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'Edward Burnett Tylor'

by Andrew Lang, M.A., LL.D

[from Anthropological Essays presented to Edward Burnett Tylor in honour of his 75th birthday Oct 2, 1907. Oxford: Clarendon Press]

It was my fortune to make Mr. Tylor's acquaintance at Oxford, about the year 1872, before I had heard of any of his books, in which his masterpiece, Primitive Culture, was already numbered. The distinguished and witty lady who introduced us to each other had, and, alas! has, rather more than the ordinary aversion from things primitive, and from the study of benighted heathens. She informed me that Mr. Tylor had written "a large book, all about savages", in whom Mr. John Fergus McLennan had already interested me by his essays on totemism. Thus my acquaintance with Mr. Tylor and his great book began thirty-five years ago, when he, beside Sir John Lubbock, already towered above all British anthropologists, like Saul above his people. Since these early days I have often had the pleasuie of being with Mr. Tylor in social fashion, and have again and again perused his books. But it is my misfortune to know little of his Museum work, though even brief and cursory visits to the Pitt-Rivers Museum demonstrate that it is on a level of excellence with his written expositions; and I have never been present at any of his lectures to his Oxford pupils. His later years have been spent in academic toils; he has sent his pupils into many strange lands; they have been the field naturalists of human nature, no less than anthropologists of the study. If England possesses an unofficial school of anthropologists, despite the public indifference to man not fully "up to date", she owes it to the examples of Mr. Tylor and Lord Avebury. But I am only an amateur, and have especially to deplore my slender acquaintance with the work of Mr. Tylor's eminent German predecessors and contemporaries. A pupil less competent than I to estimate Mr. Tylor's work in its relations to his study, as pursued on the Continent and in America, could scarcely be found. Indeed, I speak rather as one of the outer circle—of the Court of the Gentiles—than as a professed antliropologist.

It is to be noted that, in 1860-1870, a fresh scientific interest in matters anthropological was "in the air". Probably it took its rise not so mucli in Darwin's famous theory of evolution, as in the long-ignored or ridiculed discoveries of the relics of Palaeolithic man by M. Boucher de Perthes. Mr. Henry Christy, a friend of Mr. Tylor, and Sir John Evans, helped greatly to establish the authenticity of the discoveries of M. Boucher de Perthes, and while they were mainly exercised with the development of man's weapons, implements, and arts, Mr. Tylor, with Lord Avebury, studied his mental development as revealed in his customs, institutions, and beliefs. Mr. McLennan and Sir Henry Maine were contemporaneously laying the foundations of the study of earlier and later jurisprudence, and of this generation of heroes we are but the epigonoi; fortunate in this, that we still have among us so many distinguished survivors of the great age.

The track or trail left by our ancestors of the stone age has for thousands of years attracted curious minds. Hesiod had his theory of progress and of successive races, beginning with gods, followed by heroes, and passing through the age of bronze, "when as yet black iron was not," Moschion touches on cave-dwellers, whom he regards as cannibals; and Lucretius traces religion to the belief in spirits, or "animism", bred of reflection on the phenomena of breath, dreams, and shadows. Tlie Greek geographers, and Herodotus and Aristotle, were curious about the institutions of savage and barbaric races; while, in the eighteenth century, Goguet, Fontenelle, Boulanger, des Brosses, Professor Millar, of Glasgow, and others, explained the rise of mythology, and the origin of rank, on the lines of modern anthropological science. The idea of evolution, for all that we know, is as early a conception of thinking men as the idea of creation; both exist among the most primitive savage races; and, in short, all that the speculators of the last and the present age can do is to bring wider study, and more precise methods, into the investigation of human development.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the advance of philological science, with the theory that mythology is the result of "decay of language"; and the other theory that degeneration has more to answer for than we can admit, caused a temporary diversion from the ideas of Lucretius and Fontenelle. Fortunately these notions did not distract Mr. Tylor from the path which he was born to follow. His interest in his subject may have been aroused by the early tour to Mexico which bore fruit in his first volume Anahtuic or Mexico and the Mexican (1861), followed by his volume Researches into the Early History of Mankind (1865, 1870, 1878).

It is interesting and instructive to look back at this work of forty years ago. It is a series of essays towards a history of civilization, a history necessarily based rather on Realien savage weapons, implements, arts and crafts, and on myths, customs, and beliefs, than on written materials. Forty years ago, Mr. Tylor was conscious of working on a new topic; but he has made it familiar to some members of two generations of Englishmen; in Germany much "culture history" had already been written.

