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Title: The Child in Human Progress
Author: Payne, George Henry
Language: English
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[Illustration: MR. ELBRIDGE T. GERRY


  The Child


  Human Progress


  George Henry Payne

  With a Foreword by

  A. Jacobi, M.D., LL.D.

  _With 40 Illustrations_

  G. P. Putnam’s Sons
  New York and London
  The Knickerbocker Press




  The Knickerbocker Press, New York


This is a new sort of book, and unique. That is why I look upon the
permission to write a brief preface for it as a rare privilege.
Writings on children are frequent. When, in 1875, I contributed, for
Karl Gerhardt’s immense _Handbuch_, my _Hygiene of the Child_, I quoted
seven hundred treatises or pamphlets on that subject. There are now
at least seven thousand of the kind, and the number of text-books on
the diseases of children and infants do no longer lead a pardonable,
rarely a laudable, existence. A few monographs on special subjects,
or modern publications, as Erich Wulffen’s _The Child: His Nature and
Degeneration_ (Berlin, 1913), or the two large anthropological volumes
by H. Ploss, _The Child in the Customs and Morals of Nations_ (third
edition by B. Renz, 1911), are praiseworthy examples of useful books.
But while these are instructive they do not rouse historical interest.

Indeed, the history of the child has been grossly neglected. The
epoch-making works of Rosenstein, Charles West, Rilliet and Barthez,
and Karl Gerhardt contain no history. The work of Puschmann (Neuberger
and Pagel) fills twenty pages with the history of the child in a
text of three thousand pages relating to the history of medicine.
Altogether our country has been disrespectful to its best possessions,
viz., the children. There was until a few decades ago not even a
professional teaching of the children’s diseases in our medical
schools. A regular chair was established in 1860 (New York Medical
College),—it lasted for a few years only. The second was in 1898
(Harvard). There were few child’s hospitals or wards in hospitals
until a few years ago, even in the largest cities. Society, law,
humanitarianism did not mind children. It is only a few months that an
official publication in our democratic country carried the title; “Is
There a Need of a Child Labour Law?” and our civilization was humbled
by medical discussion of the advisability of killing the deformed or
unpromising new-born. It seems to take a long time before this republic
of ours begins to work out of the ruts of semi-barbarism. And now, at
last, there is a book to supply our wants.

Laymen have advanced ahead of the medical profession. Christ and the
Stoics, the clergy and the public opinion of the Crusades and the
Christian sentiments of the Mediæval Church, aye, the great slaughterer
and revolutionary reformer, Napoleon, have called the children under
their protection and benefactions.

A vast amount of study relating to primary populaces and nations in
gradual development was required to learn the history of the child.
Without the history of the child there cannot be a scientific knowledge
of the thousands of years of child life. Nobody has given it until the
author of this book afforded us the wealth of his vast studies. This
book furnishes what no other work presents to us. I know of none which
acquaints us with the position of the child in his social, political,
and humanitarian existence in all nations and in all eras. Adults and
adult life have long been served by the endeavours of historians,
philosophers, and psychologists. We do not believe in completeness
of our knowledge unless all that have been perfected. Medical men do
not believe in possessing a scientific grasp of any of their subjects
without an embryological basis. Statesmen, aye, even politicians, of
the better class, insist upon an ample knowledge of the history of
their countries, their institutions, and their laws. That is how the
last years of our medical and professional life in this country have
developed amongst us physicians the taste for history and such books as
Fielding Garrison has been able to prepare for us within the last year.

When I said the book before us was unique, I meant to say that it
is a special monograph of the life through thousands of years of
slow physical, domestic, economic, social existence of the child. No
historian, no medical practitioner or teacher, surely no existing
pediatrist will be without it.


  NEW YORK CITY, _December 21, 1915_.


The introduction of Dr. Jacobi has saved the author from the onerous
task, ofttimes a graceless one, of writing extended prefatory remarks.
It was in the course of some researches into the origin of the Child
Protection movement in this country that I discovered how little
attention had been paid to the historical aspect of this important
question. This book represents really a process of elimination, behind
which were many fascinating byways, alluring blind alleys, and seeming
countless beckoning theories. Toward the last, for a person with human
instinct writing on a humane subject, it was hard not to tilt. In the
main, however, the author believes that he has hewed to the line.

The author is indebted for many courtesies to the officials of the
New York Public Library, likewise to the Congressional Library at
Washington, the British Museum at London, and the Bibliothèque
Nationale at Paris. His thanks are due also to Dr. C. C. Williamson,
formerly Chief of the Economics Division of the New York Public
Library, who took a deep and serious interest in the work; to Professor
Richard Gottheil of Columbia, for many helpful suggestions in
connection with the Semitics studies; to Professor Hiram Bingham of
Yale, for some helpful notes on the Incas; to Mr. A. S. Freidus, Chief
of the Jewish Division of the New York Public Library; to Professor
Adolf Deissmann, of the University of Berlin; to Mr. Elbridge T. Gerry,
whose library provided a wealth of material; to the late Thomas D.
Walsh, Superintendent of the New York S. P. C. C., a humanitarian of
the first water; to Mr. Jesse B. Jackson, Mr. W. J. Yerby, Mr. Charles
H. Allbrecht, and Mr. E. A. Wakefield, all of the American Consular
Service; to Mr. J. William Davis, for supervision of the Bibliography;
to Mr. Gabriel Schlesinger, for assistance in reading the proofs; and,
above all, to Mr. Robert E. MacAlarney, of Columbia University, to
whose sustaining criticism and deep personal interest the author owes
more than can be here set down.


  January, 1916




  OF SOCIETY TOWARD CHILDREN                                     1




  ACKNOWLEDGED—DYING OF DESPAIR                                 31




  CHILDREN                                                      71




  EFFECT OF GREEK SUPREMACY                                    106


  AND COL. ALEXANDER WALKER                                    120


  PALESTINE                                                    138




  “AL HIDAYA”                                                  169








  PLINY’S CHARITY                                              223




  LACTANTIUS—ITS EFFECTS—CONSTANTINE                           245


  PLEAS OF THE CHRISTIAN FATHERS                               257


  AND CASSIODORUS                                              272


  INNOCENT III.                                                287


  WORK AND HIS SUCCESS                                         302


  BLESSING”                                                    312


  WORLD—ORIGIN IN NEW YORK CITY                                332

  APPENDIX A—NAPOLEONIC DECREE OF 1811                         341


  APPENDIX C—TREATMENT OF CHILDREN                             349

  INDEX                                                        361



  MR. ELBRIDGE T. GERRY                             _Frontispiece_
      Founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
        to Children

  NATIVE EAST AFRICAN MOTHER AND INFANT                         17
      (Courtesy of Museum of Natural History, New

  A WELL-CARED FOR ESKIMO INFANT                                17
      (Courtesy of Museum of Natural History, New

    EGRET                                                       20
      (Courtesy of Museum of Natural History, New

    BY DAN BEARD                                                24
      (Courtesy of Museum of Natural History, New

  FAMILY OF POLAR BEARS                                         24
      (Courtesy of Museum of Natural History, New

    INDIANS                                                     28
      (Courtesy of the Museum of Natural History,
        New York)

    MAKE HER OLD AT THIRTY                                      42

    WITHIN THE PRESENT GENERATION                               42

    BABIES, CHINA                                               56
      (Reproduced from “China in Decay”)

    MORE THAN HIS WEIGHT IN TEA                                 69
      (Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.)


    FOR HUMAN SACRIFICE—JAPAN                                   80
      (Reproduced from “Transactions and Proceedings
        of the Japan Society,” Volume I)

    CHILD. UNEARTHED AT TELL TA’ANNEK                           80
      (Reproduced from “Life in Ancient Egypt”)

  A POMEIOC CHIEFTAIN’S WIFE AND CHILD                          94
      (From the Original Water-Colour Drawing in the
        British Museum by John White, Governor of
        Virginia in 1587)

    HOOD                                                        94
      (From the Original Water-Colour Drawing in the
        British Museum by John White, Governor of
        Virginia in 1587)

      (Reproduced from “The Gods of the Egyptians, or
        Studies in Egyptian Mythology”)

    WITH HIS FAMILY                                            110
      (Reproduced from “Life in Ancient Egypt”)

    ALEXANDRIA, 17 JUNE, 1 B. C.                                118
      (Reproduced from “Light from the Ancient East”)

    CHILDREN                                                   122
      (From an Old Print)

    THEIR CHIEF                                                144
      (From “Mœurs des Sauvages Amériquains,” by
        P. Lafitau, Paris, 1724)

    FOR A HUMAN SACRIFICE                                      144
      (From “Mœurs des Sauvages Amériquains,” by
        P. Lafitau, Paris, 1724)

    GRAVE, AT TELL TA’ANNEK                                    150
      (Reproduced from “Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen
        Akademie der Wissenschaft”)

  ABRAHAM AND ISAAC                                            158
      (From a Painting by J. S. Copley, R. A.)

    FINDING OF MOSES                                           160
      (After Painting by Schopin)

    NEW YORK CITY                                              200

  THE FINDING OF ROMULUS AND REMUS                             225
      (From an Old Print)

    FOR GIRLS                                                  236

    OF THE ROMAN CHILD                                         236

    GOD MOLOCH                                                 238

    ME”                                                        258
      (After Overbeck)

  THE HOLY FAMILY                                              272
      (Reproduced by Permission of Museum of Art,
        New York)

    YORK CITY                                                  282

    YORK CITY                                                  282

    YORK CITY                                                  297

    IN FRANCE                                                  298

    CANADA                                                     318

  INFANT TOILERS IN A SILK MILL, SYRIA                         318
      (Copyright by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.)

    FOUND THEM                                                 333

    THE SOCIETY                                                333

  HENRY BERGH                                                  336

    CRUELTY TO CHILDREN WAS ORGANIZED                          336

    WYATT ON THE BENCH                                         337

History of the Child



If it were possible to postulate the first definite concept of the
first family that crossed the vague and age-consuming frontier between
animality and humanity, it would be safe to say that this primitive and
almost animal mind would reach for an approximation, on the part of the
male, to the maternal affection.

In the gathering of food and the making of protective war, many
animals are the rivals in instinct and intelligence of primitive man.
Continued development in that regard might have produced a race of men
“formidable among animals through sheer force of sharp-wittedness,” but
not _homo sapiens_. In the passage from animality to humanity, there
was not only mental evolution, but moral, and the developing mind
would naturally exercise itself for days and years, and perhaps for
long periods around that one emotion—the love of the female for its
young—an emotion he was incapable of understanding, but the outward
manifestations of which he would be bound to imitate.

Whether man was led to an understanding of the maternal affections
by the “sensuous aspects of the newly-born progeny” appealing to man
himself,[1] or through pity and sympathy, as Spencer suggests, or still
more through imitation of the maternal delight, he undoubtedly would be
led to a higher mental plane as he slowly came to understand that the
maternal affection was not self-gratifying in the sense that marked the
entire gamut of his own emotions up to that time.

Even in recent times tribes have been found so low in the social scale
that coition and child-birth have been assumed to have no relation,
the latter phenomenon being explained by ascribing to certain trees
the power to make women fructile. In a society as low in mentality as
this, it would be easy to conceive that the woman’s unselfishness—her
lack of the self-gratifying impulse—in protecting, nursing, and rearing
a burden superimposed on her with no pleasurable antecedents, would
be even more amazing than it would be to the male living in a state
sufficiently advanced to understand the reproductive function.

In either state of society, there then begins in the human
consciousness a disturbance “which is significant of something having
another value than that of mere pleasure, and which is pregnant with
the promise of another than the merely sensuous or merely intellectual
life.”[2] The words quoted are Prof. Ladd’s, discussing the philosophy
of conduct of civilized man—but here, even in the primitive man, the
rule applies—the moral idea is born, legitimately enough, out of the
altruistic maternal affection.

Not infrequently one comes across such expressions as “when man became
civilized,” starting always the baffling inquiry—what civilized man?
The mystery of life, as Bergson suggests, may be its solution, for in
the acquired tendency of looking on the world as containing one emotion
at least that was not purely self-gratifying, man was preparing himself
for the virtues that followed in the wake of his own first altruistic
concept. The loyalty without which there could be no sociality has,
on the one hand, a reasoned basis—the selfish and protecting one that
may also explain the gregariousness of animals—but it differs from
gregariousness by subordinating to the good of another one’s own
pleasure, just as the mother subordinates her wishes to the pleasure
and good of the infant. It is, in fact, the developed emotion that the
male acquires through imitation and sympathy from the female, for,
“when a tendency splits up in the course of its development, each of
the special tendencies which thus arise, tries to preserve and develop
everything in the primitive tendency that is not incompatible with the
work for which it is specialized.”[3]

Back of this sociological “leap” is Nature’s long preparation. “The
stability of animal marriage,” says Wundt,[4] “seems in general to
be proportional to affection for the young,” and yet the primitive
instincts are sometimes so powerful that even among those animals in
whom the maternal instinct is strongly developed, they will, even after
facing great danger for their young, desert them when the time comes
to migrate. This Darwin says is true of swallows, house martins, and

But even in the lowest animals the “chief source of altrusim” is the
family group as it revolves round the care of the young,[6] while with
the increase in the representative capacity that differentiates man
from the brute, and the prolongation of the period of human infancy,
there is born real altruism, the germ of morality, through the
“knitting together of permanent relations between mother and infant,
and the approximation toward steady relations on the part of the male

How then does it happen that an instinct that has been productive of so
much for humanity, an instinct that has given birth to most of those
virtues that mark civilized from savage man,[7] served apparently
so little as a safeguard for the offspring that generated the moral
evolution? Studying the cross currents and the ever-present struggle
for existence of the various nations that worked out of barbarism to
civilization, we see that after all it is by and through the very
virtues, tenderness, sympathy, and humanity, that were first aroused by
the helpless offspring, that the infant comes in turn to be protected,
though the path is frequently a tortuous one.

The society that was able to exist in primitive times was always the
one that sacrificed the individual,[8] and the infant was naturally low
in the scale of value. That very sacrifice of the weakest, stratified
into a national characteristic, produced in the greatest civilization
of ancient times, a narrow and egoistical morality, with little
conception of what we call humanity. “No Greek ever attained the
sublimity of such a point of view,” says George Henry Lewes.[9]

In this, the “century of the child,” there is a great conception of
humanity, and even of children’s rights. Little attempt, however,
has been made to trace in consecutive and co-ordinate fashion the
development among races and nations of the progress of the human race
in its attitude toward children. We who are so much interested in
the betterment of the race and who are so much moved by humanitarian
considerations that almost the first consideration of the state is to
provide for the children, have reached this point of view only after a
long struggle against blind ignorance and reckless selfishness.

The fact that less than fifty years have passed since we began a
definite policy concerning the rights of children shows how rapidly the
human race moves. The race may be, let us say, something like 240,000
years old; of that time civilized man—accepting the most generous
figures on Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization—has existed only
10,000 years, or 1/240 of the life of the human species.

Humanized man has existed not more than a few hundred years, and it
is within only fifty years that the race has been concerned with
the protection of the child. How deeply ingrained are the habits of
barbarity and darkness, may be seen from the fact that cannibalism
broke out in Japan not more than a hundred years ago.

Unquestionably, this is the century of the child. Undoubtedly, more
serious thought is being given in the present generation to the subject
than has ever been given before in the entire history of the world.
More has been written about the child in the last fifty years than had
been written in the world in all civilized times up to the beginning
of this half-century. In order to appreciate this statement one must
remember that the best friends of the child—Jesus, the Jewish Prophets,
and Mohammed—lived centuries before the human theories that they
preached had really a living existence.

In this connection, it is germane to state that the theory that
philosophy and religion go hand in hand with humanity, is shattered
by the fact that Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, and Gautama affected,
apparently, not a single jot, the ancient attitude of insufferance
toward the undesired children.

There has ever been, on the question of his children, a struggle
between man and nature. Endowed with the possibilities of a large
offspring man has fought the burdens that nature has thrust upon him.
On first view, it seems that parental affection never develops to great
degree unless the economic conditions are favourable; yet the various
artifices and “laws” used by tribes to get rid of children would show
that parental affection kept struggling with the inclinations of men.
In other words, if we find, as we do, female children sacrificed
in one place because they are useless, and all first-born children
sacrificed in another place because the gods must be propitiated, it
is evident that parental affection (as represented by the women) was
strong enough to force the male sovereigns to invent plausible excuses
and taboos in order to have the women give up their offspring.

Considering all that is being done, said, and written on the subject of
the child and the relation of the state and citizen toward the child,
it would seem safe to assume that there would be some interest in the
attitude of our predecessors toward children.

From the regulation of Romulus, as set forth by Dionysius
Halicarnassus, to the story of Mary Ellen, as set forth by a
settlement worker on the East Side of New York City, is a far cry,
but the progress from the first to the second is steady. The Roman
General, Agathocles, who made as a part of the terms of peace with the
Carthaginians an agreement on the part of that branch of the Semitic
race that they would cease to sacrifice children, was a legitimate
sociological progenitor of the representative of the arm of the law
that stops a drunken father from beating his child and creates a
Children’s Court where the child gets gentleness with justice, not
contamination and corruption.


“Every historian ought to be a jurist; every jurist ought to be a
historian,” says Ortolan, and the historian of child progress feels
not only the truth of that statement but the added necessity of meeting
the various economic theories that have dealt with the care of the
child, from those of Lycurgus to the latter-day essay of Malthus.

The law of primogeniture and the varying laws of inheritance have
occasionally led to the study of children as children, but generally
the main interest in them of historian and jurist has been as a channel
for the transmission of property.

Theories about population and the fascinating pursuit of unravelling
tangled economic laws, have obscured the fact that the attitude of a
state toward children has been, with few variations, an index to its
social progress. The same thing has been said of women, but while
the Greeks treated women well, yet with the exception of the single
_dema_[10] of Thebes, infanticide was common in all the Greek States.

The Chinese are kind to their women and yet there is no country today
where infanticide is more common. The oldest civilization in the world,
the Babylonian, was not one in which women were ill-treated, yet all
the indications are that infanticide was practised in the shape of
human sacrifice.

The Rajputs of India pleaded for their privilege of destroying infant
children when theirs had been the highest civilization in the world.

In other words, disinterested affection for the infant is not
necessarily coincident with civilization, or the kind treatment of
women a sure sign that the lives of children are safe.

Various writers, including Walt Whitman, Nietzsche, and Edward
Carpenter, have taken the attitude that our much vaunted civilization
does not really represent progress, and one vivacious author[11] has
even undertaken to show in a clever and lively way that there is no
such thing as progress, pointing to Greek civilization, in which
children were killed at will and public men were confessed degenerates,
as the ideal from which we of modern times have fallen away.

What is undoubtedly true is that civilization does not always indicate
social progress, and what is truer is that civilization does not
necessarily indicate the _humanization_ of the people.

Chremes, the very character in Terence[12] who says “Nothing human
is alien to me,” is the one who reproves his wife for not having
gotten rid of their child. The advance over Homer as shown by Virgil
is that of a great gentleness, a great humaneness,—a difference in
their times,—and yet Cicero, who represents the stoical and gentler
sentiments of the Virgilian times toward the helpless and powerless
victims of force as did no man up to his day, speaks tolerantly
of the inhuman practices of his time. But there is a growth of
humaneness from Homer to Virgil, there is advance from Plato to
Cicero, humanely speaking of course; there was greater advance in the
teachings of Christ, and there was further advance in the course of
the long-drawn-out struggle between the nominal acceptance of those
teachings and their incorporation into the daily philosophy. So, too,
progress in the care of the rights of infancy and childhood has been
made very little by very little.

It is the fact that, until 1874, there was no organized movement to
defend the “rights” of children that led the author to investigate the
conditions that had existed previous to that time. The first Child’s
Protective Movement began in New York in the year mentioned, and the
rapidity with which this spread throughout the world indicated that
some general law, or as Brinton says, psychological process was at
work. Today there are protecting societies in every country where there
are Caucasian peoples. To go to the sources of the Child Protection
Movement, it was necessary to understand the industrial conditions
which arose in the nineteenth century, the eighteenth century, and the
latter part of the seventeenth, when the boast was made that children
were at last being made useful.

Back of the misuse of children in factories is the interesting story of
the rise of modern industrialism with the early attempts of the guilds
to protect children, not so much out of any development of the human
feelings as from the guild’s desire to protect the male labourer from
unfair competition.

The Decree of Napoleon in 1811,[13] declaring that the unprotected
infant was a charge on the state, marked another advance in
humanitarianism; back of this advance was the long and interesting
story of the endeavours of the religious orders and the charitably
disposed persons of the Middle Ages to save the lives of children, the
most conspicuous benefactor of childhood being the noble St. Vincent de
Paul. It was he who gave to the golden glories of France’s golden age a
touch of humanity that would otherwise have been lacking in the epoch
ruled over by Mazarin and later the Great Louis.

Leading up to the efforts of St. Vincent de Paul was that complex and
interesting chapter of the mixing of the old German laws with the Roman
laws, as the barbarians found them.

That the semi-barbarous tribes that descended on Rome were better
qualified to take up the humane side of the Christian work than was
the decadent Roman, we can assume from the statement of Tacitus, that
among the Germans children were treated more kindly than they were by
the then ruling lords of the earth.

Satire there may have been, as Guizot and Voltaire suggest, in much
that Tacitus wrote about the superior morality of the Germans, but
later history demonstrated their ethical superiority over the nation
that was then on the verge of moral decay.

In any case, as the Christian religion spread among the tribes that had
enfiladed Rome, there are evidences of more humane consideration for
children until we find Bishop Datheus as early as 787 A.D. founding
an asylum for children in a spirit strangely in advance of his time,
though the bitter protests of the Christian fathers in the second
century against the slaughter and misuse of children put the mark of
infamy on the persecutors of children for all time.

The Roman laws, as the barbarians found them, were the result of a slow
growth of a thousand years from the time when the founder attempted to
check the slaughter of young children by what must have been, in those
primitive times, more or less drastic legislation. That the teachings
of Christ and the teachings of the Stoics led to the same result does
not detract from the credit due to Christianity for first putting on
its proper basis, as we see things now, the standing of the child in
the matter of its _rights_.

Back of the Roman developments is the Greek attitude toward children,
disappointing, if we look for the perfection that we find in art and
in philosophy, doubly disappointing when we find that both Plato and
Aristotle saw the child only as a possibility—only as something of
which we must await developments—only as a human _ovum_.

When we come to trace the attitude of other races, of other
civilizations, toward children, we find much the same story: out of
barbarism, civilization; out of civilization, humanity, though it has
been usually the great Semitic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and
Mohammedanism—that have awakened the humane instinct the world over.
The humane teachings of the Stoics were not unlike those of the great
religious teachers, but, lacking the intense driving power of religious
fervour, it is doubtful if they could have accomplished the revolutions
that these three religions did.

That all the great nations, the historical divisions of the races, or
those that passed out of barbarism into civilization, carried with them
some trace of early cannibalistic days or child-murder days, seems
a safe conclusion; and while occasional followers and interpreters
of the Malthusian philosophy have at times attempted to defend
indirectly these practices as part of the checks and balances by which
over-population is defeated, the fact remains that the development of
the parental instinct, the greatest of civilizing forces, has slowly,
but surely, tended to put an end to these “checking” and “balancing”



It is now believed by many scientists that the cradle of the human race
was the Indo-Malaysian intertropical lands.

The discovery of the remains of the _Pithecanthropus erectus_ in 1892
by Dr. Eugene Dubois in the pliocene beds of East Java, established
as a strong probability what was up to that time regarded as a mere
speculation. Keane[14] and Sir John Evans[15] now assert that man
originated in the East in this vicinity and migrated thence to Europe.

In this semi-glacial period, man, having taken on much of his human
character and being now an erect animal (although in physical and
mental respects he still resembled his nearest kin), had little
difficulty in migrating.

During the immensely long old Stone Age to which Peroché assigns a
period of some three hundred thousand years since the beginning of the
Ghellian epoch, the pleistocene precursors underwent very few or slight
specializations or developments, a fact due mainly to the moderate and
unchanging character of the climate during this long period. Progress
in the arts, however, there was, to such an extent that in some things
the period has not been equalled. Of this character are the exquisitely
wrought flints of the Silurian period, which cannot be reproduced now.

Primitive man as he existed in the Stone Age had very little in
common with the “primitive men” of today. There are savages today
who represent, in a way, a degree of savagery and a remoteness from
civilization that in some respects takes them farther down the social
ladder than any of the Aryan race of the Stone Age. “No pure primitive
race exists in any part of the world today.”[16] Contact with more
advanced races has invariably produced, sometimes a good and sometimes
an evil effect. Races are what climate, soil, diet, pursuits, and
inherited character make them,[17] and the Aryan savages of the Stone
Age had a different set of these conditions to face from the Negro
savages of today.





It is not surprising to find today a race that in many respects
represents the Stone Age period of civilization, displaying, together
with the most barbarous customs, a wide knowledge of the arts,
indicating that there had been contact with some higher race or its

Tribes grade into one another in the matter of culture so that it is
hard to classify them.[18] A struggle for existence may leave its mark
on an advanced tribe so that while it may in general retain prominent
barbaric or primitive characteristics, it will, in every other regard
but these, seem an advanced tribe. The Nigritans, for instance,[19]
have learned from their neighbours, the Abyssinians and the Arabs, the
use of iron; yet they have not arrived at the Stone and Bronze ages in
culture, and show in their social relations and domestic habits none of
the characteristics of the more advanced tribes.

So in the treatment of children. Wherever the treatment of the child
is at variance with the other customs or conditions of the race, it
will almost invariably be discovered that the change is due to economic
reasons or to contact with a stronger race. That it is this contact
with higher races that has helped undeveloped races to advance, is the
opinion of Sir H. H. Johnson.[20]

“In some respects I think the tendency of the Negro for several
centuries past has been an actual retrograde one. As we come to read
the unwritten history of Africa by researches into languages, manners,
customs, traditions, we seem to see a backward rather than a forward
movement going on for some thousand years past—a return towards the
savage and even the brute. I can believe it possible that, had Africa
been more isolated from contact with the rest of the world, and cut off
from the immigration of the Arab and the European, the purely Negroid
races, left to themselves, so far from advancing towards a higher type
of humanity, might have actually reverted by degrees to a type no
longer human.”

On the other hand, G. Stanley Hall says that our intercourse with the
African races “had been a curse and not a blessing. Our own Indians are
men of the Stone Age whom Bishop Whipple thought originally the noblest
men on earth. Look at them now!”[21]

Up to a short time ago men of authority asserted that marriage had
sprung up from a “state of promiscuity,” the believers in this theory
forgetting that even “among animals the most akin to man, this state of
promiscuity is rather exceptional.”

Most of the people cited as following this practice have been shown to
have individual marriage to the exclusion of other forms. Undoubtedly
in many cases what are called group marriages have been mistaken for
promiscuity. Almost equally low in the social scale is polyandry, where
one woman may have several husbands.

Whatever the origin of marriage, the fact is, however, that the idea of
marriage comes after the idea of the child—as in the animal world, the
family is established for the purpose of taking care of the children
that have been brought into the world.[22]

In _Mahabharata_, the Indian poem, we are told that marriage was
founded by Swetaketu, son of the Rishi Uddalaka; according to the
Chinese annals, the Emperor Fou-hi established the custom; the
Egyptians ascribed its introduction to Menes, and the Greeks to
Kekrops. Nowhere is it assumed as a condition of the race of all time.
Its origin, growth, and development are really the origin, growth, and
development of the idea of protecting human offspring.

A convincing scientific explanation of marriage, however, has been
set forth by Westermarck.[23] Among the great sub-kingdom of the
Invertebrata not even the female parent exhibits any anxiety about
the offspring. The heat of the sun hatches the eggs of the highest
order, the insects, and in most cases the mother does not even see her

Parental care is rare among the lowest vertebrata. Among fishes the
young are generally hatched without the assistance of the parents.
There are exceptions to this among the Teleostei, where the male
assumes the usual maternal functions of constructing a nest and
jealously guarding the ova deposited there by the female. The male of
certain species of the Arius, carries the ova in his pharynx. Nearly
all of the reptiles, having placed their eggs in a convenient sunny
spot, pay no more attention to them.

With few exceptions, the relations of the sexes of the lower vertebrata
can be described as fickle; they meet in the pairing time, part again,
and have little more to do with one another.

“The Chelonia form,” says Westermarck, “with regard to their domestic
habits, transition to the birds, as they do also from a zoölogical and
particularly from an embryological point of view.” He then goes on to
show that parental affection in the latter class, not only on the side
of the mother but on that of the father, has come to high development.
Members of the two sexes aid each other in nest-building, the females
bringing the materials and the males doing the work. Other duties
which come with the mating season are shared by both, the mother
being concerned with incubation and the father aiding her by taking
her position when she leaves the nest for intervals, providing her
with food which he gathers, and protecting her from dangers. When the
breeding season is over and the young have come, a new set of duties
is evolved. Young birds are not left alone by their parents, absences
being necessitated only by searches for food for all members of the
nest. When dangers threaten the nest both father and mother defend it



All efforts are made to have the young shift for themselves as soon as
they have grown strong enough to make it feasible. Independence and
self-dependence come only after they are in all ways capable of meeting
their needs.

On the other hand, there are some species whose young, from the
beginning of their ultra-oval existence, require and receive no care
from the parents. The duck is one of a species which leaves all
parental care to the female. In general it may be said that both
parents share the parental duties, the chief duties, such as hatching
and rearing of the young, falling to the mother, while the father
gathers food and keeps off enemies.[25]

The relations of the two sexes are, therefore, very intimate, and
association lasts even after the breeding season has passed. And only
the birds of the Gallinaceous family are an exception to the rule of
making such association permanent once it has been started, death alone
ending it.

Real marriage is to be found only among birds.[26] For mammals the same
cannot be said, for though the mother generally gives much attention to
the young, the father does not always have as much concern. He even, in
some cases, is the enemy of his own offspring. Yet even in the cases of
mammals there are durable associations between the sexes. Very often
these last only during the rutting season, but among whales, seals,
hippopotami, the _Cervus campestris_,[27] gazelles,[28] the _Neotragus
Hemprichii_ and other small antelopes, reindeer, the _Hydromus coypus_,
squirrels, moles, the ichneumon, and certain carnivorous animals, among
the latter cats, martens, the yaguarundi of South America, and the
_Canis Brasiliensis_ and perhaps the wolf, there are durable matings.
Association between the sexes is common among all of these animals for
periods after the young have been born. And in all cases the male is
the family’s protector.

What is an exception among the lower mammals is, however, a rule among
the Quadrumana. According to the natives of Madagascar some species
of Prosimii are nursed by both male and female in common. Among the
_Arctopitheci_ the female is always assisted by the male in taking care
of the young.

Coming to the man-like apes, we are told by Lieutenant de Crespigny
that “in the northern part of Borneo they live in families—the male,
female, and young one. On one occasion,” he says, “I found a family in
which were two young ones, one of them much larger than the other, and
I took this as a proof that the family tie had existed for at least
two seasons. They build commodious nests in the trees which form their
feeding-ground, and, so far as I could observe, the nests, which are
well lined with dry leaves, are occupied only by the female and young,
the male passing the night in the fork of the same or another tree in
the vicinity. The nests are very numerous all over the forest, for they
are not occupied above a few nights, the mias (or orang-utan) leading a
roving life.”

Dr. Savage says that the gorillas live in bands and that but one male
is seen in every band. M. du Chaillu says that the male gorilla is
always accompanied by the female.

It is among the Negritians of Africa that we find today the at-hand
evidence of the attitude of man toward his progeny in the first
stages of culture, or perhaps the last stages of savagery. It must be
remembered that in Africa, however, habits of other races will be found
grafted on the negro stock, thereby causing them to appear sometimes
unusually gentle or again unusually advanced. In Africa the Semitic and
the Hamitic grafts on negro stock provide many varieties of mankind,
just as in Oceania, the Mongol (Malay) and the Caucasian (Indonesian)
grafts on the negro stock have produced many varieties there. As an
example of the methods of the lowest of savage tribes, there is,
however, no better example than the Papuans of New Guinea of whom the
ethnologist, Keane, says: “They stand in some respects on the lowest
rung of the social ladder.”

As an example of the low state of culture in which part of them exist
it is said that those near Astrolabe Bay on the north-west coast of
New Guinea had no knowledge of the metals, all their implements being
of stone, wood, or bones; neither had they knowledge of fire, the
grandfathers of the present generation being able to recall the time
when they had no fire at all, but ate their food raw. In the study
of these people we are studying contemporaries of our own neolithic

According to their most popular myth, a crocodile named Nugu was
responsible for the frequent disappearance of children until the tribe
made an agreement to supply him with pig’s fat instead. Here we have
the beginning of the theory of sacrifice.





“In their treatment of children they are often violent and cruel,”
says Alfred Russell Wallace,[29] and an example of their idea of
kindness may be gathered from the following description of the
“ornamentation” of a young Papuan:

“The faces of both men and women are frequently ornamented all over
with cicatrices either circular or chevron-shaped. The operation is a
painful and costly one, as the professional tattooer has to be highly
paid for his trouble, and not every child’s friends can afford the
fee demanded. The instrument used is the claw of the flying-fox. The
unfortunate patient is not allowed to sleep for two or three nights
before the operation is performed, and then, when he is ready to drop
from weariness, the tattooer begins his work, and completes it at one
sitting. I never saw the actual process, but a child was brought for my
inspection whose face had just been finished off. It was in a painful
state of nervous irritation, and the face swelled to an enormous

Of the condition of these people no one is better able to speak than
Lieutenant Governor J. H. P. Murray,[31] who describes tribes where the
savages have only weapons of wood, know nothing of the bow and arrow,
and are noted for their immorality.

“It is very often the case that the best of the young girls are
sold by their parents as courtesans, the native name being Jelibo. I
came across men married, and possessing, in addition, these women.
Young fellows, not having reached puberty, had clubbed together in
parties of three and four, and bought young girls from the parents to
make courtesans. At feasts, these girls are used for the purpose of
enriching themselves and their owners.”[32]

As to the attitude of the children, we gain some idea of the aboriginal
point of view by this statement:

“There are some villages in which children absolutely swarm, but there
are few large families; practically every one is married, but there
are many couples who have no children, or only one or two. In many
parts of the territory it is considered a disgrace for a woman to have
a child until she has been married at least two years; infanticide
and abortion, though rarely proved, are said to be common, and a
medical expert would probably discover the existence of other checks
to population. The result of all this is that in some districts the
population is increasing while in others it is not; such investigations
as we have been able to make lead, in the absence of definite
statistics, to the conclusion that the population in that part of
the territory which is under control is certainly not diminishing,
though the increase, if any, is probably very small. The reason why
the population does not increase as one would expect now that village
warfare has ceased is, as far as I can see, simply that neither men nor
women want children, which I take to be the chief cause that limits
population elsewhere. The reason why they do not want them is, I think,
partly because they find them a nuisance (which is a consideration that
was probably effective even before the white man came) and partly that,
in their present state of transition from one stage of development to
another, they do not exactly see what there will be for their children
to do.”

Another custom of these people is to bury children alive, when the
parents or some person of importance dies; the excuse given for this
practice is that the child will be needed to wait on the parent in the
other world, a practice that lasted long among the civilized Egyptians.

Cannibalism is rife among these people. Mr. Murray reports that on one
occasion a young man was brought before him for having murdered a man
in order to please a married woman with whom he was in love—a lover who
has not “killed his man” being considered lukewarm.

“On my remonstrating with him on the impropriety of paying attention to
a married woman he informed me that there were no girls in the village,
as they had all been killed and eaten in a recent raid. The position
of a young man who found himself in a village where all the women were
either married or eaten was no doubt a difficult one, and I hope that
I took it into consideration in passing sentence.”[33]

How little is the feeling among these people over the murder of
children, is shown from the fact that murder is the only outlet for
their feelings!

“I have known cases where a man, grieving over the loss of a relative
or over some slight that has been put upon him, has set fire to his
house, quite regardless of whether any one was inside, with the result,
occasionally, that a child is burnt to death, and I recently tried a
case of murder which was the direct outcome of grief over the death of
a pig. The prisoners were brothers, and their pig bore the pretty name
of Mehboma; but Mehboma died, and the brothers in their unquenchable
grief went forth and killed the first man they saw. The victim had
nothing to do with Mehboma’s death, but the mourning brothers did not
care for that—somebody had got to be killed over it. The prisoners told
me that it was the custom of the village to show their grief in this
way, so that their neighbours must occasionally have suffered rather

As the Australians are closely allied to the Papuans and represent
about the same period of culture, we may postulate their attitude
toward woman and a marriage from the description of an early Victorian
tribe-marriage given by Brough Smith and quoted by A. H. Keane, the
latter author remarking that “a common test of a people’s culture is
the treatment of their women, and in this respect the Australians must,
as Prof. R. Semon shows, be ranked below the Bushman and on a level
with the Fuegians.”



“A man having a daughter of thirteen or fourteen years of age,” says
Mr. Smith in his description of the marriage customs in vogue among the
Victorian tribes, “arranges with some elderly person for the disposal
of her; and, when all are agreed, she is brought out and told that her
husband wants her. Perhaps she has never seen him but to loathe him.
The father carries a spear and a waddy, or tomahawk, and, anticipating
resistance, is thus prepared for it. The poor girl, sobbing and
sighing, and muttering words of complaint, claims pity from those who
will show none. If she resists the mandates of her father, he strikes
her with his spear; if she rebels and screams, the blows are repeated;
and if she attempts to run away, a stroke on the head from the waddy
or tomahawk quiets her. The mother screams and scolds and beats the
ground with her _kan-nan_ (fighting-stick); the dogs bark and whine;
but nothing interrupts the father, who, in the performance of his
duty, is strict and mindful of the necessity of not only enforcing his
authority, but of showing to all that he has the means to enforce it.
Seizing the bride by her long hair he drags her to the home prepared
for her by her new owner. Further resistance often subjects her to
brutal treatment. If she attempts to abscond, the bridegroom does not
hesitate to strike her savagely on the head with his waddy, and the
bridal screams and yells make the night hideous.”[35]



It has seemed necessary to dwell thus at length on the conditions
among the Papuans and allied tribes as it appeared to me important
that the very beginnings of the family should be understood. The
general agreement of ethnologists as to the low standing of the Papuans
justifies, I believe, our assuming them to be as near the point of
culture of our neolithic (or paleolithic) ancestors as it is possible
to come.

From now on the course is upward. Strange as it may seem, the lowest
tribes are less “human,” both in the matter of offspring and in the
matter of sentiment of love for women, than some of the beasts and
birds,[36] but having touched that depth, the next step brings us in
contact with feelings that, in a way, begin to approximate our own.

In the stages above the Papuans there is some affection for the woman;
her position is nearer to that of wife and less that of captive. In
consequence there is a more kindly regard for the children that she
bears. Now begins the development of the parental _affection_. It is,
however, confined to the female at first; “to this fact, rather than to
doubt of paternity, should we attribute the very common habit in such
communities of reckoning ancestry in the female line only.”[37]

Man, no longer relying on his own cannibalistic brute force to do with
his progeny as he wishes, invents reasons for doing away with his
burdensome offspring.

We have already seen that the Papuans restricted their families to
two children, when it was possible. As late as the middle of the
seventeenth century, Dapper reported that in Benin no twins were found,
as it was regarded as a sign of dishonour for a woman to have twins.[38]

Among the Arunta tribes in Central Australia, twins are “immediately
killed as something which is unnatural.”[39] Among northern tribes they
“are usually destroyed as something uncanny.”[40] With the Kaffirs,
it was found that “when twins are born, one is usually neglected
and allowed to die.”[41] Of the western Victorian tribes we learn
that “twins are as common among them as among Europeans; but as food
is occasionally very scarce and a large family troublesome to move
about, it is lawful and customary to destroy the weaker twin child,
irrespective of sex.”[42]

In some parts of the Benin territory, according to a contemporary of
Dapper, the twin-bearing women are treated very badly.

According to Nyendael, they actually kill both mother and infants,
and sacrifice them to a certain devil, which they fondly imagine
harbours in a wood near the village. “But if,” says this authority,
“the man happens to be more than ordinarily tender, he generally buys
off his wife, by sacrificing a female slave in her place; but the
children are without possibility of redemption obliged to be made the
satisfactory offerings which this savage law requires. In the year
1699, a merchant’s wife, commonly called _ellaroe_ or _mof_, lay-in of
two children, and her husband redeemed her with a slave, but sacrificed
his children. After which I had frequent opportunities of seeing and
talking with the disconsolate mother, who never could see an infant
without a very melancholy reflection on the fate of her own, which
always extorted briny tears from her. The following year the like event
happened to a priest’s wife. She was delivered of two children, which,
with a slave, instead of his wife, he was obliged to kill and sacrifice
with his own hands, by reason of his sacerdotal function; and exactly
one year after, as though it had been a punishment inflicted from
heaven, the same woman was the second time delivered of two children,
but how the priest managed himself on this occasion I have not been
informed, but am apt to think that this poor woman was forced to atone
for her fertility by death. These dismal events have in process of
time made such impressions on men, that when the time of their wives’
delivery approaches, they send them to another country; which makes me
believe that for the future they will correct these inhumanities.”[43]

On the west coast of Africa “twins are killed among all the Niger Delta
tribes, and in districts out of English control the mother is killed
too,”[44] which shows the fanatic point to which a belief, or rather
an excuse, founded on the economic desire to keep down the size of a
family, may be carried.

All Kaffir children are neglected, according to Kidd,[45] but on the
birth of twins, “one frequently is killed by the father, for the
natives think that unless the father places a lump of earth in the
mouth of one of the babies, he will lose his strength.”

The next provision to keep down the “cost of living” is directed
against children with blemishes, a practice that was not easy to check
even among civilized peoples. Among the Australian aborigines “it is
usual to destroy those that are malformed.”[46] Among certain tribes
on the west coast, children whose mothers have died are thrown into the
bush, “as are all children who have not arrived in this world in the
way considered orthodox or who cut their teeth in an improper way.”
A child born with teeth is put to death, in some parts of Africa;
children born in stormy weather are destroyed in Kamchatka.[47] In
Madagascar “the superstition of lucky and unlucky days prevailed
throughout all the tribes, and the unfortunate infants that came into
the world on one of these unlucky days were immediately destroyed.”[48]

How obvious are the so-called reasons for killing the children may
be seen from the fact that according to another authority, the
proscribed or unlucky periods and days include all children born in
March and April, or in the last week of each month, or on Wednesdays
and Fridays.[49] Among the Antankarana tribes of the Amber Mountains
in Madagascar, a child that sneezes at or shortly after its birth is
exposed. Among the Basuto, when a child is born with its feet first, it
is killed,[50] whereas among the Bondei it is killed if it is born head

Among the Bondei, the excuses found for killing children are many. If
the child is born head first, it is a _kigego_ (unlucky child) and
is strangled; if it cries, it is a _kigego_ and is strangled. If the
father has not been in the _galo_ (kekutoigwa), or the mother has not
been in the _kiwanga_ (kekuviniwa) (initiated), the child is a _tumbwi_
(offence) and is strangled.”[52]

Mental processes the world over are much the same. The American
legislator raising the tariff to keep out competitors is not employing
a system entirely dissimilar from that of the barbarians who, finding
the first proscriptions fail to keep down the birthrate, widen the
scope of the proscription. And so the customary law grows to include
female children among the proscribed. Writing in the latter part of the
eighteenth century, Don Felix de Azara declared he had found that among
the Guanas in South America it was the custom for the women to bury
alive the majority of the female children, and that they never brought
up more than one boy and one girl.[53]

Rude attempts to regulate the number of children next appeared. It
has been suggested that this phase of primitive development argues
mentality sufficient to foresee destruction of the tribe that does not
provide for the future. Doubtless, in the mind of some savage Malthus,
the idea that the tribe must allow at least a given number of children
to live, was conceived with the warm glow of discovery.

Among the Tokelaus, or Line Islanders, “no married pair are allowed by
their law to have or bear more than four children; that is, only four
get the chance of life. The woman has a right to rear, or endeavour
to rear, one child. It rests with the husband to decide how many more
shall live, and this depends on how much land there is to divide.”[54]

On Radack Island a woman “is allowed to bring up only three children;
her fourth and every succeeding one she is obliged to bury alive

Two boys and one girl were all that the Australian mother brought
up, according to Curr, although the women bore an average of six

Economic ingenuity—and trepidity—could go no further than the practice
in the Solomon Islands, where “a small portion of the Ugi natives have
been born on the island, three-fourths of them having been brought as
youths to supply the place of offspring killed in infancy. When a man
needs support in his declining years, his props are not his own sons,
but youths obtained by purchases from the St. Christoval natives.”[57]
Another author says of the same islands that when “it becomes
necessary to buy other children from other tribes good care is taken
not to buy them too young.”[58]

At Vaitupu, of the Ellice Islands, “only two children are allowed to a
family, as they are afraid of a scarcity of food.”[59] It is on these
coral islands that Robert Louis Stevenson says the fear of famine
is greatest. He bears out the statement that only two children were
allowed to a marriage on Vaitupu Island, and adds that on Nukufetu
only one child was permitted; “on the latter the punishment was by
fine, and it is related that the fine was sometimes paid and the child

In the Dieyerie tribe, of Australia, “thirty per cent. are murdered by
their mothers at their birth, simply for the reasons—firstly, that many
of them, marrying very young, their first-born is considered immature
and not worth preserving; and secondly, because they do not wish to be
at the trouble of rearing them, especially if weakly. Indeed all sickly
and deformed children are made away with in fear of their becoming a
burthen to the tribe.”[61]

With the coming of ritual, man assumes to pacify his voracious deities
by the sacrifices of children, thereby propitiating the gods and
reducing the economic burden. The people of the Senjero offer up their
“first-born sons as sacrifices, because, once upon a time, when summer
and winter were jumbled together in bad season, and the fruits of the
field would not ripen, the sooth-sayers enjoined it.”[62]

After telling an almost unprintable tale, Dr. Brinton says of the
Australian blacks that “among several tribes it was an established
custom for a mother to kill and eat her first child, as it was believed
to strengthen her for later births.

“In the Luritcha tribe, young children are sometimes killed and eaten,
and it is not an infrequent custom, when a child is in weak health,
to kill a younger and healthy one and then to feed the weakling on
its flesh, the idea being that this will give to the weak child the
strength of the stronger one.”[63]

Frank admission that the children are in the way and are a burden, may
be regarded either as a sign that the tribe has progressed, or that
it has not yet reached the point of shame where it cloaks the evil
practice under the guise of religious sacrifices, hygienic or customary

In this regard it is not possible to say that the father, as opposed
to the mother, is more inclined to do away with offspring, or is more
frequently entrusted with that grewsome duty, although I would venture
to say that an exhaustive research on this one aspect of the study
would probably show that the mother at first opposed and gradually
accepted, under the force of man’s will, the idea that the destruction
of her offspring was good; first for herself and her lord and master,
and secondly for the tribe.

Should investigation uphold such an hypothesis, it would be easily
understood how the frank acknowledgment represented an advanced stage,
when the woman, no longer satisfied with the various trivial excuses
offered for the destruction of her young, insisted on keeping them
alive, and was met with, not the many invented reasons that we have
seen, but the plain truth, that their continued existence endangered
the food supply.

“Urgent want and sterility of the niggardly earth” were the reasons
given by the natives of the island of Radnack for the law limiting the
number of children.[64] A second child is killed among the natives of
Central Australia “only when the mother is, or thinks she is, unable to
rear it”[65] and yet the same authors say that “an Australian native
never looks far enough ahead to consider what will be the effect on the
food supply in future years, if he allows a particular child to live;
what affects him is simply the question of how it will interfere with
the work of his wife so far as their own camp is concerned; while,
from the woman’s side, the question is, can she provide food enough for
the new-born infant and the next youngest?”[66]

The long suckling time, that these authors and other travellers have
noted, and that is here given as a reason, as _opposed_ to the economic
one, for the frequent killing of children, is due “chiefly to want of
soft food and animal milk”.[67]

Among the members of the Areoi society, a peculiar and somewhat
“secret” society[68] of the islands of the Pacific, “a man with three
or four children, and this was a rare occurrence, was said to be a
_taata taubuubuu_, a man with an unwieldy or cumbrous burden; and there
is reason to believe that, simply to avoid the trifling care and effort
necessary to provide for their offspring during the helpless period
of infancy and childhood, multitudes were consigned to an untimely
grave.” A Malthusian motive has sometimes been adduced, and the natives
have been heard to say, that if all the children born were allowed to
live, there would not be food enough produced in the islands to support

From many authorities comes direct evidence of a clash between the
man and the woman in the Polynesian Islands. “As the burden of the
plantation and other work devolves on the woman, she thinks that she
cannot attend to more than two or three children, and the rest must be
buried as soon as they are born. There are exceptions to this want of
maternal affection. At times the husband urges the thing contrary to
the wishes of the wife. If he thinks the infant will interfere with her
work, he forcibly takes the little innocent and buries it, and she,
poor woman, cries for months after her child.”[70]

Among the nomadic tribes it is frankly admitted that the children are
a hindrance. The Lenguas, of the Paraguayan Chaco, make journeys of
from ten to twenty miles, the women doing most of the hard work. The
consequence is that children are not desirable. So with the Abipones,
of whom Charlevoix says: “They seldom rear but one child of each sex,
murdering the rest as fast as they come into the world, till the eldest
are strong enough to walk alone. They think to justify this cruelty by
saying that, as they are almost constantly travelling from one place to
another, it is impossible for them to take care of more infants than
two at a time; one to be carried by the father, and the other by the



The explanation offered by the Kurnai was that “it was often difficult
to carry about young children, particularly where there were several.
Their wandering life rendered this very difficult.”[72] In the
struggle with nature, man descends as well as ascends. The unfavourable
conditions into which nomadic tribes frequently come produce not
infrequently, a perverted type that is lower than the animals to which
our semi-human progenitors of the extremely remote past belonged. “The
instincts of the lower animals,” says Darwin, “are never so perverted
as to lead them to regularly destroy their own offspring or to be quite
devoid of jealousy.”[73]

In parts of New South Wales, such as Bathurst, Goulburn, and the
Lachlan, or Macquarie, “it was customary long ago for the first-born
of every lubra to be eaten by the tribe, as part of a religious
ceremony; and I recollect,” says J. M. Davis, “a black fellow who had,
in compliance with the custom, been thrown when an infant on the fire,
but was rescued and brought up by some stock-keepers who happened
accidentally to be passing at the time.”[74]

Ellis declares that among the Marquesans who inhabit a group of islands
to the south-east of Hawaii, children are sometimes, during “seasons
of extreme scarcity, killed and eaten by their parents to satisfy

It has been said that the social, moral, and intellectual condition of
woman indicates, in an ascending scale, the degree of civilization of
every tribe and nation. It might with equal force be said that the
attitude of the tribe or nation toward its young is also a barometer
of progress. Behind the harsh measure and savage customs, underneath
the cruelty and at times ferocious indifference to pain, there is in
general among the lowest of the tribes an affection for their young,
once it has been decided that they are allowed to live.

In that too frequently suppressed affection, stunted as it is by
customary law and the unequal struggle with nature, there is the
beginning of humanitarian progress. Given reasonable security
that there will be a sufficiency of food supply and a surcease of
neighbourhood wars, this affection will pass from precept to concept
and protect even the unborn.[76]

“No people in the world are so fond of, or so long-suffering with,
children,” Stevenson says of the same South Sea Islanders among whom
he has just said infanticide is common.[77] But even after it has
been decided to bring up the child, and it has become an object of
great affection, it is still in danger should famine conditions seem
imminent,[78] or should the cupidity and avarice of the parents be
aroused, with the consequence that children are readily sold into

Nature’s methods are stern, and her progress slow; despite perplexing
examples of reactionary forces, the primitive move is steadily toward
an understanding of one’s duties as a human being—or he dies. For the
civilized man, pain is nature’s warning that he has violated the rules
of his own body, and for the primitive man, decay and despair are the
warnings that the path of progress lies the other way.

Looking over this vast field, including not only blacks, Mongols, and
Indians, but even the Europeans, as we shall come to see later, we
gather that those that have struggled upward have been only those who
have taken nature’s lesson of lessons to themselves. Horrible as is the
story of these stationary and degenerate peoples that we get, what must
be the whole story, with its full picture of anguish?



Assuming that the human cradle was in the Eastern Archipelago, and
more particularly in the Island of Java where Dr. Dubois discovered
his _Pithecanthropus erectus_, the primeval home of the Mongolian
division of the human race was the Tibetan plateau. From this central
plateau the early Mongol groups spread during the Stone Age over the
Asiatic continent, in one place developing into the Akkado-Sumerians of
Babylonia, the almost extinct Hyperboreans of Siberia in another, the
Mongolo-Tartars stretching across Central Asia from Japan to Europe,
the Tibeto-Indo-Chinese of Tibet, Indo-China, and China, and the
Oceanic Mongols of Malaysia, Madagascar, and the Philippines.

In Tibet even today, polyandrous customs are still strong and the
nomadic tendencies of the people show that the years of civilization or
near-civilization have not changed the primitive roving inclinations,
inclinations that partly account for the indifference to child life
among the Chinese.

Our knowledge of ancient China rests principally on two authorities,
the _Chou King_ of Confucius, written 484 B. C., and the _Sse Ki_ of
Tsse Ma Thsein, written at the beginning of the first era before
Christ. Confucius was not able to go further back than seventeen
centuries before his own time, so that we can safely say that we
know something about Chinese history for about 2200 years before the
Christian era. The social and political life of the Chinese people in
the time of Yao, the first of the emperors named by Confucius, was that
of a pastoral people, but even then most of the useful arts had been
invented, writing was already known, and the first notions of astronomy
on which they founded their calendar had been acquired. The successor
of Yao was Chun, and after Chun came Hia, the founder of a dynasty
which lasted from 2205 to 1767 B. C., with which dynasty began the real
history of China.

When Confucius appeared the Chinese Empire was a highly civilized
nation, but of Confucius it has been said that he, more than any other
one man, went to make China a nation. Born at a time when his country
was torn with discord and desolated by war, husbandry neglected, peace
of households destroyed, and plunder and rapine common occurrences,
Confucius was nineteen when he married and added to the national woes
his own domestic troubles, divorcing the lady after a brief period in
captivity, but not however until she had borne him a son.

It is through this son that we learn something of the personal
character of Confucius. An inquisitive disciple asked the son if he had
learned any more than those who were not related to the great teacher.

“No,” replied Le. “He was standing alone once when I was passing
through the court below with hasty steps, and said to me:

“‘Have you read the Odes?’

“On my replying, ‘Not yet,’ he added:

“‘If you do not learn the Odes, you will not be fit to converse with.’

“Another day in the same way and the same place, he said to me:

“‘Have you read the rules of Propriety?’

“On my replying ‘Not yet,’ he added:

“‘If you do not learn the rules of Propriety, your character cannot be

“I asked one thing,” said the enthusiastic disciple, “and I have
learned three things. I have learned about the Odes, I have learned
about the rules of Propriety, and I have learned that the Superior Man
maintains a distant reserve toward his son.”

In this anecdote—and in his works—it is evident that Confucius had the
Chinese estimate of the child—the father was sovereign; the child,
as long as that sovereign lived, a mere subject. It was this idea and
the strongly implanted idea of filial piety that led to the callous
attitude toward children among the disciples of Confucius.

The Chinese explanation and defence of this phase of their life is
that up to the year 232 B. C. there did not exist in China anything but
the most humane system of treatment of children. The Jesuit authors of
the _Mémoires_ declare that up to that time there is no trace of the
drowning of infants, their abandonment, etc. Instead of being a burden,
says the missionary chronicler, children were considered an asset and
the orphan was generally in the position of having to choose between
many would-be adoptive parents. The law is cited to prove this, the
Code declaring that in case there were several people anxious to adopt
an orphan, preference should be given to those who were childless.[80]

It was under Ts’in Chi Hoang,[81] who reigned about 232 B. C., that the
abominable practice grew up, along with many other ills. The greed and
avarice of the nobles and the Emperor’s immediate following produced
much suffering, in the wake of which came famine, causing mothers and
fathers to abandon children that they were not able to feed.

Whatever truth there may be in this statement, there is very little
doubt that the reign of Ts’in Chi Hoang was one of bloodshed, war, and
suffering and that with the end of the Chou (or Chow), dynasty, and the
accession of the Prince Ts’in, first as the dominating King and then as
Emperor of China, there was much suffering.

