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Hebrew antiquities or by the strongest desire to construct their system without the assistance of religious records. Even now there is perhaps a disposition to undervalue these accounts, or rather to decline generalizing from them, as forming part of the traditions of a Semitic people. It is to be noted, however, that the legal testimony comes nearly exclusively from the institutions of societies belonging to the Indo-European stock, the Romans, Hindoos, and Sclavonians supplying the greater part of it; and indeed the difficulty, at the present stage of the inquiry, is to know where to stop,- to say of what races of men it is not allowable to lay down that the society in which they are united was originally organized on the patriarchal model. The chief lineaments of such a society, as collected from the early chapters in Genesis, I need not attempt to depict with any minuteness, both because they are familiar to most of us from our earliest childhood, and because, from the interest once attaching to the controversy which takes its name from the debate between Locke and Filmer, they fill a whole chapter — though not a very profitable one-in English literature. The points which lie on the surface of the history are these :— The eldest male parent - the eldest ascendant — is absolutely supreme in his household ; his dominion extends to life and death, and is as unqualified over his children and their houses as over his slaves, — indeed, the relations of sonship and serfdom appear to differ in little beyond the higher capacity which the child in blood possesses of becoming one day the head of a family himself. The flocks and herds of the children are the flocks and herds of the father; and the possessions of the parent, which he holds in a representative rather than in a proprietary character, are equally divided at his death among his descendants in the first degree, the eldest son sometimes receiving a double share under the name of birthright, but more generally endowed with no hereditary advantage beyond an honorary precedence. A less obvious inference from the Scriptural accounts is that they seem to plant us on the traces of the breach which is first effected in the empire of the parent. The families of Jacob and Esau separate and form two nations, but the families of Jacob's children hold together and become a people; this looks like the immature germ of a state or commonwealth, and of an order of rights superior to the claims of family relation.

“If I were attempting for the more special purposes of the jurist to express compendiously the characteristics of the situation in which mankind disclose themselves at the dawn of their history, I should be satisfied to quote a few verses from the Odyssey' of Homer :

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* Book ix. 112-115.

« «Τοίσιν δ' ούτ’ αγοραι βουληφόροι ούτε θέμιστες

θεμιστείει δε έκαστος παίδων ήδ' αλόχων, ουδ' αλλήλων αλέγουσιν. "They have neither assemblies for consultation nor themistes, but every one exercises jurisdiction over his wives and his children, and they pay no regard to one another.""*

And this description of the beginnings of history is confirmed by what may be called the last lesson of prehistoric ethnology. Perhaps it is the most valuable — as it is clearly the most sure — result of that science that it has dispelled the dreams of other days as to a primitive high civilization. History catches man as he emerges from the patriarchal state; ethnology shows how he lived, grew, and improved in that state. The conclusive arguments against the imagined original civilization are indeed plain to every one: nothing is more intelligible than a moral deterioration of mankind, nothing than an ästhetic degradation, nothing than a political degradation; but you cannot imagine mankind giving up the plain utensils of personal comfort if they once knew them, still less can you imagine them giving up good weapons say bows and arrows. if they once knew them. Yet if there were a primitive civilization, these things must have been forgotten; for tribes can be found in every degree of ignorance and every grade of knowledge as to pottery, as to the metals, as to the means of comfort, as to the instruments of war. And what is more, these savages have not failed from stupidity : they are, in various degrees of originality, inventive about these matters. You cannot trace the roots of an old perfect system variously maimed and variously dying, you cannot find it as you find the trace of the Latin language in the mediæval dialects; on the contrary, you find it beginning as new scientific discoveries and inventions now begin, - here a little and there a little, the same thing half done in various half-ways, and so as no one who knew the best way

*" Ancient Law," Chap. v.