Mr. Tylor's main interest has been in belief and institution, but at a later date he made a notable contribution to the study of Realien by his article (J.A.I. x. 74) on the plough and wheel-carriage. Ten years after this (J.A.I. xix. 54) he traced the "face-brasses" on harness to their source in the phalerae of the Romans.

From beginning to end of his book, the author's mind was occupied by the question, among the countless coincidences of customs, beliefs, arts and crafts, games, riddles, proverbs, institutions, how much has been diffused and borrowed, how much is of independent invention? Did Aztecs and Polynesians borrow from Asiatic sources? When a tribe (probably now extinct) on the Glenelg river in Victoria, polished stone axes of jade, so rare a mineral in Australia, had they learned the art from Malays? Or is the explanation that, finding unusually good material, they worked it with unusual care? Here is a problem in the solution of which we have made little progress in forty years. My own bias is to seek a solution in original, independent, and coincidental invention; while, even now, popular writers lean to theories of unity of race; and even totemism has been regarded as diffused from some single unknown centre. Mr. Tylor, in "The Early History of Mankind" tended more to a theory of the borrowing of myths and Märchen than I have ever been disposed to do; in short the natural bias of the speculator usually affects his opinion in this difficult case, except when there is distinct and definite evidence for a single original centre of invention.

That spiritual or animistic beliefs arise, independently, wherever men dream by night, and see phantasms by day, Mr. Tylor, in 1865, already maintained, developing the idea into a theory of the origin of religion, in his later work, Primitive Culture. He was certain that phantasms beheld with waking eyes are "subjective processes of the mind", and did not trouble himself about "coincidental" and "veridical" apparitions, till he wrote Primitive Culture. The materials which have come in since 1865 afford many additions to his excellent chapter on 'Gesture Language and Word Language', while Mr. Arthur Evans's Cretan and Levantine discoveries have contributed much to the topic of 'Picture Writing and Word Writing'.

In this field the last fifteen years have been peculiarly fruitful of results. But nothing has been discovered as to the influence of 'Names' which was not stated, or foreshadowed in Mr. Tylor's study of the subject, and his chapter about 'Growth and Decline in Culture' firmly traced the lines on which science is still content to build. His chapters on 'The Stone Age, Past and Present ' are still the best English introduction to the subject. The pages on 'Fire and Cooking' ought not to be neglected by the sweet enthusiasts who persevere in averring that Polynesians cannot light fire, and do their cooking without it. A topic in which forty years have seen much fresh knowledge garnered is what Mr. Tylor called 'The Comparative Jurisprudence of the lower races'. His evidence was collected before the publication of J. F. McLennan's epoch-making 'Primitive Marriage', which Mr. Tylor saluted as 'the first systematic and scientific attempt to elicit general principles from the chaotic mass of details of savage law. ...' Chaotic they still remained, for we find that the word 'tribe' was then (as it sometimes is still) used as a synonym for 'totem-kin and also for 'the matrimonial classes', or 'sub-classes', of the Kamilaroi. Ippai, Kubbi, Kumbo, and Buta appear as 'tribes', reported on under that title by Dr. Lang: and, with Sir George Grey, the totem name is 'the family name'. The Iroquois have 'eight tribes', these 'tribes' being really 'totem-kins'; in short, forty years ago, information was scanty, and terminology was even more indistinct than, unhappily, it is at present. There was better information about 'Avoidances' between kinsfolk whether by blood or 'in law', but the original purpose of these avoidances is still matter of controversy. Why, for example, may 'the father not speak to his son after his fifteenth year'? It does not appear probable that all avoidances were instituted for the same reason, and Mr. Tylor found no single reason that would account for all avoidances.

The researches and speculations of almost half a century, into some parts of the jurisprudence of the lower races, have failed to produce any agreement of opinion, at least in the case of laws regulating marriage, but the remarkable statement has been emitted that we ought especially to distrust any hypothesis which, in complex matter, professes to colligate all the facts. The hypotheses which fail to do so are the more respectable. Of these, happily, there is great plenty. 