“It was a time of extreme severity,” says the historian Tsse Ma Thsien,
“and all affairs were decided according to the law without either grace
or charity.”[82]

In addition to his bloodthirsty qualities, the Prince Ts’in, who was
known as the Great First Emperor and who insisted that all successors
should be known as the Second, Third, and Fourth Emperors, was superbly
egotistic. Everything, including literature, was ordained to begin from
his reign, to which end he issued an edict that all books should be
burned. He put to death so many hundred of the _literati_ who refused
to obey this edict that the “melons actually grew in winter on the spot
beneath which the bodies were buried”[83]—a tribute to the fertile
character of the Chinese _literati_.

Even assuming that the ill-treatment of children as we know it today
did not extend farther back than the period ascribed to it by the
Catholic missionaries, the period of Ts’in Chi Hoang, the earliest
records of the Chinese indicate that the family was placed on a
plane that, for severity toward children, challenges even the Roman
_patria potestas_. To the Emperor Yao or Yau, who is supposed to have
reigned about 2300 years before Christ, is ascribed the first step in
establishing the Chinese attitude toward parents and the respectful
obedience exacted from children. Particular emphasis was laid on the
son’s obedience. It was apparently taken for granted that a daughter
would not be rebellious.

Having occupied the throne a long time, Yao, as it is said, called his
ministers about him and, telling them that he had now reigned for more
than seventy years, expressed his willingness to abdicate in favour of
any one who felt capable of taking the Emperor’s place. When no one
volunteered—they were wise Chinese—he asked them to suggest someone who
was deserving of charity.

“Yu Chun,” answered the ministers, “though an aged man, is without a
wife and comes from an obscure family. Though his father was blind and
of neither talent nor mind, and his mother a wicked woman by whom he
was mistreated, and though his brother Siang is full of pride, he has
observed the rules of filial obedience and has lived in peace and has
gradually improved the condition of his family.”

“Then,” replied the Emperor, “I shall give him my two daughters in
marriage and he shall succeed me on the throne to the exclusion of my
son, Ly, who has shown himself to be unworthy by his lack of respect
for his parents.”

And it was this Yu Chun, it is said, who further established the
Chinese principles of morality, by which the family and not the
individual shaped the progress of the nation.

How well established those principles became may be seen from the _Li
Ki_, which was composed about a thousand years later. This is a code or
book of ceremonials on the civil life, composed or put together by or
under the patronage of Tscheou Kong, uncle of the Emperor Tchin Ouang,
in 1145 B. C.

“A son,” says the _Li Ki_, “possesses nothing while his parents are
living. He cannot even expose his life for a friend.”[84]

“A son has received his life from his father and his mother,” says
Confucius in the _Hiao King_, composed 480 B. C., “and this gives them
rights over him that are above all others.”

In the legend of How Tseih, the founder of the House of Chow, whose
mother was Keang Yuen and whose father was “a toe print made by God,”
the adventures of the child are thus described:

  He was placed in a narrow lane,
  But the sheep and oxen protected him with loving care.
  He was placed in a wide forest,
  Where he was met with by the wood-cutters.
  He was placed on the cold ice,
  And a bird screened and supported him with its wings.
  When the bird went away
  How Tseih began to wail.
  His cry was long and loud
  So that his voice filled the whole way.

No indication is given in the ode as to who was responsible for
exposing the infant to these dangers, but just as in other mythologies
in which the heroes or near-gods survive the dangers of infancy, there
is no doubt that this Chinese hero was pictured as having overlived
dangers that were the common lot of the average child. The commentators
take different views of the person responsible for the dangers to which
How Tseih was subjected, Maou believing that it was the father, the
Emperor K’uh; Ch’ing on the contrary holding that it was Keang Yuen,
the mother, who did it herself but not for the purpose of getting rid
of the child so much as to show what a “marvellous gift he was from

It is not that there are not occasional tender strains in the ode.
Number seven in the Odes of Ts’e, the poet, sings:

  How young and tender
  Is the child with his two tufts of hair.
  When you see him after not so long a time
  Lo! He is wearing the cap.[86]

Writing later the Emperor Tai Tsong, the author of a book called the
_Mirror of Gold_, repeated these ideas on ancestor worship in the
following ordinance (627 to 650 A.D.):

“The foundation of all the virtues is filial piety. It is the first
thing to learn and I in my youth have received the right lessons. I
have done my best to place at ease all my subjects to the end that the
parents might be in a state to bring their children up properly and
that infants in their turn might acquit themselves of their duties
toward their parents.

“When the virtue of filial piety flourishes, then all other virtues
will follow. In order that the Empire may know that such is my
desire and that it is nearest to my heart, I now order that there be
distributed in my name and my account to all those who are known for
their filial piety, five large measures of rice. To those who have
passed their eightieth year, two measures; to those of ninety years,
three measures; ... Moreover one shall give, commencing with the first
moon, to each woman who gives birth to a son, a measure of rice.”

But twice is there mention of human sacrifice in the _Chu’un Ts’ew_
but both references indicate that there was little regard for honour
as well as for human life. In the account of the reign of Duke He, who
ruled from 658 to 626 B. C., it is said that when the Viscount Tsang
went to covenant with the people of Choo, the Viscount was sacrificed
as an animal might be sacrificed on an altar built on the banks of the
Suy in order that the wild tribes of the East might be frightened and
“drawn toward him.”[87]

In the twelfth year of the reign of Duke Ch’aou, who was Marquis of Loo
from B. C. 540 to 509, the army of Ts’oo seized Yew (Yin) and sacrificed
him on Mount Kang.[88]

Not until the reign of Choen Tche (1633 to 1662 A.D.) was there
any movement to check the slaughter of infants. Then it was found
that infanticide had desolated so many of the provinces that it was
necessary for this Emperor, the founder of the Tsing dynasty, to
condemn the crime and warn the inhabitants of Hang Hoi, of Kiang Sou,
and of Fou-kien that the practice must stop.

The first official document endeavouring to save the children was
dated the second day of the third moon, 1659, and was an appeal to the
Emperor by an under-official.

“The Supreme King,” it begins, “loves to give life and to prevent
destruction. All men have received from Heaven a pitying heart. But the
corruption of morals comes between the father and the child and causes
men to be guilty of cruelty. I, your humble subject, have learned that
in the provinces of Kiang Nan, Kiang Si, and Fou Kien there exists the
barbarous custom of drowning little girls.”

The request of the official for an imperial edict against the practice
was approved by Choen Tche, who condemned the murder of female children
and ordered the mandarins of the provinces named to use means to check
the practice. On the twenty-third day of the third moon in the same
year in the presence of his advisers, he issued the following edict:

“We had heard that there were people who drowned their girl children
but we had not been able to believe it. Today our censor T’Kiai having
addressed to us a petition on this unholy practice, we are led to
believe that it must really exist.

“The paternal emotions come from nature and there ought not be any
difference in the manner of treating sons and daughters. Why should
parents conduct themselves cruelly toward girl babies and condemn them
to death? Meng Tse has said:

“‘When one sees an infant on the point of falling into a well every man
feels in his heart the sentiments of fear and compassion.’

“Here, however, it is not a question of strangers or of passers-by.
Since all men are moved at the sight of an infant in danger when that
infant is a stranger, what kind of parents must those be who deprive
their own children of life? What excesses are they not capable of when
they can commit such crimes?



“The Supreme Ruler loves to give life and wishes that all beings
might enjoy themselves without harm. But if a mother and father destroy
the child to which they have given life, how can they help but see in
that act a blot in the celestial harmony?

“If flood and famine, war and pestilence, visit their terrors on the
people, it is because these misfortunes are the punishments for the
crimes spoken of. The ancient Emperors wept bitterly over these faults
of the people and pardoned crimes, and by that spirit imitated the
Spirit of Heaven, who loves to give life. When one of our officers
addresses us a report concerning a great wrong, we first look to save
the life; if it is not possible to use clemency, and if it is necessary
that we pronounce the sentence of death, such a decision causes us
genuine sadness. How great ought to be our sorrow, however, at the
sight of an infant that had hardly been born, condemned to death.

“Although the mandarins have prohibited this custom, all people are
probably not aware of the prohibition. Measures must therefore be taken
to bring this prohibition to the knowledge of all and an end must be
put to this custom. Not until then will we be joyous and content.

“Ho Long Tou in his book entitled _On Abstaining from Drowning Little
Girls_ has written these words:

“‘The Tiger and the Wolf are very cruel but they understand the
relations that should exist between the parent and its offspring. Why
then should man, gifted as is no animal, show himself to be on a
lower plane? Our infants, boys and girls, are equally the fruit of our
bodies. I have heard that the sad cry uttered by these girl babies as
they are plunged into a vase of water and drowned is inexpressible.
Alas! that the heart of a father or a mother should be so cruel.’”

Choen Tche then makes an appeal to his subjects asking them not to
tolerate further this barbarous custom, dwelling on the superior and
more gentle quality of daughters over sons, citing historical instances
of the good fortune that many daughters had brought to their parents,
and concluding by promising the benediction of Heaven on those who
would protect the lives of the little females.

Choen Tche (or Shun Chih) was the ninth son of T’ien Ts’ung and was
left to the care of his uncle as regent. His reign was marked by an
endeavour to consolidate the newly acquired empire. His biographers
speak of his magnanimity as a ruler and he was much praised by his
contemporaries. The fact that he treated the Catholic missionaries with
favour may also partially explain his horror over the conditions of
which he was apparently ignorant until the protest.

Choen Tche’s reign also marked the beginning of many modern things in
the history of China. It was during his life that there took place
the first diplomatic intercourse between the government of the Middle
Kingdom and the European nations, both the Dutch and the Russians
having had an embassy resident at Pekin during 1656, but although both
were treated most politely, neither achieved the substantial gains they
sought.[89] It was during his reign too that tea was first introduced
to England and a substitute produced for the quart of ale with which
even Lady Jane Grey washed down her morning bacon.

It was, however, under the reign of Kang Hi, the son of Choen Tche,
that the modern attitude toward children was approximated. The great
works of Kang Hi and his long reign have obscured the wisdom and
moderation of Choen Tche. One of Kang Hi’s first acts was to abolish
for all time the eunuchs, a law being passed and engraven on metals
that it might stand the ravages of time, forbidding for all time the
employment in public service of this class of person, and the Manchus,
until the time they gave up the sceptre a few years ago, held to their
word. Thus passed out of Chinese history its most industrious class of
trouble makers.

But two years after the death of Choen Tche, a writer named Li Li
Ong collected the edicts that were being issued by mandarins to show
the spread of vice among the people. Among this collection was the
following addressed to the governor of the province of Tche Kiang by
the mandarin, Ki Eul Jia, prefect of Yen Tcheou:

“The Heaven and the Earth love to shower benefits on man and to
conserve life. But alas! the inhabitants of this prefecture of Yen
Tcheou have the habit of drowning their girl babies. The rich as well
as the poor have been found to be guilty of this crime. The tiger,
despite his cruelty, does not devour his young, and it is hard to think
that man should be insensible to the cries of his drowning infant.
I myself have witnessed such drownings and that is why I ask that
you send into my six districts a proclamation strictly prohibiting
infanticide. It will be printed on stone. If any one should then be
guilty of the crime, his neighbours should be encouraged to notify the
magistrates that he might be dealt with according to law. As you are
charged to maintain morality among the people, I propose that you use
this means.”

Whether this suggestion was taken or not, it is known that in that
particular province infanticide increased instead of diminished. The
particularly interesting part of this document is that it brings to
light the fact from an official source that the rich as well as the
poor were the offenders and that it was not lack of food alone that
made this practice so common in China.

Even in modern times this is so, a midwife who was asked in recent
years to become a Christian saying that it was impossible inasmuch as
it interfered with her business. She said that frequently she was asked
by wealthy people to drown the female children which the parents had
not the courage to kill themselves.[90]

In 1720 Father d’Entrcolles translated a manual for the use of
mandarins which bore the title _The Perfect Happiness of the People_
and which contained a plan for a “House of Pity for homeless
infants”[91] and an exhortation to put such a plan into execution,
declaring that in times past there had been such institutions for the
reception of orphans and homeless children and that nurses had been
provided for them when they had been rescued.

The next proclamation of which we have any knowledge was that issued
with the approval of the Emperor Kien Long, who reigned from 1736
to 1796. In 1772, Ngeou Yang Yun Ki addressed to the Emperor, in
the thirty-seventh year and the twenty-ninth day of the tenth moon
of his reign, a communication in which it was stated that the poor
families had been obliged to drown their daughters because they had
not had enough food. Permission was asked to inflict on the person
who committed this crime, the penalty of sixty blows from a cane, and
a year in exile. In 1773 the Emperor Kien Long himself issued the
following edict against infanticide:

“The statutes fixing the penalty for the murder of a grown-up child
or a small child presuppose that the child has not failed to obey
the orders of its parents or grandparents, and cover cases where
the infants are murdered deliberately and with premeditation. This
crime, which violates the laws of nature, should be punished with the
whip and with banishment. If the infants that are thus killed are but
newly-born and therefore without intelligence and reason, the guilty
cannot plead the disobedience of these daughters as an excuse for their
crimes. Therefore henceforth whenever any one following the barbarous
custom shall drown his infants, he will be prosecuted for murder with
premeditation, and when the proof has been properly established before
the proper tribunals he will receive a sentence equal to that which is
meted out to the parents or grandparents who voluntarily assassinate
their children. It is not necessary to issue a special ordinance. Let
all respect this decree.”

A dozen years later another voice was raised in protest against the
drowning of girls. Chen, Treasurer General of the province of Kiang
Sou, presented to the governor of that province a proclamation against
infanticide and begged him to publish it.

In 1815 a writer named Ou Sing King made an appeal to the officials of
China to stop the drowning of infants and the sale of women, and this
appeal falling into the hands of the Emperor Kia King, a proclamation
was issued against both vices. The writer, Ou Sing King, was given
imperial permission to go further in his investigations.

Early in the reign of Tao Kang (1820–1851) the then governor of the
province of Tche Kiang, believing that the expensive wedding gifts were
the real cause of the child murder, decreed:

“It is ordered that ornaments of gold, pearls, precious stones, and
embroidered gowns are forbidden at all marriages. As for silver
ornaments, silks, and other materials, this is the rule that we hereby

“For rich families the sum set out for such purchases must not be over
one hundred taels. For people of medium fortune the expense must be
limited to from forty to fifty taels. Those of inferior blood must not
spend more than twenty or thirty taels and the poorest people must not
go beyond two or five.[92]

“As for gifts by the parents to the husband, the quantity is left to
their discretion; this being the means to avoid all dispute. After the
marriage, on certain occasions, it is permitted to make one or two
presents. The celebrations of three and seven days when the grandson
is born or when he attains his first year are hereby forbidden and
henceforth the people should not have any more difficulties about
bringing up daughters. If, in spite of this, the poor are unable to
bring up their female children, they must carry them to the orphanage
or give them to other families.”[93]

On the 19th of February, 1838, the Lieutenant General Ki of the
province of Koang Tong instituted an investigation to find out what
the actual conditions were in his provinces, and after receiving his
reports, issued a proclamation in which he said:

“I am convinced that in the province of Koang Tong the custom of
drowning and suffocating the girl babies is common and that the rich
as well as the poor are guilty. The poor pretend that, not having
sufficient means of existence, they are not able to bring up their
female children, while the rich declare that there is no object in
bringing up children that occupy a purely ornamental position in the

Ki then goes on to philosophize on the enormity of the crime and the
folly of these reasons. Never, perhaps, did any single individual in
China devote himself with more energy to trying to eradicate this evil
than did Ki, both by verbal castigation of those who were guilty of
the crime and by appealing to the sympathies of the inhabitants of his
province. He distributed copies of the works of Ouang Ouan. He sent
out advice and instructions to his subordinates that infanticide must
be prevented; he enlisted the nobles and educated people in this fight
and reiterated that those who were guilty of the crime would be seized,
judged, and punished with sixty blows and a year’s banishment as the
law directed. Throughout the province his efforts were regarded as
extremely interesting, his proclamations as delightful literature, and
there was no decrease in the number of murders.

In 1845 the Emperor Tao Kang himself published an edict condemning the
practice and declaring that the extreme punishment permitted by the law
would be meted out to the guilty. The edict had no effect.

In 1848 another endeavour was made by the chief magistrate of Canton,
acting on the initiative of Ki, to eliminate the evil in that
particular city, but neither in Canton or in the province of Koang
Tong was there a cessation of the evil for eighteen years afterward.
The Emperor Kong Tche listed both Canton and the province as among the
places where infanticide was most common.

During the reign of Hien Fong, 1851–1862, little progress was made.
In many parts of China during the following reign, that of Tong Tche,
1862–1875, attempts were made to check the evil.

During the minority of the Emperor the two Empress Regents issued a
proclamation in which they appealed to the “nobles and rich of all
villages to contribute for the erection of orphanages where there might
be received abandoned children so that the poor will not be able to
justify their abominable practice on the ground of poverty.”

The reign of Koang Siu began in 1875, and was marked with vigorous
proclamations and warnings to the people to take their children to the
orphan asylums that were being established rather than to throw them
into the river.[94]

Of the conditions as they exist in modern times, travellers and writers
are of one accord—infanticide is horribly prevalent. The conditions
vary with different localities.

“In Fuhkien province,” says Williams, “especially in the department
of Chang Chau, infanticide prevails to a greater extent than in any
other part of the Empire yet examined. Mr. Abeel extended his inquiries
to forty different towns and villages lying in the first, and found
that the percentage was between seventy and eighty down to ten, giving
an average of about forty per cent. of all girls born in those
places as being murdered. In Chang Chau, out of seventeen towns, the
proportion lies between one fourth and three tenths in some places,
occasionally rising to one third, and in others sinking to one fifth,
making an average of one fourth put to death. In other departments of
the province the practice is confessed, but the proportion thought by
intelligent natives to be less, since there is less poverty and fewer
people than formerly.”

“Infanticide, which until now has gone unpunished,” says Dr. Lauterer,
“is practised especially in Pekin and Fuhkien. A large per cent. of
female infants meet with an unnatural death because of their parents’
poverty or their niggardliness. The unfortunates are simply cast into
the nearest stream and the corpse left until the morning when the
government’s wagon collects them, or they are exposed in the open
where, not being protected from the cold, they soon perish. Lately a
decree has been made to prohibit it.”[95]

“The province of Fuhkien,” says Douglas, “is that in which this crime
most obtains. Inquiries show that in many districts as large a portion
as one fourth of the female children born are destroyed at birth. At
Pekin, on the other hand, it cannot be said to exist at all. But in
this as in so many social offences in China, the sword of the law,
which is alone capable of putting down crime, is allowed to hang like a
rusty weapon on the wall. It is true that occasionally proclamations
are issued in which the heinousness of the evil is explained with
all the impressiveness that could be desired, but so long as natural
affection finds no support from without it will continue, in China, to
yield to the requirements of daily food.”[96]




“The custom of infanticide,” wrote Professor Krausse, “is one which has
obtained in many parts of China for ages. It does not, as a rule, take
the form of actual murder, but consists rather in assisting the laws of
Nature. Thus an infant will be neglected and permitted to perish, or if
it sicken, will be put aside and allowed to take its chance.”[97]

“Outside the wall [of Wie Hsien],” writes A. J. Brown, “we saw a ‘Baby
House,’ a small stone building in which dead children of the poor are
thrown to be eaten by dogs!

“I wanted to examine it, but was warned not to do so as the Chinese
imagine that foreigners make their medicine out of children’s eyes and
brains, and our crowds of watching Chinese might quickly become an
infuriated mob.”[98]

In the face of all this one reads with interest in a book by a
professor of Chinese in the University of Cambridge that:

“Among other atrocious libels which have fastened upon the fair
name of the Chinese people, first and foremost stands the charge of
female infanticide, now happily, though still slowly, fading from the
calculations of those who seek the truth.”[99]



The first inhabitants of Japan were a numerous people named
Koropok-guru, who lived in conelike huts built over holes dug in the
earth and who were exterminated by the Ainu people. The latter were
in turn conquered by the race that we speak of today as the Japanese;
these last settlers coming to the islands of Japan from somewhere
in the north of Central Asia, while a second stream of South Asian
immigrants were drifted to Japan by the Japan current.

In the _Kojiki_, or “Records of Ancient Matters,” dictated by
Hide-no-are and completed in A.D. 711 or 712, we have a record of the
mythology, manners, language, and the traditional history of Japan;
this “history” purports to give the actual story of Japan from the year
660 B. C., when the first Emperor Jimmu, “having subdued and pacified
the savage deities and extirpated the unsubmissive people, dwelt at
the palace of Kashiwabara.” Modern Japanese scholars as well as Western
scholars are inclined to say that there is really no authentic history
before A.D. 461 but as a picture of the customs of early Japan, the
_Kojiki_ is still the only authentic document that we have.

Inazo Nitobe, in dividing the history of his country into periods,
groups the legendary age and all that went before the political reforms
of the seventh century as the first period, under the name of the
“ancient period.”

These ancient people, the mythical people of the _Kojiki_, had passed
through a genuine Bronze Age and had in general attained a high level
of barbaric skill. Of their many curious customs, both in the _Kojiki_
and in the equally important _Nihongi_ or “Chronicles of Japan,”
prominent notice is made of the “parturition house”—“one-roomed but
without windows, which a woman was supposed to build and retire into
for the purpose of being delivered unseen.” Here is evidence that the
infant was “taboo” until it had been received by the head of the house.

Even up to recent times in the island of Hachijo the custom survived
according to Ernest Satow, who visited this island in 1878.

“In Hachijo,” wrote Mr. Satow, “women, when about to become mothers,
were formerly driven out to the huts on the mountainside, and according
to the accounts of native writers, left to shift for themselves, the
result not unfrequently being the death of the new-born infant, or
if it survived the rude circumstances under which it first saw the
light, the seeds of disease were sown which clung to it throughout
its after life. The rule of non-intercourse was so strictly enforced
that the woman was not allowed to leave the hut even to visit her own
parents at the point of death, and besides the injurious effects that
this solitary confinement must have had on the wives themselves, their
prolonged absence was a serious loss to households where there were
elder children and large establishments to be superintended. The rigour
of the custom was so far relaxed in modern times that the huts were no
longer built on the hills, but were constructed inside the homestead.
It was a subject of wonder to people from other parts of Japan that the
senseless practice should still be kept up, and its abolition was often
recommended, but the administration of the Shoguns was not animated by
a reforming spirit, and it remained for the government of the Mikado
to exhort the islanders to abandon this and the previously mentioned
custom. They are therefore no longer sanctioned by official authority
and the force of social opinion against them is increasing, so that
before long these relics of ancient ceremonial religion will in all
probability have disappeared from the group of islands.”

As with most early histories there is little description of custom or
manners in either the _Kojiki_ or the _Nihongi_, but we gather what the
general attitude was toward children from the fact that the conception
of marriage was probably limited to cohabitation, this condition
lasting until well on into the Middle Ages,[100] cohabitation being
often secret at first, but afterward acknowledged. When the latter
conditions had come to prevail, the young man, instead of going to his
mistress under the cover of the night, brought her back publicly to his
parents’ home, and that was the beginning of his own home.

Little is there in the _Kojiki_ about the care of children but the
harshness toward women about to have children, as shown in the frequent
reference to the parturition houses, shows that unless they were
children of royalty they were left to whatever care their mothers might
be able to bestow on them.

In the account of the making of Japan by the two Heavenly Deities,
known as the Izani-gi-no-kami and Izana-mi-no-kami, the Man Who Invites
and the Female Who Invites, it is stated that their first child was not

“This child,” says the legend,[101] after retailing the events that led
up to its birth, “they placed in a boat of reeds and let it float away.
Next they gave birth to the island of Aha. This is not reckoned among
their children.”

Among the gods, therefore, children were rejected or accepted without
ceremony, and with such an attitude of rejection or acceptance
depicted as the normal condition among the deities, it may easily be
imagined what was the attitude of the ordinary beings who modelled
their conduct on that of the deities.

It is told of the first Emperor Jimmu, that, meeting a group of
seven maidens, he invited one of them to become a wife of his, and
on her acceptance the sovereign passed the night at her house. This
constituted the only marriage ceremony that the times knew. As far as
the woman was concerned, all that the new condition meant was that she
was liable to receive a visit at any time from her new lord and master,
but on his side there was no obligation, no duty of fidelity, and he
was free to form as many similar unions as fancy dictated.

The children were brought up by the mother and one household of a
man might be in absolute ignorance of another.[102] Mistress, wife,
and concubine were on the same footing and could be discarded at
any moment. When the Deity of Eight Thousand Spears, attired in his
favourite courting costume, is about to go forth and search for a
“better wife” he boldly announces that:

  When I take and attire myself so
  Carefully in my august garments green
  As the kingfisher—
  It is with the intention of finding another mate.

To this the Chief Empress, Her Augustness the Forward Princess, to whom
the frank statement is made, plaintively replies:

“Thou ... indeed, being a man, probably hast on the various
island-headlands that thou seest and on every beach-headland that thou
lookest on, a wife like the young herbs. But I, alas! being a woman
have no man except thee; I have no spouse except thee!”[103]

What became of the children in the cases of conjugal separation does
not appear, a statement that is made by no less a Japanese authority
than Chamberlain.[104] In only one instance is there any reference made
to the fate of a child that had been deserted, but this is an unusual
case, where the father had violated the rules of the parturition house,
with the result that the mother disappears, leaving the father to take
care of the child. He pledged himself to look after it until the day of
his death but the sister of the child’s mother was first invoked to act
as nurse.

The result of this system of family life was that where the children
of different mothers but of the same father discovered one another’s
presence there were feuds and much fighting, especially as it was the
children of the latest affection who were generally the recipients of
his favour to the chagrin and anger of the less favoured children and
families. Marriages between half-brothers and halfsisters were another
result of the system, the only restriction on marriages of any kind
being that children of the same mother should not marry. Sons of the
same father were thus incited to be enemies rather than brothers, in
the accepted sense, and the annals of the civil wars are replete with
tales of treachery and ambition and show almost an entire absence of
natural affection. The fact that the children had no claim on the love
and the protection of the father and that their mother was condemned
under the ancient system to the function of a mere animal, is cited by
Brinkley as the reason for this cruelty and treachery.[105]

This was the position of the child in the society that is depicted in
the _Kojiki_ and the _Nihongi_, although the latter, written about
forty years after the _Kojiki_ (A.D. 720), and under the influence of
the Chinese, is more apt to depict the conditions that sprang up with
the spreading Chinese culture.

The fourth century brought to Japan a knowledge of Chinese classics,
and Chinese morals, and in 552 A.D., there came a still greater change
when the Buddhistic religion was introduced through a copy of the
scripture and an image of Buddha being sent to the Yamato Court by the
government of one of the Korean kingdoms. Unsuccessful preachments
there had been by unofficial missionaries before this, but the arrival
of the Korean ambassador served to bring to the attention of the
government the new religion in a manner calculated to arouse interest
in its doctrines.

Whatever may be the defects of Shintoism, human sacrifice never seems
really to have been part of its practice,[106] and to this fact,
with the increasing regard for life that came with civilization, is
undoubtedly due the little emphasis given to infanticide among the
Japanese. Another influence, undoubtedly, and this is said to be the
“best point of Shinto,”[107] is that the people were taught that they
themselves were sons and daughters of the gods, a belief apt to save
the killing of surplus members of society in a time of economic stress.

According to the _Nihongi_, human sacrifice was put an end to in Japan
in the year A.D. 3:

“Tenth month, fifth day: Yamato-hiko, the Mikado’s younger brother by
the mother’s side, died.

“Eleventh month, second day: Yamato-hiko was buried at Tsukizaka in
Musa. Thereupon his personal attendants were assembled, and were all
buried alive upright in the precinct of the tomb. For several days they
died not, but wept and wailed day and night. At last they died and
rotted. Dogs and crows gathered and ate them.

“The Emperor, hearing the sound of their weeping and wailing, was
grieved at heart, and commanded his high officers, saying:

“‘It is a very painful thing to force these whom one has loved in life
to follow him in death. Though it be an ancient custom, why follow it
if it is bad? From this time forward, take counsel so as to put a stop
to the following of the dead.’

“A.D. 3, seventh month, sixth day: The Empress Hibasuhime no Mikoto
died. Sometime before the burial the Emperor commanded his ministers,

“‘We have already recognized that the practice of following the dead is
not good. What should now be done in performing this burial?’

“Thereupon Nomi no Sukune came forward and said:

“‘It is not good to bury living men upright at the tumulus of a prince.
How can such a practice be handed down to posterity? I beg leave to
propose an expedient which I will submit to your Majesty.’

“So he sent messengers to summon up from the land of Idzumo a hundred
men of the clay-workers Be. He himself directed the men of the
clay-workers Be to take clay and form therewith shapes of men, horses,
and various objects, which he presented to the Emperor, saying:

“‘Henceforward, let it be the law for future ages to substitute things
of clay for living men, and to set them up at tumuli.’

“Then the Emperor was greatly rejoiced, and commended Nomi no Sukune,

“‘Thy expedient hath greatly pleased our heart.’

“So the things of clay were first set up at the tomb of Hibasuhime no
Mikoto. And a name was given to those clay objects. They were called
_hani-wa_ or ‘clay rings.’

“Then a decree was issued, saying:

“‘Henceforth these clay figures must be set up at tumuli; let no men be

“The Emperor bountifully rewarded Nomi no Sukune for this service, and
also appointed him to the official charge of the clay-workers Be. His
original title was therefore changed, and he was called Hashi no Omi.
This was how it came to pass that the Hashi no Muraji superintended the
burials of Emperors.”[108]

The date ascribed to this incident cannot be depended on. “Chinese
accounts speak of the custom of human sacrifices at the burial of a
sovereign as in full force in Japan so late as A.D. 247,” says Aston.
Probably all the events of this part of Japanese history are very much
antedated. But of the substantial accuracy of the narrative there can
be no doubt. Some of these clay figures (known as _tsuchi-ningio_) are
still in existence, and may be seen in the British Museum, where they
constitute the chief treasure of the Gowland collection. The Uyeno
Museum in Tokio also possessed specimens, both of men and horses. None,
however, remain _in situ_ at the tombs. The _hani-wa_ (clay-rings),
cylinders which may now be seen embedded in the earth round all the
principal _misasagi_, are so numerous that they can hardly have all
been surmounted by figures. But they are of the same workmanship and of
the same date, and no doubt some of them are the pedestals of images,
the above-ground part of which has been destroyed by the weather or by





“A similar substitution of straw or wooden images for living men took
place in China in ancient times, though by a curious inversion of
ideas, the former practice is described as leading to the latter.”[109]

While neither the lion or the tiger ever troubled Japan and her most
carnivorous and destructive animals have been wolves, tradition has
ascribed the sacrifice of human beings in Japan to the desire to
placate the god of wild animals. The victim was always a girl, and from
the earliest ages the manner of selecting her was to affix to the roof
of a house a bow and arrow. When the householder arose in the morning
and discovered what was accepted as a divine intimation, the eldest
daughter of the family was buried alive, it being supposed that her
flesh served as a meal for the deity. Later the priests of Buddha found
a more profitable method of disposing of these girls by selling them as
slaves; thereby following out the fundamental tenet of the Buddhistic
religion, which is the sanctity of human life, and at the same time
increasing their wealth. Some writers refer to this practice as being
a sacrifice to an animal in the service of Shakamuni, which would have
made it a Buddhistic rite, but the idea is scoffed at by Brinkley.[110]
Even up to recent times it is said the habit of sacrificing human
beings in order to make the foundation of any great work more stable
was common. The corpses of two human beings were said to be under the
scarps “of the futile forts hurriedly erected for defence of Yedo
[Tokio] in the interval between Commodore Perry’s first and second

In the Tokugawa period, extending from about 1615 to 1860, two and
a half centuries, Japan was a hermit nation distinguished for its
peaceful character. Yet its population for one hundred years remained
almost stationary. By some authorities, this has been explained not
only on the ground of many famines and devastating diseases but the
common practice of abortion and the fact that the Samurai considered it
disgraceful to marry until they were thirty, and equally disgraceful to
raise a family of more than three children.

“Among the lower classes it was not common to rear all the children
born, especially if girls came too frequently.” Also, “While there
was hardly in the whole country a hospital in our sense of the
term, there were in the large cities physicians famous for their
skill in preventing the birth of living children. They kept private
establishments to accommodate calculating patrons. All authorities
agreed that sexual morality in the large cities was at a very low ebb
among all classes, while luxury and effeminacy prevailed among people
high in birth and wealth.”[112]

As a picture of what the people were driven to and a terrible example
of what attitude famine may lead parents to take toward their children,
there is no more important document than the statement of Shirakawa
Rakuo, distinguished as the Minister of Finance of the Eleventh Shogun,
Iyenari. The trace of cannibalism in semi-civilized peoples is easier
to understand after the fearful famine in the third year of Temmei

“A trustworthy man,” says Rakuo,[113] “who had travelled in this
district [northern part of country], told me that in a village which
had previously contained 800 houses there were only thirty left, the
inhabitants of the rest all having died. Having entered a village in
which the houses seemed to be larger and more numerous than usual, he
proposed to rest there for the night. He soon discovered, however, that
not a single house was inhabited, but in all the houses he saw bones
and skulls scattered about the floor. As he went on he saw innumerable
bones and skulls by the roadside. He met a man leading a pack-horse on
the road, who said that he could survive without eating the flesh of
human beings as he was supported by a rich uncle. In some places even
those who abandoned themselves to eating human flesh could not find
food enough to live. Great numbers starved to death. The price paid for
a dog was 500 sen, sometimes even as high as 800 sen, a rat 50 sen. A
rare work of art found no purchasers and could not be exchanged for a
_go_ of rice. If a person died he was of course eaten by the survivors.
Those who died of starvation, however, could not be eaten, because
their flesh decayed so soon. Some people, therefore, killed those who
were certain to starve and put the flesh into brine so as to keep it
for a long time. Among other people there was a farmer who went to his
neighbour and said, ‘My wife and one of my sons have already died from
want of food. My remaining son is certain to die within a few days,
so I wish to kill him while his flesh is still eatable, but being his
father, I do not dare to raise the sword against him, so I beg you to
kill the boy for me.’ The neighbour agreed to do this, but stipulated
that he should get a part of the flesh as a reward for his service.
This was agreed to and the neighbour at once killed the boy. As soon as
the deed was done, the farmer, who stood by, struck his neighbour with
a sword and killed him, saying that he ‘was very glad to avenge his
son and at the same time have double the quantity of food.’”

Up to the close of the seventeenth century, feudal legislation was
very harsh, one of the worst laws of ancient times in force until
that time being that by which children were punished for the crime
of their parents.[114] If a man or a woman had been sentenced to be
crucified or burnt and had male children above fifteen years of age,
those children were similarly executed, and if they were under that age
they were given over to a relative to be reared until they reached the
age of fifteen, when they were banished. When the criminal parent was
condemned to the ordinary hanging or beheading it was still within the
discretion of the judge to condemn the male children to be executed or
exiled. The female children, while exempt from the capital punishment,
were liable to be sold as slaves.

In 1721, during the reign of the enlightened Yoshimune, who was
Shogun from 1716 to 1746, there were many reforms, and it was then
enacted that for all crimes, even those punishable with crucifixion
and exposure of the head, only the criminal himself must be punished.
In the case of the most heinous of all crimes, according to Japanese
standards, parricide or the murder of a teacher, a special tribunal was
declared to be the only place where it could be decided whether the
children and grandchildren should be implicated. Interesting too is
the fact that this leniency extended to the farmers and merchants only,
the Samurai not being included, it being assumed that the crime of a
person of nobility and education was a more serious matter than a crime
by a person less fortunate—a theory of justice that has never taken
root in the minds of the Occidentals except among romancers.

From the time, early in the seventeenth century, when the governing
power of Japan fell into the hands of the Buddhist Tokugawa family,
through Iyeyasu, the head of the house, there was an endeavour to check
the sale of children. No less than eight enactments were issued between
1624 and 1734 declaring the sale of human beings punishable by death.

Progress naturally was slow when the conditions were so flagrant that
there were open offices where the sales and purchase of children were
effected.[115] In 1649 an absurd compromise was attempted when a law
was passed declaring it was lawful to sell a child, providing that the
consent of the child was obtained. There was an attempt to regulate,
without abolishing, slavery in the law of 1655, which declared that
in a dispute between an employer and the employed, the employer,
if found to be in the wrong, might be imprisoned or meted out any
punishment that the employed might suggest. It is safe to add that
the administrative criminal machinery was not in the hands of the
proletariat, nor was there any suffrage that threatened to put the
employed in the position of judge.

It was during this period that the law was passed allowing the parent
to have his son or daughter imprisoned, a just cause being assumed. A
father had the right to punish his son, but the son had the right to
appeal to a magistrate for a review of the sentence; but “costs” of
the appeal were dangerous inasmuch as if the son lost he had to suffer
whatever penalty his father might dole out to him. The Occidental mind
will not appreciate so readily the attempts of the Tokugawas, beginning
1627, to regulate the social evil, one of their early laws depriving
employers of all authority “to retain the services of a female for
immoral purposes outside the appointed quarter.”

Modern writers on Japan lay stress on the affection of the Japanese
for their children, and yet “during the famine of 1905 many girls
who had been sold by the suffering parents were redeemed by the
Christians.”[116] This sacrifice of the children to the welfare of the
parents is traceable to the influence of Confucius. To the same source
may be ascribed the fact that, though in ancient times the female sex
was prominent in Japan, after the introduction of Confucianism the
Samurai considered it beneath him to even converse with his wife and
children.[117] “Neither God nor the ladies inspired any enthusiasm in
the Samurai’s heart,” says Professor Chamberlain. For is it not written
by the great moralist Karbara Ekken in the _Owna Dargaku_, “It was the
custom of the ancients, on the birth of a female child, to let it lie
on the floor for the space of three days. Even in this may be seen the
likening of the man to heaven and of the woman to earth.”[118]

Only a few years ago a child, both of whose parents had died of
cholera, was on the point of being buried alive by neighbours when it
was rescued.[119] “Certain parts of Japan have been notorious from of
old for this practice,” says Gulick. “In Toas the evil was so rampant
that a society for its prevention has been in existence many years. It
helps support children of poor parents who might be tempted to dispose
of them criminally.”

On the other hand, this word from Professor Goodrich, who as a member
of the faculty of the Imperial College pictures a nation far from
indifferent to the welfare of the child:

“Ever since the beginning of that indefinite period which we call
‘modern times’ the birth of a child has always been an occasion for
rejoicing. To be sure, in Japan that joy was very much greater when
it was a boy baby; yet the Japanese have never displayed such intense
dislike to girl babies as have the Chinese. One great reason for this
was that the population of Japan was not so dense as it is in China.
It was easier to provide for children, and therefore there was no
incentive to put girl babies out of the way. I am sorry to say that
very lately, since the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5), when the Japanese
people are almost crushed by the weight of taxes to provide money with
which to pay war expenses and to keep up army and navy, the number of
cases of female infanticide is increasing alarmingly.”[120]



Our great grandfathers who accepted the chronology of the good Bishop
Usher, by which the creation of the world was placed neatly and exactly
at 4004 years before Christ, would never have dreamed of such periods
of time as those the ethnologist, in his search for the natural history
of man, compasses today in the annals of a single family, like the
so-called, and at present discredited, Aryan. Nor yet would it have
seemed possible to our grandfathers, that modern archæology would have
made it possible for our savants and scientists to be today correcting
the mistakes of Herodotus, and showing by their decipherings of
new-found inscriptions and monuments, that before the earliest Greeks,
the Egyptians, and even the Semitic peoples who inhabited Babylon and
Assyria, there was another people,—a people whose origin it is not
possible to place even now,—the Sumerians and Akkadians, who in the
fourth millennial period B. C. were already a cultured and civilized

Recent excavations have changed the entire historical attack. Instead
of beginning with the Homeric Age as an age of legend, “civilization
may now be traced beyond the Mycenæan epoch, through the different
stages of Ægean culture back into the Neolithic Age.”[121] In Egypt we
can now go back before the pyramid builders to the earliest dynastic
kings, even to Neolithic Egyptians of whom there are no written
records. Back of the known civilization of Assyria and Babylon, there
has been discovered an even older civilization.

“On the northern and eastern confines of the Babylonian culture-system,
new nations pass within our ken; Vannic men of Armenia, ruled by
powerful kings; Kassites of the Zagros, whose language seems to contain
elements which if really Aryan are probably the oldest known monuments
of Indo-European speech (c. 1600 B. C.); strange tongued Elamites, also,
akin neither to Iranian nor Semite. Nor does it seem to us remarkable
that we should read the trilingual proclamations of Darius Hystaspis to
his peoples in their original tongues, although an eighteenth century
philosopher would have regarded the prospect of our ever being able to
do so as the wildest of chimeras!”[122]

Recent excavations have established the fact that the earliest known
civilization was in what afterwards came to be known as Mesopotamia,
between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and that groups of people living
in cities and calling themselves, in the lower section of the country,
the Sumerians, and in the upper section, the Akkadians, dwelt in
civilized state until they were conquered by the Semitic peoples. The
Semites in their conquest of the Greeks, as we now know, took from the
conquered the culture of the race that was physically weaker, as indeed
the Gauls did from the Romans.

In government, law, literature, and art the Sumerians were the
superior people, and though the Semites improved on their models, the
impulse, says King, came from the Sumerians.[123] It is now known that
Hammurabi’s Code of Laws, which influenced in so marked a degree the
Mosaic legislation, was of Sumerian origin, and the later religions and
mythological literature from which the Hebrews borrowed so freely, was
also of Sumerian origin.

Even with the excavations that are now going on and the discoveries
that are being made almost daily, our evidence is still too scanty and
imperfect, the gaps in it are too numerous,[124] as Professor Sayce
says, apropos of the Babylonian religion, to make it possible for us to
discuss with any definiteness the attitude of these first civilized
peoples toward children. Years will pass before the tablets already in
the museums will have been deciphered, to say nothing of those that are
being dug out now. A library of 30,000 tablets was discovered by M. de
Srazec at Telloh in Northern Babylonia, at Nippur in the great temple
of Bel, and five times as many were discovered later by the American
excavators. Once the British Museum was the sole repository of these
treasures, containing everything from business contracts to prayers to
the gods, but now they are in the Louvre, the Berlin Museum, the Museum
of Constantinople, the University of Pennsylvania, and even in private

From these Semitic conquerors of the Sumerians, however, there came the
first civilization and the first humanization, for in this rich valley
with its abundance of water and its rich soil, the Nomads became an
agricultural people; there was plenty for all, and the germ of human
tolerance that the world was to show later toward the child, was there
in that long ago pre-Semitic civilization of Babylonia.

Traces there are, however, of an earlier attitude, when the first-born
was sacrificed. Speaking of a Babylonian text, that he believed
established the fact that there were sacrifices of the first-born among
the Sumerians, Professor Sayce said:

“My interpretation of the text has been disputed, but it still appears
to me to be the sole legitimate one. The text is bilingual, in both
Sumerian and Semitic, and therefore probably goes back to Sumerian
times. Literally rendered, it is as follows: ‘Let the _abgal_ proclaim:
the offspring who raises his head among men, the offspring for his life
he must give; the head of his head among men, the offspring for the
head of the man he must give, the neck of the offspring for the neck of
the man he must give, the breast of the offspring for the breast of the
man he must give.’” It is difficult to attach any other meaning to this
than that which makes it refer to the sacrifice of children.[125]

Further corroboration of this belief of Professor Sayce was furnished
by the recently dug up Stele of the Vultures, now in the Louvre. Here
there is a representation of a wicker cage, filled with captives who
are waiting to be put to death by the god Ningirsu, who holds in his
hand the heraldic emblem of the city of Lagash. The Stele of the
Vultures records the triumph of the King of Lagash, the great Eannatum,
over the men of Umma who are undoubtedly the captives and are about to
be sacrificed.[126] These few examples of human sacrifice indicate,
however, that the practice had disappeared at an early date, but, as we
shall see, it did not entirely disappear, or rather reappeared among
the Semites of Palestine at a later period.[127]





More positive knowledge, however, we have of the Sumerian laws, laws
it should be remembered that tell of a civilization 1000 years before
the Chinese.

That there was a sense of justice in Sumer and Akkad long before the
period of Hammurabi, is evident from the inscriptions found at Tello by
Gerzec. Inscriptions of the year 3500 B. C., according to Cuq, and about
the year 2800, according to Kang, show that Hammurabi was indebted to
the reform king, Urukagina, for many of his laws. Urukagina declared
that the people had rights, and even went so far as to say that if the
king bought the property of a subject, he must pay for it. We have many
tablets telling of the wonderful things that he did, but the one reform
which indicates that he had a regard for the family, and consequently,
there was probably more care for children, is that provision of his
laws which deals with divorce.

In telling of his reforms in these inscriptions, Urukagina records the
fact that under the old régime, if a man put away his wife, he paid the
_patesi_ five shekels of silver and gave one to the grand vizir.

Undoubtedly in the beginning, the object of these fees was to prevent
the nobles, and through them by force of example, the plain people,
from putting away their wives too easily. In other words there was a
desire to hold together the old Sumerian family. In the course of time,
however, this became merely a bribe, for as the economic conditions
improved, the money became not so much a deterrent as a bribe. One of
the things that Urukagina did was to abolish the fees of divorce, and
to attempt to stamp out practices that were growing up.

Tablets of the time of Urukagina and his predecessor, Lugalanda,
translated by M. de Genouillac, give some indication of what the family
condition was, although we still have to guess as to what was the
real attitude toward children. Women were important; they could hold
property and they were protected in their property rights by law. This
in itself might indicate that there were no such primeval practices as
exposing or drowning female children. Among these tablets of Tello,
is a series telling what provision was made for the women who were
attached to the Temple of Bau, the goddess to whom the great ruler
prays, as:

“... The one that grantest life unto the land....

“Thou art the Queen, the mother that founded Lagash.”[128] In these
tablets the name of each woman is followed with the number of infants
belonging to her family, and their sex. In all, two hundred and
twenty-nine infants are enumerated, of which ninety-seven are boys and
one hundred and thirty-two, girls. Five hundred and fifty-two women
are named, but before coming to a conclusion as to the percentage this
shows of children to mothers, it is well, as de Genouillac points
out,[129] to remember that among these five hundred and fifty-two women
there were many young girls. Some idea of the size of the Sumerian
family may be obtained from the fact that the number of infants charged
to a single mother is seldom more than four. Once the number seven
occurs, but this is in connection with the wife of the king, and two of
these children would seem to have been adopted.

“The education of a large number of infants,” concluded de Genouillac,
“was encouraged by the pension for mothers.” Here indeed was
progress!—at a time when there was nothing but barbarism everywhere
else in the world.

It is interesting to note in these same tablets the fact that the wife
of the king or the _patesi_ was of great importance, for all documents
signed by Lugalanda bear the name of his wife, Barnamtarra, and those
under Urukagina have the signature of his wife, Sagsag. It is more
than likely too, that the service mentioned above as being for the
Temple of Bau, was for the goddess’s representative, the Queen Sagsag.
Another tablet, in which are set forth the expenses of the servants who
were apparently more attached to the queen, speaks of thirty infants
to fifty-seven women,[130] and in this and other tablets the frequent
reference to the orphans who were being taken care of, shows that
there was provision for the infant whose immediate protectors had
passed away.

In the Imperial Museum at Constantinople two tablets show that parents
were free to sell their children and that these sales were frequent
matters of legal adjudication four centuries before Hammurabi. Tablet
No. 830, excavated at Tello, is imperfect, but there is enough of it to
show us that in the month of the fête of the goddess Bau, the daughter
of Ab-ba-gi-na was sold by her father, and the sale was confirmed and
properly sworn to and then registered. In Tablet No. 925, we have the
sale of a daughter to a cook, by a widow who was probably in hard
straits. The daughter tries to break the contract and the mother stands
by her, but the cook brings two witnesses who prove that the sale took
place and was a proper one; as a result of this attempted fraud, the
master then inflicts punishment on the slave.[131]

As a further evidence of the humanity of the Sumerians, we have the
fact that, like the Egyptians, they had a god who presided over the
_accouchements_, a god who corresponded in some ways to the Hera of the
Greeks and the Juno of the Latins, but who had other and more kindly
functions, and was there to ameliorate pain and apparently to protect
the young. Among the Greeks and Romans the young were never thought of
except as the property of adults, whose interest always came first.
In fact, among the Babylonians and Egyptians, there was this essential
difference, that the goddess was really a midwife. Among the Sumerians,
she was known as Belitile, and was afterwards identified with Mama, the
goddess of the young; and in two texts translated by P. Dhorme,[132]
the two are referred to as one. Later on the two goddesses were
absorbed by the all-powerful Istar.

It was in December, 1901, that M. J. de Morgan, Director-General of
the expedition sent out by the French Government, while excavating
the acropolis of Susa, found three large fragments of a block of
black diorite among the debris.[133] When fitted together these three
fragments formed a stele eight feet high, on the upper end of the front
side of which was a bas-relief showing the sun-god, Shamash, presenting
the Code of Laws to the king, Hammurabi.

Under this bas-relief was the longest cuneiform Semitic inscription
yet recovered, having sixteen columns of text of which four and a
half formed the prologue. On the reverse of the stele there were
twenty-eight columns, the entire inscription being estimated by Johns
to contain “forty-nine columns four thousand lines, and eight thousand

Hammurabi, identified by Assyriologists as the Amraphael of Genesis
xiv., 1, was the sixth King of the dynasty of Babylon, reigning over
fifty-five years, about 2250 B. C., and the first king to consolidate
the Semitic empire, making Babylon the capital.[135]

There are two periods in the history of humanity: one when the morals
make the laws, and one when the laws change the morals. The Code of
Hammurabi, the oldest known code in the world, belongs to the second

While it appears from the prologue and epilogue of the Code that
Hammurabi was deeply devoted to religion and was, in addition to being
king, a pious, God-fearing man, one who destroyed his enemies North
and South, the Code is strictly devoted to civil and secular affairs.
Nevertheless, scarcely anything is known of the laws of the time
dealing with crimes, nothing having been discovered to show how murder
or theft was treated.[137]

Hammurabi’s Code is undoubtedly a compilation and, while he enacted
fresh laws, he built for the most part on the foundations of other men.

In the Sumerian days that preceded these Semitic kings, of whom
Hammurabi, Sargon I., and Lugalzaggisi were the greatest, there were
codes of laws on which Hammurabi doubtless built. The attitude taken
toward children in this period is indicated in extracts from the
series called _ana ittisu_, the seven tablets of the series giving the
following seven laws:

“I. If a son has said to his father, ‘You are not my father,’ he may
brand him, lay fetters upon him, and sell him.

“II. If a son has said to his mother, ‘You are not my mother,’ one
shall brand his forehead, drive him out of the city, and make him go
out of the house.

“III. If a father has said to his son, ‘You are not my son,’ he shall
leave house and yard.

“IV. If a mother has said to her son, ‘You are not my son,’ he shall
leave house and property.

“V. If a wife hates her husband and has said, ‘You are not my husband,’
one shall throw her into the river.

“VI. If a husband has said to his wife, ‘You are not my wife,’ he shall
pay half a mina of silver.

“VII. If a man has hired a slave and he dies, is lost, has fled, has
been incapacitated, or has fallen sick, he shall measure out 10 _ka_ of
corn _per diem_ as his wages.”[138]

From this it will be observed that if the son repudiates his parent,
real or adoptive, he meets with a swift and heavy punishment. On the
other hand, a father and mother have the power to drive the child
out without any ceremony whatever. That such laws were the result of
the disposition of foundling children is without question. We will
see later that the Roman Empire in its endeavour to save the lives
of children, was continually attempting legislative reforms for the
purpose of giving men and women incentive to protect the helpless
infant that had been deserted by its own parents.

Adoption was an ancient institution, and the rights of the man who
adopted the infant were protected in order that he might be paid for
the trouble and expense of his charge.[139]

The adoption of children in the Code of Hammurabi is the subject of
much minute regulation. In the Code the endeavour to protect the father
who picks up a child, is shown in paragraphs 185, 186, 187 and 188:

“185. If a man take in his name a young child as a son and rear him,
one may not bring claim for that adopted son.

“186. If a man take a young child as a son, and, when he takes him, he
is rebellious toward his father and mother (who have adopted him), that
adopted son shall return to the house of his father.

“187. One may not bring claim for the son of a NER. SE. GA, who is a
palace guard, or the son of a devotee.

“188. If an artisan take a son for adoption and teach him his
handicraft, one may not bring claim for him.”[140]

Coming down to a later period, we may see the influence of other
peoples on the Babylonians in the _Assyrian Doomsday Book_ or _Liber
Censualis_, copied from the cuneiform tablets of the seventh century,
B. C.[141] Sixty-eight families are enumerated in these tablets, and
to these sixty-eight husbands there are allotted ninety-four wives.
Seventy-four sons are mentioned and only twenty-six daughters, a
proportion that is extremely suspicious. That there was no such
slaughter of the females as we find in other countries, is shown
by the fact that in some of the families enumerated there were as
many as three daughters to one son, but the majority of the families
were without female children and had one or two sons, an evenness of
distribution which would lead one to surmise that the people of the
district of Harran, where this census was taken, were regulating the
birthrate themselves.

Of this period too, is the story of Sargon the younger—a legend that is
interesting not alone because of its similarity to that of Moses, but
because it shows that this section of the country had also fallen into
the ways of the rest of the world. Here, at the time of the legend, it
was a common thing for a child to run the risks of exposure and death.

As an indication of the conditions a thousand years later, we may take
the certificate of adoption cited by Dr. Rogers, of the time of King
Kurigalzu who reigned in Babylon from about 1390 B. C. to 1375.

“Ina-Uruk-rishat, daughter of (mu) shallim, had no daughter and
therefore she adopted Etirtu, daughter of Ninib-mushallim, as her
daughter. Seven shekels of gold she gave. She may give her to a
husband, she may appoint her a temple slave, _but_ she may not make
her a servant. If she does make her a servant, Etirtu shall go to her
father’s house. As long as Ina-Uruk-rishat lives, Etirtu shall pay her
reverence. When Ina-Uruk-rishat dies, Etirtu, as her daughter, shall
offer the water libation. If Ina-Uruk-rishat should say, ‘Thou art not
my daughter,’ she shall lose the gold which she has paid. If Etirtu
should say, ‘Thou art not my mother,’ she shall become a servant. There
shall no claim be made. Before Ellil, Ninib, Nusku, and King Kurigalzu
they have made oath together.

“Before Damkum, her uncle on the mother’s side. Before Rabasha-Ninib.
Before Ellil-ibni, son of Ellil-ishu. Before Etel-pi-Azagshug, son of
Amel-Marduk; before Rish-Marduk, son of Ba’il-Nusku; before Arad-Belit,
the scribe, son of Ninib-mushallim. The fifth day of Shebat, the
twenty-first year of Kurigalzu, king of the world.”[142]

From another point of view we may also understand the Babylonian
morality. As a characteristic it is interesting to note “that the
general modesty of the Babylonian art, in the matter of clothes, is
very marked,” says Ward, “we never see any display of Phallism.”[143]
That the influence and importance of the women had much to do with the
character of these people is undoubtedly true.

They were a truly remarkable people of whom we are yet to learn a great
deal. Future excavations may reveal much, but up to now “the abundant
literature of Babylon,” says Dussaud, “does not offer a single example
of human sacrifice and yet one has the right to suppose that it was
common among them.”[144]



Pleistocene man wandered from the Indo-Malaysia region into the
northern part of Africa, and there, in the Nile valley, the Egyptian
Hamites, as a truly autochthonous race, were evolved.

In a climate particularly favourable, great progress was made by
these aboriginal people, especially in the New Stone Age, which was
of unusually long duration, as can be seen from the beautiful flint
knives plated with gold on which are carved animal figures.[145] That
the actual beginnings of Egyptian culture are twice as long as the
historic period is the statement of Keane, and Oppert claims that
there are indications of a thoroughly established social and political
organization as far back as 11,500 years B. C.



It is therefore not surprising that we find among the Egyptians,
just as we find among the Sumerians and the Akkadians, who were
contemporaneous in civilization about four and five thousand years
before Christ, that the attitude toward children is settled, and
apparently in the child’s favour; for aside from occasional sacrificial
offerings in which the child is on a par at least with the slave or the
servant about to be sacrificed, there is no evidence of the endeavour
to do away with the children on the scale that we find in ancient
Greece and Rome and later in India and China.

Had there been, however, less positive division of castes in Egypt,
the infants of the higher class would not have been as well treated.
The lives of the military and priestly castes were almost sacred[146];
it was on them that the king relied for support, and the rest of the
population, whether nominally free or slave, were foreordained to a
life of incessant toil. Maspero quotes from the Sellier Papyrus, a
satiric poem, which goes to show the conditions in the earliest time
among these workmen whose lives of hardship were only varied by the
irregular visits of the tax-gatherers. These visits, though dreaded,
were never prepared for and were always the occasions of several days
of protestations, threats, beating, cries of pain from the tax-payers,
lamentations from the women and children, the gathering up of the
tax, the departure of the tax-collectors and then the calm with the
resumption of labour until the next visit of the collectors.

