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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 23, 1915)
The Omaha Sunday Bee. Magazine Page
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' the Spanish
Who U the
Wife of the
Problem of the
Widows and Old Maids
and Its Extraordinary Suggested
Remedy Discussed by the
Favorite Wife (Formerly the
Famous Spanish Beauty Senorita
Delgadd) of the Maharajah
of Kapurthala Who Has Four
Wives and Numerous Concubines
THE embarrassing situation !a
which the women of England,
France, Germany and Austria will
' find themselves after the war through
the destruction of so many men Is being
, widely commented upon abroad. In Eng
. land there are many who believe that
polygamy should be legitimatized at
least for a period long enough to restore
. the balance of the sexes.
. Among those who advocate this is Mrs.
Frances Burke-Hardt, a very well known
English writer, who, among others, has
, spread her views widely In the English
. press. One of the articles embodying
her theories Is printed on this page.
By a curious chance, the Maharanee
of Kapurthala, with her husband, is now
in New York. The Maharanee was Sen
orita Delgado, who became the favorite
noble family, who became the favorite
of the Maharajah's four wives and
his numerous concubines. She gave up
her own religion for that of her husband
and has for a number of years been a
practical polygamlst. Her Interesting
discussion of the "remedy" suggested by
Mrs. Burke-Hardt and others and her
conclusions regarding it are printed here.
This is the first and only statement
which the Maharanee has made in this
country. It is significant that, although
living happily, as she says, in a state of
polygamy, she sets her face squarely
against the ideas set forth by the English
women who, while practical monoga
mists, dvocate polygamy.
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"A Law Permitting Polygamy the Solution'
By Mrs. Francis Burke-Hardt,
The Weil-Known English Writer.
TO my way of thinking there is but
one solution, unless, of course, na
. ture steps In and male children
predominate; and even then the problem
would have to be shelved until matters
levelled themselves up as a matter of
time. I would suggest that a law be
passed by which a man may be permitted
to possess one, two or three legal wives,
as the case may be, provided he can
guarantee to the authorities he is in a
position to support them decently and
properly and in keeping with his posi
tion. A tew years ago I was permitted the
privilege of being a guest In an Eastern
harem, and during my stay, In which I
talked and associated with a fair num
ber of women, I formed several opinions
which have firmly convinced me that in
spite of our boasted progress the eolu-
. tion to a worldwide problem was at any
rate in part expressed here.
1 would tell you that life in an Eastern
harem Is by no means in keeping with
the popular Idea of such a place. It is
totally different from the place we read
about In novels or see upon the stage.
' Far from It. It is a place where one finds
many lessons which it would do us wom
en good to take to heart and act upon.
The happiest and most restful and con
tented faces I ever saw in my life were
in the harem, and among women possess
ing many qualities we Western women
would do well to emulate.
Nature Invented or evolved woman for
a definite and special purpose; but civili
sation steps In and decrees otherwise.
Nature's object is, therefore, frustrated.
The consequence of the present day mud
dle as regards the sex question Is a vast
army of women who with a stately air
of decorum and discontent fill the pen
sions in overpowering numbers, who live
lives without aim or object, who cuddle
and kiss dogs Instead of babies, who
hoard up much of the wealth of this
country, whose mental and physical
energies die for want of proper expres
sion, whose bitterness of soul Is a dis
grace to womanhood and a poor compli
ment to an almighty power who sent them
into the world with a definite and sacred
mission to carry out.
All this will have to be changed.
Woman will have to be transplanted lnio
a new order of things. No longer will it
be necessary for her to stand In the
market plate and shout her grievance?
while she turns an anxious face toward
After this war Is over woman Is com
ing Into her own. And the vote is not
going to do it. That Idea is dead long
ince. No, woman Is going to be the
means of her own salvation, aided and
supported by her proper and natural
Under the new dispensation all will la
different. Nature will be paramount la
everything. Civilization will look after
itself. There is no doubt that we are
overcivilized. As the Irishman said:
"We must go back a bit; but that'll mean
we're going forward."
