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varied wealth of material that is in them. For the titles of each book and of some of the chapters fail to indicate the often bewildering variety of the content; in fact, in regard to the two volumes on Balder the Beautiful,' a captious reader and one specially interested in Balder might often be tempted to cry ουδέν πρός Διόνυσον. But, indeed, the whole series is a vast encyclopædia of primitive and advanced anthropology; and it is hard to mention many problems proper to this field which one does not find discussed or which one could not gather material to elucidate in this labyrinthine treatise. And besides the enormous compilation of primitive facts and the many theories, advanced usually without dogmatism and as if only for the sake of stringing those facts together, there are many oases to allure the reader who girds himself to traverse these thousands of pages; for the writer is skilled in linking up many a savage ritual, many a savage myth and thought, with the achievements of our highest civilisation, our ideal philosophy, science and religion. Hence the sudden digressions on the Greek philosophers, modern science, Kant and Hegel, in which the well-known literary skill of the writer is approved, but which come upon us so unexpectedly that the harsh critic may call them purple patches. Yet the purple is good and true colour, and has a meaning of its own in the landscape.

To have said as much as this is to say that no critical and adequate review of these volumes will ever be written, for such a review would itself be a volume. The ordinary reviewer may be content to express his reverent admiration for the amazing industry, the devotion to research, the moral energy that could alone inspire and achieve such an intellectual output. But the conscientious critic, having carefully read and pondered on the whole, must try to formulate his impression of the primitive life which the writer reveals, and must candidly give his judgment concerning the value of the methods pursued, the accuracy of the research, and the validity of the inductions drawn.

This picture of the world of thought and belief through which the higher races are assumed to have passed and in which the lower races, even perhaps some of the modern European peasants, are still abiding, may be found by the imaginative reader gloomy, dreadful,

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and repulsive. The phrase that seems to have been invented as if for Oxford Greats' papers by an early amateur in these matters, Walter Bagehot—the mind of the savage is tattooed all over with monstrous images'-will perpetually recur to him. The primitive man of the past and the present is depicted in the pages of Sir James Frazer as a being devoted to cruel, hideous and licentious rites, as ridden with the terrors of demons, ghosts and witches, and tortured with the fears of malignant unseen powers when he rises in the morning and lays him down at night, when he goes out and comes in, when he puts his spade into the soil, when he culls the first-fruits or gathers in the last sheaf of his harvest, when he marries a wife, when his daughter reaches puberty, when he goes on the warpath and no less when he returns triumphant or defeated; and he defends himself against these evils real or imaginary by magic rites that are always futile and wasteful and often very unclean. Our writer is himself well aware of the appalling impression that he gives us of our early ancestors; and, while he usually makes use of his faculty of gentle banter and irony to save himself and his readers from the depressing influence of his facts, yet at times he gives way to his own lurid imagination and intensifies the blackness of his colouring. His chapter on the Omnipresence of Demons'(Part vi, p. 73) is a typical example of his power; in his hypothetical reconstruction of the Jewish Passover, starting with the assumption that the primitive Hebrew did actually sacrifice his firstborn, he conjures up the phantom-forms of midnight executioners (Part III, p. 178), and veritably makes our flesh creep--a pastime not wholly scientific. It is in keeping with this that he is inclined to the more pessimistic type of hypotheses, even in respect of ritual where all trace of cruelty has vanished; behind many an innocent masquerade of an All Fools' day, he detects the tragic ritual murder of the aging King; and with the over-eagerness of the earliest pioneers in anthropology, he scents human sacrifice in places where later students would refuse to acknowledge any trace of it, as, for instance, in the quite harmless ritual and ritual-legend of Sosipolis of Elis (VI, p. 353). Moreover, he even ventures on the dismal vaticination that civilisation

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and humanity may one day abandon the higher religions and revert to the Walpurgisnacht' of the past (v, 2, p. 335; cf. VI, p. 89). The reader who appreciates our author's facts in their true grimness will tremble at the prospect.

We are not here concerned with his views concerning the future of mankind, but with the picture that he presents of modern savagery which may reflect our own past. The reader who accepts the facts here gathered together as true, and also as the whole truth, may wonder how our race has escaped extinction through the devastating effects of a suicidal race-madness, still more how it has succeeded in winning through into a civilised sanity and a reasonable psychic state. Certainly we may draw one induction from this survey of the anthropological phenomena, namely, that the human animal, just because he combines a rudimentary thought with intensity of emotion and feeling, is liable to morbid and often self-destructive exaggeration of sentiment and to perilous disturbances of the mental equilibrium; hence the ghastly self-mutilations of savages, their exhausting asceticisms, their occasional deaths from the terrors of taboo and the spirit-world or from the auto-suggestion of sorcerers. His magic is, indeed, to some extent protective; and, as Sir James Frazer has observed, the higher religion of the good deity may sometimes deliver from the menace of evil spirits. But magic may kill as many as it saves; and high religion has at times diffused as dark and deadly a terror as the lower polydaimonism. It is fortunate that primitive as well as civilised man has been helped by other influences, by the faculty of contradicting himself, by the refusal to carry through a fatal logic of life or death, by the power of insouciance whereby he can escape from his morbid states into a saving and restful lightheartedness.