“I have never seen a blacksmith on an embassy,” so runs the complaint
of the proletariat 3000 years before Christ,—“nor a smelter sent on
a mission—but what I have seen is the metal worker at his toil,—at
the mouth of the furnace of his forge,—his fingers as rugged as the
crocodile, and stinking more than fish-spawn. The artisan of any kind
who handles the chisel, does not employ so much movement as he who
handles the hoe; but for him his fields are the timber, his business is
the metal, and at night when the other is free,—he, he works with his
hands over and above what he has already done, for at night, he works
at home by the lamp. The stone-cutter who seeks his living by working
in all kinds of durable stone, when at last he has earned something,
and his two arms are worn out, he stops; but if at sunrise he remain
sitting, his legs are tied to his back. The barber who shaves until the
evening, when he falls to and eats, it is without sitting down—while
running from street to street to seek custom; if he is constant (at
work) his two arms fill his belly, as the bee eats in proportion to its
toil. Shall I tell thee of the mason—how he endures misery? Exposed
to all the winds—while he builds without any garment but a belt—and
while the bunch of lotus-flowers (which is fixed) on the (completed)
houses—is still far out of his reach—his two arms are worn out with
work; his provisions are placed higgledy piggledy amongst his refuse,
he consumes himself, for he has no other bread than his fingers, and
he becomes wearied all at once. He is much and dreadfully exhausted—for
there is (always) a block (to be dragged) in this or that building,
a block of ten cubits by six,—there is (always) a block (to be
dragged) in this or that month (as far as the) scaffolding poles (to
which is fixed) the bunch of lotus-flowers on the (completed) houses.
When the work is quite finished, if he has bread, he returns home, and
his children have been beaten unmercifully (during his absence). The
weaver within doors is worse off there than a woman; squatting, his
knees against his chest,—he does not breathe. If during the day he
slackens weaving, he is bound fast to the lotuses of the lake; and it
is by giving bread to the doorkeeper, that the latter permits him to
see the light. The dyer, his fingers reeking—and their smell is that of
fish-spawn;—his two eyes are oppressed with fatigue, his hand does not
stop,—and, as he spends his time in cutting out rags—he has a hatred of
garments. The shoemaker is very unfortunate; he moans ceaselessly, his
health is the health of the spawning fish, and he gnaws the leather.
The baker makes dough, subjects the loaves to the fire; while his head
is inside the oven, his son holds him by the legs; if he slips from the
hands of his son, he falls there into the flames.”[147]

The matriarchal tendencies of the Egyptian Government also account
for the fact that children, as a rule, were not only allowed to live
but were better treated than they were among other peoples. Even the
first Egyptians, although semi-savages like those inhabiting Africa
and America, were different in their attitude toward women to such an
extent that the Greeks were led into believing that in Egypt the woman
was supreme. The husband entered the house of the wife instead of the
wife entering his[148] and this led to the children recognizing the
parental relation through the mother alone.

To this matriarchal tendency may also be attributed the activity of
Maskonit, the god who appeared at the child’s cradle at the very
moment of its birth, and Raninit, who gave him his name and saw that
he was properly nursed. With two such deities in the list of gods,
obviously the creations of women and hardly those of semi-savage men,
it was evident that the women were using their best supernatural means
to protect childhood. Significant, too, may be the fact that these
protecting deities were goddesses, for, as may be seen from the story
of the ill-fated prince,[149]—there was always a chance that either
the crocodile, the serpent, or the dog, might get the infant. In the
possibility of death by either of the three, there was the memory of
days when mothers were either less careful or had not much authority.



Such knowledge as we have of the kings of the Fifth Dynasty indicates
that they were builders, but it was during this dynasty, in the reign
of Tetka-Ra (about 3366 B. C.), that what has been described as the
oldest book in the world, the _Precepts of Ptah-Hotep_, was written. In
this remarkable document the first care of the author after a stirring
picture of old age, for it is evident that Ptah-Hotep wrote in his old
age, is to enjoin those who read, that by following in the ways of the
fathers, the children will prosper. All through there are, as M. Chabas
pointed out, evidences that it furnished the basis for many of the
later injunctions of the Hebrews in regard to filial obedience:

“Bring up your son in obedience.”

“The son who receives the word of his father will live to be old
because of it.”

“Beloved of God is obedience; disobedience is hated by God.”

The later injunction of Ecclesiastes, ix., 9, is found in the 18th

“If you are wise take good care of your house; love your wife and
cherish her.”[150]

The husband and wife are frequently represented together at this time,
and their attitude toward one another is most affectionate. In the
group of M’Ayptah we see the Priest of Ptah in what to our modern
understanding is a real family group, not unlike those the photographer
of the congested districts in large cities is frequently called on to
perpetuate. On the left of the Priest is his wife, Ha’tshepest, while
on his right is his grown-up daughter. Two smaller figures represent a
second daughter and the grandson of M’Ayptah.[151] The prominence of
women here in relations so affectionate is unlike anything that we find
in other ancient nations, and argues the presence of a spirit different
from that of most nations at the same stage of culture.

In the time of the Old Kingdom (from the Third to the Sixth Dynasty),
a man had but one wife, who was the mother of his heirs, was in
every respect his equal, and shared authority with the father over
the children. The natural line of inheritance was through the eldest
daughter, and the closest ties were through the mother.[152]

In the _Adventures of Sanehat_, a story written apparently at the
time of Amenemhat I., the founder of the Twelfth Dynasty, Sanehat’s
description of his reception in the court of the king, when the royal
children were brought forth to join in the general celebration, would
also indicate that there was no desire to show any preference to either

That human sacrifice lasted up to the Eleventh Dynasty[154]
is the belief of Messrs. King and Hall, who point to the
excavations at Thebes, in the precinct of the funerary temple of
Nebhapet-Ra-Mentuhetep and about the central pyramid which commemorated
his memory. There were buried a number of ladies of his _harim_, who
were without doubt killed and buried at the same time, in order that
they might accompany their royal master to his new abiding place.
With each of these ladies there was buried a little waxen human
figure placed in a little coffin, the image being intended to take
the place of the slave of the lady of the _harim_. As the ladies were
not royal, real slaves were not killed for them, which shows that the
idea of sacrifice even then had contracted until it was restricted to
personages of the highest rank.

According to Porphyry, who quotes a work of Manetheo on _Antiquity
and Piety_,[155] the law permitting or ordering the sacrifice of men
was repealed by Amosis. Amosis, it is said, ordered that waxen images
be substituted. The excavators have found not only the wax images but
those of later days, when wood and glazed _faience_ as well as stone
were used, the growing humanity of the age seeking in this way to
progress from the primitive indifference to the death of others.[156]

Nowhere is there any evidence that among the Egyptians of the Old,
and Middle or New period (that is from the Fourth Dynasty up to the
Twentieth, or from about 2800 to 110 B. C.), children were ill-treated
or suffered from any of the usual methods of getting rid of surplus
progeny. It is true that the monuments are more given to warlike
exploits than to revelations of social manners, but the conditions in
early Egypt all seem to point to the fact that, living in a land of
plenty, they had early passed beyond the stage when the life of the
child was the first sacrifice to the god of necessity.

In this connection it must be said that the only direct evidence we
have from the ancients is that of Diodorus Siculus, a contemporary of
Cæsar, who visited Egypt in the course of his thirty years’ preparation
for his historical work. In what he says of the punishment of those who
killed their children, he is citing the ancient Egyptians before they
came under the influence of the Greeks and Romans:

“Parents that killed their children, were not to die, but were forced
for three days and nights together to hug them continually in their
arms, and had a guard all the while over them, to see they did it; for
they thought it not fit that they should die, who gave life to their
children; but rather that men should be deterred from such attempts by
a punishment that seemed attended with sorrow and repentance.”[157]

In another section of his work, Diodorus is evidently speaking of the
Egyptians of his own day:

“The Egyptian priests only marry one wife, but all others may have
as many wives as they please; and all are bound to bring up as many
children as they can, for the further increase of the inhabitants,
which tends much to the well-being either of a city or country. None
of the sons are ever reputed bastards, though they be begotten of a
bond maid, for they conceive that the father only begets the child,
and that the mother contributes nothing but place and nourishment.
And they call trees that bear fruit, males, and those that bear none,
females; contrary to what the Grecians name them. They bring up their
children with very little cost and are sparing, upon that account, to
admiration: for they provide them broth, made of any mean and poor
stuff that may be easily had; and feed those that are of strength able
to eat it, with the pith of bulrushes, roasted in the embers, and
with roots and herbs got in the fens; sometimes raw, and sometimes
boiled; and at other times fried and boiled. Most of their children
go barefooted and naked, the climate is so warm and temperate. It
costs not the parent to bring up a child to man’s estate, above twenty
drachmas; which is the chief reason why Egypt is so populous, and
excels all other places in magnificent structures. The priests instruct
the youth in two sorts of learning; that which they call sacred, and
other, which is more common and ordinary. In arithmetic and geometry,
they keep them a long time: for in this regard, as the river every year
changes the face of the soil, the neighbouring inhabitants are at great
difference among themselves concerning the boundaries of their land,
which cannot be easily known but by the help of geometry.”[158]

Strabo also speaks of the Egyptians as exceptions, when he refers to
the parents’ power of life and death over children: and others assert
that while they were cruel toward the new-born of the Hebrews, they
were kind toward their own.[159]

The early development of the belief in a hereafter, as it showed itself
in the unusual care of the body of the deceased, also affected, without
doubt, the attitude of the Egyptians toward their own progeny, if it
did not affect it toward that of others; in dealing with the primitive
and early peoples we must always realize that we can understand them
only by the way in which they dealt with their own. Their kindness to
their own, argued an advanced civilization—to test their degree of
civilization by the attitude they took to the children of slaves or the
children of servants, is to ask more of them than we can ask of our

In the desire to look after the future life, the Egyptians were
exceptional, as their embalming showed. They lived in a salubrious
country, they boasted that they were “the healthiest of mortals,”[160]
and so great was their horror that any one should mutilate the human
form, that the _paraschistes_ παρασχιστἡς who made the necessary
incisions in the dead when a body was to be embalmed, became an object
of execration as soon as his job was over. According to Diodorus
Siculus, he was always assaulted by his own assistants, stones being
thrown at him with such violence that he had to take to his heels in
order to escape with his life.[161]

Perhaps it is a far cry, but it seems as though a people who made such
preparations as the Egyptians did for the dead, would have been chary
of causing the death of those who had sprung from their own loins. For
the care of the dead was not confined to the noble and the wealthy
alone—the lower classes were also affected by the desire for a proper
kind of funeral, to the extent that enterprising people procured an old
empty tomb, enlarged it, and let places out in it. Hither then, came
the fisherman, the peasant, and the dancing girl—in death they were the
equal of the king, for they were buried with ceremony, their bodies
were placed where the tomb equipment might be by them—and thus with
the king, the noble, and the wealthy, they waited the time that was to

Among such a people it is hard to think that the death of even a child
was treated lightly.[163]

Of the Egyptians after the conquest of Alexander we must write as of
the Greeks; and in the matter of children it is important to note that
a recently discovered papyrus, written in Greek in the year 1 B. C.,
shows how completely the foreign point of view had been absorbed in a
land in which four thousand years yielded up not a single evidence of
the assassination of children.

The papyrus is a letter from Illarion, whose home is at Oxyrhynchus,
and who evidently has gone to Alexandria with other workmen. He has
apparently not sent his wife many messages of affection despite the
fact that she is about to have a child. When the other workmen are
going to return home, he plans to stay in Alexandria, but he promises
to send home some of his wages. The part of the letter that is
most interesting to us is his injunction that if the child that is
expected should turn out to be a female, it should be cast out. In
the salutation, Illarion refers to his wife as his sister, marriages
between brother and sister having been common in Egypt, and the term
being one of endearment. The letter follows:

“Illarion to Alis his sister, many Greetings, and to mother Berous and
Apollonarion. Know that I am still even now at Alexandria. I urge and
entreat you to be careful of the child, and if I receive wages soon I
will send it to you. When you bear offspring, if it is a male let it
be, if a female expose it.



“You told Aphrodisisa, ‘Do not forget me.’

How can I forget you? I urge you therefore not to worry.

“Twenty-ninth year of Cæsar, Paune 23 (addressed). ‘Deliver from
Illarion to Alis.’”[164]



In an examination of the attitude of early man toward the child, there
could be no more illuminating study than that of the habits of our own
ancestry, the so-called Aryan primitives.

Whether the cradle of the race was in India and spread from there
throughout Europe, or whether the original habitat was Central Europe,
the fact remains that the earliest records of the civilization of all
of the races from the Indians and Aryans in Asia to the Celts, Teutons,
Hellenes, Goths, and Italians indicate that they were a pastoral rather
than an agricultural people and that while the family was the unit, the
father was undoubtedly the supreme power that later marked the _pater
familias_ in Rome.

The mere absence of fish-hooks in the archæological remains and the
fact that the Aryans were for a long time a fish-hating race (the word
fish-eater used as a term of opprobrium by Herodotus, there being no
mention of eating fish in the Vedas and only occasionally in Homer)
go to show how limited was the food of that race. It is only as the
various branches of the race developed that they came to know the art
of fishing and the value of fish, a fact that is shown in the lack
of a common name for fish in the Aryan tongues. The age of Homer was
really the beginning of the Iron Age of the Aryan people, the culture
of Italy and Hellas resulting from a “lengthened process of historical
evolution” stimulated and developed by contact with the high culture
of the Semites, which again was derived from the proto-Babylonian

Up to this time in the struggle for existence of these semi-savages
everything was sacrificed for war, and infanticide and human sacrifice
were practised, there being reason to believe that even cannibalism was
practised in Britain, if not by the Celts certainly by the Iberians.

Early Greek myths reveal a condition of society little different from
that which the missionaries in recent years have found at Dahomey.
Children were killed when they were not wanted; wives were bought and
sold. The practice of breaking a bottle over the bow of a vessel is a
survival of a savage practice of the vikings of binding a human being
to the prow when the war galley was launched in order that the keel
might be sprinkled with sacrificial blood.

Recent philological research corrected by archæological discovery has
established the fact that the members of the Aryan race up to the time
of the Homeric legends were nomad herdsmen who had domesticated the
dog and wandered over the plains of Europe in wagons drawn by oxen.
They knew how to fashion canoes out of the trunks of trees but with
the exception of native copper they were ignorant of metals. It is
extremely doubtful if they practised any agriculture. They collected
and pounded in stone mortars the seed of some wild cereal, either spelt
or barley. They recognized the association of marriage but they were
polygamous. They practised human sacrifice and they retained after
birth only those children that they could conveniently rear, or those
male children who were regarded as necessary for the increase of the
fighting forces of the tribe.

Upon the Dasyas, the dark-skinned, flat-nosed people who originally
inhabited India, the Aryans triumphantly descended, eventually driving
the Dasyas out of their lands. From the Rig Vedas we learn the nature
of the Aryan conqueror. He was a warrior, but he was a prayerful
warrior who prayed for health, a defensive armour, and a comfortable
dwelling. There were frequent sacrifices to the gods and at all of the
sacrifices interesting philosophical and sphagiological discussions
took place. In his prayers he prayed for racy and healthy children,
but he always prayed for boys and never for girls. His children were
part of his scheme of wealth; they were his body and soul.[166]



The two great epics, the _Mahabharata_ and the _Ramayana_, are the two
sources of information on this period. Written down when the art of
writing became known about the year 800 B. C., these books mirror the
life of the people for centuries further back. The attitude toward
children can only be gleaned from such statements as that Bhishma, one
of the heroes of the _Mahabharata_, was the eighth son of his father,
and the first to be allowed to live. The deaths of the previous seven
are explained on the ground that his father Shantanu, the King of
Hastinapur, was married to Ganga, the river goddess, who had consented
to be the wife of the King on condition that, no matter what he might
see her do, he would ask no questions. When she, however, having
drowned the seven, attempted to drown the eighth son, he was obliged to
cry “enough,” thereby saving the son but losing his wife, who departed
declaring that the previous seven sons had been seven of the deities,
condemned to a fresh life for some venial sin, and had been released by
her from their punishment by an early death.

With such a story recited as semi-religious doctrine it can easily be
seen why there grew up early the feeling that there was no crime in
taking the lives of those children who were regarded as unnecessary.

Bhishma takes a vow not to marry, in accordance with which he refuses
the offer of Amva who revenges herself when she is born a second time,
as Chikandini, the daughter of a great king. The epic opens up another
view of the early Aryan attitude when it is stated that Chikandini,
although a daughter, is allowed to live; but in order to accomplish
this her mother hides her sex for twenty-one years.[167]

In the Sankhayana-Grihya-Sutra there is a long description of the
ceremony of the Pumsavana (the ceremony to secure the birth of a male
child) which with its earnest prayer for a male child, not only at
the time of coition but again with much ceremony in the third month,
shows that the female child was doomed to a most unwelcome reception at
the very best. As we shall see later, these ceremonies were bound to
produce, in the course of time, not only the practice of killing female
infants without remorse but even the disgusting ceremonies that marked
female infanticide in some places.[168]

The feeling of these people at all times about women is best expressed
in the words of the ordinance of Manu: “Women are born to bear
children.”[169] The female child that escaped death had therefore
a sharply defined life before it. It is a question, as Professor
Gottheil suggests, as to whether it is a degeneracy that brings about
the death of these infants in view of the life they would be obliged
to lead. Girls were betrothed at three or four years of age and at
seven had gone through the ceremony of marriage to boys of whom they
knew nothing, and when those boys died they remained virgin widows. At
one time it was possible for them to be taken to their boy husbands’
homes and in some instances they became mothers before they were
eleven. Not until March 19, 1891, was a law passed in India prohibiting
cohabitation before twelve.[170]

Vatsyayana, an ancient Hindu sage, author of the Kama-sutra, in which
are given rules for the domestic life of the Hindus, mirrors the
point of view of his time, about the first century, A.D. According to
Vatsyayana parents were to show to their children all indulgence and
freedom—until they were five. From five to sixteen they were to be
instructed in the fourteen sciences and sixty-four arts, after which
time the lord of creation was enjoined to become a householder.[171]

Of this early period there is plenty of evidence of human sacrifice
which, even when it did not consist entirely of children, led to the
slaughter of children. “There is no evidence,” as Professor Wilson
says, “that the practice ever prevailed to the extent to which it
spread through most of the ancient nations, or partook in general of
the same character. They were in the main sacrifices of an expiatory
nature performed in fear and intended to deprecate the anger of the

Monier-Williams suggests that it is possible that human sacrifice was
at one time part of the Brahmanical system and adduces the story of
Hariskandra and Sunahsepa as an evidence of that practice.[173] In this
legend, Hariskandra, being childless, prays to Varuna to grant him a
son, vowing to sacrifice him to the god. A son is born but the father
does not keep his word, and when the son reaches the age of discretion
he refuses to become a victim. From a starving Brahman he purchases a
son for one hundred cows, but this victim escapes by being adopted by
the priest Visvamitra who is a royal sage.[174]

In the Purushamedha, or the section of the Satapatha-Brahmana dealing
with the human sacrifice, a large number of men and women are bound
to eleven sacrificial posts, and after the necessary rites have been
performed on them, they are set free and eleven animals are killed
instead. That in times previous to this adoption human beings had been
sacrificed, there is no doubt.

Despite all that can be said in favour of the Buddhistic religion and
the reforms that it wrought, it is not possible to find that it made
any change in the attitude of the Hindus toward their children or
the practices of the day as did the religion of Christ and later the
religion of Mohammed, one of which sanctified the child, while the
other expressly forbade infanticide. Laying down the law that life
was a period of suffering and humility, the Buddhistic religion still
declared that Nirwana was not obtainable by those under seven, so that
the life of the child did not take on any increased value under the new
religion of Gautama.

It was natural that with no forceful check on infanticide contained in
the new religion, the primitive idea so well planted should spread and
become stronger rather than diminish. It is therefore not surprising
that in the Manava-dharma-castra ascribed by Burnell[175] to the period
between the year 1 A.D. to the year 500, the daughter is placed very
low in the scale of things human:

“184—Children, old people, the poor and sick, are to be known [to be]
lords of the sky; an elder brother is equal to a father; a wife and son
are one’s own body.

“185—And one’s own servants are one’s own shadow; a daughter is the
chief miserable object. Therefore offended by these, one should always
bear it without heat.”[176]

That infanticide was so common in the time of Alexander that it
attracted the attention even of that Greek in his march of conquest
through the country, is evident in the records that he brought back.

Q. Curtius Rufus relates,[177] that on entering the kingdom of
Sophytes, Alexander was astonished at the wisdom of the laws of this
barbarian. According to Curtius and Diodorus, Sophytes was governor of
a territory west of the Hyphasis while according to Arrian it lay along
the banks of the Hydaspes.

“Here,” says Curtius, “they do not acknowledge and rear children
according to the will of the parents, but as the officers entrusted
with the medical inspection of infants may direct, for if they have
remarked anything deformed or defective in the limbs of a child they
order it to be killed. In contracting marriages they do not seek an
alliance with high birth, but make their choice by the looks, for
beauty in the children is a quality highly appreciated.”[178]

“These,” said Diodorus Siculus, “were governed by laws in the highest
degree salutary, for while in other respects their political system was
one to admire, beauty was held among them in the highest estimation.
For this reason a discrimination between the children born to them is
made at the stage of infancy, when those that are perfect in their
limbs and features, and have constitutions which promise a combination
of strength and beauty, are allowed to be reared, while those that
have any bodily defect are condemned to be destroyed as not worth
rearing. They make their marriages also in accordance with this
principle, for in selecting a bride they care nothing whether she has a
dowry and a handsome fortune besides, but look only to her beauty and
other advantages of the outward person.”[179]

“A very singular usage,” says Strabo, “is related of the high
estimation in which the inhabitants of Cathaie hold the quality of
beauty, which they extend to horses and dogs. According to Onesicritus,
they elect the handsomest person as king. The child [selected], two
months after birth, undergoes a public inspection, and is examined.
They determine whether it has the amount of beauty required by law, and
whether it is worthy to be permitted to live. The presiding magistrate
then pronounces whether it is to be allowed to live, or whether it is
to be put to death.”[180]

As far as I have been able to discover, the first attempt made by
the British Government and perhaps the first organized effort in the
Eastern world to put an end to the murder of female children was in
1789 when the British resident officer of Benares, Jonathan Duncan,
afterwards Governor of Bombay, authenticated from the confessions of
a race called the Rajekoomars the existence of the custom. Sir John
Shore, afterwards a witness in the trial of Warren Hastings, and later
Lord Teignmouth, in an address to the Royal Society of Bengal in 1794
described how, after many suggestions, it was decided that the only
way that the Rajekoomars could be moved was by getting them to sign
an “engagement” binding them to desist “in future from the barbarous
practice of causing the death of their female children.”

Inasmuch as that engagement was the beginning of the work in India and
was afterwards used as a model for other engagements and reveals a
curious attitude of mind on both sides, I reprint it in full:

“Whereas it hath become known to the Government of the Honourable
English East India Company, that we, the tribe of _Rajekoomars_, do
not suffer our female children to live; and whereas this is a great
crime, as mentioned in the _Brehma Bywant Pooran_, where it is said
that killing even a _Fetus_ is as criminal as killing a _Brahman_, and
that for killing a female, or woman, the punishment is to suffer in the
_nerk_, or hell, called _Kat Shootul_, for as many years as there are
hairs on that female’s body, and that afterwards that person shall be
born again, and successively become a leper and be afflicted with the
_Jukhima_; and whereas the British Government in India, whose subjects
we are, have an utter detestation of such murderous practices, and we
do ourselves acknowledge, that although customary among us they are
highly sinful, we do therefore hereby agree not to commit any longer
such detestable acts; and any among us (which God forbid) who shall be
hereafter guilty thereof, or shall not bring up and get our daughters
married to the best of our abilities among those of our caste, shall be
expelled from our tribe, and shall neither eat, nor keep society, with
us, besides suffering hereafter the punishments denounced in the above
_Pooran_ and _Shafter_. We have therefore entered into this agreement.

  “Dated the 17th of December, 1789.”[181]

On May 27, 1805, Colonel Alexander Walker, the resident at Baroda,
called the attention of the government at Bombay to the conditions in
Guzerat, and the government authorized him to go ahead and use such
measures as he deemed wise to suppress infanticide, sending him a copy
of the engagement of Duncan as a suggestion of lines that might be
profitably employed.[182]

It was while in the course of his investigations and work in
suppressing the practice that Colonel Walker heard first from the
Hindus the supposedly divine origin of the practice of putting female
children to death. It was the supposedly divine origin and the fact
that they acted within the observance of their religious duties that
gave protection against interference from civil authorities. The
Jharejas, a tribe among whom Walker made his investigations, informed
him that the origin of the practice of infanticide came about through
the fact that a powerful Raja of their caste, who had a daughter of
singular beauty and accomplishments, desired his Rajgor or family
Brahmin to affiance her to a prince of desert and rank equal to her

The Rajgor, after much travelling, returned to the Raja and informed
him that he was not able to find any one to meet the proper
requirements. The Raja was so dejected over this that, according to the
story, he finally consented to the Rajgor’s putting his daughter to
death as the only means out of the difficulty; and from that time on,
according to the Jharejas, female infanticide was practised throughout
the land.[184]

There is much frankness in this explanation inasmuch as it was the
difficulty of marrying their daughters in a way they considered
properly that encouraged the practice. There is no doubt there had
been a persistent warfare in the formative periods of the tribes, and
when the warlike conditions made it impossible to marry the daughters
advantageously, the daughters become a burden with the result that the
practice of infanticide sprang up.

“The practice which prevailed in Europe,” says Colonel Walker, “and
chiefly amongst the principal families, of placing their daughters in
nunneries, might be traced to the same motives that led the Jharejas
to put theirs to death; and both have originated in the desire of
diminishing the cares and expense attending a numerous family.”[185]

That the practice, no matter how deeply rooted in the tribe, still
leaves the decision with the father, is shown from the following
explanation of putting the child to death:

“When the wives of the Jhareja are delivered of daughters, the women
who may be with the mother repair to the oldest man in the house; this
person desires them to go to him who is the father of the infant, and
do as he directs. On this the women go to the father, who desires
them to do as is customary, and so to inform the mother. The women
then repair to the mother, and tell her to act in conformity to their
usages. The mother next puts opium on the nipple of her breast, which
the child, inhaling with its milk, dies. The above is one custom, and
the following is another: when the child is born, they place the navel
string on its mouth, when it expires.”[186]

We are further informed that “if a father wishes to preserve a
daughter, he previously apprises his wife and family, and his commands
are obeyed; if a mother entertains the wish of preserving a daughter,
and her husband is averse to it, the infant must be put to death.”[187]

The heads of the tribes were consulted. Many of them declared that the
women and children were well treated and pointed out the fact that
the Hindu religion has always protected the female sex from violence
and that it was unlawful to put a woman to death for any offence
whatsoever. In support of this they quote the following Sloke verse,
which is extracted from the Dhurma Shastra:

  “Shut Gao Vudhet Veepra;
  Shut Veepra Vudhet Streeya;
  Shut Streeya Vudhet Bala;
  Shut Bala Vudhet Mroosha.”

  “To kill 100 cows is equal to killing a Brahmin;
  To kill 100 Brahmins is equal to killing a woman;
  To kill 100 women is equal to killing a child;
  To kill 100 children is equal to telling an untruth.”[188]

Walker also came across a tribe of Brahmins called Kurada. Their object
of worship was a goddess known as Makalukshmee to whom human sacrifice
was acceptable. Another name for their deity was Vishara Bhoot, a
spirit of poison, a very amiable ghost inasmuch as it led to the
poisoning of guests as sacrifices for this queen of another world.

Among these people the following story was told as giving the origin of
the sacrifices of human beings:

“A certain Raja, having built a spacious and beautiful tank, found
every effort to fill it with water impracticable.

“This greatly distressed the Raja, and having in vain exerted every
expedient of devotion and labour the Raja at last vowed to his
particular deity the sacrifice of his own child, provided this precious
offering was accepted by the grant of his prayer.

“Accordingly the Raja directed one of his children to be placed in the
centre of the tank, on which the deity instantly gave an undeniable
testimony of his assent and gratification; the tank immediately filled
with fine water, and the child was sacrificed in being drowned.”[189]

The records of the correspondence and the engagements for the next
eighty years make interesting reading, especially the communications
from the various princes protesting that inasmuch as they had killed
their daughters for 4900 years it was an unfriendly act for the British
Government to interfere with the practice or insist on discussing
it. Showing their humanity and their _right_ to be protected from
interference in the matter of female infanticide, the Futteh Mahommed
Jemadar, writing to Colonel Walker, protests that already “in this
country, neither birds nor animals are killed, goats excepted, and but
few even eat them; and charitable places for fakirs going and coming
from Mecca, and Hindus performing pilgrimages, are so strongly planted
that they suffer no annoyance.”[190]

In an interesting batch of correspondence, 1835, between the British
political agent, J. P. Willoughby, at Kattywar and various Jhallas,
Rawuls, Gohuls, and Surwyejas of this section of India, these
sub-chiefs reply to the half-cajoling, half-commanding communications
of the political agent that they will do their best to see that
infanticide is stopped, plaintively informing the representatives of
the British Government that in addition they will promise to bring up
their own daughters. “Five months since,” says the Jhareja Dosajee,
Chief of Paal, appealingly, “my brother, Jhareja Hurreebhyee, got a
daughter, which he preserved. This I wrote for your information.”

In the brief time since 1835 there is evident the great change that has
come over the spirit of the once proud sons of the East. The iron of
the West has left its mark.

The Infanticide Act, No. 366 A, 14th of March 1871, organized and
equalized the work and showed that the government was indeed resolved
“to use every means in its power to eradicate the inhuman practice
that any relaxation of the repressive measures now to be enforced will
depend on the evidence that may be given of a disposition to reform.”
Copies of the proclamation were affixed in conspicuous places at each
_tehseelee_, police station, and village _chopal_ in the proclaimed
localities and with the employment of the registrar of midwives, the
imposition of extra police under certain circumstances, and the fact
that midwife and Chowkidar were both obliged to report where the
proportion of the girls to the child population falls below twenty-five
per cent.,[191] an effectual check was put on the practice of several
thousand years.



In treating of the Semitic race—a race that gave to humanity the
Bible and the Koran, a race that founded Judaism, Christianity,
and Islamism—its attitude will be better understood if we approach
it through the tribes whose religions and humanitarian ideas were
eventually to become the religions and humanitarian ideas of the
civilized world.

The beginning of the nation of Israel was the result of the frequent
immigration into Palestine of Semites who fused with the aborigines
and formed the Phœnician or Canaanitish people. From the time of
Lugalzaggisi (about 4000 B. C.) there were successive Babylonian
immigrations also, and from 1500 B. C. onward there were added to this
mixture the Aramean tribes that had previously inhabited the highlands
between the Mesopotamian Valley and the Mediterranean Sea. Originally
pure nomads, the Israelites after settling in Canaan became excellent
agriculturists,[192] and there developed the worship of Yahweh—“the
worship of no other god contributing to the sum of humanity’s
ethical ideas and spiritual conceptions a tithe of the value of that
contributed by the worshippers of Yahweh.”[193]

These nomadic Semites when they settled in Palestine about 1000 B. C.,
after years of wandering, had many of the characteristics of a highly
cultivated people but they also had the habits of the nomadic people
that had originally come out of Arabia. Many too were the lapses into
the ways of primitive people during the four hundred years of their
wandering after their life in Goshen.[194]

If, as has been said, three generations without education would reduce
the civilized peoples of today to savagery, the proneness of the
Semites to fall back into godless ways may be well understood; so too
one may well understand the protests and lashings of the prophets who
saw their people retrograding.

When the Israelites began to write their own history they were a highly
developed race in which there were few traces of early savagery,
but the habit of sacrificing the firstling was a remnant of earlier
economic stress that had passed into their religion. In order to
understand the Israelite branch of the Semitic race and how it was
possible for it to produce, on the one hand, the humanitarian ideas
that rule the world today, when at practically the same time its
leaders were protesting against savage sacrifices, but a step removed
from cannibalism, one can do no better than to quote the eloquent and
learned Chwolson, though his theory of the innate quality of a race is
open to serious objections.

Commenting on the fundamental causes of the peculiarities of a people,
one of which he says is the nature of “its heart and nervous system,”
he thus describes the disposition of the Israelites[195]:

“In reference to the disposition (Gemueth) and organization of
the nervous system: the Semite possesses a deep, easily excitable
disposition, and is capable of mighty feelings; he is, therefore,
lively, mobile, easily excited, passionate, quickly enthused for an
idea, active and enterprising, flexible and adapting, easily finding
himself at home in strange relations and circumstances, accommodating
himself to them without difficulty, without, however, allowing of being
absorbed by them.”

While, therefore, some of the Israelites developed in humanitarianism
and poetry and religion, under the favourable conditions in Canaan,
others, under various other influences, reverted to former practices.
Among these practices was that of sacrificing the first-born child.

To understand better how the people who gave to the world the Child’s
Friend retained so late the habit of sacrificing children, the scope of
the custom must be understood.

The sacrifice of human beings to the gods, says Grimm,[196] rested on
the supposition that human food was agreeable to the gods and not until
man had advanced did the idea come that substitutes might be offered.
In the cannibalistic stage of development these sacrifices were eaten
by the sacrificers, thus establishing a connecting link between the
humans and the invisible gods whom they hoped to appease.

The whole theory of sacrifice will be better understood if we grasp
the fact that it was born of fear. When a nation sacrificed out of
gratitude or in apparent joyous exultation, it was in memory of days
when they suffered and their gratitude was as much a propitiation
as anything else. Born in fear, the next step in the development of
sacrifice was to economize “without impairing efficiency.”[197] The
result of this second effort is seen in ingenious devices by which the
burden on the worshipper is lightened by his substituting something
less valuable than what he is supposed to offer, or what the god is
supposed to want, but which the worshipper believes will be acceptable.
These substitutions are always made when the forces of nature are
treating man more kindly and when his attitude toward his gods is less
fearful, for the mind of man in time of plenty and security has always
presupposed that time to be when the gods are more or less drowsy.

With some primitive peoples, the sacrifice began as an offering of a
meal to the ancestor who had gone before, but as with all primitive
peoples the determining factor in religion is fear rather than
affection, it became a method of soliciting favours for the future, and
such were the sacrifices among the Greeks and Romans, the Hebrews, the
Aryans, and the Chinese.[198]

Primitive man, when unwelcome children were born, found easy excuse for
getting rid of them by offering them as a sacrifice to the impatient
and fearful gods. That at some stage in the development of the parental
instinct the excuse that the gods must be propitiated was needed to
quiet the awakening mother love, is more than likely. And surely, no
more crushing answer could there be to the request to allow a child to
live than that the gods were angry and had to be propitiated.

Another reason given for offering children was that, having just come
from the other world, they were nearer to the gods and freer of sin
and therefore more acceptable. Such reasoning argues a stage far in
advance of the cannibal who ate his own children under the idea that he
was propitiating an angry god. “The institutions of man develop with
considerable uniformity all over the globe, although as races advance,
they naturally diverge more or less under the influence of different
climate, food, and other conditions.”[199] Cannibalism was one of the
earliest stages to which we are able to trace many of the customs
even of today, and the idea of sacrifice of children undoubtedly
had its origin in primitive cannibalistic feasts, “ceremonies that
were softened by the rise of civilization as well as migration to
more fertile land and an abundance of food sufficient to make the
substitution of an animal for a human possible.”[200]

Among primitive people the sacrifice of children is common. In most
cases there is some specific result that is desired when the child is
sacrificed. In the Tonga Islands in the South Pacific, the sacrifice
of the child is called _nawgia_ and strangling is the method adopted,
whenever it is found that the ordinary cures do not affect some sick
parent. It is said that the natives watch the ceremony of strangling
with much pity but that they feel it is better “to sacrifice a child
who is at present of no use to society, and perhaps may not otherwise
live to be,” than to allow a sick chief to die.[201] On one occasion
when the gods had been offended the native priests decreed that
the child of Toobo Toa, the chief, should be sacrificed, “on such
occasions the child of a male chief being always chosen as being
worthier than others,” and a two-year-old child was strangled against
the protests of its mother, who tried to conceal it.[202]

That the health of the Ynca also led to sacrifice of children is stated
by Acosta:

“They vsed in Peru to sacrifice yong children of foure or six yeares
old vnto tenne; and the greatest parte of these sacrifices were for the
affaires that did import the Ynca, as in sickness for his health, and
when he went to the warres for victory, or when they gave the wreathe
to their new Ynca, which is the marke of a King, as heere the Scepter
and the Crowne be. In this solemnitie they sacrificed the number of two
hundred children, from foure to tenne yeares of age, which was a cruell
and inhumane spectacle. The manner of the sacrifice was to drowne them
and bury them with certaine representations and ceremonies; sometimes
they cutte off their heads, annointing themselves with the blood from
one eare to another.”[203]

Acosta also declared that when an ordinary man was sick and believed he
would die, his own son was sacrificed to the Sun or to Virachoca.

Francisco de Jerez says that the Peruvian Indians sacrificed their own
children and tinted the doors of their temples and the faces of their
idols with the blood.





“They sacrifice each month their own children, and with their blood
smear the faces of the idols and the doors of the temples, and sprinkle
the blood over the graves of their dead.”[204]

It is certain, according to the story of Sieur le Moyne de Mourgues,
that “in that part of Florida which is near Virginia,—and where the
French are under the leadership of Sieur le Laudonnière—the people
of this country regard their chiefs as sons of the Sun and, for this
reason, they pay them divine honours, sacrificing to them their

“Their custom is,” according to Le Moyne, “to offer up the first-born
son to the chief. When the day for the sacrifice is notified to the
chief, he proceeds to a place set apart for the purpose, where there
is a bench for him on which he takes his seat. In the middle of the
area before him is a wooden stump two feet high and as many thick,
before which a mother sits on her heels, her face covered in her hands,
lamenting the loss of her child. The principal one of her female
relatives or friends now offers the child to the chief in worship,
after which the women who have accompanied the mother form a circle and
dance around with demonstrations of joy, but without joining hands.
She who holds the child goes and dances in the middle, singing some
praises to the chief. Meanwhile, six Indians, chosen for the purpose,
take their stand in a certain place in the open area; and midway
among them the sacrificing officer, who is decorated with a sort
of magnificence, and holds a club. The ceremony being through, the
sacrificer takes the child and slays it in honour of the chief, before
them all, upon the wooden stump. This offering was, on one occasion,
performed in our presence.”[206]

“It was the Custom in Peru, to sacrifice Children from four to ten
Years of Age, which was chiefly done when the Inga was sick, or going
to War, to pray for Victory, and at the Coronation of those Princes
they sacrific’d two hundred Children. Sometimes they strangl’d, and
bury’d them, and other times they cut their Throats, and the Priests
besmear’d themselves with the Blood from Ear to Ear, which was the
Formality of the Sacrifice. Nor were the Virgins (_Mamaconas_) of
the Temple exempt from being sacrific’d and, when any Person of Note
was sick, and the Priest said he must die, they sacrific’d his son,
desiring the Idol to be satisfied with him, and not take away his
Father’s life. The Ceremonies us’d at this Sacrifice were strange,
for they behav’d themselves like mad Men. They believ’d that all
Calamities were occasion’d by Sin, and that Sacrifices were the

Further evidence of the attitude of the Indians is given by the first
secretary of the Colony of Virginia Brittania, who asserted that the
Indians in Florida sacrificed the first-born male child. According
to this writer, their Quiyoughquisocks, or prophets to the Indians,
persuaded the warriors to resist the settlements of the white people
because their Okeus, who was god of the tribe, would not be appeased
by the sacrifice of a thousand children if they permitted the white
people, who despised their religion, to dwell among them.[208]

In parts of New South Wales[209] such as Bathurst, Goulburn, the
Lachlan, or MacQuarie, the first-born of every _lubra_ was eaten by the
tribe as a part of the religious ceremony. Here, too, it was the male
infant that was more desirable as a sacrifice, the female infants being
sometimes allowed to live. In this connection, it is interesting to
note that where children are killed without any other excuse than that
they are a drain on the resources of their parents, it is the female
children who are slaughtered. When, however, there is a so-called
religious reason for the infanticide, it is the male child that suffers.

In India, as we shall see, children were frankly killed for economic
reasons; but here too there are evidences of the sacrifice theory.
Up to the beginning of the present century, the custom of offering a
first-born child to the Ganges was common. A custom akin to this was
that of the Ganga Jatra, the murder of sick relatives on the banks of
the sacred river. As late as 1812, a mother and sister burned a leper
at Katwa near Calcutta, their excuse being that by so doing he would be
given a pure body in the next world.

Women, too, who had been long barren dedicated their first child, if
one were given them, to Omkar Mandharta.[210]

Bathing in blood, especially the blood of children, in Northern India
was regarded as a powerful remedy for disease. In 1870, a Mussulman
butcher, losing his child, was told by a Hindu conjurer that in order
to make the next child healthy, he should wash his wife in the blood of
a boy, with the result that a child was murdered. At Muzaffar Nagar a
child was killed and the blood drunk by a barren woman.[211]

In the city of Saugor in India, human sacrifices were offered up in the
year 1800, when they were stopped by the local governor, Assa Sahib,
although the Brahmin priests objected strenuously to the _innovation_.
Outside the city, there was a spot where the young men sacrificed
themselves in order to fulfil the vows of their mothers. The belief
was that when a woman was without a child, she could overcome
barrenness by promising her first-born, if a male, to the god of
destruction, Mahadea. If a boy was born after this vow, she concealed
from him the vow until he attained the age of puberty, when it was his
duty to obey his mother’s call and throw himself, at the annual fair
on the sandstone hills, from a perpendicular height of four or five
hundred feet and be dashed to pieces upon the rocks below.[212]

Among the Banjarilu, a caste of travelling traders noted in
“Bhadrachellam and Rekapalli Taluquas,”[213] the custom in former years
was, before starting off on a business journey, to procure a little
child and bury it in the ground up to its shoulders. Then the traders
would drive their loaded bullocks over the victim and in proportion as
the bullocks “thoroughly trampled the child to death” was their belief
in a successful journey increased. Probably very little credence can
be given to their assertions that they have completely left off such

The Chinese philosopher, Mih Tsze, who lived about the fourth century
before Christ, wrote that there existed at one time in China a state
called Kai-muh, where it was the custom to kill and devour the eldest
brother as an offering to the gods.[214]

We come now to the results of recent excavations in Palestine.

There were discovered at Gezer, the bodies of adults that had been
sacrificed at foundation rites and deposited with the corner-stones
much as moderns deposit mementoes and newspapers. Mr. MacAlister, who
had charge of the excavations at Gezer, says, however, that adult or
adolescent victims were rare in comparison with the number of infants
or very young children whose remains were found under the corners of
houses. Such deposits were found in all the Semitic strata but were
very rare in the Hellenistic stratum, showing that the practice died
down when the Greeks came into control of the land. The children
sacrificed at these foundation rites were deposited in the same
manner as those found at the _messobath_ or high place, where there
was discovered a cemetery of jar-buried infants that went to show how
general was the practice of sacrificing their new-born infants among the



“That these sacrificed infants were the first-born, devoted in the
Temple, is indicated by the fact that none were over a week old. This
seems to show that the sacrifices were not offered under stress or
any special calamity, or at the rites attaching to any special season
of the year. The special circumstance which led to the selection of
these infants must have been something inherent in the victims
themselves, which devoted them to sacrifice from the moment of their
birth. Among various races, various circumstances are regarded as
sufficient reason for infanticide—deformity, the birth of twins, etc.;
but among the Semites the one cause most likely to have been effective
was primogeniture.”[215]

In the vessels in which the infants were placed, were found by the
excavators smaller vessels which were probably food vessels with a
viaticum for the victim.

At Ta’Annek[216] after the discoveries at Gezer, a cemetery containing
some twenty infants, also buried in jars, was discovered about a
rock altar, the age of the infants that had been sacrificed having
been as much as five years. At Megiddo[217] underneath a corner of
a temple, there were found four jars with the bones of children and
near them smaller jars and a bowl, which undoubtedly contained the
food that children were supposed to need in the other world. Professor
Sellin suggests that the bones found at Tell Ta’Annek may have been
the bones of children that had died too young to be buried in the
family sepulchres, but the burden of evidence suggests a different
explanation. Here, then, we have a double reason for the sacrifice
of the children, for the foundation sacrifices were—one might almost
say _are_, so recently have there been instances of the practice—of a
different order from the sacrifice of the first-born.

On these foundation sacrifices, Dr. Driver has made some interesting
notes. We are all familiar with our own foundation ceremonies, which
are really nothing more or less than a modification of these primitive
ceremonies that consisted almost entirely of the sacrifice of a human
being and in many instances of an infant, inasmuch as the infant,
having just come into the world, was purer and nearer to god and
therefore more acceptable. Traces of the custom of sacrificing a human
life in order that some destructive god or demon might be propitiated
and the lives of those about to occupy the building thereby made safer
are found in India, New Zealand, China, Japan, Mexico, Germany, and

The extent of these foundation sacrifices had been revealed by Dr.
Trumbull in his _Threshold Covenant_, all going to show that different
branches of the human family, though far removed, mounted much the same
steps in their endeavour to achieve the truth about the world in which
they lived.

Among the Danes, when the fortifications were first being built around
Copenhagen many years ago, the walls, as they were built, kept sinking
in, and it did not seem possible that they would ever stand firmly.

“The workmen finally took a little girl, placed her at a table, and
gave her play toys and sweetmeats. Then, as she sat there enjoying
herself, the masons built an arch over her and in this way the walls
were made solid.”[218]

A similar story is told[219] of a castle of Liebenstein. It was made
fast and impregnable by buying a child from its mother and walling it

Slavensk, a Slavonic town on the Danube, had been devastated by the
plague and when it was built anew the wise men of the town agreed that
there must be a human victim. Messengers were sent out before sunrise
to seize the first living creature they met. The victim was a child and
it was buried alive under the foundation stone of the citadel, and from
that time on, a citadel was called a Dyetinet, from Dyetina[220], a

In Africa in Galam, Tylor says[221] that a boy and a girl were buried
alive before the gate of the city in order to make it impregnable. In
other places, such as Great Bassam and Yarriba, such sacrifices were
usual even when the foundation was only that of a house.

In some places, such as among the Tantis of Africa, the sacrifice was
made at every new moon. In Sargos, a girl was offered up that there
might be good crops. In Bonny, they sacrificed every year a beautiful
virgin to Juju that the evil spirits might be kept away.

“The connection between cannibalism and human sacrifice,” says Dr.
Waitz, “is manifest enough in the festivals of Dahomey.”[222]

There were two principal and solemn sacrifices among the Pipiles, a
Maya people in Central America—one at the commencement of summer and
one at the beginning of winter. Little boys of ten and twelve years of
age were the victims, and their blood was sprinkled in the direction of
the four cardinal points.[223]

Among the Milanau Dyaks when the largest house was being erected, a
deep hole was dug and a slave girl was placed in it. An enormous timber
was then allowed to descend on her and crush her to death.[224]

As late as 1843 in Germany, when a new bridge was being built at Halle,
the common people fancied that a child was wanted to be walled into
the foundations. According to Grimm, the tower called the Reichenfels
Castle was built on a live child and a projecting stone marks the
place. If that were pulled out, the wall, it is said, would tumble

According to a Servian legend, three hundred masons laboured for three
years at the foundation stones of Scutari, but what they built by day,
the _Vila_ tore down at night. At last she made known to the kings
that the place would never be finished until two brothers or sisters
“of like name” were built into the foundations. Nowhere could such be
found. Then the _Vila_ required that one of the wives of the kings
should be walled up in the ground. The next day the consort of the
youngest king, never dreaming of such a decree, brought out some dinner
to the workmen; thereupon the three hundred masons dropped their stones
around her and began to wall her in. At her entreaty, they left a small
opening and there she continued to suckle her babe who was held up to
her once a day.[226]

The foundation sacrifice is well known in India. At Madras, it has
long been a tradition that when the fort was first built a girl was
built into it to render it impregnable.[227] A Raja was once building
a bridge over the river Jargo at Chunar and when it fell down several
times, he was advised to sacrifice a Brahman girl to the local deity.
She has now become the _Mari_ or ghost of the place and is regularly
worshipped in time of trouble. In Kumaun, there are professional
kidnappers known as Doqhutiya, or two-legged beasts of prey, who go
about capturing boys that they may be used in foundation sacrifices.

Up to 1867, when a house was built among the Tlinkits tribe in Alaska,
the relatives and friends of the chief or wealthy man were invited to
appear on the spot that he had chosen for the site. Addressing them
at great length, he referred with pride to the various deeds of his
ancestors and promised to so conduct himself as to shed more lustre on
the family name. The space for the house was then cleared, a spot for
the fireplace designated, and four holes dug wherein the corner posts
were to be set. A slave, or the descendant of a slave who had been
captured in war, was then blind-folded and compelled to lie down face
uppermost on the spot selected for the fireplace. A sapling was then
cut, laid across the throat of the slave, and, at a given signal, the
two nearest relatives of the house sat upon the respective ends of the
sapling, thereby choking the wretch to death.[228]



Having reviewed the ethnological and archæological aspect of the
attitude of the Semitic people toward the sacrifice of the first-born,
we turn to the written record of the small bands of Semites who gave to
the world the humane ideas that dominate it today. From that written
record we will learn that nowhere among the civilization of the world
was there the same spirit that there was in that outlandish corner of
Syria. Israel was never content with the abuses of the world and in
this her philosophy differed from Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian,
Chinese, and Indian philosophies as we have been able to judge of them
in the writing of the civilizations they produced. If, to make one more
comparison, the Greeks were wanting in humanity the Israelites were
passionately human. “The Israelitish prophets were impetuous writers
such as we of the present day should denounce as socialists and
anarchists. They were fanatics in the cause of social justice.”[229]

Modern Bible criticism has made the period of the writing of the
Elohistic part of the Hexateuch about 770 B. C.[230] Whatever the
sources that were drawn on and whatever actual historical value they
have, we know that the ideas contained therein represent the ideas of
the eighth century B. C.[231]

According to these writings, Abraham, the eponymic father of the
Israelites, was tested in his loyalty to Yahweh by being told to take
his son Isaac into the land of Moriah, a district in Palestine, and
there sacrifice him as a burnt offering. In the land of Canaan at the
time the Jahvist and the Elohist wrote of this temptation, the ceremony
of sacrificing the first-born of a living thing was still practised;
among the neighbouring peoples—the Phœnicians on one side and the
Sabeans on the south-east—children were still sacrificed. The Elohist
therefore was anxious to show that a thousand or more years back, in
the time of the founder of their race, it was not the custom of the
tribe to sacrifice children and that it was only done when the Lord
gave the especial command.

[Illustration: ABRAHAM AND ISAAC


With Abraham the command, while painful, was apparently not surprising.
He went about the execution in a businesslike way, only to find when
he was about to sacrifice the boy, that the Lord was satisfied with
his display of zeal and did not intend the command to be carried out.
Then “Abraham lifted up his eyes, and behold, behind him a ram caught
in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram and
offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”[232]

Here was the first case of substitution, in which the early writer
testifies that not only was the substitution satisfactory to the deity,
but the human sacrifice was forbidden and an animal providentially
provided that the ceremony of sacrifice might be gone through without
loss of human blood. However strong the popular inclination to accept
the bloody rites of the religion of the surrounding tribes, from
that time there was a fixed standard to which the prophets and true
believers of Israel held—human sacrifice had been stopped by the Lord

Among the Assyrians also, father Orhan was represented as having
substituted an animal for human beings, the Assyrian patriarch being
represented as a man of benevolent aspect, seated in an armchair
without any sort of military pomp or circumstance.[233]

To make the substitution of an animal for a human being more effective,
and more popular, Abraham entered into a covenant with Yahweh by which
the deity was still given the blood of humans without a life being
sacrificed. The rite of circumcision is the substitution commanded by
Yahweh himself:

“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and thee, and thy
seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”[234]

This rite, mixed as it is with phallic worship (see Genesis), had its
origin in the castration of prisoners of war,[235] and, as far as the
Israelites were concerned, probably originated in Egypt,[236] although
it has been found to be performed among the tribes of Central Australia
with a stone knife just as is recorded of the Israelites. With progress
and the fact that use was found for prisoners, castration gave way to
marking the prisoners, until the original significance passing, as
among the Egyptians according to Herodotus, the practice became one of
purely hygienic value.

That this covenant with Yahweh was kept when all about them the
first-born children of the Egyptians were sacrificed, the feast of the
Passover (from חטם, _pesach_, meaning “to pass by, to spare”) attests.
Yahweh told Moses that he was to claim the lives of not only the
first-born of the Egyptians “from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on
his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon,”
but also the first-born of all the animals in the land. That the
chosen people might not suffer in this contemplated destruction they
were instructed, through Moses, to take the blood of a lamb, “a male of
the first year,” and “strike it on the two side-posts and on the upper
door-post of the houses,” that it might be known wherein the faithful



Here we see the beginning of the threshold sacrifice or covenant, which
became, in time, the foundation sacrifice.

So complete was this claiming of the first-born that “there was not a
house where there was not one dead.”[237]

From their deliverance from this visitation, Yahweh instructed Moses to
“sanctify unto me all the first-born, whatsoever openeth the womb among
the children of Israel; both of man and beast, it is mine.” Already
there was the example of the patriarch Abraham that an animal might be
substituted; now there was the statement from the One on high that the
first-born of the chosen people might be redeemed. Of the temper of the
people at this time and their proneness to fall into the vices of their
neighbours, and of idolatry, we need only the statement of Joshua[238]
that while in Egypt—Renan says that they were not there more than three
hundred years—they acquired the habit of worshipping false gods.

The speedy fall from grace, as shown by the worship of the golden calf
while Moses was away from them for a short time, is another evidence
of their excitability, although modern scientists have declared that
under adverse circumstances the entire civilized peoples would revert
to barbarity in three generations.

The struggle upward out of barbarism could have been attended with
nothing less than herculean belief on the part of the leaders of
Israel, when we see this lapse came after their miraculous escape from
Egypt and after the receipt of the ten commandments. Illuminating too
is the fact that the making of the golden calf was superintended by no
less a person than Aaron, the brother of Moses, his confidant and first

When we come to the period of the Judges, we find the Israelites
falling away from their humanitarianism. While Joshua and his
contemporaries were alive, they held to their religion, but the gods
of Canaan, together with the more easily understood and more deeply
ingrained rites of idolatry, reappeared as soon as the patriarchs had
passed away.

Nothing indeed is more interesting in this study of the Old Testament
than the record of the difficulty that the leaders and prophets had in
keeping a semi-barbarous people up to their standard of civilization
and humanization. Ethnological and archæological data picture the
struggle forward but feebly, when compared to the written records of
the Israelites, especially during the period of the Judges.

The period of the Judges was the period of the formation of the nation,
and had there not been all around them reminders of their own previous
nomadic habits, and had they been a less excitable people, there would
not have been the recurrence to barbaric traits that we find. Even
then, the progress of the Israelites in humanitarianism is unique in
the world. From the settlement in Canaan, which was about 1200 B. C.,
until the birth of Christ, they suffered conquest, disintegration,
and many afflictions, but progressed steadily in humanitarianism. In
that time the Greeks rose and fell, achieving great intellectual and
æsthetic perfection, but failing to even approach the Israelites in
humanity. A few hundred years after the settlement in Canaan, the
Romans appear as a civilized people and, aided by a transplanted
stoicism, developed a great humanitarianism under the Emperors
Trajan and Hadrian; the last named, however, despite his greatness,
indissolubly linked with the degeneracy that was the mark of Greek
self-centredness, or lack of humanity, as Mahaffy calls it.

