OF DIFFERENT SIGNS IN MEN AND WOMEN 1
THE characteristics of a woman whom we should take to wife, are as follows: She should come from a family of equal rank with that of her husband, a house which is known to be valiant and chaste, wise and learned, prudent and patient, correct and becomingly behaved, and famed for acting according to its religion, and for discharging its social duties. She should be free from vices and endowed with all good qualities, possess a fair face and fine person, have brothers and kinsfolk, and be a great proficient in the Kama-shastra, or Science of Love. Such a girl is truly fitted for marriage; and let a sensible man hasten to take her, by performing the ceremonies which are commanded in the Holy Law.
And here may be learned the marks whereby beauty and good shape of body are distinguished. The maiden whose face is soft and pleasing as the moon; whose eyes are bright and liquid as the fawn's; whose nose is delicate as the sesamum flowers; whose teeth are clean as diamonds and clear as pearls; whose ears are small and rounded; whose neck is like a sea-shell, with three delicate lines or tracings behind; whose lower lip is red as the ripe fruit of the bryony; whose hair is black as the Bhramara's 2 wing; whose skin is brilliant as the flower of the dark-blue lotus, or light as the surface of polished gold; whose feet and hands are red, being marked with the circular Chakra or discus; 3 whose stomach is small, whilst the umbilical region is drawn in; whose shape below the hips is large; whose thighs, being well-proportioned and pleasing as the plantain-tree, make her walk like the elephant, neither too fast nor too slow; whose voice is sweet as the Kokila-bird's-such a girl, especially if her temper be good, her nature kindly, her sleep short and her mind and body not inclined to laziness, should at once be married by the wise man.
But the girl who comes from a bad family; whose body is either very short or very tall, very fat or very thin; whose skin is ever rough and hard; whose hair and eyes are yellowish, the latter like a cat's; whose teeth are long, or are wholly wanting; whose mouth and lips are wide and projecting, 4 with the lower lip of dark colour, and tremulous when speaking; who allows her tongue to loll out; whose eyebrows are straight; whose temples are depressed; who shows signs of beard, mustachios, and dense body-pile; whose neck is thick; who has some limbs shorter and other longer than the usual proportion; whose one breast is large or high, and the other low or small; whose ears are triangular, like a sifting or winnowing fan; whose second toe is larger and longer than the big toe; 5 whose third toe is blunt, without tip or point, and whose little toes do not touch the ground; whose voice is harsh and laugh is loud; who walks quickly and with uncertain gait; who is full-grown; who is disposed to be sickly, and who bears the name of a mountain (as Govardhan), 6 of a tree (as Anbi), of a river (as Tarangini), of a bird (as Chimani), or of a constellation (as Revati, the 27th lunar mansion)--such a girl, especially if her disposition be irascible and temper violent; if she eat and sleep much; if she be always vexed, troubled and distressed; if her disposition be restless and fidgetty; if she has little understanding in worldly matters; if she be destitute of shame and if her natural disposition be wicked, should be carefully avoided, under all circumstances, by the wise.
So much for the characteristics of the woman. On the other hand, man should be tried, even as gold is tested, in four ways: 1, by the touchstone; 2, by cutting; 3, by heating: and, 4, by hammering. Thus should we take into consideration--1, learning; 2, disposition; 3, qualities; and 4, action. The first characteristic of a man is courage, with endurance; if he attempt any deed, great or small, he should do it with the spirit of a lion. Second, is prudence: time and place must be determined, and opportunity devised, like the Bak-heron, that stands intently eyeing its prey in the pool below. The third is early rising, and causing others to do the same. The fourth is hardihood in war. The fifth is a generous distribution and division of food and property amongst family and friends. The sixth is duly attending to the wants of the wife. The seventh is circumspection in love matters. The eighth is secrecy and privacy in the venereal act. The ninth is patience and perseverance in all the business of life. The tenth is judgment in collecting and in storing up what may be necessary. The eleventh is not to allow wealth and worldly success to engender pride and vanity, magnificence and ostentation. The twelfth is never aspiring to the unattainable. The thirteenth is contentment with what the man has, if he can get no more. The fourteenth is plainness of diet. The fifteenth is to avoid over-sleep. The sixteenth is to be diligent in the service of employers. The seventeenth is not to fly when attacked by robbers and villains. The eighteenth is working willingly; for instance, not taking into consideration the sun and shade if the labourer be obliged to carry a parcel. The nineteenth is the patient endurance of trouble. The twentieth is to keep the eye fixed upon a great business; and the twenty-first is to study the means properest for success. Now, any person who combines these twenty one qualities is deservedly reputed an excellent man.
