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ceived in society with peculiar respect, a degree of sanctity is attached to their character, and it is considered an honor to marry them. If turned out of the temple in their old age, they are liable to be in destitute circumstances, unless they have a handsome daughter to sufcceed them; if so, they may safely rely upon filial kindness. There is another class of Hindoo dancers, called cancemi, or bayaderes. They are avowedly courtesans; but not disgraced by assuming that character, as women are in Christian countries. They receive the same education as the devedassees, or sacred dan. cers; but they are not like them confined to the ser. vice of the temples. Wealthy men hire them at entertainments, and some grandees keep a whole com. pany constantly in their service. They too are load. with jewels, bracelets, armlets, carcanets, coronals, rings, ear-rings, nose-rings, bells, and chains. The dress of a distinguished dancer often costs from fif. teen to twenty thousand rupees. They surround their eyes with a black circle, made with the head of a pin dipped in powder of antimony. Those who are accustomed to it think it increases beauty of expression. eTo preserve the comeliness of their forms, they cover the bosom with hollow cases of wood, linked together, and buckled at the back. These cases are made so very thin and pliable, that they move freely with the slightest motion of the body; they are plated with gold or silver, and sometimes set with gems. There is nothing loud or bold in the manners of these degraded women. They are all softness, gentleness, and coquetry; but their dances, and the songs that accompany them, in which the Orientals take unbounded delight, are voluptuous beyond description. There is another genuine Hindoo dance, called nautch, that differs in all respects from the dances performed by the devedassees, or the canceni. “It is executed by three women, who display in their steps and attitude a degree of seductive gracefulness astonishing to Europeans.” These dancers are called ramdjemies. Their dress is embroidered with gold and silver. They wear trowsers of very rich stuff, with a circle of bells around the ankles. Their lower garment is very ample, and becomes inflated like a balloon, when they turn swiftly. One of the most remarkable features of Hindostan, is the division of society into distinct castes. Nearly a hundred different castes exist, the distinctions of which the Bramins themselves are puzzled to define. The parias, who are considered the scum of all the castes, have a most deplorable lot. These absurd regulations subject the masters of houses to great expense, as the meanest domestic absolutely refuses to perform any office but the one allotted to his or her Ciste. A religious and civil law forbids any mixture of blood between the different castes. It is singular that a man is not degraded from his caste for being vicious, or for believing or disbelieving certain articles of religion; but he is degraded for intermarrying with an inferior caste, forming a friendship with any such, or partaking food with them. Customs that have some degree of similarity are hereditary among the descendants of the Jewish nation, and in some parts of the Chinese empire; but the nearest parallel to the Hindoo distinction of castes exists between the white and colored population of the United States of America. There is indeed some difference. The wealthy American, if starving, would gladly partake food with the mulatto, whose companionship would disgrace him under other circumstances; but the high caste Bramin would die rather than receive susenance from a paria. “A Bramin, being oppressed with thirst as he journeyed along, met a woman of low condition carrying a vessel of water on her head. He asked her for some to drink; but, that he might not receive water from an impure hand, he formed a little channel on the ground; the woman poured the water in at one end, while the Bramin drank at the other. One of his own caste, who happened to be passing at the time, accused him before the council of the Bramins; the affair was investigated, and he narrowly escaped the sentence of exclusion from his caste.” It is said that all distinctions cease in the temple of Juggernaut, on the occasion of a yearly festival; in commemoration of the primitive equality of mankind, the Bramin and the paria then eat together, without any disastrous consequences. It is rare to find an unmarried female in India, except those who have been betrothed in infancy, and lost their partners before the period of what they call “the second marriage.” These girls can never marry without losing caste; but as the af. sections cannot be controlled by custom, these unfortunate beings often forfeit their characters by imprudence. Suicides on this account were so common, that an officer of the British government, in order to prevent them in his district, commanded that all such corpses should be exposed to the public gaze. The law proved so effectual, that there was never any necessity for enforcing it. Marriages between little girls and very old men are common in India. The Hindoo girls usually Lorry between the ages of seven and nine years, and the boys between twelve and fourteen. The wife must not only be of the same caste with her husband, but also of the same family. The Hindoo has a right to marry the daughter of his father, or of his mother's brother. Parents cannot give a denial when their daughter is demanded, because brothers and sisters only, of the same caste, are forbidden to marry; but under that name the law includes the children of the father's brothers, and of the mother's sisters. The ceremonies vary among different castes, and in different districts. The wealthy give very expensive entertainments, the cost of which is defrayed by the husband's father. The practice likewise varies in regard to dowry. In the superior castes, the wife generally brings her husband a portion; but among the sooders, the bridegroom gives a sum of money to the bride's father. One kind of the ancient Hindoo marriages required no ceremony but the mutual consent of, the parties. Without witnesses, they exchanged necklaces or wreaths of flowers, the girl saying, “I am thy wife;” and the bridegroom replying, “It is true.” In the inferior castes the marriage ceremony is still very simple, but it is not considered legal unless performed in the presence of the chief of the tribe. A singular custom has been said to prevail in a town of the Carnatic. When a young couple are conducted to the temple, the bride offers her hand to the priest, who cuts off the third and little finger at the second joint. V In ancient times both parties sacrificed a joint of the finger; but as this sometimes made it difficult for the husband to follow his profession, the Bramins decided that the woman should make a double sacrifice, and lose two fingers instead of one. A woman of that caste considers it a disgrace to have all her fingers. Before any match is concloded, great pains is taken to ascertain whether the aspect of the stars predicts a fortunate or unfortunate union. Marriages are solemnized only in February, May, June, October, and the beginning of November. When a Hindoo has fixed his mind upon what he considers a suitable match for his son, he sends a stranger to sound the girl's father, in order to save himself the shame of an open rejection. If the suggestion be favorably received, he goes and makes a formal proposition. He must be accompanied by

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