A BURMESE ENCHANTMENT.
and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge oui blood " (Rev. VI, 10). And the tortuTe of the locust scorpions which " should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months, and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days men shall seek death and not find it." (Rev. IX, 5 and 6). And " they gnawed their tongues in pain" (Rev. XVI, 10).1 There is nothing to compare with all that in the Arakan or any other pagoda I know of. There is nothing equal to it in the most extravagant nightmares of Lamaism. And all these things are nightmares no doubt. Buddhism no more teaches that kind of Hell than modern Christianity does. It simply comes to this, that man has " sought out many inventions."2
The life-history of all pagodas is more or less the same. For a few years presents of flowers and candles are lavished upon them. For two or three generations at most, they are painted and gilded with gold leaf. Then all begins to tarnish, and the silken-clad people attend them no more. There are no more flowers on the altars. Candles no longer illuminate the calm Buddha face in the evening. The decay is very gradual, but it is the same in all cases without variation. Little sprigs of peepul trees appear in the masonry. The wood carving rots. The tall ta-gone-taing poles lean to
1 Rev. IV, 6 and 7 ; Rev. VIII, 13 ; Rev. XIV, 10 and 11 ; Kev. XV, 1 and XVI, 1.
* Ecelesiastes, VII, 29.