The transition from idealism to nationalism is never affected with
impunity, says Renan, and so the growing nation suffered in its
material growth and through the insistence that Yahweh “loved Israel
and hated all the rest of the world.”[239] Baal and Yahweh were not far
apart and at Sechem there was a Baal-berith, or Baal covenant, which
the idolators worshipped as Baal, and the Israelites as Yahweh.[240]
“If the religion of Israel had not gone beyond this phase, it is
certainly the last religion to which the world would have rallied.”[241]

It is in this period that we have the story of Jephthah, an outcast,
the head of banditti and an illegitimate son, who was asked by the
Israelites of Gilead to help them against the Ammonites. Jephthah vowed
that if he should be successful he would sacrifice to Yahweh the first
thing that met him on his return from the campaign, and the first thing
to meet him was his daughter. “And he sent her away for two months
and she went with her companions and bewailed her virginity upon the
mountains. And it came to pass that at the end of two months that she
returned unto her father who did with her according to the vow which he
had vowed.”[242]

It is suggested by Renan that what probably happened was that Jephthah,
before undertaking a difficult war, sacrificed one of his daughters
according to the barbarous custom put into practice on solemn occasions
when the country was in danger. “Patriarchal deism,” he says, “had
condemned these immolations; Yahwehism with its exclusively national
principle was rather favourable to them. Not many human sacrifices
were offered to God nor to the Elohim. The gods whom they thought to
propitiate by means of human sacrifices were the patriot gods, Camos of
the Moabites, Moloch of the Canaanites, Melqarth of Carthage.”[243]

The coming of David was the triumph of Yahweh over the contending
religions, though, as modern critics have pointed out, there was
little humanitarianism in the semi-barbarous poet. When there was a
three years’ famine in the land it was ascribed to the wrong done the
Gibeonites by Saul and the Gibeonites were allowed to say what should
be the sacrifice to atone for the wrong. The ancient historian records
the fact that they asked that they might be allowed to hang the seven
sons of Saul, and this was done. The sacrifice was asked for by the
Gibeonites and it was for the purpose of ending the famine, but,
incidentally, it enabled David to get rid of those who stood in his

A few hundred years later, in the ninth century, we find the effect of
the sacrifice of the first-born telling on the Israelites even though
at that time it is evident that they themselves have given up human
sacrifice. Jehoram, King of Israel, and Jehosophat, King of Judah,
united to defeat the remarkable King of Moab, Mesha. The combined
forces drove him within his strong fortifications of Kir-Haraseth and
when he found that there was no way of escape, as a last resort:

“He took his eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead,
and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And they [the
Israelites] departed from him and returned to their own land.”

The efficacy of the sacrifice is hereby admitted although it was
offered to Camos and not to Yahweh. The ancient historian says nothing
in extenuation of the effect. Ewald suggests that Yahweh, full of
bitterness[245] against Israel for having driven the King of Moab to
such a deed of fearful bravery, filled the army full of terror. Renan,
however, suggests that though they did not then offer human sacrifices
themselves, the Israelites still had the fullest faith in their
efficacy and retired lest they be defeated.

Coming nearer, to a period that is contemporaneous with that which is
revealed in the excavations at Gezer and Tell Ta’Annek, we have the
direct statement in Kings and Chronicles[246] that Ahaz, the eleventh
King of Judah (about 741 to 725 B. C.), “made his son pass through the
fire.” To gain the aid of Tiglath-Pileser against the Edomites and the
Philistines he became a vassal of the Assyrian monarch and his name
appears among the names of those who acknowledged his sovereignty and
paid tribute.

Manasseh was another King of Judah (697 to 642 B. C.) who sacrificed
his son,[247] emulating Ahaz in this as in other heathenish customs,
increasing the popularity of the foreign gods and causing the streets
of Jerusalem to run with the blood of the prophets whom he put to
death. In every way he tried to make the heathen religions more
acceptable and accessible to the whole nation by providing them with
temples and altars. In addition to sacrificing one of his own sons to
Moloch, he revived that religion on a large scale, building for it
a magnificent burning place (Tophet) in the valley of Hinnom on the
southern wall of Jerusalem. The tortures to which the children were
subjected soon associated themselves in the minds of the pious with
what punishment beyond the grave must be like, so that the name of hell
itself was taken from this valley, Ge-Hinnom.[248]

With the reforms of Josiah we hear no more of such treatment of
children but we must not suppose that while barbarous practices were
going on the prophets had remained silent. The latter day writers
revolted against the entire idea of sacrifice, Hosea declaring: “I
desired mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of Yahweh more than
burnt offerings.”[249] Jeremiah even declared that the Lord had not
commanded the people to sacrifice when they came forth from Egypt:

“For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that
I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or

To Micah, however, it was reserved to express in those early days the
vigorous protest that was to become the ethical keynote of the future

“Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high
God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a
year old?

“Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousand
rivers of oil? Shall I give my first son for my transgression, the
fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord
require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with thy God?”[251]



Of the one remaining tribe of the Semites, a name that has meant so
much to the civilization of the world, it is hardly necessary to offer
a prelude. Coming, however, in the mouth of the defenders of the latest
religion and as the youngest of the Semitic languages, it is necessary
to say of the Arabic language that it is nearer akin than any of the
others to the original archetype, the _Ursemitisch_, from which they
are all derived; “just as the Arabs, by reason of their geographical
situation and the monotonous uniformity of the desert life, have,
in some respects, preserved the Semitic character more purely and
exhibited it more distinctly than any people of the same family.”[252]

Arabic history divides itself into three periods, first the Sabean
and Himyarite period, from 800 B. C., the date of the oldest south
Arabic inscription; second, the Pre-Islamic period, 500 to 622 A.D.;
and third, the Mohammedan period, beginning with the Flight, or Hijra
(or Hegira). Of the first periods the little that we know except the
inscriptions coming to us by tradition is preserved in the Pre-Islamic
poems and the Koran.[253]

The second period is known as the Jahiliyya, or Age of Ignorance or
Barbarism, and, in the ample remnant of the poetry of that day, we are
enabled “to picture the life of those wild days in its larger aspects,
accurately enough.”[254]

The pagan Arabs had long been in the habit of burying their infant
daughters alive, the excuse offered being that it cost too much to
marry them and that their lives were too closely attended with the
possibility of disgrace “if they should happen to be made captives or
to become scandalous by their behaviour.”[255] For these reasons there
was never any disguising the fact that the birth of a daughter was
considered a great misfortune and the death of one a great happiness.

According to one authority, the method employed by the Arabs to get
rid of the female infant was to have the mother who was about to give
birth to a child lie down by a pit when she was about to deliver the
child, and if it was a daughter, it was thrown into the pit without any
more ado.[256]

Another version is that when a daughter was born the father, if he
intended to keep her, would have her clothed in a garment of wool or
hair as an indication that later he intended to have her keep camels or
sheep in the desert. If, on the other hand, he intended to do away with
her, he would allow her to live until she was six years of age, and
then said to her mother:

“Perfume her and adorn her, that I may carry her to her mothers.”

This being done, he led her to a well or pit that had previously been
dug for that purpose, pushed her into it, and then, filling the pit,
levelled it with the rest of the ground. It does not seem that the
latter practice could have been other than rare.

Al Mostatraf is quoted by Sale as saying that these practices were
common throughout Arabia, and that the tribes of Koreish and Kendah
were particularly notorious in this respect. The members of the former
tribe were in the habit of burying their daughters alive in Mount Abu
Dalama, near Mecca.

Among the Pre-Islamitic Arabians, the people of Tamim were noted for
their addiction to this practice and claimed, in after years, that
it was brought about by the action of their chief, Qays, who was a
contemporary of the Prophet. According to this story, Moshamraj the
Yashkorite descended on the camp of Qays and carried off, among other
women, the daughter of the sister of Qays. This captive was assigned to
the son of Moshamraj, and when her uncle appeared to ransom her, she
declined to leave her new-found husband. Qays was so incensed over this
action that, on returning home, he is said to have killed all of his
daughters by burying them alive, and never thereafter allowed another
daughter to live.

During his absence some time later, his wife gave birth to a daughter,
and knowing the feeling of the father she sent the infant to some
relatives to have the child raised in secrecy. When Qays returned home
she told him that she had given birth to a dead child.

Years after, when the child had grown up, she came to visit her mother
and while the two were together they were discovered by Qays.

“I came in,” related Qays himself to Mohammed, “and saw the girl; her
mother had plaited her hair, and put rings in the side locks and strung
them with sea shells and put on a chain of cowries, and given her a
necklace of dried dates. I said:

“‘Who is this pretty girl?’ and her mother wept and said:

“‘She is your daughter’; and told me how she had saved her alive.

“So I waited until the mother ceased to be anxious about her; then I
led her out one day, dug a pit and laid her in it, she crying:

“‘Father, what are you doing with me?’

“Then I covered her up with the earth and still she cried:

“‘Father, are you going to bury me? Are you going to leave me alone
and go away?’ But I went on filling in the earth till I could hear her
cries no longer, and that is the only time that I felt any pity when I
buried a daughter.”[257]

There were others however before Qays who did not take this attitude
toward children. Sa’sa’a, the grandfather of the poet Al-Farazdac,
frequently redeemed female children that were about to be buried alive.
Inasmuch as he too was of the tribe of Tamim his action would indicate
that Qays was not an innovator. In order to save them he was obliged to
buy them off and the price he paid every time was two she-camels, big
with young, and one he-camel.[258]

Boasting of this humane action on the part of his ancestor (who was the
François Villon of his day) Al-Farazdac vauntingly declared one day
before the Khalifs of the family of Omayya:

“I am the son of the giver of life to the dead.”

When he was reproved for this boasting he justified it by quoting the

“He who saveth a soul alive shall be as if he had saved the souls of
all mankind.”[259]

The Aghani explains the practice on the ground of poverty and credits
Sa’sa’a with being the first one to attempt to put an end to the
practice. Thereafter this humane grandparent of a vagabond poet was
known as Muhiyyu’l-Maw’udat, or “He who brings buried girls to life.”
According to the Kamil he saved as many as one hundred and eighty

That infanticide was rare in the desert is the claim made by defenders
of the faith. The following verses are quoted by Lane as going to show
that the Arabs really had a tender feeling toward their women and
their children; and that infanticide, which is commonly attributed
to the whole Arab nation of every age before Islam, was in reality
exceedingly rare in the desert, and after almost dying out only revived
about the time of Mohammed. It was probably adopted by poor and weak
clans, either from inability to support their children, or in order to
protect themselves from the stain of having their children dishonoured
by stronger tribes, and the occasional practice of this barbarous and
suicidal custom affords no ground for assuming an unnatural hatred and
contempt for girls among the ancient Arabs. These verses of a father
to his daughter tell a different story:

  If no Umaymah were there, no want would trouble my soul, no labour call
      me to toil for bread through pitchiest night;
  What moves my longing to live is but that well do I know how low the
     fatherless lies, how hard the kindness of kin.
  I quake before loss of wealth lest lacking fall upon her, and leave her
     shieldless and bare as flesh set forth on a board.
  My life she prays for, and I from mere love pray for her death—yea,
     death, the gentlest and kindest guest to visit a maid.
  I fear an uncle’s rebuke, a brother’s harshness for her; my chiefest
     end was to spare her heart the grief of a word.

Once more, the following lines do not breathe the spirit of infanticide:

  Fortune has brought me down (her wonted way) from station great and
     high to low estate;
  Fortune has rent away my plenteous store: of all my wealth, honour
     alone is left.
  Fortune has turned my joy to tears: how oft did Fortune make me laugh
     with what she gave!
  But for these girls, the Kata’s downy brood, unkindly thrust from door
     to door as hard,
  Far would I roam and wide to seek my bread in earth that has no lack
     of breadth and length;
  Nay, but our children in our midst, what else but our hearts are they
     walking on the ground?
  If but the wind blow harsh on one of them, mine eye says no to slumber
     all night long.[261]

That the custom was deep-rooted when Mohammed arrived on the scene is
evident from the fact that Ozaim the Fazarite, according to Abu Tamman,
when he decided to save his daughter Lacita, had to conceal that fact
from his people, although she was his only child.[262]

Hunger and famine were undoubtedly the main causes of the practice of
getting rid of the female children, although according to Porphyry a
boy was sacrificed at Dumat-al Jandal[263] and other Arabs sacrificed a
virgin annually.

The cannibalistic strain is re-occurring. In the year 378 A.D. a body
of Saracens attacking the Goths before Constantinople gave an example
of this side of the Arabs.

“Both the Goths and the Saracens were parting on equal terms,” says
Ammianus Marcellinus, when “a strange and unprecedented incident gave
the final advantage to the eastern warriors; for one of them with long
hair, naked—with the exception of a covering around his waist,—shouting
a hoarse and melancholy cry, drew his dagger and plunged into the
middle of the Gothic host, and after he had slain an enemy, put his
lips to his throat and sucked his blood. The barbarians [the Goths]
were terrified at this marvellous prodigy and from that time forth when
they proceeded on any enterprise, displayed none of their former and
usual ferocity, but advanced with hesitating steps.”[264]

The last line almost leads one to believe that the wily Arab might have
been impelled not so much by the cannibalistic strain as by cunning and

Procopius, in his account of the wars of Justinian, speaks of the
far-off Saracens as anthropophagous,[265] and according to one
Arabian authority at Medina they licked the blood of the man who had
been killed in blood revenge. Another custom coming undoubtedly from
cannibalistic times is the vow of the mother to drink wine from the
skull of the slayer of her son.[266]

These were the conditions that Mohammed undoubtedly ended by his

“Come, I will rehearse that which your Lord hath forbidden ye; that
is to say that ye be not guilty of idolatry and that ye show kindness
to your parents and that ye murder not your children for fear lest ye
be reduced to poverty: we will provide for you and them; and draw not
near unto heinous crimes, neither openly nor in secret slay the soul
which God hath forbidden you to slay unless for a just cause.”[267]

This, Jalal-ad-din says, was revealed at Medina:

“By God, ye shall surely be called to account for that which ye have
falsely devised. They attributed daughters unto God but unto themselves
children of the sex which they desire. And when any of them is told
the news of the birth of a female, his face becometh black, and he is
deeply afflicted: he hideth himself from the people, because of the ill
tidings which have been told him; considering within himself whether
he shall keep it with disgrace, or whether he shall bury it in the

And again he says: “Kill not your children for fear of being brought
to want: we will provide for them and for you: verily, killing them is
a great sin.” And finally he says: “When the sun shall be folded up;
and when the stars shall fall; and when the mountains shall be made
to pass away; and when the camels ten months gone with young shall be
neglected; and when the wild beasts shall be gathered together; and
when the seas shall boil; and when the souls shall be joined again to
their bodies; and when the girl who hath been buried alive shall be
asked for what crime she was put to death.”[269]

Wherever the Arab went, he carried his religion and his law. And,
bloodthirsty as he was in war, it is to his credit that much was
done to check infanticide wherever the Mussulman reigned. The extent
to which the law on children was regulated by the Arabs at a time
when Europe was in darkness may be seen in “Al Hidaya,” by Shaykh
Burhan-ad-din Ali, who died A.H. 591 and was, according to his
contemporaries, a distinguished author on jurisprudence.

The Hidaya consists of extracts from a number of the great works
on Mussulman jurisprudence in which the authorities on different
opinions are set forth together with reasons for preferring any one
adjudication.[270] In this work an entire book is devoted to the
_Laqeets_, which, it is explained, signified, in the primitive sense,
anything lifted from the ground, but later came to mean an abandoned
child, and, in the law of the Arab, had come to mean a child that had
been cast out from fear of poverty or for other reasons.[271]

Here it is stated that, when the finder sees a _Laqeet_ under
circumstances which suppose that if it is not taken up it may perish,
it is not only praiseworthy to adopt a child, but it is incumbent.

Coming centuries after Christ, it is noteworthy to observe that
Mohammed was able to instil into his followers such humane doctrines as
the freedom of the foundling and its maintenance from the funds drawn
from the public treasury at a time when the Christians of Europe were
groping vainly as to the proper treatment of infants.

“A foundling is free,” says the Shaykh Burhan-ad-din Ali, “because
freedom is a quality originally inherent in man; and the Mussulman
territory in which the infant is found is a territory of freemen,
whence it is also free: moreover, freemen, in a Mussulman territory,
abound more than slaves, whence the foundling is free, as the smaller
number is dependent to the greater.”[272]

Christian philosophy offers few more striking mixtures of humanity and
democracy. It was also the law when the foundling was to be maintained,
the expense of bringing up the child was to be paid out of the public
treasury, and in favor of this law the opinion of Omar was cited. A
very good reason given for this was that “where the foundling dies
without heirs, his estate goes to the public treasury.”

The person who took up the foundling was known as a _Multaqit_ and it
was the law of that day that the _Multaqit_ could not exact any return
from the foundling on account of maintenance except where he had been
ordered by the magistrate to bring up the foundling at its own expense,
in which case the maintenance “is a debt upon the foundling, because,
the magistrate’s authority being absolute, he is empowered to exact the
return from the foundling.”[273]

According to Al-Quduri,[274] this was the proper thing to do as the
letting out was regarded as conducive to the education of the _Laqeet_.
In the Jami Saghir the hiring out of the foundling was opposed on the
ground that the _Multaqit_ had no right to turn the faculties of his
foundling to his own advantage. The opinion of Shaykh Burhan-ad-din Ali
was that Al-Quduri was right and that the child did gain by being let

In Al-Siyar there is given a specific injunction that children must not
be slain:

“It does not become Mussulmans to slay women or children or men that
are aged, bed-ridden, or blind, because opposition and fighting are
the only occasions which make slaughter allowable (according to our
doctors), and such persons are incapable of these.”[275]

In the minute instructions in regard to divorce, much care is given as
to the disposition of a child. Where the husband and wife separate, the
law was that the child went with the mother, and this was based on a
decision of the Prophet.

“It is recorded that a woman once applied to the prophet, saying ‘O,
prophet of God! this is my son, the fruit of my womb, cherished in my
bosom and suckled at my breast, and his father is desirous of taking
him away from me into his own care’; to which the prophet replied,
‘Thou hast a right in the child prior to that of thy husband, so long
as thou dost not marry with a stranger.’”[276]

If the mother of an infant died, the right of _Hidana_, or infant
education, rested with the maternal grandmother. So deeply was this
idea imbued that even if the mother were a hated _Zimmi_ or female
infidel subject, married to a Mussulman, she was still entitled to the
_Hidana_ of her child until the time when the child was capable of
forming a judgment with respect to religion. When such a time arrived
the child was generally taken from the mother if she continued to be
an infidel, in order that no injury might come to it from imbibing the
doctrines of a _Zimmi._



That the people of the greatest nation of antiquity, with all their
intellect, their subtlety, their productivity in humanity, art, and
moral ideas, were wanting in heart, is the statement of one of the
greatest scholars of modern times, a scholar who has also earned the
right to be classed among the admirers and defenders of the Greeks.

“Their humanity,” says Mahaffy, “was spasmodic and not constant. Their
kindness was limited to friends and family, and included no chivalry
to foes or to helpless slaves. Antiphon, in speaking of the danger of
conviction on insufficient evidence, mentions the case of the murder of
his master by a slave boy of twelve,”[277] and had not the slave-boy
murderer revealed by his actions the fact that he was guilty of the
deed, the murdered man’s whole family would have been put to death on
the theory that someone in the family was guilty of the murder, as the
real culprit was too young, under the law, to be suspected of crime.

The Greek’s kindness did not extend to his new-born children. We
shall see later among the Romans that, from the time of Romulus to
the passing of the Roman Empire, there was an upward tendency in the
attitude of the Romans toward children. In eight centuries, the Romans
changed, from a people indifferent to the fate of the newly-born, to a
nation over which the humane Antonines ruled, and ruled successfully.

Among the Greeks, from the time of Homeric legend, which is supposed to
be about 1000 B. C., up to the time of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, a period
of over a thousand years, the Greeks changed not at all in callous
indifference as to what became of that portion of their population that
was daily exposed. Ardent defenders of the Greeks, like Andrew Lang,
see in the fact that little mention is made in the Homeric legend of
the exposure of female infants, an indication that “Homeric society
with its wealth and its tenderness of heart would not be so cruel” as
to expose little girl babies.[278]

Homer says little of children and the only child to appear directly in
the action of the Iliad is the infant son of Hector and Andromache.
“When Andromache meets Hector as he is hurrying to the field of battle,
the nurse accompanying her carries in her arms the merry-hearted child,
whom Hector called Scamandrius, but the rest called him Astyanax
(Defender of the City), for Hector alone defended Ilium.’”[279] It is
true that there is no example of exposure in Homer, though Hephaistos
says his mother Hera desired to conceal him because he was lame.[280]

But why one should expect a tenderness contrary to the history of
the race is difficult to imagine, especially in view of the picture
Achilles offers, as he drags the slain Hector about the walls of Troy
to the lamentations of the dead man’s father and mother.

Wherever there was a Greek colony we have a story of the exposure of
some god or hero. Greek mythology might also be said to have had,
as one of its foundations, the right of the parent to reject its
offspring. The Dorians of Crete pictured even mighty Jove as a victim
of this practice, and as being suckled by a goat. He was taken as soon
as he was born, to Lystus first, the most ancient city of Crete, and

“Hid in a deep cave, ’neath the recesses of the divine earth in the
dense and wooded Ægean mount.”[281]

Among the Mantineians it was said that when Rhea brought forth
Poseidon she delivered him “in a sheep cote to be brought up among the

Among the Lemnians, Hephaistos was supposed to have been exposed,[283]
as was the Dionysus of the Etolians and the Thracians.

In Epidaurus it is said that Coronis, when she gave birth to
Æsculapius, “exposed the infant on that mountain which at present they
call Titthion, but which was before denominated Myrtion; the name of
the mountain being changed, because the infant was suckled by one of
those goats which fed upon the mountain.”[284]

In Argos, when Crotopos reigned, a grandson was born to him, but the
infant’s mother, fearing the wrath of her father, “exposed the child to
perish. In consequence of this, it happened that the infant was torn to
pieces by the dogs that guarded the royal cattle.”[285]

In Arcadia, Auge, when she was delivered of Telephus, “concealed him in
the mountain Parthenion, and he was there suckled by a hind.”[286]

In his disappointment at not having a son born to him, Jasus had the
Arcadian Atalanta exposed on the Parthenian hill[287]; the ancestor
of all the Athenians, Ion, and the founders of Thebes, Amphion, and
Zethus, were exposed on the same Mount Citharion where Œdipus was
exposed. Amphion afterward married Niobe and their twelve children,
six boys and six girls, were killed by Apollo.[288]

Perhaps we can best judge the attitude of the Homeric Greeks toward
children by the later point of view of the flower of Greek intellect.
There is not a line in Plato to indicate that the practices we regard
as so reprehensible were at all abhorrent to him. In fact, there are
passages that would indicate that he not only regarded infanticide as
inevitable, but as unobjectionable; and in any case, the incidental
references to the practices of his day show that the matter was one
that had given him no concern and had not disturbed his philosophic
calm. Thus, Plato has Socrates say in the _Theætetus_[289]:

“Then this child, however he may turn out, which you and I have with
difficulty brought into the world. And now that he is born, we must
run round the hearth with him, and see whether he is worth rearing,
or is only a wind-egg and a sham. Is he to be reared in any case, and
not exposed? or will you bear to see him rejected, and not get into a
passion if I take away your first-born?”

And in another place, Socrates emphasizes not the sacredness of the
life of the child, but the material advantages that accrued to its

“Must we not then, first of all, ask whether there is any one of us who
has knowledge of that about which we are deliberating? If there is,
let us take his advice, though he be one only, and not mind the rest;
if there is not, let us seek further counsel. Is this a slight matter
about which you and Lysimachus are deliberating? Are you not risking
the greatest of your possessions? For children are your riches; and
upon their turning out well or ill depends the whole order of their
father’s house.”

Is it true that, aside from the laws of Gortyna, which were excavated
in 1884 on the island of Crete,[291] and the injunctions of Lycurgus,
as given to us by Plutarch, we have no positive declaration as to
the attitude of the legislator in reference to children; but what is
lacking in positive legislation is made up by the plethora of literary
allusions, going to show a condition singularly heartless. It is
interesting to note that the laws of Gortyna, which represent a period
of civilization about 500 years before Christ, are not as humane as
the law ascribed to Romulus by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, though the
Greek laws are those of a people supposedly more civilized than the
tribes then beginning their history on the Capitoline Hill. There was a
prohibition in the first law ascribed to Romulus: and the extent of the
law, as far as we may presume to judge it, was to urge caution on the
people who were about to destroy their offspring. Under the Roman law,
all children were to be kept for a short time at least, this limiting
the power of the father to kill, whereas the law of Gortyna emphasized
the power of the father in the matter of the life and death of the
child; in one specific instance, it gives the mother direct permission
to do away with the infant.

“If a woman bear a child,” so ran the Cretan laws, “while living apart
from her husband (after divorce), she shall carry it to the husband at
his house, in the presence of three witnesses; and if he do not receive
the child, it shall be in the power of the mother either to bring up or
expose it. If a female serf bear a child while living apart, she shall
carry it to the master of the man who married her, in the presence of
two witnesses. And if he do not receive it, the child shall be in the
power of the master of the female serf. But, if she should marry the
same man again before the end of the year, the child shall be in the
power of the master of the male serf, and the one who carried it and
the witnesses shall have preference in taking the oath. If a woman
living apart should put away her child before she has presented it as
written, she shall pay, for a free child, fifty staters, for a slave,
twenty-five, if she be convicted.

“But if the man have no house, to which she may carry it, or she do not
see him, if she put away her child, there shall be no penalty. If a
female serf should conceive and bear without being married, the child
shall be in the power of the master of the father.”[292]

In prehistoric times, the chief of the _yevos_ exercised his right
of domain over his own house, by deciding whether children should be
brought up or exposed. The reason back of this practice was undoubtedly
economic: “the fact of yesterday is the doctrine of today,” says Junius.

The Hellenes in their attitude toward children were as all the Aryan
people, and, with few exceptions, as most primitive people where moral
ideas had little developed; the right of the male parent to kill his
child if he so willed is, with variations, a relic of the Stone Age.

Among the Greeks, the practice was well established, for, wherever we
find a Greek colony, the traditions of the people show that either a
notable human or some mythical god began his history with the story of

At Athens infanticide was especially common. Aristophanes refers to
it in a way that shows it was an accepted practice. The first poet of
humanity, Euripides, dwells at great length, in the story of Ion, on
the exposure of an infant toward the end of the fifth century; and in
“The Phœnician Maidens,” he has Jocasta tell the story of the exposure
of Œdipus[293]:

Enter Jocasta.

    ... and when our babe was born,
  Ware of his sin, remembering God’s word,
  He gave the bane to herdmen to cast forth
  In Hera’s Mead upon Cithæron’s ridge,
  His ankles pierced clear through with iron spikes,
  Whence Hellas named him Swell-foot—Œdipus.

  But Polybus’ horse-tenders found him there,
  And bare him home, and in their mistress’ hands
  Laid. To my travail’s fruit she gave her breast,
  Telling her lord herself had borne the babe.
  Now, grown to man with golden-bearded cheeks,
  My son, divining, or of someone told,
  Journeyed, resolved to find his parents, forth
  To Phœbus’ fane. Now Laius my lord,
  Seeking assurance of the babe exposed,
  If he were dead, fared thither.

In the fourth century B. C., the favourite figure in the comedy of the
day was the child that had been exposed and saved, and afterwards
found by its parents. Terence and Plautus afterward used this theme
frequently, and undoubtedly their comedies were all borrowed from the
Greek. Strange as it may seem in the cultured and refined city of
Athens with its great philosophers and its wonderful art, the object of
jest was a starving and dying infant. Glotz, in discussing the motives
of this frequent exposure of infants in Athens, ascribed to the shame
of young women an initiatory prominence. Viewing the subject more
broadly, however, we know that shame really plays a minor part.

More frequently than not, the exposure of the infant was ordered by the
male parent. It was a live question, current and customary, that the
father was obliged to face every time a child was born: would he raise
it or would he expose it? As with all primitive peoples, the child was
his absolute property.[294] On the fifth day, the Amphidromia took
place. If one interprets literally the passage in the _Theætetus_ of
Plato, one must conclude that this ceremony for receiving an infant
into the house was rigorously followed out in all cases, and that
before the altar of Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, the father
finally decided and proclaimed whether he intended to keep the child
and protect it, or to abandon it. On the other hand, a father who did
not wish to recognize his child probably needed no preliminary ceremony
for such a decision; if it was decided to abandon it, there was
probably no Amphidromia.

Doubt as to the paternity of the child, to judge by the history
and literature of the times, was of frequent occurrence and this
usually led to exposure. Agis, King of Sparta, refused to recognize
Leotychides, a son born of his wife.[295] In the _Hecyra_ of Terence,
the Athenian Pamphile does not wish to serve as father to an infant
of another. Perseria, “having viewed at an amorous crisis a statue of
Andromeda,” conceals her infant from her husband.[296] At Gortyna, the
divorced woman had to present her son to her former husband; if that
man did not take it, then the woman had her choice between nourishing
it or exposing it. In most cases, the disavowal of paternity meant the
exposure of the infant.

But the mere fact that the legitimacy of the child was incontestable
did not save it; many Greeks were discouraged by the thought of the
care and trouble children necessitated. Thousands of these little ones
seem to have been resented by the Athenians, with what Glotz calls
“_singulière vivacité_.”[297] With the intensive and complete education
necessary for those reared, some children had to be sacrificed to so
complicated and burdensome an enterprise.

“No,” says a character in Menander, “there is nothing unfortunate in
being a father, unless one is the father of many children.”

“Nothing more foolish than to have children,” says a Greek proverb. “To
raise children is an uncertain thing,” said the philosopher Democritus;
“success is attained only after a life of battle and disquietude. Their
loss is followed by a sorrow which remains above all others.”

It was not necessary to have children, reasoned the nimble-minded
Athenians; many who wished both tranquillity and posterity adopted a
young man whose education was already complete. The greater number of
exposures should not be attributed, however, to this excessive love of
tranquillity. The principal objection to children was their expense.
For the daughter, it was necessary to prepare a _dot_: for boys, there
was the expense of an education prolonged until they were sixteen or
eighteen years of age. The latter imposed the opening of an account not
easy to close.

“I thought my family now large enough,” says the father of Daphnis in
explaining to the new-found son why it was he was exposed.[298]

“Sons of the very rich,” said Plato, “who commence to frequent schools
at a very early age and leave them late”—the rich themselves did not
wish to bring up too many sons to such an expensive life. The rich
father of Daphnis considered a son and a daughter a large family.

At a pinch, the Athenians would undertake to bring up a first child,
but, as a rule, the second was condemned. It was not for themselves,
alone, that this was done, they claimed: it was also for their children
that the heads of the Greek families dreaded poverty. The direct
transmission and equal partition of property among the male children
was part of the Greek law, and a fair-sized estate, if broken into
many parts, made small provision for many children. Hesiod wished for
a single son _par famille_: “Let there be only one son to tend his
father’s house: for so shall wealth increase in the dwelling.”[299] And
Theognis reproached the citizens for having no other ideal than to bury
away treasures for their children. Even in later times, Xenophon speaks
of the paternal foresight that led to continual worrying over the care
of children yet to be born.

It was Diphilus, or Menander, who found in the reality of the Greek
life and communicated it to the author of the _Adelphi_, this counsel
addressed to the father: “Manage, pinch, and save, to leave them (your
sons) as much as you can.”[300]

But it was not only the poor who found exposure expedient, although
they had an excuse; they “had not the heart to leave their misery to
their progeny like a grave and dolorous malady.”

To a philosopher of the first century after Christ, it appeared as the
greatest scandal, however, that a number of fathers “who did not have
the excuse of poverty, who were well off and even opulent, should dare
to refuse food to the puny infants in order to enrich their elders,
should dare to kill their brothers in order that the living might have
the greater patrimony.”[301]

This was indeed the Greek excuse or explanation—some of the children
had to be sacrificed that others might be raised. The head of a Greek
family, if asked why he had exposed some of his children, would have
probably answered in the words of the Scythian Anacharsis, “Because I
love the children I have.” This was the principal reason alleged by
the Greeks for exposing their progeny on the highways, and the father
of Daphnis, when he reclaims him, admits this to the son he had

In the religious and social ideas of the ancients, the female child was
of little importance—a son alone perpetuating the race. The daughter
was hardly a member of the family in which she was born, from the day
of her birth until the day she was married. On that day, she passed
into the possession of her husband and became his, body and soul. Up to
the time she was married, she was in charge of her parents: after that
time, she did not even exist for them.

On the contrary, it was a sacred duty to bring up a boy. To raise one,
was to provide against all possible trouble; whereas a girl was an
expensive luxury, a sacrifice for which there was no compensation, and
for this reason, in the legend, the father of Atalanta refused to bring
up his daughter.

“Do you remember,” asks Sostrata of her husband in the
_Heautontimorumenos_, “me being pregnant, and yourself declaring to me,
most peremptorily, that if I should bring forth a girl, you would not
have it brought up?”[303] Thus it was that Antiphili, although of good
family, was exposed by order of her mother.

One has but to read the fragments of the new comedy to see how the
Greeks plainly preferred boys, and under what various artifices they
disclosed their dislike to girl children.

Half of the _Florilegium_ of Stobius is composed of extracts under the
title—“How much better are male children.” In the first rank, he cites
Euripides, and after him the authors of the new comedy, Menander at the
head. Posidippus indicated crudely the rule of conduct adopted by most
Athenians: “The son is brought up even if one is poor: the daughter is
exposed, even if one is rich.”



The Greeks who exposed their children hoped, as a rule, they might
possibly be saved by others and precautions were frequently taken to
this end. The gruesome task of doing away with the infant was generally
entrusted to a slave or to a midwife, who were willing, apparently, to
undertake many services.[304] The time usually chosen was early in the
day, inasmuch as the child would perish if it passed the entire night
without attracting attention.

The lexicographers and the scholiasts of the time speak of children
being left in deserted places. In the “golden days,” they were placed
where they could be seen. There is evidence that the most frequented
places were the most popular—the hippodromes, the entrances to the
temples, and the sacred grottoes, where they would be most in evidence.
A watch was kept on the place or it was revisited, in order to be sure
of the fate of the infant.

Care was usually taken to wrap the child up carefully. When Laymonde,
the shepherd, discovered Daphnis, the child was being suckled by a
goat. “Struck with natural astonishment, he advances closer to the spot
and discovers a lusty and handsome male child with far richer swathing
clothes than suited its fortune in being thus exposed; for its little
mantle was of fine purple, and fastened by a golden clasp; and it had a
little sword with a hilt of ivory.”[305]

The jests of Aristophanes show that more often children were exposed
in large copper pots with two handles, called _kutrai_ (κυτρἀι). The
Athenians had been in the habit of making sacrifices to some of their
divinities in these _kutrai_, and it is likely that when children were
first abandoned, they were placed in these receptacles that they might
invoke the protection of the immortals. Recent excavations at Gezer and
Tell Ta’Andkk show children were sacrificed in a similar way.


Various objects were placed with the child when it was so exposed.
Creusa, the daughter of Erectheus, King of Athens, when she exposed
Ion, the son whom she had secretly borne to Apollo, “observant of the
customs of her great progenitors,” in addition to leaving with him what
ornaments she had, also added:

  A branch of olive then I wreathed around thee,
  Plucked from that tree which from Minerva’s rock
  First sprung; if it be there it still retains
  Its verdure; for the foliage of that olive,
  Fresh in immortal beauty, never fades.[306]

This, and the sacred bandelettes, were always the symbols of

This final act of maternal affection, characteristic of both the human
and the barbaric side of Greek parents, became, in time, a widespread
custom. When the child was exposed, there was generally placed
alongside of it a small basket or collection of trinkets. The royal
daughter of Erechtheus attached to the neck of her son many precious
ornaments, including a serpent of massive gold. The shepherd Laymonde
found on Daphnis a clasp of gold and a small ivory sword. Among the
very poor, hand-made collars, shoulder straps, with various trinkets of
little worth, were used to mark the infant.

In all this, dramatists saw but a means to establish the identity
of the hero and heroine and an assistance to the _dénouement_. The
ceremony, with its pathos and its strangeness, was, to tragic as well
as to comic writers, but a means to end the fifth act. The pity of it
all never seems to have occurred to the Greek mind.

It was rare that the father or the child-mother who renounced the
infant had any real desire to find it when better days came. The real
wish was that the child might be taken up by some stranger before death
came and the trinkets were an inducement to befriend the child.

If, on the other hand, the child should die, the feeling was that these
ornaments would assure for it a happy life on the other side of the

For this reason the favoured objects of mothers were amulets; and,
as in the case of the serpent placed around the neck of Ion, Creusa
hoped to invoke the aid of Minerva, who had guarded her ancestor,
Erichthonius, with two dragons; the object being to watch over the
child’s existence. These gewgaws were supposed to give the infant
exposed all the rights of a suppliant.

As to how far these ceremonies of supplication were successful, as to
how far they commended the unfortunate infant to the public, is a grave
question. From the religious and literary myths one might imagine that
the greater number of the infants were saved. We read of Hephaistus,
nourished by the Sintians or by Thetis; of Atalanta by a bear; of Zeus
and Dionysos, nursed by the nymphs; the shepherds found and received
Telephus, Amphion, and Œdipus; Ion, by a priestess, and Sirus, by a

Greek artists frequently show a Satyr holding in his arms a newly-born
that he had found on the road.

Poets of the new comedy delight to represent their heroes, or, more
frequently, their heroines, as people who had gone through the trial
of exposure and were raised by either courtesans, shepherds, or
innkeepers. It is in this way that Menander, among others, shows us
Silenium growing up in the house of Melænis to whom she has been given
by the evil woman who picked her up[307]; Casina treated as a daughter
by the brave Cleostrata.[308]

Longus, in this way, brings Daphnis and Chloë into the cabin of a

But these examples prove little about the actual conditions, only going
to show the facility of the writers of the time, and Glotz suggests
that these scenes flattered the Athenians, who liked to think of
themselves as a philanthropic people.

Apparently, the first impulse when a child was found was to ignore it,
for the attitude of Athenian society was probably well expressed by
Longus when he said:

“Those who seek paternity are many.”

In fact, the author of _Daphnis and Chloë_ says that when Daphnis was
first seen by the shepherd being suckled by a goat, “Laymonde (the
shepherd) resolved to leave it to its fate, and to carry off only
the tokens; but feeling afterward ashamed at the reflection, that in
doing so he should be inferior in humanity, even to a goat, he waited
for the approach of night and then carried home the infant with the

Old Megacles, the father of Chloë, in the same story seeks to excuse
himself for having exposed his daughter, by a number of bad reasons:
he did not have the means, it was a moment of weakness, he hoped that
the nymphs would take pity on the child: and then, there were so
many people who did not have children, etc. The most interesting of
his reasons, however, is the statement that he had spent his fortune
equipping theatrical choruses!

As a rule, when adoption did take place it was not for the benefit of
the child. In many instances, those who wished to adopt a son waited
and adopted a grown-up one so as not to have the trouble and expense of
educating him.

As set forth in the plays, it was apparently not infrequent that
a courtesan sought to attach a lover, or a wife a husband who was
slipping away from her, by adopting a child and passing it off as her
own. It was to this subterfuge that Silenium, in the _Cistellaria_ of
Plautus, owes her life. Speaking of the incident, the Procuress in the
play, says:

“But once upon a time, that girl (Silenium) who has gone hence in
tears, from a lane I carried her off a little child exposed.... I made
a present of her to my friend, this courtesan, who had made mention of
it to me that somewhere I must find for her a boy or a girl, just born,
that she herself might pass it off as her own.

“As soon as ever the opportunity befell me I immediately granted her
request in that which she had asked me. After she had received this
female child from me, she at once was brought to bed of the same female
child which she had received from me.... She said that her lover was a

It is hardly likely, however, that many courtesans in real life were
willing to be so encumbered, and perhaps, as Demosthenes says, this
was only the sort of thing one “sees in tragedies,” like the fatal and
convenient malady described by Heine as a sort of “fifth act sickness.”

That the substitution of foundlings and exposed children was frequent
in Greece is evident, however, from the many plays bearing this name.
Cratinus the younger was the author of a piece called _The Substituted
Child_ [ὑποβολιμάιος], and the title was also used by Menander.
Athenæus quotes from a play by Alexis entitled _The Suppositious
Child_[311] and from one by Epinicus called the _Suppositious
Damsels_ [ὑποβολλομενᾶι] and from[312] another by Crobylus called the
_Pseudo-Suppositious Child_ (_Falsus suppositus_).[313]

In the Thesmophoriazusæ, Aristophanes depicts the father of Euripides,
Mnesilochus, as making a tactless defence of his son-in-law at the
festival of Thesmophoria by abusing the very women he would placate.

“And I know another woman,” he says “who for ten days said she was in
labour, till she purchased a little child while her husband went about
purchasing drugs for a quick delivery. But the child an old woman
brought in a pot with its mouth stopped with honeycomb that it might
not squall. Then, when she that carried it nodded, the wife immediately
cried out: ‘Go away, husband, go away, for methinks that I shall be
immediately delivered.’ For the child kicked against the bottom of the
pot. And he ran off delighted, while she drew out the stoppage from the
bottle and it cried out. And then the abominable old woman who brought
the child, runs smiling to the husband, and says: ‘A lion has been born
to you, a lion; your very image, in all other respects whatever, and
its nose is like yours, being crooked like an acorn cup.’”[314]

That there was a class of people who looked on children in the light of
good or bad bargains we must assume from the certainly serious words
of Demosthenes in his oration against Midias. In his attack on his
physical assailant, Demosthenes says that the real mother of Midias was
a wise woman because she got rid of him as soon as he was born, whereas
the woman who adopted him was a foolish woman because she made a bad

“And why?” asks the orator, “because the one sold him as soon as he was
born, while the other, when she might have obtained a better for the
same price, bought Midias.”

Ion,[315] when he meets his father for the first time and learns that
he had been exposed, congratulates himself on having escaped slavery,
indicating that in all probability the majority of children saved after
they had been exposed by their parents were saved by the professional
slave dealers. The general view, however, was that children were cheap,
Xenophon,[316] declaring that “good slaves when they had children
generally become still better disposed, but bad ones increase their
power to do mischief.”

Only in two instances as far as we know did the law of the Greeks reach
out to protect the child against the destroying whim of the parent.
According to Ælian[317] the Thebans were not allowed to expose their
children or leave them in a wilderness under the pain of death. If the
father were extremely poor, the child, whether male or female, had
to be brought to the magistrate in its swaddling clothes, and there
delivered to some person who would agree to bring up the child and
when it was grown up, take it into service and have the benefit of its
labour in return for its education.

As to the other instance of the law protecting the child it has been
truly said that all that Lycurgus did was to insist that all “fit”
children should be raised.

“If,” says Plutarch,[318] “they (the Spartans) found it puny and
ill-shaped, they ordered it to be taken to what was called the
Apothetæ, a sort of chasm under Taygetus, as thinking it neither for
the good of the child itself, nor for the public interest, that it
should be brought up, if it did not from the very outset, appear made
to be healthy and vigorous.”

And this was the most “protecting” move of the ancient Greeks.



It is interesting to think that what might be called the legal
movement which fructified in the United States, in the latter half of
the nineteenth century, had its beginning in the eighth century B. C.
in Rome; it is doubly interesting that legend ascribes to Romulus
the first interest in what can conservatively be called the child
protection movement.

Like all other lawmakers—even legendary ones—especially those who
sought to prepare and safeguard their states for and against hostile
neighbours, the first concern of the founder of Rome was a strong
nation; and a strong nation meant necessarily as many adult males
in good health and physical condition as possible. Soldiers were
more important than other human beings; in this the supposed founder
followed the spirit of his time and the standard of his age of

According to the legend, Romulus, having made peace with the Sabines
and become the king of both people on the death of Tatius, was bent on
making the new city impregnable, working out a system of government
that, in the mind of the historian, was worthy of “a man of great
military accomplishments, personal courage and extremely capable of
instituting the most perfect sort of government.”[319]

To the end that there might be as perfect a fighting machine as
possible, Romulus pledged his people to bring up all males except those
who were lame or monstrous from birth. To the same end, and according
to the same authority, he pledged them to bring up the first-born of
the females—and in this he acted purely in the spirit of the time and
as the founder of a warlike race. Personal interest may be conceded,
inasmuch as he would have been the victim of the practice of exposing
children had his uncle Amulius had his way.[320]

In his introduction to the _Institutes of Justinian_,[321] Sandars
declares that Roman law will be better understood if those interested
will apprehend the distinction between the contribution of Romulus
and the tribe of Ramnes, who dwelt on the Palatine Hill, and the
contribution of Numa and the Titienses who dwelt on the Capitoline and
the Quirinal. The two races combined to make a united society, the
Ramnes bringing distinct ideas of public law and, in the dimmest days
of history, presenting the features of a carefully organized polity.
“When the tribe went out to war it did not conquer lands for the
benefit of individuals, but for the whole people.”[322]

The Titienses, or Quirites, on the other hand, were of Sabine
extraction. To them are traceable the private law, and, what is of
interest to us, the peculiar notions of the family and of property. The
great peculiarity of the Sabine law, or as it was called by the Latin
writers, the _jus_ Quirium, was the form of the _manus_—the hand. The
_manus_ was the conqueror’s sign of conquest, or rather the insignia of
the freebooter; all he laid hand upon became absolutely his; he could
deal with it as he pleased. All that his wife and children had, also
belonged to him, to be done with as he willed—even their lives. This
was the Sabine contribution to what afterward became “Roman Law,” when
the Sabine tribes of the Capitoline Hill and the Ramnes tribe of the
Palatine united to form the city of Rome.

Nowhere in law or history is there so interesting a duality as this
origin of Rome and the Roman law, and no single custom arising as it
did, has affected civilization as strangely and so widely. To think of
a tribe living at Fleet Street super-imposing a law on a tribe living
at Westminster, or a clan having its habitat in Wall Street grafting
a law upon a people fortressed and buttressed in Madison Square
Garden—taking either section of London or New York as an example of
the extent of the Rome of that day—it seems impossible that such a law,
thus accepted, should become the law of the world, and remain so for

This power of the Roman father over the very lives of his children was
called the _patria potestas_ and nowhere else in a civilized community
was there anything like it.[323] He had the power to sell his children,
he had the power to mutilate them, he had the power to kill them; and
it is because there is evident first, in the laws ascribed to Romulus,
an intention to abate that power, not only for military purposes but
for what we would now call humane reasons, that I have referred to
the first Roman lawmaker as an innovator along lines which have been
historically neglected.

It matters little whether or not the Romulus of Plutarch and Dionysius
existed; it does matter that the human note was in the laws of his
time, and that citizens of the new city were enjoined not only to bring
up all healthy male children—and at least one female child—but that all
children must be allowed to live _until they were three years old_,
unless they were lame or monstrous.

Surely here was the beginning of some recognition of the rights of
children. Even the lame and the monstrous in the eyes of this early
lawgiver had some rights, for it was further decreed that parents in
doing away with them must act not entirely on their own judgment.

“These (the lame and monstrous infants) he allowed their parents to
expose, provided they first showed them to five of their neighbours
and these also approved of it, and besides other penalties he punished
those who disobeyed this law with the confiscation of half their

It may be contended perhaps that we are giving high attributes to one
who is not much more than a mythical person, but no other explanation
of the law of Romulus is offered than that already referred to in

Despite the credit given to Numa Pompilius, by both Plutarch and
Gibbon, Romulus gains by the comparison, although Numa amended one of
the laws of Romulus in the matter of the right of a father to control a
son up to the point of being able to sell him as a slave.[325]

“If a father gives his son leave to marry a woman who, by law, is
to partake of his sacrifices and fortunes, he shall no longer have
power of selling his son”—such was the amendment of Numa for which
Plutarch commends the Sabine lawmaker; but in amending the law of
Romulus permitting a father to sell his children, the second king of
Rome was actuated by the idea of making it attractive for the young
women to marry; doubtless he was having no easy time in eradicating the
differences between the two warlike tribes first brought together under
his predecessor. Lessening the power of the parents, as he did in the
most material degree,[326] it was for the purpose of general polity and
the accomplishment of his own harmonious designs, rather than for what
I like to call, even in that early day, humanitarian reasons. There
was no consideration of the child, or the female as such in Numa’s
amendment. His object was to make marriages more desirable that there
might be more _male_ Romans.[327]

As a matter of fact, declaration of the power of the father over
the women and children of his family was nothing more on the part
of Romulus than the codification of the laws of the past, with the
softening provisos to which I have already referred. The power of the
father to imprison, scourge, or sell his son for a slave, or put him
to death, was not lessened even when that son had risen to the highest
honours of the State, as we shall see later.

Expulsion of the kings and the establishment of the Republic is dated
B. C. 509, some two hundred and fifty years after the reputed founding
of the city. With this stern period begins a series of thrilling
examples of the use made of the _patria potestas_—stories that in
themselves show how the power of the father extended over the life
of the child, even when the child had become a man, and that man had
been honoured by the State as was Cassius Viscellinus. The latter,
although a tribune of the people and the author of the first Agrarian
Law, was tried in the house of his own father, who, after having him
whipped, “commanded him to be put to death and his estate consecrated
to Ceres.”[328]

That there was little progress made in the next great step in the
history of Roman law, by which of course one refers to the adoption of
the laws of the Twelve Tables, was because those laws were practically
the codification of the ancient customary law of the people, despite
the story that the patricians dispatched three commissioners to Athens
to bring home a copy of the laws of Solon. Acrid political fights,
uncertain and sometimes corrupt administration of the law, led to the
commission empowered to draw up what afterward became the Twelve Tables
and the foundation of the whole fabric of the Roman law.

As the laws of the Twelve Tables represented the earliest fight against
privilege, it would be too much to expect that they should contain any
amelioration of the statute which gave the father the right to sell
or kill his children. Even the language of the laws, in the fragments
which have come down to us, shows in rugged, concise, and sternly
imperative style that the law gained the respect in which it eventually
came to be held, by no soft or easy methods.[329]

“If the complainant summon the defendant before the magistrate, he
shall go; if he do not go, the plaintiff may call a bystander to
witness, and take him by force;” this is the first section of the first
paragraph of the laws of the Twelve Tables.

Where there was so much sternness, and where every family was presided
over by a parent who had the right to inflict death as a punishment for
disobedience, the disciplinary attitude of the Roman mind naturally
became such, no matter what it had been in the beginning, that tender
or human emotions had but little place. It is not surprising therefore
that the one extract of the laws of the Twelve Tables, relating to our
subject, should deal curiously, abruptly, and sharply with the power
of the father to sell his son, a power that was diminished only after
the son’s spirit must have been entirely extinguished.

_Si pater filium ter venum duit, filius a patre liber esto_—if a father
sells his son three times, let the son then go free of the father. In
other words, three times did the father have the right to dispose of
his son as a slave; and, while a slave might purchase his freedom,
by paying his master, the son of a Roman citizen did not become free
until the father had abused his right and misused the _potestas_ three

One sees the Rome of the Republic in the plays of Terence and Plautus,
and the attitude of the parents toward exposure is vividly shown in the
_Heautontimorumenos_ of the former.

Nearly always the exposed child died. Occasionally some escaped through
the tenderness or cupidity of some passer-by who would pick up an
exposed child either out of pity or for the material profit that came
with the possession.

Sometimes mothers who were obliged to obey the orders of their
husbands, arranged to have their children rescued. The comedy of
Terence goes to show what the attitude of the father was under such
circumstances. It is indeed, as De Gour says, “a chapter of the morals
of the Greeks and Romans seen in action.”

Chremes, departing on a long voyage, orders his wife, Sostrata, who
is about to have a child, to expose the child if it should turn out to
be a girl. In obeying this order, she hopefully places a ring with the

Years later she meets the child at a bath and is given (by her own
daughter) a ring to guard. Sostrata recognizes the ring and when she
sees her husband the following dialogue ensues:

SOS. (_turning ’round_). Ha! my husband!

CHREM. Ha! my wife!

SOS. I was looking for you.

CHREM. Tell me what you want.

SOS. In the first place, this I beg of you, not to believe that I have
ventured to do anything contrary to your commands.

CHREM. Would you have me believe you in this, although so incredible?
Well, I will believe you.

SOS. Do you remember my being pregnant, and yourself declaring to me,
most peremptorily, that if I should bring forth a girl, you would not
have it brought up?

CHREM. I know what you have done, you have brought it up.

SOS. Not at all; but there was here an elderly woman of Corinth, of no
indifferent character; to her I gave it to be exposed.

CHREM. O Jupiter! that there should be such extreme folly in a person’s

SOS. Alas! what have I done?

CHREM. And do you ask the question?

SOS. If I have acted wrong, my dear Chremes, I have done so in

CHREM. This, indeed, I know for certain, even if you were to deny it,
that in everything you both speak and act ignorantly and foolishly:
how many blunders you disclose in this single affair! For, in the
first place, then, if you had been disposed to obey my orders, the
child ought to have been dispatched; you ought not in words to have
feigned her death, and in reality to have left hopes of her surviving.
But that I pass over; compassion, maternal affection, I allow it. But
how finely you did provide for the future! What was your meaning? Do
reflect. It’s clear, beyond a doubt, that your daughter was betrayed by
you to this old woman, either that through you she might make a living
by her, or that she might be sold in open market as a slave. I suppose
you reasoned thus: “Anything is enough, if only her life is saved.”
What are you to do with those who understand neither law, nor right and
justice? Be it for better or for worse, be it for them or against them,
they see nothing except just what they please.

SOS. My dear Chremes, I have done wrong, I own; I am convinced. Now
this I beg of you; inasmuch as you are more advanced in years than I,
be so much the more ready to forgive; so that your justice may be some
protection for my weakness.

CHREM. I’ll readily forgive you doing this, of course; but Sostrata, my
easy temper prompts you to do amiss. But, whatever this circumstance
is, by reason of which this was begun upon, proceed to tell it.

SOS. As we women are all foolishly and wretchedly superstitious,
when I delivered the child to her to be exposed, I drew a ring from
off my finger and ordered her to expose it, together with the child;
that if she should die, she might not be without some portion of our

CHREM. That was right; thereby you proved the saving of yourself and

SOS. (_holding out the ring_). This is the ring.

CHREM. Whence did you get it?

SOS. From the young woman whom Bacchis brought with her.

CHREM. What does she say?

SOS. She gave it to me to keep for her, whilst she went to bathe. At
first I paid no attention to it; but after I looked at it, I at once
recognized it, and came running to you.

CHREM. What do you suspect now, or have you discovered, relative to her?

SOS. I don’t know; unless you enquire of herself whence she got it, if
that can possibly be discovered.

CHREM. Is this woman living to whom you delivered the child?

SOS. I don’t know.

CHREM. What account did she bring you at the time?

SOS. That she had done as I had ordered her.

CHREM. Tell me what is the woman’s name, that she may be inquired after.

SOS. Philtere.

CHREM. Sostrata follow me this way indoors.

SOS. How much beyond my hopes has this matter turned out! How
dreadfully afraid I was, Chremes, that you would now be of feelings as
unrelenting as formerly you were on exposing the child.

CHREM. Many a time a man cannot be such as he would be[333] if
circumstances do not admit of it. Time has now so brought it about,
that I should be glad of a daughter; formerly I wished for nothing less.

There is no evidence that the Romans as a people at any time approved
of the sale of children, and while the suggestion is made by
Gibbon that early in the days of the kings impoverishing conditions
occasionally made it necessary to dispose of members of the family,
from the time of the adoption of the Twelve Tables as the codified law
of Rome there is not a single indication that the power of the father
over grown-up children was used otherwise than sparingly, and with a
view to strengthening the stern and military character of the Roman
idea of family. The main use of the provision for the sale of children,
in time of prosperity at least, was to put the boy out to business,
this being in general more a form that took the place of what was
later apprenticeship and, still later, the labour contract. As late as
Constantine this was permitted, even of new-born children, but only in
cases of extreme need (_propter nimiam paupertatem_),[334] and then
when it seemed the only way to prevent their parents from murdering



Astonishing depravity marked the last days of the Republic, to the
point where it was even said that annual divorces were as much the
fashion in Rome as voluntary celibacy.[335] Seneca says there were
women who reckoned their years by their husbands. In the severe,
early period of the Republic, celibacy was considered censurable and
even guilty,[336] whereas later it was not only condoned but wittily
approved, to judge by the quips of the dramatist, Plautus, whose
cynical references to marriage and the burden of a wife read not unlike
our own scoffing and immoral dramatists of the eighteenth century.[337]

Civil wars and proscriptions had left great voids in Roman families;
more prolific foreigners, freedmen, and slaves began to dominate the
noisy city now beginning to earn her title of Mistress of the World.
The visitor to Pompeii today, noting the large and heavy paving blocks,
the narrow sidewalks, the deep ruts made in these solid streets by
the heavy wagons, the open shops, the indecent signs, sees Rome in
miniature. All this cosmopolitan disorder marked the greater town that
had not twenty thousand inhabitants but a million; the noise and the
congestion increased out of all proportion to its size because of the
character of its dwellers, for Rome had a large foreign population.
As in modern New York or London, it was in the foreign quarters that
were found the discomforts, the loud misunderstandings, and the noisy,
tragic fights for small things.