When choosing a son-in-law, the following characteristics should be aimed at: He must come from a large family, which has never known sin and poverty. He must be young, handsome, wealthy, brave and influential; diligent in business, moderate in enjoying riches, sweet of speech, well versed in discharging his own dudes, known to the world as a mine of virtues, steadfast in mind, and a treasury of mercy, who gives alms and makes charities as far as his means permit. Such a .nan is described by celebrated poets as a fit person to whom the daughter should be given in marriage.
And these are the defects and blemishes of a son-in-law: The man who is born in a low family, who is vicious, a libertine, pitiless, and ever sickly with dangerous disease, sinful and very wicked, poor and miserly, impotent, prone to conceal the virtues and to divulge the vices of others; a constant traveller, an absentee, one ever away from his home and residing abroad; a debtor, a beggar, a man who has no friendship with the good, or who, if he have it, breaks into quarrel upon trifling things-such a person the wise will not accept as a son-in-law.
We now proceed to the Samudrika-lakshana or chiromantic signs, good and bad, which affect present and future happiness. The length of a man's and woman's life, and the marks which denote it, must first be treated of, because it is useless to see auspicious details if death may shortly be expected. And first of all the palmistry of the man.
Every perfect hand and foot consists of five members, namely the Angushtha (thumb), the Tarjani (forefinger), the Madhyama (middle-finger), the Anamika (ring-finger), and the Kanishthika (little-finger). Now, if an unbroken line in the palm 7 run from the "mount", or base of the little finger, to that of the forefinger, it is a sign that the bearer will live a hundred years. But the man in whose palm an unbroken line runs from the ball or cushion of the little finger to that of the middle finger, should be considered as likely to live for a period of sixty years. Moreover, the man upon whose thumb or chest there is a figure shaped like a barley grain 8, the same will eat bread earned by his own exertions, and he will ever remain happy. As a rule, if the lines in the palms be few, men are poor and penniless; if there be four they are happy; and if more than four, they are threatened with mean and wretched fortunes; moreover, the much streaked palm shows a quarrelsome nature.
The man whose eye is red, whose body is fair and of good complexion likes gold; whose trunk is fleshy and whose arms reach his knees 9, the same will always remain rich and enjoy grandeur, opulence, lordship and supremacy.
The man whose thighs are large, will win great wealth; the man whose waist is broad, will be blessed in his wife and many children; the man whose feet are long 10, and whose hands are very delicate, will always enjoy happiness; and the man whose head is large and lengthy 11, will rise to be a prince.
The man whose Linga is very long, will be wretchedly poor. The man whose Linga is very thick, will ever be in distress. The man whose Linga is thin and lean, will be very lucky; and the man whose Linga is short, will be a Rajah. 12 So much concerning the characteristics of men.
And now as regards the other sex. The woman of inauspicious signs, will be or become an orphan, a widow, destitute of brothers and sisters, and without connections, as well as relations, so that her life ends, as it began, in bitterness. Her characteristics, therefore, should be carefully examined before marriage with her is contracted.
Let it be understood that the woman who bears on the sole of her left foot the signs of the Chakra (quoit, peculiar to Vishnu), the Padma (lotus), the Dhvaja (flag), the Chatra (umbrella), the mystical Svastika, 13 and the Kamala, that is, circular lines 14, and not conch-shaped on her finger-tips, that woman will be a Rani (queen). If, however, one or more of these figures be wanting, she will enjoy all the happiness of a crowned head.
