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By De Robigne Mortimer Bennett

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Example text

Curious all this; and not idIe or inane if we will look at the foundation of it. The power of fire or flame, for instance, which we designate by some trivial chemical name, thereby hiding from ourselves the essential character of wonder that dwells in it, as in all things, is, with those old Northmen, Loge, a most swift, subtle demon of the brood of the jiituns. , and lived then upon dry wood. From us, too, no chemistry, if it had not stupidity to help it, would hide that flame is a wonder. What is flame?

Thus the deities of the ancients, while they partook largely of their own traits, -were also a personification of the forces of nature. he workings of the natural world as though caused by personal agents, conforming of oourse to the oharactcr of the country and the people where the mythic inventions bad birth. The climate of India and southern Asia is mild and genial, the people are peaceful and passive, and their gods and their religion bear it stribiu~ resemblance to both the clima+~ and people.

The first part of the ceremony was to take a basket, containing the sacrifice knife, some corn, and perhaps also flowers, and to pass it, along with a vessel containing water, round the altx frum left to right. taking a handful of corn from the basket, scattered it on the head of the victim as it approached- The priest than, after sheming a lock of hair from the head of the animal, and distributing it among the bystanders to be thrown on the altir fire, commmdcd silence, prayed that the offering might be acceptAle to the god, and slew the victim, The blood, except in the case of the deities of the lower world, as has been observed, was mixed with wheat, wine, and incense, and placed on the fire.

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