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Cairo to go back to her husband and con- he kept on repeating doggedly, and I was tinue to be an obedient, loving wife, not- obliged to make her go with him. With withstanding previous cruelty and deser- choking sobs and eyes filled with tears, tion on his part. She was a mere child she said : “I will go, ya sitti (my lady), in years—sixteen or seventeen-hardly because you tell me that God and your re
ligion say I must ; but, oh! you do not Poor Mabrooka! Those who talk and know to what you send me !" write so glibly of the “ laudable Moslem A few months after she came back, but religion” ought to have seen this poor so changed that it was difficult for me to creature, as I told her that my religion recognize her. Cruelty and starvation had taught me that it would be a sin on my had their effect, and now he had again part to keep her from her husband, and deserted her on the eve of again becoming that she must try to forgive and forget, a mother ! and go back and live with him.
It may be said by Philo-Mohammedans, She had been his wife for a couple or and I know it is said by Mohammedans more of years, when he went away and themselves, that such things happen in left her with a young child in her arms- Christian England.
Yes ! With grief both wholly unprovided for! The infant and shame I grant it, but am thankful to died of starvation, and she was brought add that the religion of Christian England to me by the Sheikh El Mukhadameen does not abet or permit it, and this, thank (the chief of those who procure servants). God, makes a very wide difference. She was very frightened when she came to One argument often brought forward me, for she had never spoken to Euro- by Philo-Mohammedans is that the marpeans, or indeed to Christians at all, and riage relation remains undissolved much cried much the first few days ; but it was oftener than otherwise. Such may be the a case of staying or going back to utter case, for among the higher classes divorce starvation. Good food had its due effect, is considered somewhat disreputable ; not and the fact that a young child very near from any higher sense of its sinfulness, or the age of her own was to be her chief any greater degree of affection on the huscare soon reconciled her to living with me, band's part, but because men of any pochild-mother though she was.
sition or standing are unwilling that their She was with me for eleven months. own particular daughter should have such A more simple-hearted, docile, sweet- a slight put upon them—that anything betempered creature I never had in my longing to them should be obliged to subhouse. She was so attached to me and to mit to such a degradation at the bare my children that, as she was an orphan caprice of another. Thus it happens that and had no relations, I hoped that I might we never hear of the daughters of sultans, be able to keep her always ; but my pashas, or any wealthy or influential peowishes were frustrated.
ple being divorced. I lave heard it averred One day a Fellah was announced from over and over again as a well-substantiated Upper Egypt. It was her husband ! lle fact that the Sultan has at least one new said he wanted his wife. Of course he wife every year besides innumerable conhad heard that she had been cared for and cubines. What becomes of the old ones? was looking well, and also that she had a Surely they must be divorced, for the law nice little wardrobe, and a sum of money of El Islam will not permit of more than which in Cairo at that time was considered four wives, nor can a legally married wife very substantial, and his fingers itched to become a concubine. There is therefore have the despoiling of so many good the always existing possibility of divorce things.
for no reason at all, save a groundless and Mabrooka wept bitterly, and throwing capricious whim on the part of the husherself at my feet begged me to keep her, band. saying she would be my slave all through A Mohammedan girl is brought up with life if I would only prevent her going the idea that she has nothing to do with back. We did all we could to persuade love. It is ayib (shame) for her to love her husband to divorce her, promising her husband. She dares not do it if she him all her little possessions and a sum of would. What he asks and expects of her money besides.
is to tremble before him and yield him “ She is my wife! I want my wife !” unquestioning obedience. I have seen a
husband look pleased and complacent time the mother of three children, who all when his wife looked afraid to lift up her died in infancy, but her life was bound eyes even when visitors were present. up in her husband, and as long as she had
Still, with all this, I have known of him she did not care. cases where the wife, being married One day he came in bringing with him young, and treated fairly well, really grew a little girl and said that he had married to love her husband, and I am sure it again ! would oftener be the case but for the “Ya Madamtee !” (Oh my misforbaneful effect of the example of their tune !) screeched Aysba, who was herself prophet and the permission of their Koran barely twenty. 66 What have I'done that to bring in a second wife, or a white
should hate me all at once, and bring slave,” after a decade of years has passed this strange woman between us ? May away.
