Folk-Lore/Volume 10/Australian Gods: a Reply
TRANSACTIONS OF THE FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
BY ANDREW LANG, M.A.
When I first glanced at Mr. Hartland's trenchant critique of my Australian Gods (Folk-Lore, December, 1898), I "bounded on my chair," as the French say. "Can I be this guilty creature?" I asked myself, and a trusty friend in the anthropological line hastened to assure me that I was. I had deserted the camp, he said; I had taken service under the colours of Mr. Max Müller; and Mr. Hartland, reluctantly but firmly, had hewed me to pieces before the Totem in Gilgal, or at all events had "cut me up."
However, my nerves recovered their tone. I sat down to read Mr. Hartland carefully and to verify his references (as far as I could get the authorities). Then my strength, or at all events my confidence, returned unto me. If I wished to be "trenchant" (which I do not) I could urge: (1) That Mr. Hartland's argument is of the nature of an ignoratio elenchi. This means that Mr. Hartland, with infantry, cavalry, artillery, volunteers, and mounted police, storms what he takes to be my position, and captures it without a scratch, though with great expenditure of powder and shot. But the position was unheld and undefended; the fortified crest of my Australian Olympus is in quite a different direction. Mr. Hartland’s onset is magnificent, mais, parbleu, ce n’est pas la guerre. (2) Having occupied a strategic point which nobody defended, Mr. Hartland set to work to fortify his own camp. Among his materials he employed two contradictories, which, I need hardly say, cannot logically be conceived as simultaneously true by the mere unaided un-Hegelian human intellect. Nor, in fact, did Mr. Hartland achieve this miracle; he “escaped his own notice” (as the Greek idiom runs) in first holding one of the contradictories and then deserting it, and to some extent holding its opposite. Either might be a trenchant reply to me, but I am not to be asked to face both contradictories at once, nor even “one down and the other come on.” If all this be true, as I believe, Mr Hartland has not done me very much harm. On the other hand, he has incidentally done me much good, and I shall hasten to make such corrections and modifications of my work as seem necessary or desirable after a study of his censures.
Now we may come to business.
The general drift of my theory is that, obscured and even contradicted by many myths, religious ideas of a relatively high order exist among low savages such as these most archaic peoples, the Australian tribes, and are not to be explained as the result of a long process of evolution which began in the propitiation of ghosts of the dead. There must be some other explanation of the rise of these ideas, and as to the nature of that explanation I repeatedly decline to theorise. Mr. Hartland “agrees with Mr. Lang that the evidence will not warrant such a conclusion” as that “the idea of God has arisen from that of a ghost or disembodied spirit” (Folk-Lore, p. 292). To make that point, on which Mr. Hartland and I are happily agreed, was one of my chief objects. The hypothesis which we both discard has, however, become almost a commonplace of anthropological science. I am especially anxious to prove that we have not yet the materials for a scientific theory of the evolution of religion. As Mr. Hartland says, I distrust my own theory, or rather my own surmise, which by the way I have never yet fully stated. I suspect all theories which deal with man’s psychology and reasoning powers when he was in a condition more primitive than any of which we have historical knowledge. Thus, as Mr. Hartland says, before man evolved the notion of “a disembodied spirit,” he may, as “conscious himself of will, sensation, and reason, have endowed everything round him with these qualities.” He may have done so; in myth he certainly does so; how far playfully, or imaginatively, is a moot point. Again, whether man really did so before he had an idea of a disembodied spirit we certainly cannot, historically, know; and Mr. Herbert Spencer opposes this theory, not without success. I therefore prefer to take up man as historically known to us. I, at least, have only guesses, not, like Mr. Hartland, “glimpses,” at man “when he had not attained to the conception of a disembodied spirit.” As historically known to us, man, I think, has the germ of the conception of “a moral, relatively Supreme Being, a Creator,” even while man is “in very rudimentary social conditions” (Mr. Hartland, Folk-Lore, p. 292).
It is here that Mr. Hartland differs from me. Now I would beg Mr. Hartland to observe that, while I think early man has this lofty conception, I have never denied, I think, that of the same “moral, relatively Supreme Being, a Creator,” man has also simultaneously quite contradictory conceptions. This is constantly dwelt on in my Myth, Ritual, and Religion. The contradictions are of the very essence of mythology, and occur in every ancient religion which includes a belief in gods. As an American critic, Professor Starr, states my case: “That primitive creature (man) may early have had a variety of notions in his mind, but among his earliest original conceptions is the idea of a kind, creative, Supreme Being, whom men may worship.” I have referred to possible totemism, teraphim-worship, tree-worship, and stone-worship, even in early Israel. I never dreamed of denying to the Australians similar departures from the belief in “a kind, creative, Supreme Being” (not that I know them to worship stones and trees), or any quantity of myths in which their Supreme Beings appear in every conceivable undignified figure and action. Consequently, none of Mr. Hartland’s extracts from the chronique scandaleuse of Bunjil or Baiame disproves my contention that the notion of “a kind, creative Supreme Being” is among the ideas of the Australians. “The mythology of the god is a kind of joke with no sacredness about it,” I said. “No doubt this is a very convenient way of treating awkward statements,” says Mr. Hartland. But what is all the puzzling part of mythology but “a kind of joke,” a series of irreverences towards the central religious conception at its best? And what is the puzzle of mythology but this “silly, senseless, and savage element,” as Mr. Max Müller says, puzzling just because so closely associated with the belief in beings who, at lowest, are dreaded and powerful?
Our own sacred writings include the idea of a kind, creative Supreme Being; but surely it is needless to point out that, as in Australia, contradictory statements also occur, both as to the moral and creative aspects. (Genesis, i. 27, ii. 7, 21; Luke iii. 38 (this text, of course, is not meant literally); James i. 13; 1 Kings xxii. 20-23.) Mr. Hartland says “the sublime conception of the creative fiat as set forth in the book of Genesis, and interpreted by Christian dogma, is the product of ages of civilisation.” Yet, despite these ages of civilisation, our sacred books contain contradictions of the idea of sheer creation, and contradictions of our later morality, in the Creator. Israel, none the less, certainly believed in a moral Creator. Why, then, if similar contradictions occur in the beliefs of“"men in a rudimentary social condition,” should these contradictions militate against my assertion that these men also possess the notion of “a moral, relatively Supreme Being, a Creator”? If the Australians have no such idea because they have myths which contradict it, then Israel, by parity of reasoning, had no such idea. Yet (without discussing the validity of the belief in question) Mr. Hartland will not deny that Israel did possess that belief. How then can he deny that some Australians possess it? That denial he may establish otherwise, but he cannot establish it by adducing any number of contradictory Australian myths. To adduce these, however, is a great part of his criticism of myself. With these contradictory myths I shall deal later. Mr. Hartland states my thesis thus: “He holds that ‘all the most backward races historically known to us’ had by reasoning arrived at the belief in a moral, eternal, omniscient Creator and Judge” (Folk-Lore, p. 293). I am very much obliged to Mr. Hartland for not saying (like most of my critics) that I attribute the belief to Revelation! In fact I repeatedly declined to give any theory of how the belief arose. I recommend “scientific nescience” (p. 315). The rise of the belief is “a point on which we possess no positive evidence” (p. 293). Mr. Hartland says that I adopt the theory of “reasoning” as the source of the belief, because I say that St. Paul’s hypothesis of its rise from the “Argument from Design” “is not the most unsatisfactory.” That patronising remark of mine is hardly the statement of a theory. I have stated none; I have declined to state any; but now I will venture on a surmise. The point is really of great psychological interest, quite apart from our main discussion.
Mr. Hartland writes: “On the antecedent improbability that naked savages, without any organised system of government, and incapable of counting up to seven, could have attained a philosophical conception so lofty, there is no need to argue.” Now here a good deal turns on words. Mr. Hartland accuses me of “many expressions rhetorically used anent the gods of the lower races,” and to my rhetoric, perhaps, is due the appearance of “a lofty philosophical conception” (Folk-Lore, p. 312). There is a great deal of force in his censure, and I shall here try to strip off the rhetoric, about which, however, I have more to say later. It would have been wise in me to explain my meaning with less of rhetorical effusiveness, for a meaning I have, thus: “Moral”—I mean that certain of these beings are moral—relatively to the morality of their tribes. Mr. Howitt distinctly asserts this. The tribes (or some tribes) have “beliefs which govern tribal and individual morality under a supernatural sanction” (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 59). To what extent the morality goes we shall later consider. “Eternal”—that the Being of the belief was “from all eternity” I cannot demonstrate; he was “in the beginning,” which Mr. Hartland may construe as he pleases, and (in some statements) he “made everything” (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xxiv., p. 101). Here blackfellows alone are excepted, they were made by a demiurge. I don’t know if Heaven was the Maker’s original home; it could hardly have been earth “before it was made.” “Omniscient”—“He can see you, and all you do down here,” as a black was told in early youth, “before the white men came to Melbourne” (Mr. Hartland, Folk-Lore, p. 307). “Tharamulun himself watched the youth from the sky, prompt to punish," and so on (Howitt, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 192). "I could not do that, He would be very angry" (same place). "The All-seeing Spirit saw," and so on (Mrs. Langloh Parker, More Legendary Tales, p. 84). In this case, it is Baiame's messenger who is allseeing, and tells all to him, who, therefore, knows all. That the Beings observe human conduct, Mr. Hartland, perhaps, will admit, whether Pundjel does so from a stellar observatory or not. "Creator"—of that point I give evidence in a future page. "Judge"—as to that, Mr. Howitt's evidence seems sufficient; more will be offered as we advance. Thus, of my rhetoric, "eternal" is overstrained. When, in my rhetorical mood, I used the term "Omniscient," I did not mean that Baiame, for instance, was supposed to know the inner verity about the Röntgen rays, or even to know the future. I was thinking of him, or Daramulun, in relation to his knowledge of human conduct: in fact, as Mr. Hartland says, I was "rhetorical." Of the other ideas, I may say that the attributes of the Beings, as given by me, seem precisely such as we, when children, could entertain as a result of Christian teaching. Mr. Tylor, we shall see, is so much impressed by all this, that he regards Christian teaching as their source, a question to which I shall return. Meanwhile, if Mr. Tylor (who is not on my side here) regards these beliefs as of Christian origin, I may surely state them in the Christian terms which I "rhetorically" use, after offering that explanation of my rhetoric which I ought to have given before.
