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the evening without any burden; we return with the burden of our
children. Though tired with long walking, we are not allowed to sleep,
but must labor the whole night, in grinding maize to make _chica_ for
them. They get drunk, and in their drunkenness beat us, draw us by the
hair of the head, and tread us under foot. A young wife is brought upon
us and permitted to abuse us and our children. What kindness can we show
to our female children, equal to that of relieving them from such
servitude, more bitter a thousand times than death? I repeat again,
would to God my mother had put me under ground, the moment I was born."
"The men," says Commodore Byron, in his account of the inhabitants of
South America, "exercise a most despotic authority over their wives whom
they consider in the same view they do any other part of their property,
and dispose of them accordingly. Even their common treatment of them is
cruel. For, though the toil and hazard of procuring food lies entirely
on the women, yet they are not suffered to touch any part of it, until
the husband is satisfied; and then he assign them their portion, which
is generally very scanty, and such as he has not a stomach for himself."
The Greenlanders, who live mostly upon seals, think it sufficient to
catch and bring them on shore; and would rather submit to starve than
assist their women in skinning, dressing, or dragging home the cumbrous
animals to their huts.
In some parts of America, when the men kill any game in the woods, they
lay it at the root of a tree, fix a mark there, and travelling until
they arrive at their habitation, send their women to fetch it, a task
which their own laziness and pride equally forbid.
Among many of the tribes of wandering Arabs, the women are not only
obliged to do every domestic and every rural work, but also to feed, to
dress, and saddle the horses, for the use of their husbands.
The Moorish women, besides doing all the same kinds of drudgery, are
also obliged to cultivate the fields, while their husbands stand idle
spectators of the toil, or sleep inglorious beneath a neighboring shade.
In Madura the husband generally speaks to his wife in the most imperious
tone; while she with fear and trembling approaches him, waits upon him
while at meals, and pronounces not his name, but with the addition of
every dignifying title she can devise. In return for all this submission
he frequently beats and abuses her in the most barbarous manner. Being
asked the reason of such a behavior, one of them answered, "As our wives
are so much our inferiors why should we allow them to eat and drink with
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