The woman who bears on the sole of her left foot a line extending from the "mount" or cushion of the little toe, to the ball of the big toe, that woman will readily obtain a god husband, and will find great happiness in his love.
The woman whose two little toes do not touch the ground whilst walking, will certainly lose her husband; and during her widowhood, she will not be able to keep herself chaste.
The woman whose Tarjani or second toe is the longest of all the toes, will be unchaste even before marriage. What doubt, then, is there of her being an adulteress as long as her youth endures?
The woman whose breasts are fleshy, firm, and handsome, whose bosom is without hair, and whose thighs are like the trunk of an elephant, will enjoy a life of happiness.
The maiden who has black moles upon her left breast, throat and ears, will marry and bear a son having auspicious marks; and by her means, all the family will be called blessed.
The maiden whose neck is very long, will be of a wicked and cruel disposition. The maiden whose neck is very short, will be wretchedly poor. The maiden whose neck has three lines or wrinkles, will be of a good disposition, and her lot will be ever fortunate.
The maiden who bears in the palm of her hand lines resembling enclosing walls, and "Toran" or garlands of flowers, and twigs of trees bent into circles 15, will become the wife of a King, although she have been born in a servant's house.
The maiden whose palms have lines in the shape of an Ankush (spiked hook for guiding elephants), a Kuntala (or spur), and a Chakra (quoit or discus), will intermarry with a royal house, and bear a son who shows the most fortunate signs.
It is written in the book Naradokta 16 that marriage should never be contracted with a girl, unless the lines and spots, as interpreted by treatises on Chiromancy, are first examined and found good. The consequence of unauspicious signs is that her birth will cause the death of her father, mother and brother in succession. The man who marries such a maiden, will presently die, and be followed by all his brethren, and these two families will be destroyed.
There are seven kinds of troubles which result from having intercourse with the wife of another man. Firstly, adultery shortens or lessens the period of life; secondly, the body becomes spiritless and vigourless; thirdly, the world derides and reproaches the lover; fourthly, he despises himself; fifthly, his wealth greatly decreases; sixthly, he suffers much in this world; and seventhly, he will suffer more in the world to come. Yet, despite all this ignominy, disgrace and contumely, it is absolutely necessary to have connection with the wife of another, under certain circumstances, which will be presently specified.
Great and powerful monarchs have ruined themselves and their realms by their desire to enjoy the wives of others. For instance, in former days the family of the Ravana, King of Lanka (Ceylon), was destroyed because he forcibly abducted Sita, the wife of Rama, and this action gave rise to the Ramayana poem, which is known to the whole world. Vali lost his life for attempting to have connection with Tara, as is fully described in the Kishkinda-kand, a chapter of that history. Kichaka, the Kaurava, together with all his brethren, met with destruction, because he wished to have Draupada 17 (daughter of Drupad), the common wife of the Pandu brothers, as is described in the Viratparvi (section) of the Mahabharat. Such are the destructions which in days past have happened to those who coveted other men's wives; let none, therefore, attempt adultery even in their thoughts.
But there are ten changes in the natural state of men, which require to be taken into consideration. Firstly, when he is in a state of Dhyasa (desiderium), at a loss to do anything except to see a particular woman; secondly, when he finds his mind wandering, as if he were about to lose his senses; thirdly, when he is ever losing himself in thought how to woo and win the woman in question; fourthly, when he passes restless nights without the refreshment of sleep; fifthly, when his looks become haggard and his body emaciated; sixthly, when he feels himself growing shameless and departing from all sense of decency and decorum; seventhly, when his riches take to themselves wings and fly; eighthly, when the state of mental intoxication verges upon madness; ninthly, when fainting fits come on; and tenthly, when he finds himself at the door of death. 18
That these states are produced by sexual passion may be illustrated by an instance borrowed from the history of bygone days. Once upon a time there was a king called Pururava, who was a devout man, and who entered upon such a course of mortification and austerities that Indra, Lord of the Lower Heaven, began to fear lest he himself might be dethroned. The god, therefore, in order to interrupt these penances and other religious acts, sent down from Svarga, his own heaven, Urvashi, the most lovely of the Apsaras (nymphs). The king no sooner saw her than he fell in love with her, thinking day and night of nothing but possessing her, till at last, succeeding in his project, both spent a long time in the pleasures of carnal connection. Presently Indra, happening to remember the Apsara, despatched his messenger, one of the Gandharvas (heavenly minstrels), to the world of mortals, and recalled her. Immediately after her departure, the mind of Pururava began to wander; he could no longer concentrate his thoughts upon worship and he felt upon the point of death.