For the next four years after 1865, Mr. Tylor was laying the foundation stones of his system in papers on "The Religion of Savages", "The Condition of Prehistoric Races," "The Survival of Savage Thought in Modern Civilization," and other essays. At the close of this period the researches of Mr. Lewis Morgan into the systems of kindred, with the very original pioneer essays of Mr. J.F. McLennan on Totemism in relation to Primitive Marriage and Exogamy, opened a field as thorny as expansive, a field into which Mr. Tylor, as far as his published works are concerned, has made few incursions. 

The most notable of these is his epoch-making article (J.A.I., xviii. 245) on a 'Method of Investigating the Development of Institutions applied to the Laws of Marriage and Descent'. In this Mr.Tylor aimed at showing that the development of institutions might be investigated on a basis of tabulation and classification. He had scheduled out into tables the rules of marriage and descent all the world over, so as to ascertain what may be called the 'adhesions' of each custom, showing what people have the same custom and what other customs accompany it or he apart from it.

On this basis Mr. Tylor discussed the rules of residence after marriage, its connexion with avoidance, with teknonymy (naming of parents after children), with the levirate, with the couvade, and with marriage by capture, and showed that the residence of the husband with the wife's people was, so far as his schedules gave information, indisputably anterior to the residence of the wife with the husband, though he was careful to point out that this was not necessarily the most primitive state of things.

Then taking up exogamy and the classificatory system of relationship, Mr. Tylor displayed them as two sides of the same system, and argued that the purpose of exogamy was to enable a growing tribe to keep itself compact by constant unions between its spreading clans. Finally he stated that there were still a hundred or more peoples in the world for which he had no information, and expressed the hope that each civilized country would take in hand the barbaric regions within its purview.

In 1871 he produced his chief work, Primitive Culture, and at once appeared as the foremost of British anthropologists. The extent of his reading, his critical acumen, his accuracy, his power of exposition, his open mind, and his scientific caution make this book no passing essay, but a possession for ever. He laid the firm foundation of a structure to which, with accruing information, others may make additions; he himself has made and is making additions; but his science passed, thanks to him, out of the pioneering stage, at a single step. He stood on a level with Bastian; their names are, in the pre-historic history of man, what the name of Darwin is in regard to the evolution of animal life. There are, indeed, as there must be, modifications to be suggested, and verdicts to be revised but in the future, as in the present, it is from Mr. Tylor's work that the beginnings must be made; and he who would vary from Mr. Tylor's ideas must do so in fear and trembling (as the present writer knows by experience).

Mr. Tylor, in the preface to his second edition (1873), observes that 'writers of most various philosophical and theological schools now admit that ethnological facts are real, vital, and have to be accounted for'. He had emancipated us from exclusive and rather fanciful attention to 'the Aryan race'. He had proved that man, in Byron's words, is 'always and everywhere the same unhappy fellow', whatever the colour of his hair or skin, and the shape of his skull. Homo, in the earliest stage at which we make his acquaintance, is already the philosopher, artist, and man. He 'finds something craggy to break his mind upon', and we have scarcely a theory concerning the deeper problems of life which savage man has not already invented in his mythical Platonic way. Each of his myths, for example, explaining the origin of Totemism has its counterpart in a modern theory: his ghosts are our phantasms; and his religion justifies a famous saying of Tertullian. We cannot escape from him in any field of activity; we repeat his theories without knowing; or knowingly, as when Mr. F.W.H. Myers boldly proclaimed his own reversion to 'palaeolithic psychology'. Without the ideas of the savage (as Keats averred) we should have no poetry worthy of the name, and these fruitful rudiments, not to be styled 'superstitions', Mr. Tylor named 'survivals'; a term which implies no reproach.

But it is fair to civilized man to say, that if his savage ancestors had bequeathed to him no superstitions, he would have invented them anew for himself. Such is human nature; witness the cases of Zola and Dr. Johnson.

Not the least of Mr. Tylor's gifts, as the founder of his science, is the happy simplicity and unobtrusive humour of his style. Not stuffed with strange technical words, his language, as in his admirable chapter on 'Survival in Culture' (iii) is so attractive, so pellucid, that any intelligent child could read it with pleasure, and become a folk-lorist unawares. The doctrine of survivals, though incontestable in general, has its difficulties. We meet phenomena in savage culture which one set of students recognizes as 'survivals'; while, in the same facts, other inquirers see novelties, freaks, or 'sports'. An example is familiar; several of the customs and beliefs of the tribes of Central Australia are, on one side, explained as survivals of primitive, on the other, as recent modifications of decadent totemism. 

