And this theory does not leave the analogous savage myths of fire-stealing unexplained and out in the cold, as does the philological hypothesis. In this last instance, as in others, the origin of a world-wide myth is found, not in a 'disease of language, but in a form of thought still natural.
Will any philologist aver that in Cahroc, Thlinkeet. Australian, Andaman, and so forth, the word for 'rub' resembled the word for 'rob, and so produced by 'a disease of language' the myth of the Fire-stealer? Origin of the Myth of Fire-stealing The myth arose from the nature of savage ideas, not from unconscious puns.
But this fact could not occur to comparative mythologists who did not compare, probably did not even know, similar myths wherever found. Savage Myths of Fire-stealing Again, in Australia fire was the possession of two women alone. A man induced them to turn their backs, and stole fire. A very curious version of the myth occurs in an excellent book by Mrs.
In savage myths animals, not men, play the leading roles, and the fire-stealing bird or beast is found among many widely scattered races. The raven hero of the Thlinkeets, Yehl, stole fire. Among the Cahrocs two old women possessed it, and it was stolen by the coyote. Are these theftuous birds and beasts to be explained as Fire-gods? Probably not.
The myth of fire-stealing must necessarily have some other origin. 'Fire Totems' Mr. Alas! I never heard of fire totems before. Probably some one has been writing about them, somewhere, unless we owe them to Mr. Max Muller's own researches. Of course, he cites no authority for his fire totems.
Now, that he stole fire is of the essence of his myth; and this myth of the original procuring of fire by theft occurs all over the world. As Australian and American savages cannot conceivably have derived the myth of fire-stealing from the root manth and its double sense of stealing and rubbing, there must be some other explanation.
He had brought her up during all the twenty years of her life in this solitude among the mountains, choosing her reading, providing her companionship, training her with the one end in view of carrying out his immense and fire-stealing purpose.