This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1908 Excerpt: ...young men and girls separate into two choirs, and seat themselves on opposite sides of the remains. Family jewels are displayed in great profusion. The young men begin with a chorus celebrating the beauties of the Karen maidens, their charm of movement, and modest demeanour. To this the girls respond in a falsetto of the usual drawling character, accepting the eulogy of their graces. These overtures are usually set pieces handed down from antiquity, or rendered into the Karen tongue from some popular Burmese play. Then the young bachelors begin, each in turn, and sing love-stricken solos, calling on the name of some particular damsel. Among an Eastern and poetic people, a flowery language is only what might be expected on such an occasion; so we need not be surprised to learn that the girl is compared to a star, a flower, or a ruby. No painter could Photo by Messrs. Watt it Skeen KAREN WOMEN. possibly do justice to her charms; she would ruin the peace of mind of a hermit! When rejected, the suitor becomes plaintive--perhaps in the belief that "pity is akin to love"--saying that he can neither eat nor drink, and will assuredly die before the morning! Far from feeling embarrassed, the Karen maidens appear to be pleased at such expressions of devotion. Their answers are usually of a somewhat stereotyped character. The girl will declare that it is a shameful thing not to be married, but that to be divorced afterwards is much worse--"to be like a dress that has been washed." Another will declare that she is not going to give herself away too cheaply. She lets the suitor know that she is not like a day dim with the heat-haze, nor like a diamond that has lost the foil below to set it off, nor like a peacock's tail draggled in tho wet. All this ...
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