From survivals in games, proverbs, riddles, and the minor superstitions, such as those of sneezing, Mr. Tylor glides into Magic, as based on association of ideas; into omens, automatisms, witchcraft, spiritualism, and the doctrine of spirits, 'Animism,' with its influences on religion and mythology. Even races which believe in magic, he says, unconsciously judge it when they regard their more backward neighbours as more potent magicians than themselves. Protestants in Germany, says Wuttke, get Catholic priests to lay ghosts for them. Why not, if the ghost be a Catholic ghost? The Rev. Mr. Thomson of Ednam, father of the author of The Castle of Indolence, was slain by a ghost, obviously not Presbyterian, whom he, a Presbyterian, imprudently attempted to lay. The house haunted by this ghost had to be pulled down, so say the annals of the parish.

Nothing stands still, and, since the date of Mr. Tylor's book, psychologists have studied some savage modes of divination, for example by the divining-rod, and crystal-gazing, as instances of 'automatism', and of the action of the sub-conscious self. The divining-rod, not known to the Australian black water-seeker, survives among ourselves, because the automatic faculty survives in man, even when he has science enough to explain the phenomena not by the agency of spirits, but 'electricity'. Melanesians and other savages have observed facts of automatism, motor or sensory, and explained them, of course, by the action of spirits. It is the animistic explanation, as held by modern spiritualists, not the facts of automatism, that is the survival. Mr. Tylor concluded that 'there is practically no truth or value whatever' in 'the whole monstrous farrago'. But there now appears to be (indeed Mr. Tylor himself foresaw the fact) a good deal of value for the psychologist, and some light is thrown on the more obscure faculties of the race.

Mr. Tylor himself recognized that 'occult' arts may produce practical effects by suggestion, a fact noted, utilized, and erroneously explained by savages and rustics, and even by Richard Baxter, Woodrow, the Mathers, and other learned divines. The frenzy of spiritualism, as Mr. Tylor showed, in the mid nineteenth century, was a revival, or recrudescence in culture. It resembled the furore against witches, which, north of Tweed, came in under John Knox, and flourished through the Puritan period; though, in Scotland, the elder faith had been too wise, or too indolent, to persecute witches. With his habitual caution and open-mindedness, Mr. Tylor remarked that a careful and scientific observation of some of the new or revived marvels 'would seem apt to throw light on some most interesting psychological questions', beyond the scope of his inquiry. An instance in point is the 'Poltergeist', though it cannot be said that observation has done much to explain him, except as associated with the presence of a more or less 'hysterical ' person. Mr. Tylor's affair was to discover great numbers of ethnological parallels to the speciosa miracula of spiritualism, and to leave the matter there for the present; while the savage animistic explanation led up to the whole vast subject of Animism.

A most interesting part of Mr. Tylor's work is his analysis (chapter VI) of words denoting human relationships, and their connexion with 'baby language'. If we follow the linguistic indications, fatherhood seems of as early recognition as motherhood. We are not told in what tribal language of Australia mamman means 'father', and, in such lists as Messrs. Spencer and Gillen and Mr. Howitt supply, words for 'father' derived from 'baby language' do not seem to prevail. The papa of the Carib and the Caroline Islander and the modern Briton, when it occurs in several North Australian languages, means the seniors, but not the father. The 'baby language' terms give 'striking proof of the power of consensus of society, in establishing words in settled use imtliout their carrying traces ofinherent expressiveness'.

It does not follow, I may add, that such inexpressive terms of relationship imply a past when men did not recognize consanguinity. Mr. Tylor, in 1871, did not judge the time ripe for a discussion of classificatory terms of relationship, of early marriage, of exogamy, and totemism. On these topics we may expect, and even with impatience, his mature views in the great work with which he has long been occupied.

In 1871 he spoke, as concerns totemism, of 'the direct worship of the animal for itself, indirect worship of it as a fetish acted through by a deity, and veneration for it as a totem or representative of a tribe-ancestor'. He also connected the totem with animism, the worship of 'a divine ancestral soul' (pp. 237, 238). A leaning towards the same theory may be observed in his 'Remarks on Totemism' (1898, J.A.I, xxix. 138). The difficulties in the way of this hypothesis have often been pointed out, and we expect their solution.

