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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

perfectly free, and separation is equally free. The result is 

that there are no uncongenial unions, and that no unpleasant word 

is heard between man and wife (Stefansson, _Harper's Magazine_, 

Nov., 1908). 

 

Among the ancient Welsh, women, both before and after marriage, 

enjoyed great freedom, far more than was afforded either by 

Christianity or the English Common law. "Practically either 

husband or wife could separate when either one or both chose" 

(Rhys and Brynmor-Jones, _The Welsh People_, p. 214). It was so 

also in ancient Ireland. Women held a very high position, and the 

marriage tie was very free, so as to be practically, it would 

appear, dissoluble by mutual consent. So far as the Brehon laws 

show, says Ginnell (_The Brehon Laws_, p. 212), "the marriage 

relation was extremely loose, and divorce was as easy, and could 

be obtained on as slight ground, as is now the case in some of 

the States of the American Union. It appears to have been 

obtained more easily by the wife than by the husband. When 

obtained on her petition, she took away with her all the property 

she had brought her husband, all her husband had settled upon 

her on their marriage, and in addition so much of her husband's 

property as her industry appeared to have entitled her to." 

 

 

 

Even in early French history we find that divorce by mutual 

consent was very common. It was sufficient to prepare in 

duplicate a formal document to this effect: "Since between N. and 

his wife there is discord instead of charity according to God, 

and that in consequence it is impossible for them to live 

together, it has pleased both to separate, and they have 

accordingly done so." Each of the parties was thus free either to 

retire into a cloister or to contract another union (E. de la 

Bedolliere, _Histoire des Moeurs des Francais_, vol. i, p. 317). 

Such a practice, however it might accord with the germinal 

principle of consent embodied in the Canon law, was far too 

opposed to the ecclesiastical doctrine of the sacramental 

indissolubility of matrimony to be permanently allowed, and it 

was completely crushed out. 

 

The fact that we so rarely find divorce by mutual consent in Christendom 

until the beginning of the nineteenth century, that then it required a man 

of stupendous and revolutionary genius like Napoleon to reintroduce it, 

and that even he was unable to do so effectually, is clearly due to the 

immense victory which the ascetic spirit of Christianity, as firmly 

embodied in the Canon law, had gained over the souls and bodies of men. So 

subjugated were European traditions and institutions by this spirit that 

even the volcanic emotional uprising of the Reformation, as we have seen, 

could not shake it off. When Protestant States naturally resumed the 

control of secular affairs which had been absorbed by the Church, and 

rescued from ecclesiastical hands those things which belonged to the 

sphere of the individual conscience, it might have seemed that marriage 

and divorce would have been among the first concerns to be thus 

transferred. Yet, as we know, England was about as much enslaved to the 

spirit and even the letter of Canon law in the nineteenth as in the 

fourteenth century, and even to-day English law, though no longer 

supported by the feeling of the masses, clings to the same traditions. 

 

There seems to be little doubt, however, that the modern movement for 

divorce must inevitably tend to reach the goal of separation by the will 

of both parties, or, under proper conditions and restrictions, by the 


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