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‘‘But surely you do not defend the custom of child marriages in India, Mrs Steel;.are they not cruel and unnatural?”—“Certainly; no one can defend the child marriages, and, moreover, they are, in my opinion, contrary to the Hindoo religion, which: teaches that a girl should be of marriageable age before she takes a husband. In the part of India with which I ani acquainted—the Punjab—a girl is nob married until she is thirteen, or even older, and-in that country she is a young woman at that age. The result of my own personal observation is that marriages in India are singularly .happy, Thera are fewer cases of unkindness and violence than in this country. The dowry system is a great protection to the wife. " Every wife takes her husband a dowry, which is a kind of marriage settlement against unkindness. If she is badly treated, and thus compelled to go back to her father’s house, the busbaud has to return her dowry ; probably he ,has_ spent it, and as it is nob often convenient for him to refund tho money, he takes care'to'treat his wife well. I think that a similar system here would be a good thing.” . “ And are stories we hear of tho mothers-in-law in India founded upon fact, do you think?”—“l must admit that the mother-in-law is rather a dreadful person, and the young wife has a trying time for the first year of her marriage, but after the birth of the first child she becomes the idol of the house.”

“ And she takes her compensation oat .of life by reflecting that she will one day be a mother-in-law herself ?' 1 —“ Yes, that comforts her a little. I really think that the Hindoo has a finer idea of marriage than we have. Ho docs not make it a personal affair, but entersintoit cntirelyforthesakeof having children. It is through his children that he ooka for immortality.”—From an interview with Mrs Flora Annie Steel, by Sarah A. looley, on ‘ The Social Condition of India, 1 in the ‘Humanitarian. 1

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Bibliographic details

CHILD MARRIAGES IN INDIA., Issue 10441, 9 October 1897, Supplement

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CHILD MARRIAGES IN INDIA. Issue 10441, 9 October 1897, Supplement

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