chapter  4
12 Pages

Regulation of Children

The wise men of the Arabsl667 have said that one should be on one's guard against five types of woman: the lamenting widow, the wife who trades on her wealth, the wife bemoaning her fallen estate, the one who is like a brand on the back of the neck, and the one who is like vegetation growing on a dunghill.166s

The lamenting widow is the woman who has children by another husband, and who is continually showing them favours with the wealth of that husband. The wife trading on her wealth is the wellendowed woman who by means of her wealth places her husband under an obligation. The wife bemoaning her fallen estate is the woman who, before the time of her present husband, enjoyed better circumstances or had a more eminent husband, and is continually complaining and moaning about (the loss of) those circumstances and that husband. The wife like a brand on the back of the neck is the incontinent woman:1669 whenever her husband leaves a gathering, men speak of her in such a way as to affix a mark to the nape of his neck. The wife like vegetation on a dunghill is the fair woman of bad origin,1670 who is accordingly compared to herbage on a midden.