Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/504

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484
BALLOTING FOR MARRIAGE.

villages, the skulls were all marked, and if a man wished to find the skulls of his ancestors for several generations back he could do it by these marks, preserved in the family records.

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STORAGE OF ANCESTORS.

An English gentleman who had lived some years in this region, said it was the cradle of compulsory education. But he said that the English idea that compulsory education would reduce bastardy and intemperance was an error—it has not that effect. He Said there was more seduction in the Protestant than in the Catholic cantons, because the confessional protected the girls. I wonder why it doesn't protect married women in France and Spain?

This gentleman said that among the poorer peasants in the Valaïs, it was common for the brothers in a family to cast lots to determine which of them should have the coveted privilege of marrying. Then the lucky one got married, and his brethren—doomed bachelors,—heroically banded themselves together to help support the new family.

We left Zermatt in a wagon—and in a rain storm, too,—for St. Nicholas about ten o'clock one morning. Again we passed between those grass-clad prodigious cliffs, specked