Such authority must be superhuman, otherwise it can have no claim on our respect; it must, therefore, be divine.
In 1877 appeared the second series of La Legende des siecles; and in the same year the author of that colossal work, treating no less of superhuman than of human things, gave us the loveliest and most various book of song on the loveliest and simplest of subjects ever given to man, L' Art d'être grandpere.
Though naturally passionate, Matthias's self-control was almost superhuman, and throughout his stormy life, with his innumerable experiences of ingratitude and treachery, he never was guilty of a single cruel or vindictive action.
In connexion with this attribution of superhuman powers, we may mention also the widespread belief that certain persons had the faculty of " changing shape," and especially of assuming the forms of animals.
However this may be, remnants of their primitive superhuman qualities cling to the Celtic heroes long after they have been transfigured, under the influence of Christianity and chivalry, into the heroes of the medieval Arthurian romance, types - for the most part - of the knightly virtues as these were conceived by the middle ages; while shadowy memories of early myths live on, strangely disguised, in certain of the episodes repeated uncritically by the medieval poets.