The stranger arriving in Rome had hardly entered its gates when he was
being jostled and shoved. The narrow streets were filled with pedlars
calling their wares of all kinds, from matches (_sulphurata_), in
exchange for broken glass where money was scarce, to a dish of boiled
peas for an _as_, or fine smoking sausages for those who had more
money. Idlers filled the streets at all hours, but especially at the
lunch hour (the sixth) when business ceased and those who patronized
the cafés (_tabernæ_) were hurrying to get to their accustomed


Around billboards (_programmata_) announcing new plays or
exhibitions, crowds gathered while other groups watched acrobats, who
beat themselves for the comic effects produced; dancers, jugglers,
snake charmers, and performers of every kind and nation abounded.
Heavily loaded wagons rumbled noisily along while their drivers cursed
and lashed the tired beasts of burden, or the appearance of a tamed
bear threw an entire street into wild and joyous confusion. Or perhaps
a new troupe of gladiators entered town, to the complete cessation
of all business and pastimes.[339] Here and there in the streets,
money-changers and others set up tables in convenient places where they
were least apt to be driven away, and hawked loudly the bargains that
they offered. Money from all the world was then flowing Romeward, and
in nothing was this shown more than in expensive funerals, with their
hired and vociferous mourners, blocking the streets and putting an
end for the time being, to other business—and amusements.[340] Narrow
as were the streets, they were made more so by the _tabernæ_, built
up against the houses, this practice becoming so much of a nuisance
(as in modern times) that the Emperor Domitian caused a decree to be
issued against them, forcing the owners to remove the encroachments and
confine themselves to the area of the house.[341]

A drunken man taking the entire _via_ in his navigation—to the
amusement of the crowd; a member of the city guard hurrying some
offender to the court; or, reclining in his _lectica_, a noble, carried
by six uniformed slaves, his other numerous attendants clearing the way
for him—all these added to the noise and confusion—while through it all
children crowded the curb with their games.

Such was the Rome that Augustus found, its proud citizens masters of
the world, luxurious, sensual, disdainful of the very idea of duty,
idling days away while they scoffed at marriage. But the foreigners,
the freedmen, and the slaves married, and when the burden of a new
child was too much for the small income made by amusing or serving
some Roman citizen, the little newcomer was thrown into the Tiber or
left unmarked on a busy thoroughfare. One of the first undertakings of
Augustus was to try to remedy these evil conditions by laws and fiscal
measures, his principal endeavour being to put an end to the corruption
of morals and the exhaustion of the legitimate population.

From the day of the battle of Actium (B. C. 31) when the Roman
world practically lay at his feet, Octavius, or Augustus as he was
afterward called, while gratifying his ambition in adding to his
power, studiously and ostentatiously observed the forms of popular
government. In this he was paying heed to the fate of his uncle and
also conciliating the people, though with every ingratiating move he
increased his power.

One of the first laws he proposed was the _lex Julia_ (_de maritandis
ordinibus_) which was rejected by the _comitia tributa_, B. C. 18, but
was adopted in A.D. 4. To this was added as a supplement the _lex
Papia Poppæa_, the two being known as the _lex Julia et Papia_ or as
_novæ leges_, or simply _leges_, the latter reference indicating that
they were referred to as the laws _par excellence_. Not only marriage,
but everything connected with it was treated in these two laws, which
really constituted a code, the most extensive after the laws of the
Twelve Tables.

These laws made a great impression on Roman society. How completely
customs had swung to extremes since the days of Romulus is shown in
this _lex Papia_, as Gaius calls it. Instead of securing the father in
his right over the life of children, as the stern head of the house who
might decide at will whether he should let his offspring live, the law
now decreed that it was through the children that he gained a status in
the community. Persons who were not married and had no children were
unable to inherit; the unmarried person not being able to take any part
of what had been left to him, and the married person without children
(_orbus_) being able to take only one half.[342] Among the provisions
of the _lex Julia_, or the _leges_, were those entitling that candidate
for office who had the greatest number of children to preference. Of
the two consuls it was decreed that he should be the senior whose
children were the most numerous; a relief from all personal taxes and
burdens was granted to citizens who had three children if they lived
in Rome, four if they lived in Italy, and five if they lived in the

With the establishment of the _caduca_, by which there was instituted
a punishment for sterility and a reward for legitimate procreation, it
can be seen that there would follow some diminution in the number of
children exposed, though according to Tacitus,[343] “marriages and the
rearing of children did not become more frequent, so powerful are the
attractions of the childless state.”

By giving the people, or the common treasury, the benefit of the
clause forfeiting the inheritance on account of sterility, the law was
recognizing the _populus_ as the common father, a legal concept that is
becoming more and more the attitude of the twentieth century, and was
then first trenchantly expressed.

Suppressed in part by the constitution of Caracalla as to the
privileges of paternity to the claim upon the _caduca_, and by
Constantine as to the penalties for celibacy, these laws were not
completely and textually abrogated until Justinian. They were the
beginning, however, of the new movement; out of the degeneration and
degradation of the waning days of the Republic there had come at
least this forward step, though the patricians complained that these
provisions gave rise to despised informers and opportunities for
tyrannical misuse of power.

The child now had some other than a future use; it had an immediate
value. Occasionally, in times past, strangers had picked up children
exposed by their parents and had reared them as slaves, or maimed and
blinded them for the profession of begging. Augustus set aside a reward
of two thousand sesterces (about $40.00) for the person who would
rear an orphan. This was the seed of a growing humanity, the first
intimation of an inclination to treat children with kindness, though
it contrasts with Augustus’s own personal conduct when his anger was
aroused. Both his daughter and granddaughter were so profligate that
he banished them; when his granddaughter Julia was delivered of a
child after sentence, he ordered that the child be “neither owned as a
relative nor brought up.”[344]

From the death of Augustus, 14 A.D., to the reign of Nerva, 96 A.D.,
the violent sway of the army and the tragic fate of successive emperors
cloud the history of Roman law and progress.

The Emperor Claudius distinguished himself by ordering that Claudia, a
child by his first wife, “who was in truth the daughter of his freedman
Boter, be thrown naked at her mother’s door.”[345]

There were no successors to the great jurists of the type of Capito
and Labeo, whose opinions in Augustan days were accepted by even the
emperor himself. With the coming of Nerva there was a great change in
the attitude toward children. Despite a short reign of two years and
a reputation for a weak will, it was to his initiative that the State
owed the movement to put an end to the practice of abandoning infants,
by having the government subsidize poor parents.

Apparently there was no other way of stopping this ruinous custom in a
degenerate day. It was useless to appeal to the rich to rear families,
and the poor who were still producing children were becoming poorer.
One of Nerva’s noteworthy acts to alleviate conditions was the founding
of colonies, and it was in accordance with the same general plan that,
a few months before he died, he ordered that assistance should be given
parents who found themselves without the means of bringing up their

This order was issued in the year 97, and so successful was the
experiment under his successor, who accepted and enlarged the plan,
that in the year 100, five thousand children were receiving aid from
the State. Much credit is given to Trajan for following up the ideas
of Nerva, but it was to Nerva that Rome owed Trajan, one of the most
humane of her emperors.

Another evidence of the humanity of Nerva was the fact that he
prohibited the making of eunuchs, a practice that had met with the
disfavour of the Emperor Domitian years before, and a practice that
led the Pope Clement XIV., to decree, centuries later, that no more
_castrats_ should sing in churches. And these things he did when the
extravagance of his predecessors had made it necessary for him to sell
the imperial furniture and jewels in order to replenish the treasury.
One of his coins shows him seated in the _curule_ chair, dispensing
charity to a boy and girl, the mother standing near, with the legend
“Tutela Italia.”

One need only to read the gentle replies of the Emperor Trajan to the
younger Pliny, to see that, in that reign at least, there was a great
change and that the conception of duty in the modern sense was creeping
into a military world. Pliny himself, in a letter to Cannius, describes
how he settled five hundred thousand sesterces (about $20,000) on the
city of Como for the maintenance of children, “who were born of good
families”—an act as traceable to the growing protective tendency as to
Pliny’s patriotism and love of glory.

According to the tablet of Velia[346] to the Emperor Trajan, the landed
proprietors of the place received on mortgage at five per cent.,[347]
less than half the usual rate of that time, what would be about $50,000
of our money, the interest of which was to go to the maintenance of
three hundred poor children.

The means employed to help parents and prevent them from exposing
their children were skilfully contrived. Through the municipality,
Trajan lent money to certain proprietors to improve their land, and the
interest paid on this loan constituted a benevolent fund by which the
children were taken care of, or rather, by which their parents were
rewarded for not murdering them. From the table of Velia we learn also
that fifty-one proprietors of that section received on land twelve
times the value of the loan, or 1,116,000 sesterces ($52,820) the
annual interest of which, 55,800 sesterces ($2,650), constituted a fund
for the support of three hundred children, two hundred and sixty-four
boys and thirty-six girls. The boys received annually 192 sesterces,
and the girls 144 sesterces. Illegitimate children were given less,
the boys 144 sesterces, and the girls 120 sesterces, although in the
tablet there were only two illegitimate children, one boy and one girl.
The fact that the number of girls assisted was only one-tenth the
number of boys, goes to show, that this new institution was not due so
much to the fact that the sentiment of charity had infiltrated through
pagan society, as to the fact that pagan society was endeavouring to
repair the ravages of degenerate and pauperistic days, shown in the
diminution of the class of freedmen in Rome.[348]

Writing to Pliny at Bithynia, to which place he had been sent by Trajan
as imperial legate, the Emperor mildly answers an inquiry as to what
the law shall be in that province regarding deserted children. Trajan
rules that deserted children, who are found and brought up, shall be
allowed their freedom without being obliged to repay the money expended
for their maintenance.

“The question concerning such children who were exposed by their
parents,” says Trajan, “and afterward preserved by others, and educated
in a state of servitude, though born free, has been frequently
discussed; but I do not find in the constitutions of the princes,
my predecessors, any general regulation upon this head extending to
all the provinces. There are, indeed, some rescripts of Domitian to
Avidius Niguinus and Armenius Brocchus, which ought to be observed; but
Bithynia is not comprehended in the provinces therein mentioned. I am
of opinion, therefore, that the claims of those who assert their right
of freedom upon this principle, should be allowed, without compelling
them to purchase their liberty by repaying the money advanced for their

A new note this, for in order to encourage the saving of children who
had been exposed, the custom had been rigidly followed that the person
who saved a child was able to regard it as his slave, without regard to
what its condition had been previous to exposure.

As shown in the correspondence of Pliny and Trajan, there is much
truth, in the contention that the Emperor shows up better than the
philosopher and poet.

The noteworthy thing about this remarkable exchange of letters is that
a new spirit is revealed. It is a living, working philosophy that we
discover, practical results of that philosophy bringing a kindlier
treatment of slaves, a greater respect for women, a more thoughtful
regard for the education of the young, and a gentler assistance of the
helpless and distressed.

True, Cicero, a century and a half before had preached doctrines
that paved the way, and for generations earlier there had been such
a kindlier spirit in the air. But not until now do we find a man of
Pliny’s dominating prominence, or nearness to power, suggesting that he
will pay a third of the expenses of the cost of founding a university
in his own town. His reason, he says, is to save youths from going to
Milan for their education and thereby getting away from the proper home

Tracing the thin thread of child progress through these livid days we
are brought in touch with the little known but better side of Roman
life; for despite the general debauchery of the upper classes and
the unwholesome pictures of Juvenal, there is evidence that there
were Roman families untouched by the general immorality where women
of the type of Marcia or Helvia, addressed in the letters of Seneca,
presided over homes in which there was an atmosphere of virtue and
self-restraint, and where tales of deeds of the Romans of the earlier
days still had their charm and their influence.



Never, it has been said, had the human race enjoyed a state of
prosperity equal to that under the reign of Hadrian, the successor
to Trajan, and like him a philosopher among emperors. From Nerva to
Marcus Aurelius—the five emperors, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus
Pius, and Marcus Aurelius—there was a reign of philosophy. Indeed they
may also be called the emperors of the children for the reforms they
accomplished and initiated—working as they did, contrary to the entire
law and tradition of their country, and without the inspiration of
complete knowledge of the intellectual and spiritual conditions that
were governing them.



To appreciate all that Hadrian did, one must remember that he had
Plutarch for a master, Suetonius for his secretary, and Phlegon, his
freedman, as amanuensis to write the history of his reign. As a youth
he had studied all the philosophic systems including that of Epictetus,
and showed an acquisitive spirit. Had he lived in our age of private
railway cars probably he would have spent little time at the Capitol:
in a time when travel was both disagreeable and dangerous he journeyed
back and forth over his great domain, to the dissatisfaction of the
Romans, but to his own greater knowledge of his people and consequent
greater humanitarianism.

Out of that philosophy, that association, and that teaching, out of
the character of Hadrian—for, despite the attempts of his biographers,
Startianus and Dion Cassius, to make him a cruel and vain tyrant,
his whole life shows an abhorrence of bloodshed—there was born a new

He closed the _ergastula_, or workhouses, where so many men, carried
off by surprise, were detained and tortured; he protected slaves
against the cruelty and murderous punishments of masters, prohibiting
their sale to houses of prostitution or schools for gladiators, and
also declaring against the indiscriminate torture of slaves whose
masters had been assassinated. Up to that time even those who had not
been within sight or hearing of a murder were liable to punishment. A
woman who had ill-treated her female slaves he sentenced to five years’
imprisonment—an unheard-of thing in those days.

Once before, during the reign of Tiberius, Carthaginian priests
had been crucified by the Emperor for the sacrifice of children to
their god Moloch, but apparently the punishment had not acted as a
deterrent, for we find a similar provision in the laws of Hadrian.

Going further and, as Duruy says, “employing logic in the service of
humanity,” he ruled that any woman who had been free at the time of
pregnancy must naturally give birth to a free child, a ruling not
important in itself but closely in touch with what we will come to see
was the argument of the Christian Fathers in behalf of the lives of
little children.

He ameliorated the condition of women, allowing them to make wills,
and for the first time softened the law of the Twelve Tables which,
according to Ulpian, had given a mother no rights in the property of a
son dying intestate. Hadrian, however, following a _senatus consultum
Tertullianum_, gave the mother, under the _jus trium liberorum_, the
right to inherit when she had had three sons, and, if a freed woman,
when she had had four.

But the great blow Hadrian struck at the theories that had hitherto
held sway was the condemning to banishment a father who had killed
his son. From time immemorial the boast of Rome had been fathers
who, in the ardour of patriotism, and sometimes in the heat of anger
or resentment, had sacrificed their sons, no matter how famous or
important their sons were.


“Lucius Brutus,” says Valerius Maximus, giving suitable incidents of
the father’s power, “who equalled Romulus in honour, for he founded
Rome and thus the Roman liberty, coming to the supreme power, and
understanding that his sons endeavoured to restore Tarquin, caused them
to be apprehended, and to be whipped with rods before the Tribuna; and,
after that, caused them to be tied to a stake, and then ordered the
sergeant to cut off their heads. He put off the relation of a father,
that he might act like a consul; rather chose to live childless, than
to be remiss in public duty.

“Cassius, following his example, though his son was a tribune of the
people, and was the first that had promulgated the _Agrarian_ law,
and by many other popular acts had won the hearts of the people, when
he had laid down his command, by advice of his kindred and friends,
condemned him in his own house for affecting the kingdom; and after
he was whipped, commanded him to be put to death; and consecrated his
estate to Ceres.

“Titus Manlius Torquatus, famous for his many great dignities, and
a person of rare experience in the civil law and the pontifical
ceremonies, did not think it necessary to consult his friends in an act
of the same nature. For when the Macedonians had by their ambassadors
complained to the Senate of D. Silanus, his son, who was governor of
that province, he besought the Senate that they would determine nothing
in that affair till he had heard the difference betwixt his son and the
Macedonians. Then, with the general consent of the conscript fathers,
and of them that came to complain, he sat and heard the cause in his
own house, wherein he spent two whole days alone, and the third day,
after he had diligently examined the testimonies on both sides, he
pronounced this sentence: ‘Whereas it hath been proved that Silanus, my
son, has taken money of our allies, I think him unworthy to live either
in the commonwealth, or in my house, and I command him forthwith to get
out of my sight.’ Silanus, struck with the sharp and cruel sentence of
his father, would not endure to live any longer, but the next night
hanged himself.

“But M. Scaurus, the light and ornament of his country, when the Roman
cavalry was worsted by the Cimbrians and deserting the proconsul,
Catullus, took their flight toward the city, sent one to tell his
son, who was one of those that fled, that he had rather meet with his
carcass slain in the field, than see him guilty of such a shameful
flight. And therefore if there were any shame remaining in his breast,
degenerate as he was, he should shun the sight of his enraged father;
for by the remembrance of his youth, he was admonished what kind of son
was to be owned or contemned by such a father as Scaurus. Which message
being delivered him, the young man was forced to make a more fatal use
of his sword against himself, than against his enemies.

“No less imperiously did A. Fulvius, one of the Senatorian Order, keep
back his son from going into the field, than Scaurus chid his for
running away. For he caused his son, eminent among his equals for his
wit, learning, and beauty, to be put to death because he took part
with Catiline, being seduced by ill-counsel; having brought him back
by force, as he was going to Catiline’s army, and uttering these words
before his death, that he ‘did not beget him to join with Catiline
against his country, but to serve his country against Catiline.’ He
might have kept him till the heat of the war had been over, but that
would have been only the act of a cautious, this was the deed of a
severe father.”

The father who was brought before Hadrian under the old conditions
would have been honoured—he had killed a son who befouled his name.
Nevertheless this man was ordered to be deported, “because he had
killed as a thief rather than as one using the power (_jure_)
of father; _nam patria potestas in pietate debet, non atrociate
consistere_.”[351] Whatever the excuse given, he was punished. That he
had not observed the forms in killing his son by calling a consultation
of the members of his family, was the nominal reason for punishing him,
but the unchecked power of the father over the life of his children,
even when they had become adults, was ended.

Modern sensibility will be shocked at the thought that there had been
sufficient social “advance” for distinct places to become established
for the exposure of children. But advance it was when no longer were
children left in unfrequented highways, no longer were they thrown into
the Tiber.

There were two places where it was the custom to leave abandoned
children. One was near the Velabrum, a street on the western slope of
the Aventine Hill between the Vicus Tuscus and the Forum Boarium where
the oil dealers and the cheese mongers made a practice of selling their
wares; and the other, in the vegetable market, where there rose a
column round which the children were placed. Because of this practice,
according to Festus, the column was called the Lactaria.[352] It was
said that courtesans favoured the Velabrum.

What happened to the children even in this “advanced” age was doubtless
little different from the treatment they received when they were found
on the highways. The elder Seneca has given a vivid account of the
practice of the day in the “Thirty-third Controversy,” book five,
headed “Debilitans Expositos.”[353]

Difficult as it is to believe that the people who eventually charged
themselves with the rearing of the foundlings made a business of
mutilating them, there is no doubt but that such was the case.

In the “Controversy” of Seneca the question is whether those who
mutilated exposed children have done a wrong toward the State. The
debate is opened by Porcius Latro, who asks if after having suffered
the misfortune of being exposed, it is not a piece of good luck to have
someone find them.

Cassius Severus then expresses his opinion.

“Look,” he exclaims, “on the blind wandering about the streets leaning
on their sticks, and on those with crushed feet, and still again look
on those with broken limbs. This one is without arms, that one has had
his shoulders pulled down out of shape in order that his grotesqueries
may excite laughter. Let us view the entire miserable family shivering,
trembling, blind, mutilated, perishing from hunger—in fact, already
half dead. Let us go to the origin of all these ills—a laboratory for
the manufacture of human wrecks—a cavern filled with the limbs torn
from living children—each has a different profession, a different
mutilation has given each a different occupation.”

The conclusion is that inasmuch as the exposed children are slaves,
being the property of those who rear them, they have no cause for
complaint against the State.

“What wrong has been done to the Republic?” asks Gallio in reply to
Severus. “On the contrary, have not these children been done a service
inasmuch as their parents had cast them out?”

“Many individuals,” adds F. Claudius, “rid themselves of misformed
children defective in some part of their body or because the children
are born under evil auspices. Someone else picks them up out of
commiseration and, in order to defray the expenses of bringing the
child up, cuts off one of its limbs. Today, when they are demanding
charity, that life that they owe to the pity of one, they are
sustaining at the expense and through the pity of all.”



From the strictly legal side the most interesting event of Hadrian’s
reign is the fact that the opinions of the jurists, when they were
unanimous, were now recognized as written law.[354] The constitutions
or proclamations of law of the emperors, although none were ascribed
to an earlier date, had probably been issued for a century previously,
but now what is called the “Perpetual Edict” is finally arranged and
authorized, and law proceeds from an intellectual and philosophic
source, instead of from an imperial head.

In empowering Salvius Julianus, one of the four greatest lawyers Rome
ever produced, to frame an edict, and by a _senatus consultum_ embody
this edict in the statute law of Rome, the entire law of the Empire
underwent a change in spirit. What had hitherto been done by Augustus,
by Nerva, by Trajan, and by Hadrian himself, had furnished only the
value of example or of an immediate law passed for the benefit of some
particular condition. A succeeding emperor was at liberty to imitate or
pass similar laws, or ignore the acts of his predecessors as he might
choose. As we shall see, he usually ignored the noble examples of those
who had gone before.

But by placing the making of the law in the hands of the jurists, men
who were thinkers and scholars and under the influence of the spreading
Stoic philosophy, many disciples of Zeno and Chrysippus, and some later
to be under the influence of the Christian philosophy, Hadrian was
laying a broad foundation for the complete passing of the Roman idea
of the unimportance of the child as a child, and making way for the
Christian idea which was to take its place.

By a _senatus consultum_, passed before the Edict of Julianus, the
right of fathers to expose their children was for the first time taken
away; _durante matrimonio_ they were compelled to rear their children
instead of exposing them, while later regulations made it necessary to
maintain even those children born after divorce.[355]

This was the first attempt to prohibit the exposing of children.

As we have seen, the right of the father to reject his offspring was
restricted in earliest times to weak and deformed children, and then
only after there had been a conference with five neighbours, but the
frequent reference to the exposure of children under the Republic and
under the emperors indicates that there was little regard for this
legal restraint. Even Augustus himself did not hesitate to expose the
child of his granddaughter.

The law of Hadrian has not been placed by scholars and commentators as
the first law against exposing children, partly no doubt because it
was too new to be really effective. In an interesting controversy[356]
between Gerardus Noodt and Cornelius Van Binkershoek, as to whether
there were any prohibitory laws prior to those of Valentinian, Valens,
and Gratian (367 A.D.), Binkershoek maintains with great show of
authority, what is undoubtedly true, that there were. Interesting,
too, is the fact that we find in the Code of Justinian (vii., 16, 1)
reference to a rescript of Hadrian in which the sale of children is
referred to as “_res illicita et inhonesta_,” which is assumed by
Walker to refer to the sales not being properly conducted,[357] but
which, judging from the temper of the Emperor, referred to the thing

As the war-loving Trajan was succeeded by the lover of peace, the
nomadic Hadrian was succeeded by the home-loving Antoninus Pius, who
did not leave Rome for almost a quarter of a century, except for
one rapid tour through Asia. He made it possible for children to
inherit from their parents even though they had neglected to imitate a
father in becoming a Roman citizen. He further showed his humanity by
compelling cruel masters to sell slaves they had maltreated.

In the name of his wife, Faustina, for whom—despite the assaults on
her character—he retained ever affection and respect, he consecrated
a protective foundation for the benefit of girls, _puellæ alimentariæ
Faustinianæ_—the first of its kind in the world, and the initial move
to save female children other than the first-born. A medal of the time,
showing the Empress, bears on the reverse side Antoninus surrounded
by children, with the words _Puellæ Faustinianæ_ in the exergue.[358]
This, together with his continuous support of the _pueri alimentarii_,
entitles him to the credit of saving more children from the “ancient
and abominable” custom of being thrown out on the crossroads to die
than any of his predecessors.

At the end of his reign it is evident from the inscriptions that
endowments similar to those originated by Nerva had been made at
Atina, Abellinum, Abella, Vibo, Caieta, Anagnia, Fundi, Cupra Montana,
Industria, Brixia, Aquileia, Compsa, Æclanum, Allifæ, Aufidena,
Cures, Auximum, and other places. What is more interesting than the
point of view of E. E. Bryant, in his _Life of Antoninus Pius_, that
these “endowments undoubtedly pauperized Italians and lightened
unwisely the responsibility of parents for the maintenance of their
children? But they _must certainly have been of assistance to farmers_,
and have supplied them with the capital necessary for successful

The progress made in the matter of child history would be incomplete
if one did not recall that in this reign appeared that bold and able
defender of Christianity, Justin Martyr. The time had gone by for
darkness and seclusion, and now, that which had been contemptuously but
so well described as the religion of “slaves and women, of children
and old men,” strode abroad, proclaiming its right to be heard as a
rational and uplifting doctrine. Pleading for the oppressed and the
downtrodden, pleading for those the Roman world affected to despise,
preaching a religion of humility—there is a fine, robust, masculine
note in Justin’s opening words of his apology, the challenging
conviction of a man who knowingly throws down the gauntlet to the
masters of the world.


It was during the reign of Antoninus that Tertullian was born.

Under Antoninus’s philosophic successor the alimentary institution was
further developed, Marcus Aurelius showing his interest by putting
the supervision under a person of prætorian or consular rank.[360] He
upheld the rights of children, going one step further in the direction
of freedom by ending the tyrannical power of the father to oblige his
son to put away his wife, if the latter were disagreeable to the head
of the family.

With Marcus Aurelius vanished the humane emperors—they had reigned
long. Culminating in his beneficent sway the Stoic philosophy, from
Aristotle to Marcus Aurelius, kept developing, in the midst of
surroundings the least encouraging. The Stoics, with their ideas of
humanity, of mutual good will and moral equality, arrived at almost
the same conclusions regarding religion and the same sentiment
regarding humanity as did the followers of the Christian religion,
although working from an entirely different source. The one reached its
conclusion through the medium of patrician orators, philosophers, and
emperors, the other through the slaves, the distressed, and those for
whom life faced an unbroken wall.

From Aurelius to Septimus Severus there is little but bloodshed in
Roman history. The selection of Papinian, the greatest of Roman
jurists, as his adviser is in a way the greatest claim to fame that
Severus has.[361] Among his many laws was one that permitted the
sons of a condemned criminal to retain the rights the father had
over freedmen, which was considered a great indulgence—_benignissime
rescripsit_. He condemned to temporary exile the woman who, by
practising abortion, had deprived her husband of the hope of children.

Of the bloody reign of Caracalla it is to be noted principally that
he changed the _lex Julia_ in such a way as to deprive paternity of
its privileges. Those who were not married (_cœlebs_) and those who
were married and had no children (_orbus_) suffered in regard to their
inheritances as they had under the old law, but Caracalla filled his
treasury by sweeping into the _fiscus_ all the _caduca_.

While the barbarians are now beginning to press down on the northern
frontiers of the Empire and the Christians beginning to rapidly
and swiftly permeate the vast domain, there is little but a bloody
chronicle of making and unmaking of emperors up to Diocletian. Even
when persecuted and proscribed, says Ortolan, Christianity had a
liberalizing and softening effect on the progress of jurisprudence
and legislation. The softening effect was also the effect of a new
understanding. Trajan, one of the greatest of the humane emperors, had
come from Spain, and Diocletian, who temporarily braced up the Roman
legions, put energy into the government, and held the barbarians in
check, was himself from a family of freedmen. The best of the patrician
blood had become thoroughly impregnated with Stoic ideas, although it
was true that the jurists who had obtained their philosophy from Greece
and were given the task of defending existing law and institutions were
still against the new religion. Though the persecutors under Diocletian
were unusually severe, theirs was the final burst of oppression before
the new religion was to triumph in having the head of the great Roman
Empire, Diocletian’s own successor, Constantine, accept the despised

It matters little whether Constantine’s conversion was a political
move, based on a desire to absorb a growing and powerful organization.
This was a century in which things were happening and his was a reign
(306 or 313–337) that marked a long turn in the road in the attitude of
the State toward the child. Despite the progress that had been made,
the practice of murdering and exposing new-born children was becoming
more and more frequent in the provinces, and especially in Italy.[362]

It was due to poverty, says Gibbon,[363] and the principal causes of
distress were the unendurable taxes. The historian declares that “moved
by some recent and extraordinary instances of despair,” Constantine
addressed an edict[364] to all the cities of Italy and afterward to
those of Africa, directing that immediate and sufficient aid be given
by magistrates to parents who produced children that they were too poor
to bring up. Against the opinion of Gibbon is set that of Godefroy that
it was not some unusual bit of misery, some “Mary Ellen case,” that
moved the Emperor to take this significant step.

The edict was published on May 12, 315 A.D., a few months before his
victory over Licinius. The Christians had prophesied to Constantine
that he would be victorious and he was more than likely to be
influenced by their point of view, especially that of Lactantius, the
noted rhetorician and teacher, to whom he had entrusted the education
of his son, Crispus. Lactantius had just written his work on _The
Divine Institutes_, designed to supersede the less complete treatises
of Minucius Felix, Tertullian, and Cyprian. He had dedicated the work
to Constantine, and perhaps had conversed with him about it, discussing
one particular chapter in which the Christian Father had inveighed,
with his accustomed grace but with unusual force, against infanticide
and the sale and exposure of infants. A new day, indeed, had come—the
proud Emperor of the mighty Romans sits high on his throne, listening
to, and moved by—a Christian Father!

This is Lactantius’s plea for the new-born, from the sixth book of his
_Divine Institutes_[365]:

“Therefore let no one imagine that even this is allowed, to strangle
newly born children, which is the greatest impiety; for God breathes
into their souls for life, and not for death. But men, that there may
be no crime with which they may not pollute their hands, deprive souls,
as yet innocent and simple, of the light which they themselves have not
given. Any one truly may not expect that they would abstain from the
blood of others who do not abstain even from their own. But these are
without any controversy wicked and unjust. What are they whom a false
piety compels to expose their children? Can they be considered innocent
who expose their own offspring as a prey to dogs, and as far as it
depends upon themselves, kill them in a more cruel manner than if they
had strangled them?

“Who can doubt that he is impious who gives occasion for the pity
of others? For, although that which he has wished should befall the
child—namely, that it should be brought up—he has certainly consigned
his own offspring either to servitude or to the brothel? But who
does not understand, who is ignorant what things may happen, or are
accustomed to happen, in the case of each sex, even through error? For
this is shown by the example of Œdipus alone, confused with twofold
guilt. It is therefore as wicked to expose as it is to kill. But truly
parricides complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that
they have not enough for bringing up more children; as though, in
truth, their means were in the power of those who possess them, or God
did not daily make the rich poor, and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any
one on account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is
better to abstain from marriage than with wicked hands to mar the work
of God.”

As an additional protective measure Constantine withdrew the right of
liberty that the Antonines had secured to foundling children, and in
order to encourage strangers to pick up waifs cast away by parents, the
Emperor made them the slaves of those who raised them. The father was
punished for rejecting his infant by being no longer able to claim a
right that had previously been his. Rather than that there should be
murder, the Emperor went further; he gave poor parents the right to
sell their new-born children.

One more step and the story of the Roman child ends. The Emperor
Valentinian, a strange mixture of cruelty and sense—the same who kept
two ferocious she-bears near him and saw that they had human food
a-plenty,—is in the books as the author of the law condemning the
exposition of new-born infants. It was in 374 that this edict was
issued in the name of the Emperors Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian,
declaring that whosoever should expose his children should be subject
to punishment.[366]



It has been said that the only way to understand the Middle Ages is to
comprehend that the Roman Empire did not die down, or fade away; it
remained, or continued to be the centre of civilized government, until
comparatively recent times. In fact, nominally the Holy Roman Empire,
the direct descendant of the Roman Empire, did not pass away as an idea
until 1806, when the Emperor Joseph II. announced to the Germanic Diet
his refusal to carry any longer the title of Emperor of the Romans.[367]

Even when the Roman Empire was at its greatest point of power and
wealth, the actual founders of the Holy Roman Empire were at work in
Rome itself, in the persons of the Christian Fathers; for, after all,
it was the Church that was to rule the world once swayed by Roman
legions. The men who, as representatives of Christ, were later to tame
the barbarians, really laid the foundations for the future greatness of
Christian Rome, amid the very luxury and opulence of the pagan Rome
soon to pass away.

The struggles of these Christians among the polished and cruel Romans
was, in a way, a preparation for the struggle to come later with
the unpolished, but equally cruel, barbarians. In their conquest
of the Roman world, the Christian founders saved their religion;
in the conquest of the barbarian hordes, they saved civilization;
without Christianity the German and Celtic races, with their lustful,
revengeful, and passionate natures, either might have overwhelmed Roman
civilization entirely, bringing on a night of barbarism, or have been
themselves “corrupted and destroyed by the vices and sensuality which
surrounded them.”[368]

Amid all the differences of opinion and doctrine that we find among
the early founders of Christianity, there was one thing on which they
were unanimous, and that was the attitude toward children. It was a
ceaseless war they waged in behalf of children—those early and ofttimes
eloquent founders. From Barnabas, contemporary of the Apostles, and by
Luke even called one of them, to Ambrosius and Augustine, they did not
cease to denounce those who, no matter what their reasons, exposed or
killed infants.


No distinction was made by the Fathers between infanticide and
exposure.[369] Both were murderous acts, particularly bitterly
condemned by the Christians because their enemies had charged them
with murdering infants at secret rites. The letter attributed to
Barnabas by Clement of Alexandria and Origen, and which in any case
goes back to the earliest days of the religion, severely condemned
infanticide. “Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion, nor
again shalt thou destroy it after it is born.”[370] By such protests as
these, made with one cannot tell what frequency, the Christians took
their stand on the basic principles.

Justin, whose vigorous manner of addressing the Emperor is so
attractive, succumbed, at the age of seventy-four, to the calumnies of
the cynic Crescentius, and became a martyr; but his example and fervour
left an indelible mark upon his time.

“As for us,” he says, “we have been taught that to expose newly born
children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest
we should do any one an injury, and lest we should sin against God;
first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls,
but also the males) are brought up to prostitution.... Now we see
you rear children only for this shameful use; and for this pollution
a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit
unmentionable iniquities are found in every nation. And you receive
the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to
exterminate from your realm.”[371]

And again he says: “We fear to expose children, lest some of them
be not picked up, but die, and we become murderers. But whether we
marry, it is only that we may bring up children; or whether we decline
marriage, we live continently.”[372]

Athanagoras,[373] the Athenian philosopher, who presented to Marcus
Aurelius and to Commodus an apology for the Christians, in 166 A.D.,
asked the logical Romans to use their famous common sense in weighing
false charges made against Christians.

“What man of sound mind,” he said, “will affirm that we, who abhor
murder, are murderers; we who condemn as murder the use of drugs for
abortion, and declare that those who even expose a child are chargeable
with murder.”[374]

Tertullian, whose apology was written in the year 200, or 205, of our
era, was equally bold.

“Riders of the Roman Empire,” he began, “seated for the administration
of justice on your lofty tribunal”—and then made the charge direct:
“You first of all expose your children, that they may be taken up by
any compassionate passer-by, to whom they are quite unknown; or you
give them away to be adopted by those who will act better to them the
part of parents.”[375]

Later, in another address, this time to the pagan people, he returns to
the charges.

“Although you are forbidden by the laws to slay new-born infants, it so
happens that no laws are evaded with more impunity or greater safety,
with the deliberate knowledge of the public and the suffrages of this
entire age, ... You make away with them in a more cruel manner, because
you expose them to cold and hunger, and to wild beasts, or else you get
rid of them by the slower death of drowning [_sic_].”[376]

“Man is more cruel to his offspring than animals,” said the learned
Clement of Alexandria. “Orpheus tamed the tiger by his songs, but the
God of the Christians, in calling men to their true religion, did more,
since he tamed and softened the most ferocious of all animals—men

No abler pleader for the new order of things was there than Minucius
Felix, a Roman lawyer of education, who, on his conversion to the new
faith, became one of the eloquent founders of Latin Christianity. A
disciple of Cicero, he has been called the “precursor of Lactantius in
the graces of style.”

“How I should like to meet him,” he exclaims, indignantly, “who says or
believes that we are initiated by the slaughter and blood of an infant
... no one can believe this except one who can dare do it. And I see
that you at one time exposed your begotten children to wild beasts
and to birds; and another, that you crush them when strangled with a
miserable kind of death ... and these things assuredly come down from
the teachings of your gods. For Saturn did not expose his children, but
devoured them. With reason were infants sacrificed to him by parents in
some part of Africa, caresses and kisses repressing their crying, that
a weeping victim might not be sacrificed. Moreover, among the Tauri of
Pontus, and to the Egyptian Busiris, it was a sacred rite to immolate
their guests, and for the Galli to slaughter to Mercury human, or
rather inhuman, sacrifices. The Roman sacrifices buried living a Greek
man and a Greek woman, a Gallic man and a Gallic woman; and to this
day, Jupiter Latiaris is worshipped by them with murder; and, what is
worthy of the son of Saturn, he is gorged with the blood of an evil and
criminal man.”[378]

To drive home the awful character of a crime that was so common we
have the vision of Paul, who sees the man and woman who have exposed
children, suffering in hell the terrible tortures of the damned.

“‘They [the parents] gave us for food to dogs and to be turned out to
swine. Some of us they threw into the river,’ exclaimed these children;
“and so now the guilty are condemned to eternal punishment while the
children are committed to the angels.”[379]

We have quoted already the eloquent Lactantius. Basil the Great
thundered against infanticide and the spectacle of free children being
sold by avaricious creditors of their fathers. The same Ambrosius, who,
although only a Christian Bishop, castigated the Emperor Theodosius for
the massacre at Thessalonica, brought his force and courage to play
against the law which permitted a debtor to satisfy his claim, at the
cost of the liberty of his son, or the debauchery of his daughter, as
the _fisc_ was then authorized to sell infants to pay unsatisfied taxes.

A new religion in one of the least important provinces of the Roman
Empire, Christianity, in three centuries, pushed its doctrines to the
very end of the vast Roman domain, and even made the conquest of the
imperial throne itself.

Its impassioned preachers and apostles vaunted the humanity of their
new faith; for cast-out infants and the despised slaves the new priests
fought such a battle of perseverance and martyrdom as the world had
never seen before.

In the name of their new God, Jesus, himself admittedly a poor Jew and
a carpenter, they took all the truth there was in the aristocratic
philosophy of the Romans and their emperors, and made it live
indeed—they applied it to the lowest, and the most humble—even to
children. “Nothing human is alien”—this was a verity in the lives of
the men who fought the first battles of Christianity.

Every human being had a soul—that was a vital point in their fight.
They asserted that children had souls, to which religious doctrine
probably more is due in the way of checking the practice of infanticide
than any other single idea. We have seen how Plutarch, the polished
philosopher, had gone as far as the pagan mind could under its
philosophy, in directing thought as to man’s responsibility for actions
toward the child, by collecting opinions of the philosophers as to when
an unborn child became a human being.

The Fathers won the battle in that they convinced the Roman world that
children had souls—but the economic battle was one not yet to be won by
preaching. But it was not by orations and preaching alone that they had
won as much as they had.

Constantine, in the year 315, as we have seen, had put forth the

“Let a law be at once promulgated in all the towns of Italy, to turn
parents from using a parricidal hand on their new-born children, and to
dispose their hearts to the best sentiments. Watch with care over this,
that, if a father brings his child, saying that he cannot support it,
someone should supply him without delay with food and clothing; for the
cares of the new-born suffer no delay, and we order that our revenue,
as well as our treasure, aid in this expense.”[380]

To this he added, in 321, including the provinces:

“We have learned that the inhabitants of provinces, suffering from
scarcity of food, sell and put in pledge their children. We command
then that those found in this situation, without any personal resource,
and being able only with great trouble to support their children, be
succoured by our treasury before they fall under the blows of poverty;
for it is repugnant to our morals that any one under our Empire should
be pushed by hunger to commit a crime.”[381]

Ten years later, Constantine had to modify the laws in relation to
children—so acute were the sufferings in the Empire—by permitting those
who “took up” children to have the right of property in them.[382]

“Whoever,” said Constantine in his latest law, “has taken in a new-born
boy or girl, exposed by the order and with the knowledge of its father
or master, outside of the house of the one or the other, has the power
to keep him as son or slave without fear that those who rejected him
can reclaim him.”

The conditions of the times, as Dugour points out, are well shown by
the frequency with which these conditions are referred to. Julius
Firmicus, an astrologer of the fourth century, devotes a chapter of
his work to revealing combinations of planets that will tell what will
be the fate of the child that is exposed. Under certain signs the
child will perish through lack of food; under others it will drown;
under still another it will be eaten by dogs, and another combination
indicated that it would find a saviour and a second father.

In 374, the Emperors Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian declared that the
exposure of all infants was punishable, and ordered that parents see
to it that their children were fed. The main question that seemed to
agitate both the Empire of the East and the Empire of the West was that
of the rights of the adoptive parent, as against those who owned the
land where the child had been abandoned.

“Let men look to it that they nourish their children. If they expose
them, they may be punished in conformity with the law. If other persons
take the children up they cannot be reclaimed; as people cannot take
again children they have wilfully permitted to perish.”

In 391, Valentinian, Theodosius, and Arcadius permitted, by other law,
the child sold by its father to become a free man after a short term of
servitude, without reimbursing a master.[383]

In 409, Honorius and Theodosius issued an edict in favour of Romans
sold to other Romans, limiting the period of slavery to five years.
Nevertheless, in 412, Honorius and Theodosius confirmed the law of
Constantine concerning the sale of infants purchased or taken up with
the knowledge of the bishop of the diocese.

An edict of the emperors maintained the rights of the adoptive parents.
The right of the latter to their property was also confirmed in cases
where the parent or master willingly and knowingly had allowed the
child to be exposed.

Another imperial edict ordered that no new-born could be taken from the
place where it had been found without the presence of witnesses. A form
was drawn up which was to be signed by the bishop.

In 438, these regulations were collected by Theodosius the Second under
the Code that bears his name.

In 451, Valentinian the Third declared that the _nutritor_, or person
who had taken up the child, should receive an indemnity, independent of
the years of service, and fixed the price to be paid him. The Emperor
also declared that those who had sold children to barbarians, or who
had purchased a free person for the purpose of transporting him across
seas, should be compelled to pay to the _fisc_, six ounces of gold.[384]

Following the preachings of the Fathers, and supplementing and
strengthening the laws of the Empire, the Church at various councils,
called always for some other purpose, took action and frequently
condemned the loose morals of the day.

Not orations, nor apologies and pleas alone, says Labourt, would have
brought about the new point of view among people so hard pressed and
so thoroughly imbued with the ideas of another civilization. At the
Council of Ancyra, the modern city of Angora, in the year 314, it
was decreed that the woman guilty of killing her offspring should be
punished by being forbidden to enter a church for the rest of her life,
a terrible punishment in those days.

At the Council of Elvira, the first one held in Spain, by some held to
have met before 250, but by Tillemont placed in the year 300, a decree
limited the period of retribution to ten years, of which two were to be
passed in weeping, at the end of which time the recreant mother could
receive the sacraments.

At a Council in 546, the period of penitence was reduced to seven
years. At the Council of Constantinople, in 588, or 592, the crime
was compared to homicide, and finally Sixtus Quintus and Gregory the
Fourteenth stated that the culprits should suffer capital punishment.

At the Council of Nicaea, in 325,—the famous council at which a
controversy between Bishop Arius and Bishop Athanasius was “settled,”
with the result that Arius was declared a heretic,—it was prescribed,
in Article Seventy of its conclusions, that in each village of the
Christian world there should be established an asylum, under the name
of the _Xenodocheion_, the object of which was to assist voyageurs,
the sick, and the poor. Without doubt, as Labourt suggests, these
places became asylums for abandoned children.

The question of the property right was one that the Church had to face
in the Council of Vaison, in 442. Frequently after charitable strangers
had taken children off the highways, educated them, and brought them
up, their parents or their owners would demand their return. It was a
vital question of the day: to whom did these children belong?

The Emperor Constantine had declared that those who received them had
a right to them and the Emperor Honorius had added the restriction
that the Church must know of the adoption. Many were the arguments and
the legal battles that ensued, during which time people were little
inclined to rescue the abandoned infants and many perished as victims
of the voracity of dogs, many as the victims of hunger and cold.[385]

These conditions were presented to the Council, which ordered the
following measures:

“Whoever takes up an abandoned child shall bring him to the Church
where that fact will be certified. The following Sunday the priest
will announce that a new-born child has been found and ten days will
be allowed to the real parents to claim their infant. When these
formalities have been complied with, if any one then claims a child or
in any way calumniates those who have received it, he will be punished
according to the Church laws against homicide.”[386]

Ten years later the act of the Council of Vaison was sanctioned at the
Council of Arles and again in 505, by the Council of Agde.

It has been said that this was comparatively little when one thinks
of this great union of bishops representing not only the interests of
religion but “the moral needs of the epoch.” On the other hand, any
criticism would be unjust that did not take into consideration the fact
that it was great progress in the face of great poverty and greater

Church and State united in the movement for the protection of the child
in the laws of Justinian, who, raised to the throne in 527, published
in 529, and with considerable changes in 534, a collection of laws that
have immortalized his name, in which the great lawyer Tribonian remade
the three other codes, the Gregorian, Hermogenian, and the Theodosian.

Justinian proclaimed absolute liberty for foundling children, declaring
that they were not the property of either the parents who exposed them
or of those who received them.

One of these laws, promulgated in 553, punished severely those who
tried to hold as slaves, children who had been exposed. This law
stated expressly that all children left at churches or other places
were absolutely free. It also stated that the act of exposing a child
exceeded the cruelty of an ordinary murder, inasmuch as it struck at
the most feeble and the most pitiable.

The imperial edict of 553 invited the Archbishop of Thessalonica and
the prefect to give to the foundlings all the help possible and to
punish those who disobeyed the injunction with a fine of five livres of
gold. In addition, the Justinian Code contained a provision by which
a father whose poverty was extreme was allowed to sell his son or his
daughter at the moment of birth and to repurchase the infant later.
The Emperor also ordered that some organized endeavour be made to take
care of children for whom no other provision had been made. Unchanged
and little modified, with the exception of those amendments made by the
Emperor Leon, the philosopher, these laws and these conditions governed
the Eastern Empire from now on until its fall before the arms of the



With Church and State united in defence of the child’s right to live,
we turn to the barbaric hordes that were then enfilading the Roman
civilization. For the first time in the history of man the religious
law was the same as the civil law, and for the first time in the
history of man both represented human law.

With Diocletian’s division of the Empire into four almost equal parts
under two Augusti and two Cæsars, there was frank acknowledgment that
the great Roman Empire was at an end. With him, too, ended the fiction
of a popular sovereignty. The Roman Emperor became an Eastern despot.
He was no longer a man of the people easily to be seen and showing his
democracy in frequent unofficial parade.

[Illustration: THE HOLY FAMILY



He was now a secluded person wearing the dress of the Orientals,
surrounded by servile officials; and the Orientalism of the
government went further when Constantine, at the farthest limit
of Europe, built a new city, Constantinople, named after himself.
Nominally it was but to divide with Rome the honours of being the
capital; in reality it was to dim the even now fading lustre of the
Seven Hills.

From the frontiers of China to the Baltic there came pressing down on
the fast disintegrating Roman Empire armies of barbarians. Amid all the
disorder, the calamities without number, when civilization, science,
and the arts were all obscured, the Church gained strength, its tenets
held sway, its humanities were accepted as the conquerors in their turn
became the conquered. The Christian religion slowly gripped them all as
out of the convulsions of government there was born the modern Europe.

To the Romans and their adopted allies it was a world of terror—to the
Christians it was a friendly world, for the barbarians were known to
the Church long before they were known to the soldiers who tried to
repulse them.

It has been the fashion to decry the value of the check that the
Church put on the barbarous tribes in the early part of the Christian
era.[388] Up to the very door of the Church there was, it is true,
slaughter—there it stopped. Had it not been for the Church upholding
what it did of civilization and humanity, it is difficult to say what
would have been the outcome of the hordes of Ostrogoths, Visigoths,
Gephids, Longobards, Vandals, Burgundians, Franks, and Saxons who, at
one time or another, fell upon Rome.

But from the third century these invaders in their very triumph came
face to face with a moral force that checked them as no army could,
softened their manners, and uniting their rude strength with the last
remains of the glory of Rome, gave to the world the civilized nations
that now practically control both hemispheres.

Of the first missionary efforts little is known. Jesus himself had
said, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.... Teach them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded you,”[389] and was indeed
himself the first missionary of the new faith. Of his immediate
followers only three undertook missionary work.

After the death of Jesus, the Apostles scattered over the whole world.
“Thomas,” says Eusebius, “received Parthia as his alloted region;
Andrew received Scythia, and John, Asia.... Peter appears to have
preached through Pontus, Galatia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Asia ...
and Paul spread the Gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum.”[390]

From another source we are told that Matthew went into Æthiopia, but
in the following century there is little light as to who were the
missionaries; but that they were everywhere successful is shown by the
reports of the Roman governors to the emperors. Undisputed claims of
Tertullian and Justin also show that the work of conversion, despite
the proscriptions, was going on rapidly enough. Ulfilas, “the Apostle
of the Goths,” translated the Bible into their language in 325;
Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli in 370, made his cathedral the centre
of missionary work. Chrysostom trained people in the Gothic language
and in missionary work and sent them among the Goths according to

It was harder work in the West but it was more lasting. From Berins,
an islet off the roadstead of Toulon where, in 410 A.D., a Roman
patrician, Honoratus, had founded a monastic home, there were sent
bishops to Arles, Avignon, Lyons, Troyes, Metz, and Nice, and many
other places in southern and western Gaul, all to become the centres of
missionary work.[392]

The proselyting spirit among these Frankish bishops gave rise to a
great movement in the north. The preaching of Patrick was followed by
what has been described as a marvellous burst of enthusiasm; and Celtic
enthusiasm was from now to be counted on. Columba, the founder of Iona,
was the missionary for the Northern Picts and the Albanian Scots; Aidan
for the Northumbrian Saxons; Columbanus for the Burgundians of the
Vosges; Callich or Gallus for north-eastern Switzerland and Germany;
Kilian for Thuringia; Virgilius for Carinthia; Fridolin in Suabia and
Alsace; Magnoald founded a monastery in Fingen; Trudpert penetrated as
far as the Black Forest, where he was killed.

Among these people there had been a variety of conditions before the
coming of, first the Romans, and secondly the Christians. Before the
arrival of St. Patrick and the conversion of the natives there is very
little doubt that part of the pagan worship included human sacrifice.
On a plain in what is now the county of Leitrim which was then called
the Magh-Sleacth, or Field of Slaughter, these primeval rites took

“There on the night of Samhin, the same dreadful tribute which the
Carthaginians are known to have paid to Saturn in sacrificing to him
their first-born, was by the Irish offered up to their chief idol,

Of the Gauls and the Germans we learn something from Cæsar and Tacitus,
but both are vague enough when it comes to the subject of children. The
two people, according to Strabo, were as much alike as brothers.

“The two races have much in common,” said Martin, “in their social
organization.” In Gaul the power of the father was absolute—_viri
in uxores sicut in liberos vitæ necisque habent potesta__tem_,
wrote Cæsar, and Tacitus tells us in _Germanicus_ that the husband
had assisted in the execution of his adulterous wife by her nearest
relatives—a condition that would lead one to believe that there was
high regard for the mother of the family, although it has been said
that Tacitus in painting the Germans as virtuous as he did[394]
was following much along the lines of Fenimore Cooper in painting
the Indians a holy pink—he wished to improve the morals of his own
countrymen and sacrificed truth as a detaining cargo.

The Germans of the fourth century represented about the period of
culture that our American Indians did when the English first arrived in
this country. Unlike the Indians, they had the power to learn, whereas
the Indians seemed to be able to learn only the vices of civilization.
Their imagination stirred by the stories that came back to them of
the glory of Rome, they were for pressing forward. With the growing
population that made migration necessary, and with the inimical forces
pushing them from the rear, the “open road” beckoned them on to Rome.

Before the close of the fourth century the Gospel had been carried to
them, especially to those near the Roman border.

We have seen the laws of old Rome become more humane—what were the laws
of this later Rome?

Among some of the German tribes, notably among the Frisians, we learn
that the father had the right to kill and expose his children when
he was unable to provide them with nourishment; but once the child
had taken of milk or eaten honey it could not be killed. The Emperor
Julian, who loved literature more than he loved religion and has been
decorated with the title Apostate, speaks of a custom of some of the
barbarians who lived on the banks of the Rhine, which consisted of
abandoning the new-born children on the waves of the river, believing
that adulterous children would drown and legitimate children would

The Church was here able “to concord the essentials of two bodies of
law by discarding the elements of formalism and egoism in the Roman law
and the hard and barbaric qualities of the German law; and introduced
as governing principles of social and communal life the grave moral
principles which Christ had proclaimed. The New Testament was the great
law, the legislative ideal for all the Romano-Germanic peoples.”[395]

In the semi-barbarian laws that came out as the result of the blending
of their own customs with the Roman law, the combined product being
softened by the Christian teaching, there is evident always the
Germanic idea of the _wergeld_ by which a man paid for a crime, from
the smallest to the greatest. And instead of the _patria potestas_ we
find the _mundium_, this word (hand) being used to describe all classes
of protection.

Infanticide is not mentioned as frequently as is abortion. To the
belief that the infant had a soul was traceable this phase of
semi-barbarian legislation.

The Franks were not spoken of in history until 240 A.D. (Aurelianus)
and Salian Franks whose laws Montesquieu declared were much quoted and
seldom read were subdued by Julianus.[396]

According to the Salic law[397] to “kill a child that did not as
yet have a name, that is to say one under eight days of age, was to
be subject to a fine or _wergeld_ of 100 sous or 4000 deniers”[398]
xxiii., 4. _Si utero in ventre matris sui occisus fuerit, aut ante quod
nomen abait, malb anneando, sunt din. iiiM fac. sol. culp. iud._

To kill a boy under ten, according to the early manuscripts, meant
a fine of 24,000 deniers, while the later manuscripts raised the
age to twelve, as there was greater _wergeld_ for killing one who
was then considered a man. Oghlou suggests that while it cost but
200 sous to kill an ordinary free man, the price of an infant under
twelve was 600 because “the cowardice of killing a child that had
not arrived at the twelfth year appealed to the barbarians.” Such an
interpretation would be crediting the Salians with a most humanitarian
and nineteenth-century point of view. As a matter of fact, the fine for
the murder of a child is the same as for the killing of a _sagbaron_
(_Dicuntur quosi senatores_).

The words _puer crintus_ have been shown by Kern[399] to refer not to
the fact that the boy was one of twelve years who had been allowed to
wear his hair long, but one who “by right of birth is allowed to wear
his hair long in contradistinction to slaves and serfs.”[400]

To cut the hair of a boy or girl by force—and apparently against their
will—meant a fine of forty-five sous. To kill a free girl before the
age of twelve cost 200 sous, after the age of twelve, here given as
the age of puberty, meant 600 sous. To kill a woman who was _enceinte_
meant a _wergeld_ of 700 sous; to strike a woman who was _enceinte_
was 200 sous; if the child died, 600 sous, if the woman also died, 900
sous, and if the woman was _in verbo regis_, under the care of the
king, 1200 sous.

The Salic law, which was put together by four chosen seigneurs and
corrected by Clovis, Childbert, and Lothair, is also interesting in
that it put a penalty on murders in such a way as to show that even the
unborn child was given a value. A _wergeld_ of 700 sous was declared
against one who killed a woman who was _enceinte_, and to kill an
unborn child entailed a _wergeld_ of 200 sous.

The law of the Allemands, the people who have passed away but who have
left the name by which the French designate the Germans, differed from
the Salic law in an interesting way.

The tendency and underlying idea of the laws of the time is well shown
in the law of the Angles which punished the murder of a noble girl _non
nubile_ with the same _wergeld_ of 600 sous that it punished the murder
of a noble woman who was no longer able to bear children. The murder
of a woman who was capable of bearing children was punishable by a
_wergeld_ three times the size of this. But the fine for a young girl
or _non fecund_ woman of the plain people was only 160 sous.

The Burgundians in their law had no regulation on either infanticide or
abortion. The Ripurian Francs declared strongly against both in a law
that imposed a fine of 100 sous on “any one who killed a new-born child
that had not been named.”

The code of the Visigoths which was arranged after the middle of the
fifth century is the severest of all in its penalties as to abortion
and those in any way responsible for it.

In the matter of exposed children the law went into details. Parents
could not sell children, it states, nor put them in pawn.

