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on this subject. One dates as far back as Euhemerus of Sicily, and endeavors to explain all the tales of gods and heroes, and of their wonder. ful deeds and achievements, by real or rather by supposed historic facts, Thus Heraclês was originally some brave and sturdy benefactor of some small province--a man who destroyed oppression and rooted out abuses -one whose memory was held in veneration by his country folk, till, in time, he became deified, and his achievements were magnified into great and supernatural performances. So with Theseus and other heroes, and 80 with even the twelve gods of Olympus. The Nibelungen-lied is a poem, of whose historic truth there was not the slightest doubt in many minds. The characters were identified with Teutonic princes and princesses of that epoch, who, strangely enough, agreed with the story not only in name but in action. But the same legend is given in the old Norse Eddas, and this tale of the Volsungs is in many respects coinci. dent with the tale of Troy and the Trojan war. Were these old mythologic tales supposed to rest on historic foundations of fact, we should have the very strange circumstance that such similar actions occurred in scenes and amid peoples so diverse. This would be, to say the least, extremely difficult of explanation.
The second theory is that of Mr. Gladstone, as advanced in his Homer and the Homeric age. It is briefly this, that the Greek theogony was a distortion of primitive dogmatic revelation; that the Greeks originally had a revelation of true religion ; that in time ages grew darker and more corrupt, and that revelation was overclouded with fiction and fable. The outlines of it were dimly preserved. The Trinity was kept in that of Trus, Poseidôn and Hades. Lêto stands in the place of the Virgin, and the attributes of Christ, the Redeemer, were divided between Apollo and Athêne. But this is evidently mere assumption, for it would require a more perfect revelation to have been made to the Greeks than was made to the Hebrews in their early times, for the idea of the Trinity or of a Redeemer is nowhere plainly set forth in the earlier sacred writings. It would require, too, a continuous moral deterioration among the Greeks. In proportion as their mythology waxed more fanciful and ornate, so should their moral state have become worse. But we have in reality the striking contrast of an advancing morality and a decaying theology. It was a mere clothing which did not fit to their religion.
Here, too, the speculations of Dr. Döllinger should be alluded to.* He does not suppose a dogmatic revelation to man, but he makes an equally groundless assumption that man had at first a knowledge of a pure and abstract divinity and religious worship, and that after he had lost this know ledge he was thrown on nature and so deified the powers and objects of nature. In the East he turned to Astrolatry, in the West to Geolatry. The Pantheon of Greece was a collection of these divinities, brought in from many nations in those early times, when the inhabitants of Greece emigrated from different countries and different races. Besides resting on an assumption, the arguments are historically weak. For men, too, to have deified the power of nature, they must have already forgotten the early significance of their names, and gained abstract ideas of divinity.
* The Gentile and Jew in the Courts of the Temple of Christ.
But does it not seem as if many of those old legends, such as of Heraclês and of Démêtêo, of Theseus of Perseus, and others, could be explained by some simple phrase, which was their germ ? Thus, if people said, at a time when, conscious of their own life, they felt that everything else, too, had life, “The earth mourns for the dead summer, the summer is shut
up in the prison of darkness,” could not the story of the search after Persephone arise? Or else they said, “The moon (Selene) watches during the night the sleeping sun (Endymion.)” In Orpheus we see the sun mourning for his wife, the dawn, descending for her into the realm of darkness, and losing her again in the morning as he turned to gaze at her. In Heraclês, in Perseus, in Bellerophon, we see the sun toiling for others, a beneficent person, who accomplishes many wondrous works.
