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Chriftians, and especially in great and il“ lustrious families, &c.”
There is much good sense in what Bucer fays, not only as tending to give a scriptural and
proper idea of concubinage, but also as pointing out a convenient medium between men of family and fortune being obliged to match with inferior women whom they may happen to take, so as to put them upon a footing with themselves and families, and the liberty of abandoning them to prostitution nd ruin.
This hint of Bucer’s, with respect to Christians, seems to have been taken in some parts of Germany; where we are told of wives of a sort of second degree, which they call leftpanded wives; these are indeed taken with more ceremony, but, in other respects, differ little in their situation from the antient conculines. See Chambers, Tit. HAND-and MARRIAGE,
Dr. Alexander, Hift. Wom. yol, ii. p writes thus concerning this custom in Prusia " -Though their code of laws seems in gene$ ral to be as reasonable, and as consistent s with found policy as any in Europe, yet
we still find in it an allowance given for “ a species of that concubinage which has long “ fince been expelled from almost all the " western world. A man may there marry “ what is called a left-handed wife, to whom “ he is married for life, and by the common
ceremony - the only difference is, the
bridegroom gives her his left hand instead ☆ of his right but with this express agree
“ ment, that neither the nor her children “ shall live in the house of her husband, nor " shall take his name, nor bear his arms,
nor claim any dower or donation usually “ claimed by every other wife, nor dispose of
any part of his property, exert any autho.
rity over his servants, nor succeed to his “ eftates or his titles ; but shall be con“ tented with what was agreed on for their “ subsistence during his life, and with what “ he shall give them at his death. This “ privilege, however, is always in the power " of the king to deny, and is seldom granted
but such of the nobility as are left “ with large families, and, from the smallness “ of their fortunes, cannot afford to marry “ another legal wife, and rear up another
family of the same rank with them“ felves.”
There are certainly in the above very strong traces of the antient concubinage, which was allowed and practised under the divine law. If such a custom as this prevailed among us, and was inforced on men of rank and fashion, who are now turned loose on the lower order of females, and debauch them at free cost, without being under the least responsibility towards them-it would not only prove a hapру
check to the most mischievous licentioufa ness in many instances, but be also a means of preventing the utter ruin of thousands, who, under the present system of things, are seduced, abandoned, and destroyed, without any remedy whatsoever, or almost any possibility of efcape. .
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.