“Whoever nourished a child that had been exposed, gained the value of a
slave, which had to be paid by the parents of the exposed child when it
was reclaimed by its parents. If the parents did not present themselves
but they should be found out, they were forced to pay and might be sent
into exile. If they did not have the means to pay, the one who had
exposed the child became a slave in his place to the rescuer.

“If a slave expose a child unknown to the master and the master swear
that he was ignorant of the act, the person who rescues and brings up
the child can recover only one fourth of its value; but if the exposure
has been with the master’s knowledge, the rescuer can recover the full
value of the child.”[401]

Those to whom a child had been given away to bring up received an
agreed price during the first ten years of the child. After that the
law declared that the service of the child was sufficient compensation
for its nurture—an interesting sidelight on the time when a child
became amenable to the “laws of industry.”

In these laws of the Visigoths it is easy to see the influence of
_Codex Theodosianus_.



Among the Anglo-Saxons there was a law (_domas_) of Ina, King of
Wessex, which declared that the nourishment for a child exposed and
recovered should be fixed at six sous for the first year, twelve sous
for the second year, and thirty for the third. Another law of the same
peoples, ascribed to Alfred, made it necessary for the person in charge
of a foundling at the time of its death, to establish the fact that the
death had occurred in a perfectly natural way, a sage precaution and
one centuries ahead of the time.

Theodoric, or Dietrich as Charles Kingsley called him to the chagrin of
Max Müller and others, as King of the Ostrogoths made an interesting
ruling on the subject of the freedom of children in the year 500. We
learn of this through his secretary, Cassiodorus, for, like other
kings, the Ostrogoth was wise enough to have the cleverest literary
man of his day to write his letters and leave behind his own approved
account of his reign.

According to this law, when a father because of poverty was obliged to
sell his child, the child did not therefore lose his liberty.[402]

Showing how nimble was not only the literary talent but the spirit of
Cassiodorus, it is interesting to read in another part of the writings
of the same author a rescript sent in the name of King Athalaric, the
successor of Theodoric and his grandson, to Severus, the governor of
Lucania. As a picture of the times that we are accustomed to think
of as dark, as well as an example of the dexterous literary skill of
Cassiodorus, the letter is worth printing, for while it takes a most
reactionary stand on the matter of the sale of children it suggests the
epistle of Trajan to Pliny.


“We hear that the rustics are indulging in disorderly practices, and
robbing the market-people who come down from all quarters to the chief
fair of Lucania on the day of St. Cyprian. This must by all means be
suppressed, and your Respectability should quietly collect a sufficient
number of the owners and tenants of the adjoining farms to overpower
these freebooters and bring them to justice. Any rustic or other person
found guilty of disturbing the fair should be at once punished with the
stick, and then exhibited with some mark of infamy upon him.

“This fair, which according to the old superstition was named
Leucothea (after the nymph) from the extreme purity of the fountain
at which it is held, is the greatest fair in all the surrounding
country. Everything that industrious Campania, or opulent Bruittii,
or cattle-breeding Calabria, or strong Apulia produces, is there to
be found exposed for sale, on such reasonable terms that no buyer
goes away dissatisfied. It is a charming sight to see the broad
plains filled with suddenly reared houses formed of leafy branches
intertwined: all the beauty of the most leisurely built city, and
yet not a wall to be seen. There stand ready boys and girls; with the
attractions which belong to their respective sexes and ages, whom not
captivity but freedom sets a price upon. These are with good reason
sold by their parents, since they themselves gain by their servitude.
For one cannot doubt that they are benefited even as slaves (or
servants?), by being transferred from the toil of the fields to the
service of the cities.

“What can I say of the bright and many coloured garments? what of the
sleek well-fed cattle offered at such a price as to tempt any purchaser?

“The place itself is situated in a wide and pleasant plain, a suburb of
the ancient city of Cosilinum, and has received the name of Marcilianum
from the founder of these sacred springs.

“And this is in truth a marvellous fountain, full and fresh, and of
such transparent clearness that when you look through it you think
you are looking through air alone. Choice fishes swim about in the
pool, perfectly tame, because if anyone presumes to capture them he
soon feels the Divine vengeance. On the morning which precedes the
holy night (of St. Cyprian), as soon as the priest begins to utter the
baptismal prayer, the water begins to rise above its accustomed height.
Generally it covers but five steps of the well, but the brute element,
as if preparing itself for miracles, begins to swell, and at last
covers two steps more, never reached at any other time of the year.
Truly a stupendous miracle, that streams of water should thus stand
still or increase at the sound of the human voice, as if the fountain
itself desired to listen to the sermon.

“Thus hath Lucania a river Jordan of her own. Wherefore, both for
religion’s sake and for the profit of the people, it behoves that good
order should be kept among the frequenters of the fair, since in the
judgment of all, that man must be deemed a villain who would sully the
joys of such happy days.”[403]



In the Eastern Empire it was always a fight with the Church on the
one hand and barbarian customs on the other for the humanization of
the rapidly developing peoples. We may now look at the Dark Ages in
a very different spirit from that which animated our fathers. We now
know that whatever may have been the faults of the priests or the
rulers, the world was making progress, and new and inherently strong
peoples were developing as fast as they could assimilate a superior

The Church, very early in the history of the Christian era, became the
avowed protector of the parentless children and it soon became a custom
to confide infants to the Church when mothers felt that they were
unable to raise their offspring. The gain made by the Church by this
step was immeasurable, for however much those opposed to Christianity
might argue, the onward march was irresistible when religion rested
itself on the mother instinct and, without accusation or attempted
retribution, willingly assumed the ties that maternity was obliged to

By the door of the churches it became the custom to have a marble
receptacle in which mothers placed the children that they were forced
to abandon. The newly born was received by the _matricularii_ or
by the priest, who, following the form prescribed, asked those who
assisted at the adoption ceremonies if there was any known person who
would consent to take charge of the infant. These formalities had
to receive the sanction of the bishop. Not infrequently the priest
succeeded in finding among the parishioners of his church someone who
would adopt the infant, but if he did not, the church always assumed
the responsibility and took care of the orphan. In some places the
children that had been abandoned by their mothers were, by the order
of the bishop, shown at the door of the church for ten days following
their abandonment, and if any one recognized and was able to declare
who the parents were, he made such a declaration to the ecclesiastical
authorities—a dangerous custom as many unfortunate though innocent
people discovered.

In the case where some person not officially connected with the church
assumed the responsibility of bringing up the abandoned child, such
a person (_nutricarii_) received with the charge, a document wherein
the fact of adoption was set forth, the circumstances under which the
child was found, and the right of the adoptive parent to hold the child
henceforth as a slave. In this connection it must be remembered that
the Code of Justinian, which had put an end to this custom in the East,
had no force in the West. The result was that in the European States
which succeeded to the Western Roman Empire it was an almost general
custom that abandoned children grew up in slavery. Indeed, so general
was this custom that even the Church placed the newly born as among
its assets, the church of Seville in Spain enumerating the number of
abandoned children taken in as among its revenues.

At the Council of Rouen, held in the seventh century, the priests of
each diocese were enjoined to inform their congregations that women
who were delivered in secret might leave their infants at the door of
the church. The church thereby attended to the immediate care of the
newly born, and while the fact that the children were brought up in
slavery was bad, it was a great improvement over the conditions in Rome
and Greece. At least, if brought up in slavery, they were brought up
with no criminal purpose and as far as the ecclesiastical authorities
were able to regulate their lives, they were not condemned to lives of

So bad, however, were the conditions in the seventh century, and so
miserable and poor were the people, that despite the example and the
preachings of the Church, thousands of children were thrown on the
highways or left in deserted places to perish of starvation. Among
the Gauls, before the domination of the Franks, the heads of families
that lacked food, or the means to obtain it, took to the market their
children and sold them as they would the veriest chattels.[405] This
traffic was not only common but it took place publicly, and not only in
ancient France but in Germany, in Flanders, in Italy, and in England.
Northern Europe was colder, more swampy, and more desolate then than
it is now and across the bleak and uncultivated country, country such
as one finds nowhere in Europe today but on the professional and bleak
battlefields of Bulgaria and Servia, the half-starved peasants tramped,
each with his group of children to place on sale when the coasts of
Italy or France were reached.

It was in this way that Saint Bathilde, afterward the wife of King
Clovis II., became the slave of the mayor of the palace, Archambault.
Bought by the latter, she was working as a slave in his household when
the King saw her and fell in love with her.[406]

Moved by such great misery and such odious traffic, holy men went,
purse in hand, to the places where these infants were being sold and
purchased the unfortunates, giving them later their liberty. In this
manner, Saint Eunice was purchased by an Abbé du Berry and Saint Thean
by Saint Eloi.

The poverty led to even worse crimes than the selling of their own
children for when it was found by the shiftless and impoverished that
they could sell their own children and the foundlings that they picked
up, not infrequently they robbed more fortunate parents of children
that were being well taken care of.

Similar distress and want had led to similar conditions in the fifth
century. In 449 A.D., the times were so hard and the people were in
such a famished condition in Italy and Gaul that parents sold their
children to middlemen even though they knew the children were to be
resold to the Vandals in Africa. Two years later Valentinian broke up
this practice, declaring that the person who sold a free person for the
purpose of having that person sold to the barbarians would be fined six
ounces of gold.[407]

This traffic was carried to such an excess in the British Islands that
it became the principal object of an apostolic mission of Gregory who
became Pope in 590.

“Our Divine Redeemer,” he wrote, “has delivered us from all servitude
and has given unto us our original liberty. Let us imitate his example
by freeing from slavery those men who are free by the laws of nature.”

The attitude toward children in England under the Anglo-Saxon
kings[408] is shown by the fact that a boy’s accountability, his
capability of bearing arms and of the management of his property began,
according to the earlier laws, in his tenth, but according to the laws
of Æthelstan, in his twelfth year.[409] “The accountability of children
was extended even to the infant in the cradle, whereby, in the case of
theft committed by the father, they, like those of mature age, were
consigned to slavery, but this cruel practice was by a law of Cnut
strictly forbidden.[410] This premature majority of the Anglo-Saxon
youth accounts for the early accession to the throne of some of the
kings, as Edward the Martyr, who was crowned in his thirteenth year.
Majority at the age of ten is not mentioned in any other Germanic laws,
excepting in favour of the young testator, or the son whose father
could not or would not support him. The beginning of the thirteenth
year as that of majority is strictly and universally Germanic.”[411]

“The doctrines of the Church,” say Terme and Monfalcon, “were indeed
admirable—they breathed the purest, the finest morality and the most
ardent love of humanity, but they were unable to prevail against the
ignorance of the people and the barbarity of their morals.”

Coming to the first attempts at organized effort to save children by
the Church we find that Article 70 of the Council of Nicaea instructed
the bishop to establish in each city a place to which travellers,
the sick and the poor, might appeal for aid and shelter. The
_Xenodocheion_, as it was called, is to this day the word for “hotel”
in modern Greece, where the traveller in Europe will conclude there is
little evidence of improvement since the ecclesiastical foundation.
These places were also used as the asylums for children, a fact that
led them to be called _Brephotrophia_.[412]

In the West a similar movement sprang up, and in the life of Saint
Gour, contemporary of Childebert, it is said that at Trèves there was
something like a systematic endeavour to protect children. A great
obscurity hangs around this foundation, and it is equally difficult to
determine positively what is the exact character of the institution
ascribed to Saint Marmbœuf, who died in Angers in 654.

Of the efforts of Datheus, however, there are no doubts, though
interesting is the fact that no biographical encyclopædia contains even
his name. He was Archbishop of Milan, and the first institution to
take care of helpless children was founded by him in 787.

“An enervating and sensual life,” declared Datheus in founding the
asylum, “leads many astray. They commit adultery and do not dare show
the fruits in public and therefore put them to death. By depriving the
children of baptism they send them to hell. These horrors would not
take place if there existed an asylum where the adulterer could hide
her shame, but now they throw the infants in the sewers or the rivers
and many are the murders committed on the new-born children as the
result of this illicit intercourse.

“Therefore, I, Datheus, for the welfare of my soul and the souls of my
associates, do hereby establish in the house that I have bought next to
the church, a hospital for foundling children. My wish is that as soon
as a child is exposed at the door of a church that it will be received
in the hospital and confided to the care of those who will be paid to
look after them.... These infants will be taught a trade and my wish is
that when they arrive at the age of eight years they will be free from
the shackles of slavery and free to come or go wherever they will.”[413]

In 1380 a similar institution was opened in Venice, and in Florence in
1421. There is no doubt that similar institutions were most frequent
in the fifteenth century. Pontanus, a writer of that age, speaks of
having seen nine hundred children in the one at Naples, and openly
expresses his admiration for the liberal education that they received
and the care bestowed on them by their teachers.[414]

The most purely religious institute appears to have been, according
to the able Gaillard, that of the Bourgognes[415] in imitation of
the charity of St. Marthe in her house in Bethany. An order, that of
the _chanoines réguliers du Saint Esprit_, was founded, or at least
encouraged by Guy of Montpellier about the end of the twelfth century
for the express purpose of caring for poor and abandoned children. The
same institution is also said to have had for its founder, Olivier de
la Crau in 1010. In any case it was not until 1188, eight years after
the foundation of the order ascribed to Guy of Montpellier, that the
hospital of Marseilles was established.

The historians of Languedoc[416] do not justify the assumption that
this same Guy was the son of the Count of Montpellier, and all that
we know is that “Brother Guy” or “Master Guy,” as he was differently
called,[417] apparently founded an asylum for sick men and abandoned

The success of this order was immediate. In 1197, Bernard de Montlaur
and his wife left a substantial donation to the Hospital of Saint
Esprit at Montpellier, and to Guy, its founder.[418] Public approval
was followed by official approval, for the Senate of Marseilles, or the
Honourable Council, as it was called, held its meetings in the hospital
founded there by Guy in 1188 and began its deliberations always with a
discussion about the condition of the poor.[419]

Following the efforts of Guy of Montpellier, at Montpellier and at
Marseilles, the movement, under the auspices of the _hospitaliers_ of
Saint Esprit, spread so rapidly that before the end of the century
there were institutions at Rome,[420] one at Bergliac, and one at
Troyes, and others in different places.[421] The order founded by Guy
was given the approval of the Holy See, and its founder was called to
Rome by Innocent III. and placed in charge of the house of Santa Maria
in Sassia, where the Pope wished the same spirit that had marked Guy’s
own institution at Montpellier. Guy died in Rome, 1208.


The house of Santa Maria in Sassia to which Guy was called was attached
to the church of that name which had been founded by Gna, king of the
later Saxons, in 715. It had undergone many disastrous changes, but
in 1198 Innocent III., at his own expense, had it renovated and
repaired for the sick and poor of Rome. In 1204, moved by the frequency
with which the fishermen of the Tiber found in their nets the bodies of
children that had been thrown into the river, the Pope dedicated part
of the hospital to the care of abandoned children, and it was to this
institution that Guy of Montpellier was called.

The humane movement spread rapidly, generally under at least the
nominal guidance of the Order of Saint Esprit. Many institutions,
however, were founded in the name of Saint Esprit where little
attention was paid to children.

The institution at Embeck[422] founded in 1274 made a special work of
taking care of abandoned children in the name of Saint Esprit. We come
now to the name of Enrad Fleinz,[423] that bourgeois of Nuremberg,
who in 1331 founded in his natal town the first hospital where not
only children might be left, but where women might go to be delivered,
without regard to whether the offspring were legitimate or not. This,
too, was in the name of Saint Esprit, and in the year 1362, a similar
asylum for orphans was founded in Paris.

It was indeed under the auspices of this order that the movement
which began with the imperial _Brephotrophia_ in the sixth century
grew, until the various institutions of one sort or another intended
to prevent the outright murder of children or their abandonment in
deserted places were dependent, not on the humanity of any one man
or group of men, but on the new-born spirit that was then spreading
throughout Europe and that continued to spread even when individualism
and materialism as ruling forces had supplanted religion and
asceticism. The history of charity, which, as Lecky says, is yet to
be written, will doubtless reveal, when it comes to be written, the
various unappreciated factors that went to produce the humane movement.

Some idea of how rapidly these institutions had multiplied may be
obtained from a bull of Nicholas IV., containing a long enumeration
of the various foundations, which includes places in Italy, Sicily,
Germany, England, France, and Spain.[424]

Besides those enumerated by the Pope, there were however other
institutions springing up where, either as an adjunct to hospital work
or as an independent work itself, children were being cared for. As
one of the original and most scholarly writers on this phase of the
subject has pointed out, it is difficult to make positive statements
about these foundations, for the men interested were intent on their
work rather than on leaving a record of it behind. Perhaps in this
connection, some future historian, in viewing the voluminous charitable
records of our day, will assume that “social” egotism has been well
saddled, and made to do more than the work of a timely charitable


The conditions that led to the crusade of Vincent of Paul antedated
that philanthropist by several hundred years. Where the religious
spirit had failed to arouse interest in the problem of the welfare of
parentless children, the large cities of Europe were themselves forced
to take some action. Milan, in 1168, on the prayer of the Cardinal
Galdinus, founded a hospital (which would indicate that the institution
founded by Datheus had either fallen into disuse or was inadequate) and
Venice in 1380 followed the example of Milan, while the magnificent
hospital for foundling children in Florence (Spidale degl’ Innocenti)
was founded, after a long deliberation in open council, on October 25,

Included in these governmental or municipal movements is that of St.
Thomas of Villeneuve, Archbishop of Valence, who created an asylum in
his own palace at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and gave
orders that no children presented there should be turned away.

The Hotel-Dieu de Notre Dame de Pitié of Lyons, which by letters patent
of 1720 was declared to be the oldest hospital of France, commenced in
1523 the same work, and in that year is recorded as having received
nine children. On February 25, 1530, François the First recognized the
right of the institution to take in these children.

In 1596 the city of Amsterdam began to make provision for the abandoned

The beginning of the movement in Paris, we learn, was the result of
the terrible conditions that followed the war in 1360, 1361, and
1362.[425] Poverty and misery were everywhere, and a large number of
orphans practically lived and died in the streets, says Breuil in his
_Antiquités de Paris_. Various charitable people took in some of these
unfortunates, the Hotel-Dieu being overrun; but, as the conditions were
but little ameliorated, on February 7, 1362, a group of citizens went
to the “Reverend father in God, Messire Jean de Meulant, 88th Bishop
of Paris,” and discussed with him the frightful conditions of the poor
boys and girls of Paris. The evils attending the homeless condition of
the latter were especially considered. We are told that the result of
the conference was that the Bishop gave them permission to institute
and erect a hospital of Saint Esprit and bestowed on each one of the
conferees forty days’ indulgence.

The institution that arose as a result of this conference has been
criticized as being narrow in its purpose, inasmuch as the rules
declared that only legitimate children, born of parents in Paris,
were to be admitted; but the restriction, it must be understood, was
necessary, in view of the small funds in hand.

But humanitarian feeling was growing; and people were beginning to
be proud of being thoughtful and kind. It was no longer a mark of
superiority to be lustful of blood. Botterays, in a Latin poem on
Paris,[426] spoke of the splendid way in which the orphan children of
Paris were brought up, referring to the Hospital of Saint Esprit and
the House of the Enfants-Dieu. After long years of nominal acquiescence
in its teachings, the barbarians of the North were really beginning to
accept the Christianity of Christ.



From Datheus to Vincent de Paul the general history of the child in
Europe moves as from one mountain peak to another with a long valley
of gloom in between. Datheus has received no credit; Vincent de Paul
has been justly recognized as a deserving contemporary of that list of
brilliant men who went to make up the Golden Age of France. Golden Age
that it was, with its highly polished manners, there, under the reign
of the elegant Mazarin and the delicate Anne of Austria, it was no
uncommon sight to see a child lying dead on the pavements, while others
died of misery and hunger under the very eyes of the passers-by. Not
a day passed, say the chroniclers, when the men who had charge of the
sewers or the police did not draw out at least the body of one child.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century Europe, and France
especially, was war-ridden. During the sixteenth century, the
religious and charitable impulses had suffered, first through the
national war, then by the factional wars, and finally by religious wars.

“The religious war,” said the historian of Languedoc,[427] “almost
entirely destroyed the Hospital of Montpellier ... and even the order
of Saint Esprit was dying out throughout France.”

It was a curious and disjointed society, that of the France of that
day. Kingdoms there were within the royal domain; the laws of the large
city frequently clashing with those of the province within which it was
located; here and there provinces following their own laws rather than
the laws of the kingdom itself. In some provinces the Church dominated;
in others the nobles; elsewhere, the two classes were beginning to melt
into the body of the nation which occasionally overrode both.[428]

At Aix, for instance, it was the custom to place the abandoned child in
a religious home where, as in the rest of Provence, the unknown bastard
was charged to the nearest hospital. Practically the same law was
observed in Bretagne.

At Poitiers, a decree on September 15, 1579, “condemning the provision
by which religious orders nourished infants found at their door,”
ordered that the monasteries and ecclesiastic chapters of the place
should be called on to regulate their contributions to the support of
the children.

But as a rule the great nobles were obliged to take care of the
foundlings abandoned within their jurisdiction. In the origin of the
fiefs, the bastards had been set down as _épaves_ (waifs), and the
interpreters of the law (_jurisconsults_) had decided that the lord had
no right to refuse to take care of the _épaves_. The parliaments too
took the view that, inasmuch as the _seigneur_ profited by all deaths
that occurred and succeeded to all titles in the case of disinheritance
within his domain, he should accept the liability for the care of the
unknown children found within their domain.

Of the many decrees which touch on this important point, the oldest is
that of the Parliament of Paris in the year 1547. Many other _arrêts_
followed, until on September 3, 1667, the following, in the interest of
the special hospitals, declared that:

“All the _seigneurs_ (_hauts justiciers_) will be held responsible for
the expense and nourishment of all infants whose parents are unknown,
and who are found exposed on their lands and taken to hospitals.”

This regulation, as Ramcle says, failed in its purpose, for it was not
possible to force what was considered charity on the none too generous
nobles. The laws were evaded, and each community tried to send to its
neighbours the unfortunate infants it should have guarded.

The mortality of infants increased, and as in Rome in the days of
the Empire, mothers threw their children into the sewers or left
them on the highways. Those less inhuman left them at the doors of
the hospitals, where, during the winter, in the morning, they were
frequently taken in more dead than alive.

Of course, the laws against these abandonments were promptly
enforced—the unfortunate women were easily punished. A girl who killed
her offspring was hung, and others who were caught leaving children in
solitary places were whipped and disgraced in the cities and villages
where they lived.

By an edict of Henry II., under penalty of punishment, a woman
_enceinte_ was obliged to declare her condition; and to add to this
bungling legislative effort, she was obliged to tell who the guilty
man was, the maxim _creditur virgini_ being accepted everywhere. The
attempts at curing the ills failed, for, while the intentions of the
legislators were undoubtedly honest, they only exposed shameless
conditions, made the unfortunate suffer even more, brought ruin to
many honest families, and gain to shameless women only. The number
of children abandoned and murdered in defiance of the regulations
increased instead of decreasing.

At this time there came an individual effort to better things, by a
woman whose name is not even known and whose efforts at a noble work
have, owing to the actions of her servants, been much misinterpreted.

Living in a house in the Cité de Saint-Landry, Paris, with two
servants, she received every morning the infants that the soldiers (or
police) had collected during the night. So many were eventually turned
over to her, that she was unable to feed them, and many died in her own
house for lack of food. In the crowded conditions we are also told a
selection[429] was made and some of the children were exposed again, or
at least they were turned over to some charitable or interested person
who would accept them. The care of the children devolving finally on
the two servants, many of them are said to have perished from the drugs
they were given to keep them quiet. The availability of children as
beggars led the servants to look on them as a means of money making,
and they were sold for various cruel and evil purposes, a condition
that eventually led to the reform undertaken by Vincent de Paul.

The fact that they frequently fell into the hands of magicians,
mountebanks, and pedlars, who deformed them in order to make them of
assistance in earning a livelihood, is attested by the biographer of

“Returning from one of his missions,” says Maury, “Vincent de Paul,
whom I have dared to call almost the visible angel of God, found under
the walls of Paris one of these infants, in the hands of a beggar,
who was engaged in deforming the limbs of the child. Although almost
overcome with horror, he ran to the savage with that intrepidity with
which the virtuous man always attacks crime.

“‘Barbarian,’ he cried, ‘how you deceive me—from a distance I took you
for a man!’

“He snatched the victim from its persecutor, carried it in his arms
across Paris, gathered a crowd about him and called on them to witness
the brutality of the day and place in which they lived. A few days
later he had founded his first institution for children, and the cause
of children had enrolled one of its noblest champions.”

In order to thoroughly understand the situation, a number of charitable
women under the guidance of Madame Legas, niece of the Lord Chancellor
Marillac,[430] went to the house in the Cité de Saint-Landry and
studied the question from the inside of the house. Their horror at the
things they saw led them to declare that the children massacred by
Herod were fortunate in comparison with the condition of the orphans
of Paris.[431] As it was impossible to take charge of all the children
then in the Cité de Saint-Landry twelve children were taken, and in
1638, under the care of Madame Legas and some charitable women, a house
was opened for them in the Faubourg Saint-Victor. As they were able to
enlarge the scope of their institution, more and more children were
taken care of; the enthusiasm of these women ran so high under the
glowing example of Vincent, that even in the dead of night in the cold
corners, they would be found going about the streets of Paris, into
the worst and least lighted sections, doing police duty, gathering the
unfortunate victims, and carrying them to the house in the Faubourg

In the course of time, sufficient interest had developed in this work
so that enough money was forthcoming to enlarge the scope. Vincent
gathered together the pious women who had acted as his assistants and
addressed to them that _touchante allocution_, sometimes quoted as a
model of eloquence.[433] The house in the Faubourg Saint-Victor was
soon found to be too small, and the Château de Bicêtre was obtained
from the king.

The place was not found suitable on account of the _vivacité de l’air_
and the children were transferred to the Faubourg Saint-Lazare, then
in 1672 to the Cité, near Notre Dame, where they remained up to the
Revolution. Then they were assigned the ancient _abbaye_ of Port Royal
and the _maison de l’Oratoire_, located in the southern part of Paris.

The success of the new undertaking was so great that even Louis XIII.
became interested and donated four thousand francs per year to the
charity. Inasmuch as in the long history of the child’s fight for a
place in the government, this was the first recognition by a government
since the Roman emperors, it is interesting to read Louis’s own
statement in the preamble of the letters patent relating to this gift:

“Having been informed by persons of great piety, that the little
attention which has been given up to the present to the nourishing and
care of the parentless children exposed in the city and outskirts of
Paris has been the cause of death, and even has it been known that they
have been sold for evil purposes, and this having brought many ladies
to take care of these children, who have worked with so much zeal and
charitable affection that their zeal is spreading, and wishing so much
to do what is possible under the present circumstances,[434] we have,”

The example of Louis was followed in 1641 by his widow, Anne of
Austria, who made an annual gift of 8000 francs. She had become regent
and, speaking in the name of the young King, said that “imitating the
piety and the charity of the late King, which are truly royal virtues,
he adds to this first gift, another annual gift of 8000 francs. Thanks
to what has already been given and the charity of individuals, the
greater number of the infants rescued have been raised, and there are
now more than four hundred living.”

In June, 1670, Louis XIV. made the children’s hospital one of the
institutions of Paris, and authorized it to discharge the functions and
enjoy the privileges of such an institution.

“As there is no duty more natural,” he declared, “and none that
conforms more to the idea of Christian charity than to care for the
unfortunate children who are exposed—their feebleness and their
misfortune making them doubly worthy of our compassion ... considering
also that their protection and safeguarding is to our advantage
inasmuch as some of them may become soldiers, others workmen,
inhabitants of the colonies,” etc.[435]

The edict declared that while the expenses of the institution had
reached forty thousand francs a year, the royal donation could not
exceed twelve thousand francs, and the King exhorted the women of
charity who had done so much, to continue their notable work.

This royal recognition of the great institution at Paris was not
without evil effect in the provinces. The nobles and the civic
authorities of rural communities, wishing to get rid of the burden of
the infants deserted within their jurisdiction, had the unfortunates
taken to Paris.[436] They were usually carried there by men who were
driving in on other business, and as many stops were made between
the starting point and the destination, and as the drivers were more
interested in other things than in the infant baggage, for which they
were paid in advance, the mortality greatly increased.

“There was hardly a town in the kingdom,” said Latyone,[437] “where
abandoned children were admitted freely and without information being
requested. In the towns that were not too far from Paris, they were
carried thirty and forty leagues, at the risk of having them die on the
way; and the hospital at Paris was overcrowded and in debt.”

This condition of affairs led to a new law, after a report which
declared that of two thousand infants carried to Paris from the
provinces, in all sorts of weather, by public vehicles without care or
protection, three quarters had died within three months. The new law
decreed that any wagoner bringing an infant to Paris to expose it would
be fined one thousand livres. Inasmuch as the rule was made in the
interest of the children, it was also decreed that abandoned children
must be brought to the nearest hospital, and if that hospital declared
that it had not enough funds to support the foundlings, the royal
treasury might be drawn on.



The cannibalistic stage has passed and the day of sacrifice has
passed—no longer is the child frankly a convenience nor is its life,
as a result of past economic stress, a lightly considered trifle to be
tossed into the cauldron of religious ceremony. Philosophy, humanity,
civilization, and religion have combined to make the life of the child

With what result?

The general belief that children were not regularly employed until
the middle of the last century, when the factory system arose, had
led to the equally erroneous belief that it was in the factory where
the industrial abuse of children was first practised. In France where
there was little industrial use for children in the large centres of
population, where in other words children did not pay, the problem
of modern humanity was to save infants from exposure and death. In
England where there was an industrial use for them from early times,
and where from the earliest times there are records of their abuse,
there was no necessity for measures to protect them from infanticidal
tendencies. But it is in England that we must study the ill-treatment
of children that was brought about by the desire to make them useful.

The industrial records of the Middle Ages contain but few
references[438] to children, for the adults were busy with their own
troubles. One of the first of these notices was an order issued by the
famous Richard Whittington, in 1398, and, although it is mixed with
other considerations, it shows the human spark. It reads:


  “_22 Richard II., A.D. 1398. Letter-Book H., fol.
  cccxviii. (Norman French)._

“On the 20th day of August, in the 22d year, etc., the following
Articles of the trade of Hurers were by Richard Whityngtone, Mayor, and
the Aldermen, ordered to be entered.—

“In the first place,—that no one of the said trade shall scour a
_cappe_ or _hure_, or anything pertaining to _scouryng_, belonging to
the said trade, in any open place: but they must do this in their own
houses; seeing that some persons in the said trade have of late sent
their apprentices and journeymen as well as children of tender age and
others, down to the water of Thames and other exposed places, and amid
horrible tempests, frosts, and snows, to the very great scandal, as
well of the good folks of the said trade, as of the City aforesaid.
And also, because of that divers persons, and pages belonging to
lords, when they take their horses down to the Thames, are often-times
wrangling with their said apprentices and journeymen; and they are then
on the point of killing one another, to the very great peril that seems
likely to ensue therefrom.”[439]

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when the peasants were the
villeins of the owners of the land and held their small farms in return
for the work done, the work of children was contracted for, “the lord
very frequently demanding the labour of the whole family, with the
exception of the housewife.”[440]

Nearly all the trades and manufactures in the Middle Ages were under
the control of the guilds, so that almost all of the children working,
excepting those on farms or in domestic service, came under their
supervision. The attitude of the guilds toward child labour is shown
in the regulations of the apprenticeships, but this interest was
mainly industrial, for in regulating the work of the children they
protected their members from cheap labour and at the same time, by
their supervision over the work of the rising generation, saw that the
guild’s reputation for the proper kind of labour was kept up and prices
therefore held to a desirable level.[441]

At the same time there was a religious side to the guilds, a strong
religious side, and while everything they did, such as the prohibition
of night work (not out of consideration of the health of the workers
but because it might lead to bad work),[442] had a purely industrial
aspect, there is no doubt that this social and religious side developed
in the guilds and their members an outlook on the broader and more
humane aspects of their own place in society. The custom of not
permitting a man to employ other than his own wedded wife and his own
daughter was not humanitarian in its intention but its effect could not
be other than beneficial.

“No one of the said trade,” said the ordinances of the Braelers (makers
of braces) in 1355, “shall be so daring as to work at his trade at
night ... also, that no one of the said trade shall be so daring as to
set any woman to work in his trade, other than his wedded wife, or his

In 1562 the Statute of Artificers was passed, regulating the system of
apprenticeship which had hitherto been a matter of regulation only
among the guilds themselves. The national sanction thereby given to the
apprentice system meant much and had a great influence in the years to
come. The chief features of the Act, binding by indenture, registration
of the agreement, and a minimum term of seven years on the indoor
system, led to the master’s entire control of the boy and up to 1814
affected the relationships of the child employed or otherwise under the
control of an employer.

Coincident with the development of the interest in the child as an
industrial factor arose the interest in the child as a charge on the
State, a phase of the child question that in the ancient civilizations
had found its answer mainly in the toleration of infanticide. The
Common Council of London on September 27, 1556, passed an Act, the
following extract from which will go to show that there was then an
attempt to go back of the child problem and an endeavour to regulate

“FORASMUCHE AS great pouertie, penurye and lacke of lyvynge hathe of
late yeres by dyverse and soundrye occasyons wayes and meanes arysen
growen and encreased within this Cytye of London not onelye amongste
the pore artyficers and handye craftes men of the same Cytie but also
amongest other Cytezens of suche Companyes as in tymes paste have
lyved and prosperouslye and in greate wealthe and one of the Chiefeste
occasyons thereof (as it is thought and semeth to all men who by
longe tyme have knowne the same Cytie and have had experyence of the
state thereof) is by reason of the ouer hastie mariages and ouer soone
setting vpp of howsholdes of and by the youthe and yonge folkes of the
saide Cytye whiche have commenlye vsyd and yet do to marye themselues
as soone as euer they comme out of their Apprentycehood be they neuer
so yonge and unskyllfull....”[444]

In the time of Henry VIII. an attempt was made to take care of the
question of the growing number of vagrant children by making all
vagrant children between the years of five and fourteen liable to be
bound out to some master as apprentices, the boys until they were
twenty-four and the girls until they were twenty.[445]

In 1601 a statute was passed which gave to justices of the peace the
power of apprenticing not only the children of paupers and vagrants but
the children of those parents who were overburdened with children and
who were unable to support them.

“AND be it further enacted that it shalbe lawfull for the saide
churchwardens and overseers, or the greater parte of them, by the
assent of any two justices of the peace aforesaid, to binde any
suche children as aforesaide to be apprentices, where they shall see
convenient, till suche man child shall come to the age of fower and
twentie yeares, and such woman child to the age of one and twenty
yeares, or the tyme of her mariage; the same to be as effectuall to
all purposes as if suche childe were of full age, and by indenture of
covenant bounde hym or her selfe.”[446]

In the seventeenth century, the practice of putting children
prematurely to work prevailed to an extent which, when compared with
the extent of the manufacturing system, “seems almost incredible,” says

A little creature of six years old was thought fit for labour in
the town of Norwich, the chief seat of the clothing trade. Writers
at that time, and among them some who were considered as eminently
benevolent,[448] mention, “with exultation, the fact that in that
single city boys and girls of tender age created wealth exceeding what
was necessary for their own subsistence by twelve thousand pounds a




The industrial revolution of the eighteenth century was sudden and
violent. All the great inventions of Watt, Arkwright, and Boulton were
made within twenty years, steam was applied to the new looms, and
the modern factory system had fairly begun.[449] With the demand for
labourers and the fact that the division of labour brought about a call
for low-priced workmen, some of the divisions really necessitating no
greater intelligence than that of a child, the children were in great

It was here that the Statute of Artificers assisted in the crushing
industrial conditions, for the overseers of the poor became the agents
of the mill-owners and arranged for days when the pauper children could
be inspected and selected for the factory work. When the selections
had been made, the children were conveyed by canal boats and wagons
to the destination, and then their slavery began. Sometimes men who
made a business of trafficking in children would transfer them to
a factory district where they were kept in a dark cellar until the
mill-owner, in want of hands, came to look them over and pick out
those that he thought would be useful. Nominally the children were
apprentices, but actually they were slaves and their treatment was most
inhuman. The parish authorities, in order to get rid of the imbeciles,
often bargained that the mill-owners take one idiot with every twenty
children. What became of the idiots after they had passed into the
hands of the capitalist is not known, but in most cases they did not
last long and mysteriously disappeared.

No matter what the conditions and no matter how ill the children, they
were worked without any visible vestige of human feeling. Even as late
as 1840 in the evidence given before the Select Committee investigating
the conditions of factories after the passage of the Reform Act of
1833, these were the conditions that the inspectors reported:

Q. “Have you many lace-mills in your district?”

A. “I have about thirty mills.”

Q. “What are the usual hours of work in these mills?”

A. “The usual hours are, about Nottingham, _twenty hours a day_, being
from four o’clock in the morning till twelve o’clock at night; about
Chesterfield, the report I have had from the superintendent is, that
they work twenty-four hours, all through the night, in several mills

Q. “Are there many children and young persons in those mills?”

A. “The proportion is less in lace-mills than in others, but it is
necessary to have some of them; the process of winding and preparing
the bobbins and carriages requires children; those that I saw so
employed were _from ten to fifteen years of age_.”

Q. “Are the children detained in the mills during a considerable period
of the day and night?”

A. “I can speak from information derived from two or three mill-owners,
and also more extensively from reports by one of the superintendents
in my district; and I should say that in most of the mills they do
detain them at night; in some of them, the report states that they are
detained all night, in order to be ready when wanted.”

Q. “Are the children that are so detained liable to be detained
throughout the day, and do they sometimes begin their work at twelve
o’clock at night?”

A. “In the mills at Nottingham there are owners that make it a rule
that they will not keep the children after eight, or nine, or ten
o’clock, according to the inclination of the mill-occupier.”

Q. “Where are those children during the time they are detained in the

A. “_When detained at night, and not employed I am told they are lying
about on the floor._”

Q. “Is it customary to close at eight on Saturday evening in the

A. “I think it is.”

Q. “How then do they compensate for the loss of those four hours work
in those mills?”

A. “_By working all night on Friday_; those are the mills in which they
pay so much for their power.”

Q. “Must not there be a considerable wear and tear upon the physical
constitution of children who are kept in this state?”

A. “I think it is self-evident.”

Q. “Is there any possibility of their obtaining education under those

A. “None whatever, except on Sundays.”

Q. “But, after one hundred and twenty hours’ work in the week, is it
possible that they can have much capacity for study on Sunday?”

A. “It is not always that the same children are kept twenty hours,
because some mills have two complete sets of hands for their machinery,
and they work the same set of hands only ten hours.”

Q. “But, even under those circumstances, it must frequently happen that
the same children are employed during the night twice or thrice in the
course of a week?”

A. “The practice generally is that they take the night-work for one
week, and then the next week the morning-work.”

Q. “So that during one whole week they are employed in the night-work?”

A. “Yes.”

Q. “At the end of a week, during which they have been employed in the
night, do you think that they have much capacity left for study on

A. “No; my opinion is most decidedly that either turning out at four
o’clock in the morning, or being kept out of bed at night, must be
injurious to children, both to their physical constitution and their
mental powers.”

Q. “The law, as it stands, does not prevent the children from being
employed even twenty hours?”

A. “It does not apply to lace-mills.”

Q. “Therefore the period during which the child is employed depends
upon the varying humanity of the individual proprietor of the mill?”

A. “Yes.”

Q. “You say that it sometimes happens that the children come to the
mill at five in the morning, and do not leave it till ten at night?”

A. “It is reported to me that it does so happen about Chesterfield.”

Q. “If a child is kept in winter till twelve o’clock at night, and has
then to go home and return to the factory in the morning, a distance of
two miles, does not he undergo fearful hardships?”

A. “Certainly.”[450]

The children who were apprenticed out to the mill-owners were fed on
the coarsest kind of food and in the most disgusting way. They slept
by turns, in relays, in beds that were never aired, for one set of
children were turned into the beds as soon as another set had been
driven out to their long and filthy toil. Some tried to run away and
after that they were worked with chains around their ankles; many died
and the little graves were unmarked in a desolate spot lest the number
of the dead attract too much attention.

Sixteen hours a day, six days a week, was no uncommon time for
children, and on Sunday they worked to clean the machine.

“In stench, in heated rooms, amid the constant whirling of a thousand
wheels, little fingers and little feet were kept in ceaseless action,
forced into unnatural activity by blows from the heavy hands and
feet of the merciless overlooker, and the infliction of bodily pain
by instruments of punishment, invented by the sharpened ingenuity of
insatiable selfishness.”[451]

The agitation against these conditions led, in 1802, to an Act being
passed by the influence of Sir Robert Peel for the preservation of the
health and morals of apprentices and others employed in cotton and
other mills.

The immediate cause of this was the fearful spread through the
factories in the Manchester district of epidemic diseases due to
overwork, scanty food, wretched clothing, long hours, bad ventilation,
among the working people and especially among the children.

As far as reforming the conditions in which the children lived, the
Act, however, was a dead letter, and in a debate introduced by Sir
Robert Peel on June 6, 1815, one speaker, Horner, told of the sale of a
gang of children with the effects of a bankrupt.

“A still more atrocious instance,” continued the speaker, “had been
brought before the Court of King’s Bench two years ago, when a number
of these boys apprenticed by a parish in London to one manufacturer had
been transferred (_i. e._, sold) to another and had been found by some
benevolent persons in a state of absolute famine.”[452]

No longer could people ignore conditions such as these and a Select
Committee of the House of Commons was empowered to take evidence on
the state of children working in the manufactories of Great Britain.
Despite the horrible nature of the evidence, when the Act resulting
from the investigation was passed, all that it did was to make nine
years the limit to age employment and twelve hours a day the working
day for those under sixteen years. But it was limited in effect to
cotton factories only, leaving the woollen and worsted factories
absolutely untouched, and even in the matter of the cotton factories
these provisions were frequently avoided.

Conditions continued to become worse instead of better, children of
both sexes being beaten and overworked to make profit for the rich
capitalists until 1830, when Richard Oastler, who had led in the fight
against black slavery, had his attention called to the conditions under
which the children of England were practically enslaved.[453]

Oastler was talking one night about his slavery reforms to a friend
near Bradford and the remark was made to him: “I wonder you never
turned your attention to the factory.” “Why should I?” replied the
young abolitionist, “I have nothing to do with factories.” “Perhaps
not,” was the answer, “but you are very enthusiastic against slavery in
the West Indies and I assure you that there are cruelties practised in
our mills on little children which I am sure if you knew you would try
to prevent.”

The man who gave this suggestion, John Wood, was himself an owner of
a mill and he admitted to Oastler that in his own mill the little
children were worked from six in the morning until seven at night with
a break of only forty minutes for lunch and that various devices,
including beatings with sticks and straps and clubs, were employed to
goad them on to renewed labour.

The very next day Oastler began a crusade which lasted for many weary
years. He succeeded in interesting J. Hobhouse and M. T. Sadler, both
members of the House of Commons, and the ten hours agitation began
in and out of Parliament. In the course of a speech delivered in
March, 1832, in favour of the ten hours bill, Sadler declared that so
great was the demand in some districts for children’s labour that “an
indispensable condition of marriage among the working classes was the
certainty of offspring whose wages, beginning at six years old, might
keep their inhuman fathers and mothers in idleness.”

“Our ancestors could not have supposed it possible,” exclaimed Sadler,
“posterity will not believe it true—that a generation of Englishmen
could exist, or had existed, that would work lisping infancy a few
summers old, regardless alike of its smiles or tears, and unmoved by
its unresisting weakness, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, sixteen hours
a day, and through the weary night also, till in the dewy morn of
existence, the bud of youth was faded and fell ere it was unfolded.”

But, to the nation’s eternal disgrace, that generation of Englishmen
did exist, and Mr. Sadler told the House, detail by detail, of the
evils and outrages of the whole abominable system. Excessive hours,
low wages, immorality, ill-health—all were enumerated, and then he

“Then in order to keep them awake, to stimulate their exertions, means
are made use of to which I shall now advert, as a last instance of
the degradation to which this system has reduced the manufacturing
operatives of this country. Children are beaten with thongs, prepared
for the purpose. Yes, the females of this country, no matter whether
children or grown up, and I hardly know which is the more disgusting
outrage, are beaten, beaten in your free market of labour as you term
it, like slaves. The poor wretch is flogged before its companions,
flogged, I say, like a dog, by the tyrant overlooker. We speak with
execration of the cartwhip of the West Indies, but let us see this
night an equal feeling rise against the factory thong in England.”[454]

Interesting too was the fact brought out at this time that while these
were the conditions in England, in the colonies black labour was
protected to the extent that nine hours a day was the legal day for
adults and young persons and children were not allowed to work more
than six, while night work was simply prohibited.

The investigation of the Sadler Committee evoked the interesting
information from one witness that children were never employed if they
were under five.

The attitude of the employers toward the agitation can be best judged
from the following extracts:

“Every man acquainted with the political history of the last century
must know, that the labour of children was actually pointed out to
the manufacturers by Mr. William Pitt, as a new resource by which
they might be enabled to bear the additional load of taxation which
the necessities of the State compelled him to impose. The necessity
for labour created by this taxation has not yet abated; because the
immense capital taken away by the enormous expenditure of the great
wars arising out of the French Revolution, an expenditure which was
mainly supported out of the industrial resources of the country, has
not been replaced. But even independent of these considerations,
and irrespective of a past which can never be recalled, we mean to
assert, as we have done elsewhere, in broad terms and the plainest
language, that the infant labour, as it is erroneously called—or the
juvenile labour, as it should be called—in factories, is in fact a
national blessing, and absolutely necessary for the support of the
manifold fiscal burthens which have been placed upon the industry of
this country. It is quite sufficient to say that the children of the
operatives have mouths, and must be fed; they have limbs, and must be
clothed; they have minds, which ought to be instructed; and they have
passions, which must be controlled. Now, if the parents are unable
to provide these requisites, and their inability to do so is just as
notorious as their existence, it becomes absolutely necessary that
the children should aid in obtaining them for themselves. To abolish
juvenile labour, is plainly nothing else than to abolish juvenile means
of support; and to confine it within very narrow limits, is just to
subtract a dinner or a supper from the unhappy objects of mistaken

The result of all this agitation and debate was the famous Act of 1833
introduced by Lord Shaftesbury which prohibited night work to persons
under eighteen in cotton, woollen, and other factories, and provided
that children from nine to thirteen years of age were not to work more
than forty-eight hours a week and those from thirteen to eighteen not
to work more than sixty-eight hours. Children under nine were not to be
employed at all.

Even this much was not obtained until Oastler had succeeded in driving
home to the British mind conditions such as are described in a speech
delivered at Huddersfield, December 26, 1831, of which the following is
an extract:

“I will not picture fiction to you,” said Oastler, in the early days
of the factory movement, “but I will tell you what I have seen. Take
a little female captive, six or seven years old; she shall rise from
her bed at four in the morning of a cold winter day, but before she
rises she wakes perhaps half a dozen times, and says, ‘Father, is it
time? Father, is it time?’ And at last, when she gets up and puts her
little bits of rags upon her weary limbs—weary yet with the last day’s
work—she leaves her parents in their bed, for their labour (if they
have any) is not required so early. She trudges alone through rain
and snow, and mire and darkness, to the mill, and there for thirteen,
fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, or even eighteen hours is she obliged to
work with only thirty minutes’ interval for meals and play. Homeward
again at night she would go, when she was able, but many a time she hid
herself in the wool in the mill, as she had not strength to go. And if
she were one moment behind the appointed time; if the bell had ceased
to ring when she arrived with trembling, shivering, weary limbs at the
factory door, there stood a monster in human form, and as she passed
he lashed her. This,” he continued, holding up an overlooker’s strap,
“is no fiction. It was hard at work in this town last week. The girl
I am speaking of died; but she dragged on that dreadful existence for
several years.”[456]

While Oastler was delivering this speech and these conditions were
rife, Malthus was revising the first edition of his _Essay on



Following the Civil War, there began in the United States a
humanitarian movement, an aftermath well becoming a unique and
heartrending struggle. In that period, humane endeavour, like so many
creepers, overran ordinary activities, and philanthropic movements
unprecedented sprang up over the country.

Labour conditions until this period were about the same in the United
States as they were in England. The Puritan idea had been that sin was
in idleness, even for small children; “Colonial records bear evidence
that it was a matter of conscience to keep children at work.”[457]



In the latter half of the eighteenth century the development of
manufactures, especially the cloth-making industry, impressed on the
American mind, as it had impressed the English mind, that child
labour was a national asset. When the first cotton factory was started
at Beverly, Mass., it was stated that it would afford “employment to
a great number of women and children many of whom will be otherwise
useless, if not burdensome to society.”[458]

A special report was made by a committee to the Massachusetts
Legislature in 1866 in which it was stated that representatives of the
factories went about systematically canvassing for small children:
“Small help is scarce; a great deal of machinery has been stopped for
want of small help, so that the overseers have been going around to
draw the small children from schools into the mills; the same as a
draft in the army.”

Asked if there were “any limit on the part of the employers as to the
age when they take children,” a witness replied: “They’ll take them at
any age they can get them, if they are old enough to stand....”[459]

The same year that this report was made there was founded in New York
a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in imitation of a
similar society that had been founded in England, in 1823. Out of that
movement in America there grew, in 1874, a movement to look after the
rights of children, the first enunciation in terms of modernity of the
fact that society must not only punish crimes against children, but
that it must prevent them. Following the formation of this society,
the first special laws “known in the world were enacted specifically to
protect and punish wrongs to children.”

The result of this development was that in 1880 Frederick A. Agnew
visited America and after an examination of the work being done in New
York and the methods employed, returned to Liverpool, his home, and
there in conjunction with Samuel Smith, M. P., founded the Liverpool
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in 1883—the first
society in Europe to prevent wrongs against children. Shortly after
this the Earl of Shaftesbury organized a similar movement in London.
Then, under the auspices of the late M. Jules Simon, whose work in
behalf of children has not yet been fully appreciated, the movement
was taken up in France, M. Paul Nourisson and M. Ernest Nusse aiding
greatly in bringing about a comprehensive law in relation to the
prevention of cruelty to children.

With Lieut.-Gen. D. von Pelet-Narbonne as chairman, the “Verein zum
Schutz der Kinder vor Ausnutzung und Misshandlung” was formed in
Berlin. In 1899 Fräulein Lydia von Wolfring aided in the organization
of the “Wiener Kinder Schutz und Rettungs Verein” with von Krall,
Privy Chancellor of Austria, as chairman. Count Borromeo inaugurated
the movement at Milan in Italy where the padrone system flourished to
such an extent as to indicate that the old Roman theory of the _patria
potestas_ was still alive, at least with the peasants. Through the
other countries of Europe the interest in the new movement ran and the
work was taken up; then into India, China, and South America, until
today there is no quarter of the globe where there is not a society,
organized for the purpose of assisting the law in preventing crimes
against the helpless child.

Nothing indicates better the seeming accidental and casual beginnings
of large movements than the formation of this first society in America.
Like Vincent of Paul’s recognition of the horrible crimes that were
being perpetrated in Paris only when he came face to face with an
ill-treated infant, so it was only when it was discovered that, with
all the law, there was no legal way of protecting an American child,
that the child-protection movement, with its many subsequent laws in
behalf of children, sprang up.

A mission worker named Mrs. Etta A. Wheeler had found in what was
then the slums of New York that a child, famous after as Mary Ellen,
was being cruelly beaten and ill-treated by a man and woman who had
taken it when it was less than two years of age from a charitable
institution. Some idea of the condition among the slums of a large
city of this time may be gained from the statement of a contemporary
newspaper that “at least 10,000 young boys roamed the streets of New
York by day and took shelter by night in any place that seemed to
afford a safe retreat, while their older and more vicious confederates
planned how they should succeed in pilfering and plundering the public.
The crumbling and rotten wooden docks of the metropolis had been for
years haunted by these young vagabonds, and as they were at that
time inefficiently policed, they were excellent localities for the
incubators of petty thievery.”

Unless these youngsters actually committed a crime, or unless someone
collected evidence that they were leading an immoral life, they were
free to do what they willed.

Mrs. Wheeler was unable to gather the evidence necessary to remove the
child in which she had become interested, and as the stories of the
cruelties continued, she went to the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, at the head of which was Henry Bergh, whose work in
this direction was as notable in this country as was Richard Martin’s
in England.

After consultation with the counsel of the Society, Elbridge T. Gerry,
it was decided that “the child being an animal” the Society would act.
Mr. Gerry after a careful examination of the evidence, sued out a writ
_de homine replegiando_, the child was taken to court, complaints were
made against the so-called guardians, and the woman who had cruelly
beaten the child was afterwards sent to the penitentiary for one year.

And so, for the first time by legal machinery, punishment was meted out
for cruelty to children.



When it became known that the Animal Society, as it was called,
would interest itself in children who were being ill-treated, the
complaints became numerous. It was decided that a separate society
should be incorporated as a hand attached to the arm of the law.

Of the various movements that grew out of the protection movement, none
was more interesting or attracted more controversy than the endeavours
to protect children of the stage. We have seen in the account of the
elder Seneca and in the treatment by the mountebanks of children in
Paris in the seventeenth century, how easily the unprotected child
lent itself to the calling of the vagabond entertainer. While no such
barbarities were practised in modern times, it was difficult for many
people to realize that the child of five, undergoing training as an
acrobat for long hours, was not being brought up in accordance with the
modern theory of the obligations of the State toward the helpless.

The importation of children that had been sold by their parents in
Italy was also a matter that the Society took up, and in 1879, the
white slave question, even now a live question, arose in an endeavour
to stop the _padroni_ from bringing into America the minors they had
gathered abroad.

Probably the most important question that has come before the Society
in recent years has been the proper treatment of those children who,
for one reason or another, are brought into contact with the police.
One of the first things that the New York Society did was to insist
that the children who had to be taken to court should not be mixed
with the really criminal. In 1892 an amendment to the Penal Code
made the separation imperative, and out of this movement has grown
the children’s court movement and the proper study of the so-called
juvenile criminal.

Another important branch of the child-protection movement that had its
beginning in New York City, was placing laws on the statute book, and
then enforcing them, against the sale of injurious liquors to children.
Laws tending to protect the morality of children followed these, and in
fact almost from the first year of its birth, every year has seen the
Protection Society enlarging its field of action until today it hardly
seems possible that it was only a few hundred years ago that the very
life of a child itself was considered of no importance.

The general law laid down by Spencer, in virtue of which everything
passes “from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from the indefinite
to the definite, from the simple to the complex,” is evident in the
history of the progress of the child as a factor in society.

When in neolithic times there was no moral instinct in man, the child’s
only hope of life was the parental or rather the maternal instinct, of
beings not yet risen to the plain of reasoning animals. In a higher
stage of civilization one finds, where the matriarchal régime exists,
children have a value, the value of chattels and live stock, though the
maternal uncle has more rights over them than their own father.[460]
The _patria potestas_ of the Romans was not so strange or unusual as it
seemed to Gibbon, for the power of life and death (_jus vitæ ac necis_)
is found among the Apaches, the Botocodos, the Bedouins, and the
Samoyedes and is a stage in the development and evolution of the family

In the religious and philosophical stage the child takes on an
importance of its own; it is humanely treated because it is now
recognized as a human being, or it is protected because it is said to
have, young and apparently unimportant as it seems to be, a _soul_ of
its own. From there on to the time when the child, as the father of the
man, is a charge upon the State,—or on all men,—until it is able to
take care of and protect itself, the murder of a child is theoretically
as great a crime as the murder of an adult. In fact, the conditions of
the past hold long after each recognized step of progress, the most
primitive habits obtruding in the very midst of the most advanced
knowledge and the most complete enlightenment.

It is for this that the story of the past is valuable. That we may know
and understand and value rightly what is past, past for all time so
far as intelligent and self-governing humanity is able to will—that is
one of the surest steps to knowledge and truth.





ARTICLE I. The children whose education is entrusted to public charity

1st. Foundlings. 2d. Abandoned children. 3d. Poor orphans.


2. Foundlings are those born of unknown parents, who have been found
exposed in any place, or those taken to the hospitals intended to
receive them.

3. In each hospital intended to receive foundlings there shall be a
place where they may be left.

4. There will be at most in each district (_arrondissement_) an
institution where the foundlings may be received. Registers shall state
day by day, their arrival, their sex, their apparent age, and shall
describe the natural marks and the swaddling clothes which may serve
for their identification.


_Of Abandoned Children and Poor Orphans._

5. Abandoned children are those born of known parents and at first
raised by them, or by other persons for them, and are abandoned by
them, the whereabouts of the parents being unknown or there being no
means of discovering them.

