A Princess of Mars HTML version
can one claim undisputed right to, nor may he accumulate more of these than are required
for his actual needs. The surplus he holds merely as custodian, and it is passed on to the
younger members of the community as necessity demands.
The women and children of a man's retinue may be likened to a military unit for which he
is responsible in various ways, as in matters of instruction, discipline, sustenance, and the
exigencies of their continual roamings and their unending strife with other communities
and with the red Martians. His women are in no sense wives. The green Martians use no
word corresponding in meaning with this earthly word. Their mating is a matter of
community interest solely, and is directed without reference to natural selection. The
council of chieftains of each community control the matter as surely as the owner of a
Kentucky racing stud directs the scientific breeding of his stock for the improvement of
In theory it may sound well, as is often the case with theories, but the results of ages of
this unnatural practice, coupled with the community interest in the offspring being held
paramount to that of the mother, is shown in the cold, cruel creatures, and their gloomy,
loveless, mirthless existence.
It is true that the green Martians are absolutely virtuous, both men and women, with the
exception of such degenerates as Tal Hajus; but better far a finer balance of human
characteristics even at the expense of a slight and occasional loss of chastity.
Finding that I must assume responsibility for these creatures, whether I would or not, I
made the best of it and directed them to find quarters on the upper floors, leaving the
third floor to me. One of the girls I charged with the duties of my simple cuisine, and
directed the others to take up the various activities which had formerly constituted their
vocations. Thereafter I saw little of them, nor did I care to.