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Title:  An account of the European settlements in America: In six parts. ... In two volumes. ... [pt.1]
Author: Burke, William, 1730-1798.
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slaves they appear, and are not at all subject to the great subordination in which they are placed in countries where they seem to be more respected. On the contrary, all the ho|nours of the nation are on the side of the wo|men. They even hold their councils, and have their share in all deliberations which concern the state; nor are they found inferior to the part they act. Polygamy is practised by some na|tions, but it is not general. In most they con|tent themselves with one wife, but a divorce is admitted, and for the same causes that it was allowed amongst the Jews, Greeks, and Ro|mans. No nation of the Americans is with|out a regular marriage, in which there are many ceremonies; the principal of which is, the bride's presenting the bridegroom with a plate of their corn.Incontinent before wedlock, after marriage the chastity of their women is remarkable. The punishment of the adulteress, as well as that of the adulterer, is in the hands of the husband himself; and it is often severe, as in|flicted by one who is at once the party and the judge. Their marriages are not fruitful, seldom producing above two or three children, but they are brought forth with less pain than our women suffer upon such occasions, and with little consequent weakness. Probably, that severe life which both sexes lead, is not favour|able to procreation. And the habit unmarri|ed women have of procuring abortions, in