Six Months' Service in the African Blockade, from April to October, 1848, in Command of H.M.S. Bonetta Volume 1

Six Months' Service in the African Blockade, from April to October, 1848, in Command of H.M.S. Bonetta Volume 1

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1849 edition. Excerpt: ... Marriage is an affair only common among the richer classes; King Cain had one hundred and seventy wives, the greater part of them under twelve years of age; while the matron of the harem and chief wife was not more than his own age. By these wives he had thirty children. A head-man of a town or district, will have as many as twenty and thirty wives, one of which will be either a sister or daughter of the king's; by which, having given the king a relation, a sort of family connec tion arises that makes the king simply the head of one large family; for below these all are slaves to the king and head-man, and their offspring. Wives are looked upon much in the same light as a farmer in England looks upon his cattle. They work upon his farm, and perform all household and out-of-door oflices. A man's wealth is judged in two ways, --by the number of bullocks he keeps and the number of his wives. Strange as it may appear, the bullocks roam about, eat, drink, and sleep; and, except for sacrifices and grand feasts, are never killed or parted with except to add one to the harem; when, unless the acquisition be a beauty, a fat kine is considered equivalent. In these harems there is much intrigue, which is generally punished with death to the offenders. Robin once quaintly remarked, pointing to a handsome black, " That 's my brother, and yet he 's not my brother. His mother was my father's wife, but another man loved her, and that is the consequence." The poor man has but few chances of contracting a marriage, unless he turn war-man; when, by making himself in the least conspicuous, he has a prisoner given to him to wife. There is no ceremony on either side, except in cases of barter, unless--and it seldom happens--a...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 28 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 68g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236579380
  • 9781236579386