From the first, in 1871, Mr. Tylor distinguished sharply between the totem of the kin, hereditary in the female or male line, and 'the mere patron animal of the individual'. This essential distinction he has continued to maintain. On the whole topic Mr. Tylor has ever shown great and laudable caution; may others be forgiven who have hazarded hypotheses much at the mercy of new invading facts that undermine our cloud-capped towers of conjecture Mr. Tylor rejected the explanation of totemism, which derived it from the adoption, by a man's descendants, of his individual name, such as Bear, Deer, or Eagle. It would, in fact, be necessary to substitute here for 'the individual man', 'the individual woman,' among tribes which inherit the totem on the female side.

Arriving at the old problem of the origins of mythologies, Mr. Tylor fell back on the ancient wisdom of Eusebius of Caesarea, the half forgotten sense of Fontenelle ; took 'savage mythology as a basis', and convincingly proved that mythology is the natural product of the mental condition of savages. Even in Greece, in tales usually left untold or carefully subordinated by Homer, myth retains its savage birth-marks. With this key the old lock is opened, and we understand that the mythical vagaries of gods, and beasts, and men, closely resembling even in minute details the stories of savages, are survivals, repulsive flies caught in the amber of ritual and religion. This theory Mr. Tylor worked out with wonderful tact, never throwing a stone into the adjacent garden of Mr. Max Müller, whose solar theory and philological method were then dominant in this country. Mr. Tylor's idea was not new; perhaps there are no new ideas; his merit lay in his patient, sagacious, well 'documented', and, at last, convincing method of exposition. Nothing was left but to apply the system in detail to every realm of mythological creation; and though, in certain learned circles at home and abroad, the method was for long ignored, or resisted, in the end it has triumphed; accompanied, as it has been, by the system of Mannhardt, who paid more attention to European folk-lore, with its survivals of early ritual, than did Mr. Tylor.

The scent may, of course, be overrun by too eager pursuers. It seems rather hasty to maintain that the tuneful Orpheus was a fox, a 'sex-totem' of the women of Thrace; and I sympathize with the cautious author who remarked that 'Blindmans Buff is not necessarily a survival of human sacrifice'. It is possible, or rather it is easy to consider too curiously: there was a tendency to see totems everywhere, as in the name and crest of Clan Chattan, or in the final syllable of Glencoe, which a judicious linguist will not translate 'the Glen of the Dogs'. There was a time when I was apt to see churinga nanja everywhere; and my sole excuse is that the European neolithic and palaeolithic things were exactly like churinga nanja. We generally have some special pet idea which we overdo; not taught by the reserve of Mr. Tylor, whom a kind nature has exempted from the obsession of the idolon specus, and whose method does not lend itself to parody.

If this were the place for criticism, and if I were anxious to 'lift up my hands against my father Parmenides', I would confess a certain difficulty. Is 'the belief in the animation of nature, rising at its highest pitch to personification'—and, in itself, a main source of mythology—identical with 'the doctrine of Animism' (i. 285)? Could a savage, or a child, not conceive (in the spirit of analogy) that the wind or the sun is, like himself, a living person, before the child had heard of a ghost, or the savage had developed for himself the belief in bodiless souls? It appears that the notion of universal vitality is, really, not the same as 'the doctrine of Animism, which develops and reacts upon mythical personification' (i. 287). Indeed, as Mr. Tylor observes, many forms of thought 'work in mythology with such manifold coincidence as to make it hard indeed to unravel their separate action'.

Animism, indeed, is first treated apart from Mythology ; and the Lucretian theory of the origin of spiritual beliefs is worked out through a long sequence of examples. But Lucretius had to adopt a theory to account for the casual hallucinatory phantasms beheld by sane, healthy, and waking men, which was easily demolished by Plutarch; while Mr Tylor is too wary 'to discuss on their merits the accounts of what is called second sight '. Savages as well as civilized persons have the second sight, and that is enough for his purposes. He gives modern instances—which are as common as blackberries but it suffices him that these experiences offer one basis of the doctrine of Animism, and it is not his business to ask whether the basis is not a pretty solid foundation stone for a towering palace of mirage. 

