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resources as a statesman that gave him the actual lead in affairs. His speeches upon the tariff in 1824, on the removal of the deposits in 1833, on the protest in 1834, the sub-treasury in 1838, and on slavery on February 19th, 1850, in bringing in his resolutions of corruption, are among his most celebrated speeches. But some of his occasional speeches on the hustings were nearly as good ; yet with all these successes in delivery they do not read well—that is, they do not sụstain his fame as a speaker. They partly sustain the adage of Fox, that a speech good in delivery does not read well. It is true that Burke confirmed this adage, as he failed in delivery, the only great orator of England whose speeches are much read in this age. But we may say that there are modern orators who have at times, like Webster in the Hayne debate, delivered speeches that read well and were equally good in delivery. Demosthenes and Cicero are unquestioned examples of the refutation of this adage, for who denies that their speeches are first to be read and yet were first in delivery since oratory began.
Mr. Clay's diplomatic papers and his published correspondence show the same easy, natural style, and while the former reflects credit upon his statesmanship, the latter confirms the impression we should get in reading his speeches, that not literature but politics mainly absorbed him. Calhoun's letters have not appeared, but so far as we know these illustrious men had no fascinating interest in literature like Choate, Fox, and Cicero in their decline. Webster had an enjoyment and great relish in his later years, but it was not that absorption of literature as we see avowed by these three great orators of ancient and modern times. Indeed, we think that no man can become a Cicero without this absorbing taste in letters which nearly all the first orators and poets have hitherto displayed. When such a taste shall unite to external qualities of a Clay we shall again see an orator like Chatham and Cicero. But how soon this fortunate juncture will occur is beyond our own ken to know. Suffice that such
orators are not century men, for it takes ten times that period to duplicate a Demosthenes or a Cicero. England has had a Burke, France a Mirabeau, and America a Webster; but modern times has not yet produced a Demosthenes or a Cicero in all the qualities that made them unrivalled as orators. Indeed, our civilization may and does give first-class debating, yet it only produces second-rate orators ; and if modern times shall produce a first-class orator, it will be because his genius will override and master the age in which he was born. To have a Demosthenes you must have a modern Athens to hear and educate him; Athens will not reappear and so there will be no Demosthenes. We shall have, then, other Clays and other finished orators, who are content to live and rule their own age, and then disappear in the great waste of utter oblivion that awaits them.
ART. IV.-). Primitive Marriage. By John F. McLENNAN.
Edinburgh. 1865. 2. Origin of Civilization, and the Primitive Condition of
Mankind. By Sir John LUBBOCK. New York. 1870. 3. Researches into the Early Condition of Mankind, and the
Development of Civilization. By EDWARD BURNET
TYLOR. London. 1865. 4. Meurs des Sauvages Américains Comparées aux Maurs
des premiers Temps. Par JOSEPH FRANÇOIS LAFITAU. Paris. 1734. 4 volumes.
MODERN civilization spreads like a broad cloak over all the suggestive facts of the past. It has its own habits, its own ideas, its own faiths, born of itself; and only here and there, in semi-barbarous districts, does the web of the primitive world show itself in remains of antique ceremonies, without meaning in their modern application. But, by lifting this cloak a little, and looking back into the world which it covers, we are able to trace many of the steps of mankind in the upward progress from savagery towards civilization, and to behold the successive threads of which the strong tissue of society has been woven.
In important illustration of these facts of the past, we have numerous facts of the present in the customs of the many existing savage and barbarous tribes, each of them a living exemplar of the primitive races which lie unseen at the foundation of the world's history. In fact, these savage and these barbarous tribes which have remained for thousands of years without essential change, illustrate so vividly the customs of their remote ancestors, that we can almost ignore written history, and accept man as he now exists, in studying the primitive condition of the race, and the origin of social laws and customs.
