Among the Buddhists marriage is regarded by the priests as a concession to human passion, and is therefore only a civil contract.4 The "best man" of our modern marriage was originally the best, or Btaunchest, abettor of the bride's capture; and as the civilized man always feels like beginning the connubial voyage under the auspices of religion, however wickedly he may act afterwards, so the services of the priest in performing the rite seem to have been inseparable from the marriage contract among nearly all savage races.

Too often, as I have intimated, it is only a form; but in Mexico, Nicaragua, Australia, Africa and India, religion was always invoked in the performance of the marriage ceremony.