For this purpose I do not need to deal with the dim ages which ethnology just reveals to us--with the stone age, and the flint implements, and the refuse-heaps. The time to which I would go back is only that just before the dawn of history--coeval with the dawn, perhaps, it would be right to say--for the first historians saw such a state of society, though they saw other and more advanced states too: a period of which we have distinct descriptions from eye-witnesses, and of which the traces and consequences abound in the oldest law. 'The effect,' says Sir Henry Maine, the greatest of our living jurists--the only one, perhaps, whose writings are in keeping with our best philosophy--'of the evidence derived from comparative jurisprudence is to establish that view of the primeval condition of the human race which is known as the Patriarchal Theory. There is no doubt, of course, that this theory was originally based on the Scriptural history of the Hebrew patriarchs in Lower Asia; but, as has been explained
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