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• evolution' then does not seem altogether appropriate and contains its own 'fallacy of metaphor.'

Our author's own attitude towards the savagery that he so copiously chronicles is difficult to fix. Generally he compels the reader to abhor it by his power of lurid painting; at times he records its futilities in the tone of Voltaire or Gibbon; but on the whole it fascinates him and he makes out a brilliant case for it. As regards his method of investigation, it is that which he has always employed, and which we may call the universal comparative method. Its procedure rests on a general survey of all mankind without regard to locality, race, or stage of culture, and on the view that a fact of anthropological interest and difficulty presented by one locality may be elucidated by comparison with other facts more or less similar reported from any other part of the world. This method in the hands of the master can lead and has led to great achievements; but there are certain pitfalls to which the worker on this and only this method is specially exposed. In the exigency imposed by his world-wide quest he may have neither time nor inclination for intensive study, that is, for the study of a fact in relation to its immediate and adjacent ethnic and social surroundings, in short for what is now being called 'adjacent anthropology. Lacking this, he is always liable to misinterpret a fact, to attribute to it a certain significance, to place it in a certain setting, that does not accord with the probabilities suggested by its environment. And, partly as a consequence of this, he is liable to bring under one category doubtfully similar facts, which by reason of some unnoticed but essential incongruity are really incommensurate. In fact, the employment of the method of universal comparison alone is not likely to engender in the anthropologist the spirit of criticism; and I have tried to indicate elsewhere the advantages of combining it with the method of adjacent anthropology or with intensive study.

Great master as he is in his own method, which is no longer the most modern, Sir James cannot be said to have escaped wholly the pitfalls alluded to. This is most manifest when he comes to deal with areas of ancient culture, in which the facts are most complex and multifarious, and which specialists have devoted long

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years to elucidate-such areas as Palestine, Babylon, Crete, Greece, Rome. A special student of Babylonian religion, for instance, will be startled by the thesis (Part III, p. 4), “the High Gods of Babylon periodically died.' This is given on the authority of a discarded and unauthoritative little treatise by Mr King, who, like other good Assyriologists, is now aware that that statement only holds good of Tammuz. More especially in his long and frequent discussions of matters concerning Greek and Roman religion, he fails to impress the specialist or to display the true perception that comes from patient, sympathetic and critical study. Wissowa's work on Roman religion reaches solid results, but is dry and narrow, and often ineffectual, partly through want of geniality, partly through disdain of comparative anthropology. Our author is his antithesis; having failed to 'Romanise' himself, being content with the universal comparative method only, he achieves no convincing truth, but is content to propagate many quaint and interesting theories, the children of cloudland, emanations from the realm of the barely possible. It is only the purely comparative student, unversed in the lore and unfamiliar with the atmosphere of a special area that asks such questions as on p. 245, Part I, Vol. 2– if the Peruvian Vestals were the brides of the Sun, may not the Roman Vestals have been the brides of the Fire?' Sir James Frazer would have theorised better on Roman religion, if he had allowed himself to be influenced by Mr Fowler, our greatest authority on the subject, who combines the advantages of the two methods. He might, then, have been corrigible on the question of the marriages of Roman deities, of Jupiter and Juno, for instance; he might have been critically careful of the distinction between what is late and Grecised and what is early Roman or Latin; and he would not have accepted the story of the Martyrdom of St Dasius as evidence for the primitive religion of Latium (VI, p. 308).

The universal world-survey is apt to engender hurry; and we sometimes find mistakes in our author's statement of facts which suggest the hurry that prevents one looking carefully at a context or weighing the value of a literary passage. We are told (v, 2, p. 240, n. 1), “The Hebrews sacrificed and burned incense to their nets,

