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Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

land of the United States. 

 

The author of an able and temperate essay on _The Question of 

English Divorce_, summing up the characteristics of the English 

divorce law, concludes that it is: (1) unequal, (2) immoral, (3) 

contradictory, (4) illogical, (5) uncertain, and (6) unsuited to 

present requirements. It was only grudgingly introduced in a 

bill, presented to Parliament in 1857, which was stubbornly 

resisted during a whole session, not only on religious grounds by 

the opponents of divorce, but also by the friends of divorce, who 

desired a more liberal measure. It dealt with the sexes 

unequally, granting the husband but not the wife divorce for 

adultery alone. In introducing the bill the Attorney-General 

apologized for this defect, stating that the measure was not 

intended to be final, but merely as a step towards further 

legislation. That was more than half a century ago, but the 

further step has not yet been taken. Incomplete and 

unsatisfactory as the measure was, it seems to have been regarded 

by many as revolutionary and dangerous in the highest degree. The 

author of an article on "Modern Divorce" in the _Universal 

Review_ for July, 1859, while approving in principle of the 

establishment of a special Divorce Court, yet declared that the 

new court was "tending to destroy marriage as a social 

institution and to sap female chastity," and that "everyone now 

is a husband and wife at will." "No one," he adds, "can now 

justly quibble at a deficiency of matrimonial vomitories." 

 

Yet, according to this law, it is not even possible for a wife to 

obtain a divorce for her husband's adultery, unless he is also 

cruel or deserts her. At first "cruelty" meant physical cruelty 

and of a serious kind. But in course of time the meaning of the 

word was extended to pain inflicted on the mind, and now coldness 

and neglect may almost of themselves constitute cruelty, though 

the English court has sometimes had the greatest hesitation in 

accepting the most atrocious forms of refined cruelty, because it 

involved no "physical" element. "The time may very reasonably be 

looked forward to, however," a legal writer has stated 

(Montmorency, "The Changing Status of a Married Woman," _Law 

Quarterly Review_, April, 1897), "when almost any act of 

misconduct will, in itself, be considered to convey such mental 

agony to the innocent party as to constitute the cruelty 

requisite under the Act of 1857." (The question of cruelty is 

fully discussed in J.R. Bishop's _Commentaries on Marriage, 

Divorce and Separation_, 1891, vol. i, Ch. XLIX; cf. Howard, op. 

cit., vol. ii, p. 111). 

 

There can be little doubt, however, that cruelty alone is a 

reasonable cause for divorce. In many American States, where the 

facilities for divorce are much greater than in England, cruelty 

is recognized as itself sufficient cause, whether the wife or the 

husband is the complainant. The acts of cruelty alleged have 

sometimes been seemingly very trivial. Thus divorces have been 

pronounced in America on the ground of the "cruel and inhuman 

conduct" of a wife who failed to sew her husband's buttons on, or 

because a wife "struck plaintiff a violent blow with her bustle," 

or because a husband does not cut his toe-nails, or because 

"during our whole married life my husband has never offered to 

take me out riding. This has been a source of great mental 

suffering and injury." In many other cases, it must be added, the 

cruelty inflicted by the husband, even by the wife--for though 


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