In Animism the savage philosopher had a ready key to most problems that puzzled him. Spirits were 'at the bottom of them'; they were, to him, what electricity is to the modern popular mind. It is even more curious to notice how much savages differ in their animistic philosophies than to observe the points in which they agree. It seems to myself that, except in East Africa, Fiji, and, doubtless other regions, the savage, or barbarian, is not much of a ghost-seer. The Masai are said not to believe in ghosts, though, inconsistently, they say that cattle can see ghosts, as the people of St. Kilda used to believe (Martin's St. Kilda).

A ghost-seer is rare in Australian tribes; and the Semangs, according to Mr. Skeat, think but little of phantasms of the dead. It almost seems as if some savages left ghosts behind, and applied the animistic theory chiefly as a philosophical hypothesis. The Arunta are notorious for their far-reaching and well-organized philosophy of Animism, but seem not to see ghosts, or not often, and are indifferent to the wants of their deceased and disembodied friends. Other races, again, whose religion of ghost-feeding and ghost-worship is based on animism, do not use it with the freedom of the Arunta in their metaphysics and philosophy.

The more Animism, the less 'All Fatherism', if I may use Mr. Howitt's term for the superior being, such as Baiame, believed in by many tribes in Australia and elsewhere. In Mr. Tylor's theory of religion as based on Animism this kind of being has his place, but often there is nothing animistic in the native conception of his nature. The opposite opinion has been caused by the loose employment of the word 'spirit', 'great spirit', by European observers. In his expected book Mr. Tylor may perhaps again consider this fact of non-animistic religion. Meanwhile he began by exposing the vulgar error of denying to many races any vestige of religion; an error caused by narrow definitions of the term. As 'a minimum definition of Beligion', he gives 'the belief in Spiritual Beings'. Nobody can define 'Religion' so as to satisfy every one, and conceivably an irreligious mind may believe in spiritual beings, while a religious man may feel that he owes moral duties to a being whom he does not envisage as a spirit. It is clearly 'an idolon of the cave', or study, to regard such a belief as an advanced idea, beyond the reach of a low savage. We have no notions of religion which low savages have not developed, in their rough way, upon which we merely refine. As Mr. Tylor says, 'conceptions originating under rude and primitive conditions of human thought, and passing thence into the range of higher culture, may suffer in the course of ages the most various fates, to be expanded, elaborated, transformed, or abandoned. Yet the philosophy of modern ages still to a remarkable degree follows the primitive courses of savage thought, even as the highways of our land so often follow the unchanging tracks of barbaric roads.'

The most marked difference between the third (1891) and the first edition of Primitive Culture was an extension of the theory of savage and barbaric borrowings from the religions of Christianity and Islam. But the material obstacle of stereotyped plates prevented the author from working out this idea in sufficient detail. Mr. Tylor expressed his views more fully in 'The Limits of Savage Religion' (J.A.I, 1891, xxi. 283).

'Timidly and circumspectly,' in his own words, Mr. Tylor has sketched the outlines of his great system of the evolution of religion. That kingdom cannot be taken by violence ; no fragile ladders of hypothesis raised upon hypothesis can enable us to scale the flammantia moenia.

On re-perusing the long familiar pages of Primitive Culture one is constantly impressed anew by their readableness. Never sinking to the popular, Mr. Tylor never ceases to be interesting, so vast and varied are his stores of learning, so abundant his wealth of apposite and accurate illustration. Ten years was this work in the writing, and it may be said that le temps n'y mord; that though much has been learned in the last thirty years, no book can ever supersede Primitive Culture. It teaches us that, in examining the strangest institutions and beliefs, we are not condemned à chercher raison ou il n'y en a pas, as Dr. Johnson supposed. The most irrational-seeming customs were the product of reason like our own, working on materials imperfectly apprehended, and under stress of needs which it is our business to discover, though they have faded from the memories of the advanced savages of to-day. We must ever make allowance for the savage habit of pushing ideas to their logical conclusions, a habit which our English characteristics make us find it difficult to understand. We are also made to see that man is, and will continue to be, a religious animal. As Dean Swift acutely observed, 'the Abolishment of the Christian Religion will be the readiest Course we can take to introduce Popery ... and supposing Christianity to be extinguished, the People will never be at Ease till they find out some other Method of Worship, which will as infallibly produce Superstition, as this will end in Popery.'

Mankind, deprived of religion, would begin again at the beginning,

For ghosts will walk and in their train,

Bring old religion back again.