6. Orphans are those who, not having either father or mother, have no
means of subsistence.


_Of the Education of Foundlings, Abandoned Children, and Orphans._

7. Newly born foundlings will be placed with a wet nurse as soon as
possible; up to that they will be nourished by the bottle or even by
means of wet nurses resident in the establishment. If they are weaned
or susceptible of being weaned, they will either be put to nurse or

8. These children will receive a layette. They will remain to the age
of six years.

9. At six years, all the children will be, or as many as can, put to
board with farmers. The price of the board will increase each year up
to the age of twelve, at which period the infant males in a state to
serve will be placed at the disposition of the Minister of the Marine.

10. The infants who cannot be put to board, the crippled and the
infirm, will be raised in the hospitals. They will be occupied in the
workshops at those employments that are not below their age.


_On the Expenses of Foundlings, Abandoned Children, and Orphans._

11. Hospitals designated to receive foundlings are directed to furnish
the layettes and all the inside expenses pertaining to the nourishment
and education of the children.

12. We herewith set aside the sum of 4,000,000 francs annually to
contribute to the monthly payment of wet nurses and the boarding of the
foundlings and abandoned children.

If it should turn out after the division of this sum that it is
inadequate, the difference will be provided by the hospitals from their
revenues or by drawing on the funds of the community.

13. The monthly payments of the nurses and their board shall not be
made except on the certificate of the mayors of the communities where
the children are. The mayors must attest each month that they have seen
the children.

14. The administrative commissioners of the hospitals will visit at
least twice in the year each infant, either a special commission, or by
physicians or surgeons, vaccinators or others.


_Of the Guardianship and of Foundling Children and Abandoned Children._

15. Foundling and abandoned children are under the guardianship of the
hospital, in conformance with existing regulations. A member of this
commission is especially charged with this guardianship.

16. The aforesaid children, brought up at the cost of the State,
are entirely at its disposition, and when the Minister of Marine so
decides, the guardianship of the Commission ceases.

17. When the infants have reached the age of twelve years, those whom
the State has made no disposition of will, as soon as it is possible
to do so, be apprenticed out, the boys with the workmen, the girls
with housewives, seamstresses, and other workwomen in the factories or
manufacturing establishments.

18. The contracts of apprenticeship shall not stipulate in favour of
either the master or the apprentice, but they will guarantee the master
the free services of the apprentice up to an age which shall not exceed
the twenty-fifth year, and the apprentice food, shelter and clothing.

19. At the call of the army, or a conscription, the obligations of the
apprentice will cease.

20. Those of the infants who cannot be put out as apprentices, the
crippled and the infirm, who cannot find places outside of the
hospitals will remain there as a charge to each hospital.

Workshops will be established in order to provide them with employment.


_On the Recognition and Announcement (Reclamation) of Foundlings and
Abandoned Children._

21. No charge is made in the rules relative to the recognition and
advertising of foundling and abandoned children, but before exercising
any right, the parents must, if they have the means, reimburse the
authorities for all expenses made either by the State or by the
hospitals, and in no case, can an infant of which the State has made
disposition, be released until those obligations are met.


_General “Dispositions”._

22. The Minister of the Interior will propose to us before January
1, 1812, the rules of administration, which will be discussed in our
Council of State. These rules will determine, for each department, the
number of hospitals where foundlings will be received and all that
relates to their administration concerning principally the disposition
of the infants now in charge and the payment for nurses and boarding.

23. Individuals who are convicted of having exposed children and those
who make it a practice of transporting them to hospitals will be
punished in accordance with the law.

24. Our Minister of Marine will present to us a plan dealing with:
1st. An organization relative to those clauses in which his powers
are defined in this decree. 2d. For the regulation of the employment
without delay of those who, on the 1st of January, will become twelve
years of age.

25. Our Minister of the Interior is directed to see to the execution of
the present decree and will have it inserted in the bulletin of laws.





The undersigned persons all being of full age and a majority of whom
are citizens of the United States of America and citizens of and
residents within the State of New York, and who desire to associate
themselves together for the purpose of preventing cruelty to children,
have this day associated themselves together pursuant to Chapter One
Hundred and Thirty of the Laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-five and
hereby adopt the following:


ARTICLE FIRST: This society shall be known in law by the name and title
of “The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.”

ARTICLE SECOND: The particular business and objects of this Society
are, the prevention of cruelty to children and the enforcement by all
lawful means of the laws relating to or in any wise affecting children.

ARTICLE THIRD: The number of directors to manage this Society shall be

ARTICLE FOURTH: The names of such directors for the first year of the
existence of this society are:

  Benjamin H. Field
  Henry Bergh
  John Howard Wright
  Thomas C. Acton
  Ferdinand De Luca
  Sinclair Tousey
  William M. Vermilye
  Charles Haight
  Adrian Iselin, Jr.
  B. B. Sherman
  Richard R. Haines
  James Stokes
  William H. Webb
  Frederic DePeyster
  Harmon Hendricks

In Witness Whereof we have hereunto severally subscribed our names
this Twenty-fourth day of April in the year Eighteen hundred and

  John D. Wright
  Henry Bergh
  Elbridge T. Gerry
  Benj. H. Field
  Wm. L. Jenkins
  John Howard Wright
  Ferd. De Luca
  Sinclair Tousey
  W. M. Vermilye
  Thos. C. Acton
  Chas. Haight
  Adrian Iselin, Jr.
  Benj. B. Sherman
  Richd. R. Haines
  James Stokes
  W. H. Webb
  Frederic DePeyster
  Harmon Hendricks

  _In the presence of_


  STATE OF NEW YORK           }
                              } _ss._

On this Twenty-fourth day of April, 1875, personally appeared before
me John D. Wright, Henry Bergh, Elbridge T. Gerry, Benjamin H. Field,
William L. Jenkins, John Howard Wright, Ferdinand De Luca, Sinclair
Tousey, William M. Vermilye, Thomas C. Acton, Charles Haight, Adrian
Iselin, Jr., Benjamin B. Sherman, Richard R. Haines, James Stokes,
William H. Webb, Frederic DePeyster, and Harmon Hendricks, known to
me to be the persons above named, and each severally acknowledged the
foregoing to be his signature to the before mentioned Certificate and
Articles of Incorporation.

  _Notary Public_,


I hereby approve of the within organization and its purposes and
consent to and authorize the filing of this Certificate and Articles of

Dated, NEW YORK, April 26, 1875.

  _Justice Supreme Court_.



Under Chapter 130, Laws of 1875.

Filed, April 27, 1875.

  _Dep. Secy. of State_.


  ALEPPO, SYRIA, December 15, 1913.




I have the honour to report as follows concerning the treatment of
children by the various races and sects in Aleppo Consular District,

In many ways the treatment of children by the various races and sects
inhabiting Northern Syria differs vastly from that practised in other
countries. Strangely similar in one particular to the custom of the
American Indian, immediately after birth the child is wrapped in cloths
until it resembles the form of a mummy of ancient Egyptian times, in
which state it is kept and carried about by nurses and small children
until it is considered old enough to learn to walk, when it is given
the freedom of its limbs. Very young babies must suffer considerably by
this treatment, evidenced by their constant restlessness and crying,
no doubt preventing the baby from attaining to its natural strength
and activity until after it has been free for some months. During
cold weather a ball of a certain kind of clay about the capacity of a
quart is heated and kept wrapped at the feet of the infant to prevent
it catching cold. Among certain of the lower classes the illness of a
girl baby does not cause the anxiety that it does in the case of a boy,
consequently causing a much higher rate of mortality among the female
than the male children.

Among the Arabs, as soon as the children of the tribesmen are six or
seven years old they are put to herding sheep and goats, which vocation
they generally follow during their lives, never going to school or
having any kind of instruction. The sons of the sheiks (chiefs) of the
tribes are either sent to school in the cities, or a private tutor,
usually a “hodja” (Mohammedan teacher or priest), is engaged, while the
girls are given no education whatever.

The position of a girl varies greatly as between the different races
and sects of the country. For instance, among the Arab and Kurdish
tribes, and the Fellaheen (non-Christian farmers), a girl is a source
of revenue to the father who, when she is of marriageable age, trades
or sells her to her prospective husband, obtaining live stock or money
to the equivalent of eight to twenty “chees,” or $176 to $440 (a
“chees” equals $22.00), the selling price depending upon the beauty of
the girl and the prominence of her family from the standpoint of wealth
and influence. Among these races the really fat girl commands the
highest admiration. The heavier she is the more she is desired and the
better price she brings.

Formerly the Christian and Hebrew families gave their girls little
schooling, but instead taught them to do embroidery and crochet work.
Among even relatively poor families there exists a certain pride that
causes housework to be regarded as degrading, and only those will
become servants who are forced to do so by straitened circumstances.
In late years there is a tendency to give the girls some education,
which the Christians and Jews receive at the mission establishments of
the Americans, French, English, Italians, Germans, Swiss, etc., while
a very limited number of Mohammedan girls attend local public schools
conducted exclusively for them.

Contrary to the custom prevailing among the Arabs, Kurds, and
Fellaheen, the Christians and Jews greatly prefer to have boy babies,
and it is considered a great misfortune if most or all of the children
of a family are girls. The boys are sent to the respective community
and foreign mission schools, and some of the more enlightened and
progressive families afterwards send their boys to the colleges at
Beyrouth, Syria, to complete their education.

It is the main object of every such family to marry off the girls as
soon as possible, for it is considered a great shame to the girl if
she is left unmarried until after twenty or twenty-two years of age.
Marriage is the most important event, and the only one in which she
is in any way prominent in all her life. Her great object in life is
to become a wife and be the mother of a boy, the latter event always
raising her in the estimation of her acquaintances and friends, and
giving her considerable importance for the time being, whereas it is
the contrary if the baby is a girl. In many families the young wife is
not permitted to speak aloud in the presence of strangers or of the
father-in-law until a boy is born to her.

Parents generally engage their children at very early ages, in which
little attention is paid to the wishes or dislikes of the prospective
bride and groom. In fact, unborn children are sometimes provisionally
engaged to each other by their parents, either for sentimental or
financial reasons. Perhaps three-fourths of the girls of the country
are married before they reach the age of sixteen, and many are married
between twelve and fourteen.

The consideration paid on the occasion of the marriage of
non-Mohammedan, or Christian and Jewish girls, goes the other way from
that paid at the marriage of an Arab girl, it being the desire of the
groom to have as large a dowry as possible for his wife, and which goes
to help make up the family exchequer. It consequently results that if
a family that is not well to do has many girls it is very difficult to
marry them well.

A certain brutality of parents towards their children exists among
the lower classes, a condition that is probably due more to inferior
intelligence caused by lack of education than to anything else. As but
a very small minority of the population of this part of the country,
say twenty per cent., and a much smaller proportion of the tribes of
the interior read and write, this attitude is readily understood.

The prevalence of crippled begging children in the cities leads to the
supposition that they are not all deformed by accident or disease, but
that in many instances they have been purposely so rendered in order
to more profitably ply their trade by creating sympathy in the minds
of the persons addressed in their appeals for succour. During the
summer months a considerable number of such pitiable creatures between
four and eight years old may be seen in the streets of Aleppo, some
with deformed legs, some with spinal afflictions, and others blind or
otherwise maimed, many unable to walk and hutching from place to place,
collecting coppers from those whom their condition touches. As the hour
grows late in the night these unfortunates gradually disappear one by
one, and if a person is interested in their destination they may be
seen to be gathered up in some obscure corner by an apparent relative
or guardian, lifted to the shoulder and carried away into the maze of
various Oriental residential quarters, where their scanty collection
is spent in support of a family, or for the poisonous rakee, a strong
alcoholic drink much relished by the lower element. It was suspected
that a sort of society existed whereby such children were produced and
let out to certain parties to be exploited for their personal benefit,
but no serious investigation has ever been made, and the nefarious
traffic continues.

  I have the honour to be, Sir,
  Your obedient servant,
  (_Signed_) JESSE B. JACKSON,
  _American Consul_.

  ALEPPO, SYRIA, December 15, 1913.





I have the honour to transmit herewith a report in triplicate,[461] of
today’s date, subject, “Treatment of Children,” which is in reply to an
inquiry addressed to this Consulate by Mr. George Henry Payne, New York
City, to whom the triplicate copy is hereby requested to be forwarded.

Copies thereof are being sent to the Embassy and Consulate-General,
respectively, Constantinople.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

  Your obedient servant,
  _American Consul_.


Copy of the triplicate report, as above indicated.

  SIERRA LEONE, AFRICA, April 7, 1914.



Yours dated November 1, 1913, has been in my hands some time. The
information you request is rather broad, and would require much
investigation to be of any real service to you. Certainly I have some
information, in a general way, but to write it would take much more
space than a letter could contain. But in short, the attitude of the
natives of Sierra Leon at present toward children is all of that of
a primitive people emerging into European civilization. Children are
regarded very much as a financial asset, especially by the mothers, and
are kept much under the influence and control of the mothers so long as
they live. Those emerging out of tribal customs into European customs
have pretty much the same relations as exist between parents and
children in Europe or America. However, there is little love between
the child and father, generally speaking, but much between mother and
child. Boys usually remain in the care of the mothers until they reach
the age of puberty, at which time they leave the association of their
mothers and sisters and have that of their older brothers and fathers,
almost exclusively. Upon leaving their mothers’ care and training they
are usually, among those who cling to tribal customs, turned over to
the “medicine man,” or doctor, who claims to know much. They are taken
into the “Poro Society” where they are circumcised, and taught the
duties of a man, the use of certain native medicines, etc. The girls
remain in the care of the mothers, but at the age of puberty, or a
little while before, are placed into the care of one or more old women
who conduct a female school, the “bundoo” society, where the girls
have an operation performed upon them similar to circumcision, and are
taught the duties of a mother and wife, how to care for themselves, and
the use of certain native medicines. The rule is that the girls are not
eligible for marriage until they have been through the “bundoo,” and
boys or young men not until they have been circumcised; but in addition
boys must earn their wives by the payment of dowries—presents to the
girls’ mothers and fathers. Children are usually required to perform
such work or labor as they are physically able to perform, strict
obedience to their parents and great respect for their seniors, even
for older brothers and sisters, though they be not grown. Children are
expected to care for and to provide for their parents in their old age.

I regret that I am unable to give you fuller information.

  Very sincerely,
  W. J. YERBY,
  _American Consul at Sierra Leone_.

  TOKYO, March 26, 1914.



In reply to your inquiry regarding the attitude of the people of Japan
toward children and the practice of infanticide, I have the following,
which is the result of interviews with representative Japanese and of
my own observations.

As a rule, Japanese are very kind to children and very fond of them;
usually they are allowed their own way a good deal when small and
spoiled so that very severe discipline is administered later in an
effort to correct this. Among the lower classes children are very often
looked upon as a sort of insurance or investment against old age; also
the system of ancestor worship makes it a highly desirable thing to
have children, particularly sons. For these reasons children are looked
upon with great favour and large families are the rule.

Infanticide is now a crime and is so strictly and severely punished
that it cannot be said to be common, although it does exist to some
extent. However, up to about fifty years ago this was not the case;
it was not a crime and was very common. The father of a family had
supreme power over the family, even including the power of life and
death, and was free to do with his children almost as he chose. In
regions where the people were poor, infanticide was the regularly
recognized means of preventing large families. The following incident
illustrates this very well: In a certain section in northern Japan was
a district where so little could be produced that the people were very
poor and no family had more than one or two children, infanticide being
regularly practised. The feudal lord of the district, being a wise man,
decided to remedy this condition, which he proceeded to do by a system
of irrigation which made the district quite fertile; immediately the
size of the families rose to eight and ten and infanticide disappeared.

With regret for my long delay in answering, which has been due to an
effort to find some books on this subject, and trusting that this may
be of some slight use to you,

  I am,
  Yours very truly,
  _Assistant Japanese Secretary_.

  SANTO DOMINGO, D. R., December 16, 1913.



In reply to yours of November 1, 1913, I have not been able to find any
material of interest in regard to the attitude of the natives before
the landing of Columbus. The ruthless attitude of the Spaniards toward
the natives is well known, and apparently neither women nor children
were spared. The treatment of the natives resulted in their rapid
decrease in number, and as early as 1510 the traffic in African slaves
was begun and long continued.

Statistics as to the present condition of the child are few. During
a typical quarterly period there were registered 8288 births (4269
males and 4019 females) but this probably represents only a portion
of the actual births; of this number 3290 were legitimate and 4998
illegitimate. This does not, however, represent the extreme state of
immorality that it might indicate, as mating lasting through years
and clung to with fidelity and accompanied by a tender care for the
offspring is frequently not preceded by a marriage ceremony, which is
regarded as more or less of a useless expense. The population of the
Republic is not known but is estimated as approximating 600,000.

As among the Spanish races in general, great affection is shown to
children. Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters lavish caresses
upon them continually and in public.

There being few factories in the Dominican Republic, child labour,
as we know it, does not exist. Children early begin to earn their
living, but the work is mostly in the open air or open shops and labour
conditions are far from strenuous. The clothing worn by children is
scant, and youngsters of the lower classes up to the age of five or
six years usually run nude, decorated only by a necklace or a pair of

School facilities, though provided by the State, are inadequate. The
reported annual attendance at all schools in the country is only

Health conditions in the island are good. The total deaths registered
in one quarter (again short of the real figures) is 1770, of which
318 deaths were of children less than a year old, and 336 of children
between one and five years. The number of persons reported guilty of
crimes or disorders in one quarter totaled 1910, of which 301 were
between fourteen and twenty-one years of age.

  I am, Sir,
  Very respectfully yours,
  _Vice and Deputy Consul-General_.


  NEW YORK, N. Y., U. S. A.


Your letter requesting information for your book on the history of
the attitude of states and tribes toward children received. Such
information as has been obtained would indicate that the South African
natives in this section are universally kind to children.

The only “natives” in this district, using the words in a strict sense,
are the “Bantus” otherwise the Kaffirs. These people are specially fond
of children and use them well.

If a child is left an orphan, any relative, no matter how distant, is
willing to adopt the child. Indeed the services of the magistrate are
frequently required in deciding disputes between claimants.

Love of, and kindness to, children are undoubted characteristics of the

South Africa has a considerable population of mixed races, but, so far
as known, the colored people are kind to their children.

Trusting this may meet requirements.

  I am, Sir,
  Very respectfully yours,
  _American Consul_.


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[1] Alex. Bain, _The Emotions and the Will_.

[2] George Trumbull Ladd, _Philosophy of Conduct_.

[3] Bergson, _Creative Evolution_, p. 119.

[4] William Wundt, _Human and Animal Psychology_, p. 143.

[5] Darwin, _Descent of Man_, p. 120.

[6] Chas. Ellwood, _Sociology and Modern Social Problems_, p. 39.

[7] Ellen Key, _The Renaissance of Motherhood_, p. 27: “Because of
her motherhood, woman’s sexual nature gradually became purer than
man’s. The child became more and more the centre of her thoughts and
her deeds. Thus the strength of her erotic instincts diminished. The
tenderness awakened in her by her children also benefited the father.
Out of this tenderness—as also out of the admiration for the manly
qualities which the father developed in the defence of herself and her
children—gradually arose the erotic feeling directed to this man alone.
Thus love began.”

[8] Kidd, _Social Evolution_, p. 138.

[9] Lewes, _History of Philosophy_, vol. i., p. 338.

[10] Ælian: the second book, chapter vii.

“This is a Theban law most just and humane: that no Theban might expose
his child or leave it in a wilderness, upon pain of death. But if the
father were extremely poor, whether it were male or female, the law
requires that as soon as it is born it be brought in the swaddling
clouts to the magistrate, who, receiving it, delivers it to some other
for some small reward, conditioning with him that he shall bring up the
child, and when it is grown up take it into his service, man or maid,
and have the benefit of its labour in requital for its education.”

[11] Mrs. John Martin.

[12] Heaut., I., i., 23: Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.

[13] See Appendix A.

[14] A. H. Keane, _Man Past and Present_, p. 9.

[15] Sir John Evans, Inaugural Address, British Association Meeting,
Toronto, 1897.

[16] A. Featherman, _Social History of the Races of Mankind_, vol. ii.,
p. 22.

[17] “Man is affected by these four physical agents: climate,
food, soil, and the general aspect of Nature.”—Buckle, _History of
Civilization_, vol. i., p. 29.

[18] _Current Anthropological Literature_, vol. ii., No. 1, p. 11.

[19] Featherman, vol. ii., preface.

[20] _British Central Africa_, p. 472.

[21] G. Stanley Hall, _The Relations between the Lower and the Higher

[22] J. Deneker, _The Races of Man_, p. 239.

[23] Westermarck, _History of Human Marriage_, p. 9.

[24] D. G. Brinton, _Races and Peoples_, p. 55. “The sequel of the
sexual impulse is the formation of the family through the development
of parental affection. This instinct is as strong in many of the
lower animals as in human beings. In primitive conditions it is
largely confined to the female parent, the father paying but slight
attention to the welfare of his offspring. To this, rather than to
doubt of paternity, should we attribute the very common habit in such
communities of reckoning ancestry in the female line only.”

[25] The ostrich forms, however, a curious exception. The male sits on
the eggs, and brings up the young birds, the female never troubling
herself about either of these duties.—Brehm, _Bird-Life_, p. 324.

[26] Brehm, _Bird-Life_, p. 285, and Herman Müller’s _Am Neste_.

[27] Rengger, _Naturgeschichte der Saugethiere von Paraguay_, p. 354.

[28] Brehm, vol. iii., p. 206.

[29] Wallace, _The Malay Archipelago_, vol. ii., p. 447.

[30] Charles Morris Woodford, _A Naturalist among the Head-Hunters_, p.

[31] _Report to the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia on
Papua_, for 1909, Appendix D, p. 107.

[32] J. H. P. Murray, _Papua or British New Guinea_, 1912.

[33] Murray, _Papua or British New Guinea_, p. 211.

[34] _Ibid._, p. 214.

[35] _Op. cit._, i., p. 76.

[36] D. G. Brinton, _Races and Peoples_, pp. 53 and 54.

[37] D. G. Brinton, _Races and Peoples_, p. 55.

[38] Dapper, _L’Afrique_, p. 309.

[39] Spencer and Gillen, _Native Tribes of Central Australia_, p. 52.

[40] Spencer and Gillen, _Northern Tribes of Central Australia_, p. 609.

[41] Joseph Shooter, _Kafirs of Natal_, p. 88.

[42] James Dawson, _Australian Aborigines_.

[43] Nyendael, Ulricht, 1688, quoted by H. Ling Roth in _Great Benin_,
pp. 35–36.

[44] Mary H. Kingsley, _Travels in West Africa_, p. 472.

[45] Dudley Kidd, _The Essential Kafir_, p. 202.

[46] Slaughter, _Australian Aborigines_, p. 39.

[47] M. Kracheninnikow, _Histoire du Kamchatka_, chap. xii.

[48] Henry W. Little, _Madagascar_, p. 60.

[49] H. H. Ploss, _Das Kind in Brauch und Sitte der Völker_, vol. ii.,
p. 257.

[50] _Ibid._, vol. ii., p. 258.

[51] Dale, _Journal, Anthrop. Inst._, vol. xxv., p. 183.

[52] Godfrey Dale, _Journal of the Anthropological Institute_, vol.
xxv., p. 182.

[53] Felix de Azara, _Voyages dans l’Amérique Méridionale_, vol. ii.,
pp. 93 and 115.

[54] Tutila, _Journal of the Polynesian Society_, vol. i., p. 267.

[55] Otto von Kotzebue, _A Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and
Bering Straits_, London, 1821, vol. iii., p. 173.

[56] Edward M. Curr, _The Australian Race_, vol. i., p. 70.

[57] H. B. Guppy, _The Solomon Islands_, p. 42.

[58] H. H. Romilly, _The Western Pacific_, p. 68.

[59] George Turner, _Samoa_, p. 284.

[60] R. L. Stevenson, _In the South Seas_, p. 38.

[61] Samuel Gason, “The Dieyerie Tribe,” in vol. ii. of Curr’s

[62] J. L. Krapf, _Travels, Researches, and Missionary Labours in
Eastern Africa_, p. 69.

[63] Brinton, _Religions of Primitive Peoples_, p. 17.

[64] Kotzebue, _A Voyage of Discovery into the South Sea and Bering’s
Straits_, vol. iii., p. 173.

[65] Spencer and Gillen, _Central Australia_, p. 51.

[66] _Central Australia_, p. 264.

[67] Westermarck, _History of Human Marriage_, p. 484.

[68] Its secrecy is insured by its indecency.

[69] William Ellis, _Polynesian Researches_, p. 257.

[70] George Turner, _Nineteen Years in Polynesia_, p. 394.

[71] Charlevoix, _History of Paraguay_, vol. i., p. 405.

[72] Fison and Howitt, _The Kamilario and Kurnai_, p. 190.

[73] Darwin, _Descent of Man_, p. 46.

[74] John Moore Davis, “Aborigines of Australia,” in Brough Smyth, vol.
ii., p. 311, _Aborigines of Victoria_.

[75] William Ellis, _Tour through Hawaii_, p. 300.

[76] Sir John Lubbock, _The Origin of Civilization_, p. 3.

[77] Stevenson, _In the South Seas_, p. 38.

[78] Lucien Young, U. S. N., _The Real Hawaii_, p. 78.

[79] John Foreman, _The Philippine Islands_, p. 206. Dean C. Worcester,
_The Philippine Islands_, p. 208.

[80] _Mémoires sur les Chinois_, tome ii., p. 396.

[81] Ts’in Chi Hoang, Emperor of China, 220–210 B. C., was King of
Ts’in, 246–221 B. C. Hirth, p. 334.

[82] Se Ma Ts’ien, _Traduits et Annotés_, par Edouard Chavannes, tome
ii., p. 130.

[83] H. A. Giles, _Chinese Biographical Dictionary_.

[84] _Li-Ki_, chapter i.

[85] _She-King_, part iii., book ii., ode 1., verse 3, translated by
James Legge.

[86] _She-King_, part i., book viii., ode 7, verse 3.

[87] _Chu’un Ts’ew_, book v., year xix., par. 4.

[88] _Ibid._, book x., year xii., par. 9.

[89] Demetrius Charles Boulger, _History of China_, vol. ii., p. 314.
Palatre, p. 6.

[90] P. G. Palatre, _Annales de la Sainte-Enfance_, tome xii., p. 304.

[91] _Lettres Edif._, vol. x., p. 363.

[92] P. Gabriel Palatre, _L’Infanticide et l’Œuvre de la Sainte-Enfance
en Chine_, p. 16.

[93] _Te-i-lou_, tome i., 2^e partie, _Tao-yng-hoei-Koei-taio_, p. 16.

[94] P. Gabriel Palatre, _L’Infanticide et l’Œuvre de la Sainte-Enfance
en Chine_, p. 44, note No. 2, which reads: “Foochow—‘The Prefect and
the local magistrates have within the last few days issued a stringent
proclamation against the practice of female infanticide. It provides
that all parents guilty of destroying a child shall be punished
according to the law against the destruction of descendants, which, it
seems, provides sixty blows and a year’s imprisonment, as the proper
punishment. A midwife, who destroys a child, is to be punished by
strangulation. Neighbours who know of the commission, and do not report
it, are to be punished as accessories to murder; and the Tepo are to
be punished in the same way. A vigorous execution of this proclamation
would do much to remedy the evil; but it remains to be seen whether
the proclamation is more than a periodical fulmination, with the
probability that it is not.’ Foochow _Herald_.” Also note No. 1, p. 45,
which reads:

“From the Foochow _Herald_. ‘The following proclamation was recently
issued by the Prefect of Foochow, and is, we understand, extensively
circulated throughout the city and suburban districts.

“‘“Weng, acting Prefect of Foochow, issues an emphatic proclamation.

“‘“It has been found that the drowning of newly-born female infants is
of frequent occurrence in places under this prefectural jurisdiction.
As a reason for this cruel and outrageous behaviour towards their
children, the poor allege that they are without the means to support
them; the rich that they dread the expense of providing them with
dowries. The Acting Prefect has repeatedly issued prohibitory
proclamations since assuming charge of this post, and has also
instructed the magistrates to arrest delinquents. It has been reported
of late that in the neighbourhood of Shang Kan, under the jurisdiction
of the Min magistrate, the practice of female infanticide still exists;
it is further reported that in one spot over ten infants have been
found drowned, so that there is every reason to believe that this
vicious practice extends to other places too. It is the Prefect’s duty
to draw up the most stringent supervisory regulations in order to the
reclaiming of people from this rooted habit. The Prefect has instructed
the magistrates to act in this spirit, and has now to issue this
proclamation peremptorily forbidding the practice.

“‘“Wherefore now know ye all, gentry, elders, scholars, civil and
military, and all persons whatsoever in this prefecture, that it is
your duty to act one and all of you in accordance with the spirit of
the following Regulations, and exercise a watch upon each other. If any
families are found drowning their female infants, it will assuredly
be at once reported to the magistrates, who will severely punish the
act in accordance (with law). If any persons favour or connive at this
practice and do not act upon the instructions, on the discovery or
report of a case the hundred-men, neighbours, and relatives will be
held equally accountable. No leniency will be shown. Tremble at this!
Obey this! Do not disobey! A special proclamation.”’

“Rules relating to midwives:

“‘Female infanticide must always be practiced immediately after birth,
and is generally committed by the midwife, but even if the parents
do it themselves, the midwife must know. The leading gentry and the
hundred-men are hereby charged henceforward to take notice of midwives
in their respective villages who may dare to assist in drowning female
infants. The leading gentry, the hundred-men, members of families, and
neighbours are authorized to ascertain and send in the names of such
midwives, and apply for their punishment as accomplices.’

“Extract from _The Shanghai Courier and China Gazette_, number of the
24th of November, 1877.”

[95] Dr. Joseph Lauterer, _China. Das Reich der Mitte_, p. 130.

[96] Robert K. Douglas, _Society in China_, p. 253.

[97] Alexis Krausse, _China in Decay_, p. 38.

[98] Arthur Judson Brown, _New Forces in Old China_, chap. v.

[99] H. A. Giles, _Civilization of China_, p. 96.

[100] Brinkley, vol. i., p. 61.

[101] _Kojiki_, introduction, p. xl.

[102] Chamberlain, Introduction, p. xi.

[103] _Kojiki_, section xxv.

[104] Chamberlain, Introduction, p. xl.

[105] Captain F. Brinkley, _Japan_, p. 89.

[106] G. Underwood, _Religions of Eastern Asia_, p. 75.

[107] _Ibid._, p. 83.

[108] _Nihongi._ See _Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan
Society, London_, vol. i., translated by W. G. Aston.

[109] _Nihongi._ See _Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan
Society, London_, vol. i., p. 181, by W. G. Aston.

[110] Capt. F. Brinkley, _Japan_, vol. v., p. 194.

[111] _Id._, vol. v., p. 195.

[112] W. E. Griffis, _Japanese Nation in Evolution_, p. 268.

[113] Quoted by Garrett Droppers in “The Population of Japan in the
Tokugawa Period,” extract from _Transactions of the Asiatic Society of
Japan_, vol. xxi., p. 253.

[114] Brinkley, _Japan_, vol. iv., p. 56.

[115] Brinkley, _Japan_, vol. iv., p. 57.

[116] A. K. Faust, _Christianity as a Social Factor in Modern Japan_,
p. 47.

[117] E. J. Harrison, _The Fighting Spirit of Japan_, p. 350.

[118] Karbara Ekken, _Wisdom and Women of Japan_, p. 45.

[119] S. L. Gulick, _Institutions of the Japanese_, p. 100.

[120] J. K. Goodrich, _Our Neighbours: The Japanese_, p. 32.

[121] Leonard W. King, _History of Sumer and Akkad_, p.1.

[122] Hall.

[123] L. W. King, _History of Sumer and Akkad_, preface, p. ix.

[124] A. H. Sayce, _Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia_, p. 253.

[125] Sayce, _The Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia_, pp.

[126] E. de Srazec, _Découvertes en Chaldée_, plates 48, and 48 _bis._

[127] Sayce, _The Religions of Egypt and Babylonia_, p. 466.

[128] R. W. Rogers, _Religion of Babylonia and Assyria_, p. 162.

[129] H. de Genouillac, _Tablettes Sumériennes Archaïques_, p. xxii.

[130] _Ibid._, p. xxxii., Tablet 12.

[131] H. de Genouillac, _Revue Assyriologie_, vol. viii., p. 18.

[132] P. Dhorme, _Revue d’Assyriologie_, tome vii., p. 2.

[133] Robt. Wm. Rogers, _Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament_, p.

[134] C. H. W. Johns, _Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and

[135] L. W. King, _Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi_.

[136] M. E. Rivellout, “La Femme dans l’Antiquité,” _Jour. Asiatique_,
tome vii., p. 1.

[137] David Gordon Lyon, _Studies in the History of Religions_, article
on “The Consecrated Women of the Hammurabi Code,” p. 342.

[138] C. H. W. Johns, _Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and
Letters_, pp. 41 and 42. _Laws of Hammurabi_, Col. III., i. 22 to Col.
IV., i. 22.

[139] M. E. Rivellout, “La Femme dans l’Antiquité,” _Jour. Asiatique_,
tome viii., p. 74.

[140] _The Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon about_ 2250 B. C., trans.
by Robt. F. Harper, p. 71.

[141] C. H. W. Johns, _Assyrian Doomsday Book_, pp. 26, 27, 28.

[142] Dr. Robt. Wm. Rogers, _Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament_,
p. 393.

[143] William Hays Ward, _Seal Cylinders of Western Asia_, p. 154.

[144] René Dussaud, _Les Sacrifices Humaines chez les Canaanéens_.

[145] A. H. Keane, _Man, Past and Present_, p. 479.

[146] A. H. Keane, _Man, Past and Present_, p. 484.

[147] G. Maspero, _Dawn of Civilization_, pp. 311–314.

[148] G. Maspero, _Dawn of Civilization_, p. 52.

[149] Harris Papyrus, No. 500, British Museum; Maspero, Études

[150] F. Chabas, _Œuvres Divers_, tome i., pp. 183–214.

[151] A. Erman, _Life in Ancient Egypt_, p. 150.

[152] J. H. Breasted, _History of Egypt_, p. 86.

[153] W. M. Flinders Petrie, _Egyptian Tales_.

[154] L. W. King and H. R. Hall, _Egypt and Western Asia in the Light
of Recent Discoveries_, p. 71.

[155] Porphyry, _De Abstin._, book ii., chapter lv.

[156] King and Hall, _Egypt and Western Asia in the Light of Recent
Discoveries_, p. 73.

[157] _The Historical Library of Diodorus, the Sicilian_, vol. i., par.
6, p. 79, trans. by G. Booth.

[158] _The Historical Library of Diodorus_, trans. by G. Booth, vol.
i., p. 82.

[159] _Terme et Malfalcon_, p. 34.

[160] Maspero, p. 215.

[161] Diodorus Siculus, i., 90; E. A. W. Budge, _The Mummy_, p. 180.

[162] Maspero, p. 216.

[163] Adolf Erman, _Egyptian Religion_, p. 139.

[164] _Oxyrhynchus Papyri_, Grenfell & Hunt, vol. iv., p. 244; Adolf
Deissman, _Light from the Ancient East_, p. 154.

[165] Isaac Taylor, _The Origin of the Aryans_, p. 182.

[166] M. M. Kunte, _Aryan Civilization_, p. 124.

[167] F. A. Steel, _India Through the Ages_, p. 15.

[168] Sankhayana-Grihya-Sutra, Khanda 20.

[169] Manu, ix., 96.

[170] Sir Monier-Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, p. 387.

[171] Anaryan, _Early Ideas_, p. 11.

[172] _Journal of the Asiatic Society_, vol. xiii., p. 104.

[173] Monier-Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, p. 24.

[174] Satapatha-Brahmana, intro. xxxvi.

[175] Manava-dharma-castra, Lect. iv., Nos. 184 and 185.

[176] A. C. Burnell, intro. to the Ordinances of Manu, p. xxiv.

[177] Q. Curtius Rufus, book 9, chapter i.

[178] _Ibid._

[179] Diodorus Siculus, book 17, chapter xci.

[180] Strabo, book xv., c. i. par. 30.

[181] _Asiatic Researches_, vol. iv., p. 342.

[182] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxix., part 2, p. 318.

[183] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxviii., part 1, p. 323.

[184] _Ibid._, No. xxxix., part 2, p. 324. Letter of Colonel Walker to
Governor Duncan, dated March 15, 1808.

[185] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxix., part 2, p. 327. Letter of Colonel Walker to Governor Duncan,
dated March 15, 1808.

[186] _Ibid._, No. xxxix., part 2, p. 328, par. 66. Letter of Colonel
Walker to Governor Duncan, dated March 15, 1808.

[187] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxix., part 2, p. 329, par. 72. Letter of Colonel Walker to Governor
Duncan, dated March 15, 1808.

[188] _Ibid._, No. xxxix., part 2, p. 340, par. 171. Extract from the
letter of Colonel Walker to Governor Duncan, dated March 15, 1808.

[189] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxix., part 2, pp. 361–362. Extract from the letter of Colonel Walker
to Governor Duncan, dated March 15, 1808.

[190] _Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government_, No.
xxxix., part 2, p. 374. Letter from Futteh Mahommed Jemadar to
Lieut.-Col. A. Walker, received on the 21st of October, 1807.

[191] _Records of Government_, Allahabad, 1871, vol. v., no. 2, p. 116.

[192] Keane, _Man Past and Present_, p. 499.

[193] George Aaron Barton, _A Sketch of Semitic Origins_, p. 269.

[194] Archibald Duff, _The Theology and Ethics of the Hebrews_, p. 17.

[195] D. Chwolson, _The Semitic Nations_, p. 25.

[196] Grimm, _Teutonic Mythology_, vol. i., p. 43.

[197] Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, vol. ii., p. 362.

[198] M. L. Milloue, _Le Sacrifice, Conférences faites au Musée
Guimet_, p. 3.

[199] Lord Avebury, _Marriage, Totemism, and Religion_, preface, p. vi.

[200] R. Campbell Thompson, _Semitic Magic_, p. xiii.

[201] Wm. Mariner, _The Natives of the Tonga Islands_, vol. ii., p. 220.

[202] Mariner, _The Natives of the Tonga Islands_, vol. i., p. 229.

[203] Father Joseph de Acosta, _The Natural and Moral History of the
Indies_, vol. ii., p. 344.

[204] Francisco de Jerez, _Conquista del Peru_, under cover of
_Biblioteca ed Aurores Españoles_, vol. xxvi., part 2, p. 327.

[205] P. Lafaitau, quoting Le Moyne in _Mœurs des Sauvages Américains_,
vol. i., p. 181.

[206] _Narrative of Le Moyne_, transl. from the Latin of De Bry, p. 13,
Boston, 1875.

[207] Antonio de Herrera, _The General History of the Vast Continent
and Islands of America, commonly called the West Indies_, vol. ii., pp.

[208] Wm. Strachey, _The History of Travaile into Virginia Britannia_,
p. 84.

[209] R. Brough Smyth, _The Aborigines of Victoria_, vol. ii., p. 311

[210] W. Crooke, _The Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern
India_, vol. ii., p. 169.

[211] _Ibid._, vol. ii., p. 172.

[212] W. H. Sleeman, _Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official_,
vol. i., p. 133.

[213] R. Cain, “Bhadrachellam and Rekapalli Taluquas,” the _Indian
Antiquary_, vol. viii., p. 219, Bombay, 1879.

[214] J. J. M. de Groote, _The Religious System of China_, vol. ii.,
book i., p. 679.

[215] R. A. S. MacAlister, _The Excavation of Gezer_, pp. 405–6, 432.

[216] Ernest Sellin, “Tell Ta’Annek,” _Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen
Akademie der Wissenschaften_, vols. l.-li., 1904–1906.

[217] Driver, _Modern Research as Illustrating the Bible_, p. 68.

[218] W. K. S. Ralston, _Songs of the Russian People_, p. 128.

[219] H. C. Trumbull, _Threshold Covenant_, p. 49.

[220] Jacob Grimm, _Teutonic Mythology_, vol. iii., p. 1144.

[221] Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, vol. i., p. 96.

[222] Theodor Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvolker_, vol. ii., p. 197.

[223] H. C. Trumbull, _The Threshold Covenant_, p. 146.

[224] Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, vol. i., p. 96.

[225] Jacob Grimm, _Teutonic Mythology_, vol. iii., p. 1142.

[226] Jacob Grimm, _Teutonic Mythology_, vol. iii., p. 1142.

[227] W. Crooke, _The Religion, etc., Northern India_, vol. ii., p. 174.

[228] _The Journal of American Folk-Lore_, vol. vi., p. 51, Boston, New
York, and London, 1893.

[229] E. Renan, _History of the People of Israel_, vol. i., preface, p.

[230] J. F. McCurdy, _Jewish Encyclopædia_.

[231] A. Kuenen, _The Religion of Israel_, p. 102.

[232] Genesis xxii., 13.

[233] Renan, _History of the People of Israel_, p. 63.

[234] Genesis xvii., 10.

[235] P. C. Remondino, _History of Circumcision_, p. 31. Remondino
cites Benjamin—David brought 200 prepuces to Saul to show the number of
slain Philistines.

[236] Remondino, p. 32.

[237] Exodus, chap. xii.

[238] Joshua, chap. xxiv., v. 14.

[239] Renan, _History of the People of Israel_, vol. i., p. 149.

[240] Judges, chap. ix.

[241] Renan, _History of the People of Israel_, vol. i., p. 150.

[242] Judges, chap. xii., v. 38–39.

[243] Renan, _History of the People of Israel_, vol. i., p. 278.

[244] 2 Samuel, chap. xxi.

[245] Ewald, _History of Israel_, vol. iv., p. 90.

[246] 2 Kings, chap. xvi., v. 3; and 2 Chronicles, chap. xxviii., v. 3.

[247] 2 Kings, chap. xxi., v. 6.

[248] Hosea, chap. vi., v. 6.

[249] _Ibid._

[250] Jeremiah, chap. vii., v. 21 _et seq._

[251] Micah, chap. vi., v. 6 _et seq._

[252] R. A. Nicholson, _Literary History of the Arabs_, p. xvi.

[253] The Sabeans were inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Sheba,
located in south-western Arabia. According to the records of Mohammed
Abu-Taleb Dimeshqi, the Sabeans’ sacrifices were made to the planets
when they reached their point of culmination. They sacrificed either
a man or a woman according to the divinity who was being worshipped.
To the Sun, a selected girl was sacrificed; to the Moon, a man with
full face. To Jupiter, a boy three days old, the child of the girl who
was sacrificed to the Sun. To Mercury they sacrificed a young man of
brownish colour who was a scribe and well educated; to Mars, a very red
man with a red head; to Venus, a beautiful woman. These sacrifices were
connected with various preparations and mysterious ceremonies.

The following passage, showing the extreme of horrible barbarism,
describes one of their sacrificial ceremonies; it is from Dr. D.
Chwolsohn’s _Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus_ (vol. ii., pp. 28–29).

“On the 8th of August the Sabeans pressed the wine for the gods and
called it by many different names. On this day they sacrificed to the
gods, in the middle of the forenoon, a new-born male child. First the
child was slaughtered, then boiled until it became very soft, when the
flesh was taken off (the bones). The flesh was then kneaded with fine
flour, oil, saffron, spikenard and other spices, and, according to
some, with raisins. It was then made into small cakes of the size of a
fig, and baked in a new oven. This was used by the participants in the
mystery of Shemal.... No woman, no slave or son of a slave, or no idiot
was allowed to eat of it. To the killing and the preparation of the
child only three priests were admitted. Everything remaining, such as
the bones and other things not eatable, the priests offered as a burnt
sacrifice to the gods.”

[Ab (August) Den 8. dieses Monats pressen sie neuen Wein für die Götter
und legen ihm viele verschiedene Namen bei. An diesem Tage opfern sie
in der Mitte des Vormittags den durch Standbilder dargestellten Göttern
ein neugeborenes männliches Kind. Zuerst wird der Knabe geschlachtet
und dann gesotten, bis er ganz weich wird, dann wird das Fleisch
abgenommen und mit feinem Mehl, Safran, Spikenard, Gewürznelken und
Oel (nach der andern Lesart: Rosinen) zusammengeknetet, daraus werden
kleine Brode, von der Grösse einer Feige, gemacht (oder geknetet)
und in einem neuen (oder eisernen) Ofen gebacken. Dies dient den
Theilnehmern an dem Mysterion des Schemal (zur Speise) für das ganze
Jahr. Es darf aber kein Weib, kein Sklave, kein Sohn einer Sklaven und
kein Wahnsinniger etwas davon essen. Zu dem Schlachten und Zurichten
dieses Kindes werden blos drei Priester zugelassen. Alles aber, was
von seinen Knochen, Gliedmassen, Knorpeln, Arterien und Nerven übrig
geblieben ist, verbrennen die Priester den Göttern zum Opfer.]

[254] R. A. Nicholson, _Literary History of the Arabs_, p. xxvii.

[255] George Sale, Introduction to the Koran, p. 93.

[256] George Sale, Introduction to the Koran, p. 93.

[257] Aghani, vii., 150, quoted by W. Robinson Smith, _Kinship and
Marriage_, p. 222.

[258] Sale, Introduction to Koran.

[259] Koran, chapter 5, p. 86.

[260] Nicholson, _Literary History of the Arabs_, p. 243.

[261] E. W. Lane, _Selections from the Kur-an_, Introduction, p.

[262] Hamasa, quoted by W. Robinson Smith in _Kinship and Marriage_, p.

[263] Porphyry, book 2, chap. lvi.

[264] Ammianus, book xxxi., chapter xvi.

[265] Procopius, _Bell. Pers._, part i., chap. xix.

[266] W. Robinson Smith, _Kinship and Marriage_, p. 296.

[267] Trans. by George Sale, Al Koran, chap. vi., p. 114.

[268] _Ibid._, chap. xvi., p. 218.

[269] _Ibid._, chap. lxxxi., pp. 480–481.

[270] “Al Hedaya Fil Foroo,” by Sheik Burhan-ad-deen Alee, trans. by
Charles Hamilton, vol. i., p. xxxiii.

[271] _Id._, book x., vol. ii.

[272] “Al Hedaya Fil Foroo,” vol ii., book x., par. 3.

[273] _Id._, vol. ii., book x., par. 6.

[274] The commentary of Ahmed Ben Mohammed Khadooree, published A.H.
420 and an authoritative work on the duties of a magistrate.

[275] The Hidaya, trans. by Charles Hamilton, vol. ii., book ix., chap.

[276] The Hidaya, trans. by Charles Hamilton, vol. i., book iv., chap.
xiv., pp. 385, 386.

[277] J. P. Mahaffy, _Social Life of the Greeks_.

[278] Andrew Lang, _Homeric Studies_.

[279] Thomas D. Seymour, _Life in the Homeric Age_, p. 139.

[280] _Id._, p. 139.

[281] Hesiod, _Theogony_, 483–4; Daremberg and Saglio, art. Exposito.

[282] Pausanias, book 8, chap. viii.

[283] Apollodorus, _Bibliotheca_, book i., caput 3, par. 5.

[284] Pausanias, book 8, chap. xxviii.

[285] _Ibid._, book i., chap. xlvi.

[286] Apollodorus, book ii, caput 7, par. 4. Pausanias, book viii.,
chap, xlviii.

[287] Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography.

[288] Apollodorus, book iii., caput 5.

[289] Plato, B. Jowett, vol. iv., p. 216.

[290] _Ibid._, vol. i., p. 91.

[291] Gortyniorum Leges, Daremberg and Saglio.

[292] “Law Code of the Cretan Gortyna,” _American Journal of
Archæology_, vol. i., p. 335.

[293] Euripides, transl. by Arthur S. Way, vol. iii., p. 345.

[294] Wm. Botsford, _Development of the Athenian Constitution_, p. 10.

[295] Plutarch, _Life of Alcibiades_.

[296] Heliodorus, _Ethiopica_.

[297] G. Glotz, Daremberg and Saglio, art. Exposito.

[298] Longus, _Daphnis and Chloë_, book iv.

[299] Hesiod, _Works and Days_.

[300] Terence, _Adelphi_, act v., scene iii.

[301] Musonius, quoted by Glotz.

[302] Longus, _Daphnis and Chloë_, book iv.

[303] Heaut., Terence., act iv., scene i.

[304] Aristophanes, _Thesmophor._, act v.

[305] Longus, _Daphnis and Chloë_, book i.

[306] Euripides, _Ion_, 1489.

[307] Plautus, _Cestellaria_.

[308] Plautus, _Casina_.

[309] Longus, _Daphnis_, book i.

[310] Plautus, _Cistellaria_, act i., scene i.

[311] _Poetarum Comicorum Græcorum Fragmenta._ Ed. Didot, p. 57;
_Athenæus_, Trans. C. D. Yonge, vol. ii., p. 804.

[312] _Poet. Comic. Græc. Frag._, p. 687; _Athenæus_, vol. ii., p. 794.

[313] _Ibid._, p. 710; _Ibid._, p. 575.

[314] _Thesmophoriazusæ_, 502, 516.

[315] Euripides, _Ion_, line 144.

[316] Xenophon, _Œconomicus_, chapter iv., par. 5.

[317] _Ælian_, liber ii., caput vii.

[318] Plutarch, _Lycurgus_ (Dryden trans.), vol. i., p. 82.

[319] _Dionysius Halic_., bk. ii., par. vii.

[320] Livy, i., 4.

[321] Thos. Collett Sandars, _Institutes of Justinian_, p. 3.

[322] Sandars, p. 4.

[323] Gibbon, vol. iv., p. 341: “The law of nature instructs most
animals to cherish and educate their youthful progeny. The law of
reason inculcates to the human species the returns of filial piety. But
the exclusive, absolute and perpetual dominion of the father over his
children is peculiar to the Roman jurisprudence and seems to be coeval
with the foundation of the city.”

[324] _Dionysius Halic._, bk. ii., par. 15.

[325] W. A. Hunter, _Roman Law_, p. 190, calls the conclave of
neighbours a “humane and interesting exception.” John P. McLennon, in
_Primitive Marriage_, says it is a “fine example of good old savage
law.” According to Hunter, infanticide receives its first customary
check when the destruction of males and the eldest female is forbidden:
the ancient tribes preferring rather to steal their wives than to rear

[326] _Dionysius Halic._, bk., ii., par. 26.

[327] “Numa Pompilius,” Plutarch, Dryden’s Translations, vol. ix.,
p. 106: “He is also much to be commended for the repeal, or rather
amendment, of that law which gives power to fathers to sell their
children; he exempted such as were married, conditionally that it had
been with the liking and the consent of their parents; for it seems a
hard thing that a woman who had given herself in marriage to a man she
judged free, should afterwards find herself living with a slave.”

[328] _Valerius Maximus_, edition of 1678, lib. v., cap. viii.
According to Niebuhr, the story was disbelieved, and the historian
himself says it is an invention by those who found it difficult to
believe that after three consulships and as many triumphs, Cassius was
still in his father’s _potestas_. _Hist. of Rome_, vol. ii., p. 167.

[329] Stephen, _Hist. of the Criminal Law of England_, p. 1.

[330] Ortolan.

[331] Madame Dacier observes upon this passage, that the ancients
thought themselves guilty of a heinous offence if they suffered their
children to die without having bestowed on them some of their property;
it was consequently the custom of the women, before exposing children,
to attach to them some jewel or trinket among their clothes, hoping
thereby to avoid incurring the guilt above mentioned, and to ease their

[332] Madame Dacier says that the meaning of this passage is this:
Chremes tells his wife that by having given this ring, she has done two
good acts instead of one—she has both cleared her conscience and saved
the child; for had there been no ring or token exposed with the infant,
the finder would not have been at the trouble of taking care of it, but
might have left it to perish, never suspecting it would be inquired
after, or himself liberally rewarded for having preserved it. (Bohn
trans.) See chapters xii. and xiii.

[333] This he says by way of palliating the cruelty he was guilty of in
his orders to have the child put to death.

[334] Greenidge, _Roman Public Life_.

[335] Becker’s _Gallus_, p. 178.

[336] According to Festus (_De Verborum Significatione_), there was a
celibate fine. Cicero, _De Leg._, iii., 3, and Val. Max., ii., 9, i.

[337] Becker’s _Gallus_, p. 179.

Apæcides—“I’ faith, money’s a handsome dowry.” Periphanes—“Indeed it
is, when it isn’t encumbered with a wife.”—Plautus, _Epidicus_, act
ii., scene i.

[338] Becker’s _Gallus_, pp. 42 to 46; Suetonius, _Claudius_, p. 25;
Horace, Epistle, ii., 2, 27; Martial, xii., 57, 14; Plautus, _Merc._,
iii., 4, 78; _Roman Life Under the Cæsars_, Emile Thomas, p. 59.

[339] M. Dezobry, _Rome au Siècle d’Auguste_, Plautus, _Hecyra_,

[340] “Those funerals with their horns and trumpets meeting in the
Forum” was Horace’s idea of the height of noise.

[341] Becker’s _Gallus_, p. 46; Martial, vii., 61.

[342] Gaius, ii., 286: “Unmarried persons who by the _lex Julia_ are
debarred from taking inheritances and legacies were in olden times
considered capable of taking _fideicommissa_. Likewise childless
persons, who by the _lex Papia_ lose half their inheritance and
legacies because they have no children, were in the olden time
considered capable of taking _fideicommissa_ in full. But afterward
by the _senatus consultum Pegasianum_ they were forbidden to take
_fideicommissa_ as well as inheritances and legacies. And those were
transferred to those persons named in the testament who had children,
or if none of them had children, to the _populus_, just as the rule is
regarding legacies and inheritances.”

[343] Tacitus, _Ann._, iii., p. 28.

[344] Suetonius, _Octavius_, par. 65.

[345] Suetonius, _Life of Claudius_, par. 27.

[346] Velia was a town in Liguria destroyed by a mountain slide. It
was near the present town of Piacenza, about an hour’s railway ride
from Milan. In 1747 the inscription was found, one of the longest that
has come down to us, containing six hundred and thirty lines in seven

[347] The usual rate in provinces was twelve per cent. Pliny, Epist.,
x., 62 (_duodenis assibus_). Later, Alex. Severus lent money to the
poor to enable them to buy land at three per cent.

[348] Tacitus, _Ann._, iv., 27.

[349] _Pliny’s Letters_, Letter 72, vol. ii.

[350] Tertullian, _Epst._, 9.

[351] _Digest_, xlviii., 9, 5.

[352] _De Verborum Significatione_, p. 188, edition Lipsiæ, 1880. Line
six reads: “_Lactaria columna in foro olitorio dicta, quod ibi infantes
lacte alendos deferebant._”

[353] M. A. Seneca, _Opera_. Biponti, 1783.

[354] Hunter, _Spartianus_, part xvii., p. 67.

[355] Julianus, 611; Walker, p. 77.

[356] Gerardus Noodt, _Opera Omnia_, 1767. Cornelius Van Binkershoek,
_Opera Omnia_, 1761.

[357] Abdy and Walker, _Institutes of Justinian_, Appendix A. Ortolan,
p. 325.

[358] Duruy, vol. v., p. 175.

[359] Cambridge University Press, p. 122.

[360] Duruy, vol. v., p. 467. E. E. Bryant, _Life of Antoninus Pius_,
p. 122, refers to the inscription at Aquileia of a “_præfectus
alimentorum_” as indicative of what Pius had done.

[361] Hunter, p. 68.

[362] Gibbon, vol. i., p. 497.

[363] Zosimus, book ii., says parents were obliged to sell their
children to pay the tax collectors.

[364] _Codex Theodosianus_, xi., 27, 1–2.

[365] Chapter xx., p. 407, vol. i.

[366] Justinian Code, viii., 52, 2. _Quod si exponendam putave it;
animadversoni, quæ constituta est, subjacebit._

[367] Bryce, _Holy Roman Empire_, p. 1. E. A. Freeman, _Historical

[368] Charles Loring Brace, _Gesta Christi_, p. 111.

[369] W. E. H. Lecky, _History of European Morals_, vol. ii., p. 27.

[370] Barnabas, Epistle, chapter xix.

[371] Justin, _Apol._, i., chapter xxvii., p. 30.

[372] Justin, _Apol._, i., chapter xxix., p. 31.

[373] Athanagoras, _Plea_, chapter xxxv., p. 419.

[374] A. J. Dogour, _Recherches sur les Enfants Trouvés_, p. 61.

[375] Tertullian, _Apologeticus_, par. 90.

[376] Tertullian, _Ad Nationes_, chapter xv.