Well, even on my present statement, perhaps Mr. Hartland will think that the belief (as qualified above) in "a moral, eternal, omniscient Creator and Judge" is "antecedently improbable." The tribes cannot count up to seven; how then could they evolve such ideas? This raises that interesting and important question, Of what are "the high mental faculties of early man" (as Mr. Darwin says) capable? In the instance of the Australians, in practical matters they "show conspicuous ability;" there are other directions in which they are as conspicuously deficient, "This is, perhaps, shown most clearly in the matter of counting," seldom going beyond four. "Their mental powers are simply developed along the lines which are of service to them in their daily life." Now we think arithmetic of indispensable service in daily life; religion by no means so. In practical life, however, the religious conceptions of the Australians are indispensable to the structure of their society. Daramulun and Co. ("under many names one form," as Mr. Howitt shows) keep the women and the young people in order, and the secrets of their mysteries are guarded by capital punishment. Tribal society notoriously falls to pieces without the beliefs which I have stated. Now their "mental powers, developed along the lines which are of service to them in daily life," we are told are "of conspicuous ability." Our Voltairean predecessors would, therefore, have argued that native "powers of conspicuous ability" had here taken the serviceable shape of informal priestcraft, and had evolved religious ideas for political purposes, as Maitland of Lethington was accused of calling the existence of a deity "a bogle of the nursery." Thus the old men would develop the idea of a bogle, who "can see all you do," can punish you now or after death, or both, who is, in fact, so far moral and knowing and potent. Perhaps Mr. Hartland will admit that "reasoning" might go to this extent, even if the savages (whose marriage laws, by the way, "might puzzle a mathematician") cannot count up to seven? I do not know if high mental powers were needed to frame these marriage laws, but to understand them demands powers unspeakably higher than mine. Once more, the Arunta can hardly count up to five, but they have a conception of beings whose name means "Out of Nothing," or "Self-existing" (Ungambikula) Such beings might verge on the "eternal," but they tailed off, and vanished into animal myth. Mr. Hartland, I daresay, will not contradict my evidence for the "self-existing" beings "out of nothing," for it is not given by a missionary. Here then the Arunta have "a philosophical conception" which is a little surprising; though they spoil it, still they have it. "Antecedently improbable" it may be, but there it is!
Now, as to the antecedent improbability of savages who cannot count up to seven possessing the beliefs which I attribute to them, is that improbability so great? I dislike offering a theory about what occurred in "the Dream Time" (Alcheringa) behind our historical knowledge of mankind. But I will venture on a surmise, on the lines of St. Paul (Romans i. 19). It is a guess, not a "glimpse." As soon as man could make anything, he had, undeniably, the idea of "making." But he was surrounded by things which he certainly had not made, yet which were adapted to his use. It is conceivable that, possessing the idea of making, he guessed that these things were "made." To take examples of savage speculation, from regions far apart, an Eskimo said: "Certainly there must be some Being who made all these things. He must be very good too" (Cranz, i., 199). A Kaffir said to M. Arbrousset: "Twelve years ago I went to feed my flocks. I sat down upon a rock and asked myself sorrowful questions, yes, sorrowful because I was unable to answer them Who can have given to the earth the wisdom and power to produce?" (Casalis, The Bassutos, p. 239.) These are missionary reports, but I cannot always dismiss a statement because a missionary is the reporter, nor is missionary evidence scouted by my adversaries when it seems to tell on the other side. Of course an Eskimo, much more a Kaffir, is far from the beginnings of the race. But I surmise that "the high faculties of early man" might lead him from the idea of making to that of a maker. Once conceived of, the idea of his goodness is not remote, for the things made are "good," or so the savage thinks. The idea of power is implicit in that of making "such a number of things," and power may take the shape of All-seeing, while that conception is caught at, and the All-seeing One sanctions tribal morality: or, if Mr. Hartland insists on it, sanctions the interests of the old men.
I will take a step further. The natural character of many savages (however it was evolved) is generous and kindly, even to aliens, even to white men. Children are remarkably well treated. (See Mr. Man on the Andamanese, Spencer and Gillen on Central Australia, Mr. Wallace on the Malay Archipelago, Le Jeune on the Hurons, &c.) Therefore the filial sentiment may accrue to the conception of the maker (Mungan-ngaur, Our Father; Papang, Father). Now, is this process of "reasoning" beyond "high mental powers," beyond "conspicuous ability," such as the blacks are allowed to possess? Is it not a great deal easier and simpler than the intricate speculations by which Mr. Tylor makes early man evolve the idea of a disembodied spirit? Is the conception more subtly metaphysical than that of "self-existing beings," "beings out of nothing," which the Arunta possess? Yet the conception of a primal good maker, guardian of morality, all-seeing, is capable of being stated, in my rhetorical terms, as that of "a moral, eternal, omniscient Creator and Judge." It is partly a matter of capital letters and Latinised words. If the idea of man's surviving soul arose subsequent to that of the maker (about which I profess no opinion), then the maker would look after the souls, as he does, in a future life. All this, if true, is unaffected by myths which represent the maker as a one-legged, polygamous, anthropomorphic, deceitful being who dies (like Zeus in Crete), or is "destroyed" like Daramulun, by the fiat of a superior being. To the death and destruction of Daramulun I return later. Meanwhile, in my opinion, early man (and very late man too) may have a great idea, or the germ of a great idea, but may be constitutionally incapable of regarding it fixedly, of living on its level, of refraining from sportive fancy in its regard, enfin, from adding "myth" to "religion."
My position may be illustrated by a passage in Mr. Darwin's Descent of Man. Mr. Darwin held that by aid of his "high mental faculties" (and very high they needed to be) "man was first led to believe in unseen spiritual agencies, then in fetishism" (an unseen spiritual agency in a stick, stone, feather, or what not), "polytheism, and ultimately in monotheism." The Australian belief is not, of course, doctrinal monotheism, but it does not seem to me to have been reached by way either of spiritualism, fetishism, or polytheism, of which there are only faint traces. Now, Mr. Darwin had already said "the feeling of religious devotion is a highly complex one, consisting of love, complete submission to an exalted and mysterious superior, a strong sense of dependence, fear, reverence, gratitude, hope for the future, and perhaps other elements. No being could experience so complex an emotion until advanced in his intellectual and moral faculties to at least a moderately high level," but a dog can "make some distant approach to this state of mind." An Australian savage makes a nearer approach. "Love" is implied in the term "Our Father," which, as Mr. Howitt satisfied himself (I think), is not of Christian origin (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 192). "Submission" is expected of the initiated, and illustrated by Mr. Howitt's old man who would not eat emu eggs: "He might see me, and be very angry." A strong sense of dependence must be felt on the Being whose "voice brings the rain" and makes life possible. "Fear and reverence" are sometimes indicated by the not taking of this Being's name in vain, not mentioning it outside of the mysteries. Of gratitude I see little trace, and perhaps the natives, absorbed in the present, do not hope. Here, at all events, are the elements of a religion which implies, as Mr. Darwin writes, "intellectual and moral faculties on at least a moderately high level." How high? Mr. Darwin writes: "The Fuegians rank among the lowest barbarians; but I was continually struck with surprise how closely (sic) the three natives on board H.M.S. 'Beagle,' who had lived some years in England and could talk a little English, resembled us in disposition and in most of our mental faculties." They could talk a little English (manifestly York could do so on board ship), but could Mr. Darwin talk a little Fuegian? Probably not, as he was wholly unable to learn German. The mental faculties of Billy Button and York could give those of Mr. Darwin "a stroke a hole" in language. German was hard to read for him, just as the Australians cannot count up to seven. The question is, then, whether "antecedent improbability" makes it unlikely that men of such high faculties, men who have confessedly been equal to the abstract speculation required before a ghost can be conceived of, are unequal to the ideas which I assign to them. I see no improbability in the matter. So much for the "antecedent improbability" of Mr. Hartland.
