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conduct. This method alone explains the why and wherefore of all those strange metamorphoses of gods into beasts and plants, and even stones, which scandalised philosophers, and which the witty Ovid played on for the diversion of his contemporaries. In short, this method teaches us to recognise in all those strange stories the survivals of a barbaric age, long passed away, but enduring to later times in the form of religious traditions, of all traditions the most persistent. . . . Finally, this method alone enables us to explain the origin of myths, because it endeavours to study them in their rudest and most primitive shape, thus allowing their true significance to be much more clearly apparent than it can be in the myths (so often touched, retouched, augmented, and humanised) which are current among races arrived at a certain degree of culture."

The method is thus applauded by a most competent authority, and it has been warmly accepted by a distinguished French school of students, represented by M. Gaidoz. But it is obvious that the method rests on a double hypothesis: first, that satisfactory evidence as to the mental conditions of the lower and backward races is obtainable; second, that the civilised races (however they began) either passed through the savage state of thought and practice, or borrowed very freely from people in that condition. These hypotheses have been attacked by opponents; the trustworthiness of our evidence, especially, has been assailed. By way of facilitating the course of the exposition and of lessening the disturbing element of controversy, a reply to