by Anthony Ludovici
FIRE AND FOOD, PART 1.
I THINK that the reader will perhaps agree with me that the experiment tried in the last chapter has proved worth while. By approaching the myth of Prometheus with sufficient reverence to regard at least its main features as true, I believe we have arrived at very much more useful results than if we had adopted the time-honoured plan of doubting the whole story from the start, and then had proceeded to interpret its more pleasant and "innocent" incidents on the lines laid down by a false and utterly unfounded conception of the child mind, and the "poetic" pretensions of the nineteenth-century. At all events we may consider ourselves on safer ground in departing from nineteenth-century principles than in abiding by them – whatever our ultimate goal may be; because if ever there was an epoch which deserved to be thoroughly denounced, even at the risk of reviling, rejecting, and cursing our fathers and grandfathers, our uncles and great-uncles, it is surely the Nineteenth Century, the true Dark Age of History, the genuine ugly duckling among the centuries, the Alexandrian Age of Stupidity.
Not only did those most sacred institutions of man, Property, Leisure, and Power, become utterly discredited in the nineteenth century, owing to the abuse to which they were subjected by the wretches who held them, but Thought itself – the most fastidious among human gifts – actually stooped so low as to include a Tennyson, a Carlyle, and a John Stuart Mill among its aspirants to laurels, and to brand with the fraudulent signature of "progress" every kind of blackguardism and abuse which the mechanical minds of the worst and most successful Englishmen, Germans and Frenchmen were able to contrive.
This being so, it is almost a necessity, not to say an honour, to depart in every possible way from the methods, the beliefs and the practices of the nineteenth century, and if Euhemerism seemed ludicrous to our fathers and grandfathers, that is all the more reason why we should treat it seriously here.
The conclusions we have arrived at by our method are the following:–
1. That at some time or other in the dim past, the remote ancestors of the Greeks encountered a people so very much superior to themselves that they deified this strange race though they mingled with them.
2. That two factions – the ruling faction and the subject faction – among their ancestors, were led by two men, who though they may have borne different names from those that have come down to us by tradition, were probably related to each other very much as the myth describes.
3. That the man whom tradition calls Zeus was a wise and superior person, bearing a close resemblance to his superior forebears, and that the other, whom tradition calls Prometheus, was a depraved, foolish and ambitious man, with just that amount of gutter smartness which the nineteenth century regarded and crowned as superiority.
4. That Zeus wished to impose certain wise restrictions upon the common and ignorant people (the inferior of the two races) under his rule – particularly in regard to the use of fire – and that these restrictions probably appeared onerous to them.
5. That Prometheus, championing the cause of the inferior people, attempted by means of a ruse to circumvent the power of Zeus to impose the aforementioned restrictions, but failed.
6. That finally Prometheus gave the secret of producing fire to the inferior people, unconditionally, and that this gift far from proving a benefit, turned out to be a calamity, the appalling nature of which can still be read from the internal evidence of the myth itself.
It will now be my concern to discover what historical or anthropological confirmation can be found for the above contentions. Or, seeing that these conclusions themselves must be regarded as but clumsy gropings into the pitch darkness of prehistoric mankind, I shall be content if the records of neolithic and palæolithic man offer no insuperable objections to the interpretation of the Prometheus legend on these euhemeristic lines.
As our principal objective in this enquiry is to investigate the act of giving the secret of fire-production to a people who, owing to the lack of previous experience, must be supposed to have been ignorant of its legitimate use, and to determine in what respect the myth is correct in regarding this act as a most terrible calamity, we shall perforce have to concentrate upon the question of fire and its relation to the civilisation and daily life of human beings.
Now the first prejudice to be abandoned on the threshold of this enquiry is the foolish nineteenth-century belief that all discoveries, all new appliances and contrivances, which issue from the unscrupulous Promethean mind of the Chemist or the Engineer, necessarily constitute an improvement, a degree of "Progress," an advance in the assumed upward march of mankind.
The amazing fact is that, despite the obvious crudeness of this belief, and the total absence of any foundation for it, the majority not only held it,(1) but still hold it. It is one of the many nineteenth-century absurdities that have been transferred bodily to this century.