But, I have observed, early man may be incapable of regarding these ideas fixedly, of living on their level, and of refraining from sportive fancy in their regard. Early man's incapacity in these respects produced his humorous, obscene, and trivial myths, contradictory of his religious conceptions. As Mr. Darwin remarks, "The same high mental faculties which first led man to believe .... would infallibly lead him, as long as his reasoning powers remained poorly developed, to various strange superstitions and customs." This degeneration from the higher level, Mr. Darwin compares to the occasional mistakes "in the instincts of the lower animals" (op. cit., p. 69). The good element seems to be primal, in Mr. Darwin's view, and normal; the bad or, as I say, the mythical element is secondary and aberrant (Darwin, Descent of Man, vol. i., pp. 68, 69. 1871). That is precisely my belief. Among the superstitions are the myths contradictory of religion. Among the customs are the cruel rites of Central Australia and Central N. W. Queensland. Myth results from man's want of power, or of desire, to keep on the level of his higher religious ideas. We see this in the Märchen and mummeries of popular mediæval Christianity, and in mediaeval tales about God which cannot have been adopted from a prior paganism. We have already glanced at the contradictory stories which remain in Holy Writ. The idea of the immortality of Zeus is familiar to Homer, but the grave of Zeus was shown in Crete. Manifestly people like the Australian tribes are sure to be even less apt than Hebrews, Greeks, or peasant Christians to remain on the level of their highest conceptions. They will anthropomorphise, reduce Baiame to a Wirreenun (in a tale "told to piccanninies" ), will let their fancies play freely around him. But they have among these lower fancies the loftier ideas, and these were absolutely denied to them. (As by Mr. Huxley and Sir John Lubbock.)
I can here adopt the statement of Mr. Tylor with the change of a single word. "High above the doctrine of souls, of divine manes, of local nature gods, of the great gods of class and element, there are to be discerned in barbaric theology, shadowings, quaint or majestic, of the conception of a Supreme Deity, henceforward to be traced onward, in expanding power and brightening glory along the history of religion." Put "savage" for "barbaric," and I have no alteration to make. In the "majestic" we have "religion;" in the "quaint" we have "myth."
This brings us to an important general point: how, in this discussion, do I define a myth? Mr. Hartland asks, "What is the distinction between religious belief and myth? Where does the one begin and the other end?" (Folk-Lore, p. 296.) I may refer Mr. Hartland for an answer to what he might have consulted, namely, what I wrote twelve years ago in Myth, Ritual, and Religion; for here at least I have not altered my ideas since writing that book (vol. i., ch. xi.). But Mr. Hartland might think that I had changed my mind. "Since the actual truth cannot be determined by observation and experiment, the question as to the first germs of the divine conception must here be left unanswered. But it is possible to disengage and examine apart the two chief elements in the earliest as in the latest ideas of Godhead. Among the lowest and most backward, as amongst the most advanced races, there coexist the mythical and the religious elements in belief. The rational factor (or what approves itself to us as the rational factor) is visible in religion; the irrational is prominent in myth. The Australian, the Bushman, the Solomon Islander, in hours of danger and necessity 'yearns after the gods,' and has present in his heart the idea of a father and friend. This is the religious element. The same man, when he comes to indulge his fancy for fiction, will degrade this spiritual friend and father to the level of the beasts, and will make him the hero of comic or repulsive adventures. This is the mythical or irrational element. Religion in its moral aspect always traces back to the belief in a power that is benign and works for righteousness. Myth, even in Homer or the Rig-Veda, perpetually falls back on the old stock of absurd and immoral divine adventures."
This line is drawn repeatedly in Myth, Ritual, and Religion (1887). I admit that "the belief in a Creator, it may be argued, is itself—a myth." Now, without discussing that argument, I would be understood thus: The lowest savages, I think (contrary to a generally held opinion), have elements of what we moderns, whether believers or unbelievers, recognise as "religion." They have the conception of a Being, prior to death, often of unknown origin, not (in certain cases) subject to mortality, existing in, or above, the sky, who punishes breaches of his laws, in certain cases moral laws (or if you prefer it, laws of morality in the making or becoming), who, in certain instances, rewards or punishes men after death; who is often hailed as "Father;" who, like Mr. Howitt's Daramulun, "can go anywhere and do anything."
This belief I choose to call "religious," because it conforms in its rude way to and is the germ of what we commonly style "religion." On the other hand, a multitude of obscene or humorous tales are apt to be told of this being, which correspond to passages in the documents of nearly all religions, and to the Marchen about the sacred personages of the Christian religion. These tales I call "myths." The essential problem of mythology has ever been "Why do peoples, ancient and modern, tell these anecdotes about Beings of whom they give, at other times, or at the same time, such a contradictory account?" I would answer that what I call the religion represents one human mood, while the myth represents another, both moods dating from savagery. "They stand as near each other, and as far apart, as lust and love." This is where I draw the line. Religious ideas are such as, with refinements, survive in what I mean by religion, mythical ideas are such as don't, or should not.
Here, I presume, Mr. Hartland and I cannot be reconciled. He says: "If the mythology of the god be 'a kind of joke with no sacredness about it'" (my phrase) "then the myth of making or creating has no sacredness about it" (Folk-Lore, p. 296). Mr. Hartland, reasoning thus, produces a collection of myths about Australian gods, as if they were fatal to my argument. Some of them (as I shall explain) were unknown to me, but my argument, as I myself understand it, remains unaffected. For to what does my argument tend? Merely to prove the existence, among low savage notions, of the ideas which I call "religious," such as the idea of a maker, a superhuman father, a judge, and so forth. The existence of these notions among low savages has constantly been denied. I demonstrate the fact that these notions do exist. That contradictory notions co-exist with them, that Daramulun is said to mean "lame leg," that he is said to "die," that he has wives, and so on, makes no kind of difference to me.
Mr. Hartland says: "Daramulun .... died; this eternal Creator with a game leg died, and his spirit (Bulabong) went up to the sky, where he has since lived with the ghosts." Now it is plain that an advanced thinker of the popular atheistic sort might state in a similar form of raillery the central idea of Christianity Perhaps, therefore, the Australians borrowed this doctrine—except the "game leg"—from missionaries.
I turn from Mr. Hartland's statement of Australian belief to that of Mr. Howitt, who is our chief source of knowledge. Mr. Howitt (before he was initiated) wrote: "Tharamulun, after teaching his people the art which they knew [know?], and establishing their social ordinances, died, and his spirit (Bulabong) went up to the sky, where he has since lived with the ghosts" (Journal of the Anhropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 194).
This passage I inadvertently overlooked. If this be the general belief, namely that Daramulun died, whereas Bunjil and Baiame were only translated, I shall look on Daramulun as a "ghost-god," and as a triumph for Mr. Herbert Spencer and Mr. Grant Allen. But (after he was initiated) Mr. Howitt wrote: "There is clearly a belief in a Great Spirit, or rather an anthropomorphic Supernatural Being, the 'Master' of all," and so forth (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 458). I scarcely think that "an anthropomorphic Supernatural Being," as such distinguished by Mr. Howitt from a "Great Spirit," is the same thing as the bulabong of a dead man. But, in Mr. Howitt's earlier statement, Daramulun is only the bulabong of a dead man. Which version am I to accept? Surely we cannot injure the cause of science by waiting till Mr. Howitt can oblige us with his mature opinion. We need not refine as to the shades of sense of the word "spirit." A savage can distinguish between the surviving bulabong of a dead man, and the existence (up to date) of a primal being who was before death, and (up to date) is not dead. Bunjil is of the latter class, and so is Baiame. I wish to be more positively informed as to which class Daramulun belongs to, in Mr. Howitt's present opinion.
As to the Wiraijuri myth according to which Daramulun does not exist at all, having been "destroyed" by Baiame, it has nothing to do with the creed of which Mr. Howitt has given us an account. The Wiraijuri live far remote from the Coast Murring, who, so far as appears, know nothing about Baiame at all. It seems that I erroneously grouped the Wiraijuri among nations who regard Daramulun as supreme. They do not, and their beliefs appear to be the result of syncretism, unless we suppose that, where Daramulun is supreme, his worshippers have suppressed Baiame.
I must admit that I have no explicit proof that Daramulun is regarded as a Creator. He is only the "Great Master" (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol xiii., p. 442), the Father (xiii., 443), the sky-dweller (xiii., 192), the institutor of society (xiii., 459), the power whose voice "calls to the rain to fall and make the grass green" (xiii., 446), the being for whom "the boys are made so that Daramulun likes them," a process involving repeated cries of nga = "good" (xiii., 451), the person who lends a "supernatural sanction" to "beliefs which govern tribal and individual morality" (xiii., 459). Daramulun's attributes and powers are "precisely those of Baiame" (xiv., 321), who is spoken of as a Creator according to Mr. Ridley and others, though this does not involve Mr. Howitt. Mr. Tylor remarks: "Howitt finds them [certain other Australian deities] treated as corresponding or equivalent to Baiame, the Creator . . . . " (Tylor, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1891, p. 295). All these attributes suffice, in my view, to furnish a deity far more respectable than the Australians are usually credited with; a being much on the level of the Wintu Olelbis, described in Mr. Curtin's recent book on American Creation Myths. The existence of degrading myths about the same being does not, to my mind, annihilate the fact that the higher beliefs are also part of primitive theology.
"Where is the distinction between religious belief and myth?" Mr. Hartland asks. Why, in my sense, just there. The immortal Zeus who punishes wrong is religious, as is the Daramulun who punishes wrong, "looking down from the sky." The dead Daramulun, the dead Zeus, are mythical. From the moral and religious aspect springs all religion, even if the religious and moral aspect be but another myth. From the dead Zeus, the destroyed Daramulun, springs nothing of human importance, whereas religion—a myth or not a myth—is undeniably of human importance.