Sir James' picture is the more lurid because he does not sufficiently emphasise the other side. At times he shows himself aware of it, as when, in dealing with the omnipresence of demons, he says (Part vi, p. 78), “The savage and indeed the civilised man is incapable, at least in his normal state, of such excessive preoccupation with a single idea, which, if prolonged, could hardly fail to end in insanity’; and in a note there he quotes some 'judicious observations' of Mr Dudley Kidd on the merry disposition of the Kafirs, in spite of the swarms of devils that the anthropological report finds in their region. But the reader, relieved for a moment, is soon plunged into terror and pity again as he follows our author round the world, especially when he gets to Corea and Ceylon. And he may feel the contradiction in the statement quoted with apparent approval from Dr Wallis Budge (VI, p. 103)—though naturally of a gay and lighthearted disposition, the Egyptian must have lived in a perpetual state of fear of spirits of all kinds.' There is often a lurking fallacy in a 'must,' and things that must be' often are not so. Hence it is that observant sojourners in savage lands often find the actual savage very different in psychic temperament from what, according to the decision of the anthropologic littérateur, he must be.' We ourselves are often very different on Monday from what we were on Sunday; hence, it may happen, we are able to continue living, Doubtless our writer's statistics concerning the 'omnipresence of demons' are of great value as raw material for our history of the human mind. But we have to do our own estimating and sifting; and, as he throws statistics of all races, primitive and cultured, into the same pigeon-hole of demonology, his chapters do not help us to distinguish the various peoples according to their less or greater burden of this dangerous yet fruitful superstition. Yet this distinction, which marks off, for instance, the Hellenes in their prime from the Babylonians and Egyptians, is vital for the history of progress.

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Another general reflection is suggested by this vast exposition of human facts. We seem to want a new formula, a phrase for describing the process of our life from primitive to modern times. The stratification theory, demarcating the stages of our history as clearly as the strata of the earth, seems to be quite inadequate to the facts; and Sir James himself writes a good note of warning against its fallacy (Part v, 2, pp. 36-37). His readers certainly need the warning, and perhaps he himself might bear it more steadily in mind; for he is apt to speak of 'an age of magic' followed by an age of religion, or of anthropomorphism as superimposed upon a previous theriomorphism or theriolatry. Yet

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his own evidence helps us to discern the past differently, so far as knowledge or conjecture can penetrate back. We do not see separate strata clear-cut from one another; rather we see a great variety of contradictory forms, the contradiction not being felt, existing in germ altogether; magic mixed up with religion, the lowest magic with a possible god in the background, vague anthropomorphism with a vague theriomorphism, ideas cruder than animism combined with animism, the terror of spirits touched at times with some instinct of love; the existence of individual thought in a circle of collective consciousness. There may have been an age of pure magic, a godless age, a preanimistic age, an age purely theriomorphic, purely matrilineal; but no conscientious anthropologist dares yet say that he has found it.

More helpful is the evolution-formula, derived as it is from the physical study of the organic world; and it is this which governs our writer's exposition in his fascinating short study called Psyche's Task.' But in his last chapter of Part II on Our Debt to the Savage, he is less satisfying, less in accord with the reasonable verdict on his own facts. These ought to intensify our sense of the mental value of civilisation, of which in this chapter he tends to speak disparagingly, taking the easy and fatal 'pragmatic' view of truth; at the same time he over-estimates the mental life of the savage, at least as he has exposed it; for he speaks here of savage society as a faultless model constructed with rigorous accuracy upon the lines' laid down by a barbarous philosophy. But in very much that he has presented to us we cannot see, nor does he try to show us, this rigorous accuracy'; we see rather in many directions a violent exaggeration, morbidity and unexplained caprice. And from his evidence we may gather the impression that civilisation cannot be regarded wholly as the result of a gradual progress in a straight line, as the slow evolution of a savage germ, or as the gradual transmutation of savage life, though these descriptions may apply to some parts of the whole complex change; we must regard it also as partly due to a higher lift, achieved by rejection and negation of much perilous and poisonous matter, and we must believe that the sceptical steady brain has been one of the lifting powers. The term

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