Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/34

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Annual Address by the President.

There is much to indicate that folk-lore has a brilliant future before it. as a philosophical as well as a scientific subject. This is, perhaps, too dangerous a topic to speak of now, and it is hardly yet within the range of practical folklore objects. What we can say, however, without danger to individual opinions, is that no science dealing with man is quite perfect without the aid of folk-lore. Anthropology is not perfect without it, because folk-lore is the anthropology of the civilised races, and without this complement the anthropology of barbarism and savagery is incomplete, and hence faulty.

The greatest problem of anthropology is the connection of modern with prehistoric man, and that this is still a burning question is shown by what Dr. Tylor only last year made the subject of his address at the Oriental Congress. But geology, archæeology, philology, and the physical history of man cannot get on without the aid of folk-lore. To find a savage custom in a civilised country, and to search out its counterpart among modern savagery, is a scientific act only when we have proved, as nearly as proof is possible, that the parallel is not represented by one simple line drawn from civilisation to savagery, but by the three sides of a parallelogram, the connecting line between the two vertical ones being the horizon of prehistoric life.