Page:The aborigines of Australia.djvu/33

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THE ABORIGINES OF AUSTRALIA.

instance carried off by her admirer by main force; consideration being seldom or never had either to the consent of the damsel herself, the approbation of her relatives, or the disposition of the tribe; and very rarely does it seem that such abductions are either resisted or resented.

From the general tendency of these and many other facts which could be adduced, it becomes apparent that the patriarchal form of government is that to which the system of rule prevalent amongst the aborigines most nearly approximates. Whether this be the result of ideas derived from their remote ancestors, or of their roving and unsettled mode of life, or whether it be the result of mere chance, obtaining in the first instance by accident, and perpetuated through succeeding time, are matters on which the mind may speculate, but on which it would be very difficult to arrive at a settled conclusion.