For, despite its appalling cruelties and all its inhuman exploitation of the economically inferior, the nineteenth century was a very Christian century. In many respects it was perhaps the most Christian century that has ever existed. The resolute optimism with which it accepted every innovation, every new complication of life, as a sign of progress, was therefore religious optimism – the most stubborn and ineradicable of its kind.
With the masses groaning under an exploitation more cruel than has ever been seen in the world before; with the oppressors of these masses growing every day more vulgar, more luxurious, more dishonest, more pleasure loving and more convinced that they were the chosen of God; with distrust increasing so rapidly on either side that, at the end of the century a war to the death was secretly declared by each side against its opponent; with ill-health, degeneration, insanity, and the multiplication of undesirables increasing by leaps and bounds (by "undesirables" are meant people who had been made undesirable by the system); with the character and the mind of the masses being deliberately deteriorated by besotting labours; – that typical Christian, Browning, was still able to lisp: "God's in His Heaven, all's right with the world." All's right with the world! When Browning and his class, a small minority in the land, were the only people who were "all right." If it were not possible to suspect our bard of the grossest latterday religiosity, we should be compelled to charge him with indifference more refined than any of which human beings have been capable before.(2)
A few voices, those of Ruskin and Matthew Arnold (and of Cobbett and Byron at the beginning of the century), were raised in protest against the deafening cheers of the nineteenth-century Christian optimists, over all the fast accumulating complexities of life; but they were of no avail. The ruling minority were "all right," consequently the Christian God must be supposed to be behind the forces of "progress."(3)
Now, is it possible that the Greeks were wiser than ourselves? Is it possible that they did not accept so unquestioningly the alleged benefits of their civilisation? Is it possible that with a deeper humanity even the happiest among them were unable to believe that their "Zeus" could possibly be behind a system that made the majority miserable; and preferred to regard him as actively hostile to the founder or founders of their culture? It is certainly possible, if not probable; but is the fact demonstrated? Can we believe that, as conditions became worse for them, as the result of a civilisation based upon the unlimited use of fire, they grew more and more convinced that their good god "Zeus" must be opposed to the arrangement? Far from believing that all was "right" with their world because their Zeus happened to be in "His Heaven" did they imagine him even as tolerating the creators and founders of their civilisation?(4)
Truth to tell the Greeks would most probably have been more staggered by the heartlessness of the modern age in supposing that its good god was on the side of its complex and pointless civilisation, than by any other aspect of life at the present day. They would have inspected our sweated industries, our coal-mines, our tube railway attendants, our stokers on large liners, our besotted factory hands, our steelworkers whose lives are seriously curtailed by their work, our drain inspectors – in fact, all those who really bear the brunt of modern "Progress," and when they heard that the orthodox belief was that a good god was behind it all, would have cried "Blasphemy!"(5)
Believing, as most fairly sane people do, that the god they love means well by them, the Greeks could not conceive of their Zeus being on the side of the creators of even their own civilisation and its miseries. On the contrary, they conceived him as being so actively hostile to both as to keep the chief originator of all their culture in eternal and most humiliating agony.
This is at least an interesting reminder that although in many respects we are the direct outcome of Greek errors, they, our predecessors in stupidity, were a little bit wiser than ourselves in one material respect.
Commenting on the consequences of Prometheus's gift of fire to men, Hesiod says:–
"For ere this the tribes of men lived on earth remote and free from ills and hard toil and heavy sickness, which brings the Fates upon men; for in misery men grow old quickly. ... Of themselves diseases came upon men continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently."(6)
Describing the last age, moreover, or the Iron Age of mankind, with which he happened to be fatally contemporaneous, Hesiod says:–
"For now in truth is the iron race, neither will they ever cease by day, nor at all by night, from toil and wretchedness, corrupt as they are."(7)
The reader will not be surprised to hear that these passages have from time to time caused some consternation in the minds of those moderns who take for granted the desirability of all innovations. It has even been suggested that the first passage, at least, must be an interpolation;(8) while Clericus, among others, has pointed to the inveterate human weakness of regarding past ages as superior to any present age, and has thus tried to account for Hesiod's gloom by charging him with romantic illusions about the times that had preceded him. Romanticism is, however, in any case, the very last charge that could justly be brought against our shepherd poet, and Völcker vigorously defends the passages in question against the suspicion of having been interpolated.(9)
But Völcker goes further, and in my opinion his analysis of Hesiod's pessimism is perhaps the most penetrating that has been attempted hitherto. He very reasonably calls attention to the fact that, in all cases where life's activities are extended or multiplied, there is a corresponding increase in life's needs, and that this condition in its turn leads to a softening and an enervation of man as man. Complexity supersedes simplicity, morals become corrupted, and ostentation and display, luxury and debauchery quickly follow.(10) Hence the odious comparison with a former and simpler age!
