Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/689

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671
THE MIGRATION OF SYMBOLS.

(except in Wales and Cornwall) by the Teutonic invaders, whom the older school histories taught us to consider as our exclusive ancestors. When the existence of the older, dwarfish, Euskarran or Neolithic race was discovered, it was at first supposed that they had in like manner been made a clean sweep of by the Celts. Recent researches have made it probable that this was by no means the case; indeed, Mr. Grant Allen thinks that there is a considerable Euskarran element in the English population of to-day. The black-haired aborigines — what was left of them — gradually amalgamated with the light-haired and blue-eyed Celts; and these were, in turn, absorbed by the English properly so called. And we have seen that the Griquas and other mixed races exist in Cape Colony, some, at least, of whom have shown themselves capable of being respectable and useful in their generation; and it is at least possible that these mixed races may survive, and in time amalgamate with the Bantu. — The Gentleman's Magazine.


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THE MIGRATION OF SYMBOLS.

By the COUNT GOBLET D'ALVIELLA.

I.

MEN, to communicate their thoughts, address themselves sometimes to the ear, by speech, song, or music; sometimes to the eye, by gesture, drawing, and the plastic arts generally, including writing. These modes of expression may have an imitative character, as when a savage describes an animal by its cry, or as in a photograph; but even then they have a symbolical bearing, in that they recall only some of the features of the original, and leave the rest to the imagination or to memory. We might define a symbol as a representation which does not aim to be a reproduction. Reproduction supposes that the representative sign is identical with, or at least like, the object represented; symbolism demands only that one may recall the other, by a natural or conventional association of ideas. In this sense there is nothing that may not furnish matter for a symbol. We live among symbolical representations, from the flags over our public buildings to the bank-note in our strong-box; symbolism is mingled with all our intellectual and social life, from the morning hand-shaking to the applause we give to the actor in the evening. Our arts are symbolical, even when they are believed to be only servile imitations of nature. We speak and write in symbols — and even think in them, according to the philosophical systems that are based on our impotency to grasp the reality of nature.

Sentiment, particularly religious sentiment, recurs most largely