Having done his best to demolish the character of Daramulun, Mr. Hartland now falls upon that of Baiame (Folk-Lore, pp. 300-305). He derives his evidence from Mr. Matthews, or, in part, from Mr. Crawley, the officer of police, who is so far from being a linguist that he says: "Many of the blacks who attended this Bora (1894?) could speak fairly good English, and were able to understand the purport of questions and give suitable replies." This Bora was under English patronage, or charity, and the old and the children were fed on European supplies. At these late rites of 1894, Baiame has a wife, sons on her begotten, and so on. Very well, I have evidence fifty years earlier that Baiame was reckoned celibate and had an unbegotten, practically omniscient son. He cannot well go on "begetting boys" where he is rooted to a crystal rock, and excludes women like a Trappist monastery. The earlier recorded belief does not cease to be a fact in evidence because a contradictory belief is produced from an extremely Europeanised set of natives, not, of course, that they adopted these ideas from Europeans. Again, at this charitably supported recent Bora there was a kangaroo dance, as all kinds of animal dances occur, whether in a totemistic connection or as "medicine-dances" to secure success in hunting. A myth is told of the institution of this dance by Baiame, "this Creator skulks in a tree" (like Zeus in the oak), and his effigy shows him sprawling in a futile effort to catch an emu. I venture to suggest that the dance being practised, an ætiological myth of the usual kind was told to explain the origin of the dance and adventure. "Baiame first danced the dance, and had the tumble." Ritual is the parent of myth, as Mr. Frazer says. In just the same way the rite with an oak-tree bride in Greece was explained by an ætiological myth about Zeus, the tree, and Hera. This did not detract from the honour of Zeus, and I ask no more licence for Australian than for Greek ritual. Both rituals contain humorous or even disgraceful incidents; both are connected with high Gods. The Eleusinia consoled and fortified Pindar and Sophocles, despite the pigs, the buffooneries, the obscenities of Baubo, and perhaps the licentious orgies, which, Mr. Matthews was told, occur in one night in the Wiradthuri rites. I don't want to "shirk" any such details, Greek or Australian, they in no way impede my argument.
Next Baiame is attacked in his character as the Creator. Here we must get rid of the Rev. Mr. Ridley's evidence, which is quoted from Mr. Brough Smyth (vol. ii.,p. 285). Mr. Ridley, I admit, is a missionary! His blacks "are acquainted with English, and have therefore presumably come into contact with English ideas" (Folk-Lore, p.301), which they are notoriously eager to adopt in religion. Very good, but it was in 1854 that Mr. Ridley, who had learned Kamilaroi, and who lived with the blacks for two or three years, put the question "Do you know Baiame?" The answer was (not in English), "Kamil Zaia Zummi Baiame, Zaia Winuzgulda" ("I have not seen Baiame, I have heard, or perceived, him"). The same answer was given by a black eighteen years later (1872), to whom Mr. Ridley "had never spoken before." "If asked who made the sky, the earth, the animals, they always answer 'Baiame'" (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1872, pp. 268, 269). Impressed by these replies, Mr. Ridley, in 1856, introduced Baiame as equivalent to our God, or Creator, into certain primers for missionaries (Gurre Kamilaroi, Ridley, Sydney, 1856). Jehovaka and Eloi, attempted about 1830-40 by Mr. Threlkeld, did not take with the natives, nor did Immanueli, which Mr. Ridley endeavoured to introduce himself. Mr. Ridley, in 1855, found that the blacks on the Barwan and Namoi "say there is one Being who made all things, whom they never saw, though they hear his voice in the thunder. They speak of him by the name 'Baiame,' and those who have learned that 'God' is the name by which we speak of the Creator, say that 'Baiame is God.'" But, at this date, Mr. Ridley "never heard them speak of Baiame as a ruler, nor ascribe wisdom and goodness to him." They knew Daramulun as "author of disease and medical skill, of mischief and wisdom also; he appears in the form of a serpent at their assemblies," like Asclepius. Mr. Ridley, of course, was uninitiated.
Now, if Mr. Ridley's negative evidence, which is early (tour of 1855), is accepted, if we are quite ready to believe that he never heard of Baiame as ruler at that date, why are we to reject his affirmative evidence of the same date about Baiame as a Maker or Creator? He knewthe language, he could write Kamilaroi prose, and, if his missionary bias led him to find, or feign, a Creator, why did it not lead him to find, or feign, a moral Ruler? One fancy or fiction was as easy, to a missionary, as the other.
We now arrive at a point in Mr. Hartland's argument which my mind broods fondly over; it is so rich in possibilities. Looked at in one way, Mr. Hartland might seem to be in a dilemma. Looked at in another, he might appear to have a choice between two theories, each of them seductive, "were t'other dear charmer away." The dilemma is this: Mr. Hartland accuses me of using expressions against which we must be on our guard, such as "Father in Heaven," "and many other expressions rhetorically used by Mr. Lang anent gods of the lower races. They convey to our minds reminiscences of Christian teaching of which the savage mind is guiltless" (p. 312). The savage mind is guiltless of Christian teaching, tout va bien! To be sure the savage mind has (like Christians) the conception of a Father, and that Father is in the Heaven, in the literal sense of the word. Mungan-ngaur = "Our Father;" his home in various versions is in, or above, the heavens. But the savage's mind is "guiltless of Christian teaching." So Mr. Hartland writes on page 312, while on page 302 he cites, cautiously indeed, my friend Mr. Tylor's argument in favour of the derivation of the higher Australian beliefs from—Christian teaching! "It seems reasonable on the whole to infer that, whatever may be the origin of Baiame's name and his earlier position in native thought, the points of his story most resembling the Christian conception of Creator have been unconsciously evolved, first by white explorers, then by missionaries, and lastly by the natives themselves under European influence" (Folk-Lore, pp. 302, 303). Yet the natives are guiltless of Christian teaching! Il fant qu'une porte soit oiiverte ou fermée. Again, how a "white explorer" in 1845 could "unconsciously evolve" a native theology which staggered his credulity, yet was confirmed, "in dern secrecy," by many black witnesses, one of whom he expressly charged with trying to palm off Christian ideas on him, I do not know. Great is the Unconscious Self! In this case it "unconsciously evolved" exactly the ideas which its proprietor did not expect, could not accept, and argued against, till corroboration brought conviction. This "unconscious evolution" is a modish phrase, but will not here hold water. And Mr. Hartland leaves the blacks to modify their theology under "European influences," while they are "guiltless of Christian teaching." Mr. Tylor's theory of wholesale borrowing from missionaries "probably is not altogether beyond dispute." But it must be stark nonsense if the savages are "guiltless of Christian teaching," as they are, teste Mr. Hartland.
I knew not Mr. Tylor's theory when I wrote my book. That is precisely why I did not "mention it." But Mr. Hartland must make up his mind: he must choose. Either the savages are "guiltless of Christian teaching," or they are guilty. Mr. Tylor argued in favour of "Our Father" being a result of Christian teaching. He was so struck by the Christian analogies that he could only explain them by borrowing from missionaries. What strikes Mr. Tylor, who is not on my side, may surely be allowed to strike me. There is, in fact, a strong resemblance between these Christian ideas and Australian ideas. Mr. Howitt was inclined to suspect Christian influence, but his inquiries did not confirm his suspicion (Howitt, Journal of the Anthropological Institute., vol. xiii., p. 192). Mr. Tylor does decide in favour of missionary influence. But Mr. Hartland cuts himself off from this resource. The savages are "guiltless of Christian teaching" (p. 312). But the opinion that they are not "guiltless" "probably is not altogether beyond dispute" (p. 302). Will Mr. Hartland make up his mind? Meanwhile Mr. Tylor and I, otherwise opposed here, are agreed in our opinion that the savage and Christian analogies are remarkable. We may both be wrong where we agree, though one of us is not unlikely to be right where we differ, as we do about the cause of the similarities. Here, however, Mr. Hartland has a choice of alternative theories almost equally seductive. If he agrees with Mr. Tylor he can say: "The savages borrowed from Christians." If he agrees with me that they did not borrow he can say: "Christianity retains or revives savage beliefs," as is said, or hinted, in certain other cases. Or Mr. Hartland may differ both from Mr. Tylor and me, and say that there is no analogy or resemblance whatever between the Christian "Our Father in Heaven," and the savage "Our Father in, or above, the Heavens." Yet here I doubt that his case would not be commonly accepted; it certainly does not seem to be accepted by Mr. Tylor or by Mr. Howitt, who at once looked about, for the cause of this "Our Father," to Christian influences among the Kurnai.
Of course, in detail, our conception of divine Fatherhood is not that of Kamilaroi or Kurnai. We do not, when we say "Our Father," think of an old man with a beard, like Baiame, encrusted in a throne of crystal. We have another notion of omniscience than that of a god informed by his messenger, or angel, "the All-seeing Spirit," though an all-seeing spirit is just the same as an omniscient one (Mrs. Langloh Parker, More Legendary Tales, p. 84). Yet the analogies are astonishing, and, if Mungan-ngaur be the father of Tundun, who is the father of the Kurnai, Adam is our common father, and I refer Mr. Hartland to Luke iii. 38.
I do not despair of seeing Mr. Hartland, who now complains of my rhetorical insistence on these analogies, turning round and accounting for Christianity as a refined survival of Kurnai and similar beliefs. We shall then have Mr. Tylor regarding Baiamism as a savage perversion of Christianity, and Mr. Hartland regarding Christianity as a Græco-Hebraic revival of Baiamism.