Now although I do not believe that this analysis goes quite deep enough, it is excellent. It does at least attempt to discover a little of the "forgotten" meaning in the Prometheus myth, and to explain the odium tradition appears to have heaped on a supposed benefactor to mankind.
C. 0. Müller is also helpful. He says:–
"Now anyone who perceived that all human industry depends on the possession of fire, but who was, at the same time, often faint and weary with the curse of labour, and who, moreover, dreamt, like all antiquity, of a lost paradise, a golden age of rest and peace, must have readily ascribed the gift of fire to the hero of skilful industry, and easily imagined, too, the indignation it excited in the gods who punished the restless and presumptuous strivings of man with the loss of pristine happiness, and even laid in bonds and fetters his daring intellect, which is ever apt to soar beyond its boundaries."(11)
In both Völcker and Müller, but particularly in the former, we are therefore led to suspect that all was not well with mankind after the stealing of fire; and that is why Völker deliberately compares the Greek myth of Prometheus with the Semitic story of the fall of man. In each case a golden age, a paradisiacal existence, preceded the anger of the gods; in both cases woman plays an important part in bringing the mischief upon man, and in both stories there appears to be a fear on the part of the gods that man may seize the secret of eternal life unless he is severely chastised.
In Genesis, after the stealing of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, we read: "And the Lord God said, Behold the man [Adam] is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat and live forever, therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden."(12)
While Hesiod says: "For the gods keep hidden from men the means of life."(13) Nietzsche(14) and Byron(15) are among the more famous of the poet thinkers who have also seen the similarity between the two myths.
I think, however, that I have drawn a more interesting parallel in comparing certain aspects of the Prometheus myth with the circumstances which, in the Old Testament, precede the flood, and since both the story of Adam and Eve and the account of the events immediately preceding the flood are, according to such eminent scholars as Schrader, Dillmann, Wellhausen and Schultz, to be regarded simply as alternative solutions of the same problem – the origin of evil,(16) I think, in selecting the account from Genesis vi. 1-4, I have seized upon a legend more historically possible than that of the Garden of Eden.
Be all this as it may, Völcker and Müller evidently appear to agree in this, that the stealing of fire, with all its consequences, was by no means an unmixed blessing to those for whom it was stolen. And, indeed, we have only to think a moment in order to realise how stupendous the innovation was.
With the means to produce fire, pottery became possible, the working of metals was made easy, more time was obtained for industries tending to complicate life, because less time was occupied for meals,(17) and finally the nomad life, which must to some extent have followed the seasons, could be changed for a life that only more stable, but actually stationary. As the rigours of winter, even close to the coldest zone, could now be faced and endured, life could be continued during the cold months in the same locality where the spring and summer had been enjoyed. The pastoral life, agriculture and industry followed as a matter of course, and in their train, commerce.
These are certainly changes sufficiently far-reaching to justify Völcker in assuming that innumerable ills must have attended those who originally attempted to adapt their lives to them, and to explain the powerful hostility to Prometheus that is still to be read from the internal evidence of the myth. Even illness and disease are not hard to trace to the changes arising from the abandonment of the nomadic in favour of the stationary mode of existence. A moment's reflection suffices to show how inevitably such consequences would come about. To take the most obvious first, it is clear that a nomadic people can leave a place, or a district, they have befouled. A stationary people, however, have to remain in the midst of their befoulment. While still new to the life, therefore, they must have suffered a good deal as the result of unhygienic surroundings, and bitter experience alone could have taught them the urgent need of even the most elementary sanitation. Again, as Völcker points out, agriculture and the pastoral life lead to a softening and a debilitation of the body (as compared with a life of hunting, for instance). But a change such as this is not effected without serious results. Mysterious ailments, particularly of the alimentary canal, must have begun to appear; women must have found that the stationary life modified the former ease and regularity of their functions (child-birth in particular) and violent deaths and probably manias and madnesses may have been the result.
