Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/340

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294 DISTINGUISHED CHURCHMEN

father-in-law the whole of the cattle demanded, and, in the parental eye, that arrangement answered satisfactorily, because then the father-in-law had some sort of hold upon the man who took his daughter. But the Government made it clear that no marriage was legal unless the specified number of cattle were paid ; and such a stringent regulation naturally tended to keep down the number of wives of individuals. Only in that sense is polygamy undergoing suppression by the Govern ment. Some people think it would be a wise course on the part of the Government if it bestirred itself to greater activity with regard to the matter, and made polygamy a punishable offence. But I am not so sure about that. It would cause a big uproar for certain ; and I think, all circumstances considered, it is better for the custom to die out than for it to be forced out."

"What are your other difficulties? Are the natives addicted to drink ? "

" No ; I should not point to intemperance as one of the besetting sins. They have what are called Beer Drinks/ when a lot of them congregate, but that is generally only on occasions when there is some cause for rejoicing such, for instance, as a native marriage, or when they are harvesting the crops of Amabele the product of the land out of which they make their beer ( Ishwala ). Some of our clergy do try to stamp out these habits of drinking, and some of our native teachers are

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