Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/586

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closely now." A botanical collection made by Paul Lucas, in the reign of Louis XIV, is mentioned by Prof. Bureau as still existing in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Tournefort was sent by this king on a botanical expedition to the Levant, with very precise instructions—among others, to collect and observe the plants mentioned by the ancients. He formed a complete herbarium; and the artist Aubriet, who accompanied him, brought back a large collection of colored sketches. Both of these are preserved in the museum.

Primitive Marital Customs.—The proverbial hostility of a man or woman to a mother-in-law may be a survival from a social custom of our primitive ancestors similar to one which exists now among uncivilized peoples. This is the quaint and somewhat comic point of barbaric etiquette between husbands and their wives' relatives, and vice versa; they may not look at one another, much less speak, and they even avoid mentioning one another's names. Among the avoidance customs cited by Mr. E. B. Tylor, in a recent essay, is that described by John Tanner, the adopted Ojibwa, who tells of his being taken by a friendly Assinaboin into his lodge, and seeing how, at his companion's entrance, the old father-inlaw and mother-in-law covered their heads with their blankets till their son-in-law got into the compartment reserved for him, where his wife brought him his food. Another comes from Australia. Mr. Howitt relates that he inadvertently told a native to call his mother-in-law, who was passing at some little distance; but the black fellow sent the order round by a third party, saying reproachfully to Mr. Howitt, "You know I could not speak to that old woman." This custom is not a rare one, for Mr. Tylor finds it to be practiced by sixty-six peoples in various regions, or more than one sixth of the peoples of the world, and he points out a relation between it and the customs as to place of residence after marriage. Another odd practice of certain savages is that of naming the parent from the child. Thus when Moffat, the missionary, was in Africa, he was spoken to and of, according to native usage, as Ra-Mary—i. e., father of Mary. Among the Kasias of India, Colonel Yule found the same rule; for instance, there being a boy named Bobon, his father was known as Pabobon. There are above thirty peoples spread over the earth who thus name the father, and, though less often, the mother. Mr. Tylor finds this practice to be closely connected with the custom of the husband residing in his wife's family. The couvade, which has been a favorite subject of ridicule for centuries, consists in the father, on the birth of his child, making a ceremonial pretence of standing in a relation to it similar to that of the mother. He is nursed and taken care of, and performs such rites as fasting and abstaining from certain kinds of food or occupation, lest the newborn should suffer thereby. This custom is known in the four quarters of the globe. How sincerely it is still accepted appears in a story of Mr. Im Thurn, who on a forest journey in British Guiana noticed that one of his Indians refused to help haul the canoes, and on inquiry found that the man's objection was that a child must have been born to him at home about this time, and he must not exert himself so as to hurt the infant. In the Mediterranean district the couvade has prevailed even into modern times. In the Basque country, Zamacolo, in 1818, mentions as but a little time since that the mother used to get up and the father take the child to bed. "Knowing the tenacity of these customs," says Mr. Tylor, "I should not be surprised if traces of couvade might be found in that district still." He accepts the interpretation of Bachonan that the couvade was originally an acknowledgment of paternity.

Ancient Men of the Potomac.—Prof. Otis T. Mason's survey of the archæology of the Potomac region covers that part of the valley which is situated below the rapids of the several tributary streams that mark the limits of tide-water. In the fresh-water portion of the lower Chesapeake drainage—the region between salt water and the cataracts—stone implements are found in the greatest profusion. It is easy to account for this when it is remembered that the country furnished abundant natural fruit supply. To one accustomed to exploration among the mounds of the Ohio Valley or in the West Indies, the stone implements are in appear-