But a husband can be tenant by the courtesy of the trust estates of the wife, though the wife cannot be endowed of the trust estates of the husband. 3 P. Wms. 229.

With regard to the property of women, there is taxation without representation; for they pay taxes without having the liberty of voting for representatives; and indeed there seems at present no substantial reason why single women should be denied this privilege. Though the chastity of women is protected from violence, yet a parent can have no reparation, by our law, from the seducer of his daughter's virtue, but by stating that she is his servant, and that by the consequences of the seduction, he is deprived of the benefit of her labor: or where the seducer, at the same time, is a trespasser upon the close or premises of the parent. But when by such forced circumstances the law can take cognisance of the offence, juries disregard the pretended injury, and give damages commensurate to the wounded feelings of a parent.

Female virtue, by the temporal law, is perfectly exposed to the slanders of malignity and falsehood; for any one may proclaim in conversation, that the purest maid, or the chastest matron, is the most mere. tricious and incontinent of women, with impunity, or free from the animadversions of the temporal courts. Thus female honor, which is dearer to the sex than their lives, is left by the common law to be the sport of an abandoned calumniator. 3 Vol. 125.

From this impartial statement of the account, I fear there is little reason to pay a compliment to our laws for their respect and favor to the female sex.



THE next, and the most universal relation in nature, is

immediately derived from the preceding, being that between parent and child.

CHILDREN are of two sorts; legitimate, and spurious, or bastards; each of which we shall consider in their order; and, first, of legitimate children.

I. A LEGITIMATE child is he that is born in lawful wedlock, or within a competent time afterwards. "Pater est quem nuptiae demonstrant," is the rule of the civil lawa; and this holds with the civilians, whether the nuptials happen before, or after, the birth of the child. With us in England the rule is narrowed, for the nuptials must be precedent to the birth; of which more will be said when we come to consider the case of bastardy. At present let us inquire into, 1. The legal duties of parents to their legiti mate children. 2. Their power over them. 3. The duties of such children to their parents.

1. AND, first, the duties of parents, to legitimate children which principally consist in three particulars; their maintenance, their protection, and their education."

THE duty of parents to provide for the maintenance of their children, is a principle of natural law; an obligation, says

a Ff. 2. 4. 5

Puffendorf, laid on them not only by nature herself, but by their own proper act, in bringing them into the world: for they would be in the highest manner injurious to their issue, if they only gave their children life, that they might afterwards see them perish. By begetting them therefore, they have entered into a voluntary obligation, to endeavour, as far as in them lies, that the life which they have bestowed shall be supported and preserved. And thus the children will have a perfect right of receiving maintenance from their parents. And the president Montesquieu has a very just observation upon this head: that the establishment of marriage in all civilized states is built on this natural obligation of the father to provide for his children: for that ascertains and makes known the person who is bound to fulfil this obligation: whereas, in promiscuous and illicit conjunctions, the father is unknown; and the mother finds a thousand obstacles in her way; shame, remorse, the constraint of her sex, and the rigor of laws; that stifle her inclinations to perform this duty and besides, she generally wants ability.

THE municipal laws of all well-regulated states have taken care to enforce this duty: though providence has done it more effectually than any laws, by implanting in the breast of every parent that natural spyn, of insuperable degree of affection, which not even the deformity of person or mind, not even the wickedness, ingratitude, and rebellion of children, can totally suppress or extinguish.

THE civil lawd obliges the parent to provide maintenance for his child; and, if he refuses, “judex de ea re cognoscet.” Nay, it carries this matter so far, that it will not suffer a

parent at his death totally to disinherit his child, [448] without expressly giving his reason for so doing; and there are fourteen such reasons reckoned up, which may justify such disinherison. If the parent alleged

b L. of N. l. 4. c. 11.

e Sp. L. b. 23. c. 2.

d Ff. 25. 3. 5.

e Nov. 115.

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no reason, or a bad, or a false one, the child might set the will aside, tanquam testamentum inofficiosum, a testament contrary to the natural duty of the parent. And it is remarkable under what color the children were to move for relief in such a case: by suggesting that the parent had lost the use of his reason, when he made the inofficious testament. And this, as Puffendorf observes, was not to bring into dispute the testator's power of disinheriting his own offspring; but to examine the motives upon which he did it: and, if they were found defective in reason, then to set them aside. But perhaps this is going rather too far; every man has, or ought to have, by the laws of society, a power over his own property and, as Grotius very well distinguishes 8, natural right obliges to give a necessary maintenance to children; but what is more than that they have no other right to, than as it is given them by the favor of their parents, or the positive constitutions of the municipal law,

LET us next see what provision our own laws have made for this natural duty. It is a principle of law, that there is an obligation on every man to provide for those descended from his loins; and the manner, in which this obligation shall be performed, is thus pointed out. The father, and mother, grandfather, and grandmother of poor impotent persons shall maintain them at their own charges, if of sufficient ability, according as the quarter session shall direct (1): and

f 1. 4. c. 11. sec. 7.

g de j. b. and p. 1. 2. c. 7. n. 3.

h Raym. 500.

i Stat. 43 Eliz, c. 2.

(1) That is, they may respectively be compelled to allow each other 20s. a month, or 137. a year; but that is the greatest allowance which a son can be obliged to make an aged parent, or a father a legitimate child, by our law.

Any two justices may make this order of allowance, which is in fact in aid of the parish to which the indigent person belongs. The relation, on whom the order is made, may appeal to the justices in sessions, who, upon evidence, and the consideration of the circumstances and ability of the party, can reduce the allowance, or discharge the order.

if a parent runs awayk, and leaves his children, the churchwardens and overseers of the parish shall seise his rents, goods, and chattels, and dispose of them toward their relief. By the interpretations which the courts of law have made upon these statutes, if a mother or grandmother marries again, and was before such second marriage of suffi[449] cient ability to keep the child, the husband shall be charged to maintain it1: for this being a debt of hers, when single, shall like others extend to charge the husband (2). But at her death, the relation being dissolved, the husband is under no farther obligation.

No person is bound to provide a maintenance for his issue, unless where the children are impotent and unable to work, either through infancy, disease, or accident; and then is only obliged to find them with necessaries, the penalty on refusal being no more than 208. a month. For the policy of our laws, which are ever watchful to promote industry, did not mean to compel a father to maintain his idle and lazy children in ease and indolence: but thought it unjust to oblige the parent, against his will, to provide them with superfluities, and other indulgences of fortune; imagining they might trust to the impulse of nature, if the children were deserving of such favors. Yet, as nothing is so apt to stifle the calls of nature as religious bigotry, it is enacted", that if any popish parent shall refuse to allow his protestant

k Stat. 5 Geo. I. c. 8.

1 Styles. 283. 2 Bulstr. 346.

m Stat. 11 and 12 W. III. c. 4.

(2) It has lately been decided, that the authorities here relied upon by the learned Commentator never were law; and that a husband is not bound, even whilst his wife is alive, to support her parents, or her children, by a former husband, or any other relation; for the statute 43 Eliz. c. 2. extends only to relations by blood. 4 T. R. 118. But I conceive if the wife had separate property, an order might be made upon her alone, to support her children and relations.

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