See, then, the state to which that king was reduced by thinking so much about Urvashi! When a man has allowed himself to be carried away captive of desire, he must consult a physician, and the books of medicine which treat upon the subject. And, if he comes to the conclusion that unless he enjoy his neighbour's wife he will surely die, he should, for the sake of preserving his life, possess her once and once only. 19 If, however, there be no such peremptory cause, he is by no means justified in enjoying the wife of another person, merely for the sake of pleasure and wanton gratification.
Moreover, the book of Vatsyayana, the Rishi, teaches us as follows: Suppose that a woman, having reached the lusty vigour of her age, happen to become so inflamed with love for a man, and so heated by passion that she feels herself failing into the ten states before described, and likely to end in death attended with frenzy, if her beloved refuse her sexual commerce. Under these circumstances, the man, after allowing himself to be importuned for a time, should reflect that his refusal will cost her life; he should, therefore, enjoy her on one occasion, but not always.
The following women, however, are absolutely, and under all circumstances, to be excluded from any commerce of the kind. The wife of a Brahman; of a Shrotiya (Brahman learned in the Vedas); of an Agnihotri (priest who keeps up the sacred fire), and of a Puranik (reader of the Puranas). To look significantly at such a woman, or to think of her with a view of sensual desire, is highly improper: what, then, must we think of the sin of carnal couplation with her? In like manner, men prepare to go to Naraka (hell) by lying with the wife of a Khatriya (king, or any man of the warrior caste, now extinct); of a friend or of a relation. The author of this book strongly warns and commands his readers to avoid all such deadly sins.
Indeed, there are certain other women who are never to be enjoyed, however much a man may be tempted. First, a virgin without marrying her; second, a widow 20; third, a woman living chastely or virtuously with her husband; fourth, the wife of our friend; fifth, the wife of our foe; sixth, any of the reverend women specified above; seventh, the wife of a pupil or a disciple; eighth, a woman born in one's own family; ninth, a woman who has been defiled; tenth, a mad woman; eleventh, a woman older than one's self 21; twelfth, the wife of a Guru, spiritual tutor, instructor or guide; thirteenth, one's mother-in-law; fourteenth, one's maternal aunt (mother's sister); fifteenth, the wife of one's maternal uncle 22; sixteenth, one's paternal aunt (father's sister); seventeenth, one's paternal uncle's wife; eighteenth, a sister; nineteenth, a pregnant woman; twentieth, a woman with whom one is not acquainted; twenty-first, a woman who has committed mortal sins and crimes; twenty-second, a woman whose complexion is entirely yellow; twenty-third, a woman whose complexion is quite black. It is laid down in the Shastras (scriptures) that the wise should never, under any circumstances, have connection with these twenty-three kinds of women, as well as with others, bearing any relationship to one.
The following is a list of the women who serve but as go-betweens 23: First, a gardener's wife. Second, a woman who is a personal friend. Third, a widow. Fourth, a nurse. Fifth, a dancing-girl. Sixth, a woman engaged in manual or mechanical arts. Seventh, a woman hired as a servant or maid to the women of the family. Eighth, an attendant as distinguished from a slave girl. Ninth, a woman who goes from house to house speaking sweet words. Tenth, a woman with whom we can talk freely about love and enjoyment. Eleventh, a young woman under sixteen. Twelfth, a female ascetic or mendicant in the name of religion.
