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In this disquieting and sad state, he addresses to his Church a plea of which the following is a précis: My wife is criminal, and it is I who am punished.Another woman is necessary as a comfort to my life, to my virtue even; and the sect of which I am a member refuses her to me; it forbids me to marry an honest girl.Why is a bond that has rotted indissoluble in spite of the great law adopted by the code, quidquid ligatur dissolubile est? What is still more strange is that this law of my Church is directly contrary to the words which this Church itself believes to have been uttered by Jesus Christ: "Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery" (Matt. I do not inquire if a turbulent woman, demented, homicidal, a poisoner, should not be repudiated equally with an adulteress: I limit myself to the sad state which concerns me: God permits me to remarry, and the Bishop of Rome does not permit me.
If I, Alsacian, am dependent on a priest who dwells at Rome, if this priest has the barbarous power to rob me of a wife, let him make a eunuch of me for the singing of Misereres in his chapel.
Equity demands that, having recorded this note in favour of husbands, we should also put before the public the case in favour of wives, presented to the junta of Portugal by a Countess of Arcira.
That is what my husband's advocates say, they who would have me not only shaved, but also stoned.
But the advocates who pleaded for me say that Ammonius, author of the third century, recognized this story as true, and that if St.
Project Gutenberg's Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire This e Book is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this e Book or online at Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary Author: Voltaire Release Date: June 12, 2006 [EBook #18569] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK VOLTAIRE'S PHILOSOPHICAL *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Lisa Reigel and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at This book does not demand continuous reading; but at whatever place one opens it, one will find matter for reflection.
In justice these things should be equal." My husband answers that he is my superior and my chief, that he is more than an inch taller, that he is shaggy as a bear; that consequently I owe him everything, and that he owes me nothing.
But I ask if Queen Anne of England is not her husband's chief?
Henry IV., to repudiate Marguerite de Valois, pretexted a still more false cause, a refusal of consent. Is it possible that otherwise enlightened men have wallowed so long in this absurd servitude!
That our priests, that our monks renounce wives, to that I consent; it is an outrage against population, it is a misfortune for them, but they merit this misfortune which they have made for themselves.