The king of the wood. The perils of the soul

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Macmillan and Company, limited, 1900 - Dying and rising gods
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Volume I

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Page 63 - By religion, then, I understand a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life.
Page 223 - The mistress and servants of each family take a sheaf of oats and dress it up in women's apparel, put it in a large basket, and lay a wooden club by it, and this they call Briid's Bed : and then the mistress and servants cry three times, Briid is come, Briid is welcome.
Page 197 - England, the juvenile part of both sexes were wont to rise a little after midnight on the morning of that day, and walk to some neighbouring wood, accompanied with music and the blowing of horns, where they broke down branches from the trees, and adorned them with nosegays and crowns of flowers. This done, they returned homewards with their booty, about the time of sunrise, and made their doors and windows triumph in the flowery spoil.
Page 258 - Overcome by the heat of the day, one of the young men fell asleep ; his companion watched drowsily beside him ; when all at once the watcher was aroused to attention by seeing a little indistinct form, scarce larger than a humble-bee, issue from the mouth of the sleeping man, and, leaping upon the moss, move...
Page 2 - In this sacred grove there grew a certain tree round which at any time of the day, and probably far into the night, a grim figure might be seen to prowl. In his hand he carried a drawn sword, and he kept peering warily about him as if at every instant he expected to be set upon by an enemy. He was a priest and a murderer; and the man for whom he looked was sooner or later to murder him and hold the priesthood in his stead.
Page 65 - That invisible power which is believed by the natives to cause all such effects as transcend their conception of the regular course of nature, and to reside in spiritual beings, whether in the spiritual part of living men or in the ghosts of the dead, being imparted to them, to their names and to various things that belong to them, such as stones, snakes, and indeed objects of all sorts...
Page 3 - Rather we picture to ourselves the scene as it may have been witnessed by a belated wayfarer on one of those wild autumn nights when the dead leaves are falling thick, and the winds seem to sing the dirge of the dying year. It is a sombre picture, set to melancholy music —the background of forest showing black and jagged against a lowering and stormy sky, the sighing of the wind in the branches, the rustle of the withered leaves under foot, the lapping of the cold water on the shore, and in the...
Page 76 - ... produce. This great discovery of the inefficacy of magic must have wrought a radical though probably slow revolution in the minds of those who had the sagacity to make it. The discovery amounted to this, that men for the first time recognised their inability to manipulate at pleasure certain natural forces which hitherto they had believed to be completely within their control. It was a confession of human ignorance and weakness. Man saw that he had taken for causes what were no causes, and that...
Page 235 - In ancient times, he was obliged to sit on the throne for some hours every morning, with the imperial crown on his head; but to sit altogether like a statue without stirring either hands or feet, head or eyes, nor indeed any part of his body, because by this means it was thought that he could preserve peace and tranquillity in his empire...
Page 74 - ... its substantial identity everywhere. It is beneath our feet — and not very far beneath them — here in Europe at the present day, and it crops up on the surface in the heart of the Australian wilderness and wherever the advent of a higher civilization has not crushed it underground. This universal faith, this truly Catholic creed, is a belief in the efficacy of magic.

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