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on the authority of Habakkuk i, 16; but if we turn to the prophet's page we find that he quite clearly refers not to the Hebrews but to the Chaldeans. A childish bird-story in Antoninus Liberalis is quoted as evidence that the ancient Attic kings were identified with Zeus (1, 2, p. 127); one might as well conclude from the lovestory of Cupid and Psyche that all beautiful women in ancient Greece were identified with Aphrodite. He marks a statement of the Scholiast on Aristophanes that the Greek sacrifice to the dead took place at noontide; and as an explanation he tentatively suggests that the custom may have arisen from the belief that spirits cast no shadow (II, p. 88). No explanation would have been needed if he had remarked that another Scholiast (on Apollonius Rhodius, I, 587) and Diogenes Laertius merely contradict the 'fact.' Again, he has no time for the weighing of authorities, or he would not have allowed himself such an obiter dictum as 'according to one account, Apollo himself was buried at Delphi' (Part 111, p. 4); he would have realised how fatuous that late 'account' is. The same appearance of hurry is visible in his study of the Greek Saturnalia, which is the weakest and least critical portion of his work, forming the concluding chapter of The Scapegoat' (Part vi). Upon this very frail foundation is based the important induction that there existed in prehistoric times a uniform society ranging from South Italy to India. Occasionally, under the exigencies of a popular style, he ventures too sweeping generalisations on a quite insufficient basis : in classical antiquity there was a popular notion that every human being had his own star in the sky' (II1, 66). He merely quotes Pliny (2, 28), who only attests the belief of his own time. But might not the intelligent reader conclude from these words that the Greek and Roman peoples throughout the periods of their respective histories were as liable to this unfortunate superstition as our Middle Ages or the age of the Renaissance ? Our author must be aware how seriously important for the history of European civilisation are the exact facts concerning the prevalence of astrology, and that before the time of their decadence the Greeks were innocent of the disastrous illusion.

Again, one cannot resist the uneasy impression, while

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one admires the vastness of his range, that in dealing with the leading problems of classical religion, such as the Anthesteria and Thargelia festivals, our writer's work is secondhand and uncritical. These are subjects that have been worked over most minutely by modern specialists; and our author's references suggest a sufficient familiarity with the modern literature of this department. Yet its influence upon him, whether positive or negative, seems usually slight; and he does not allow himself the time or concentrate himself for the effort to follow out a problem to its legitimate end. His restless mind is constantly flickering away down side paths, and he has to apologise to the reader—not without cause--for this weakness for casual roaming (v, 2, p. 96). The reader will easily forgive him, for we owe to it some fascinating anthropologic excursions ; but our desire to see an argument driven home by continuous hard-headed reasoning, to follow down one track till something definite is found, is continually baffled. We are often bewildered with a mirage of half-realised innumerable possibilities.

There is another danger that naturally besets the rapid and omnivorous investigator and co-ordinator. All is fish that comes to his net; and at one cast he is apt to bring in many fish that are very unlike. Sir James Frazer casts his nets wide, and often the facts that are brought together are by no means co-ordinate. Careful investigation will reveal this in his development of one of his favourite themes, the killing of kings (111, 34–58). The ceremonious slaying of the king as a god-man to save him from the weakness of old age; the gallant end of a king on the battlefield, as of Saul; the casual and utilitarian execution of a king, as of Charles I–all these different types of cases are brought together as if they explained each other. Or again, in his discussion of the many interesting problems connected with the sacred women of Anatolia and Mesopotamia, he blurs the distinctions between many different types which modern criticism has laboured to keep distinct. The perfected scientific spirit needs in equal degree the faculty of seeing resemblances and the faculty of seeing differences. Our writer has the former in a striking degree; he is defective in the latter.

Some of these drawbacks may be inherent in his Vol. 223,—No. 443.

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method; and one may ask if he himself is aware of its limitations. At times he cautions the reader well and warily against too much dogmatism ; he speaks of the • slipperiness and uncertainty of the ground' (III, p. 112), but this does not deter him from very bold skating. • Even the lamp of comparative mythology (he says) cannot always illumine ancient mythology' (ib.). This is certainly true; all the lamps that can be applied illuminate only a very small part; but his words imply that this is the true and only lamp. A test-case might be the argument that meanders through two volumes on .Balder the Beautiful' to prove or to make probable that Balder was the oak that was burnt on the Midsummer Fires. All the comparisons and analogies strung together in these volumes do not and cannot bring us any conviction that Balder was an oak; and, if they were increased indefinitely, they would be valueless by comparison with a single direct Scandinavian record associating him with this tree. Even his statement, given on slight authority, that these fires are or were called Balder's Bale-fires' in modern Sweden outweighs as evidence the rest of the two volumes; but Scandinavian scholars do not regard that term as possessing any value for the original Balder-myth.

So far it is the method and the workmanship that have been discussed. But even the most general survey of this great work must take note of some of the writer's special theories. Criticism is checked at the outset by the candid openmindedness, even the indifference, of the writer in regard to them. He is always ready to abandon them if better can be shown him. This is scientifically praiseworthy. In the preface to the second edition, which he reprints at the beginning of the third, he pronounces his interest as more in the facts themselves than in the hypotheses which colligate and illumine them. But it is not to be expected that his reader will share his indifference. In the first place these eleven volumes are as full of theories as an egg is full of meat; and without them the whole work would lose the slight degree of unity which at present it possesses. It is just his particular theory about Balder that allows him to fill the last two volumes-dedicated to that god-with

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