As to this question of borrowing (which, if conceded, is not useful to Mr. Hartland's case against me), I must quote my critic textually. After citing Mr. Ridley's account of Baiame as Creator, as the Being who welcomes the souls of dead blacks into Paradise, and destroys the bad, Mr. Hartland goes on (Folk-Lore, p. 302): "And his name is said to be derived from baia, to make, cut out, or build. But this account must surely be received with very great caution. There is evidence—negative evidence, it is true, but of persons in a position to be well informed—that Baiame, if known at all by that name, was not so prominent a figure in the beliefs of the natives until about sixty years ago, and that, at all events, what Dr. Tylor justly calls the 'markedly biblical characteristics' observable in Mr. Ridley's report have appeared only since the advent of the missionaries and the extended converse of the aborigines with white settlers. Dr. Tylor, whose discussion of the question Mr. Lang does not mention, sums it up in these words: 'The evidence points rather, in my opinion, to Baiame being the missionary translation of the word Creator, used in Scripture lesson-books for God.' Mr. Lang may challenge this opinion as that of an anthropologist, however distinguished, whose theories a large part of his book is occupied with controverting. And probably it is not altogether beyond dispute. The facts, however, remain that the earliest [known] mention of Baiame is in the year 1840, that he is then said to be living on an island in the sea and to feed on fish, that while some natives considered him 'Creator,' others were said to attribute that office to his son Burambin, that his biblical characteristics, as reported by missionaries, constantly expanded down to the publication of Mr. Brough Smyth's work in 1878, and that in the most recent accounts—those of Mr. Matthews [Mr. Crawley], who is not a missionary—they have so far disappeared that he is now only said to have created the tribesmen themselves. It seems reasonable on the whole to infer that whatever may be the origin of his name and his earlier position in native thought, the points of his story most resembling the Christian conception of Creator have been unconsciously evolved, first by white explorers, then by missionaries, and lastly by the natives themselves under European influence."
And this though the natives are "guiltless of Christian teaching"! How can the simultaneous assertion of contradictories be "reasonable"?
That European influence exists in the mysteries Mr. Hartland infers from the presence of a bullock in the artistic representations of the Kamilarol. Also, I may add, of an old sportsman driving in a dog-cart, who, however, is purely decorative.
Now, as to Dr. Tylor's theory of the name, Balame, as a "missionary translation of the word Creator, used in Scripture lesson-books for God," the name (which occurs in 1840) was first so used by Mr. Ridley, in Gurre Kamilaroi, which is of 1856. I ask for an earlier example. Previously Mr. Threlkeld had tried (and failed) with Eloi and Jehova-ka-biruê, while Mr. Ridley had tried (and failed) wdth Immanueli. Now Baiame is first mentioned (as far as Mr. Tylor knows) by Mr. Horace Hale, speaking of about 1840. So Baiame, in 1840, did not come out of a "Scripture lesson-book" of 1856. That theory wall not hold water. Moreover, our evidence for Baiame, in 1840, is also our evidence that Baiame was worshipped at Wellington with songs, when the missionaries first came there. Mr. Hale's evidence for this is that of Mr. Threlkeld, who had been at missionary work there since 1828. Perhaps Mr. Hartland will now admit that the missionaries did not introduce Baiame at Wellington and district, where they found him already extant.
However, if it be granted. that the missionaries did not bring in Baiame, it may be fairly argued that Christian ideas crystallised later round a native conception of a powerful Being. Thus the creative work of Burambin, son of Baiame, may, by my opponents, be credited to a missionary sermon on a text of St. John which need not be cited. Mr. Hartland remarks that Baiame's "biblical characteristics," as reported by missionaries, "constantly expanded" down to the publication of Mr. Brough Smyth's work in 1878, and in the most recent accounts, those of Mr. Matthews, who "is not a missionary, they have so far disappeared that he is only said to have created the tribesmen themselves." "They say," writes Mr. Matthews, or Mr. Crawley, "that Baiame created them and gave them the country." It does not follow that they don't say he created the country. Moreover, Mrs. Langloh Parker is later, and more expansive than Mr. Matthews.
Those poor missionaries! If they say that their savages are ancestor-worshippers, or have only a vague dread of ghosts, that is all very capital; if they credit their savages with higher beliefs, why, they are, I think, not so warmly welcomed. I myself prefer the evidence of philologists, Messrs. Greenway and Ridley, to the obiter dictum of a police officer, who does not say that Baiame did not create "the country," but that preference may be due to my deplorable bias, a thing not known among my opponents. Mr. Hartland, however, is incorrect in his facts, even if we are to prefer as evidence a police officer who does not know the native language, to missionaries—who do. Infinitely the most "biblical characteristics" of Baiame known to me are contained in notes taken in 1845 by Mr. Manning. This gentleman was encouraged by Goethe, then (circ. 1832) aged eighty-five, to examine Australian beliefs. Mr. Manning read his old notes of 1845-48 to the Royal Society of Victoria in 1882. My anthropological friend regards Mr. Manning's account as "quite worthless." I don't, because so many parts of it are corroborated. But even if it be "quite worthless," it disproves Mr. Hartland's contention that Baiame's "biblical characteristics," as reported by missionaries, constantly expanded down to the publication of Mr. Brough Smyth's book in 1878. For Mr. Manning's notes of 1845 are by far the most "expansive," nor did Mr. Ridley and others borrow from them, for they were lost, though finally recovered. In 1840-1848, Mr. Manning lived on the northern boundaries of the Southern Settlement, where, he says, no missionaries had ever been. His chief informant was an English-speaking black. Black Andy, corroborated by several others; and by Dean Cowper and Archdeacon Günther (mere missionaries). The Archdeacon got his information "from some of the oldest blacks, who, he was satisfied, could not have derived their ideas from white men, as they then had not had intercourse with them." Mr. Manning's accounts include Baiame rooted to his crystal rock, as in Mrs. Langloh Parker's version. Baiame has a son equally "omniscient" with himself, named Grogoragally, elsewhere Boymagela—Mrs. Langloh Parker's All-seeing Spirit, I presume, but I will consult her on the point. For Mrs. Langloh Parker's Paradise, Bullimah, Mr. Manning has Ballima, with Oorooma as the place of fire (Gumby). The son of Baiame watches over conduct, and Baiame acts on his reports. Mr. Manning calls the son a "mediator;" if we say "go-between," rhetorical colouring will vanish. Indeed this kind of "colouring" chiefly consists in using words derived from the Latin. There is also the First Man (Moodgeegally), a Culture Hero. The only prayers are prayers for the souls of the dead, of which a corroborative example is given by Mrs. Langloh Parker, in "The Legend of Eerin" (More Legendary Tales, p. 96). These prayers were not borrowed from Protestant missionaries!" The doctrines were imparted in the mysteries. Mr. Hartland will admit that missionaries have not "constantly expanded" down to 1878 the "biblical" features of this version of 1845-48. Though much corroborated by Mrs. Langloh Parker in 1898, Mr. Manning's version of 1845 is far the most "expanded" that I know. And, like Mr. Matthews, Mr. Manning was not a missionary.
Here, then, in 1845, we have a Baiame legend not expanded by missionaries between 1845- 1878. I may observe that Mr. Howitt in 1885 greatly "expanded" his previous account of Kurnai religion given in 1881. Mr. Howitt had not become a missionary in the interval; he had only acquired more information by being initiated. Knowledge does expand occasionally, apart from missionary fancy. Mr. Hartland then conceives it to be reasonable to infer that Europeans and natives under European influence have "unconsciously evolved" the points in Baiame's story most resembling the Christian conception of the Creator. Yet these natives "are guiltless of Christian teaching." This, we saw, is less than logical. Moreover, they had "evolved" all this as a matter of secret knowledge confined to the initiated, as early as 1845, in five years from the first known mention of Baiame. Is that very easy to believe? Then, apparently, they disevolved the belief down to the point at which it reaches Mr. Crawley and Mr. Matthews (who is not a missionary), and who does not say that Baiame did not make "the country." But they kept the form of 1845 for Mrs. Langloh Parker, who is not a missionary either. She began her studies as a disciple of Mr. Herbert Spencer. Her savage friends converted her from that position, as she is kind enough to inform me. I therefore do not see why we should reduce the Baiame legend to the form reported by Mr Crawley to Mr. Matthews, though he is not a missionary. Nor, of course, do I admit that missionaries have "expanded" the legend since 1845, because the version of 1845 is more "expanded" than any missionary version which has reached me. For example, it goes far beyond the account received by Mr. Ridley (who is a missionary) about 1854-1858, and published by him in Lang's Queensland (1861). If this missionary did anything, he did not expand, but greatly reduced the "biblical characteristics" of Mr. Manning's account. No doubt he neither reduced nor expanded, but repeated what the natives had told him about Baiame as a Creator.
