Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/243

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form of the latter half of the thirteenth century. Aucassin arrives at the palace of the King of Torelore and finds him 'au lit et en couche", whereupon he takes a stick to his majesty, turns him out of bed, and makes him promise to abolish this absurd custom in his realm. The couvade prevailed also in Corsica. It is not in Europe alone that the couvade existed. It is found still in Borneo; in a tribe subjected to the Chinese Empire; in Africa; and among the peoples of America, in Brazil, and among the Caribs.

"The peoples," says Mr Tyler, "who have kept it up in Asia and Europe seem to have been not the great progressive, spreading, conquering, civilising nations of the Aryan, Semite and Chinese stocks. It cannot be ascribed even to the Tartars, for the Lapps, Finns, and Hungarians appear to know nothing of it. It would rather seem to have belonged to that ruder population, or series of populations, whose fate it has been to be driven by the great races out f fruitful lands to take refuge in mountains ad deserts."

In primitive society the women were the property of the men, and one woman was often enough the property of several men,