IO THE INHABITANTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
apothecary and the Chinese store-keeper. He has neither society nor amusement.
I have previously remarked upon the position of women in the Philippines. I may repeat that their position, both by law and custom, is at least as good as in the most advanced countries.
I remember reading with great interest, and, perhaps, some sympathy, a remarkable article in the New York Herald\ of January ioth, 1894, headed "Virtue Defined," signed by Tennie C. Claflin (Lady Cook), and it seemed to me a plea for " equality of opportunity " between the sexes, if I may borrow the phrase from diplomacy. Well, that equality exists in the Philippines. Whilst unmarried, the girls enjoy great freedom. In that tolerant land a little ante-nuptial incontinence is not an unpardonable crime in a girl any more than in a youth, nor does it bar the way to marriage.
The girls whilst young possess exceedingly statuesque figures, and what charms they have are nature's own, for they owe nothing to art. Their dress is modest, yet as they do not wear a superfluity of garments, at times, as when bathing, their figures are revealed to view.
Bearing in mind the abovecondition of things and that the priest is the principal man in the town and able to do many favours to his friends, it is not surprising if some of the young women, impelled by the desire of obtaining his good graces, make a dead set at him, such as we sorietimes see made at a bachelor curate in our own so-very-much-more frigid and, therefore, moral country. The priest, should he forget his vows of celibacy, is a sinner, and deserving of blame for failing to keep the high standard of virtue which his Church demands. But I do not see in that a justification for calling him a monster. Have we never heard of a backslider in Brooklyn, or of a clerical co-respondent at home, that we should expect perfection in the Philippines ? As for the statements that the priests take married women by force, that is an absurdity. The Tagals are not men to suffer such an outrage.
The toleration enjoyed by the girls, above referred to, is a heritage from heathen times, which three centuries of Christianity have failed to extirpate. In fact, this is a characteristic of the Malay race.
During the many years I was in the islands I had frequent occasion to avail myself of the hospitality of theDuring the many years I was in the islands I had frequent occasion to avail myself of the hospitality of the