less ; may your There are some men among them, but father find mercy ; may you have length I think they are rare, who boast that they of days given you : send ber back to her marry a new wife every month. ' It is friends, and be not so cruel to me. Or so easy, say they,
to divorce a wife else-why should I be in your way ? diwhen one is tired of her !" And sucb is vorce me since you no longer care for the fact ! At any unexpected moment the fatal words, You are divorced,'' * No,” said her husband, “I do not may be uttered, and an utter wrenching hate you, and will not divorce you. ACof home ties, perhaps of many years' ex- cording to our prophet's words (on him istence, takes place. The wife must veil be peace) we, the believers, may have herself, and never again let her husband more wives than one, and what you ask is sce her. She takes with her any property impossible.” that has been given to her by her hus- The days went on, and Aysha found band, parents, or any other person, this herself become the drudge and servant, being always entirely her own, and not and no appeals for divorce were listened in any way subject to her husband's will, to ; so one day, just as it was about the and she leaves her husband's house, and usual time for him to come home, she got her children.
together all her things and put them beA woman cannot, of herself, separate bind the door, with her milayeh (large from her husband without his consent. veil for covering the figure) and boorka If she is clever, however, she will take (nose veil). She then set upon the new him by surprise at an unguarded moment, wife, beating her, and scratching her, and and contrive to do or say something which tearing out her hair at such a rate, that: will make him so angry that before he when her husband came in his rage knew can exercise sufficient self-control to stop no bounds and be screamed out, hinself, he has uttered the wished-forbitalata !" (divorced the third time !). words.
She had not been divorced before, but the Aysha, a servant of mine in Cairo, told phrase means divorced without hope of me she had done it in this way. Her return. story was this.
She was married at the In this way she got free, and catching age of nine years and grew up knowing up her bundle and veil with cat-like agilno one and caring for no one but her hus- ity, she was ont of the house before he band. To see that his clothes were of a could touch her, snowy whiteness, and his stews and pilaufs This is one case out of thousands which carefully cooked with the full modicum are daily occurring, and proves what I of rich spices and savory herbs, the rice said before, that it is the religion of the of a golden color imparted by the saffron, false prophet, the tenet of the Koran, to and the meat of an appetizing tenderness, which are attributable all the faults of Moand all ready prepared at the moment of bis hammedan women. And can it be possiarrival from the sook, was the sole object of ble that the enlightened daughters of her existence, and she was contented and Christian England knowingly and willhappy, for he always spoke as if he loved ingly ally themselves to such a system by ber, and said “he would never marry marriage with Mohammedans ? again, but that she should be the com- No amount of education or civilization panion of his whole life.'' She was in or public opinion can give the wife of a NEW SERIES. VOL. LIV., No. 2.
Mohammedan any security in the marriage amount of his wealth, so much larger his tie.
there is never known Much has been said lately about the or commented on in the outer world. rights of woman. The gospel of Jesus It is contrary to all Moslem ideas and Christ—the Old and New Covenant which Moslem etiquette for any man to make form the basis of the religion of hitherto inquiries about any female that lives in happy England—has given woman the the house of another. right to be queen and sovereign of the It is but natural to suppose that among home where she reigns as wife. As yet, the many human beings, wives, concuand long may it remain so, her chief right bines, and slaves, who compose a haremand glory is to be the safe deposit of her with the head eunuch, who ostentatiously husband's confidence, the guiding star of keeps them in order, but is really a little his existence, one in whom the heart of king among them—there are strong wills her husband doth safely trust, who open- and fierce passions, commanding intellects eth ber mouth with wisdom, whose chil- and unwearied energies, which, could they dren arise up and call her blessed ; her be rightly guided, might be of benefit to husband also, and he praiseth her.” the world ; but, being wholly without
If things turn out otherwise-and it is vent save among themselves, turn their sad that the weakness and sinfulness of little world into a perfect pandemonium. human nature should often cause it to be I will not harrow the feelings of the so-yet it is not the Christian religion reader by relating the cruelties perpetrated that is to blame.
in the utter oblivion of the harem between I feel compelled to give one more ex- themselves, as described to me by one of ample of what the Mohammedan can do, their own number, for they know that no and what his religion sanctions.
