The Ancient Library

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would find his brother lying almost dead, on account of the mere proximity of this potent talisman, and was given directions how to cure him.1 It is dangerous to approach supreme holiness. Eurypylos, son of Euaimon, who opened the chest and looked on the image of Dionysos, went out of his mind.2 The glance of persons highly charged with mana is often fatal to the weaker vessels on whom it lights,3 and the belief lingers on in the common superstition of the folk that priests especially have the evil eye. The fatal character of this contact with great power is due, as I have tried to show in the paper already mentioned,4 to the disproportionate degree of mana possessed by the two personalities brought together. " Medicine " of any kind can only be handled with safety by those who are in themselves sufficiently powerful, or who have obtained sufficient power by the performance of some ritual action. Much of the ritual of sacrifice is

1 Mooney, Myths of the Cherokce, No. 52, pp. 300-301. The Koita of Papua have certain charm stones which are "so highly charged with magical power that it is not considered safe for them to be touched with the hand, even by the man who is about to bring their power into play," Seligmann, The Melanesians of British New Guinea, p. 175.

2 Pausanias vii. 19. "j.

3 See the examples of the Samoan high-priest or Rabbi Juda quoted by Mr. Hartland, Legend of Perseus, iii. p. 144.

4 Folklore, xxi. p. 150.

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