These thoughts bring us to the theory of Max Müller, and the only one capable of resolving all our difficulties. According to him, all these legends and myths arise from modes of speech which were natural and vivid when men believed in the life of all the physical objects they saw, in the physical animal life of the sun, the stars, and the earth. This is not personification and allegory, such as Mr. Grote supposes, but originated before such things were possible, before the power was abstracted from the thing. We still say, “The sun rises, the sun sets," without any mythology remaining in the phrase; but there was a time when the dawn and the sun were thought sentient beings, and to say "The dawn flies from the sun" conveyed a deeper meaning than now. There was a time when men were young; when they were almost astonished by the recurrence of daylight; when they couid fear that the sun would not come again, and could ask, with tones of real anxiety, "Will our friend the dawn come back to us?” Compared to that one assertion that the sun must rise to-morrow, is, as the author well says, Titanic boldness. Until lately we have been without the record of any such time, but now we find in the hymns of the Rigveda the expressions of just that feeling in the ancient Aryan tribes. We see mythology as it was forming and growing. We find it, in its early simplicity, as wonder and love of the powers and objects of nature. From the Sanscrit hymns, too, we are able to explain the Greek nd even the Northern myths through the aid of comparative philology. We can trace the names and the attributes back to their earliest source. Zeus is the same as Dyaus, Dyu, Sky, brightness; Daphne is the Sans crit Dahanâ, the dawn and we thus see how the sun wooed the dawn which always fled before his burning gaze. In Greek, Daphne was also the name of the laurel, pro. bably from its blazing up quickly when fired, and therefore we find that Daphne was changed into a laurel tree.
It is remarkable how nearly all the myths cluster around the sun and the dawn. The great tragedy of nature, the nightly death of the sun, and its reappearance every morning, heralded by the dawn, who again, as the twilight, attends him as he disappears, is the burden of every tale. Zeus and Apolló, Heracles and Theseus, Perseus and Bellerophon, and even, perhaps, Pavis, are all the sun. Sometimes he is the triumphant god ; more often, one who is obliged, by a power he cannot resist, to serve the needs of mere mortals by performing great and unending tasks. Athênê, Aphrodite, Daphne, and even Helen, are only names for the dawn. The story of Kephalos and Prokies is only that of the sun and the dawn, the tale of Troy is only the assault of the solar forces on the citadels of the East. In northern regions, where the day is less prominent, but the severe alternations of the summer and winter are more astounding and engrossing, we hear of summer as a fair maiden shut up in some lonely castle, as a treasure buried in the earth, as a damsel restrained by the spells of the powers of darkness, waiting for her youthful deliverer. Brynhild is summer, as Signed is the sun that delivers her from the prison of winter. The sun is the youthful hero abandoning his first love, invnlnerable in all but one place or one way, yet always doomed to die. Achilles, Meleagar, Sifrit, or Balder, the story is the same. Mr. Müller supposes that the attention of the early Aryan tribes was chiefly drawn to the bright powers, the sky, sun, or dawn, as things ever existing or springing up, as resistless, immortal, and mysterious; and that they regarded storms, and clouds, and darkness, as their enemies and subjects, that were sure to be overthrown and overcome. A contrary opinion is propounded by Professor Kuhn, and held by Schwartz and others. They take a different point of view, and suppose the early people regarded those things which were permanent as mere natural events, and looked rather to the storms and accidental disturbances as the great and overruling powers. While regarding the explanation of Müller as in the main correct, and the Aryan myths as rather solar than meteorological, still we cannot identify all in that way, and we must except to the author's treatment of the myth of Hermes. To us the idea of wind explains more clearly the Homeric hymn and all the actions attributed to Hermes than does that of dawn or twilight. Accepting his derivation from the root sae, to go, and identifying Hermes with the Sanscrit Saramâ, though he is properly Sarameya, her son, the name of the runner, the bound of the gods, is more applicable to the wind than to the dawn. Though many of the epithets elsewhere in the Veda applied to the dawn proper are given to Saramâ, they are only those that are capable of being applied also to the wind, -not the storm of Professor Kuhn. The wind can play all those tricks that. Hermes played Apollo, and the wind can be the messenger of the gods and the conductor of dead souls. But whatever may be the real or attempted explanation of individual myths, it is evident that the key to them all has been found. The riddle has been solved, and the origin and contemPoraneous existence in different races of the same and kindred tales are explained. The similarity of the tales, the identity of epithets and attributes, and in many cases the etymological unity of the names themselves, all point to the fact that each nation did not originate its mythology separately, but that all arose together in the Aryan mind before its breaking up end separation into different tribes, and its emigration to Cifferent seats.