law can reach them. It was a sad case which happened while “Oh ! it is only women among themI was at Damascus, and took place among selves—who can expect women to be reathe better class of Mohammedans,
sonable? It is best to turn a deaf ear to Zeynab R. was married to a very weal- what goes on in the women's apartments, thy man who was very much older than say the men with a contemptuous shrug her father ; but as he was of very high of the shoulder. standing in Moslem society, her father The husband and autocrat, caring but congratulated himself on having secured for his own self-indulgence, one day lavhim as a husband for his child. Zeynab ishes caresses and loads with presents was only about ten years old when she some, for the time, favored one, and the was taken to her husband's house, dressed next gives her up to all that the fury and out like a doll in all the finery and jewels jealousy of those who are less favored can which he had, in accordance with Moslem invent. rules, sent with a lavish hand before the Zeynab became, in the course of time, wedding
the mother of two sons, but unkindness Years passed away before she again and cruelty had pulled down her constitucrossed her husband's threshold.
tion. Her mind seemed to give way at Once behind the “burdayeh" or the hopelessness of her life. Worn to a
starr” (for both these names are given shadow and mad with despair, she at last to the thick heavy curtain which shuts succeeded one day in eluding discovery out the women's apartments from the rest by putting on the dress of a slave, and, of the world) a young girl-wife is literally slipping past the great burdayeh and the buried alive, and her horizon is limited guardian bowab (the gate-keeper), fled to by her husband, his wives, and his slaves. her father's house.
Until she becomes a mother herself she Her father had not seen her since she may not even think of seeing her own had left bis house on her wedding day ! mother, and if, as in the case of Zeynab, True, rumors were whispered about, and by means of wealth or position her hus had been brought to him by elderly women band stands a little higher than her friends, who frequent the harems as peddlers and years may pass away before she crosses hawkers, but he had shrugged his shoulher inother's threshold again.
ders and merely said “it would not be A harem is a world in itself. The hug- seemly to quarrel with a man of such band is the autocrat, and the larger the standing as his son-in-law for the sake of give up
a woman. Now that he saw the change barem, and that neither law nor public in her he was startled and shocked as she opinion can touch him there. I hare threw herself at his feet and begged him known English women married to Mosto put an end to her life if he would, but lems who, having in their own persons not to send her back.
experienced the reality of such a life, have The father's heart was awakened, and made it the one object of their lives to she was tenderly cared for, but a long and get their daughters out of the clutches of severe illness followed, in which all hope that religion, so baneful to women, before of life was given up by the doctors. they reached the age considered marriage
Her father took into consultation men able among Moslems. I could call witlearned in Moslem law, and sent deputa nesses to the bitter tears and restless, tion after deputation to his son-in-law en- sleepless anxiety with which an English treating him to divorce her, and saying mother watched the innocent gambols of how utterly incapable she was of returning her infant daughter, although her own to be his wife. The unhappy father husband was a man of education, of great offered not only to remit her dowry and wealth, and of a most influential position.
all claims to any property which He had been often in England and France, she had left in the barem, but to pay any and spoke the languages of both those sum of money demanded within reason. countries with ease. He was as good a
Again and again the same answer came husband as his religion would allow him back, “I will not divorce her ; she is my to be, and after years of continued tears wife and must come back.” Cadis and and entreaty on the part of his wife be moollabs were sent to expostulate with actually was bold enough to wink at the him, but he laughed at all they said. mother's fleeing with the child to a place “He wanted her back, sick or well, and of refuge. For this amount of kindness he would have her ; not because he loved he was called to account by the ulemas her, but to show her the consequences of and learned men of his religion, on the trying to escape him. He was a Moslem, plea that it was a heinous sin against the and would brook no interference between Koran to keep his daughter where she himself and the inmates of his harem. could not be married to a Moslem. He Mashalla ! They would laugh at his beard was ordered to command her return, but if they could get off so easily.”
her mother bid her and changed her own His fiendish louks as he said this fright- name. This was some years ago, and I ened even those hardened inen, and they do not know what the sequel bas been. advised her father to keep her carefully Having given an instance of a husband's hidden, lest she should fall a victim to cruelty as shielded by the Koran and the her husband's cruelty.