would ever have begun. An idea used to prevail that bows and arrows were the “primitive weapons,” – the weapons of universal savages; but modern science has made a table,* and some savages have them and some have not, and some have substitutes of one sort and some have substitutes of another, -several of these substitutes being like the boomerang, so much more difficult to hit on or to use than the bow, as well as so much less effectual. And not only may the miscellaneous races of the world be justly described as being upon various edges of industrial civilization, approaching it by various sides and falling short of it in various particulars, but the moment they see the real thing they know how to use it as well [as] or better than civilized man. The South American uses the horse which the European brought better than the European. Many races use the rifle the especial and very complicated weapon of civilized man better upon an average than he can use it. The savage with simple tools — tools he appreciates is like a child, quick to learn; not like an old man, who has once forgotten and who cannot acquire again. Again, if there had been an excellent aboriginal civilization in Australia and America, where, botanists and zoologists ask, are its vestiges ? If these savages did care to cultivate wheat, where is the wild wheat gone which their abandoned culture must have left ? if they did give up using good domestic animals, what has become of the wild ones which would according to all natural laws have sprung up out of them ? This much is certain, that the domestic animals of Europe have, since what may be called the discovery of the world during the last hundred years, run up and down it. The English rat, not the pleasantest of our domestic creatures, has gone everywhere, -to Australia, to New Zealand, to America; nothing but a complicated rat miracle could ever root him out. Nor could a common force expel the horse from South America since the Spaniards took him thither: if we did not know the contrary, we should suppose him a principal aboriginal animal. Where then, so to say, are the rats and horses of the primitive civilization ? Not only can we not find them, but zoölogical science tells us that they never existed; for the “feebly pronounced,” the ineffectual marsupials of Australia and New Zealand could never have survived a competition with better creatures such as that by which they are now perishing.

* See the very careful table and admirable discussion in Sir John Lubbock's “Pre-Historic Times." — B.

We catch then a first glimpse of patriarchal man, not with any industrial relics of a primitive civilization, but with some gradually learnt knowledge of the simpler arts, with some tamed animals and some little knowledge of the course of nature as far as it tells upon the seasons and affects the condition of simple tribes. This is what, according to ethnology, we should expect the first historic man to be, and this is what we in fact find him; but what was his mind, - how are we to describe that?

I believe the general description in which Sir John Lubbock sums up his estimate of the savage mind suits the patriarchal mind : “Savages,” he says, “have the character of children with the passions and strength of men." * And if we open the first record of the pagan world, the poems of Homer, how much do we find that suits this description better than any other! Civilization has indeed already gone forward ages beyond the time at which any such description is complete ; man in Homer is as good at oratory, Mr. Gladstone seems to say, as he has ever been, - and much as that means, other and better things might be added to it: but after all, how much of the “splendid savage" there is in Achilles, and

' how much of the “spoiled child sulking in his tent"! Impressibility and excitability are the main characteristics of the oldest Greek history; and if we turn to the East, the “simple and violent” world (as Mr. Kinglake calls it) of the first times meets us every moment.

* “ Prehistoric Times," Chap. xiii. (page 465).

And this is precisely what we should expect. “An inherited drill,” science says, “makes modern nations what they are; their born structure bears the trace of the laws of their fathers :" but the ancient nations came into no such inheritance, — they were the descendants of people who did what was right in their own eyes; they were born to no tutored habits, no preservative bonds, and therefore they were at the mercy of every impulse and blown by every passion.

The condition of the primitive man, if we conceive of him rightly, is in several respects different from any we know. We unconsciously assume around us the existence of a great miscellaneous social machine working to our hands, and not only supplying our wants but even telling and deciding when those wants shall come. No one can now without difficulty conceive how people got on before there were clocks and watches; as Sir G. Lewis said, “it takes a vigorous effort of the imagination ” to realize a period when it was a serious difficulty to know the hour of day. And much more is it difficult to fancy the unstable minds of such men as neither knew nature, which is the clockwork of material civilization, nor possessed a polity, which is a kind of clockwork to moral civilization. They never could have known what to expect; the whole habit of steady but varied anticipation, which makes our minds what they are, must have been wholly foreign to theirs.

Again, I at least cannot call up to myself the loose conceptions (as they must have been) of morals which then existed. If we set aside all the element derived from law and polity which runs through our current moral notions, I hardly know what we shall have left. The residuum was somehow and in some vague way intelligible to the ante-political man; but it must have been uncertain, wavering, and unfit to be

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