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Hakon's Lay By James Russell Lowell "O Skald, sing now an olden song,Such as our fathers heard who led great lives;And, as the bravest on a shield is borneAlong the waving host that shouts him king,So rode their thrones upon the thronging seas!" Then the old man arose: white-haired he stood,White-bearded, and with eyes that looked afarFrom their still region of perpetual snow,Over the little smokes and stirs of men:His head was bowed with... more...

PART I.—MYTHS. INTRODUCTION. Before entering upon the many strange beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and the extraordinary number of gods they worshipped, we must first consider what kind of beings these divinities were. In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however, they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an... more...

CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY. To summon a dead religion from its forgotten grave and to make it tell its story, would require an enchanter's wand. Other old faiths, of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, are known to us. But in their case liturgies, myths, theogonies, theologies, and the accessories of cult, remain to yield their report of the outward form of human belief and aspiration. How scanty, on the other hand, are the records of Celtic religion!... more...

I. The Prologue One night at the palace of Cruachan in Connacht, a dispute arose between Queen Medb, the sometime wife of Conchobar, king of Ulster, and her consort Ailill, as to the amount of their respective possessions. It may be remarked in passing that in those days in Ireland, married women retained their private fortune independent of their husbands, as well as the dowry secured to them in marriage. To procure the evidence of their... more...

Introduction Ancient Babylonia has made stronger appeal to the imagination of Christendom than even Ancient Egypt, because of its association with the captivity of the Hebrews, whose sorrows are enshrined in the familiar psalm: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows.... In sacred literature proud Babylon became the city of the anti-Christ, the symbol... more...


Chapter I The Sociology of the Chinese Racial Origin In spite of much research and conjecture, the origin of the Chinese people remains undetermined. We do not know who they were nor whence they came. Such evidence as there is points to their immigration from elsewhere; the Chinese themselves have a tradition of a Western origin. The first picture we have of their actual history shows us, not a people behaving as if long settled in a land... more...

INTRODUCTION It may well be doubted whether works of controversy serve any useful purpose.  ‘On an opponent,’ as Mr. Matthew Arnold said, ‘one never does make any impression,’ though one may hope that controversy sometimes illuminates a topic in the eyes of impartial readers.  The pages which follow cannot but seem wandering and desultory, for they are a reply to a book, Mr. Max Müller’s Contributions... more...

ZUÑI PHILOSOPHY. The Á-shi-wi, or Zuñis, suppose the sun, moon, and stars, the sky, earth, and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate objects, as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great system of all-conscious and interrelated life, in which the degrees of relationship seem to be determined largely, if not wholly, by the degrees of resemblance. In this system of life the starting point... more...

THE CRUCIFIXION OF THE OUTCAST. A man, with thin brown hair and a pale face, half ran, half walked, along the road that wound from the south to the town of Sligo. Many called him Cumhal, the son of Cormac, and many called him the Swift, Wild Horse; and he was a gleeman, and he wore a short parti-coloured doublet, and had pointed shoes, and a bulging wallet. Also he was of the blood of the Ernaans, and his birth-place was the Field of Gold; but... more...

THE RUINOUS FACE When the siege of Troy had been ten years doing, and most of the chieftains were dead, both of those afield and those who held the walls; and some had departed in their ships, and all who remained were leaden-hearted; there was one who felt the rage of war insatiate in his bowels: Menelaus, yellow-haired King of the Argives. He, indeed, rested not day or night, but knew the fever fretting at his members, and the burning in his... more...