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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/404

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368 Reviews,

preted by aid of the historical factors and conditions I have mentioned — an agricultural ritualism out of which has grown a romantic mythology, opposed by, mingling and harmonising with, an alien ritualism and an alien body of romance."

As to the connection of the two conceptions of the Happy Otherworld and Reincarnation, a connection the reasons for which are by no means visible on the surface, Greek mythology furnishes a clue. " In Greek mythology as in Irish, the conception of Re-birth proves to be a dominant factor of the same religious system in which Elysium is likewise an essential feature. In Greek religion the two conceptions are associated persistently and reasonably, whilst in Irish mythic fiction they are associated per- sistently, but not, on the face of it, reasonably." The Northern Celts seem to have sacrificed for cup and herd up to the time when Patrick made Crom Dubh his servant and slave, the Southern Celts to have advanced beyond this stage and to have sacrificed with a view to controlling life as manifested in man, whereby the priests were " able to defeat death and assure their tribesmen a continuance of existence." The Southern Celts indeed, Mr. Nutt thinks, utilised the Incarnation idea for religious and social purposes, but not the Happy Otherworld idea, " they reached the idea that the virtuous would live on, they did not reach the idea that they would go to heaven," whereas among the Irish he does not think either conception was utilised save in romance.

Mr. Nutt does not agree with Mr. Gomme that this early agricultural cult is pre-Aryan, or that the beliefs respectively grouped together as witch-lore and fairy-lore are derived from different races, and may be used for racial discrimination. With respect to Dr. Jevons, he differs in regarding the development of the two ideas of Re-birth and the Happy Otherworld as mainly due, not to foreign influence, but to the natural working of native conditions ; and of course still more widely from M. Foucart, whose borrowing theories he considers fanciful. In a final section Mr. Nutt puts together his own views. The earliest matriarchal agricultural stage of the Aryans, 2500 — 2000 n.c, with a "bargain," theory of sacrifice and a simple individualisation of certain forms of life manifest in vegetable and animal growth, corpse burial, private worship of the dead. This primitive state of culture persisted among the less advanced Celts and Teutons down to the