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believe in woman becoming the slave of man, neither do I believe in her becoming his victim.
Would suffrage really benefit womankind ? Her dearest sphere has ever been the home circle, where she reigns supreme, educating her children in both morals and religion. Here woman has her rights unquestioned, and here her work tends to make voters for “God, and home, and native land." America has exalted her daughters, can she exalt their morals? America has granted freedom to the fair sex; can she not devise reformation for fallen women?
It must not be supposed that the vicious tendencies here noticed apply to American women as a rule, but that they belong to a class which these conditions of freedom, or the abuse of it, have made possible. Whatever may be said in favor of the opposite tendencies, as they apply to American women in general, we intend only to refer to a feature of social life, which, though exceptional, deserves the observations made, and calls more loudly for restrictive measures than for the enlargement of “woman's sphere."
Let us now look at some of the peculiar yet interesting customs leading to marriage. The matches and courtships with the Turks are beset with more difficulties than in western countries. Young Turks do not call on their lady friends and prolong the tale-indeed a tale of long hours among some Americans. Most Turkish girls cannot even write, but many generations of practice has developed an unique system of symbols by which they communicate with young men whose friendship they wish to encourage. A hanum or young lady sees in the private grounds of a neighbor over the wall, a comely youth whom she admires, and then proceeds to communicate with him. She prepares an affectionate surprise, not with paper and ink, for she can not write. She makes up an expressive token of regard with a piece of string, delicious fruit, fragrant flowers, and pretty bits of stone, each of which has a meaning. When completed it is tossed over the intervening wall, and lying near his favorite ramble is soon found. It is read like an open book. The thoughts expressed are those in vogue the world over under similar impulses, and ere long she will find an answer beneath her window similar to her own message. This strange correspondence will continue for a varying period. By and by, if the tokens are indicative of unalterable affection, the young man brings the question of his matrimonial scheme to the consideration of his parents, inspiring them with the same zeal and determination that Patrick Herry displayed in the Continental Congress when he exclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death.” The marriage of the young lovers is arranged by mutual agreement of the families. This is but the formal sequel to an affair of the heart, romantic in its inception and natural in its results. With such a system of communicating her thoughts many a Mohammedan girl does not regret her inability to write. She has no conception of any other use which she could make of the pen. Doubtless she has been quite willing to submit to those forms of marriage ceremony and wedding festivity which make her the almost hideous dummy of the occasion. To be enveloped and thickly covered in a colored sheet and stood in the corner for hours, mute and motionless, like the corpse at an Irish wake, is the fate of the Turkish bride. She is not allowed to be exposed to the public gaze. It has always been a mystery to me how such an odd custom was ever inaugurated and still dominates for so many generations !-how life's most happy occasion should be spent in such a state of humiliation. Has not the Orient always been a land of mysterious operations? What a striking contrast to the free and happy lot of Armenian and other Christian brides at the hymenial celebration. Among the more old-fashioned parents, contracts for the marriage of their children are made while they are yet mere infants, and neither the boy nor the girl has any voice in the matter. The wedding festivities among the Turks last several days. It is made a great occasion of joy and jubilee, enlivened by music and dancing. The newly married bride's manners are very singular indeed, and in this one aspect bears a remarkable resemblance to the old-fashioned patriarchal manners of the Armenians. She utters never a word, except when alone with her husband. Nor will she until after the birth of her first born. Then she will talk only as young mothers can to her own. After a while she will talk to her mother-in-law; still later, her own mother may again hear her voice, and ere long she will talk in whispers with the young girls of the household. She will not leave the house during the first year of her married life except to go to devotions. Practically her discipline as a bride terminates in six years; however, she will never in her lifetime open her lips to a man except he is related to her. Such exacting devotion is unknown elsewhere. Young girls of the household are allowed to conduct themselves in striking contrast to the young married woman. They chatter cheerfully while playing with white kittens, whose tails are dyed pink, in imitation of the Sultan's favorite horse. Their ruddy faces, full of mirth, are the brightest part of the domestic picture.
Among the Armenians the parents of the bride and groom send out a large number of wedding invitations to their respective friends and relatives. Thus the wedding becomes a picturesque concourse of guests, gathered from far and near, at the respective homes of the bride and groom, all dressed in gala attire, with profuse gifts on hand for the bride. It is, indeed, made the greatest occasion of joy and merriment. Everything puts on a most brilliant appearance. There is much gaud and glitter, pomp and pride all around. What a wave of rich robes! What a luminous vision of flashing jewels! After much music, hilarity and refreshments, the companions of the groom advance in procession to the home of the bride, and thence in great ceremony the joined guests accompanied by the bride and groom, proceed to church where the simple marriage ceremony is performed in the presence of many witnesses. In the evening there is generally a banquet tendered by the newly married pair to their happy friends. All next day, sometimes the entire week, the young couple are busy with congratulations of callers and feasting merriment. To make the greatest occasion in lifemarriage, the greatest occasion of jubilee is certainly a beautiful custom, and Americans do well to adopt it.
THE CARE OF THE SICK-DISPOSAL OF THE DEAD.
After wandering together in the realms of fancy, courtship and marriage, I now invite you, my reader, to the city of the dead. Do not pleasure and grief, life and death, walk side by side through all earthly avenues ? Are not our hearts sometimes enraptured with sunshine of joy, sometimes overshadowed with the thickest clouds of sorrow? Do not the objects in nature indicate the same law of life and death, of brightness and gloom? The exquisite flower that blooms to-day, holding in its sweet chalice the purest dews of the skies, fades away to-morrow. Shall we not, then, my reader, turn our steps for a while from these brilliant nuptial pictures to solemn scenes of sickness and death.
In cities, medical science and treatment of the sick are very much on the same plan and condition as those among Americans. Within the last quarter of a century expert foreign and native doctors have multiplied in the country. In small villages and hamlets inhabited by Turks, the care of the sick is very singular indeed. Professional nursing is unknown, while quacks are numerous. The invalid wants to be cured at once-in a few hours. This universal desire to get rid of disease in a hurry makes them willing to try anything and everything that promises immediate victory