While Primitive Culture is the basis of 'Mr. Tylor's Science', as Mr. Max Müller called it, he has made many other valuable additions to knowledge. Among these are his contributions to catechisms for field anthropologists. Many intelligent European and American observers, among savages, are interested in, and desire to record, what they see and hear, but are not acquainted with what is already known to specialists, and are painfully vague in their terminology. For their edification Mr. Tylor has drawn up eighteen sections in 'Notes and Queries on Anthropology' (British Association, 1874, 1892). In the Encyclopaedia Britannica (ninth edition) he wrote on Anthropology, Oaths, Ordeals, Magic, Cannibalism, Divination, and other topics. In the Game of Patolli (J.A.I, viii. 116) he investigated the difficult theme of the diffusion, or independent invention of this game in Asia and America or to America from Asia.

It seems, at present, almost impossible to limit the range of coincidence in invention, but this example stretched our ideas of its powers to the uttermost. It is much to be desired that Mr. Tylor's scattered contributions should be collected in a volume. His Gifford Lectures at Aberdeen, still unpublished, form, it is to be presumed, the germ of the great work with which he is still occupied. Since 1891 an enormous quantity of fresh information as to the customs, institutions, and beliefs of backward races has come to our knowledge. From Australia, Africa, and America we have received records, often most carefully made, thanks to Mr. Howitt, Messrs. Spencer and Gillen, Mrs. Langloh Parker; the students of the Bureau of Ethnology at Washington, Mr. Hill Tout, and many other intelligent witnesses. New hypotheses are not less common than new facts, and the anthropological world eagerly awaits Mr. Tylor's treatment of the evidence, and his criticism, if he chooses to offer it, of the new theories. He has never been a man of controversy; his discussion with Mr. Herbert Spencer (Mind, 1877) had a foredoomed end. With all respect to Mr. Spencer, he took up anthropology as a [Greek word]; he was less familiar with facts than fertile in conjectures, and much of his reading was done by proxy, an impossible method.

Mr. Tylor has done one piece of vulgarisation in his 'Anthropology', a manual of the subject, 'an introduction' to the science. Such manuals cannot 'go rather deeply' into any point, and I burn to discuss with him his notions of the evolution of the shield, the parrying buckler and the great screen-shield. But, even on this point, much information has accrued, which was not accessible to any inquirer in 1881. The book contains ideas about the family which are not fashionable, though I believe them to be correct. Mr. Tylor's theory does not start from the hypothetical promiscuous horde, or Mr. Howitt's 'Undivided Commune', and assume that the family was slowly evolved out of that prima materies. On the family, he says, 'the whole framework of society is founded,' wherefore the family must be prior to the totem kin and the tribe. 'Among the rudest clans ... the family tie of sympathy and common interest is already formed. ...' Again, 'the natural way in which a tribe is formed is from a family or group, which in time increases and divides into many households, still recognizing one another as kindred. ...' 

Probably Mr. Tylor would now modify these statements, but it does not seem probable that he will ever appear as the advocate of a primal state of promiscuity. Whatever theory he may produce is certain to deserve the most respectful attention, for his combination of wide knowledge and of sagacious caution gives his opinion an unequalled weight in his own science.

It has been no part of my conception of my task to enter into the details of Mr. Tylor's biography. We know that, like the minstrel of Odysseus, he was 'self-taught' in so far as he was the alumnus of no University. In his youth the curricoolum (as the Scottish baronet styled it) of the Universities did not embrace the study of savagery and of the advance from savagery. His example and energy, with the munificent gift of General Pitt-Rivers, the Museum over which Mr. Tylor presided, have founded, in Oxford, a school of Anthropology, though, as the undergraduate observed, 'there is no money in it.' Ours is a purely disinterested science. How much Cambridge has done, and is doing, for Anthropology, is known to the learned world. Though we do not dwell on Mr. Tylor's biography, we may regard him as a man not less serviceable than happy. His genius has been favoured by the gift of leisure, and (may I be permitted to say?) by the long companionship of the lady who shares his interests and aids his researches.

As to Mr. Tylor's poetical productions, their extent and merit, his modesty forbids inquiry. I only know that, nee cithara carens, in collaboration with my weaker muse, he is the author of The Double Ballade of Primitive Man. [In Ballades in Blue China] It was at first a single ballade of three stanzas. Mr. Tylor's additions raised it to the estate of a Double Ballade of six. 

Transcribed by AP February 2013

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