Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/473

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the Western Border of India. 437

matter also. To give a concrete case, — in one family whose matrimonial difficulties came to my notice, there were four brothers. The eldest died, leaving two sons, and the second died, leaving a widow and two daughters. The widow was married almost at once to the fourth brother, so they can be eliminated from our discussion. We are thus left with one uncle, Bahadur, two brothers Kabul and Umar, and two sisters, Sohagan and Sahib. In other words, two marriage- able young ladies and three possible claimants. You can see that here at once are the makings of trouble, and, as a matter of fact, there was a great deal of trouble. The uncle, being older and stronger than his nephews, who were aged 18 and 16, thought that he would settle matters his own way. He could not, of course, marry his niece Sohagan, aged 1 5, but he could and did exchange her for the daughter of one Shadi. He tried to placate Kabul by betrothing him to Sahib, then aged ten only, and left Umar out of count as a youngster. This was all right for the uncle, but the nephews objected strongly. They argued that two boys and two girls should form two pairs, and that, as children of the elder brother, they had a prior right over the younger brother. Both were quite grown lads, as the East under- stands these things, and, while Umar objected to getting no bride at all, Kabul disliked having to wait and watch a child grow old enough to change betrothal into marriage, instead of being able to marry the fifteen-year-old Sohagan at once. They also had the further objection against their cousin going out of the family. In these tribes, and in many throughout India, Persia, and Arabia, cousins marry cousins without much apparent effect on the breed. Abraham married his half-sister, Isaac his cousin, and Jacob cousins doubly linked with himself, and yet the Israelites must have been a fine nation at one time. Then, again, Sohagan was disappointed at having to marry a man old enough to be her father, instead of the young cousin she knew so well. The best way, think our uncivilized friends.