Imatges de pÓgina
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Affections $. Neither is it true what you say, That Men's Affefli of the Mar

ons wear off as the maturer Age of their Wives comes on, naturally and that they are least agreeable to them then. Indeed, there wear off by is no Account to be given for the lustful Fancies of lewd Age. Men; but generally speaking, Men are naturally most plea

sed with a Parity of Age; the Soberness and Discretion, and decent Comeliness of those latter Years, in Women, are more pleasing to Men of a proportionate Age, than the finer Charms of a blooming Beaury: Nay, Ovid himfelf, who must be supposed to understand these Maters well enough, before he grew in Years, declares for the ferior atas, the maturer Age of at least Thirty-five, One cito post septem lustra venire folet,

And these, perhaps, your Gentlemen would begin to reckon among your Vnagreeables. But, in short, if Men lead good and sober Lives, and behave themselves with that Tenderness and Affection which they ought to do in a conjugal State, their Love would not decline with their Years, but they would carry on a Warmth of Affection, even to the Extremities of Old Age. But as for the Affections of lewd Men, 'tis not Youth or Beauty, or any thing else, can fix them; for we often find, that they slight and despise their virtuous and most agreeable Conforts, for the

fake of filthy, and often-times uahandsome Prostitutes. Nor by the 6. Neither is your Argument for Polygamy drawn from Speedy De- the speedier Decay of feminine Beauty, and their Sterility cay off femi- before that of Men, any ways concluding. For in most

Marriages the Men are, or ought to be so much fuperior in Age to the Women, as will make up this Difproportion, so that they may grow old together by equal Degrees of Declension. That Women grow sterile sooner than Men, is no Argument that Nature design’d the Woman should be dismissed, or another Wife taken in; for this may be a Thing purely accidental in Nature, and no Design of it; but owing to the more numerous Causes of feminine than masculine Sterility. But what Reason is there that a faithful and fruitful Wife should be caft off for another, when she has already born her Husband more Children than he perhaps can well maintain and

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provide for? And when Heaven has given her a Manus mission from the Pains and Dangers of Child-Birth, why Tould she be abridged then of any Comforts of Matrimony, which the Man has enjoy'd his whole Time without Trouble?

7. But the Slavery of the Wives, and the constant Fa- Objection amily-Quarrels where Polygamy is practiced, are unanswe- gainst Polyrable Arguments against the Use of it. There is a Sort gany from

the slavery of Equality in Marriage, and the Man is as much behold

of such en to the Woman, as the Woman to the Man. But wives. where Polygamy is practiced, the Wife has no Right at all, the whole Set of Wives being all their Husband's Slaves, and encouraged or discountenanced, bedded or turned out, according to his despotick Will and Pleasure. Which is such a perfect Enslaving one half of God's Creation, that it can never be esteemed a natural Law, or proceeding from the Establishment of a wise and just God. Or, if we look into the Quarrels and Animosities, among the Mothers and Children in the Families of Turkey; to observe their constant Scolding and Fighting, the rending and tearing away their Husband's Goods for their respective Children, their Jealoufies, Stabbings, and Poisonings; if we have any Consideration, we must needs highly applaud the Institution cf single Marriage in the Christian Religion, by which wise Injunction, Families are freed from these miserable Fewds and Distractions inseparably attending the other State. 8. But Lastly, 'Tis to me a Demonstration, that Poly

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has no ground in Nature, and that it does not at all Equality of contribute to the Peopling the World, but that it rather Males and hinders it. If Nature designed Polygamy, she would Females. have made three or four Women for one Man; but Experience shews, that more Males are born than Females. In all Accounts of the Births of Children, there is one in twenty born more of Boys than Girls; which seems to be a prudent Design of Nature for a Supply, for the Consumption of Men in the Wars, and other difficult Labours, which they are exposed to. Therefore the Num ber of marriageable Men and Women are equal; fo that

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if one Marie was allow'd to have four Wives, there must chree other Men go without any Wife at all; which would be very great Injustice to be forced to. Neither would this contribute to the Peopling of the Worlds for if all the Men and Women in the World were joined in fingle Marriage, they would have more Children, than if they were so forted, that sometimes one Man should have half a dozen Wives, and a great many none at all

. For it is not to be doubted, but that. lix Men and six Womens Shall, generally speaking, have more Children, than one

Man and fix Women. Therefore, I say, that seeing there are but an equal Number of Mepand Women in the World,

Polygamy has no-Ground in Nature, nor would the World be better peopled, if it were allow'd. And the fame Reason holds against Plurality of Husbands, or. Community of Wives, or any other Way of Concubinage or Matrimony, besides single Marriage, which 'tis plain Nature directs to solely, by the producing an Equality of Males with Females. Phil

