going out, locked the door behind him as Budge saw him

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[93] Baring-Gould, Book of Werewolves, p. 133.

going out, locked the door behind him as Budge saw him

We have seen that the original werewolf, howling in the wintry blast, is a kind of psychopomp, or leader of departed souls; he is the wild ancestor of the death-dog, whose voice under the window of a sick-chamber is even now a sound of ill-omen. The swan-maiden has also been supposed to summon the dying to her home in the Phaiakian land. The Valkyries, with their shirts of swan-plumage, who hovered over Scandinavian battle-fields to receive the souls of falling heroes, were identical with the Hindu Apsaras; and the Houris of the Mussulman belong to the same family. Even for the angels,--women with large wings, who are seen in popular pictures bearing mortals on high towards heaven,--we can hardly claim a different kinship. Melusina, when she leaves the castle of Lusignan, becomes a Banshee; and it has been a common superstition among sailors, that the appearance of a mermaid, with her comb and looking-glass, foretokens shipwreck, with the loss of all on board.

going out, locked the door behind him as Budge saw him

WHEN Maitland blasphemously asserted that God was but "a Bogie of the nursery," he unwittingly made a remark as suggestive in point of philology as it was crude and repulsive in its atheism. When examined with the lenses of linguistic science, the "Bogie" or "Bug-a-boo" or "Bugbear" of nursery lore turns out to be identical, not only with the fairy "Puck," whom Shakespeare has immortalized, but also with the Slavonic "Bog" and the "Baga" of the Cuneiform Inscriptions, both of which are names for the Supreme Being. If we proceed further, and inquire after the ancestral form of these epithets,--so strangely incongruous in their significations,--we shall find it in the Old Aryan "Bhaga," which reappears unchanged in the Sanskrit of the Vedas, and has left a memento of itself in the surname of the Phrygian Zeus "Bagaios." It seems originally to have denoted either the unclouded sun or the sky of noonday illumined by the solar rays. In Sayana's commentary on the Rig-Veda, Bhaga is enumerated among the seven (or eight) sons of Aditi, the boundless Orient; and he is elsewhere described as the lord of life, the giver of bread, and the bringer of happiness.[94]

going out, locked the door behind him as Budge saw him

[94] Muir's Sanskrit Texts, Vol. IV. p. 12; Muller, Rig-Veda Sanhita, Vol. I. pp. 230-251; Fick, Woerterbuch der Indogermanischen Grundsprache, p. 124, s v. Bhaga.

Thus the same name which, to the Vedic poet, to the Persian of the time of Xerxes, and to the modern Russian, suggests the supreme majesty of deity, is in English associated with an ugly and ludicrous fiend, closely akin to that grotesque Northern Devil of whom Southey was unable to think without laughing. Such is the irony of fate toward a deposed deity. The German name for idol--Abgott, that is, "ex-god," or "dethroned god"--sums up in a single etymology the history of the havoc wrought by monotheism among the ancient symbols of deity. In the hospitable Pantheon of the Greeks and Romans a niche was always in readiness for every new divinity who could produce respectable credentials; but the triumph of monotheism converted the stately mansion into a Pandemonium peopled with fiends. To the monotheist an "ex-god" was simply a devilish deceiver of mankind whom the true God had succeeded in vanquishing; and thus the word demon, which to the ancient meant a divine or semi-divine being, came to be applied to fiends exclusively. Thus the Teutonic races, who preserved the name of their highest divinity, Odin,--originally, Guodan,--by which to designate the God of the Christian,[95] were unable to regard the Bog of ancient tradition as anything but an "ex-god," or vanquished demon.

[95] In the North American Review, October, 1869, p. 354, I have collected a number of facts which seem to me to prove beyond question that the name God is derived from Guodan, the original form of Odin, the supreme deity of our Pagan forefathers. The case is exactly parallel to that of the French Dieu, which is descended from the Deus of the pagan Roman.

The most striking illustration of this process is to be found in the word devil itself: To a reader unfamiliar with the endless tricks which language delights in playing, it may seem shocking to be told that the Gypsies use the word devil as the name of God.[96] This, however, is not because these people have made the archfiend an object of worship, but because the Gypsy language, descending directly from the Sanskrit, has retained in its primitive exalted sense a word which the English language has received only in its debased and perverted sense. The Teutonic words devil, teufel, diuval, djofull, djevful, may all be traced back to the Zend dev,[97] a name in which is implicitly contained the record of the oldest monotheistic revolution known to history. The influence of the so-called Zoroastrian reform upon the long-subsequent development of Christianity will receive further notice in the course of this paper; for the present it is enough to know that it furnished for all Christendom the name by which it designates the author of evil. To the Parsee follower of Zarathustra the name of the Devil has very nearly the same signification as to the Christian; yet, as Grimm has shown, it is nothing else than a corruption of deva, the Sanskrit name for God. When Zarathustra overthrew the primeval Aryan nature-worship in Bactria, this name met the same evil fate which in early Christian times overtook the word demon, and from a symbol of reverence became henceforth a symbol of detestation.[98] But throughout the rest of the Aryan world it achieved a nobler career, producing the Greek theos, the Lithuanian diewas, the Latin deus, and hence the modern French Dieu, all meaning God.

[96] See Pott, Die Zigeuner, II. 311; Kuhn, Beitrage, I. 147. Yet in the worship of dewel by the Gypsies is to be found the element of diabolism invariably present in barbaric worship. "Dewel, the great god in heaven (dewa, deus), is rather feared than loved by these weather-beaten outcasts, for he harms them on their wanderings with his thunder and lightning, his snow and rain, and his stars interfere with their dark doings. Therefore they curse him foully when misfortune falls on them; and when a child dies, they say that Dewel has eaten it." Tylor, Primitive Culture, Vol. II. p. 248.

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