The Ancient Library

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reciting mantras the agent will state that he is some great spiritual power. It is not merely that you deceive the spirits into sub­mission ; by asserting or pretending that you are Solomon you identify yourself with him and wield his powers. That is why the name of power plays so important a role in magic.

It is, then, to the feeling which lies behind Euphemism, that by saying that something is you can persuade yourself that it really is, that must be traced the ultimate psychological motive for the popularity of mimesis in ritual. The dramatic imitation of the effect desired is nothing more nor less than its assertion by gesture, and of verbal assertion in spell and charm sufficient instances have been given to make clear their nature and efficacy. I may perhaps be allowed to conclude the chapter with the quotation of the pathetic opening of Grimm's story of Das Biirle. To understand it aright gives one the mental attitude with which to appreciate the ultimate appeal of mimetic ritual. " Es war ein Dorf, darin sassen lauter reiche Bauern und nur ein armer, den nannten sie das Biirle. Er hatte nicht einmal eine Kuh und noch weniger Geld eine zu

Essays, p. 364. Canon law denounced those priests who should celebrate masses for the dead in the name of the living, Gratian, Decretalia, p. n, Causa, xxvi., quoted Dalyell, op. cit. p. 175.

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