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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

contract is worthless if it is not binding--can possibly be made. And the 

making of such pseudo-contracts concerning the future of a marriage, 

before it has even been ascertained that the marriage can ever become a 

fact at all, is not only impossible but absurd. 

 

It is of course true that this impossibility, this absurdity, are never 

visible to the contracting parties. They have applied to the question all 

the very restricted tests that are conventionally permitted to them, and 

the satisfactory results of these tests, together with the consciousness 

of possessing an immense and apparently inexhaustible fund of loving 

emotion, seem to them adequate to the fulfilment of the contract 

throughout life, if not indeed eternity. 

 

As a child of seven I chanced to be in a semi-tropical island of the 

Pacific supplied with fruit, especially grapes, from the mainland, and a 

dusky market woman always presented a large bunch of grapes to the little 

English stranger. But a day came when the proffered bunch was firmly 

refused; the superabundance of grapes had produced a reaction of disgust. 

A space of nearly forty years was needed to overcome the repugnance to 

grapes thus acquired. Yet there can be no doubt that if at the age of six 

that little boy had been asked to sign a contract binding him to accept 

grapes every day, to keep them always near him, to eat them and to enjoy 

them every day, he would have signed that contract as joyously as any 

radiant bridegroom or demure bride signs the register in the vestry. But 

is a complex man or woman, with unknown capacities for changing or 

deteriorating, and with incalculable aptitudes for inflicting torture and 

arousing loathing, is such a creature more easy to be bound to than an 

exquisite fruit? All the countries of the world in which the subtle 

influence of the Canon law of Christendom still makes itself felt, have 

not yet grasped a general truth which is well within the practical 

experience of a child of seven.[362] 

 

The notion that such a relationship as that of marriage can rest 

on so fragile a basis as a pre-ordained contract has naturally 

never prevailed widely in its extreme form, and has been unknown 

altogether in many parts of the world. The Romans, as we know, 

explicitly rejected it, and even at a comparatively early period 

recognized the legality of marriage by _usus_, thus declaring in 

effect that marriage must be a fact, and not a mere undertaking. 

There has been a widespread legal tendency, especially where the 

traditions of Roman law have retained any influence, to regard 

the cohabitation of marriage as the essential fact of the 

relationship. It was an old rule even under the Catholic Church 

that marriage may be presumed from cohabitation (see, e.g., 

Zacchia, _Questionum Medico-legalium Opus_, edition of 1688, vol. 

iii, p. 234). Even in England cohabitation is already one of the 

presumptions in favor of the existence of marriage (though not 

necessarily by itself regarded as sufficient), provided the woman 

is of unblemished character, and does not appear to be a common 

prostitute (Nevill Geary, _The Law of Marriage_, Ch. III). If, 

however, according to Lord Watson's judicial statement in the 

Dysart Peerage case, a man takes his mistress to a hotel or goes 

with her to a baby-linen shop and speaks of her as his wife, it 

is to be presumed that he is acting for the sake of decency, and 

this furnishes no evidence of marriage. In Scotland the 

presumption of marriage arises on much slighter grounds than in 


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