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is the duty of every member of society to contribute his share toward the public good, in which he has before participated, and to hand down to posterity a continuance of those advantages: for supposing that the generality of mankind from the same argument of private ease, were to remain in the single state; great would be the defalcation in the population of the country, and consequently a yery alarming diminution of her strength and opulence.
In such disesteem was Celibacy among the Romans, that they used every possible means they could to discourage it; for nothing was more usual than for their Censors to impose a fine on old Bachelors; while prerogatives were given to persons who had many children; besides, those who led a single life were, except from their nearest relations, and under certain restrictions, incapable of receiving legacies. Among the Lacedemonians, no man could continue single beyond
the time limited by their law-giver, without incurring severe and shameful punishments : the magistrates commanded unmarried persons every winter, to run 'round the public Forum naked; and to increase the contempt, they were obliged to sing a song expressive of their own ridiculę: another punishment was, to exclude them from the exhibition of Spartan exercises, where young women contended naked: another severity imposed on them was, that women were allowed to drag them round an altar, beating them all the while with their fists : lastly, they were not permitted to share that respect and reverence which the younger claimed.
Plutarch observes, that no man found fault with what was said to a great Captain, who coming into an assembly, a young man, instead of rising up and making room, addressed him to this effect,
Sir, you must not expect that attention from me, which cannot hereafter be returned by any of your children to me, when I am old.”
" To live unmarried is to die unmourned;
HITHERTO we have dwelt on the barren ground of solitary life; it is time that we repair to the fertile groves of Wedlock.
Marriage is a civil and religious contract founded upon the laws of nature; and the end of it is, the legitimate propagation of mankind. “ Different countries, according to peculiar circumstances, have not only varied in the forms of this institution, but likewise in the extent of it.
The Jews esteemed it lawful for a man to marry as many wives as he pleased, provided he could maintain them; and we are ine formed, thąt those who live in the East still keep up their ancient practice of Polygamy; whereas in Germany, they are not allowed this liberty, and in Italy very rarely; and only in case “a man hath lived many years with one wife and has no family.
The ancient Germans, are said by Tacitus, to be the only people among the Barbarians, who are contented with single marriages,
Mahomet allowed of Polygamy, craftily accommodating his doctrine to the humour and dispositions of the people, whom he intended to deceive.
The Grecians, according to their regular frames and constitutions, admitted but of