"Another Folk Woneth There Beside;
Orphani He Hatteth Wide.
When Her Eldrynges Beth Elde,
And Ne Mowen Hemselven Welde
Hy Hem Sleeth, And Bidelve
And," Etc., Etc.
- Weber, I. P. 206.
Benedetto Bordone, in his Isolario (1521 and 1547), makes the same
charge against the Irish, but I am glad to say that this seems only
copied fiom Strabo.
Such stories are still rife in the East, like those of
men with tails. I have myself heard the tale told, nearly as Raffles tells
it of the Battas, of some of the wild tribes adjoining Arakan. (Balbi,
f. 130; Raffles, Mem. p. 427; Wallace, Malay Archip. 281; Bickmore's
Travels, p. III; Cathay, pp. 25, 100).
The latest and most authentic statement of the kind refers to a small
tribe called Birhors, existing in the wildest parts of Chota Nagpur and
Jashpur, west of Bengal, and is given by an accomplished Indian
ethnologist, Colonel Dalton. "They were wretched-looking objects ...
assuring me that they had themselves given up the practice, they admitted
that their fathers were in the habit of disposing of their dead in the
manner indicated, viz., by feasting on the bodies; but they declared that
they never shortened life to provide such feast, and shrunk with horror at
the idea of any bodies but those of their own blood relations being served
up at them!" (J.A.S.B. XXXIV. Pt. II. 18.) The same practice has been
attributed recently, but only on hearsay, to a tribe of N. Guinea called
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