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Skye terrier miserable for a whole day; and another terrier, who when in good humour used to perform various tricks, was never so pleased as when his joke was duly appreciated, whereas " nothing displeased him so much as being laughed at when he did not intend to be ridiculous.” 1 Monkeys also, according to Dr. Brehm, are sensitive to every kind of treatment they may receive, to love and dislike, to encouraging praise and chilling blame, to pleasant flattery and wounding ridicule, to caresses and chastisement." 2

Among the savage races of men, as among civilised peoples, self-regarding pride is universal, and in many of them it is a very conspicuous trait of chararacter. The Veddah of Ceylon, says Mr. Nevill, “ is proud in the extreme, and considers himself no man's inferior. Hence he is keenly sensitive to ridicule, contempt, and even patronage. There is nothing he dreads more than being laughed at as a savage, because he dislikes clothes and cultivation." 4 Australian aborigines are described as “extravagantly proud,” 5 as “vain and fond of approba

In Fiji “ anything like a slight deeply offends a native, and is not soon forgotten.' The Negroes of Sierra Leone “ possess a great share of pride, and are easily affected by an insult : they cannot hear even a harsh expression, or a raised tone of voice, without shewing that

1 Romanes, Animal Intelligence, pp. Bengal, xxiv. 609 (Nagas). Bergmann, 439, 444.

Nomadische Streifercien unter den 2 Brehm, From North Pole to Equa- Kalmiken, ii, 290, 295, 296, 312. tor, p. 299. Cf. ibid. pp. 304-306, Högström, Beskrifning öfver de til 312, 314 ; Brehm, Thierleben, i. 75, Sveriges Krona lydande Lapmarker, p. 157 ; Schultze, Vergleichende Seelen- 152 (Lapps). Dall, Alaska, p. 392 sq. kunde, i. pt. i. 110; Perty, Das Seelen- (Aleuts). Brett, Indian

Tribes of leben der Thiere, p. 66.

Guiana, p. 103. 3 Dieffenbach, Travels in New Zea- Nevill, Vaeddas of Ceylon,' in land, ii. 107 ; Colenso, Maori Races of Taprobanian, i. 192. Cf. Sarasin, New Zealand, p. 56. Crawfurd, His- Ergebnisse naturwissenschaftlicher For. tory of the Indian Archipelago, i. 54. schungen auf Ceylon, iii. 537. Raffles, History of Java, i. 249. St. 5 Hale, U.S. Exploring Expedition. John, Life in the Forests of the Far Vol. VI. Ethnography and Philology, East, ii. 323 (Malays of Sarawak). p. 109. Man, “Aboriginal Inhabitants of the 6 Mathew, in Curr, The Australian Andaman Islands,' in Jour. Anthr. Race, iii. 155. Inst. xii. 94. Stewart, ‘Notes on

7 Williams and Calvert, Fiji, p. 105. Northern Cachar,' in Jour, Asiatic Soc. Cf. ibid. p. 103 st.


tion.” 6

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they feel it.” 1 The Araucanians, inhabiting parts of Chili, “are naturally fond of honourable distinction, and there is nothing they can endure with less patience than contempt or inattention." 2 The North American Indians, says Perrot, “ont généralement touts beaucoup de vaine gloire dans leurs actions bonnes ou mauvaises. : . . L'ambition est en un mot une des plus fortes passions qui les anime." 3 The Indian of British Columbia, for instance, “watches that he may receive his proper share of honour at festivals; he cannot endure to be ridiculed for even the slightest mistake ; he carefully guards all his actions, and looks for due honour to be paid to him by friends, strangers, and subordinates.