All this is conclusive against Mr. Hartland's theory of missionary expansions between 1840 and 1878, but it is not conclusive against early borrowing. Here I am anxious to allow the utmost "law" to the borrowing theory. If this belief were a popular tale, a Märchen like Cinderella, told by children or old native women, but despised by the men (as such tales, aniles fabulæ, often are among savages and peasants), I would at once come into the borrowing theory as far as the most probable. A single escaped convict might infect the whole Australian continent with Cinderella or Puss in Boots, though oddly enough real analogues of our Märchen do not seem to be found among the natives. Now, when Mr. Manning read his notes of 1845 to the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1882, he appealed to a friend, Mr. John Mann, for corroboration. He did not get it. Mr, Mann said that "he had never met one aborigine who had any true belief in a Supreme Being," Baiame was not up to Mr. Mann's standard. On the other hand, "when cross-examined," the blacks always admitted that they had got their knowledge from Europeans. When cross-examined they never contradict their interrogator's ideas. Mr. Mann's ideas were obviously negative. Mr. Palmer, however, corroborated Mr. Manning. Mr. Mann's view was that the curiosity of the blacks urged them to inform themselves about the religion of the whites, and that perversions of Christian doctrine were passed about across the continent as songs and dances are transmitted. This theory I would accept at once if we were dealing with Märchen, aniles fabulæ, despised by the men and to be picked up from the old women. But, notoriously, the inner religious beliefs are concealed from the women under pain of death. Mr. Manning's informants dared only to halfwhisper their lore in secret places. One of them, after repeatedly examining doors and windows, slunk "into a wooden fire-place," and murmured his gospel. The reason always given was, that if a man's wife came to know these things, he would be obliged to kill her, lest the news should spread among the women. This "quite worthless" evidence of Mr. Manning's is corroborated by Mr. Howitt, to whom a man said: "If a woman were to hear these things, or hear what we tell the boys, I would kill her" (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiv., p. 310). Knowledge on the part of the women would mean cataclysm, universal madness, universal massacre. Now, if the advocates of the borrowing theory had looked at the subject all round, they must have observed that missionaries do not usually neglect to teach women. If then the "biblical characteristics" were borrowed from missionaries, the women would know them already. But they don't. Again, why should blacks hide from whites just the very things which whites have taught them? Once more, Mr. Hale (1840) remarked on the extreme aversion of the blacks to borrow any idea from Europeans. Now, of all things, the mysteries are, or then were, the most unalterable, and, of all men, the sages who direct the mysteries are the most conservative. Messrs. Spencer and Gillen have a long and judicious passage on the question, "Can changes be introduced into the rites?" and though they think the thing may, and, "in the dark backward and abysm of time," probably must, have been managed, it was confessedly very difficult. But from that possibility to the sudden acceptance from missionaries and insertion in the secret archaic rites of all the "biblical characteristics" we discuss is a very long step. These glaringly obvious difficulties do not seem to have been noticed at all by the friends of the theory of borrowing. So much for Mr. Tylor's contention that biblical analogies (which I presume I also may now regard as biblical in character) are of European origin.
Next, as to Creation, attributed to Baiame among others. "To use the word creation is to import into the deeds of an imaginary being, who is presented, if not as a 'deified blackfellow,' at least as hardly more than a very exalted savage wizard, ideas which do not belong to them [to those deeds], and therefore are utterly misleading to the reader," says Mr. Hartland. Now, in plenty of contradictory myths, Baiame is a rather low type of wizard; but, when my authorities tell me of "creation" by him, or by another being, what other word am I to use? If Baiame "made earth and water, sky, animals, and men," what did he do but "create"? I am not reduced to mere missionary evidence. In 1845 Mr. Eyre (not a missionary) described "the origin of creation" as narrated to him by blacks of the Murring. Noorele, with three unbegotten sons, lives up among the clouds. (Noorele, like Elohim, may, it seems, be plural.) He is "all-powerful" (not omnipotent, which is rhetorical, only "all-powerful)" "and of benevolent character. He made the earth, trees, waters, &c." "He receives the souls (ladko = umbræ) of the natives, who join him in the skies, and will never die again." What am I to call the deed of the all-powerful Noorele, if I do not call it, as Mr. Eyre does, "creation"? I am not "importing ideas which do not belong to them," unless Mr. Eyre fables. Nor am I citing a witness prejudiced in favour of my notions. "A Deity or Great First Cause can hardly be said to be acknowledged," says Mr. Eyre, just before saying that He is acknowledged.
Yet Mr. Hartland writes: "We know that the idea of creation, as we use it, is completely foreign to savage ideas." I don't know how Mr. Hartland uses it; I use it to mean the making of all things. The Zuñis say that Ahonawilona "thought himself out into space." Perhaps it happened in that way. The details of making all things are obscure. There are scores of savage contradictory myths on the subject, but these do not invalidate the creative idea, unless the making of Adam out of dust, and of Eve out of Adam's rib, invalidates what Mr. Hartland justly calls "the sublime conception of the creative fiat as set forth in the book of Genesis." The very latest diaskeuasts or editors of Genesis did not keep it up to the level of the first part of the first chapter, and it would be absurd to ask naked savages to be more constant than they to a great idea. Contrary to Mr. Crawley's and Mr. Matthews's Baiame, who only made blackfellows (if that is what Mr. Matthews or Mr. Crawley means), is Mangarrah of the Larrakeah, who made everything except black-fellows. Dawed, a subordinate, appears to have made them; Mangarrah "made everything .... He never dies, and likes all blackfellows."
In North-West-Central Queensland we find Mul-ka-ri "a benevolent, omnipresent, supernatural being; anything incomprehensible.” “Mulkari tikkara ena—Lord who dwellest in the skies.” “Mulkari is the supernatural power who makes everything which the blacks cannot otherwise account for; he is a good beneficent person, and never kills anyone.” His home is in the skies. He was also a medicine-man, has the usual low myths about him, and invented magic. So writes Dr. Roth, who knows the local Pitta Pitta language—and is not a missionary.
The blacks may have no right to the higher ideas, but—there they are, and not borrowed, Waitz thinks, from Europeans. Here Mr. Hartland introduces the fact that the Noongahburrahs regard Baiame, or Byamee, as only a great medicine-man, with wives, and so forth (Folk-Lore, p. 303, note 1). “No doubt this is ‘folklore,’ and not part and parcel of the mysteries. Perhaps, therefore, Mr. Lang will seek to put it out of court as a ‘a kind of joke, with no sacredness about it.’ ” Mr. Lang will let it be as Mr. Hartland pleases, but the Noongahburrah happen to put it out of court as “a kind of joke, with no sacredness about it.” The low myths occur in the first series of Mrs. Langloh Parker’s Legendary Tales. About these she says: “They were all such legends as are told to the black piccaninnies; among the present (tales) are some they would not be allowed to hear, touching as they do on sacred subjects, taboo to the young” (More Legendary Tales, p. xv.). The “sacred” tales are, I suppose, the beautiful “Legend of Eerin,” and “Legend of the Flowers,” with the touching prayer for the soul of Eerin, and the account of the All-seeing Spirit. Thus Mr. Hartland may note the trend of Noongahburrah opinion: they draw a line between sacred and profane.
As to Bunjil or Pundjel, which seems equivalent to Baal, or Biamban, "Master," "Lord," "Sir"; any distinguished person may be called Bunjil. Yes, and any ass may be called "Lord" Tomnoddy. Bunjil may have as many wives as Zeus, and be as much mixed up with animals as Zeus, and may be now a star, for all that I care. He is something else too, though Mr. Hartland "judiciously omits" the circumstance. A Woiworung bard of old made a song which moved an aged singer to tears by "the melancholy which the words conveyed to him." It was an "inspired" song, for the natives, like ourselves, would think Tennyson inspired, and Tupper not so. Usually "the spirits" inspire singers; this song was inspired by Bunjil himself, who "'rushes down' into the heart of the singer," just as Apollo did of old. It is a dirge of the native race.
We go all!
The bones of all
Are shining white.
In this Dulur land!
The rushing noise
Of Bunjil, Our Father,
Sings in my breast.
This breast of mine!
Mr. Hartland writes: "I do not find that Bunjil is regarded as judge, though no doubt his position as a star gives him facilities of observation, and the vague threat 'he can see you and all you do down here' implies a fear of vengeance in case of offending him .... Of his precepts, referred to by Mr. Lang, I know nothing."
Though Mr. Hartland knows nothing (not by his own fault), it does not follow that there is nothing to know of Bunjil in a moral aspect. As I write this, I learn from my anthropological friend already referred to as a sympathetic partizan of Mr. Hartland's, that a large body of valuable testimonials to Bunjil has just arrived, in MS., into his hands. The testimonials, he says, "may be relied on as accurate;" and, knowing the source, which he mentions, I think the accuracy will be undisputed. The "originality"—that is the unborrowed character—of Bunjil is here upheld, which will not surprise Mr. Hartland, for he knows that the savage mind "is guiltless of Christian teaching." "Bunjil appears again and again in the tales as maintaining the moral law and punishing the wicked." (January 8, 1899.) There are "undesigned coincidences" with my view of Bunjil, and the collector of the evidence is unknown to me personally or by letter. Of course Mr. Hartland could not be aware of this testimony; but it clears Bunjil of the charge of being only an adulterous shape-shifting wirreenun, his aspect in the myth cited by Mr. Hartland, and in Myth, Ritual, and Religion by myself. Nor is he merely a star called Fomalhaut. I cannot say whether or not Bunjil presides over tribal mysteries. Mr. Howitt's opinion is, "after considering all the evidence now before me, that the tribes in Victoria had in a great measure lost the initiation ceremonies," perhaps in the advance from female kin to agnation (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiv., p. 325). This is an interesting question. Such rites are in great vigour in Central Australia, where a man may marry a woman of his own totem, and children need not be of the totem of father or mother (Spencer and Gillen). Indeed, Mr. Howitt says that agnatic Queensland tribes have the rite in full vigour, which deprives his suggestion, as he remarks, of its strength. I trust, in any case, that the moral character of Bunjil is now rehabilitated by evidence which, I hope, will soon be published.
