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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/375

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The Binding of a God. 339

religion could have developed out of it. It is inconsistent with the abject fear which the savage feels of the super- natural, and which is sometimes supposed to be the origin of religion ; and it is inconsistent with that sense of man's dependence on a superior being which is a real element in religion." At the same time, whatever may have been the feeling of early man, it would not be difficult to quote instances pointing in a different direction. I can only glance in passing at some of this evidence. Thus, the Egyptians not only called on the god by name, but if he refused to appear they threatened him. These formulae of compulsion of the gods were called by the Greeks QeSiv avdyKai,} So Dr. Griffis tells us that, as the Italian peasant scolds or beats his bambino, so the Japan fetish is punished or not allowed to know what is going on by being covered up or hidden away.^ Herodotus tells us of the Getae that when it lightens or thunders they aim their arrows at the sky, uttering threats against the gods. And again of the Atarantians, who, when the sun rises high in the heavens, curse him and load him with reproaches because he burns and wastes both their country and them- selves. ^ Porphyry relates that the Egyptians were in the habit of using threats, not only to the sacred animals, but even to the gods themselves, " declaring that unless they

' Lenormant, Chaldaan Magic, p. loi. Dr. Tylor {Primitive Culture, 2nd ed., vol. ii. p. 171) quotes an amusing Chinese case of an action at law brought against a god, who for his fraud was banished from the province. To this Mr. E. S. Hartland adds: — " ^lian (^Var. Hist., xii. 23) states as an illustration of the boldness of the Celts, that they plunged into the sea and fought the waves. (^Cf. The Edinburgh Dinnshenchas, Folk- Lore, vol. iv. p. 488.) This seems to be connected with a superstition, extending from the Basque country to Denmark, of the Three Witch-waves, where the waves, intent on mischief, were really forms of some malignant witch, and only to be conquered by hurling a harpoon or other weapon into them. The harpoon draws the witch's blood, and the waves sink. Melusine, vol. ii. col. 200; Sebillot, Legendes de la Mer, vol. i. p. 174."

° Religions of Japan, p. 27.

^ iv. 94, 184.

Z 2