This peculiarity appears most clearly in great festivals.”+ Thus, in numerous

' 4 instances, “persons who have been hoarding up property for ten, fifteen, or twenty years (at the same time almost starving themselves for want of clothing), have given it all away to make a show for a few hours, and to be thought of consequence.'' Speaking of the

of the Eskimo about Behring Strait, Mr. Nelson observes, “As with all savages, the Eskimo are extremely sensitive to ridicule and are very quick to take offence at real or seeming slights."• Among the Atkha Aleuts it has happened that men have committed suicide from disappointment at the failure of an undertaking, fearing that they would become the laughing-stock of the village. Among many other savages shame or wounded pride is not uncommonly a cause of suicide. The Hos of Chota Nagpore have a saying that for a wife who has been reproved by her husband

I Winterbottom, Native Africans in Western Tribes of Canada, p. 19. the Neighbourhood of Sierra Leone, i. 5 Duncan, quoted by Mayne, Four

Years in British Columbia, p. 295. 2 Molina, History of Chili, ii. 113. 6 Nelson, “Eskimo about Bering

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3 Perrot, Memoire sur les moeurs, Strait,' in Ann. Rep. Bur. Ethn. xviii. coustumes et relligion des sauvages de Amerique septentrionale, p. 76. Cf. 7 Yakof, quoted by Petroff, Report Buchanan, Sketches of the History, on Alaska, p. 158. Cf. Dall, op. cit. Manners, and Customs of the North

p. 391 (Aleuts). American Indians, p. 165; Matthews, * See infra, on Suicide ; Lasch, ‘BeEthnography and Philology of the sitzen die Naturvölker ein persönliches Hidalsa Indians, p. 41.

Ehrgefühl,' in Zeitschr. f. Socialwis* Boas, in Fifth Report on the North- senschafi, iii. 837 sqq.



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“nothing remains but the water at the bottom of the well "; 1 and in New Zealand native women sometimes killed themselves because they had been rebuked for negligence in cooking or for want of care towards a child.

Like other injuries, an insult not only affects the feelings of the victim, but arouses sympathetic resentment in outsiders, and is consequently disapproved of as wrong. Among the Maoris, if anybody wantonly tried to hurt another's feelings, it was immediately repressed, and “such a person was spoken of as having had no parents, or, as having been born (laid) by a bird.

In the Malay Archipelago, “among some of the tribes, abusive language cannot with impunity be used even to a slave. Blows are still more intolerable, and considered such grievous affronts, that, by law, the person who receives them is considered justified in putting the offender to death.” 4 The natives of the Tonga Islands hold no bad moral habit to be more “ridiculous, depraved, and unjust, than publishing the faults of one's acquaintances and friends

; and as to downright calumny or false accusation, it appears to them more horrible than deliberate murder does to us : for it is better, they think, to assassinate a man's person than to attack his reputation.' According to the customary laws of the Fantis in West Africa, “ where a person has been found guilty for using slanderous words, he is bound to retract his words publicly, in addition to paying a small fine by way of compensation to the aggrieved party. Words imputing witchcraft, adultery, immoral conduct, crime, and all words which sound to the disreputation of a person of whom they are spoken are actionable.” 6

Among the Aztecs of ancient Mexico he who wilfully calumniated another, thereby seriously injuring his


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1 Bradley-Birt, Chota Nagpore, p. 104. Cf. Dalton, Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal, p. 206.

2 Colenso, op. cit. p. 57.

4 Crawfurd, op. cit. iji. 119 sq.

5 Mariner, Natives of the Tonga Islands, ii 163 sq.

6 Sarbal, Funti Customary Laws, p. 94.

3 Ibid. p. 53.



reputation, was condemned to have his lips cut off, and sometimes his ears also ; whilst in Tezcuco the slanderer suffered death.1 In the Chinese penal code a special book is provided for the prevention and punishment of opprobrious and insulting language, as “having naturally a tendency to produce quarrels and affrays."? Among Arabs all insulting expressions have their respective fines ascertained in the kady's court. It is said in the Talmud :-“ Let the honour of thy neighbour be to thee like thine own. Rather be thrown into a fiery furnace than bring any one to public shame." 4

