Page:Malabari, Behramji M. - Gujarat and the Gujaratis (1882).djvu/165

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149
PARSIS.

water for having crossed such shadow under certain circumstances.

The Dustoor Sáhib is very pious, and prays day and night for anyone that will pay him. He is chief mourner at a funeral, and gets handsomely paid. He is chief actor at wedding and other social parties, and is more handsomely paid. He is a good hand at match-making and match- breaking, and is most handsomely paid. These are his doors of income, or his "windows of income," as he modestly and sorrowfully puts it.

To the widow in affliction—that is, with a large property and no heirs—the Dustoor's soul goes forth with resistless ardour. Well endowed young widows are very wild creatures; but between the Dustoor, the doctor, and the lawyer, they are soon tamed into lambs.

The Dustoor has a tendency to poking his nose in everybody's concerns; and every honest man hates your prying, paltering, button-holeing busy-body. In this respect the Government is the most suffering victim of his persecution. He follows the Governor with odes, elegies, charms, and benedictions, and overhangs the august "presence" till the thing is "accepted with thanks." This note of acknowledgment the