Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/483

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the Western Border of India. 447

stand. The indignity had to be wiped out in blood, and Palya joined the two previous husbands under the ground, while Musa, after wiping his dagger, set about to find a sale for his mother elsewhere.

This brings me to the end of my instances. I might, of course, go on for ever, — explaining how the system of exchanges leads sometimes to a boy of ten being married to an elderly young lady of eighteen, and how the necessity of finding a bride for one's son leads occasionally to the betrothal of a damsel before her birth even. But I imagine that I have written enough to bring before you a picture of the state of affairs among the people with whom I have lived for fourteen years. No doubt, the picture I have drawn will startle some, but it must be remembered that people, as a rule, approve of themselves and the lives that they and their ancestors have spent. I may tell, to illustrate this, a pleasing story of a Tibetan girl, who came with imploring cries to the tent of a Political Officer. With tears she related how her stern parent wished to marry her off, but she, disapproving of the match, had fled with her own beloved. The Political Officer, melted by the tears of the beautiful girl, — Tibetans, unlike ordinary Indians, are beautiful in English eyes, — promised to send for all con- cerned, and to try and patch up matters. The girl, how- ever, would not be reassured till he went out to console her beloved. He went out, and found two young men standing sheepishly. They zvere her beloved. In Tibet young ladies have to marry a family of brothers, and she had disapproved of one family and found in another her heart's desire.

We may wonder how Indian women of certain classes put up with the constant seclusion and immurement that they are subjected to. But those who for generations have been secluded take a pride in their seclusion, and thank God that they are not like other women, who show their faces impudently and shamelessly before men. We find difficulty in understanding it, but there the feeling is, and I will give