The best of all evidence is that of old savage songs or hymns; here it witnesses, in the poem already cited, to “Father Ours.” The Being, Our Father, who inspires such songs is not a mere polygamous medicine-man or merely a star known as Fomalhaut. He is also religiously, and I think very touchingly, envisaged. He lives, and inspires the sad last singers of a fading people. But the missionaries put down these songs and sentiments; this is an old song by one of a family of hereditary bards. “The white man knows little or nothing of the blackfellows’ songs.” Mr. Manning’s informant was angry when asked for the Baiame song. He said that Mr. Manning knew too much already. And we discuss the natives’ religion, we white fellows, in ignorance of their hymns! They cannot count up to seven, so they have no right to be poets.
Coming to the Kurnai Mungan-ngaur, Our Father, he was, says Mr. Hartland, “sufficiently carnal to have a son.”There is nothing especially “carnal” in having a son not born of female kind, and, as Mr. Hartland remarks, “Mr. Howitt tells us nothing of Mungan-ngaur’s wife.” Perhaps, like Noorele (Eyre, 1845) and Baiame (Manning, 1845), Mungan-ngaur was celibate, and his sons were Æons, as in Gnostic doctrine. That “no myth of creation” is told about Mungan by Mr. Howitt I had expressly stated. But, if Mungan’s “attributes are precisely those of Baiame,” as Mr. Hartland cites Mr. Howitt, then a suspicion of being creative attaches to Mungan, even if it is not explicitly recorded.
Mr. Hartland appears to have been unsuccessful in his search for scandals about Our Father in Kurnai. As he says, very nasty things may turn up. I shall be surprised if they do not. Threats of “awful disclosures” in the future about Mungan-ngaur are held over me in terrorem (Folk-Lore, p. 310). But it is in vain that any man blackmails Mungan-ngaur. Here is the old ignoratio elenchi! Mungan may, Mr. Hartland hopes he will, be found out. "It is all one to Hippoclides." I do not, I never did, maintain that the Kurnai have pure ideas, and none but pure ideas, of "Our Father." That never was my contention. I said that savages had these ideas, overrun by mythical parasitic plants. Mr. Hartland does, however, see a chance of debasing Our Father. "The Kurnai have another Supreme Being—if indeed he be not the same—who is called Brewin." Two Supreme Beings? "There was no restriction against the women's knowing about him." They do not know Mungan-ngaur. So it looks as if Brewin were identical with Mungan-ngaur. "No women would ever call Brewin 'Father,' for he is looked on as very malignant," whereas Mungan-ngaur is benevolent, and Brewin, Mr. Hartland thinks, is only the bad aspect of Mungan-ngaur. Now, no women call Mungan-ngaur anything at all. It is the Coast Murring women who call Daramulun "Papang" or "Father." The fact is that, till initiated, Mr. Howitt knew nothing of Our Father in Kurnai. He only knew the fiend Brewin, as the women do. One might as well argue that the Deity = Satan, or that Kiehtun = Hobamock, as that Mungan-ngaur = Brewin, though Brewin does live in the sky, has a wife, sends disease, and gives magical power. There are four or five cases of the bad, as opposed to the good, Being in Australia; any one who pleases may attribute the belief to missionary influence. Before Mr. Howitt was initiated and knew Mungan-ngaur, he seems to have regarded Brewin as the Supreme Being of the Kurnai. Here I followed him in Myth, Ritual, and Religion, 1887. Now he knows better—and so do we. It was enough to blacken Daramulun by attributes assigned to him in a Baiame country; we cannot have poor Mungan-ngaur mixed up with Brewin as "that untradesmanlike falsehood, 'the same concern.'" Let Mr. Hartland have patience Ugly stories of Mungan-ngaur will be found, unless he is very unlike any Deity whom I ever met in mythology. But good accounts of Bunjil have also arrived in the nick of time.
Thus far of these beings individually. If it will please opponents I shall call them "makers" (relying on evidence) not "Creators" (though my authorities use the word), and "undying up to date" not "immortal." That Baiame, or Noorele, only "fashions pre-existing material," as Mr. Hartland says (p. 314), I have no evidence, Mangarrah "made everything "—except blacks. That many other such beings are said to use up existing material I admit, or rather I have asserted. All views are taken by savages, including that of evolution, which perhaps was "borrowed from Europeans"? The Digger Indians admit Evolution but deny the Immortality of the Soul. Have they had missionaries from Mr. Bradlaugh's flock? The divine supremacy does extend "beyond the government of the tribe." It includes for each being many tribes, while beyond their range it is still the "Father" who governs. Sir. A. B. Ellis (who is not at all of my way of thinking) talks of a change in West Africa, when "the gods instead of being regarded as being interested in the whole of mankind, would eventually come to be regarded as interested in separate tribes or nations alone."
Mr. Hartland writes: "The sacredness of the god's name is merely the fear of summoning him on an inappropriate occasion." Perhaps; in any case his name is not to be "taken in vain." The motive is fear, which produces reverence, a great step in religious history, from which civilisation is retrograde. Missionaries dare not talk to savages of "God," a term only known to savages as associated with "damn." Degenerate civilisation! There are no idols because, says Mr. Hartland, art is not sufficiently developed. But art was sufficiently developed in Strachey's Virginians (1611). Okeus, the deputy of Ahone, had idols; Ahone had none. As a rule, the otiose supreme being of more advanced races has none. He comes from an age before idols. Of omnipotence and omniscience I have already said what I have to say.
As to moral qualities: the Being has no sacrifices, because he "has not the chance." But this is continued from old times, as a rule, where he has the chance, as I show in many cases of higher peoples who do sacrifice to their minor deities, but not to the chief of them. Does the Australian God "set the example of sinning"? Has he the vices of Zeus? One myth to that effect is cited, in the case of Bunjil. It is an ætiological myth of the origin of the pecularities of certain birds; such myths are "told to the picaninnies," among the Kurnai. But, if a thousand such tales are told, Zeus protects Homeric morality, despite his own mythology, and I speak of what I call the "religious" aspect. Where Daramulun devours boys, we are not engaged with Daramulun as the supreme being, as I have remarked a dozen times, and Zeus had cannibal sacrifices after the Christian era (Myth, Ritual and Religion, i. ch. ix. Many examples.) Mr. Hartland can scarcely be ignorant of these Greek human sacrifices, which, on the strength of the myth of Tantalus, he courteously credits Zeus with "repudiating." Concerning the Australian Being's sanction of morality, so often denied by eminent men of science, I prove my point.
As to the origin of morality, I have no space for an essay. My introduction of the Decalogue was meant merely to show the analogies between rudimentary and accomplished ethics. The old men, in Australia, are groupfathers (if we speak of the Fifth Commandment), but I do not insist on this. To say "obey them" is equivalent to “honour the king,” if not to “the First Commandment with promise.” It includes the germinal form of both injunctions, relatively to the social condition of the race. As to unselfishness, the Kurnai first rite was an innovation, because the boys had now become “selfish,” says Mr Howitt, from associating with white fellows (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiv., p. 310). If only “tribal regulations as to the distribution of food” are meant here, as Mr. Hartland thinks, Mr. Howitt does not say so. Food-taboos on the initiate (as at the Eleusinia) he mentions later. He says that “the boys are no longer inclined to share that which they had made by their own exertions, or had given them, with their friends.” That seems to include money earned by black boys; that cannot possibly refer to native food, we don’t give a black boy witchetty grubs. Mr. Hartland wishes to make Mr. Howitt’s words mean “all the food they made by their own exertions, or had given them” (Folk-Lore, p. 321). Mr. Howitt does not say this, and how could rules about native food apply to tinned lobsters or a round of beef? If a black has no property except food, what he has he gives; no man can do more; few do as much in Christian lands. I refer Mr. Hartland to what Dampier says: “Be it little or be it much they get, everyone has his part, as well the young and tender as the old and feeble, who are not able to go abroad.” Compare Mr. Man on another very low race, the Andamanese: “Every care and consideration are paid by all classes to the very young, the weak, the aged, and the helpless; and these being made special objects of care and attention, invariably fare better in regard to the comforts and necessaries of daily life than any of the otherwise more fortunate members of the community” (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xii., p. 93). Mr. Hartland may, for Australia, also consult Spencer and Gillen. Curious and touching examples of unselfish generosity, extended to three wandering white men, occur in their narratives, ap. Barron Field, New South Wales (1825). No tribal limitation here!
