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enjoyed in their every-day world ; thus indicating that they fancied th ey were entering upon a new life corresponding in many particulars with their old. It is another form of the Indian notion of new and better hunting-grounds in the land of the Great Spirit. But the good or evil past had much to do in their minds with the reception that awaited them. Guardian genii, effigies of the avengers of wrong, protectors of the good, symbols of immortality, occult doctrines put into pictorial life, these looked down on them from carved roofs and frescoed walls, which were further secured from wanton sacrilege at the hands of the living by figures of monstrous serpents and demon heads, or the snake-entwined visage of the terrible Medusa. There was so much of value to tempt the cupidity of even the heirs in the tombs of the wealthy, that it was ' necessary to render them awful as well as sacred to the common imagination. Indeed, there is room for believing that, while in some instances deposits of jewels and other costly objects were made in com­ pliance with the religious customs, they were afterwards covertly with­ drawn by means of a secret entrance known only to the persons interested, if not of the family itself; perhaps left expressly by conscience-hardened workmen for the sake of plunder. But, as enough has been already secured by modern excavators to stock the principal museums of Europe, it proves that the practice of burying treasures of art was in general respected among the old Etruscans, who, doubtless thinking to need them again, wished to have them within their ghostly reach. If the tomb be anterior to the Roman fashion of burning the corpses, we often find the noble lady or great officer laid out in state on bronze biers and funeral couches, looking as in life, with their jewellery or armour on them, as prompt, to all appearance, for the pursuits of love or war as ever. Their favourite furniture, vases, bronzes, articles of toilet, and sometimes children’s toys— the pet dolls and engraved primers— are placed about them ready for instant use. A few minutes’ exposure to the air reduces the bodies to d u st; but the records of their personal tastes and habits remain. The family scene of some of the sepulchres is made more real by rows o f portrait statues in various attitudes placcd on urns or sarcophagi, and arranged in order around the chamber, very much after the manner o f a fashionable reception. In those days, guests more often reclined at banquets than sat upright. We see them, therefore, commonly in that position ; and if husband and wife, decorously embracing or carcssing, the arm of the man thrown lovingly over the shoulder of the partner of his home. Each is draped as in life, wearing their usual ornaments and insignia of rank. The base, which contains the ashes or bodies, is elaborately sculptured, sometimes in full relief, with mythological or historical scenes, or symbols and events relating to the deceased persons. T h e oldest and most common of these cinerary urns are coarsely

13H.P. Blavatsky & M. Collins, editors - Lucifer Vol. III, No. 13 September, 1888  

Source : The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP, www.iapsop.com), digitized by Go...

13H.P. Blavatsky & M. Collins, editors - Lucifer Vol. III, No. 13 September, 1888  

Source : The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP, www.iapsop.com), digitized by Go...

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