XVIII.21 The civil law of the Tartars

, par Stewart

Father du Halde says that among the Tartars it is always the last of the males who inherits, for the reason that, as the elder ones become able to live the pastoral life, they leave the house with a certain quantity of livestock which the father gives them, and go found a new settlement. The last of the males to remain in the house with his father is therefore his natural heir.

I have heard it said that a similar custom was still observed in some small districts of England. It is doubtless a pastoral law that came from some small Breton people, or was brought by some Germanic people. We know from Cæsar and Tacitus that the latter did not cultivate the land much.