It is our present object to trace back, by these means, the institution of marriage, to examine its ancient forms, and seek the origin of the many remarkable customs yet associated with it in every part of the world, so as to display its gradual development from its most archaic condition.
The earliest written history commences at an era of human existence in which man had already greatly progressed, and was highly civilized as compared with his aboriginal condition, and with that of many existing tribes. Even the knowledge we have gained of pre-historic races, through philological and other means, as of the early Aryans, shows them in a somewhat advanced condition, equalling, at least, that of the modern Asiatic nomads; and, to attain a knowledge of tribes in a really primitive condition, we must consider the savage inhabitants now existing in parts of America, Africa, and the Pacific islands.
From the stage of these lowest to that of the highest races, communities exist in every stage of advancement, so that the whole progress of human society is probably traceable in the habits of contemporaneous races.
And the habits of their remote ancestors have so strongly influenced the
customs of more advanced tribes, that the unmeaning ceremonies of the latter exactly supplement the essential institutions of the former.
Written history is delusive, as concerns social habits, unless it be examined in the light of the unwritten annals of mankind. The earliest records are of the lives and deeds of the ruling and aristocratic classes of communities. When the lower classes have become of sufficient importance to appear in history, their primitive habits are already greatly modified, and but imperfectly point out their original significance. That which was reality has become pantomime. What Michelet calls the poetry of law is but the remains of these early usages, which, without any definite meaning at present, have remained attached to our institutions in many strange and grotesque forms.
One of the most significant of these forms is that known as the symbol of capture in marriage ceremonies. bol has only of late years been studied, yet is full of the highest interest. It occurs when, after the marriage contract has been signed, the bridegroom and his friends feign to steal or forcibly carry off the bride. There is no custom more widely spread, or more varied in its forms, and in many cases the feigned theft is necessary to the validity of the marriage.
Among ancient evidences of its existence is Plutarch's observation that the Spartan bridegroom always carried off the bride by violence, arrangement having been previously made. A similar instance existed at Rome in one form of the plebeian marriage. The bridegroom and his friends invaded the house, and took the lady with feigned violence from the lap of her mother. *
In the “Captive Damsel" of Apuleius we have a story supposed to be based upon this custom. She relates that her mother, having dressed her becomingly in nuptial apparel, was loading her with kisses, when suddenly a band of robbers, arined like gladiators, rushed in with glittering swords,
• Festus, De Verborum Significatione-Rapi.
made straight for her chamber in compact column, and, without any struggle or resistance on the part of the servants, bore her away, half dead with fear, from the bosom of her trembling mother.*
The custom is said to prevail still to a great extent among the Hindoos. In fact, a similar marriage form is prescribed in the Sutras.t Among the Kbonds the marriage ceremy begins with a feast at the dwelling of the bride. This is followed by dancing and song. When the night is far spent in these amusements, the principals are lifted by an uncle of each on his shoulders, and carried through the dance. Suddenly they exchange burdens, and the uncle of the youth disappears with the bride. The friends of the bride now seek to arrest his flight, those of the groom to cover it; the mock contest that ensues being often carried to great lengths. Among the noble class of the Kalmucks a similar form appears. The price to be paid being fixed, the bridegroom and his noble friends go on horseback to her house to carry her off. Her friends make a sham resistance, but she is always carried off, on a richly caparisoned horse, with loud shouts and feux de joie.
Dr. Clarke describes a different ceremony, probably ap pertaining to a different clan of the Kalmucks. In this the girl is first mounted on horseback, and rides off at full speed, pursued by her lover. If he overtakes her, she becomes his wife. But it sometimes happens that the fugitive does not favorably incline towards her pursuer, in which case she will not suffer him to overtake her. The author was assured that no instance was known of a Kalmuck girl being thus caught, unless she had a partiality for her pursuer.|| In many cases this form of capture has become a mere pretence, as in lifting the bride by force on horseback; or, as in North Friesland,
• De Asino Aureo, Book IV.
+ Indische Studien, p. 325.