), "Why do you seize the ng'anzi by the middle? Do you call (us) again for the second time to-day?" And the tortoise said, "My companion ate my salt the other day, and I also have (therefore) picked him up by the tail and two legs." They said, "Do you want to do what you did the other day?-you cut the salt in half." And the tortoise said "Ha! ha! ha! ha!-it is good thus," and he rejoiced with his whole heart; and the ng'anzi said, "You are determined (lit. you have become strong) that you will kill me!" And the tortoise said, "You killed my salt the other day-I also do thus-the same ng'anzi said, "Ha! it is all over with me— thing that you did to my salt." The you want to cut me in half-good! That which you want to do, do! I am done for -I, the ng'anzi!" The tortoise sprang up -tu! and took a knife and cut the ng'anzi
in half; and the ng'anzi cried out, saying, "Mother! mother! mother!-I am dead to-day through the picking up!" And the tortoise took the tail and two legs, and went on his way, and came to his wife and said, "We have bought (this) with that salt of mine (which) the ng'anzi ate, and I to-day have eaten the ng'anzi, and he is dead." And here ends the story of the Ng'anzi and the Tortoise.
Usually the closing formula is less elaborate: "It ended here-I na tera (or i na fera) pompo," or simply "Ya ta-it is finished."
Whether this tale really belongs to the Mang'anja or Yaos I cannot tell. have, indeed, seen a Yao version in print (in the little native paper Kalilole, issued by the Mission), but, so far as my knowledge of that language enabled me to understand it, it seemed to me to differ considerably from the one just given. The two tribes are very much mixed up together in the neighborhood of Blantyre, and many individuals are bilinguists, so that the legends of one may easily be handed on to the other, and it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to determine their provenance.
The next story I shall give has our old friend Brer Rabbit for its hero. He is called by the Mang'anja kalulu, and by the Yaos sungula-which some translators, mindful of sop, and desirous of preserving consistency in the eyes of European readers, choose to render "fox." The kalulu is frequently met with in the bush near Blantyre, but, being rather larger than our English rabbit, and solitary instead of gregarious in his way of life, he ought, perhaps, to be called a hare. As to the dzimwe, I have never succeeded in establishing his identity. Some call bim an ant-eater, and some an elephant; but the most satisfactory I ever heard was: "He is nothing at all-he is just a story." So I conclude that he is a kind of bogy beast, unknown to science, and leave his name untranslated. This story of "The Kalulu and the Dzimwe" was told me by Harry Kambwiri, a native deacon of the Church of Scotland Mission, who has worked for some 1 "Mai!" a common exclamation.
years as a teacher and evangelist, and is now in charge of the out-station at Mount Mlanje. He is a Yao, from a village on the mission land at Blantyre, but almost equally proficient in both languages. Perhaps his school training helped him; at any rate, his story is more clearly and coherently told than those obtained from other sources. I also found that he was sometimes able to assist me by piecing out the imperfect versions of the younger boys:
There was once a rabbit and a dzimwe, and the one said to the other, "Man!" (sic) come, let us go and seek for food." And they came to a village and said, "We want to work" [lit, hoe] "for food." And the owner of the village said, "Very good," and he gave them to hoe in his garden, and gave them beans, that they might eat there in the garden; and they went to the garden, and cooked the beans. When they had finished hoeing the beans were cooked, and the dzimwe said, "I am going to the water to wash myself; do you look well after the beans-we will eat when I
return from the water." And the dzimwe (went to the water and) took off his skin, and ran, and came (back) to where the rabbit was. And when the rabbit saw him, he feared (thinking) that he was some monster, and ran away. And the dzimwe ate up the beans, and went back again to the water. And he put on his skin, and returned and said, "Hast thou taken off the beans?" And the rabbit said, "No, thou man" [mwamna iwe]; "there came hither a monstrous beast, a those beans." And the dzimwe said, "No, terrible one, and I ran away, and it ate
thou hast cheated me-thou hast eaten those beans thyself-it was not a wild beast-no!" And the next day they came once more to hoe, and cooked their beans. And when the beans began to boil, the dzimwe said. . ."
Here follows an almost exact repetition of what has gone before, which we need not reproduce. After the rabbit has once more explained the loss of the beans, the dzimwe replies:
"Mwamna" (=vir, not homo, which last is muntu) is a very common form of address between natives-even small boys.
8 The cultivated land is often at a considerable distance from the village.