Thirteenth, a woman who sells milk and buttermilk. Fourteenth, a tailoress. Fifteenth, a woman fit to be called "Mistress Grandmother". The amorous should prefer these kind of persons, as, when deputed upon such messages, they do their work kindly and well.
The following is a list of the women who can most easily be subdued. 24 First, a woman whose deportment shows signs of immodesty. Second, a widow. Third, a woman who is highly accomplished in singing, in playing musical instruments, and in similar pleasant arts. Fourth, a woman who is fond of conversation. Fifth, a woman steeped in poverty. Sixth, the wife of an imbecile or an impotent person. Seventh, the wife of a fat and tun-bellied man. Eighth, the wife of a cruel and wicked man. Ninth, the wife of one who is shorter than herself. Tenth, the wife of an old man. Eleventh, the wife of a very ugly man. Twelfth, a woman accustomed to stand in the doorway and to stare at passers-by. Thirteenth, women of variable disposition. Fourteenth, the barren woman, especially if she and her husband desire the blessing of issue. Fifteenth, the woman who brags and boasts. Sixteenth, the woman who has long been separated from her husband, and deprived of her natural refreshment. Seventeenth, the woman who has never learned the real delight of carnal copulation; 25 and eighteenth, the woman whose mind remains girlish.
And now to describe the signs and symptoms by which we are to know when women are enamoured of us. Firstly, that woman loves a man when she is not ashamed of looking at him, 26 and of boldly and without fear or deference keeping her eyes fixed upon his. Secondly, when she moves her foot to and fro whilst standing up, and draws, as it were, lines upon the ground. Thirdly, when she scratches divers limbs without sufficient reason. Fourthly, when she leers, looks obliquely, and casts side glances. Fifthly, when she laughs causelessly at the sight of a man.
And furthermore, the woman who, instead of answering a straightforward question, replies by joking and jesting words; who slowly and deliberately follows us wherever we go; who, under some pretext or other, dwells upon our faces or forms with a wistful and yearning glance; who delights in walking before us and displaying her legs or her bosom; who behaves to us with a mean and servile submission, ever praising and flattering; who contracts friendships with our friends and who is ever asking them, "In the house of such and such a person, are there any wives? Does he love them much? And are they very beautiful?" Who, looking towards us, sings a sweet air; who passes her hands frequently over her breasts and her arms; who cracks her fingers; who yawns and sighs when not expected to do so; who will never appear before us, though we call and summon her, unless in her most becoming dress; who throws flowers and similar articles upon us; who, pretexting various things, often goes into and comes forth from the house; and finally, whose face, hands, and feet break into perspiration when she casually sees us; that woman showing any such signs and symptoms, is enamoured of us, and is strongly excited by passion; all we have to do, if versed in the art of love, is to send an able go-between.
On the other hand, the following women are hard to be subdued: First, the wife who is full of love for her husband. Second, the woman whose cold desires and contempt for congress keep her chaste. Third, the woman who is envious of another's prosperity and success. Fourth, the mother of many children. Fifth, a dutiful daughter or daughter-in-law. Sixth, a courteous and respectful woman. Seventh, a woman who fears and stands in awe of her parents and those of her husband. Eighth, a wealthy woman, who ever suspects and often wrongly, that we love her money better than herself. Ninth, a woman who is shy, bashful, and retiring in the presence of strangers. Tenth, an avaricious and covetous woman. Eleventh, a woman who has no avarice or covetousness. Such women are not easily secured, nor is it worth our while to waste our hours in pursuing them.
