Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/268

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A Solution of the Gorgon Myth.

shaped, "by far the most important part in the design." It may be well suggested that in these eyes and tongue surrounded by the scrolls are again enshrined the same all-pervading myth.

We have then a curious concatenation of evidence, so remarkable that few persons will venture to contend that the growth of an idea can have developed independently into the same general coincidence of legend among such widely separated people, as we are bound to admit now to exist, whether we name it the Manaia or Medusa. I confidently therefore maintain that the Old World story of the Gorgon and the New World Manaia are both the outcome of the same early experience of the antipathy of the lobster and the octopus, personified by imaginative and fanciful people into Perseus and the Gorgon.[1]

  1. I must add a line to record my deep obligation to Miss Burne for the pains bestowed, and valuable hints she has given in the arrangement of this paper.