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make him drink till he is fuddled. Thus they keep possession of their victim for three or four days, never losing sight of him, making him smoke, drink, and eat; while they sell his live stock, and purchase for him whatever he may want, charging him generally double or triple for everything.
Polygamy, abolished by the gospel, and contrary in itself to the happiness and peace of families, should, perhaps, be considered as a good for the Tartars. In the actual state of their society, it acts as a barrier to the libertinage and corruption of manners. Celibacy being imposed upon the Lamas, and the class which shaves the head, and lives in the lamaseries, being sa numerous, if the daughters could not place themselves in families in the rank of secondary wives, it is easy to imagine the disorders which would arise from this multiplicity of young women left to themselves without support.
M. Huc puts in a strong light that appropriation to themselves of Manchow, or Eastern Tartary, (the country of their last conquerors,) which has been effected by the Chinese within something more than a century, and to which we have already alluded. In a map of this country, constructed by The married state, however, is anything but the the Jesuits, Père Duhalde states his reason for in-conjugal, in the literal and derivative sense of the serting the Tartar names, and not the Chinese. term. The husband can send back the lady to her "Of what use," says he, "would it be to a travel parents without even assigning a reason. ler in Manchouria to know that the river Saghalien quits by the oxen, the sheep, and the horses which is called by the Chinese Hé-loung-Keang, (river he was obliged to give as the marriage present; of the Black Dragon,) since he has no business and the parents, it seems, can sell the same merwith them, and the Tartars, with whom he has to chandise over again to a second bidder! deal, know nothing of this name?""This observation might be true in the time of Kanghy," says M. Huc, when it was made, but the very opposite is the fact at present; for the traveller in Manchouria now finds that he has to deal with China, and it is of the He-loung-Keang that he hears, and not of the Saghalien.' In our own colonies, the rapidly increasing numbers and wealth of the Chinese, where they exist, are apt to give them a degree of presumption which, with the aid of their vices, might make them troublesome, were it not for the wholesome dread they entertain of European power, wherever they happen to be really acquainted
Our travellers, in their progress westward, had to cross the Yellow River more than once where it makes a bend northwards through the Great Wall and back again, enclosing in this curve an area of some three degrees square, the miserably waste and sandy country of the Ortous. Unhappily for the poor missionaries, this ruthless and ungainly stream (which a late emperor justly called " China's sorrow") was in its frequent condition of overflow, and we have a pitiable description of the miseries endured by themselves and their camels, of all beasts the least adapted to deal with floods. The waters of the Yellow River, pure and clear at their source among the Thibet mountains, do not assume M. Huc explains how Thibet, and even Mongol their muddy tinge until they reach the alluvial tracts Tartary, to a considerable extent, is a nation of of the Ortous, where they spread over thousands Lamas. He says he may venture to assert that in of acres during the inundations, altogether concealMongolia they form at least a third of the whole ing the bed of the stream. Being from this point population. In almost every family, with the ex- always nearly on a level with the country through ception of the eldest son, who remains "homme which they flow, this defect of encaissement is the noir," all the rest of the males are destined to be cause of disastrous accidents, when the rapid stream Lamas. Nothing can be more obvious than the is swollen by melting snows near its source. fact that, in China Proper, Buddhism and its same velocity, which charges the river thickly with temples are in ruins, and the priests left in a starv-comminuted soil, prevents its deposition on the ing condition; while, on the other hand, the government gives every encouragement to Lamanism in Tartary. The double object is said to be thus to impose a check on the growth of the population, and at the same time render that population as little warlike as possible. The remembrance of the ancient power of the Mongols haunts the court of Peking. They were once masters of the empire, and, to diminish the chances of a new invasion, the study is now to weaken them by all possible means. With this large proportion of the male population condemned to celibacy, M. Huc gives us the following reasons for his thinking that polygamy, under all the circumstances, is the best thing for the Mongol Tartars. It seems generally to have existed in the pastoral and nomadic state.
This is a distinguishing term for the Laity, who wear their black hair, while the Lamas shave the whole head.
passage until it reaches the provinces of Honan and Keangnan, where the actual bed of the river is now higher than a great portion of the immense plain through which it runs. This evil being continually aggravated by further depositions of mud, a fearful catastrophe seems to overhang that unfortunate region at the same time that the constant repair of the dikes taxes the ingenuity, while it exhausts the treasury, of the Chinese government. Sir John Davis offered to the minister Keying, a relation of the emperor, the aid of English engineers in an emergency where science could scarcely fail of beneficial results; but he shook his head, and said he dared not even mention the subject.
The personal observations of M. Huc settle the question as to the real nature and amount of what is called the "Great Wall" towards the west :
We had occasion (he says) to cross it at more than fifteen different points, and several times we travelled for whole days in the line of its direction, and kept it constantly in view. Often, in lieu of those double turreted walls, which exist near Peking, we met with
↑ M. Huc is here treating of the Mongol Tartars; not of the Thibetians. Father Regis, in his memoir annexed to Duhalde, speaking of the polyandry of Thibet, states expressly that the Tartars admit of no such irregularity." Turner, Moorcroft, and Skin-my and polyandry. The Nair, we suspect, does not ner, found a plurality of husbands common at Teshoo limit himself to his coparcenary wife; and in the Loomboo, Ladak, and on the Himalayas. We found Mahabarat, although Draupadi is the wife of the Five it too in Ceylon, as Cæsar had found it in Britain. Pandus brothers, some of them-if not all-and Arjuna Barbarous as the custom seems to us, and inexplicable especially, have several other wives. But, in case M. by any supposed disproportion of the sexes, we perceive Huc found polyandry at Lhassa, in either form, the no more satisfactory explanation of its existence among omission is unaccountable. It must have been as the Thibetians, than among the Nairs in Malabar. great a novelty to a European, as the rumor of Mr. There is no incompatibility, it is true, between polyga-Hodgson's "live unicorn."
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