The following are the places where a woman should not be enjoyed: First, the place where fire is lighted with the religious formula Agni-mukha and other Mantras. Second, in the presence of a Brahman or any other reverend man. Third, under the eyes of an aged person, to whom respect is due, as a Guru (spiritual guide), or a father. Fourth, when a great man is looking on. Fifth, by the side of a river or any murmuring stream. Sixth, at a Panwata, a place erected for drawing water from wells, tanks and so forth. Seventh, in a temple dedicated to the gods. Eighth, in a fort or castle. Ninth, in a guard-room, police-station, or in any government place where prisoners are confined. Tenth, on a highway. Eleventh, in a house of another person. Twelfth, in the forest. Thirteenth, in an open place, such as a meadow or an upland. Fourteenth, on ground where men are buried or burned. The consequences of carnal connection at such places are always disastrous; they breed misfortunes, and, if children are begotten, these turn out bad and malicious persons.
The following are the times when women are not to be enjoyed: First, by day, unless their class and temperament require coition during the light hours. Second, during or at the Sankranti-parvani, that is to say, when the sun or a planet passes from one side of the zodiac to another. 27 Third, during the Sharad, or cold season 28 (October to November). Fourth, during the Grishma, or hot season 29 (June to July). Fifth, in the Amavasya (the last, the thirtieth, or the new moon day of the Hindu month), unless the Love-shastra specify the contrary. Sixth, during the periods when the man's body suffers from fever. Seventh, during the time of a "Vrata" any self-imposed religious observance, with obligation to carry it out. Eighth, in the evening time; and ninth, when wearied with warfare. The consequences of congress at such epochs are as disastrous as if the act took place in a prohibited spot.
The following is the situation which the wise men of old have described as being best fitted for sexual intercourse with women. Choose the largest, and finest, and the most airy room in the house, purify it thoroughly with whitewash, and decorate its spacious and beautiful walls with pictures and other objects upon which the eye may dwell with delight. 30 Scattered about this apartment place musical instruments, especially the pipe and the lute; with refreshments, as cocoa-nut, betel-leaf and milk, which is so useful for retaining and restoring vigour; bottles of rose water and various essences, fans and chauris for cooling the air, and books containing amorous songs, and gladdening the glance with illustrations of love-postures. Splendid Divalgiri, or wall lights, should gleam around the wall, reflected by a hundred mirrors, whilst both man and woman should contend against any reserve, or false shame, giving themselves up in complete nakedness to unrestrained voluptuousness, upon a high and handsome bedstead, raised on tall legs, furnished with many pillows, and covered by a rich chatra, or canopy; the sheets being besprinkled with flowers and the coverlet scented by burning luscious incense, such as aloes and other fragrant woods. 31 In such a place, let the man, ascending the throne of love, enjoy the woman in ease and comfort, gratifying his and her every wish and every whim.
1 This chapter has been left in all its original confusion of subjects; it would be easy to order it otherwise; but then it would lose cachet.
2 The large black bee of Southern Europe, India, etc. Corresponding with the "bumble bee" of England, but without the yellow markings.
3 Alluded to in a future part of the chapter.
4 All Easterns uphold the doctrine of the Salernitan School. Noscitur a labiis quantum sit virginis antrum: nocitur a naso quanta sit hasta viro.
5 In Europe there is much dispute concerning this canon. But the big toe represents the thumb which distinguishes the human from the simian hand, and the longer and the better formed the two are, the higher is the organisation. In this matter races greatly differ: compare, for instance, the short thumb of the Anglo-Saxon with the long thumb of the Celt, or the common Englishman with the common Irishman.
6 The Hill in Mathura, which Krishna held up in hand.
7 As a rule the palmistry of the Gypsies is directly derived, like their language, from India, and so artificial a system speaks strongly in favour of a single origin and propagation by tradition. Here, however, the "line of life" (linea vitae) is transferred from the base of the thumb to an unusual place, technically called the Cingulum Veneris.
8 This figure Europeans turn into an M, and hold to mean marriage. The "barley-mark" in the text seems to correspond with the triangle formed by the "supreme natural Line," the "Line of Life," and the "Line of the Lunar Mount." (Richard Saunders, "Physiognomie and Chiromancie," London, 1671; and "Les mystéres de la Main," Ad. Desbarolles, Paris, Dentu, 1862).