Apart from the further, and I believe most important, consequences which I shall now proceed to consider, surely those I have just outlined must have proved sufficiently alarming to stamp themselves indelibly on the memories of those who suffered from them. It will be urged, perhaps, that none of these consequences could have been immediate, that they would have been a matter of gradual growth, passing in their development over innumerable generations, so that the ultimate sufferers would have consisted of people totally unacquainted with the conditions prevailing previous to the introduction of fire.
This objection is a very sound one. But those who wish to make it may be reminded of two considerations:–
1. That tradition would, in any case, account for the keeping of the memory of former times green in the minds of later generations.
2. That since primitive medicine and surgery (including, of course, midwifery) and primitive drugs, must also have been handed down by oral tradition, their sudden collapse in the presence of the novel and obscure complications and difficulties would surely in itself have sufficed to indicate a development in a bad direction, as compared with former times, though these might never have been known by the actual sufferers themselves.
But I must leave it to the reader to imagine the further obvious and manifold evil consequences that may strike him as having arisen from the unlimited use of fire. Unfortunately I cannot join him in these interesting speculations, for I must now confine myself only to those evil results of Prometheus's theft which constitute an essential step in the discussion of my main theme.
I can sympathise with any reader who, though he may not wish to advance the objection dealt with above, yet experiences some difficulty in admitting that the evil results already referred to should have been directly connected by the ancient Greeks with the discovery of fire production. I feel also that while these evil results might have been ascribed by the ancient Greek to the conditions of an elaborate civilisation, their immediate connection with fire is not so obvious as to be able to account for the very definite association of Prometheus's theft with a calamity which we find unmistakably revealed by the myth. And here, I think, Völcker's reasoning breaks down, as of course does also Müller's rather far-fetched image of an old Greek in the act of deliberately fancying the connection between civilisation and fire. It seems to me that in order to account for so positive an association between Prometheus's theft and a calamity compatible with such a tremendous outbreak of wrath on the part of Zeus, a closer connection must be found between fire and disaster than that which is traced through an intermediate phenomenon as complex and as multifarious as civilisation. For a complicated civilisation may be traced to knowledge, as in the case of the Garden of Eden myth, or to the desire for immortality, as in the myth of Osiris and his sister Isis; it does not necessarily occur to one immediately that it must be due to the unlimited use of fire.
I think, therefore, that in order to account for so emphatic a connection between fire and disaster more immediate results of the unlimited use of fire must be sought.(18)
I have said that Prometheus was nowhere worshipped in Greece; there was, however, a sort of altar(19) consecrated to him at Athens by the ancient guild of potters (Kerameis) as patron of their craft. It is said to have been located in the sanctuary of Athena and Hephæstus, between the Academy and the Colonus Hippius.(20)
Now this is a definite proof of the connection by the ancient Greeks of the three ideas – Prometheus, Fire, Pottery – and constitutes the most convincing evidence we have of a certain aspect of civilisation being traced directly by tradition to fire. It is interesting, moreover, from this point of view, that it forms the one connecting link I most require in order to take the next step, which is the association of fire and food; for it is this association which I claim to be the most important feature of the forgotten meaning of the myth.
I propose to substantiate this view by calling attention to the effects, some of them as tragic and disastrous as they are mysterious, which result from the cooking of food.
It is only quite recently, within the last decade, that certain facts have become known about food, in regard to which man's ignorance hitherto is as inexplicable as his escape from the full consequences of that ignorance has been miraculous. Looking back, as we can now, upon the thousands of years of error that have culminated in the present Age, we are, to our astonishment, compelled to acknowledge that it can have been only by the chance efficacy of rule-of-thumb wisdom, that the races of the northern temperate zone have been able to survive at all (if those who originally used fire illegitimately in northern regions actually did escape, which is very doubtful), and that before the rule-of-thumb wisdom established something approaching sanity in the kitchens of primeval man, the most appalling suffering and probably madness must have raged – not to mention the agonies of mystification in the presence of a curse which, owing to the standard of knowledge of the time, could not have been traced to food. It was therefore most probably only the juxtaposition in time of the unlimited use of fire and the terrible physical scourges and apparent "plagues" which followed upon it, that caused the ancient Greeks to associate the two. I do not mean to suggest here that because, in the light of recent research, their treatment of their food appears to have been the cause of the chief of the great disasters that followed on the unlimited use of fire, that the ancestors of the ancient Greeks were therefore aware of this. Disaster and the unlimited use of fire were simply connected distinctly as apparent cause and effect, because they followed upon each other closely in the order of time.
