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plantations. In the Southern States of the Union, however, they continue to be regular features of organized religious life. For a camp meeting or an evangelistic service in a Negro church, what could be more effective than "A Little Talk wid Jesus makes it right":


Oh a little talk wid Jesus makes it right, all right;
A little talk wid Jesus makes it right;

Lord, troubles of every kind

Thank God, I'll always find

Dat a little talk wid Jesus makes it right.

My brudder, I remember,

When I was a sinner lost,
I cried, "Have mercy, Jesus,"
But still my soul was toss'd;
Till I heard King Jesus say,
"Come here, I am de way.'

An' a little talk wid Jesus makes it right.

Sometimes the forked lightnin' and mutterin' thunder too,
Of trials and temptations make it hard for me and you.
But Jesus is our frien',

He'll help us to de en',

An' a little talk wid Jesus makes it right.

O my Lord, shall I be the one ?

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my Lord shall I be the one?

my Lord shall I be the one,
Makin' for the promise' lan'?

Yes, 'tis that good ole ship of Zion, of Zion,
Yes, 'tis that good ole ship of Zion, of Zion,
Yes, 'tis that good ole ship of Zion, of Zion,
Makin' for the promise' lan'.

O the ship is heavy loaded, loaded, loaded,
Makin' for the promise' lan'

It's loaded with many a thousand, thousand, thousand,
Makin' for the promise' lan'.

Though slavery has been dead for two generations, the Spirituals are still popular. Preachers of all denominations take advantage of the peculiar power to sway the feelings of Negro congregations into the desired and accustomed channels. In this way the Spirituals are associated with great religious crises in the lives of people, and in consequence they are not likely soon to be forgotten.

The characteristic of Negro music, whether in Africa or in America, is rhythm. This clearly differentiates it from European music, which is based on melody. The reason is to be sought in history; for in all African music the rhythms are based on the swinging of the head and the swaying of the body, or on the patting of the hands or feet and the throb of the drums. For the most part secular African music, dances, reels, etc., derive from the beat of the feet and the drums, while the Spirituals are connected with the swaying of the body. This is because humour, hilarity, joie de vivre express themselves in the clapping of hands or the beating of feet, while religious ecstasy manifests itself in swaying heads and bodies. Spirituals, therefore, cannot be properly sung sitting, and rarely by white singers, especially women. They were created for group-work, not for individual use; for an emotional, not a reserved people; for those who will abandon themselves to the ecstasy of feeling or of song.

Generally, folk-songs are sung in unison; Negro folk-songs and Spirituals, on the contrary, are sung in harmony. This is characteristic of Negroes. They harmonize instinctively; and their fame as singers is due less to the quality of their voices than to the fact that they are never discordant. Take almost any four Negroes at random and give one the air of a song, the chances are that the others will at once find their parts.

When it is remembered that the Negro was using an alien tongue, which he never completely mastered, but used in "pidgin" fashion, the marvel of the Spirituals is increased. Bible phrases were freely used; Biblical scenes were worked up in vivid and dramatic style; the religious experiences of a primitive and slave people provided the background; and these were wedded to the airs of the African camp-fire and forest; and from all this came one of the greatest gifts of the black race to the human familythe Negro Spirituals.



The Infancy of Medicine: An Enquiry into the Influence of Folk Lore upon the Evolution of Scientific Medicine. By DAN MACKENZIE, M.D.

Macmillan. 1927.

MEDICINE and magic constitute the oldest partnership in

the world, and the partnership has by no means been dissolved even yet. But it is to the credit of modern medicine that it is now engaged in a serious and strenuous effort to set up in business for itself and to accept nothing as true which it cannot prove by the accepted methods of science.

The time, therefore, is favourable for a study of that infancy of medicine when the young child was nourished literally by witches. To know the past, in this particular case, is to understand the present better, and maybe perhaps to acquire additional strength for the task of hastening the coming of the future. For this reason, if for no other, Dr. Dan Mackenzie is to be congratulated on the enquiry which he has completed into the influence of folk-lore upon the evolution of medicine, for which he has chosen the happy title of "The Infancy of Medicine." He writes with detachment and is wholly impartial in his judgments; yet the broad fact emerges that medicine, in so far as it is based on reason, owes far less to its unsavoury foster-mothers than most people seem to believe. Scientific medicine is not really the evolutionary product of an earlier folk-lore, but the expression of a reaction against folk-lore and faith by that "honest doubt" on which every success which it has obtained is founded.