"Polygamy is More Tragic Than War"
By the Maharanee of Kapurthala.
WHO is this woman wno says inings
Mrs. Burke Ilardt? Mrs.
Broken Heart, she should be called. For
that is what it Is she stands for, a sys
tem which will break the hearts of wom
en and the minds of men.
I no know speak. I'olygamy is im
possible among European women. They
will not have It. Tragedies more terri
ble than the war, crimen more awful than
that of Medea, who killed ber own chil
dren to avenge her wrongs upon their
father Jason, would be enacted were the
' overnments of Europe to attempt to re-
populate the stricken continent by this
Again I ask who Is this woman who ad
vocates anything so monstrous? She
says she knows something of the harems
of the East. Doubtless she thinks she
does, but the harems do not give up their
dark secrets to prying Westerners. Al
ways the impenetrable veil Is between
them. How foolish to scrape the surface
of things and announce what you 'deem
a great truth!
I should smile, should snap my fingers
at the absurd English woman were not
the theme she treats so great and terri
ble. War and polygamy are both horri
ble, both desolating.
At fifteen I wedded the Maharajah of
Kapurthala. My father, who was a
Marquis of Spain, had lost bis fortune.
Because I could dance I went upon the
Stage of the Royal Theatre of Madrid. I
remained on the stage but four weeks.
The Maharajah had come to spaln to at
tend the wedding of King Alfonso. He
came to the theatre. He met me. We
fell In love. We married.
He was honest with me. I knew I was
marrying a man already several timeti
wived. But I was young. I loved him,
aa I have said. I accepted the condi
tions. Having accepted them I have
made the most and best of them. But the
system is wrong. I have lived thus for
nine years. I have a little son. Git.
Polygamy Is dying as bad things die by
the weight of its own iniquity. There are
not more than three harems in alt India.
There are men who have more taan one
wife, many men. But they make no at
tempt to keep the women under the same
roof. Even In India that would be Im
possible. The women would revolt.
When a man has more than one wife
Topyrlg-ht, 1915, by tha Htur Company,
the wives know little cf each other.
They do not vlall. They may meet ss
chance acquaintances do at the great
Hindoo ceremonials, the religious fetes.
Ihey are presented to each other. They
smile. They chat about Impersonal
things. That Is all. They are ships that
pass in the crowd.
Jealousy? Amoag the native women?
Yes, I doubt not there is, but it never
reaches the Medean point, the point of
tragedy, for as I said, they rarely meet,
and when they do it is by accident at
somo great function. They do not speak1
of each other. They do not hear of each
other. Around the different establlbh
nients of the East Indian polygamlst Is
wrapped the impenetrable veil of silence,
th silence that tends to fcinotber a fact.
I live, in the principality of Kapurthala,
the life of a European woman. I wear
European dress. I keep my European
manners and customs. I associate with
Great lirltaln Right Reaarved.
6ne of the Royal Elephant of Kapurthala
oh Which the Maharanee , Ridas. The
Maharajah la Seated Within lU Gorgeous
"Howdah." , 1
' European women. I know tome of the
native woman. I visit them and talk ,
with them when I must. But wq have ,
nothing la common, save children. They
talk of nothing but their homes and
children. They know nothing else. Their
minds are dwarfed. They are of the
mental stature of a little child. The life
there U so different from that of the
women of Europe and America that the
difference la Incomprehensible. To un
derstand you must live there, have seen
day after day, and wearily tried to talk
with, the stunted creatures. Then you
would know that I cannot be Jealous of
on of them. Could you be jealous of
Polygamy la Impossible In Europe for
two reasons. Europe Is a Christian land.
It would never embrace Mohamedanlsm,
which permits polygamy. The spirit of
the old martyrs would rise In them. At
tempt to Introduce Mahomedanism Into
Europe and a war more terrible than that
which la now rending it would follow. A
war yet more devastating, for It would
be a war of extermination.
It la for another reason not to be for
one moment seriously considered. That
Is that the women of Europe are too en
lightened to accept it.