It is not generally known, even to-day, how much harm is done to food by exposing it to heat. As I shall show later on, apparent "plagues" have been caused even as recently as during the last great war, by the ignorance which prevails in regard to this question, and the very people who are likely to feel most sceptical about the suggested appalling consequences of such ignorance are themselves most probably half-witted, foul of breath, debilitated, and even disfigured, precisely owing to this very ignorance.
It must have occurred to many, however, that man is the only animal that eats most of his food in a cooked condition, and that, therefore, the procedure is by no means dictated by nature. It must also have been observed by some, that such articles of diet as oysters, apples, milk, lettuce, are so different to the palate when cooked, that they are scarcely recognisable. Is this alteration merely an illusion, and is the palate possibly mistaken in noticing so great a difference? Or have some essential properties, constituting the identity of these articles of diet, actually been changed or lost in the process of cooking? And if these articles of diet have not escaped unscathed from the fire, why should we suppose that others enjoy an exceptional immunity? Maybe that some very valuable properties of the food have been lost – properties without which life cannot be maintained at a healthy or even a happy standard – or cannot be maintained at all. Is this possible?
It is not merely possible, it is abundantly proved. It is now demonstrated beyond doubt that not only characteristics of mere identity, such as colour, shape and smell, are altered in the cooking process, but also that properties of the extremist value to the consuming animal – properties, too, that are strangely susceptible to heat – are partially or wholly destroyed by fire, so that unless by some accident (an accident which happens frequently enough to be regarded as a rule, where the diet is extremely varied, as in the case of the modern European) compensation is obtained through other articles of food, life either cannot continue, or else disease quickly sets in. And since the diseases of faulty diet are as obscure as they are terrible, they are usually the last to be traced to their proper cause. Even in the case of the modern European, however, who can frequently obtain compensating diet without knowing that he is doing so, the evil effects of an injudicious treatment of food give rise to all manner of vague disorders which greatly impair his enjoyment of life.
For some considerable time in modern Europe, doubts have been entertained and expressed about the advisability of cooking certain foods. The Holy Catholic Church, in its incomparable wisdom respecting all the material side of human life, was probably the first institution to point to the necessity of a partially raw food diet at specified moments in the year; and, with all the pomp and mystery of a religious rite, to encourage its adherents to adopt such a diet at certain stated periods. As late as the sixteenth century, for instance, the Italians are said to have observed the rules of their faith so strictly that, during the forty days of Lent, they went without any cooked food on three days in the week, and lived on fruit and vegetables.(21) The beneficial results of this periodical abstinence from cooked food were doubtless ascribed to the circumstance that religious obedience is providentially rewarded; but whatever may have been the suspected cause of the good effects in the minds of the ignorant faithful, the problem could certainly not have been obscure to those responsible for the discipline.
In later years, of course, with the decline of faith, and the advent of Protestantism, the Catholic Church, which is the storehouse of mediæval and ancient wisdom in all important matters connected with human life, began to exercise less sway, and therefore found itself constrained, even in the countries that were not lost to it, to relax the rigour of its control; while in Protestant countries, the reformers, not satisfied with renouncing the Pope, unfortunately for posterity were foolish enough to divorce themselves for all time from those very religious observances and exercises for which their new revolutionary programme offered them no adequate substitute. Indeed, the observance of fasts, and the practice of differentiating between certain foodstuffs, was regarded by the majority of the ignorant reformers as "pure superstition" and "idolatry."
Problems of human importance, however, are not to be set aside with impunity in this cavalier fashion. Hostile as you may be to the Catholic Church, this does not render you immune from the consequences of your own stupidity, and Catholic solutions of certain problems are either to be accepted, or fresh solutions supplied in their place. But no such obligation was ever recognised by the reformers and their followers. No such obligation has even been felt by any Protestant people until quite recently. And even now it is not humanity or brotherly piety that is directing the methods of the modern dietetic movement, but sheer panic in the face of all the appalling consequences of centuries of neglect.