Folk-lore, it is true, has always been a pretender to honest doubt. There was never yet a story of miraculous happening which was not prefaced with a tale of doubts overcome and questionings set at rest. But this kind of doubt is merely the qualm of him who wishes to believe. Scientific doubt, on the contrary, is unbelief itself. Faith is the traditional virtue of folklore; by unfaith, science has moved mountains.

The distinction is of more than ordinary importance at the present day when masses of mankind are looking for what they are pleased to call "proofs " of faiths already held by them. These people seem to imagine that in seeking proof they are

bending the knee to science; in fact, they are merely throwing science a sop. So far as the scientific man is concerned," that is true which works." Nothing else is true.

Modern medicine, therefore, finds itself, at this moment, in a position of immense difficulty. For medicine deals with men as well as with natural phenomena. And men, especially sick men, do not cease to ask for miracles. While the doctor's mind is bent on dispassionate study he is urged and expected to make use of the symbols of a dead faith, and even to pretend to believe in them.

An excellent illustration of this conflict between science and the sick-bed is the struggle now going on to place the study of insanity on a new footing. The scientific mind regards insanity as a disease of the brain or nervous system, basing this view on a series of well-established facts, each of which lies beyond the realm of dispute. One need mention only the fact that general paralysis of the insane is syphilis of the brain. Against this austere and thrifty attitude there is ranged a whole world of prejudice and of primitive belief, a world by no means so far removed from the regions of folk-lore as its worthy inhabitants imagine. Dr. Mackenzie points out that :—

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Scourging was frequently employed in the treatment of lunacy in the Middle Ages. In Saxon Leechdoms we read: "In case a man be a lunatic, take skin of a mere swine, or porpoise, work it into a whip and swinge the man therewith; soon he will be well. Amen." Lady Wylde relates the same " cure of an insane person in Ireland by a witch-doctor. The demented person was held down and beaten with a blackthorn until he was half stupified. Then the doctor, having thus expelled the demon from the man, proceeded to beat everything about him in order to finish his job properly by driving the demon out of the house.

The idea that insanity is demoniac possession may have passed away, but much of the present-day attitude to, and treatment of, insanity is clearly the outcome of that belief. Nothing can be accomplished, because the evil lies beyond the help of mere humanity. So the doctor "certifies" that the light of reason has been extinguished and the patient is removed to custody.

Another modern battlefield is the treatment of disease by vaccines. In this instance, folk-lore appears actually to have entered the laboratory in some cases, and to have seduced science herself. The truth about vaccines, so far as it is known to the dispassionate, is that as curative agents they have proved a disappointment. Vaccination against smallpox, and against the

typhoid group of fevers, has stood the test of time and of experience; vaccination, as a means of healing diseases already established, has not as a rule stood these tests. Yet there are not lacking impassioned advocates of "vaccine treatment." And many of these advocates are engaged, even now, in collecting "proofs " of the faith which is in them. Was not this or that or the other case "cured " by a vaccine?

This attitude of mind, the very antithesis of the scientific attitude, lies behind much of the present-day talk about the poisoning of the body by the body's own excrements or waste products and the advantage of using these waste-products as vaccines.

Our ancestors, it seems, shared this idea. There is evidence, according to Dr. Mackenzie, that unclean things aroused attention, and so were looked on as virtue-bringing, in direct proportion to their nastiness; and he cites the case of the famous seventeenth century remedy known as Album Græcum, and of the remedy of Paracelsus, which he called Tebethum Occidentale.

Ancient medicine (says Dr. Mackenzie) set great store by these remedies. One of the stock drugs of the ancient Hindoos was decomposing urine, and the Ebers papyrus contains many prescriptions in which antelope's dung, crocodile dung and so on are included. Generally speaking, modern "folk-lore science" may be distinguished, even by the uninitiated, from real science by the fact that its methods are based on a knowledge of human nature rather than on a knowledge of the human organism. The same basis served for ancient folk-lore medicine.

Every physician, as Dr. Mackenzie points out, is aware, for example, that the laity attach great importance to certain critical days and years. Pneumonia in this way becomes "critical "in the original meaning of the term-by preference on the seventh or ninth day of disease; seldom or never on the eighth. Again, children born at the seventh month are still supposed to stand a better chance of surviving than those born at the eighth, an erroneous product of numerical magic which was the orthodox medical doctrine for thousands of years. The great doctrine of the "climacteric " furnishes yet another example of that faith in numbers which is a part of human nature but not of science, and which, because it "smells scientific " as a Scottish professor said recently, still finds apostles among the more imaginative of the modern soi-distant medical scientists.

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