When Mr. Williams asked a Fiji woman, who was minus her nose, how she had lost it, she said it came from her husband having many wives. "They get jealous, and hate one another; and the strong one cuts, or bites off, the other's nose."1 It may be remarked that in civilized society they only feel like doing so.
We are told that the old wives in Australia are extremely jealous of their young rivals, being frequently beaten and ill-treated by the latter; and the preservation of their place, and dignity in the family, depends largely upon their fighting powers. I am told that Messrs. Seabury & Johnson, the American sticking-plaster manufacturers, have kept a branch house in Sydney for some years; but whether there is any connection between that fact and the domestic discord spoken of, I am unable to determine.
When an Indian feels inclined to indulge himself with two or three wives, he selects, if he can, sisters; thinking thus to secure a greater degree of domestic tranquility;* and this shrewd move, doubtless, underlies the well-known custom of the Pawnees, and other tribes, of marrying, along with the eldest daughter, all her younger sisters in rotation, as they come of age.'