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might have been expected from such a system, and as also one of the great ends which that system is designed to effect.

As to the working of polyandry in Tibet, I noticed no particular evidence of its evil effects, though doubtless they exist; and in this respect I am at one with the other European travellers, with the single exception of the Abbé Desgodins, who draws a very frightful picture of the state of morals in the eastern part of the country.

He says: “Les hommes riches peuvent avoir autant de femmes qu'ils le désirent, sans compter que quand ils sont en voyage, et qu'ils sont visite à leurs amis, la politesse veut qu'on leur en prête partout. Au Thibet on se prête sa femme comme on se prête une paire de bottes ou un couteau.

Les Thibétans n'ont pas non plus le moindre souci de l'honneur de leur filles, celle qui est devenue mère trouve même plus facilement à se marier, par la raison que celui qui l'achète est certain qu'elle n'est pas stérile ; ce dévergondage de moeurs est cause d'une stérilité générale.”* There is probably some exaggeration here;t and, making allowance for that, the description would apply to most semi-civilised races, and need not be charged to the fault of polyandry. The accusation brought by the worthy Abbé against the young persons of Tibet is precisely the same as that which Sir Anthony Weldon made against the Scotch in the time of James VI., * and can be brought, even at the present day, against a considerable portion of the agricultural and pastoral population of Scotland. It is absurd for Europeans to hold up their hands in holy horror at the immorality which they may observe in ruder and less highly favoured countries, when our own centres of civilisation present, in that respect, such curious results. Fraternal polyandry is not merely opposed both to artificial arrangements and the highest morality, but even to our natural instincts. But there is no sense in charging it with evils which we see existing everywhere. It is more revolting

* La Mission du Thibet de 1855 à 1870. Verdun, 1872.

+ Mr Douglas, the professor of Chinese in King's College, London, supplies the following passage from a Chinese work, which corroborates the Abbé's statements ; but accounts by Chinese of other nations than their own are very far indeed from being reliable, as witness the hideous practices they ascribe to Europeans, such as using the blood of Chinese emigrant coolies in the preparation of opium: “ The women of the labouring classes (in Tibet] are more robust than the men, and to their lot fall all the heavier kinds of work. As a result of this, it constantly happens that three or four brothers in a household take unto themselves conjointly one wife, whose offspring are divided by choice among her husbands. Such wives who succeed in living in harmony with three or four brothers are called 'accomplished,' in recognition of their capacity for governing their households. In addition to labour in the fields, all such work as spinning, weaving, and other domestic duties, are expected of the women, and those who are ignorant of such arts are objects of universal ridicule. Adultery is not considered shameful ; and when a married woman forms a liaison, she frankly informs her husband or husbands that such and such a one has become her ‘ying-tuh' or 'gallant bachelor.' The husband or husbands make no objection; and husbands and wife, 'averting their eyes' from the doings of each other, contentedly follow their own devices."

. than the prostitution, or unlegalised polyandry, of the West ; but its lesson will be lost if it be viewed otherwise than in the cold white light of reason.

It is almost impossible for us to conceive of such a system being in operation, and of its allowing room for affection between relatives ; and so it may be well to note that it exists. This could only happen among a race of a peculiarly placid, unpassionate temperament as the Turanians unquestionably are, except in their fits of demoniacal cruelty. They have no hot blood, in our sense of the phrase, and all interests are subordinate to those of the family.

* A Perfect Description of the People and Country of Scotland. London, 1659.

This supreme family feeling prevents any difficulty arising in connection with the children, who are regarded as scions of the house rather than of any particular member of it. It has been said that, where there is more than one husband, the paternity of the child is unknown; but that is doubtful, though all the husbands are held responsible, and there is no noticeable difference in the relationship of a child to his different fathers. All this would be impossible in a race with strong passions, or where the element of individuality is strongly developed; but it is exactly in these respects that the Turanians are most deficient.

Of course there is a large number of surplus women under this polyandric system, and they are provided for in the Lama nunneries, where they learn to read and copy the Tibetan scriptures, and to engage in religious services. The nunneries have usually a certain amount of land attached to them, which is cultivated by the occupants, who also hire out their services in the harvest season. I have even had my baggage carried by Lama nuns, when there was a pressure of occupation, and observed nothing particular in their demeanour, except that it was a little more reserved than that of the other women. Of course accidents do happen occasionally ; but the excitement which they cause is a proof that they are not very common. When I was at Pú, a great noise was caused by a Lama nun — the daughter of a wealthy zemindar

-having suddenly increased the population of that village, in defiance of the law of population and her holy vow. About a year before, a visit had been made to Pú by a celebrated Lama from the interior of Chinese Tibet, whose claims to sanctity were so high that the zemindar invited him to stay in his house and expound the Tibetan scriptures. The nun came down to these reunions from her convent, a few hundred feet up the mountain-side, and the consequence was the event which I have just noticed. Meanwhile the holy man had meanly, but judiciously, gone back into Chinese Tibet. He was hopelessly beyond reach; and the scandal being great, the father, both on his own account and on that of his daughter, had to pay about Rs. 300 in all, to the convent, to the scandalised village, and to the state. Such offences are readily condoned, on a sufficient monetary fine being paid; but I heard also that the nun would not be reinstated in her former position without undergoing penance, and manifesting contrition. Such a sin, however, can hardly tell against her long, if her conduct be correct afterwards ; for the superior of this very monastery had herself an illegitimate daughter, who was enrolled among the sisterhood. Some sects of the Lamas are allowed to marry, but those who do not are considered more holy; and in no sect are the nuns allowed to marry, and they, as well as most of the monks, take a vow of absolute continence. I am scarcely in a position to have any decided opinion as to how far this vow is observed, but am inclined to believe that it is so usually, notwithstanding the exceptions to the rule.

The Lama Church does not concern itself with the marriage union, though its priests often take part in the ceremonies accompanying the bridal, -as, for instance, in fixing upon an auspicious day. Marriages are often concluded at a very early age, by the parents of the parties, and sometimes when the latter are children. In such cases the bride and bridegroom often live for years separate, in the houses of their respective parents. When the matter has not been previously arranged by his father, the young man who wishes to marry goes to the parents of the girl he has selected with a gift of chong, a species of beer which is brewed among the mountains, and this he partakes of along with them. A second visit of the same kind follows, and then a third, when he meets with the object of his choice, and the nuptials are arranged. In some parts of the country more valuable presents, and even gifts of money, are expected, there being a great deal of difference in local usage as to the preliminaries. Women have property in their own right; and, as a rule, childless women are not regarded in any particular manner.

The choice of a wife is the right of the elder brother; and among the Tibetan-speaking people it universally prevails that the contract he makes is understood to involve a marital contract with all the other brothers, if they choose to avail themselves of it.

We have already seen what Koeppen says as to the origin of this hideous polyandry. Herr Jaeschke also assured me that he knew of no polyandric traditions in Tibet, and that the system there must be indefinitely old. The probability is that it has descended from a state of society somewhat similar to that which at present exists in the Himalaya, but more primitive, ruder, and uninfluenced by the civilisations of India and China; while those who believe that human beings at one time

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