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THE

NORTH AMERICAN

REVIEW

EDITED BY ALLEN THORNDIKE RICE.

VOL. CXLIII.

Tros Tyriusque mihi nullo discrimine agetur.

NEW YORK: No. 3 EAST FOURTEENTH STREET.

1886.

COPYRIGHT BY
ALLEN THORNDIE RICE.

1986.

NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW. .

No. CCCLVI.

JULY, 1886.

MOHAMMEDAN MARRIAGES.

THE institution of marriage, whether with one or more wives, is at the base of human society. Upon it rests social stability and order and domestic felicity and virtue. Under its wing are the “ little ones” gathered, upon whom depends so much of present comfort for parents and future safety for State and people. Perhaps the greatest anomaly connected with human advancement is the fact that Christian nations have formed their institutions upon models of the Old Testament, with its patriarchs and tribal system, and its Jewish kings and their Oriental households, and yet have so eliminated the primal feature of ancient Judean life as to have ignored Abraham and Solomon in their practice of plurality of wives. Only the Mormon, that thrifty branch of a dead stump, preserves this practice and peculiarity. Like the Chinese artist, he faithfully copies the ugly flaw of the vase, along with its elegant shape and proportion.

Whether, or when, our “twin relic,” which now flutters as if . wounded in a vital part, shall be abolished from the domain of America, is a problem almost as insoluble as that which now, owing to the presence of the Ottoman in Europe, vexes the nations over the conditions of Turkish civilization.

Why is it that polygamy, as practiced in the Orient, and especially in Turkey, and which, as most argue, saps the foundation VOL. CXLIII.-NO. 356.

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