The Roman Law of the Twelve Tables contained provisions against libellers, and throughout the whole history of Roman law an attack upon honour or reputation was deemed a serious crime. As for wrongful prosecution, which may be regarded as an aggravated form of defamation, the law of the later Empire required that any one bringing a criminal charge should bind himself to suffer in case of failure the penalty that he had endeavoured to call down upon his adversary.' Among Teutonic peoples defamatory words and libelling were already at an early date punished with a fine. The Salic Law decrees that a person who calls a freeborn man a “ fox” or a “hare or a “dirty fellow," or says that he has thrown away his shield, must pay him three solidi ; whilst, according to one text of the same law, it cost 188 solidi (or nearly as much as was paid for the murder of a Frankish freeman) o to call a freeborn woman a witch or a harlot, in case the truth of the charge could not be proved."

| Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific vergeltung, i. 141 $99. Mommsen, op. Slates, ii. 463.

cit. p. 496 sq. ? Ta Tsing Leu Lee, p. 354 n.* 8 Wilda, Strafrecht der Germanen,

3 Burckhardt, Notes on the Bedouins p: 776 599: Nordstrom, Bidrag till and Wahábys, p. 70 sq.,

svenska samhälls-författningens * Deutsch, Literary Remains, p. 57. historia, ij. 293 sqq. Stemann, Den 5 Lex Duodecim Tabularum, viii. I. danske Retshistorie indtil Christian Vi's Digesta, xlvii. 10. 15. 25.

Lov, p. 686 sq. Brunner, Deutsche Justinianus, ix. 36. Hunter, Exposi- Rechtsgeschichte, ii. 672 sqq. tion of Roman Law, p. 1069 sq. 9 Lex Salica, xxx. 4, 5, 2; Hessel's Mommsen, Römisches' Strafrecht, p. edition, col. 181 599.





10 Ibid. xv. col. 91 399. 794 sq.

7 Günther, Die Idee der Wieder. 11 Ibid. lxvii. 2, col. 403.


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The oldest English laws exacted bót and wíle from persons who attacked others with abusive words. In the thirteenth century, in almost every action before an English local court, the plaintiff claimed compensation not only for the “damage," but also for the “shame " which had been done him. We further find that regular actions for defamation were common in the local courts ; whereas in later days the ecclesiastical procedure against defamatory speech seems to have been regarded as the usual, if not the only, engine which could be brought to bear upon cases of libel and slander. In England, as in Rome, there was a strong feeling that men should not make charges which they could not prove : before the Conquest a person might lose his tongue, or have to redeem it with his full wer, if he brought a false and scandalous accusation; and under Edward I. a statute decreed that if the appellee was acquitted his accuser should lie in prison for a year and pay damages by way of recompense for the imprisonment and infamy which he had brought upon the innocent.

The condemnation of an insult is greatly influenced by the status of, or the relations between, the parties concerned. Among the Goajiro Indians of Colombia a poor man may be insulted with impunity, when the same treatment to a rich man would cause certain bloodshed.5 In Nias an affront is punished with a fine, which varies according to the rank of the parties. The Chinese penal code lays down that a person who is guilty of addressing abusive language to his or her father or mother, or father's parents, or a wife who rails at her husband's parents or grandparents, shall be strangled ;' and the same punishment is prescribed for a slave who abuses his master.s



1. ii. 537


1 Laws of Hlothhaere and Eadri, 11. Simons, ‘Exploration of the Goa

2 Pollock and Maitland, History of jira Peninsula,' in Proceed. Roy. Geo. English Law till the Time of Edward Soc. N.S. vii. 786.

von Rosenberg, Der malayische 3 Ibid. ii. 538. Stephen, History oj Archipel, p. 167. the Criminal Law of England, ii. 409. ? Ta Tsing Leu Lee, sec. cccxxix.

* Pollock and Maitland, op. cit. ii. p. 357 539.

6 Ibid. sec. cccxxvii. p. 356.

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