Thus it will surprise no one to find that the science of dietetics is essentially the creation of Protestant countries and that England, Germany and America, while producing the worst cooks, both male and female, from Alfred the Great downwards, are the peoples who have contributed most towards this new department of knowledge. Run your eye down a list of the names of men prominently connected with dietetics, and you will find that the natives of Protestant countries far outnumber those of any other part of the world. This is not a curious coincidence, but just exactly what one would expect. When muddle, suffering and grave physical degeneration arise through neglect of the Art of Life, it is the scientist who is called upon to advise, and to advise quickly nowadays. In all States with a purely mechanical and Promethean civilisation, complicated by the absurdity of Protestantism and its monster offspring Puritanism, it is the poor, clumsy, heavy-footed scientist who has to take the place of the artist, of the man who knows. Unfortunately, however, the scientist's ways are so devious, so uncertain, and he takes such an amazingly long time to arrive at even approximately correct results, that humanity almost perishes on his doorstep before he rushes out from his laboratory, grizzled by age, with a phial in his hand containing the necessary restorative.
The science of dietetics, in spite of the urgency with which its results have been needed for scores of years in England, is a young science, a recent science. All its most important conclusions are scarcely a decade old!
(1) There can be no doubt that the majority of those who, like Byron, Shelley and the scholars, start examining the Prometheus myth with a prepossession in favour of the Titan, are influenced by this nineteenth-century assumption.
(2) Lovers of Browning may object that it is unfair to hold him responsible for an expression of opinion which he was careful to place in the mouth of a thoroughly irresponsible person. This objection would be valid if the general spirit of his writings did not lead one to believe that, on the whole, Browning would have been prepared heartily to endorse Pippa's optimism. Browning, however, was not so bad as Tennyson in this respect. See, for instance, the very foolish lines composing the 59th to the 62nd couplets of Locksley Hall. See also the conclusion of The Princess. In fact, Tennyson's works abound in optimistic sentiments about the nineteenth century and its "progress."
(3) It is always a matter of wonder to me that the nineteenth century was not sufficient to make the whole of the working-classes of this country atheists for all time. I suppose that the sixth and seventh verses of the twelfth chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews did good service in preventing this. Nevertheless, it is gratifying to see that more and more of the proletariat are growing indifferent to Christianity every day. An intelligent alternative would have been for the working-classes to disbelieve, as the Greeks did, that their god could have anything to do with their civilisation, or to believe that he was actively opposed to it. In this way they might reasonably have remained believers as the Greeks did, while abhorring their civilisation.
(4) In this respect it is interesting to note that there are windows in Westminster Abbey dedicated to the civil engineers, Stephenson, Locke, Brunel, and Trevithick. There is also a statue to James Watt, and the graves of Telford, the builder of the Menai Bridge, and of Robert Stephenson (the same as the above), the designer of the tubular bridge across the Menai Straits, are in the nave. There are also statues to Francis Horner! and Richard Cobden! Cromwell, thanks to the efforts of Charles II., is only honoured outside the Abbey. St. Paul's holds the remains of two engineers, John Rennie, the designer of Waterloo Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and Plymouth Breakwater, and Robert Mylne, designer of Black friars Bridge, the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, etc. These men were characteristic of the type responsible for our modern civilisation, and the fact that they receive due honour in the two leading temples of the Christian god in England, shows, I think, at least that the Established Church and the governing classes of England are, or were, satisfied that their god approved of modern civilisation.
