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Powers (227) tells a tragic tale of the California Indians, which in some respects reminds one of the man who jumped into a bramble-bush and scratched out both his eyes. 66 There was once a man who loved two women and wished to marry them. Now these two women were magpies, but they loved him not, and laughed his wooing to scorn. Then he fell into a rage and cursed these two women, and went far away to the North. There he set the world on fire, then made for himself a tule boat, wherein he escaped to sea, and was never seen more.'
Belden, who spent twelve years among the Sioux and other Indians, writes (302): "I once knew a young man who had about a dozen horses he had captured at different times from the enemy, and who fell desperately in love with a girl of nineteen. She loved him in return, but said she could not bear to leave her tribe, and go to a Santee village, unless her two sisters, aged respectively fifteen and seventeen, went with her. Determined to have his sweetheart, the next time the warrior visited the Yankton village he took several ponies with him, and bought all three of the girls from their parents, giving five ponies for them."
OBSTACLES TO MONOPOLISM
Heriot, during his sojourn among Canadian Indians, became convinced from what he saw that love does not admit of divided affections, and can hardly coexist with polygamy (324). Schoolcraft notes the "curious fact" concerning the Indian that after a war "one of the first things he thought of as a proper reward for his bravery was to take another wife." In the chapter entitled "Honorable Polygamy" we saw how, in polygamous communities the world over, monogamy was despised as the "poor man's marriage," and was practised, not from choice, but from necessity. Every man who was able to do so bought or stole several women, and joined the honorable guild of polygamists. Such a custom, enforced by a strong public opinion, created a sentiment which greatly retarded the development of monopolism in sexual love. A young Indian might dream of marrying a certain girl, not,
however, with a view to giving her his whole heart, but only as a beginning. The woman, it is true, was expected to give herself to one husband, but he seldom hesitated to lend her to a friend as an act of hospitality, and in many cases would hire her out to a stranger in return for gifts.
In not a few communities of Asia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Australia, Africa, and America polyandry prevailed; that is, the woman was expected to bestow her caresses in turn on two or more men, to the destruction of the desire for exclusive possession which is an imperative trait of love. Rowney describes (154) what we might call syndicate marriage which has prevailed among the Meeris of India: "All the girls have their prices, the largest price for the best-looking girl varying from twenty to thirty pigs, and, if one man cannot give so many, he has no objection to take partners to make up the number." According to Julius Cæsar, it was customary among the ancient Britons for brothers, and sometimes for father and sons, to have their wives in common, and Tacitus found evidence of a similar custom among the ancient Germans; while in some parts of Media it was the ambition of the women to have two or more husbands, and Strabo relates that those who succeeded looked down with pride on their less fortunate sisters. When the Spaniards first arrived at Lanzarote, in South America, they found the women married to several husbands, who lived with their common spouse in turn each a month. The Tibetans, according to Samuel Turner, look on marriage as a disagreeable duty which the members of a family must try to alleviate by sharing its burdens. The Nair woman in India may have up to ten or twelve husbands, with each of whom she lives ten days at a time. Among some Himalayan tribes, when the oldest brother marries, he generally shares his wife with his younger brothers.
WIVES AND GIRLS IN COMMON
Of the Port Lincoln Tribe in Australia, Schürmann says (223) that the brothers practically have their wives in common. A peculiar nomenclature has arisen from these sin
gular connections; a woman honors the brothers of the man to whom she is married by the indiscriminate name of husbands; but the men make a distinction, calling their own individual spouses yungaras, and those to whom they have a secondary claim, by right of brotherhood, kartetis."
