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the cleverly sustained combination of the beast's nature and the man's. How great the influence of the Reynard Epic was in the middle ages, may be judged from Reynard, Bruin, Chanticleer, being still names familiar to people who have no idea of their having been originally names of the characters in the great beast-fable. Even more remarkable are its traces in modern French. The donkey has its name of baudet from Baudoin, Baldwin the Ass. Common French dictionaries do not even contain the word goupil (vulpes), so effectually has the Latin name of the fox been driven out of use by his Frankish title in the Beast-Epic, Raginhard the Counsellor, Reinhart, Reynard, Renart, renard. The moralized apologues like Æsop's which Grimm contemptuously calls 'fables thinned down to mere moral and allegory,' 'a fourth watering of the old grapes into an insipid moral infusion,' are low in æsthetic quality as compared with the genuine beast-myths. Mythological critics will be apt to judge them after the manner of the child who said how convenient it was to have ‘Moral' printed in Æsop's fables, that everybody might know what to skip.
The want of power of abstraction which has ever had such disastrous effect on the beliefs of mankind, confounding myth and chronicle, and crushing the spirit of history under the rubbish of literalized tradition, comes very clearly into view in the study of parable. The states of mind of the deaf, dumb, and blind Laura Bridgman, so instructive in illustrating the mental habits of upeducated though fullsensed men, displays in an extreme form the difficulty such men have in comprehending the unreality of any story. She could nut be made to see that arithmetical problems were anything but statements of concrete fact, and when her teacher asked her, 'If you can buy a barrel of cider for four dollars, how Inuch can you buy for one dollar ?' she replied quite simply, 'I cannot give much for cider, because it is very sour.'1 It is a surprising instance of this tendency to concretism, that among people so civilized as the Buddhists, the most obviously moral beast-fables have become literal incidents of sacred history. Gautama, during his 550 jatakas or births, took the form of a frog, a fish, a crow, an ape, and various other animals, and so far were the legends of these transformations from mere myth to his followers, that there have been preserved as relics in Buddhist temples the hair, feathers, and bones of the creatures whose bodies the great teacher inhabited. Now among the incidents which happened to Buddha during his series of animal births, he appeared as an actor in the familiar fable of the Fox and the Stork, and it was he who, when he was a Squirrel, set an example of parental virtue by trying to dry up the ocean with his tail, to save his young ones whose nest had drifted out to sea, till his persevering courage was rewarded by a miracle. To our modern minds, a moral which seems the very purpose of a story is evidence unfavourable to its truth as fact. But if even apologues of talking birds and beasts have not been safe from literal belief, it is clear that the most evident moral can have been but slight protection to parables told of possible and life-like men. It was not a needless precaution to state explicitly of the New Testament parables that they were parables, and even this guard has not availed entirely. Mrs. Jameson relates some curious experience in the following passage :-'I know that I was not very young when I entertained no more doubt of the substantial existence of Lazarus and Dives than of John the Baptist and Herod; when the Good Samaritan was as real a personage as any of the Apostles; when I was full of sincerest pity for those poor foolish Virgins who had forgotten to trim their lamps, and thought them—in my secret soulrather hardly treated. This impression of the literal actual truth of the parables I have since met wit's in many children, and in the uneducated but devout harrers and readers of
1 Account of Laura Bridgman, p. 120.
1 Bowring, 'Siam,' vol. i. p. 313 ; Hardy, ‘Mani jal of Budhism,'p. 98. See the fable of the Crow and Pitcher,’ in Plin. x. 8:0, and Bastian, ‘Mensch,' vol. i. p. 76.
the Bible; and I remember that when I once tried to explain to a good old woman the proper meaning of the word parable, and that the story of the Prodigal Son was not a fact, she was scandalized—she was quite sure that Jesus would never have told anything to his disciples that was not true. Thus she settled the matter in her own mind, and I thought it best to leave it there undisturbed.' Nor, it may be added, has such realization been confined to the minds of the poor and ignorant. St. Lazarus, patron saint of lepers and their hospitals, and from whom the lazzarone and the lazzaretto take their name, obviously derives these qualities from the Lazarus of the parable.
