The Ancient Library

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in RITUAL 37

accomplished" is exactly on a par with the statement " It is thundering," made not in words but in the action of the rattling of Salmoneus' cauldrons. The magic spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead are cast in this narrative form. The deceased, for example, is addressed with the statement, " Thou hast carried thy hands into the house of eternity, thou art made perfect in gold, thou dost shine brightly in sun metal, and thy fingers shine in the dwelling of Osiris, in the sanctuary of Horus himself." The object of the statement is that these good things shall happen to the dead man.1 All the world over the burial service has the efficacy of assertion, and among the Greeks and Romans those who were falsely reported dead had to undergo a ceremonial rebirth before they could mix in ordinary life. The statement that they were dead made them dead.2 Again, in working magic or

1 Budge, Egyptian Magic, p. 188. See Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums, i. 2, p. 224. In Chaldean magic the conjurations "begin by enumerating the various kinds of demons whom they are to subdue by their power, and then describe the effects of the charm. The desire to see them repulsed or to be delivered from them follows, and this is often expressed in the affirmative form," Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, p. 15 ; cf. ib. p. 19.

" Plutarch, Roman Questions, 5. Malays recite the burial service over the image of an enemy, Skeat, Malay Magic, p. 572. In Morocco the scribes read the funeral service over seven little stones, a knife, or a coin, in the name of the intended victim, Westermarck in Anthropological

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