There is a phrase we often encounter
and at which we smile. It is "The war
of the sexes." There Is no war between
the sexes. There are misunderstandings,
differences, needs of adjustment, of look
ing at life through each other's glasses,
of standing as it were in the same place
to view the problems of the world. But
there would be a war of the sexes should
a male government enact laws seeking
to establish polygamy. There would be
murder. Individual and wholesale. It
would turn women into furies.
Polygamy Is an evli to men. It Is an
evil to women. It Is an evil to children.
It is bad for men because it c&usfs them
to worry. When there is dlssentlon in
his home a man is distracted. His effi
ciency in the world of business is di
minished. Polygamy is bad for women
because it causes heartaches and heart
burnings. It creates a spirit Of rebel
lion, for a women, no matter bow unin
telligent, knows that it Is wrong. It is
bad for the children because they have
a sense of not belonging anywhere.
You have had in your own country
polygamy. I have beard of the ridiculous
practices In a place you call Utah. I
know also that the polygamy Itself you
first regarded as a fire and tried to stamp
It out. Then you learned that It is a
cancer and you must cut it out. That is
a universal truth.
I know quite well that your mind will
ask: "Why does the European woman
rebel against another wife, when she sub
mils to a rival?" I answer: First be
cause a rival is as a rule a transitory
evil. She la a trouble that visits the home
and departs. But a wife would be au
awful fixture. At any rate the European
wife does not without a protest submit
to the existence of her husband's rival.
Hers Is the outward patience of the per
sons suffering from disease The custom
of having a rival is a social disease.
There Is ever In the heart of the sufferer
the hope of a cure.
Second, because romantic love Is a tran
sient thing. A wife, especially if she
have children, comes to desire most the
The Maharajah of Kapurthala,
the Royal Polygamist, Whoa
Favorite Wife Does Not Selier
power that belongs to her station. - The
rival is denied these, and ' because she
Is denied them the European wife at
least enjoys the luxury of despising her.
Polygamy will die because it Is wrong
It Is contrary to the high Ideals of the
heart. Talk not to me of nature. We are
prone to give to every Impulse In us ths
name of nature. Humanity evolves and
each state Is better than the last. In ths
sense In which you say polygamy Is na
tural, murder is natural. In moments oi
anger we have the impulse to kill. But
who that is sane would Justify murderi
It is natural that anger should rage lo
our hearts when we have been baffled
of some desire, yet anger, we know,
makes most of the miseries of life. We
are out of a state of polygamy and al
ready it is regarded as a stain upon civil
ization. The war babies? No, no, no. I would
not grant polygamy even to remedy than
great evil. Some crack-brained persons
advise the forcing the soldier fathers,
even though already married, to legiti
matize their offspring by marriage. I
don't believe that will be looked upon a
a solution of the problem.
With 20.000 war babies on Its hands 1
do not wonder that England Is puzzled
as to Its duty. It is a difficult question.
But let the mothers settle 1U It Is an
individual problem. It the mother loves
the child and wants to keep it allow her
to do so. Let England give charity
bazaars to aid her to keep It. It the
mother Is without any natural love tor it,
or ability to care for It, let It be cared
for by the asylums for orphans. I thinlr
too much Is being said about these war
babies at any rate. Many such Children
are being born every year, perhaps a
nearly equal number, and there is no pub
licity about it. The problem will be In
dividually solved. Each problem has aa
But polygamy needed to repopulate
Europe? Atrocious idea! There have
been other wars as terrible and no such
hideous device followed.
Mrs. Burke Hardt again I ask yon Is
she says there are characteristics of the
women of the Eastern harems which
women or the Western world would do
well to emulate. I grant you one. Like
all peoples of the East they think In vast
numbers of y'ars. They reckon by aeons.
Their clvtlizstlon in old an l calm. Their
history extends into the dim beginning
of the world. That causes them to look
'ar into the past and fai- lato ihs future.
They leam lo wait. They have. infinite
power to Mil jure. They are Klf'ei with
a great patience. But patlvnce is. at
overrated quality. Especially It It be pa
tience lu the face of a great wrona-
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