woman is treated everywhere on the Pacific
slopes, not as a man's equal and companion, justly and kindly like a human being, but as a strange and costly creature, which by virtue of its rarity is freed from the restraints and penalties of ordinary law. A man must be sharply pressed by famine ere he eats his bird of paradise.
As with the trappers and traders of Monterey
, so with the miners and settlers round San Francisco
There is a brisk demand for wives; a call beyond the markets to supply.
A glut of men is everywhere felt, and the domestic relation is everywhere disturbed.
Marriage is a career; marriage, divorce, re-marriage, times without end, and changes without shame.
A thousand quips and jokes turn on the relation of man to woman in these provinces, and every quip and jest gives the last word to the lady as mistress of the situation.
A young fellow, nerved by a wild impulse, snatches a kiss from a pretty girl, and asks her pardon, on the ground of his being subject to fits of temporary insanity.
The damsel puts out her hand in pity, saying, “ Poor boy!
whenever you feel one of these fits coming on again, run right away ”