9 Such was the case with the celebrated Highland cateran, Rob Roy Macgregor.
10 An unusual conformation in the Indian, whose short thin feet are despised by the Afghans, and the adjacent mountaineers. When Ranjit Singh ordered a hundred matchlocks from a celebrated gunsmith across the Indus, he received in return a slipper with a message that the order would be executed as soon as a Sikh's foot could be found to fit that shoe.
11 An idea long familiar to the world before the days of Dr. Gall.
12 Here we find a Hindu origin for the naughty schoolboy lines about short and thick--long and thin.
13 The Svastika is the crutched cross, known to the Scandinavians as the "hammer of Thor," and supposed to denote the thunderbolt. It is painted on doors in India as an auspicious mark or seal, and is affixed to documents in lieu of signatures by Hindu wives (not widows), who cannot write their names. "Svastika," amongst the Jains, is the emblem of the seventh Guru or spiritual teacher, and the word is also applied to a temple built in the shape of a symbol.
14 The circular lines being held particularly auspicious.
15 These ornaments are hung from doorways or about awnings on festive occasions.
16 That is, the book written by Narada, one of the twenty Rishis or Sages, and a son of Brahma. His name is properly applied to a quarrelsome and embroiling fellow.
17 These three represent "Helen of Troy" in the classical history of Hindustan.
18 These ten are the progressive stages of love longing.
19 This was the heathen idea generally, and a friend would hardly have felt justified in refusing, under such circumstances, the loan of his wife. So Seleucus, King of Syria, gave the fair Stratonike to his son, Antiochus, in order to save a life which was endangered by the violence of passion. Equally generous was Socrates, the "Christian before Christianity"; which generosity may, perhaps, account in part for the temper of Xantippe.
20 Because by Hindu custom, if not by the old law, the lover cannot marry a widow.
21 Easterns are all agreed upon this point, and the idea is that the embraces of a woman older than the husband, "burn" and destroy his strength. It is certain that when there is a considerable difference of age, the younger of the two suffers in appearance, if not in health. How many women we see in civilized countries with that young-old look, which at once assures the observer that they are married to men much their seniors? We seldom meet in society with the reverse case, for ridicule always attaches to a man's marrying a woman whose age greatly exceeds his own. Yet the few instances which appear justify our belief that there is something the reverse of hygienic in the practice.
22 In Sanskrit, and in the Prakrit or modern language of Hindostan, there are different names for our "aunt" Mavashi, for instance, is the maternal aunt, and Mami, the maternal uncle's wife.
23 This need not necessarily be taken in a bad sense, as "procuress". In Hindu, as well as in Muslim families, women are sufficiently secluded to require the assistance of feminine Mercuries in matters of marriage.
24 This can hardly be used in an honest sense: it might be translated "Seduced," were not that word so liable to misuse and misconstruction. What man in his senses can believe in the "seduction" of a married woman? As a rule, indeed, the seduction is all on the other side.
25 Which, allow us to state, is the case with most English women and a case to be remedied only by constant and intelligent study of the Ananga Ranga Scripture.
26 In the East, women take the first step in such matters. Nothing can be more ridiculous than to see the bearded and turbaned Turk blushing, "boggling," and looking silly as he is being inspected by a pair of bold feminine eyes.
27 Parvani (Sanskrit Parva), is applied to certain times, such as the solstices and the equinoxes, when good actions arc most acceptable.
28 It must be remembered that during the whole period of the sun's southing (Dakshanayana, opposed to Uttarayana, or his northerly direction), the high-caste Hindu will not marry.
29 The other four are Vasanta, or spring (April to May); Varsha, the rains (August to September); Hermanta, or the cold season (December to January); and Shishira, early spring (February to March). Thus the Hindu year contains six Ritu or seasons.
30 This precaution might be adopted in modern civilization. It was practised by the Greeks and Romans, for the purpose of begetting graceful and beautiful children; and, considering the history of mother-marks and other puerperal curiosities, we should be careful how we determine that the conception cannot be favourably, as well as unfavourably influenced by the aspect of objects around the parents.
31 Concerning the effect of perfumes upon the organs, see Chapter 9