Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/288

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262 Greek Votive Offerings.

self, and could plan out his property without regard to previous occupants. " In the present essay," he tells us (p vi.), "I have attempted first to set forth the facts in some convenient order, then to deduce principles from them: the only possible plan in dealing with a subject which has never been fully investigated, and where explana- tions are commonly assumed as axioms without an attempt at proof. I began my work with a few of these ready-made theories, which so impressively enunciated, seemed to be no more open to suspicion than Caesar's wife ; to my surprise, as the evidence displayed itself, I saw them drop away one by one, and since the conclusions I have been led to are very different from what I expected, I may fairly claim that they are due to no prejudice. If those who prefer the old assumptions can give reasons for their faith, I am willing to learn ; the true test of my own suofeestions will be, whether future discoveries will fall readily into their proper place." Here speaks a lover of truth, and one who is determined to come at it by scientific methods. His words are a sufficient rejoinder to those who complain, and some do, that his book is dull reading and reaches no very startling conclusions. It is undeniably dull to wade through a lengthy enumeration of particulars before we frame our general conception. And, when we have got it, such a conception is likely enough to look commonplace. But that is the fault of science, not of Dr. Rouse or any other honest investigator.

A reviewer may be pardoned if he pursues the opposite course, and notices the results obtained before inspecting more closely the facts from which the author has started and the various lines of argument that he has followed.

Chapter xiv. contains a summary, of which a brief abstract is here given. " It was," says Dr. Rouse (p. 350), " a very simple conception of the deity which suggested the votive offering. He was a being not very different from his worshipper, and likely to be pleased with a gift." The