The proof of the force and obstinacy of the mythic faculty, thus given by the relapse of parable into pseudo-history, may conclude this dissertation on mythology. In its course there have been examined the processes of animating and personifying nature, the formation of legend by exaggeration and perversion of fact, the stiffening of metaphor by mistaken realization of words, the conversion of speculative theories and still less substantial fictions into pretended traditional events, the passage of myth into miracle-legend, the definition by name and place given to any floating imagination, the adaptation of mythic incident as moral example, and the incessant crystallization of story into history. The investigation of these intricate and devious operations has brought ever more and more broadly into view two principles of mythologic science. The first is that legend, when classified on a sufficient scale, displays a regularity of development which the notion of motiveless fancy quite fails to account for, and which must be attributed to laws of formation whereby every story, old and new, has arisen from its definite origin and sufficient cause. So uniform indeed is such development, that it becomes possible to treat myth as an organic product of mankind at large, in which individual, national, and even racial distinctions stand subordinate to universal qualities of the
1 Jameson, ‘History of Our Lord in Art,' vol. i. p. 375.
3: 4 human mind. The second principle concerns the relation of myth to history. It is true that the sea for mutilated and mystified traditions of real events, formed main a part of old mythological researches, sms to gi cow more hopeless the farther the study of legend extends
. Even the fragments of real chronicle found embedded in the mythic structure are mostly in so corrupt a state, that, far from their elucidating history, they need history to elucidate them. Yet unconsciously, and as it were in spite of themselves, the shapers and transmitters of poetic legend have preserved for us masses of sound historical evidence. They moulded into mythic lives of gods and heroes their own ancestral heirlooms of thought and word, they displayed in the structure of their legends the operations of their own minds, they placed on record the arts and manners, the philosophy and religion of their own times, times of which formal history has often lost the very memory. Myth is the history of its authors, not of its subjects; it records the lives, not of superhuman heroes, but of poetic nations.
Religious ideas generally appear among low races of Mankind-Negative
statements on this subject frequently misleading and mistaken : many cases uncertain—Minimum definition of Religion-Doctrine of Spiritual Beings, here termed Animism-Animism treated as belonging to Natural Religion-Animism divided into two sections, the philosophy of Souls, and of other Spirits—Doctrine of Souls, its prevalence and definition among the lower races—Definition of Apparitional Soul or Ghost-SoulIt is a theoretical conception of primitive Philosophy, designed to account for phenomena now classed under Biology, especially Life and Death, Health and Disease, Sleep and Dreams, Trance and VisionsRelation of Soul in name and nature to Shadow, Blood, BreathDivision or Plurality of Souls-Soul cause of Life ; its restoration to body when supposed absent-Exit of Soul in Trances-Dreams and Visions : theory of exit of dreamer's or seer's own soul ; theory of visits received by them from other souls—Ghost-Soul seen in Apparitions—Wraiths and Doubles-Soul has form of body ; suffers mutilation with it-Voice of Ghost-Soul treated and defined as of Material Substance; this appears to be the original doctrine-Transmission of Souls to service in future life by Funeral Sacrifice of wives, attendants, &c.-Souls of Animals—Their transmission by Funeral Sacrifice-Souls of PlantsSouls of Objects—Their transmission by Funeral Sacrifice—Relation of doctrine of Object-Souls to Epicurean theory of Ideas-Historical development of Doctrine of Souls, from the Ethereal Soul of primitive Biology to the Immaterial Soul of modern Theology.
ARE there, or have there been, tribes of men so low in culture as to have no religious conceptions whatever ? This is practically the question of the universality of religion, which for so many centuries has been affirmed and denied, with a confidence in striking contrast to the imperfect evidence on which both affirmation and denial have been based. Ethnographers, if looking to a theory of development to explain civilization, and regarding its successive 1.-2 E