R. H. Codrington, a scientifically educated missionary who had twenty-four years' experience on the islands of the Pacific, wrote a valuable book on the Melanesians in which occur the following luminous remarks:
"All women who may become wives in marriage, and are not yet appropriated, are to a certain extent looked upon by those who may be their husbands as open to a more or less legitimate intercourse. In fact, appropriation of particular women to their own husbands, though established by every sanction of native custom, has by no means so strong a hold in native society, nor in all probability anything like so deep a foundation in the history of the native people, as the severance of either sex by divisions which most strictly limit the intercourse of men and women to those of the section or sections to which they themselves do not belong. Two proofs or exemplifications of this are conspicuous. (1) There is probably no place in which the common opinion of Melanesians approves the intercourse of the unmarried youths and girls as a thing good in itself, though it allows it as a thing to be expected and excused; but intercourse within the limit which restrains from marriage, where two members of the same division are concerned, is a crime, is incest... (2) The feeling, on the other hand, that the intercourse of the sexes was natural where the man and woman belonged to different divisions, was shown by that feature of native hospitality which provided a guest with a temporary wife.' Though now denied in some places, "there can be no doubt that it was common everywhere.'
Nor can there be any doubt that what Codrington here says of the Melanesians applies also to Polynesians, Australians, and to uncivilized peoples in general. It shows that even where monogamy prevails-as it does quite extensively among the lower races-we must, not look for monopolism as a matter of course. The two are very far from being identical. Primitive marriage is not a matter of sentiment but of utility.
1 See Westermarck, Chap. xx., for a list of monogamous peoples.
and sensual greed. Monogamy, in its lower phases, does not exclude promiscuous intercourse before marriage and (with the husband's permission) after marriage. A man appropriates a particular woman, not because he is solicitous for a monopoly of her chaste affections, but because he needs a drudge to cook and toil for him. Primitive marriage, in short, has little in common with civilized marriage except the name an important fact the disregard of which has led to no end of confusion in anthropological and sociological literature.1
At a somewhat higher stage, marriage becomes primarily an institution for raising soldiers for the state or sons to perform ancestor worship. This is still very far from the modern ideal which makes marriage a lasting union of two loving souls, children or no children. Particularly instructive, from our point of view, is the custom of trial marriage, which has prevailed among many peoples differing otherwise as widely as ancient Egyptians and modern Borneans. A modern lover would loathe the idea of such a trial marriage, because he feels sure that his love will be eternal and unalterable. He may be mistaken, but that at any rate is his ideal: it includes last-ing monopolism. If a modern sweetheart offered her lover a temporary marriage, he would either firmly and anxiously decline it, fearing that she might take advantage of the contract and leave him at the end of the year; or, what is much more probable, his love, if genuine, would die a sudden death, because no respectable girl could make such an offer, and genuine love cannot exist without respect for the beloved, whatever may be said to the contrary by those who know not the difference between sensual and sentimental love.
The vexed question of promiscuity hinges on this distinction. As a matter of form promiscuity may not have been the earliest phase of human marriage, but as a matter of fact it was. Westermarck's ingeniously and elaborately built up argument against the theory of promiscuity is a leaning tower which crashes to the ground when weighted by this one consideration. See the chapter on Australia.
For a partial list of peoples who practised trial marriage and frequent divorce see Westermarck, 518-521, and C. Fischer, Ueber die Probenachte der deutschen Bauernmädchen. Leipzig, 1780.
TWO ROMAN LOVERS
While I am convinced that all these things are as stated, I do not wish to deny that monopolism of a violent kind may and does occur in love which is merely sensual. In fact, I have expressly classed monopolism among those seven ingredients of love which occur in its sensual as well as its sentimental phases. For a correct diagnosis of love it is indeed of great importance to bear this in mind, as we might otherwise be led astray by specious passages, especially in Greek and Roman literature, in which sensual love sometimes reaches a degree of subtility, delicacy, and refinement, which approximate it to sentimental love, though a critical analysis always reveals the difference. The two best instances I know of occur in Tibullus and Terence. Tibullus, in one of his finest poems (IV., 13), expresses the monopolistic wish that his favorite might seem beautiful to him only, displeasing all others, for then he would be safe from all rivalry; then he might live happy in forest solitudes, and she alone would be to him a multitude:
Atque utinam posses uni mihi bella videri;
Sic ego secretis possum bene vivere silvis
Unfortunately, the opening line of this poem:
Nulla tuum nobis subducet femina lectum,
and what is known otherwise of the dissolute character of the poet and of all the women to whom he addressed his verses, make it only too obvious that there is here no question of purity, of respect, of adoration, of any of the qualities which distinguish supersensual love from lust.
More interesting still is a passage in the Eunuchus of