(5) For an illuminating but exceedingly depressing account of the ill-health brought about by modern employments alone, not to mention modern conditions, reference should be made to Dr. Thomas Oliver's Diseases of Occupation (Methuen and Co., 1908). Thus we read (p.37) that in the latter part of the nineteenth century there were 105 cases of phosphorus necrosis of the jaw caused in match factories by the handling of industrial phosphorus, 20 percent of which ended fatally. And this industry is by no means an important one. In 1907 the match industry employed only 4,000 people. I imagine that even these figures for phosphorus necrosis in England must be slightly underestimated, or else the period which they cover must be very small, as we find (p.39) that between the years 1866 and 1875, 126 cases of phosphorus necrosis occurred in Vienna. Again, in the French match works near Paris, in 1894, 32 cases of phosphorus poisoning were reported; in 1895, 125; in 1896, 223, or one-third of the effective force of the factory. In 1896 the French State paid out 400,000 francs in compensation for this evil. In the bridge-building branch of engineering the death-rate is heavy from "compressed air illness." At the St. Louis Bridge, on the Mississippi, 600 men were employed in sinking the foundations; 119 suffered from caisson disease, 14 of whom died. At the Brooklyn Bridge, 110 cases were reported, 3 of which died (p.94). Chemical workers appear to withstand the bad conditions of their work until thirty-five years of age, but after this the death-rate rises so much that by the time they have reached the age of forty-five to fifty-five the deathrate is double that of men who follow an outdoor occupation (pp. 123-124). During the ten years ending 1899, 263 workpeople were killed in explosive factories alone, and 1,064 injured (p.132). During the year 1906, 632 cases of lead-poisoning occurred in various works connected with the working of lead (p.149). In 1902 the figure was 629. The death-rate among diamond-cutters through lead-poisoning is also very heavy. Still-births and abortion are very high among women who work in lead. The statistics on p.232 about the steel-workers are appalling. See also figures given for deaths due to occupations involving the breathing of dust (p.247). The deaths from phthisis among pottery-workers and cutlers are three times those occurring from the same cause among agriculturalists. The file-makers' death-rate from phthisis is almost four times that of the agriculturalist from the same cause. The death-rate among miners from all causes, including phthisis, is, of course, exceedingly high – from accident alone in 1907 it was 1,216. The deaths among workers with rock drills are much higher, particularly among the gold-miners in Africa. They scarcely last five years (see pp.284, 285). It is impossible to enter into all the particulars of death and disease due to modern occupations; I can but recommend the reader to study Dr. Oliver's able treatise on the subject.
(6) Works and Days, 90-93, 102-104.
(7) Ibid., 177-178.
(8) Goettling thinks that the second passage is also an interpolation.
(9) Op. cit., pp.11-14.
(10) Op. cit., p.23. "Mit der fortgeschrittenen Ausbildung des Lebens aber, mit Erweiterung der Lebensbedürfnisse kommt Ver weichlichung und Erschlaffung, Mannigfaltighit für die Einfach heit, Verderbniss der Sitten, Aufwand und Pracht, Uppigkeit und Ausschweifung."
(11) Op. cit., p.62. It is interesting to see how Miffler, towards the end of the passage quoted, cannot help implying that it is the gods' jealousy of man's intellect that brings down the curse on mankind, and not the hero of civilisation himself by his innovations. This shows how even an enlightened scholar, hot as he is upon the scent, is blinded by the nineteenth-century prepossession in favour of modern civilisation.
(12) Gen. iii. 22 and 23.
(13) Works and Days, 44 et seq.
(14) See The Birth of Tragedy, pp.77-78: "Indeed, it is not impossible that this myth [Prometheus] has the same significance for the Aryan race that the myth of the fall of man has for the Semitic, and that there is a relationship between the two like that of brother and sister."
(15) Don Juan, Canto I., cxxvii.
(16) Dr. Skinner is of opinion that there is little plausibility in the view that the story of Adam and Eve and the account of the events immediately preceding the flood are solutions of the same problem. He is, however, careful to add: "It would be equally rash to affirm that it [the story in Gen. vi. 1-41] presupposes such an account [the story of Adam and Eve]" (op. cit., p.141).
(17) Owing, of course, to the fact that complete mastication is more easily shirked when food is cooked.
(18) It would appear as if the negroes had also suffered some terrible disaster in connection with their early use of fire; for, according to a negro tradition, their beatific state was ended by Til (God) sending them fire in his anger for some crime they had committed. The fire destroyed all except one named Musikdegen. See Rev. S. Baring-Gould, Legends of the Old Testament Characters, p.36.
(19) C. 0. Miller seems to doubt that it really was an altar, op. cit., p.60.
(20) See F. G. Welcker, Die Aeschylische Trilogie, "Prometheus," pp.120-121.
(21) Dr. med., H. Moeser (Frankfurter Zeitgernässe Brosehüren), Bd. xxvi., 1907, Das Kirchliche Fasten und Abstinenzgebot in gesundheitlicher Beleuchtung, p.164.