it is considered improper to go about alone, they are mistresses of their own actions. They are the principal petty traders of the country, and often bread-winners. They have always owned separate property, and all property acquired by either husband or wife during coverture belongs to them jointly ; in fact, the law looks upon the couple as being to a great extent partners in business. They are not compelled to marry young, and widows are free to re-marry at pleasure. They guide the domestic policy, and at village or religious gatherings they are heard as well as the men. They have the right to vote at municipal elections, and if the legislative franchise is created they would not be kept out. They despise weak and dull-witted men, and often
Among these may be mentioned the custom of consulting fortune-tellers, the observance of lucky and unlucky days for doing certain things, the interpretation of dreams and omens, the carrying of amulets and charms, the expulsion of demons during an epidemic, the invocation of rain by means of a tug of war, the offering of food to a nat (named Oo-yin-jee) before proceeding on a journey by water, and a host of others.
Illness tinds a Burman philosophical ; disease, old age, and death are included among the miseries of existence, and no one, not even the Buddha, may overcome them. Relations, neighbours, and friends flock to the sick-bed, all ready to advise ; so and so was once similarly afflicted and he applied a certain remedy or called in a certain saya
is the pa-yaw-gah seya, who professes to scare away disease by spells and incantations. Besides this, there is also the inevitable bay-din saya (astrologer or fortune-teller) who prescribes certain duties, such as making offerings at the pagoda. When cholera, small-pox, or plague visits a locality, some believe in driving out the responsible demons by beating drums, tin cans, and c., but most invite priests to recite the pa-rit (certain passages from the scriptures) at cross-roads ; the people assemble to hear the recitation and bring water and thread to be blessed ; the former is sprinkled and the latter wound round their houses to scare away evil spirits, while some tie a piece round their wrists. The practical effect of the ceremony is to soothe the general alarm ; otherwise, panic
OFFERINGS TO THE PRIESTS AT A FUNERAL.
challenge the sterner sex to feats of endurance and skill. Nevertheless, they look up to men in general, and consider that they have a right to do many things for his comfort; so that, if one sees a woman doing something which the Western mind would think ought to be done by the men seated near by, it is generally because the woman herself insists on doing it as her prerogative or meritorious duty.
There are, besides, a great many customs and usages peculiar to the country, most of which, however, are not sufficiently general to ^all for description in this brief article ; others, moreover, are fast disappearing, and, even among Burmese, are referred to with a smile of superiority or even derision.
(wise man) a why not do the same ? All persons about forty claim to know something of sickness and medicine, and many doubtless have had much experience. The Burmese physician is a quack, who pretends to know a great deal more than he does, but who, at the same time, from books or by experience, has acquired a fair knowledge of the efficacy of certain herbs and minerals ; he is remarkably successful in the treatment of infantile ailments, but his powers of diagnosis are very weak and his knowledge of the internal organs solely derived from ancient writings. There are two schools of these menadietists and druggists, and the former effect less harm. One other class, now generally discredited,
causes the epidemic to spread rapidly. A really good cure for many muscular ailments is a kind of massage (a-nheik).
In old age, which begins about tifty-five or sixty, the Burman is calm and contented. Even if he has failed to acquire an independent competence and has no sons or daughters to keep him, he is almost invariably sure of bed and board in the house of a relative or old friend, and he spends most of his time in religious observances, and in teaching, likewise spoiling, the youngsters. His grey hairs always command respect, and his opinions on custom and ceremonial are eagerly sought.
Death, so it be not sudden or violent, is not looked upon as a tragedy. a We did allDeath, so it be not sudden or violent, is not looked upon as a tragedy. a We did all