My seat was a low, narrow form with no back or anything for my neck to rest upon, and afterwards I went through the primitive and painful massage process of being bumped all over the back. Between every four or five whacks the barber snapped his fingers and clapped his hands, and right glad was I when he had finished.
Besides these were sketches in oil and charcoal, which Ludlow found worse than the more primitive things, with their second-hand chic picked up in a tenth-rate school.
The laws of a nation form the most instructive portion of its history; and although I have devoted myself to write the annals of a declining monarchy, I shall embrace the occasion to breathe the pure and invigorating air of the republic. The primitive government of Rome was composed, with some political skill, of an elective king, a council of nobles, and a general assembly of the people.
Sheriffs, coroners, high and petty constables, church-wardens, even justices of the peace, had come down from a period when government was of quite another and more primitive character, in which the central power counted for far less, local powers for far more. Most of the local officials were unpaid, and the others were dependent on insignificant fees for such money reward as they obtained.
The Sea Islands of the Carolinas, where they met, were filled with a black folk of primitive type, touched and moulded less by the world about them than any others outside the Black Belt. Their appearance was uncouth, their language funny, but their hearts were human and their singing stirred men with a mighty power.
That, of course, is why we now eat our enemies, enslave their children, examine witnesses with the thumbscrew, and burn those who do not attend the same church. The long history of war as a racial habit explains why a ruinous and insane anachronism shows such tenacity; for the conditions which established the habit among primitive tribes demonstrably no longer exist.
She had gloried in his prowess. He was her man, gone out with club, to beat down the brutes that would steal her from him. "Alas! What are we? What am I?" she whispered. "Do I know myself? What could I not have done a moment ago?" She had that primitive thing in her, and, though she shuddered to realize it, she had no regret. Life was life.
The paddle dipped in the wave at the word tamala, and lifted high to mark the measure of the song, and strew in the warm, soft air the watery jewels colored by the far fires of the Sound. So the boat swept on, like a spirit bark, and the beautiful word of immortality was echoed from the darkening bluffs and the primitive pine cathedrals.
There is more instinct in the sense that more specific instinctive reactions are recognized in it, but less in assuming that these reactions are derivatives of primitive reactions of the organism, and also because they become transformed and fused and lose their original forms.
I had no desire to continue in this depression, as I should in going north, for I should find nothing but lakes, marshes and ferneries, infested with the same primitive and monstrous forms of life. So I continued my course eastward and soon had the satisfaction to find myself meeting the sluggish current of such streams as I encountered in my way.