Mohammedan religion, I will now proceed Shall I—dare I-put on paper what his to show how a naturally amiable and next message was? I did not see it done good hearted man is bid to look upon his myself. I was told-yes, I was told on wife by the light of that same Koran. good authority and in bated whispers-- On an Austrian steamer I met an Egypwhat it was. He took her two sons, who tian Effendi who seemed a man of intelliwere also his sons—those little darling gence and wealth. He had his wife with boys—he took them, wrung their necks, him, and had secured the ladies' cabin and sent their dead bodies still palpitating for ber. There she remained with her to show her what he had in store for her! three little children and a black slave,
The young mother, not yet twenty, never coming out once for a breath of never raised her head after the one wild fresh air during the whole voyage. shriek she gave, and in a few days she too The Effendi spoke of her in a very patdied, the victim of despair.
ronizing, good-natured sort of way. He This is no exaggerated tale, no piece of told me that he was just returning from sensational fiction. If I dared give names Europe, and that, having been obliged to and dates, I am not sure but what now at go there on business, he had taken bis the present moment there are some in wife with him, to have an operation perEngland who could corroborate my state- formed on her eyes for cataract, she being ment. But what need have I of wit- perfectly blind through that disease. nesses ? Every Moslem knows that his re- On my showing some surprise at his in. ligion gives him supreme control in his curring so much trouble and expense for a wife, this being an uncommon thing for This law demands no reason from the a Moslem to do, he said, “ It is sowab (a husband for divorcing his wife ; nor does meritorious action) that she should be en- it give her any claim or legal power by abled to look upon her children. It is which she may oppose his wishes in this sowab with God. To see a blind dog who respect ; and it is in the selfishness of cannot look upon her puppies is a painful human nature that the strong shall triumph sight. How much more a human being ! over the weak, and consider any and every for after all a woman is a human being. exercise of power, however subtle or cruel But now that she can see them she has it may be, as only the natural right and nothing more to wish for and is very due given to man by God. grateful to me.”
Man's will, capricious and fickle and All this and much more of the like na- totally unreasonable though it be, being ture was said with an air of great benevo- made, therefore, the pivot on which these lence and condescension, and althongh he marriages rest, surely we know enough to Jooked and spoke as if he knew that he be sure, in spite of all that Philo-Moslens had done a very praiseworthy and humane may say, that the life of a Mohammedan action, which showed the goodness of his woman is by no means to be envied. nature, I was bound to give him his due. Much has been written about “ woman's It was indeed, especially thirty years ago, rights, and women of to-day, but a wonderful thing for a Moslem husband the old words uttered thousands of years to do. Perhaps the fact that the three ago by our Saviour Himself, What, children were all boys had something to therefore, God hath joined together let do with it, for most Moslems are very not man put asunder,'' have given woman. fond and proud of their sons.
her real status in this world. That she It is said the Koran enjoins the kind takes her place as a helpmeet to man she treatment of the wife, and so it does after owes to the Christian religion, and never a fashion which yet clearly gives full in the Moslem's Koran will she find such license to the way the Moslems treat their courage and strength as in the beautiful wives. It says, “ Treat them kindly ; words, written by an inspired Apostle, and if ye would leave them, may God or- “ Husbands, love your wives, even der it for the best." If ye would Christ also loved the church, and
gave change your wives for others, take not aught Himself for it.”—Nineteenth Century. back from what ye had given them.”
BULGARS AND SERBS.*
BY A. HULME-BEAMAN.
My first residence in Sofia was the Hotel instructors, it has remained untenanted Imperial in the Rakovska Ulitza, histori- except by the cavasses and Russian setters. cally the principal street of the capital. Its shuttered windows and closed iron At the top right-hand corner stands the gates mark the continued protest of the Russian Legation, a solid, square-looking White Czar against the powers that now pile in gray stone looking out over the be in Sofia. Walking past one afternoon Balkans to the north, and Mount Vitosh with M. Stamboloff, he glanced at the to the south. Since the withdrawal of building and, struck with a sudden recolthe Imperial Commissioner and military lection, remarked* It would perhaps be more correct to style of Slivnit za was fought—a glorious sun,
" It was on just such a day that the battle the following pages extracts from a casual note-book, since I have not trusted to memory
not a breath of wind, and the roar of the for the details of conversations, all of which cannon sounding as close as if they were were jotted down at the time, and may be not a kilometre distant. I had driven in taken as almost verbatim reports. Rather from the field in the morning with Major than change the speakers' words, I have pre, H-, and we both thought the Serbs ferred simply to reproduce them, which will explain and excuse their frequent bluntness
must have made some flank movement, of style.
and be approaching from the opposite