Page:Montesquieu - The spirit of laws.djvu/415

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O F L A W S. 363

fpring , a father cannot love twenty children with BOOK the fame tendernefs as a mother can love two. It ^ ^ is much worie when a wife has many hufbands ; & 7- for then paternal love is only held by this opinion, that a father may believe, if he will, or that others may believe, that certain children belong to him.

May I not fay that a plurality of wives leads to that paflion which nature difallows ? for one depra vation always draws on another. I remember that in the revolution which happened at Conftantinople, when ful tan Achmet was depofed, hiftory fays, that the people having plundered the Kiaya s houfe they found not a fingle woman , they tell us that at ( f ) Algiers, in the greateft part of their feraglios, (f) Hift.of they have none at all. Algiers by

��Befides, the pofieflion of many wives does not

��always prevent their entertaining defires * for thole of others : it is with luft as with avarice, whofe thirll increafes by the acquifition of treafures.

In the reign of Juftinian, many philofophers, difpleafed with the conftraint of Chriftianity, retired into Perfia. What ftruck them the moft, fays Agathias ( ), was, that polygamy was permitted (<) Life amono-ft men who did not even abftain from adul- and ac "

tions of

ter y- Juilinian,

p. 403.

CHAP. VII.

Of an Equality of Treatment in Cafe of many Wives.

��F

��ROM the law which permitted a plurality of wives followed that of an equal behaviour

��* This is the reafon why women in the Eaft are fb carefully concealed.

to

�� �