Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/536

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4/8 Reviews.

necessarily connected with the cult of the sun, and that it is not primitive.

Dulaure's second difficulty arises from the fact that he wrote a century before the principles of magic had been investigated. He does not distinguish between acts of worship and acts of magic. It is well pointed out by M. van Gennep in the "complementary chapter" that the fundamental ideas of the beliefs and rites in which Dulaure thought he had discovered fragments of an ancient religious system, at once solar and phallic, are magical. It may be admitted that the line of demarcation between magic and religion is often very fine, even in the highest religions. But clearly Dulaure exaggerates the import of the fact he adduces in support of his theory ; he exaggerates and he distorts it because he does not understand it.

Moreover, many of the facts mentioned have nothing to do with either magic or religion. Often they are simply the expression of the naive shamelessness of barbarian manners, or of such coarseness of ideas as was not unknown even in "the spacious times of great Elizabeth," without in either case any impure intention. In other cases they are acts of licence, sometimes acts of tyranny, founded on physical or spiritual power.

Notwithstanding this, Dulaure's work was in the true line of evolution of anthropological science. The subject is treated with modesty, though it need hardly be said the book is not one for the drawing-room table. M. van Gennep's " com- plementary chapter" is well and discreetly written. He had a difficult task. It was not possible to bring Dulaure "up to date " without rewriting the work. But the process of rewriting would mean the production of something quite different, and the drawing of conclusions often in contradiction with those of a hundred years ago. M. van Gennep appreciates Dulaure's position and the honour due to him as a first explorer of vast territories of human thought. With gentle dexterity he supplies the corrective scepticism, showing from his wide reading that another interpretation is to be put upon much of the evidence, and that the ideas underlying the worship of the generative powers are anything but primitive.

E. Sidney Hartland.