Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/240

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

blue-eyed, fair-haired, clear-skinned, upright, truthful, straightforward men, somewhat sluggish in temperament. But the others were dusky, high-cheekboned, with dark hair; tricky, unscrupulous, very energetic and sadly immoral. The railways and excellent roads have tended to fuse the types; but, nevertheless, I could pick the distinct races out without difficulty at the present day. I do not say that the fair and evidently Aryan colonists were as moral as might be desired, but if there were a lapse, there was shame, whereas with the others there was none at all. The first were amenable to discipline and to spiritual influences; the others were quite beyond reach. Only where there was a fusion of blood was there any chance of amendment.

At an early period, where the woman belonged to several men, all rights to property and to succession to authority descended through the mother. There are tribes in which this is still the case.

But there came a great revulsion of feeling. The father at last determined to insist on his paternity, and polyandry practically ceased. In Britain, Christian legislation came in to assist the change; but as we shall see presently, where that did