. The next Doctrine of Chriftianity I except against, is, its not allowing Divorce, upon Disparity of Temper, and Intolerableness of Conversation, There are some Wives of that hellish Disposition, that a Man had better be coupled for Life with a Succubus, or She-devil; their intolerable Peevishness, clamorous and spightful Behaviour, make a Man's Life a Sort of Damnation, and occasions several to venture it in another World, to get rid of it here. But what reason is there, that a Man ihould be forced his whole Life-time, to abide this Misfortune; without Redress? Here was an Errour commited in the very, fundamental Contract of Matrimony, and therefore ought in all Equity, to be redrest

. A Man thought of marrying a sweet-disposition d peaceable Wife, and not such an infernal Shrew; he reckond in his Bargain, to have a; meet Help, as you call 1, and not a Plague, for Life. But if Adultery be a sufficient Reason for Divorce, why not. Intolerableness of Conversation? For I hada thousand times rather be married to a good-natur Whores Ithan fucı, an eternal Scold.

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Cred. Pray, Sir, let us have no more of this Decla- Unreasona

bleness of mation. For if you seriously consider the Case, you · mult needs allow of our Saviour's Determination, that Divorces.

Arbitrary Divorce is not to be allowed upon Unagreeableness of Temper. As you have stated the Case, you lay all the Blame on the Woman's Side; but, upon View, there might be as many Women likewise found, who would be as glad of a Divorce, upon Account of intolerable Husbands. And I believe most of

your Friends who complain so much of this Restraints by their Lewdness and Ill-treatment of their Wives, have brought them to that discontented Humour. 'Tis true, there is free quently a very uncomfortable Living together of some, in a married State, either through the Fault of Husband or Wife, or both; but why can't these Faults be altered, without disanulling the Marriage? If a Man, or a Woman; be of an angry, fretful, or positive Tempers they must subdue their Nature, and rectify these ill Habits, and bare with one another's Failures, and then they may live as comfortably together, as other People: But as long as they give the Řeins to these exorbitant Pasfions, they may divorce and marry, and divorce again, till Doomsday, and live never the more happy for it. But granting, that there are some married together, of such a Disparity of Temper, that they can never live happy; it is better they should suffer a little, than the World should be put in Distraction by a Licence of Divorce, upon Presence of this. The best Laws, that are in the World, happen accidentally, sometimes, to lie hard upon some, and yet so universal is their Benefit, that no reasonable Man would desire the repeal of them, becaufe fome few Men may chance to suffer by ther. Would you be content, that the Nation should suffer all the Miferies which arbitrary Divorces would bring, only to have some of your Friends rid of cross Wives? How many wicked Prerences would there be to cast off honest and virtuous Wives, when the vitious Husbands had seen fome Body else they liked better? Divorces, spon some special Reasons, were allow'd to the Jews;

but then, as appears by their Rabbies, they were incouraged by this, to take any Occasion to do it. Maimonides allows. it a just Cause for Divorce, That the Wife is not Well-bred, others, ihat pe docs not salt, or dress her Husband's Meat well, and R. Zkiba says the Cause is just, if he can Marry a Woman hidjomer than his Wife, because it is said, if flux does not find Favour in his Eyes. And if Divorces should once come to be tolerated; such fort of Casuists as thefe, would be mightily in Request. But put the Case home to your felf: If you had a civil virtuous Daughter, Married to a lowd Gentleman, would you be willing, that, when he had given her all the Provocations imaginable to provoke her Pailion, by an alienating of his Affection; and by a Conversation with lewd Women, I say, would you be willing after all this, that he should have the Power of branding her with the Name of an untameable Shrew and turning her Home again. If this was tolerated, it would bring an unknown Train of Wickedness into the World, in an Age which is but too wicked already. Husbands would throw off their Wives for their Waiting-Women; Wives would often leave their antienter Husbands for young spruce Gallants; the Children of the divorced Wife would often be turned out, with their Mother, or Difinherited of their lawful Inheritance, to gratify the new Spouse; Law-Suits would continually arise among the different Children, for their Share of the Patrimony, or when they were Young, would be cruelly abused by the latter Wife, or by their Father, who would be influenced by her; and the best Families, in little time, would be reduced to Beggary, by Contentions, or a multitude of Children. Now these are such miserable Inconveniencies, that a little uncomfortable Living with a froward Wife, is much rather to be chosen, than to be forced to undergo them. Therefore Unbelievers have no Reason to find Fault with this Injunction, or Determination of our Blessed Saviour in this case; but have rather great Reason to admire his Wisdom, in forbidding a Custom, which tends fo much to the Bane of the Common-wealth, and of all humane Society:

Pbil. Ago

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