The childhood of the little black, who has escaped his parents occasional infanticidal proclivities, is probably the "jolliest"--to use a word well understood by English school-boys--which can be well imagined. Do what he will the young hopeful of the wilds is never chastised. Solomon's injunction about the rod has no place in the code of the Australian Aboriginal. The boy, who is rather brother than father to the man, (for the
men are practically children all their lives) does literally seems right in his own eyes. The crime of ill-treatment of children is quite unknown among these poor uncivilized folk, who fortunately for us do not read English police news, or they might occasionally wonder how their white brothers and sisters could bc such savages as to maltreat helpless infants, as is but too common. In wife beating, however, they certainly manage to hold their own, and thus possibly manage to relieve their ruffled feelings. Yet am I assured that even this almost universal rule of marital brutality is not without its exception. White men, who have lived among the blacks, have assured me that there are henpecked husbands even in the Australian desert, and they further allege that the energetic spouses of the victims, instead of exciting disgust among their neighbours, are looked upon with more than ordinary respect; being, indeed, in some cases, run away with by men, envious of the possession of such strong-minded ladies. This is very encouraging.