Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/829

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

says Sir G. Bowring,[1] "on the death of a king his eldest brother succeeds; when he has no brothers, his eldest son; should he have several brothers, they succeed one another according to seniority." The levirate is optional in Siam. In Fiji brother succeeds brother, and then the succession reverts to the eldest son of the eldest brother.[2] It is worthy of note that all brothers are in Fiji called fathers by their nephews, just as is the case in the less rude polyandry, and that no word exists to express uncle.

Enough, however, has now been said to show how very wide-spread polyandry has been; traces of it are, in fact, found so universally that we are justified in regarding it as a normal phase of human progress. It can only be explained on the grounds of a scarcity of women, and that scarcity must have been felt almost universally. Hence we may conclude that we were right in our view that the early groups contained fewer women than men, and that this was the cause of marriage by capture. A number of customs which are probable survivals from polyandry lend us additional support; these we may perhaps be able to discuss on some future occasion.




THE Egyptians domesticated the dog from the most remote antiquity. The names which they gave it—ouhorou, ouaouou and tosmou—belong to the fundamental dialect of their language; and one at least of them is a characteristic onomatopœia, such as our children instinctively use in their earliest age for the designation of the animal. It is hard now to determine what was the most ancient species they tamed; the most ancient monuments show us dogs of every size and every color, and the cemeteries have given us greyhounds, terriers, and twenty varieties more or less closely related to the jackal or to the modern fellah's dog. At the opening of Egyptian history, more than four thousand years before the Christian era, we might have met in the towns and in the country the same mixture of types and confusion of forms and colors that we observe now. The dog was in Egypt, as he is with us, a friend and a faithful servant at the same time. He lived in the house with his master, followed him in his walks, attended the public ceremonies with him, sometimes free, at others held in leash by a slave or child, or in princely families by a favorite dwarf. At meals he had his place marked under the

  1. Kingdom and People of Siam, vol. i, p. 96.
  2. At Home in Fiji, vol. i, p. 281.