The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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CHILDREN'S GAMES                           531
allow: contests between men and women occur in such a way that we are taken back to one of the earliest known customs of marriage, that known as marriage by capture—then from this stage to a later, where purchase or equivalent value obtains; then to a marriage with a ceremony which carries us back to the earliest forms of such ceremonies. That such customs can be suggested in connection with these games goes far to prove that they, in fact, originate the game—that no other theory satisfactorily accounts for all the phenomena.
In looking for the motive power which has caused the con­tinuity of these customs to be practised as a'musements, we have found that the dramatic power inherent in mankind sup­plies the necessary evidence, and from this stage we have been led to an interesting'point in the early history of the drama and of the stage. It is not, therefore, too much to say that we have in these children's games some of the oldest historical documents belonging to our race, worthy of being placed side by side with the folk-tale and other monuments of man's pro­gress from savagery to civilisation.
Alice B. Gomme.
Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. Edinburgh & London

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