Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/304

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


290 Reply to Mr. Howitt and Mr. Jevons.

that his argument overlooked the northern and central facts in tribes with all the social advances, but with no All Father belief. Here a strange confusion arose. Mr. Howitt {Folk-Lore, p. 175) cites me as quoting Messrs. Spencer and Gillen for the central and northern facts, while on the same page, and on page 188, he says that I represented the facts of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen as parts of his "own collection of facts,"

Surely Mr. Howitt might have seen that I could not intend to ascribe to him the authority for facts which he says that I quoted as given by two other authors .-* The truth is that a comma, accidentally standing where it ought not {Folk-Lore, Vol. xvi. No. 2, p. 223), caused the impres- sion in Mr. Howitt's mind that I attributed to him the facts for which I also referred to Messrs. Spencer and Gillen.

The sentence runs — erroneously punctuated — " We are here on the ground of facts carefully recorded, though strangely overlooked, by Mr. Howitt . . ."

Delete the second comma ! ^

However, probably T should not have said that Mr. Howitt " strangely overlooked " the northern facts. I should have said that, if he really was arguing, as I sup- posed, for the All Father belief as a concomitant or result of certain social advances, he might explain why, in a very large area, we have all the social advances without the belief. For the sake of brevity, I shall not discuss Mr. Howitt's theory of what he calls " group marriage," and / call pir- raurii, till he completes the general criticism which he promises, and for which I thank him in advance. As he sometimes misconceives my meaning in his recent paper, and fails to understand my reasoning, I venture to wish myself better fortune in his promised critique ; and I

1 [We apologise for the misleading comma. Mr. Lang is so exact in such matters that we are in the habit of leaving his punctuation entirely unaltered ; hence the unusual error, whosever it were, escaped correction in proof. — Ed.