The progress of knowledge made thus far points to something further. The common origin of the Aryan and Semitic branches of language has never been proved; but if it is, will it not be asked at once whether the Aryan myths originated before or after the separation of the two stocks, Or even before and without that, will not some bold scholar attempt to explaid many of the relations of the Old Testament in this same way by mythological phrases? If Heraclês is identified with the sun, may not Samson be also? We allude to this to show the possible, and in the present temper of the age, probable, direction that the study of mythology may take, to show the importance of a right understanding of what is already proved and known. Theologians will find that the circle of sciences they are expected to know is enlarged by those of comparative philology and comparative mythology, and it will require a careful study of the subject to enable them to refute at once any unwarrantable assumptions or false deductions.
Circular and Catalogue of the Law School of the University of Albany for
the years 1864-5. Albany, 1865.
It is not our habit to discuss the merits and demerits of educational institutions in our June number; but our law schools conclude their terms, and issue their catalogues, earlier than ordinary colleges or seminaries; and that of Albany is one of the few in whose progress all who are in favor of elevating the status of the legal profession in Anierica are bound to take an interest. Its different departments are under the control of eminent jurists, whose system of instruction embraces the best features of the principal law schools of Europe. What is most characteristic of the Albany school may be inferred from the following extract from the catalogue :
"All the lectures are oral, and are expositions of legal principles with illustrations and applications. They are also accompanied by such references, hints, and suggestions as are deemed the best calculated to enable the mind the more thoroughly to master and retain them.
“The Faculty have, however, a higher aim than simply teaching young men the law. They will also use their best endeavor to teach those who are intending to enter the profession to be LAWYERS, This is felt to be an arduous
and difficult task. It is training the mind to a right use of its own faculties. It is giving it a power over its own resources, and enabling it fully to avail itself of its own stores of knowledge.”—p. 10.
The remarks we print in Italics embrace what should be the aim of all good colleges and academies; it is of comparatively little use to teach the student rules and principles, if he is not taught to carry them into practical effect. No matter how well stored the mind may be with ideas and facts, in order to render them available, especially in speaking, it is necessary to practise, the use of them. In other words, it is not sufficient for the law student, or the student of divinity, to think, however profoundly he may do so; if he wants to excel, or even to succeed, in his profession, he must acquire a facility, by careful training, in giving oral expression to his thoughts. In short, the tongue requires to be trained as well as the fingers ; it is because this fact is lost sight of that we find so many men eminent in literature and science, who are incapable of expressing the most ordinary ideas when called upon to speak. We make room for one extract more :
" Another feature of importance is to be noticed in the Moot COURTS. Questions or causes, previously given out, are here argued by four of the students. These questions and causes are either taken from, and designed to illustrate some vexed points arising in the lectures, or they are real causes pending before the Supreme Court, or Court of Appeals.
“Upon the conclusion of the argument, the cause is given to the class to discuss and decide. This gives rise to discussions of great interest and profit, in which large numbers of the class participate. After the discussion and decision by the class, the presiding professor gives his views on the questions involved, and on the correctnes3 or incorrectness of the decision. Two of these courts are held each week. By judiciously pursuing this course, varied in such respects as experience may suggest, it is confidently expected that the student may be essentially aided in his efforts to become a ready, fluent, and correct extemporaneous speaker, and that he may also acquire good habits of speaking-learning never to sacrifice sense to sound, or solid argument to showy declamation.”
Without the habit of discussing interesting topics, practised to a greater or less extent, there can be no fluent, correct speakers, not to mention orators. Why, then, is there so much dumb show at most of our colleges? Why are not students taught to speak as well as to write ? for that they are not so notorious.
Catalogue of the Fortieth Annual Exhibition of the National Academy
of Design. New York, 1865. We are very unwilling to find fault with the National Academy of Design; we would much rather praise it, if we could conscientiously do so. We have never been treated otherwise than "courteously by any of its members; there is, in fact, no conceivable motive that we could have to speak of it in any other terms than those of approbation. But to praise indiscriminately as excellent what rarely rises above mediocrity is not VOL. XI.NO. XXI.