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and social liberty, should thus for five generations tolerate an invidious
indulgence, rather than frankly and courageously to free herself from the
shackles of an ecclesiastical tradition."
 "The enforced continuance of an unsuccessful union is perhaps the
most immoral thing which a civilized society ever countenanced, far less
encouraged," says Godfrey (_Science of Sex_, p. 123). "The morality of a
union is dependent upon mutual desire, and a union dictated by any other
cause is outside the moral pale, however custom may sanction it, or
religion and law condone it."
 Adultery in most savage and barbarous societies is regarded, in the
words of Westermarck, as "an illegitimate appropriation of the exclusive
claims which the husband has acquired by the purchase of his wife, as an
offence against property;" the seducer is, therefore, punished as a thief,
by fine, mutilation, even death (_Origin of the Moral Ideas_, vol. ii, pp.
447 et seq.; id., _History of Human Marriage_, p. 121). Among some peoples
it is the seducer who alone suffers, and not the wife.
 It is sometimes said in defence of the claim for damages for
seducing a wife that women are often weak and unable to resist masculine
advances, so that the law ought to press heavily on the man who takes
advantage of that weakness. This argument seems a little antiquated. The
law is beginning to accept the responsibility even of married women in
other respects, and can scarcely refuse to accept it for the control of
her own person. Moreover, if it is so natural for the woman to yield, it
is scarcely legitimate to punish the man with whom she has performed that
natural act. It must further be said that if a wife's adultery is only an
irresponsible feminine weakness, a most undue brutality is inflicted on
her by publicly demanding her pecuniary price from her lover. If, indeed,
we accept this argument, we ought to reintroduce the mediaeval girdle of
 Howard, op. cit., vol. ii, p. 114.
 This rule is, in England, by no means a dead letter. Thus, in 1907,
a wife who had left her home, leaving a letter stating that her husband
was not the father of her child, subsequently brought an action for
divorce, which, as the husband made no defence, she obtained. But, the
King's Proctor having learnt the facts, the decree was rescinded. Then the
husband brought an action for divorce, but could not obtain it, having
already admitted his own adultery by leaving the previous case undefended.
He took the matter up to the Court of Appeal, but his petition was
dismissed, the Court being of opinion that "to grant relief in such a case
was not in the interest of public morality." The safest way in England to
render what is legally termed marriage absolutely indissoluble is for both
parties to commit adultery.
 Magnus Hirschfeld, _Zeitschrift fuer Sexualwissenschaft_, Oct., 1908.
 H. Adner, "Die Richterliche Beurteilung der 'Zerruetteten' Ehe,"
_Geschlecht und Gesellschaft_, Bd. ii, Teil 8.
 Gross-Hoffinger, _Die Schichsale der Frauen und die Prostitution_,
1847; Bloch presents a full summary of the results of this inquiry in an
_Appendix_ to Ch. X of his _Sexual Life of Our Times_.
 Divorce in the United States is fully discussed by Howard, op. cit.,
 H. Muensterberg, _The Americans_, p. 575. Similarly, Dr. Felix Adler,
in a study of "The Ethics of Divorce" (_The Ethical Record_, 1890, p.
200), although not himself an admirer of divorce, believes that the first
cause of the frequency of divorce in the United States is the high
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