from the Divine institution of religious warfare. The same command would render war obligatory, whenever there is a chance of success, against Jewish and Christian peoples not under treaty with the Moslems;1 and wherever a Christian power should so far forget the precept of its Master as to oppress its Mussulman subjects, or to raise the sword in a so-called Christian war, then all the conditions of a Jehâd, including slaughter, tribute, and slavery, would afresh be justified by the Corân

Polygamy, with the barbarous institution of servile concubinage, is the worm at the root of Islâm—the secret of its decadence. By it the purity and virtue of the family tie are touched; the tone and vigour of the dominant classes are sapped; the body politic becomes weak and languid, excepting for intrigue; and the State itself too often crumbles to pieces, the prey of a doubtful and contested succession. Offspring borne by the slave to her proper lord and master is legitimate, and, as such, shares in the inheritance; but the provision, praiseworthy in itself, affords but an additional ground for division in the house. To all this must be added, in respect of the married wives, the fatal facility of divorce and remarriage, which, even when not put in force, exercises a potential influence to weaken the marriage bond, and lower woman in the social scale.

It may seem a small thing, in connection with these

1 The Moslem subjects of a Christian Power (as in India) are under the recognized obligation of loyalty to the Government protecting them, so long as they have the free exercise of their religion.

great evils, to mention the "veil"; but it really is not so. This ordinance, with the corresponding restrictions on domestic intercourse, and the liability of women to chastisement and restraint,1 cannot

Sura IV

but have a rigorous and depressing effect on the sex itself. The baneful influence on society at large is not less manifest; for woman, with all her bright and softening influences, being removed altogether from her position in the outer world, Moslem life is made unreal and morose, and a permanent bar placed to the advancement and refinement even of the other sex. And yet the veil, and some degree of seclusion, were wisely ordained by Mahomet; for without them polygamy, divorce, and servile concubinage would undermine the very foundations of society; and the attempt to dispense with these would only aggravate existing evils.

At the same time, the comparison of Christian with Mahometan ethics is not altogether free from difficulty. The Moslem advocate will urge the precedent of Jewish polygamy, and also the social evils which he will assert to be the necessary result of inexorable monogamy. The Corân not only denounces any illicit laxity between the sexes in the severest terms, but exposes the transgressor to condign punishment. For this reason, and because the conditions of what is licit are so accommodating and wide, a certain negative virtue (it can hardly be called continence or chastity) pervades Mahometan society, in contrast with which the gross and systematic immorality in certain parts of every European

1 " Life of Mahomet," p. 343.