The difference between me and Mr. Hartland is that where he only sees in savage morals what Thrasymachus (in the Gorgias) calls "the interest of the strongest," I see also the Aristotelian φιλία, love. Perhaps "this is assumed in an airy way." I give my evidence. The affection breaks down, in cases, old men are put to death (Dawson), babies are destroyed. But the affection is there for all that. Of this I give a curious case from Brough Smyth. A native had stolen the sugar of a tribesman. Tribal law gave him the right to a smack at the thief's head with a waddy. He administered the blows, burst into tears, kissed the thief, and repeatedly drove the point of the waddy into his own head. Here is φιλία, and it is not absent from tribal morals. It is among "the good old ancestral virtues," as Mr. Howitt says of the savages (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiv., p. 310) now vitiated by "the white man's influence." To what purpose reply that the blacks wage war and punish witchcraft? "It is lawful for a Christian man to bear arms," and, as to witchcraft, see Sir Matthew Hale. Concerning women, incest is immoral everywhere. It is only a question of what is regarded as incest. The savage rules are the germ of our own. "Not to interfere with an unprotected girl," a rule of the tribes, is a good rule anywhere. A judge on circuit lately, in Northern England, had to deplore the breaches of the rule. This rule does not merely "increase the authority of the elders." The pantomime dances of an obscene kind answer to the "Yah" ceremony, where the boys are taught "straightforward truth," by the converse example of humorous lying (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 444). To "tell the straightforward truth" may be inculcated merely in the interest of the strongest. Mr. Hartland may say so (he does not allude to it), but it is good ethics. The mode of instruction is odd but the purpose is excellent. I am not arguing that the Kurnai, for instance, are crowned with the white flower of a blameless life. I am arguing that they have the elements of consideration for unprotected women, and of regard for marriage. The Seventh Commandment is in the interests of husbands and of social peace, but it is not such a bad part of ethics as Mr. Grant Allen appears to believe. The Kurnai obey it about as much as the ancient Romans. That there are scores of taboos, who denies? who denies that they are under the sanction of the Being? As I said, similar taboos occur in Leviticus. I doubt if we have a single ethical or religious idea which the lowest savages do not possess among their ideas; civilisation has, of course, discarded many ideas which the blacks do possess, many practices, right as the social ethics of the Andamanese, wrong as the hideous rites of the Arunta. Among their ideas, the savages have the elements of a very good working religion. Among our practices are many (as Mr. Manning's black informant said when he was taken to church) wholly inconsistent with our professed creed. Any black satirist who came to England, like Voltaire's Huron, could easily make as good a case out of our contradictory religious beliefs, and contradictory practices, as the case which Mr. Hartland makes against the Australians. We are all both Jekyl and Hyde. The Australians were said to have no Jekyl. I think that I have proved them not to be all unmitigated Hyde. One Hyde-like point Mr. Hartland seems to me to exaggerate. The mysteries are "celebrated with horrible cruelty and worse than beastly filthiness" (p. 294). Where? Among the tribes which practise "the terrible rite," I grant the cruelty; but, where merely two front teeth are extracted (while the victim is patted on the back to encourage him), I doubt the cruelty. Of filthiness (except in dances to deter from vice) I know no proof, even among the Arunta, at these ceremonies. For promiscuity like what the fathers attribute to Greek mysteries, and heathen apologists to the Christians, the Fijians were available cases (or some of them), and their rites were given, not to Tui Laga, but to ancestral spirits, who, in my theory, succeed and supersede such beings as Mungan-ngaur. That such iniquities occur in Australia I do not dispute, but do they often occur at the Bora? I may incidentally remark that the retreat to the hills of each Dorian youth with an older companion seems to me analogous to the retreat of the Australian boy with his Kabo, or mystagogue. But the Greeks put an interpretation on it suited to their morals, though reprehended in those of Australia (Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiii., p. 450).
I have ever maintained that whether ghosts preceded such beings as Mungan-ngaur in evolution, whether low myth preceded high belief, or vice versa, we cannot historically know. But I have as good a right to a guess as my opponents have to a prehistoric "glimpse." They can have their prehistoric "glimpses," I have my conjecture. To me the mental faculties required for the conception of Mungan-ngaur do not seem loftier than those demanded for the very abstract speculations which lead up to the conception of a common ghost—unless actual ghosts were often seen, which might account for a belief in them. But this is Psychical Research. Again, as to myth, is it more likely that men first conceived of a low, polygamous, immoral medicine-man, and later, said that he, of all people, was guardian of conduct and maker of things, the enemy of the vices he practised; or is it more likely that, having conceived of a good, kind Maker, men proved unable to live up to the idea, and degraded it by humorous fancy? That man can do so is proved by the conception of God, in Christianity given pure, and then degraded in Märchen. Is there any proof of the opposite process? I ask for a case in which we know that a dirty old medicine-man was elevated into a kind supreme being, guardian of tribal morality. I know no such case. But we are familar with a case in which the "Father" of our creed has been made the topic of popular humorous fancy. Thus I seem to have a right to my surmise that gods came before ghosts; high beliefs (mythical, if you will) before low myths.
One last remark on the earlier part of my book. The alleged psychical experiences of humanity, or many of them, "cannot," I say, "at present be made to fit into any purely materialistic conception of the universe." They cannot, "at present;" I agree with Mr. A. J. Balfour. But Mr. Hartland says, "meaning, I presume, that the savage theory of the soul is, substantially and in its main outlines, a correct interpretation of facts." Why should he presume this? This is the theory of the spiritualists. Rightly or wrongly, I emphasise my dissent from it. Says Mr. Huxley: "There lies within man a fund of energy, operating intelligently and so far akin to that which pervades the universe, that it is competent to influence and modify the cosmic process." What I mean (as far as I have any kind of hypothesis) is that the fund of energy in man has other things akin to my conception (I don't say to Mr. Huxley's conception) of "that which pervades the universe," than are allowed for in any purely materialistic system of philosophy.
So I conclude. What Mr. Hartland and I both want is more facts, and more careful criticism. Among these facts a tribal map is of the first necessity, though we do possess at least a sketch of that kind in Mr. Brough Smyth’s Aborigines of Victoria.
- See preface to Myth, Ritual, and Religion, and vol. i., ch. xi. (1887).
- “Many anthropologists,” says Mr. Hartland, “are of this opinion.” I have not the advantage of knowing their works, unless they be those of M. Réville and his allies.
- The Dial, December 1, 1898. This critic, I presume, is the donor of a collection of Mexican folklore objects to the Society.
- At how early a date is too wide a question for discussion here. Nor do I ask whether the writer in Genesis consciously put to himself metaphysical questions about matter. Perhaps matter is still non-existent!
- Mr. Hartland smiles at “unconscious English Deists in paint and scars and feathers.” The position of the Dinkas, according to Russegger, is also that “of Deists.”
- Spencer and Gillen, Natives of Central Australia, p. 25.
- Ibid., p. 388.
- Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 68, 1871.
- Primitive Culture, vol. ii., pp, 332, 333.
- Collins, 1798, records this dance, or one similar.
- For Zeus and the Oak see The Golden Bough, vol ii., p. 369, note 2, but I cannot here agree with Mr. Frazer.
- The bullock represented in the Bora of 1894 may promote success in cattlestealing, for aught I know; of course it could not occur before we brought in bullocks. It can hardly be a totem!
- Lang's Queensland, 1861, p. 435. See also Mr. Threlkeld, An Australian Language. This is of 1892, but contains reprints of Mr. Threlkeld's works of 1831-1857.
- Lang's Queensland, pp. 444, 445. Compare the singular parallel in Massachusetts, where (1622) Kiehtan answers to Baiame: Hobamock (appearing as a snake and the friend of sorcerers) to Daramulun. Winslow, in Arber's Captain Smith, p. 768.
- Tylor, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1892, p. 295. "There are reasons to show that they only attained this divine eminence under Christian missionary influence."
- Brough Smyth, vol. ii., p. 2S5. Mrs. Langloh Parker gives Byamee = "Big Man."
- "This account," right or wrong, is from the very same linguist who renders Daramulun by "game-leg," namely, Mr. Greenway.
- Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol xxi., p. 294.
- Ibid., vol. xxiv., p. 416.
- See Mr. Hale in United States Exploring Expedition, Ethnography and Philology, p. 110. Also my article, "Are Savage Gods borrowed from Missionaries?" in Nineteenth Century, January, 1899.
- Wellington was founded, or at least the district was named Wellington, before the town was founded, in 1816.
- More Legendary Tales, p. 90.
Mr. Ridley has cited corroboration from a wandering convict. The witness's character was bad, but the point is not one which he was likely to invent. Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1872, p. 282. The north-west coast was the district. The dying man was asked to convey messages to the god.
- I owe Mr. Manning's article to the kindness of Mrs. Langloh Parker. Were this Psychical Research, the lady would be gracefully accused of modelling her report on Mr. Manning's. In Anthropology we are less suspicious.
- Lubbock, Origin of Civilisation, p. 4. "Black Andy" was an exception. He contradicted Mr. Manning's theory of borrowing.
- It may be replied, the women do know the "biblical characteristics" of Mungan-ngaur, but not as attributes of that being. My opponents are welcome to this answer.
- I have never seen Mr. Curr's book, but Mr. Max Müller cites him as saying that the pre-missionary blacks "had no knowledge of God," or of reward and punishment beyond the grave (Anthropological Religion, p. 423).
- Ridley, "He made all things," 1861.
- Eyre, vol. ii., pp. 355-357.
- Journal of the Anthropological Institute, November, 1894, p. 191. Here the myth of a "Book" is, of course, European in origin.
- Roth, North-West Central Queensland Aborigines, pp. 14, 36, 116, 153, 158, 165.
- In one glossary Bunjil = Man.
- Done out of the literal version with the native words (Howitt). Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xvi., pp. 330-331.
- Nor do I know anything of such "precepts" in the mysteries, which seem to be obsolete in Bunjilist tribes. I only knew that Bunjil watches behaviour.
- Ibid., vol. xiv., p. 313.
- Making of Religion, p. 196.
- I understand that objections are taken to Strachey's evidence. I have considered all such objections as I can discover in the preface to a new edition of Myth, Ritual, and Religion.
- As to elopements, and furious wrath and punishment, see Howitt, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xvi., pp. 36-38. The whole affair seems to me poetic and chivalrous.
- I fancy that the Wiradthuri are again the culprits.
- Fison, Journal of the Anthropological Institute, vol. xiv., pp. 14-31.
- God, in Dunbar's poem, laughed till his heart was sore, when he saw the soul of a drunken woman slip into heaven. That some Märchen were carried on from Paganism is probable, or certain; but the whole subject invites research.
- Huxley, Evolution of Ethics, pp. 83, 84.