CHAPTER V.
OBJECTIVE DIFFICULTIES.

ALONG with much that has of late years been done towards changing primitive history into myth, and along with much that has been done toward changing once-unquestioned estimates of persons living in past ages, much has been said about the untrustworthiness of historical evidence. Hence there will be ready acceptance of the statement that one of the impediments to sociological generalization, is the uncertainty of our data. We find this uncertainty not alone in early stories, such as those about the Amazons, their practices, the particular battles with them, &c.; which are recorded and sculptured as circumstantially as they might be were the persons and events historic.We find it even in accounts of a well-known people like the New-Zealanders, who "by some . . . are said to be intelligent, cruel, and brave; by others weak, kindly, and cowardly." 1 And on remembering that between these extremes we have to deal with an enormous accumulation of conflicting statements, we cannot but feel that the task of selecting valid evidence is in this case a more arduous one than in any other case.Passing over remote illustrations, let us take an immediate one.

Last year advertisements announced the "Two-headed Nightingale," and the walls of London were placarded with a figure in which one pair of shoulders were shown to bear two heads looking the same way (I do not refer to the later placards, which partially differed from the earlier). To some, this descriptive name and answering diagram seemed sufficiently exact; for in my hearing a lady, who had been to see this compound being, referred to the placards and handbills as giving a good representation.If we suppose this lady to

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