Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/26

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
6
SOCIAL LIFE IN ENGLAND

the horizon of life was distinctly limited. To minister to the material needs of his nature was the main object of Neolithic Man's existence. His mind was as the mind of an untaught child, till, as the ages rolled onward, something told him that eating and drinking were not the chief ends for which he was created.

He could see silent hills, and the green valleys watered by stream and marsh: he knew the daily movements of sun, moon, and stars: he could hear the rush of many waters, the roar of the wind-tossed sea, the rumble of thunder across the heavens, the fluttering of leaves, the carrolling of birds, and the chirping of insects as day passed into night. After a lengthened period of simple wonder and amazement, questions presented themselves to his untutored mind, and a yearning to learn the cause of these things took possession of him. Nature was great, mighty, beautiful, but she was never still. There was movement everywhere; therefore, he argued, there must be spirits dwelling in everything—spirits to move the leaves and roll the thunder across the sky, to urge the rivers into motion, and hurry the sun and moon by turns through day and night.

These vague ponderings made him relinquish the