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Marriage Rites, Customs, and Ceremonies, of the Nations of the ... Augusta Hamilton

Should the wife marry another whilst her first husband is living, he is at liberty to have her strangled. If a man quit his wife and family, the wife, after three years, may apply to the mandarin, and, upon stating her situation, he can authorise her to take another husband; she, however, would be severely punished were she to marry without this permis- .sion. In certain cases a man may turn off his wife ; as for instance, if she be barren, for a bad temper, theft, or any contagious disorder. Divorces are very rare among the rich, and the poor practice it but seldom.

At TONQUIN, where fruitfulness is honored, the pain imposed on barren wives is to search for agreeable girls, and bring them to their husbands. The Tonquinese think the Europeans ridiculous in having only one wife; and cannot conceive why, among us, rational beings can think of honoring God by a vow of chastity. They maintain, that, it is as criminal not to give life to what has it not, as to take it from those who already have it.

TARTARY.- Among the Thibetians in Chinese Tartary, a kind of male polygamy is practised.

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