[377] Clement of Alexandria, _Pædagogus_, chapter iii., p. 3.

[378] Minucius Felix, _Oct._, chapters xxx. and xxxi.

[379] Vision of Paul, par. 40.

[380] _Codex Theodosianus_, xi., xxvii., 1.

[381] _Ibid._, lib. ii., tit. 27.

[382] _Ibid._, lib. v., tit. 7 and 8.

[383] _Codex Theodosianus_, chapter iii., title 3.

[384] _Codex Theodosianus._

[385] Terme et Monfalcon, p. 79.

[386] _Acta Conciliorum Parisiis_, 1715. Tome i., p. 1789. Chapters
Concilium Vasense, Anno Christi 442, chapters 9 and 10.

[387] Terme et Monfalcon, p. 80.

[388] S. A. Dunham, _Europe in the Middle Ages_, p. 8.

[389] Matthew xxviii., 19, 20.

[390] Eusebius, _Ecclesiastical History_, book iii., chapter i.

[391] Theodoretius, _History of the Church_, book iv., chapter xxx.

[392] Smith and Chetam, _Dict. of Ch. Antiq. Missions_ (see also
Socrates, _Ecc. Hist._, vii., 30; Ozanam, _Civilisation chez les
Francs_, p. 51).

[393] Thomas Moore, _History of Ireland_, vol. i., p. 49.

[394] Guizot, _Civilization_, vol. i., p. 429.

[395] La Boulaye, _Recherches sur la condition de la femme depuis les
Romains jusque au nos jours_.

[396] Ammian. Marcell., xvii., 8.

[397] Codex, second edition of Hessels and Kern, xxviii., section 4,
and the Wolfenbuttel edition as quoted by Garabed Artin Davoud-Oghlou,
_Histoire de la législation des Anciens Germains_, vol. i., p. 496.

[398] A sou was worth about 1000 grains of silver and the denier had a
weight of about 25 grains of silver. Davoud-Oghlou, vol. i., p. 465.

[399] _Leys Salica_, column 491.

[400] J. F. A. Payre, _Lois des Francs_, pp. 82 and 83. The kings and
the nobles wore their hair long, while the plain people wore their hair
short, as did the Romans for whom these barbarians had a great contempt.

[401] Dugour, p. 93; Davoud-Oghlou, vol. i., p. 613; Lallemand, p. 91.

[402] “_Parentes qui cogente necessitate filios suos alimentorum gratia
vendiderint ingenuiati eorum non pare juicant. Homo enim liber pretio
nullo æstimatur._” Edictum Theodorici, art. 94.

[403] Thomas Hodgkin, _The Letters of Cassiodorus_, book viii., letter

[404] Terme et Monfalcon, _Hist. des Enfants Trouvés_, p. 28.

[405] Terme et Monfalcon, p. 84.

[406] Lerousse, _Bathilde_.

[407] Lebeau, _Hist. du Bas Empire_, vol. vi., p. 179.

[408] _The History of England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings_, vol. i., p.
414, translated by Benj. Thorpe.

[409] Laws of Hloth. and Ead., vi. Ine, vii. Æthels., v. i. By the
Salic law also (tit. xxvi., art. 6) twelve was fixed as the age of

[410] See Laws of Cnut, lxxvii.

[411] Thorpe, p. 414.

[412] Gaillard, p. 83.

[413] Muratori, _Antiquates italicæ medii ævi_, Mediolani, 1740, vol.
iii., p. 587.

[414] Pontani, _Opera_, Basil, 1566, t. i., chapter xix.

[415] Gaillard, vol. i., p. 85.

[416] _Histoire de Languedoc._

[417] Ramcle, p. 34.

[418] Ramcle, p. 360.

[419] Gaillard, vol. i., p. 85. _Bulletin Ferussac, pact de la Geog._,
t. xvi., p. 66.

[420] Ramcle, p. 34. _Bullarium Romanorum_, t. i., p. 74.

[421] See Bull of Innocent III., 28th of April, 1198.

[422] Beckmann, _Histoire des Inventions et Découvertes_, tome iv.

[423] _Dictionnaire des Sciences Medicales_, “Enfans Trouvés.”

[424] Ramcle, 38. _Bullarium Romanorum_, Nicholas IV.

[425] Ramcle, p. 40.

[426] Cited by de Breuil.

[427] _Histoire de Languedoc_, tome iii., p. 43.

[428] Ramcle, p. 63.

[429] _Rapport fait à l’Académie Royale des Sciences_. Par MM. Dumeril
et Coquebert-Monbret. Paris, 1825, p. x.

[430] _Considérations sur les Enfants Trouvés_, Benoiston de
Chateauneuf, p. x.

[431] Gaillard, p. 90.

[432] Gaillard, p. 90.

[433] _Id._, p. 90. Chateauneuf.

[434] At that time Louis was at war with Germany in the Pays-Bas and in
Cologne, and the conspiracy of Cinq-Mars had just been discovered.

[435] Terme et Monfalcon, p. 100.

[436] Gaillard, p. 92.

[437] Curzon, p. 11.

[438] L. F. Salzman, _English Industries of the Middle Ages_, p. 229.

[439] _Memorials of London and London Life_, ed. by H. T. Riley, p. 549.

[440] W. J. Ashley, _The English Economic History_, p. 9.

[441] O. J. Dunlop and R. D. Denman, _English Apprenticeship and Child
Labour_, p. 29.

[442] _Id._, p. 56.

[443] H. T. Riley, _Memorials of London and London Life_, p. 278.

[444] Act of Henry VIII., passed by the Common Council of London,
September 27, 1556. See _A Transcript of the Registers of the Company
of Stationers of London_, vol. i., ed. by Ed. Arber, introduction, p.

[445] H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, p. 341.

[446] Rep., 7 and 8 Vict. c. 101, s. 13.

[447] Macaulay, _History of England_, vol. i., pp. 389 and 390.

[448] Chamberlayne’s _State of England_; Petty’s _Political
Arithmetic_, chapter viii.; Dunning’s _Plain and Easy Method_; Firmin’s
_Proposition for the Employing of the Poor_. “It ought to be observed
that Firmin was an eminent philanthropist,” Macaulay observes.

[449] H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, p. 388.

[450] _The Quarterly Review_, vol. lxvii., 1841, pp. 175 and 176.

[451] Alfred, _History of the Factory Movement_, vol. i., pp. 21, 22.

[452] Quoted in Alfred’s _History of the Factory Movement_, i., 43.

[453] H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, par. 226, p. 393.

[454] H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, p. 398.

[455] W. Cooke Taylor, _Factories and the Factory System_, pp. 20 and

[456] H. de B. Gibbins, _Industry in England_, p. 402.

[457] Edith Abbott, _Journal of American Society_, 14, 37.

[458] Edith Abbott, _Journal of American Society_, 14, 21.

[459] _Id._, 14, 32.

[460] Duprat, p. 200, and Steinmetz, “Das Verhaltniss zwischen Eltern
und Kindern bei den Naturvolken,” _Zeitschrift für Socialwissenschaft_,
vol. i.

[461] Copy of triplicate report, as above indicated.


The names of authors from whose works quotations have been made are
printed in heavy-faced type.


  Aaron, 162

  Ab-ba-gi-na, 98

  Abbott, Edith, 332

  _Abgal_, 94

  Abipones, 42

  Abortion, 26, 259, 260, 279

  Abraham, 158

  Abu Tamman, 177

  Abyssinians, 17

  Accouchements, god of, 98

  Achilles, 186

  Acts of Parliament, 1802, 1833, 324, 329

  _Adelphi_, 196

  Adoption, 102, 288, 289;
    among the Greeks, 204;
    enjoined by Mohammed, 180;
    of orphans, China, 49

  _Adventures of Sanehat_, 112

  Ægean culture, 91

  =Ælian=, 9, 207

  Æsculapius, 187

  Æthelstan, laws of, 292

  Æthiopia, 274

  Africa, 17, 23, 34, 106, 262

  Agathocles, 8

  =Aghani=, 173, 174, 175

  Agis, 193

  Agnew, Frederick A., 334

  Agrarian Law, 215

  Aha, island of, 74

  Ahaz, 166

  Aidan, 275

  Ainu race, 71

  Aix, 303

  Akkado-Sumerians, 90, 92, 107

  Albanian Scots, 275

  Alexander the Great, 127–8

  Al-Farazdac, 174, 175

  Alfred, King, 283

  Al Hidaya, 180

  Allahabad, 137

  Al Mostatraf, 172

  Alsace, 276

  Al Siyar, 182

  Altar, infants buried at, 151

  Ambrosius, 258, 263

  Amenemhat I., 112

  Ammianus Marcellinus, 177, 279

  Ammonites, 164

  Amosis, 113

  Amphidromia, 193

  Amphion, 187

  Amraphael, 100

  Amsterdam provides for children, 300

  Amulius, 210

  Amva, 124

  Anacharsis, 196

  Andromache, 185

  Andromeda, 193

  Angora (Ancyra), 268

  Animal, care of young, 20;
    marriage, 3, 23;
    protection of child, 52, 186

  _Annales de la Sainte Enfance_, 61

  Antankarana tribes, 35

  Antiphili, 197

  Antiphon, 184

  _Antiquates italicæ medii ævi_, 294

  _Antiquity and Piety_, 113

  Antoninus Pius, 236, 247, 248

  _Antoninus Pius, Life of_, 248, 250

  Apprentices, 315, 316, 317

  Apulia, 284

  Arabs, chapter xi.;
    customs of pagan, 170, 171, 172

  Aramean tribes, 138

  Arcadia, 187

  Archambault, 290

  Arctopitheci, 23

  Areoi society, 41

  Argos, 187

  =Aristophanes=, 191, 199, 205, 206

  Aristotle, 7, 14

  Arius, 20, 268

  Arkwright, invention of, 318

  Arles, Bishop of, 275

  Armenia, 91

  Arrian, 128

  Artificers, statute of, 315

  Arunta tribes, 32

  _Aryan Civilization_, 123

  Aryans, 90, 120, 121

  =Ashley, W. J.=, 314

  Assa Sahib, governor of Saugor, 148

  Assyria, 91

  Assyrians, 159

  Astrolabe Bay, 24

  Astrology and exposure, 265, 266

  Astyanax, 185

  Asylums, 65, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299

  Athalaric, King, 283, 284

  Athanagoras, 260

  Athanasius, Bishop, 268

  =Athenæus=, 205

  Athens, 191, 216

  Auge, 187

  Augustine, 258

  Augustus, 223, 226, 229, 247

  Aurelianus, 279

  _Australian Aborigines_, 33

  Australian aborigines, 33, 34

  Austria, child welfare movement in, 334

  =Avebury, Lord=, 143

  Aventine Hill, 242

  Avignon, Bishop of, 275

  Azara, Felix de, 36


  Baal, 163, 164

  Babylonia, 9, 91, 92, 93, 138

  _Babylonian and Assyrian Laws_, 99

  =Bain, Alexander=, 2

  Banjarilu, Hindu caste, 149

  Barnabas, 258, 259

  Barnamtarra, 97

  Baroda, 131

  =Barton, G. A.=, 139

  Basil the Great, 263

  Bastards, 303

  Basuto, 35

  Bathilde, Saint, 290

  Bathurst (N. S. W.), 43, 147

  Bau, temple of, 96, 97

  =Beckmann=, 297

  Bel, temple of, 93

  Benares, 129

  Bengal, Royal Society, 130

  Benin, 32

  Bergh, Henry, 336

  Bergliac, asylum at, 296

  =Bergson, H.=, 3

  Berins, 275

  Berlin, child-welfare organization in, 334

  Bernard de Montlaur, 295

  Beverly, Mass., 333

  Bhisma, 123, 124

  Binkershoek, Cornelius van, 247

  Birds, 4, 21, 53

  Bithynia, 233, 274

  Blood ceremonies, 144, 145, 146, 148, 154, 178, 261

  Bombay, 129

  Borneo, 23

  Borromeo, Count, 334

  Botterays, 301

  =Boulger, D. C.=, 59

  Boulton, invention by, 318

  Bourgognes, asylum of, 295

  =Brace, Charles Loring=, 258

  Braelers, ordinances of, 315

  _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, 125

  Brahmin priests, 148

  =Breasted, J. H.=, 112

  Brehm, _Bird-Life_, 21, 22

  Brehma Bywant Pooran, 130

  Brephotrophia, asylums for children, 293, 297

  Bretagne, 303

  =Brinton, D. G.=, 19, 31, 39

  British Museum, 80, 93, 110

  =Brown, Arthur J.=, 69

  Bruitii, 284

  =Bryant, E. E.=, 248, 250

  =Bryce, James=, 257

  =Buckle, T. H.=, 16

  Buddhism, 77, 81, 126, 127

  =Budge, E. A. W.=, 117

  Burgundians, 274, 276, 281

  Burhan-ad-din-Ali, 180

  Burial alive, 27, 36, 78, 149, 154, 172

  =Burnell, A. C.=, 127

  Burnt-offerings, 158, 168

  Busiris, Egyptian deity, 262


  Caduca, 228

  Cæsar, 276, 277

  =Cain, R.=, 149

  Calabria, 284

  Callich, or Gallus, 276

  Camos, 165, 166

  Campania, 283

  Canaan, people of, 138, 140, 158

  _Canis Brasiliensis_, 22

  Cannibalism, 140, 141, 142, 143, 147, 149, 150;
    among Arabs, 177;
    Australia, 39, 43;
    Britain, 121;
    in Dahomey, 154;
    in Japan, 83, 84, 85;
    Papuan, 27

  Canton, 65

  Capitoline Hill, 210

  Cappadocia, 274

  Caracalla, constitution of, 229

  Carinthia, 276

  Carnivora, 22

  =Carpenter, Edward=, 10

  Carthaginian, 8, 237, 276

  Cassiodorus, 283–4

  Cassius, 239

  Cassius Severus, 243

  Cassius Viscellinus, 215

  Castration, 160

  Cathaia, 129

  Catiline, 241

  Catullus, 240

  Celtic races, 120, 121, 258

  Ceres, 215

  _Cervus Campestris_, 22

  =Chabas, M.=, 111

  Chang-Chau, department of, 66, 68

  Chanoines du Saint Esprit, 295

  Ch’aou, 55

  Charlevoix, 42

  Château de Bicêtre, 308

  =Chavannes, Edouard=, 50

  _Chelonia_, 20

  Chen, protest of, against infanticide, 62

  Chikandini, 124

  Child-labour, 282, 313, 314, 318, 325, 333

  Child-slaves, 154, 213, 237, 266, 289, 290, 291, 319, 320–323

  Child-welfare societies, beginnings of, 333, 334, 335

  Childebert, 293

  China, child-welfare movement in, 335

  _China. Das Reich der Mitte_, 68

  _China in Decay_, 69

  Chinese, 9;
    customs, 19, 149, 150;
    influence in Japan, 77;
    odes, 48;
    philosophy, 157

  Ch’ing, 53

  Choentche, Chinese Emperor, 55, 59

  Choo, people of, 54

  Chou King, 47

  Chow dynasty, 50

  Chowkidar, 137

  Chremes, 217–21

  Christianity, 13, 14, 251, 252, 257, 271

  Christian missionaries in Europe, 275, 276

  Chronicles, II., 166

  _Chronicles of Japan_, 72

  Chun, Chinese Emperor, 47

  Church, 268, 273, 287, 288, 289, 303

  Chu’un Ts’ew, 54

  Chwolsohn, D., 140

  Cicero, 11, 234

  Cimbrians, 240

  Circumcision, 160

  Cité de St.-Landry, Paris, 306, 307

  Citharion, 187

  _Civilisation ches les Francs_, 275

  _Civilization of China_, 70

  Claudius, Emperor, 230

  Claudius, F., 243

  Clay figures substituted in sacrifice, 79, 80

  Clement XIV., Pope, 231

  Clement of Alexandria, 259, 261

  Clothing industry in United States, 332

  Clovis II., King, 290

  Cnut, laws of, 292

  Coition, ceremonies over, 124

  Columba, 275

  Columbanus, 276

  Commodus, 260

  Confucius, 7, 87

  _Conquista del Peru_, 145

  Constantine, 222, 252, 264, 269, 273

  Constantinople, 177, 273

  Continence, 260

  Copenhagen, sacrifices, 152, 153

  Coquebert, 306

  Coronis, 187

  Cosilinum, city of, 285

  Cotton factories, 325, 333

  Council, of Agde, 270;
    of Ancyra, 268;
    of Arles, 270;
    of Constantinople, 268;
    of Elvira, 268;
    of Marseilles approves charity, 296;
    of Nicæa, 268;
    of Nice, 293;
    of Rouen, 289;
    of Vaison, 269

  Court, children’s, 338

  Courtesans, 26, 204, 205, 242

  _Covenant, Threshold_, 152, 153, 154, 161

  =Cratinus, the younger=, 205

  _Creditur virgini_, 305

  Crescentius, 259

  =Crespigny, Lieut. de=, 23

  Crete, 186, 189, 190

  =Crobylus=, 205

  Crom-Cruach, worship of, 276

  =Crooke, W.=, 148, 155

  Crotopos, 187

  _Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament_, 99

  Cuq, 95

  =Curr, E. M.=, 37

  =Curzon=, 311


  Dacier, Madame, 220

  Dahomey, 121, 154

  Dale, Godfrey, 35

  _Daphnis and Chloe_, 195, 200, 203

  Daremberg and Saglio, 186

  Darius Hystaspis, 91

  Darwin, Charles, 4, 43

  _Das Kind in Brauch und Sitte der Völker_, 35

  Dasyas, 122

  Datheus, Archbishop of Milan, 13, 293, 294, 299, 302

  David, 165

  =Davis, J. M.=, 43

  =Davoud-Oughlou, G. A.=, 279, 282

  _Dawn of Civilization_, 109

  =Dawson, James=, 33

  _Debilitans Expositos_, 242

  De Breuil, 300

  De Bry, 146

  =de Chateauneuf, Benoiston=, 307

  _Découvertes en Chaldée_, 94

  Deformed children, 151, 306;
    Australia, 38;
    Greece, 186;
    India, 129;
    Rome, 212, 213

  _De homine replegiando_, writ, 336

  =Deissmann, Adolph=, 119

  Deity of Eight Thousand Spears, 75

  de la Crau, Olivier, 295

  de Meulant, Bishop of Paris, 300

  =Democritus=, 194

  =de Morgan, J.=, 99

  Demosthenes, 206

  =Deneker, J.=, 19

  =Denman, R. D.=, 315

  _Descent of Man_, 43

  Destruction, god of, 149

  _De Verborum Significatione_, 223, 242

  =D’Horme, P.=, 99

  Dhurma Shastra, 134

  Dietrich (Theodoric), 283

  Diocletian, 272

  Diodorus Siculus, 114, 116, 117, 128

  Dion Cassius, 237

  Dionysius Halicarnassus, 8

  Dionysus, 187

  Diphilus, 196

  _Divine Institutes_, 254, 255

  “Divine” origin of infanticide, 132

  Divorce, 182, 223

  Domitian, 225

  Doomsday Book, Assyrian, 103

  _Doqhutiya_, professional kidnappers, 155

  Dorians, 186

  Dosajee Jhareja, 136

  =Douglas, Robert K.=, 69

  Dreyerie tribe, 38

  =Droppers, Garrett=, 83

  Drowning of children, 55, 67, 123, 144, 261, 262

  =Du Berry, Abbé=, 291

  =Dubois, Dr. Eugene=, 15, 46

  =du Chaillu, Paul=, 23

  =Duff, Archibald=, 139

  =Dugour, A. J.=, 217, 260, 282

  =Dumeril=, 306

  Duncan, Jonathan, 129

  =Dunham, S. A.=, 273

  =Dunlop, O. J.=, 315

  _Durante matrimonio_, 246

  Duruy, 238

  Dussaud, René, 105

  Dutch, in China, 57

  Dyaks, sacrifices, 154

  Dyetinet, named after child, 153


  Eannatum, 94

  _Early Ideas_, 125

  East India Company, 130

  Eastern Roman Empire, 287, 288

  Ecclesiastes, 111

  _Ecclesiastical History_, 274, 275

  Edomites, 166

  Edward the Martyr, 292

  Egypt, 112, 113, 160;
    3366 B. C., 111

  Egyptian, civilization, 6;
    conditions, 3000 B. C., 108;
    deities of children, 110;
    Hamites, 106;
    philosophy, 157

  Egyptians, 19, 91;
    attitude toward death, castes, 107

  _Egyptian Tales_, 112

  Elamites, 91

  =Ellis, William=, 41, 43

  =Ellwood, Charles=, 4

  Elohim, 158

  Eloi, St., 291

  Emperor, Joseph II., 257;
    Julian, 278;
    Theodosius, 263

  Enfants-Dieu, House of, 301

  _Enfants Trouvés_, 287

  England, asylums in, 298;
    child-welfare movement in, 334;
    children sold, 290;
    early attitude toward children, 292

  _Épaves_, legal charge on nobles, 304

  Epictetus, 236

  Epidaurus, 187

  =Erman, A.=, 112, 117

  Ethiopia, 274

  Etirtu, adoption of, 104

  Etolians, 187

  _Études Égyptiennes_, 110

  Eunice, Saint, child slave, 291

  Eunuchs, abolition of, 59

  Euripides, 191, 201

  Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, 274, 275

  =Evans, Sir John=, 15

  Excavations, Babylonian, 92;
    at Gezer, 150, 151, 166, 200;
    at Megiddo, 151;
    at Tell Ta’Annek, 151, 166, 200;
    at Thebes, 113

  Exodus, 161

  Exposed children, Visigoths, 282

  Exposure, cause of, 192, 193;
    Chinese, 52;
    copper pots used in, 200;
    Greeks, 199–208;
    jewels for exposed children, 218;
    Roman, 217, 258–262;
    shame, cause of, 192


  Factories, abuse in, 12, 319, 320

  Fair, children sold at, 285

  Family, labour contracted by, 314;
    origin of, 18;
    restricted, 37;
    Sumerian, size of, 97

  Famine, in China, 49, 57;
    in Israel, 165;
    in Japan, 82, 83;
    cause of infanticide, 177

  Fathers, power of, in Gaul, 276, 277;
    saved by son’s sacrifice, 144, 146;
    status dependent on children, Rome, 227;
    teachings of Christian, 267

  Faubourg, St. Lazare, 308;
    St. Victor, 307

  =Faust, A. K.=, 87

  Faustina, 245

  =Featherman, A.=, 16, 17

  Female child, 118, 144, 210

  Female sacrifice, Japan, 81

  “Female-Who-Invite,” 74

  Festus, 242

  Field of slaughter (Magh-Sleacth), 276

  Fines, for killing child, 279, 280;
    for permitting child to live, 38;
    for reselling children, 291

  Fingen, 276

  First-born, sacrifice of, 39, 93, 139, 140, 145, 149;
    to the Ganges, 148;
    child, eaten, 147;
    male, sacrificed, in Florida, 147

  _Fisc_, sale of children by, 263

  Fishermen, find children in nets, 297

  =Fison and Howitt=, 42

  Fleinz, Enrad, 297

  _Florilegium_, 198

  _Folk-Lore, American_, 156

  Folk-lore of Northern India, 148

  Foochow, 66

  Food, human, for deities, 81;
    infants as food for swine, 262

  =Foreman, John=, 44

  Forum Boarium, 242

  Fou Hi, Emperor of China, 19

  Fou Kien, Province of, 55

  Foundation sacrifices, 82, 149, 150–52, 161

  Foundlings, Arab, 180, 181, 182;
    liberty of, 270;
    mutilating, 243–44;
    property rights in, 269;
    as slaves, 266;
    substitution, 205;
    Sumarian, 102;
    treasury paid for, 181

  France, 302, 303

  François the First, 299

  Frankish Bishops, 275

  Franks, 274, 279, 290

  =Freeman, E. A.=, 257

  Freemen, Arab, 181

  Fridolin, 276

  Fuegians, 29

  Fuhkien, _see_ Fou Kien

  Fulvius, A., 240

  Funerals, Roman, 225

  Futteh Mahommed Jemadar, 136


  Gaillard, Abbé, 293, 295, 296, 310

  =Gaius=, 227

  Galatia, 274

  Galdinus, Cardinal, 299

  Galli, 262

  Gallio, 243

  Gallus, or Callich, 276

  _Gallus_ (Becker), 223, 224, 225

  Ganga, 123

  Ganga Jatra, 148

  =Gason, Samuel=, 38

  Gaul, missionary work in, 275;
    power of father in, 276, 277;
    selling children in, 291

  Gauls, 92, 276

  Gautama, 7

  Gazelles, 22

  Genesis, 100, 159

  =Genouillac, H. de=, 97

  Gephids, 274

  Germanic races, 258

  _Germanicus_, of Tacitus, 277

  Germany, asylums in, 298;
    children sold, 290;
    sacrifices in, 152, 154

  Gerry, Elbridge T., 336

  _Gesta Christi_, 258

  =Gibbon, Edward=, 212

  Gibeonites, 165

  Gilds, 314

  Gilead, 164

  =Giles, H. A.=, 50, 70

  =Glotz, G.=, 192, 194

  Gna, Saxon king, 296

  God, of destruction, 149;
    of the young, 98

  Gohuls, 136

  Golden calf, worship of, 161, 162

  =Goodrich, J. K.=, 88

  Gorillas, 23

  Gortyna, 189, 190, 193

  Goshen, 139

  Gothic language, 275

  Goths, 120, 177;
    apostle of, 275

  Gottheil, Professor, 125

  Goulburn, 43, 147

  Gowland collection, 80

  Gratian, Emperor, 247, 266

  Great Bassam, in Africa, 153

  Great First Emperor, China, 51

  Greece, 107

  Greeks, 9, 19, 90, 92;
    adoption among, 204;
    exposure among, 199–208;
    morality, 5, 6;
    philosophy, 157

  =Greenidge=, 222

  Gregorian codes, 270

  Gregory, apostolic mission, 291

  =Gregory I., Pope=, 291

  =Grenfell and Hunt=, 119

  =Griffis, W. E.=, 82, 83

  =Grimm, Jacob=, 141, 153, 154, 155

  =Groote, J. J. M. de=, 149, 150

  =Guizot, François P. G.=, 277

  =Gulick, S. L.=, 88

  =Guppy, H. B.=, 37

  Guy of Montpellier, 295, 296


  Hachijo, island of, 72

  Hadrian, 163, 236, 237, 245, 246

  =Hall, G. Stanley=, 18

  =Hall, H. R.=, 112

  Halle, 154

  Hamasa, 177

  =Hamilton, Charles=, 180

  Hamites, Egyptian, 106

  Hammurabi, 92, 99, 100, 102

  Hand, sign of law, 211

  Hang Hoi, 55

  Hani-wa (clay rings), 80

  Hariskandra, 126

  =Harper, R. F.=, 103

  Harris papyrus, No. 500, 110

  =Harrison, E. J.=, 87

  Hastinapur, 123

  Ha’tshepest, 112

  Hawaii, 43

  He, Duke, 54

  _He Who Brings Buried Girls to Life_, 175

  _Heautontimorumenos_, 197

  Hebrews, 116, 142

  Hector, 185

  _Hecyra_, 193

  Hegira, 170

  Heliodorus, 193

  Hellenes, 120

  Henry II., edict of, 305

  Hephaistos, 186, 187

  Hera, 98

  Hermaphrodites, 259

  Hermogenian code, 270

  Herodotus, 90, 121, 160

  =Herrera, Antonio de=, 146, 147

  Hesiod, 186, 195

  Hestia, goddess of the hearth, 193

  Hexateuch, 158

  Hia, Emperor of China, 47

  Hiao King, 52

  Hibasuhime-no-Mikoto, 79

  Hidana, infant education, Arab, 183

  Hidaya, 180

  Hide-no-are, compiler of _Kojiki_, 71

  Hien Fong, Chinese Emperor, 65

  Himyarite period, of Arabic history, 169

  Hind, protects child, 187

  Hippopotamus, 22

  _Histoire du Bas Empire_, 291

  _Histoire des Enfants Trouvés_, 287

  _Histoire du Kamchatka_, 35

  _Histoire de Languedoc_, 303

  _Histoire de la Legislation des Anciens Germains_, 279

  _History of the Church_, 275

  _History of Circumcision_, 160

  _History of the Criminal Law of England_, 216

  _History of European Morals_, 258

  _History of the Factory Movement_, 324

  _History of Human Marriage_, 41

  _History of Ireland_, 276

  _History of Paraguay_, 42

  _History of the People of Israel_, 158

  _History of Sumer and Akkad_, 91, 92

  Hloth, laws of, 292

  Hobhouse, J., 326

  =Hodgkin, Thomas=, 286

  Ho Long Tou, 57

  Holy men, liberated slaves, 290, 291

  Homer, 11, 121, 185

  _Homeric Studies_, 185

  Honoratus, 275

  Honorius, 266, 269

  Horner, Mr., speech in Parliament, 324

  Hosea, 167

  Hospital, of Montpellier, 303;
    of Saint Esprit, 295, 296

  Hospitaliers, work of, 296

  _Hôtel-Dieu_, of Lyons, 299

  House of Pity, 61

  How Tseih, legend of, 52

  Humanitarianism, 163, 332

  =Hunter, W. A.=, 213

  Hurers, ordinances of, 313

  Hurreebhyee, Jhareja, 136

  Hydaspes, River, 128

  _Hydromus coypus_, 22

  Hyperboreans, 46

  Hyphasis, River, 128

  Hystaspis, Darius, 91


  Iberians, 121

  Ichneumon, 22

  Idiots, sale of, 319

  Idols, sacrificing children to, 145, 146;
    in Israel, 161, 162;
    -worship, Irish, 276

  Idzumo, land of, 79

  Iliad, 185

  Illarion, letter from, 118

  Illyricum, 274

  _In the South Seas_, 38

  Ina, king of Wessex, 282

  =Ina-Uruk-rishat=, 104

  India, 148, 149, 152, 155, 335

  Indian philosophy, 157

  Indians, of America, 18, 145, 146, 147;
    of Asia, 120;
    Peruvian, 144, 145, 146

  Indo-European speech, 91

  Indonesian races, 24

  Industrial records, in Middle Ages, 313

  Infant kings, Anglo-Saxon, 292

  Infanticide, 9, 38, 63, 132, 147, 148, 213;
    Arab, 174, 175, 176, 177;
    Germanic and Frankish peoples, 279;
    Japan, 78;
    Papua, 26;
    Proclamations against, 56, 61, 64;
    Roman, 258, 259, 263;
    checked by Mussulmans, 178, 179, 180

  Infants, as food for swine, 262

  Informers, 288

  Inga, or Inca, 146

  Inheritance, of childless person, Rome, 227;
    of unmarried person, Rome, 227;
    through daughters, 112

  Innocent III., Pope, 296

  Inscriptions, Arabic, 169, 170, 171

  Inspection of children, 129

  _Institutes of Justinian_, 210, 247

  Investigation in factories, 320

  Ion, 187, 191, 200

  Iona, 275

  Iranians, 91

  Isaac, 158

  Istar, 99

  Italy, 264;
    asylums in, 298;
    children sold, 290, 291, 337;
    first child-welfare movement in, 334

  Iyenari, 83

  Iyeyasu, 86

  Izana-mi-no-kami, 74

  Izani-gi-no-kami, 74


  Jahilliya, 171

  Jahvist, 158

  Jami Saghir, 182

  Japan, Aha, island of, 74;
    Bronze age, 72;
    Buddhist influence, 77;
    building sacrifice, 82;
    cannibalism, 83, 84;
    Chinese influence, 77;
    clay figures, 79, 80, 81;
    Confucius, influence, 87;
    early marriage, 74, 75;
    famine, 83, 84;
    first inhabitants, 71;
    Hachijo, island of, 72;
    heavenly deities, 74;
    Izana-mi-no-kami, 74;
    Izani-gi-no-kami, 74;
    Jimmu, Emperor, 71, 75;
    _Kojiki_, ancient records, 71;
    Korean influence, 78;
    _Nihongi_, chronicles, 72;
    Nitobe, Inazo, 72;
    Nomi-no-Sukune, 79, 80, 81;
    Origin of present-day Japanese, 71;
    parturition house, 72, 73, 74;
    reforms under Yoshimune, 85, 86;
    sacrifices 152;
    sacrifice, human, abolished, 78, 79, 80;
    sacrifice, to deity, of wild animals, 81;
    Samurai, 82, 86, 87, 88;
    Shintoism, 78;
    slavery of children, 85, 86;
    social evil, 87;
    vicarious punishment, 85;
    Yamato-hiko, 78

  _Japanese Nation in Evolution_, 82, 83

  Jasus, 187

  Java, 46

  Jehoram, 165

  Jehosophat, 165

  Jelibo (primitive courtesans), 26

  Jephtha, 164

  Jeremiah, 167

  Jerez, Francisco de, 145

  Jerusalem, 167, 274

  Jesuits, 49

  Jesus, 7

  Jewish Prophets, 7

  Jhallas, 136

  Jharejas, 131, 132, 133

  Jimmu, Emperor of Japan, 71, 75

  =Johns, C. H. W.=, 99

  =Johnson, Sir H. H.=, 17

  Joseph II., Emperor, 237

  Joshua, 161

  Josiah, 167

  Jove, 186

  =Jowett, B.=, 188

  Judaism, 14

  Judges, period of, 162;
    Book of, 164

  Juju, sacrifice to, 154

  Jukhima, 130

  Julian, the Apostate, 278

  Julianus Salvius, edict of, 245

  Julius Firmicus, 265, 266

  =Junius=, 191

  Juno, 98

  Jurisprudence, Mussulman, 180

  _Jus Quirium_, 211

  Justin Martyr, 249, 259, 275;
    discourse of, 249, 250

  Justinian, 210;
    code of, 247, 289;
    wars of, 178


  =Keane, A. H.=, 15, 24

  =Key, Ellen=, 5

  =Kidd, Benjamin=, 5

  _Kojiki_, ancient Japanese records, 71

  Kotzebue, Otto von, 37, 40

  _Kur-an_, Selections from, 176, 177

  _Kutrai_ (copper pots), 200


  La Boulaye, 278

  =Labourt=, 268, 269

  Lachlan, the, New South Wales, 43, 147

  Lacita, daughter of Ozaim, 177

  =Lactantius=, 254, 261, 263

  Lactaria, 242

  =Ladd, G. T.=, 3

  _La Femme dans l’Antiquité_, 100

  =Lafitau, P.=, 145

  Lagash, 94, 96

  _L’Allemand_, 282

  Lame children, 212, 213

  =Lane, E. W.=, 177

  =Lang, Andrew=, 185

  Languedoc, historians of, 295, 303

  Larousse, Dictionnaire, 290

  =Lauterer, Dr. Joseph=, 68

  Laws, of Æthelstan, 292;
    Agrarian, 215;
    Allemands, 281;
    Angles, 281;
    Anglo-Saxon kings, 282, 283;
    Arab, 180;
    Arcadius, 266;
    Burgundians, 281;
    for children, 264, 265, 266;
    China, 49, 61, 66, 67;
    of Cnut, 292;
    Constantine, 264, 265, 267;
    of Crete, 189, 190;
    Egyptian, 114;
    enceinte woman, relating to, 305;
    _épaves_, concerning, 304;
    first special, for children, 334;
    foundlings, 305;
    Frisians, 278;
    Germanic, 292;
    Gortyna, 189, 190;
    Gratian, 266;
    Greek, to protect child, 207, 208;
    Hadrian, 237;
    Hammurabi, 92, 99, 100;
    for helpless children, 335;
    Hloth, 292;
    Honorius, 266;
    India, 125;
    Japanese, regarding confinement, 72, 73;
    Justinian, 270;
    of mediæval France, 303, 304;
    in Poitiers, 303;
    in Provence, 303;
    of Romulus, 209;
    Sabine, 211;
    Salinic, 279, 280, 292;
    of Solon, 216;
    of Thebes, 9;
    Theodosius II., 267;
    of Twelve Tables, 215, 222;
    Valens, 266;
    Valentinian, 266;
    of Visigoths, 281, 282

  Le, son of Confucius, 48

  =Lebeau=, 291

  =Lecky, W. E. H.=, 258

  Legacy, of Montlaur, 295

  Legas, Madame, 307

  _Leges_, Roman, 227

  =Legge, James=, 53

  Leitrim, County, 276

  Le Laudonnière, Sieur, 145

  Lemnians, 187

  =Lenguas=, of South America, 42

  Leon, Emperor, 271

  Leotychides, 193

  Leper, 130, 148

  _Les Sacrifices Humaines chez les Canaanéens_, 105

  _Letters of Cassiodorus_, 286

  _Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi_, 100

  _Lettres Edif._, Father d’Entrcolles, 61

  Leucothea, 284

  =Lewis, George Henry=, 6

  _Leys Salicae_, 280

  _Liber Censualis_, 103

  Liebenstein, castle of, 153

  _Life in Ancient Egypt_, 112

  _Life in the Homeric Age_, 186

  _Light from the Ancient East_, 119

  Li Ki, Chinese code, 52

  Li Li Ong, 59

  Line Islanders, 37

  _L’Infanticide, etc., en Chine_, 63

  Liquors, sale to children, 338

  _Literary History of the Arabs_, 169, 170

  =Little, Henry W.=, 35

  Liverpool, S. P. C. C., 334

  _Lois des Francs_, 280

  London, child-welfare movement in, 334;
    Common Council, 316

  Longobards, 274

  =Longus=, 195, 200, 203

  Loo, Ch’aou, Marquis of, 55

  Louis XIII., 308

  Louis XIV., 309, 310

  Louvre, 93, 94

  =Lubbock, Sir John=, 44

  Lucania, Governor of, 283

  Lucius Brutus, 238

  _Lubra_, first-born of, 147

  Lugalanda, 96, 97

  Lugalzaggisi, 100, 138

  Luritcha tribe, 39

  Ly, son of Yao, 52

  Lycurgus (Plutarch), 208

  _Lycurgus_, 9, 189, 207, 208

  =Lyon, D. G.=, 100

  Lyons, Bishop of, 275

  Lysimachus, 189

  Lystus, 186


  Madagascar, Amber Mountains, 35

  Magh-Sleacth, or Field of Slaughter, 276

  Malthus, 9

  _Man Who Invites_, 74

  Marriage, among birds, 22;
    animal, 3;
    origin of, 18, 19

  Mars, Cinq, 309

  Martens, 22

  Mary Ellen, 8

  Maskonit, Egyptian deity of children, 110

  Matriarchal tendencies in Egypt, 109, 110

  Matriarchy, in Japan, 75

  Menes, 19

  Mesopotamian civilization, 6

  Mias, 23

  Minucius Felix, 261, 262

  _Misasagi_, 81

  Missionaries, Buddhist, in Japan, 77

  Mohammed, 7

  Mohammedanism, 14

  Moloch, 165, 238

  Mongols, 24, 46

  Muhiyyu’l-Uaw’udat (He who brings buried girls to life), 175

  _Mummy, The_, 117


  Napoleon, decree of, 12

  _Native Tribes of Central Australia_, 32

  _Nawgia_, or strangling, 143

  Nebhapet-Ra-Mentuhetep, 113

  Neglect, of children, 335, 336;
    among Kaffirs, 34;
    of young, animal, 20

  Neolithic Age, 24, 31, 90, 91

  _Neotragus Hemprichii_, 22

  Nerva, Emperor, 230, 231, 236, 248

  _New Forces in Old China_, 69

  New Guinea, 24

  New South Wales, 43, 147

  New York, city of, 333, 335

  New Zealand, sacrifices in, 152

  Ngeou Yang Yun Ki, 61

  Nice, Bishop of, 275

  Nicholas IV., Bull of, 298

  =Nicholson, R. A.=, 169, 170

  Niebuhr, 215

  Nietzsche, 10

  Niger Delta, tribes of, 34

  Night work, prohibited, 315

  Nigritans, 17, 23

  _Nihongi_, chronicles of Japan, 72

  Nile Valley, 106

  Ningirsu, 94

  Ninib-mushallim, 104

  Niobe, 187

  Nippur, 93

  Nirwana, 127

  Nitobe, Inazo, 72

  Nomadic people, 93

  Nomads, attitude towards children, 42

  Nomi-no-Sukune, 79, 80, 81

  Noodt, Gerardus, 247

  Norwich, England, town of, 318

  Nottingham, 320

  Nourisson, Paul, 334

  Nugu, Papuan myth, 24

  Nukufetu, 38

  Numa Pompilius, 210, 213

  Nuremberg, asylum at, 297

  Nursing by male parents, 23

  Nusse, Ernest, 334

  _Nutricarii_, 289

  Nyendael, 33, 34


  =Oastler, Richard=, 325, 326, 330, 331

  =Oceania=, 24

  =Octavius=, 226

  =Œdipus=, 187, 191, 255

  _Œuvres Divers_, 111

  Okeus, American Indian deity, 147

  Olivier de la Crau, 295

  Omar, 181

  Omayya, 174

  Omkar Mandharta, sacrifice to, 148

  _On Abstaining from Drowning Little Girls_, 57

  Onesicritus, 129

  Opium, for child, 133

  Orang-utan, 23

  Ordinance of Braelers, 315;
    of Hurers, 313;
    of Manu, 124, 125

  Orhan, 159

  Origen, 259

  _Origin of the Aryans_, 121

  Ornamentation, facial, 25

  Orphanages, in China, 65

  Orphans, 35, 49, 97, 98, 229

  =Ortolan=, 217, 247

  Ostrogoths, 274, 283

  Ou Sing King, 62

  Ouang ouan, 64

  Owna Dargaku, 88

  Oxyrhynchus papyrus, 118, 185

  Ozaim, the Fazarite, 177

  =Ozanam=, 275


  Paal, chief of, 136

  Pacific islands, 41

  Padrone system, 334, 335, 337

  _Pædagogus_, 261

  Palatine Hill, 210, 211

  =Palatre, P. Gabriel=, 61, 63

  Palestine, 94, 138, 139, 158

  Pamphile, 193

  Papuans, 24, 31;
    sacrifice, 24

  Papyrus, Harris, 110;
    Oxyrhynchus, 118;
    Sellier, 107

  Paraguay, 22

  Paraguayan Chaco, 42

  Parental, affection, 19, 20, 32;
    indifference, 20;
    instinct, 2, 3;
    solicitude, 20, 21

  Paris, asylum for orphans,
  297, 300, 301;
    Parliament of, 304;
    treatment of children in seventeenth century, 337

  Parliament, debates in, 324, 326, 327, 328

  Parliament of Paris, decree, 304

  Parliamentary report, Australia, 25

  Parthia, 274

  Parturition house, 72, 73, 74

  Passover, 160, 161

  Paternal solicitude, 21

  _Patesi_, 97

  _Patria Potestas_, 51, 212, 217, 241, 278, 335, 339

  Paul, St. Vincent de, 335

  Pauper children, as apprentices, 317

  =Payre, J. F. A.=, 280

  Peel, Sir Robert, 324

  Peking, 68

  Pelet-Narbonne, D. von, 334

  Pension, for mothers, 97

  Peroché, 15

  “Perpetual Edict,” Rome, 245

  Perry, Commodore, 82

  Perseria, 193

  Peru, 144, 145, 146, 147;
    Indians, 144, 145, 146

  =Petrie, W. M. F.=, 112

  Phallic worship, 105, 160

  Pharaoh, 160

  Philippine Islands, 44, 46

  Philistines, 166

  Philtere, 221

  Phlegon, 236

  _Phœnician Maidens, The_, 191

  Phœnicians, 138, 158

  Picts, 275

  Pipiles, tribe of Central America, 154

  _Pithecanthropus erectus_, 15, 46

  Pitt, William, 328

  Plato, 7, 14, 188, 193, 195

  Plautus, 192, 203, 205, 217, 223, 224, 225

  Pleistocene period, 106

  =Pliny=, 231, 234, 284

  =Ploss, H. H.=, 35

  Plutarch, 189, 193, 208, 212, 264

  _Poetarum Comicorum Græcorum Fragmenta_, 205

  Poitiers, decree at, 303

  Political organization in 11,500 B. C., 106

  Polyandry, 18, 19, 46

  Polygamy, 122

  _Polynesian Researches_, 41

  Pompeii, 224

  =Pontanus=, 294

  Pontus, 274

  _Popular Religions of Northern India_, 148

  Population, diminishing, 26;
    of Japan, 1615–1860, 82;
    of Papua, 26;
    theories of, 82

  Porcius Latro, 243

  Poseidon, 186

  Posidippus, 198

  _Precepts of Ptah-Hotep_, 111

  Priests, Brahmin, 148;
    Buddhist 81;
    Carthaginian, 237;
    faults of, 287;
    of Ptah, 111;
    receive children, 288

  _Primitive Culture_, 141, 153, 154

  Primitive, customs, 17;
    families, 26

  _Primitive Marriage_, 213

  Primitive organization, 106

  Primogeniture, 151

  Prisoners, marked, 160

  Procopius, 178

  Prolongation of infancy, 4

  _Prosimii_, 23

  Prostitution, 87, 259, 337

  Provence, 303

  Ptah, priest of, 111

  Ptah-Hotep, 111

  _Puer crintus_, 280

  Pumsavana, 124

  Punishment, by Church, 268;
    for drowning children, 67;
    for killing children, 114

  Purification, by burning, 148

  Puritans, 332

  Purushamedha, 126


  Qays, story of, 173, 174

  Quadrumana, 22

  _Quarterly Review_, 323

  Quirinal, 210

  Quirites, 211

  Quiyoughquisocks, or prophets, 147


  _Races and Peoples_, 31

  Reichenfels, legend of castle, 154

  _Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia_, 92, 94

  _Renaissance of Motherhood_, 5

  Rome, 223, 224, 225, 230, 235


  Sabæans, 158, 169, 170, 171

  Sabines, 210, 211

  Sacrifices, 33, 148, 149, 153, 154, 155;
    in Alaska, 155, 156;
    Aryan, 142;
    of captives, 94;
    of children, Rome, 262;
    China, 55;
    coronation, 144, 146;
    Denmark, 152, 153;
    in Egypt, 112, 113;
    of first-born, 39, 93;
    of firstlings, 139, 140, 147;
    to Ganges, 148;
    of girls to placate deity of wild animals, 81;
    Hebrew, 142;
    India, 126, 134, 135, 148, 149, 152, 155;
    in Ireland, 276;
    in Japan, 78, 79, 80;
    jars, for sacrificed children, 150;
    to Juju, 154;
    lamb, substitute sacrifice, 161;
    launching sacrifices, 121, 122;
    to Moloch, 237;
    new moon, 153;
    in Peru, 144;
    to prevent plague, 153;
    in Rome, 262;
    to Saturn, 262, 276;
    in Sumeria 93, 94;
    theory of, 24

  Sadler, M. T., 326, 327

  Sadler committee, 328

  Sagbaron, killing of, 280

  Sagsag, 97

  Saint, Andrew, 274;
    Bathilde, a child slave, 290;
    Christoval, natives of, 37;
    Chrysostom, 274;
    Eloi, buys St. Thean, 291;
    Esprit, order of, 303;
    Eunice, child slave, 291;
    Gour, 293;
    John, 274;
    Luke, 258;
    Marmbœuf, asylum of, 293;
    Marthe, charity of, 295;
    Patrick, 275;
    Paul, 262, 274;
    Peter, 274;
    Thean, 291;
    Thomas, 274;
    Thomas of Villeneuve, 299;
    Vincent de Paul, 12, 299, 306, 335

  Sale, of child, 153;
    of children, 37, 86, 98, 285, 306;
    in bankruptcy, 324;
    by Gauls, 290;
    by parents, 337;
    Rome, 263, 265;
    of idiots, 319;
    of liquors to children, 338;
    of male child, 126;
    of son, 212, 213, 217;
    of women, 28, 29

  Salian Franks, 279

  Salvius Julianus, 245

  =Salzman, L. F.=, 313

  Samhin, 276

  Samoa, 38

  Samuel, II., 165

  Samurai, 82, 86, 87, 88

  =Sandars, Thomas Collett=, 210, 211

  Sanehat, 112

  Sankhayana-Grihya-Sutra, 124

  Santa Maria, house of, in Sassia, 296

  Saracens, 177

  Sargon I., 100

  Sargos, sacrifices at, 153

  Sa’sa’a, 174

  Satapatha-Brahmana, 126

  =Satow, Ernest=, 72

  Saturn, 262, 276

  Satyr, 202

  Saugor, city of, 148

  Saul, 165

  Saxons, 274, 275

  =Sayce, A. H.=, 92, 94

  Scamandrius, 185

  Scaurus, M., 240

  Scots, Albanian, 275

  Scutari, foundations of, 154, 155

  Scythia, 274

  _Seal Cylinders of Western Asia_, 105

  Seals, 22

  Seasons, sacrifices in, 153, 154

  Sechem, 163

  Select Committee Investigation, 320

  _Selections from the Kur-an_, 177

  Sellier Papyrus, 107

  =Sellin, Ernest=, 151

  Se Ma Ts’ien, 50

  Semites, 151, 169

  _Semitic Magic_, 143

  Semitic people, 92

  Semon, Professor R., 29

  Senate, of Marseilles, approves protection, 296

  _Senatus Consultum_, 245, 246

  Seneca, the elder, 242, 337

  Senjero, 39

  Serfs, 190

  Servian legend, 154, 155

  Severus, governor of Lucania, 283, 284

  Seville, Church of, 289

  Sewers, children found in, 294, 302, 305

  Shaftesbury, Lord, 329, 334

  Shakamuni, 82

  Shamash, 99

  _Shanghai Courier_, 67

  Shantanu, 123

  Sheik Burhan-ad-din-Ali, 180

  _She-King_, 53

  Shelter, first church endeavour, 292, 293;
    for children in Paris, 306, 307, 308

  Shintoism, 78

  Shirakawa Rakuo, 83

  Shoguns, 73

  =Shooter, Joseph=, 32

  Shun Chih, 58

  Silanus, D., 239

  Silurian period, 16

  Simon, Jules, 334

  Sister, obligated for child, in Japan, 76

  Sixtus Quintus, 268

  Slavensk, 153

  Slavery, of children, 85, 86, 152, 154, 155, 156, 174, 217, 274

  Slaves, children as, 213, 319;
    foundlings as, 266, 289;
    protection of, 237

  Slavonic town, sacrifice in, 153

  =Sleeman, W. H.=, 149

  Smith, Samuel, M.P., 334

  Smith, W. Robinson, 174

  Smith and Chetam, 275

  Smith’s _Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography_, 187

  =Smyth, R. Brough=, 28, 147

  _Social Evolution_, 5

  Social justice, in Israel, 158

  Social organization, first, 106

  _Society in China_, 69

  Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 333, 336

  Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 11;
    Berlin, 334;
    France, 334;
    Liverpool, 334;
    Milan, 334;
    New York, 333;
    Vienna, 334

  Socrates Scholasticus, 188;
    _Ecclesiastical History_, 275

  Solomon Islands, 37

  Solon, 216

  _Songs of the Roman People_, 153

  Sophytes, kingdom of, 128

  Sostrata, 197, 218, 221

  South America, child-welfare movement in, 335

  South Pacific islands, 143

  Sparta, 193

  _Spartianus_, 245

  Spencer, Herbert, 2, 338

  Spencer and Gillen, 32, 40

  Spidale degl’ Innocenti, at Florence, 299

  Squirrels, 22

  _Sse Ki_, 47

  Stage children, 337

  Statute, of Artificers, 315;
    of 1601, 317

  Stealing children, 291

  Stele of the Vultures, 94

  Sterility, 228

  Stevenson, Robert Louis, 38, 44

  Stoics, 13, 14

  Stone Age, 46, 106, 191

  Strabo, 129, 276

  =Strachey, William=, 147

  Strangling, 34, 143, 146, 156, 262

  Styx, 202

  Suabia, 276

  Substitution, 34, 159;
    beginning of, 141;
    of clay or straw figures for human beings, 79, 80, 81;
    of foundlings, 205;
    in sacrifice, Egypt, 113;
    in sacrifice, India, 126

  =Suetonius=, 229, 230, 236

  Sumerian family, size of, 97

  Sumerians, 90, 92, 106

  Summer, sacrifices in, 154

  Sun, sacrifices to, 144

  Sun-god, 99

  Sunahsepa, 126

  Surwyejas, 136

  Susa, Acropolis of, 99

  Suy, River, 55

  Swetaketu, 19

  Switzerland, north-eastern, 276

  Syria, 157


  _Tablettes Sumériennes Archaiques_, 97

  Taboo, in Japan, 72

  =Tacitus=, 13, 228, 276, 277

  Tai Tsong, Chinese Emperor, 54

  Tantis, of Africa, 153

  Tao Kang, Chinese Emperor, 62, 65

  Tatius, 210

  Tauri, of Pontus, 262

  =Taylor, Isaac=, 121

  Tche Kiang, province of, 59

  _Teleostei_, 20

  Telephus, 187

  Tello, 93, 95, 96, 98

  =Terence=, 10, 192, 196, 217–21

  =Terme et Monfalcon=, 116, 269, 270, 290, 292, 293, 310

  =Tertullian=, 237, 260, 261, 275

  Tetka-Ra, reign of, 111

  _Teutonic Mythology_, 153, 154, 155

  Teutons, 120

  _Theætetus_, 188, 193

  Thean, St., 291

  Thebans, 207

  Thebes, 9, 113, 187

  Theft, punished by slavery, 292

  =Theodoretius=, 275

  Theodoric, 283

  Theodosianus, Codex, 265, 266, 267, 270, 282

  Theodosius, Emperor, 263

  Theodosius II., 267

  Theognis, 195

  Thesmophoriazusæ, 199, 205, 206

  Thessalonica, Archbishop of, 271;
    massacre at, 263

  =Thompson, R. Campbell=, 143

  =Thorpe, Benjamin= (translator), 292

  Thracians, 187

  Threshold Covenant, 161

  _Threshold Covenant, The_, 152, 153, 154

  Thuringia, 276

  Tiber, 226, 242, 297

  Tiberius, 237

  Tibet, 46

  Tien Tsung, 58

  Tiglath-Pileser, 166

  Tigris, 92

  Tillemont, 268

  Titienses, 210, 211

  Titthion, 187

  Titus Manlius Torquatus, 239

  =T-Kiai=, Chinese censor, 56

  Tlinkits, Alaskan tribe, 155, 156

  Toas, 88

  Tokelaus, 37

  Tokio (Yedo), 82;
    Uyeno Museum, 80

  Tokugawa period, 82

  Tonga Islands, 143

  Toobo Toa, South Pacific chief, 143

  Tophet, 167

  Toulon, 275

  Trajan, 163, 233, 234, 236, 284

  _Travels in West Africa_, 34

  Trèves, endeavour at, to protect children, 293

  Tribonian, 270

  Troy, 186

  Troyes, Bishop of, 275

  =Trumbull, H. C.=, 152, 153

  Tsang, Viscount, 54

  Tscheou Kong, 52

  Ts’e, Odes of, 53

  Ts’in Chi Hoang, 49, 50

  Tsing dynasty, 55

  Ts’oo, army of, 55

  Tsuchi-ningio (clay figures), 80

  Tsukizaka, 78

  =Turner, George=, 38, 42

  =Tutila=, 37

  Twelve Tables, law of, 215, 222

  Twins, 32, 151

  =Tylor=, 141, 153, 154


  Ugi, natives, 37

  Ulfilas, 275

  Ulpian, 238

  Umma, men of, 94

  Unborn child, valuable, 280

  =Underwood, G.=, 78

  United States, labour conditions in, 332

  Urukagina, laws of, 95, 96

  Usher, Bishop, 90

  Uyeno Museum, Tokio, 80


  Vagrant children in England, 317

  Vaitupu, 38

  Valence, Archbishop of, 299

  Valens, Emperor, 247, 266

  Valentinian, Emperor, 247, 266, 291

  Watt, invention of, 318

  =Way, Arthur S.=, translator, 191

  Weng, prefect of Foochow, 66

  Wergeld, 278, 279, 280

  Wessex, king of, 282

  West coast of Africa, 34

  West Indies, cruelty in, 327

  =Westermarck=, 19, 20, 41

  Western Roman Empire, 289

  Western Victorian tribes, 32

  Whales, 22

  Wheeler, Etta A., 335

  Whipping, infant labour, 324, 325, 326, 327

  Whipple, Bishop, 18

  Whitington, Richard, 313

  Wie Hsien, 69

  =Willoughby, J. P.=, 136

  Wolf, 22

  Women, affection for, 31;
    in laws of Hadrian, 237, 238;
    protect children, Egypt, 110;
    rights of, 96;
    treatment of, 29, 297

  _Women of Japan_, 88

  Wood, John, manufacturer, 326

  =Worcester, Dean C.=, 44

  Workhouses, Roman, closing of, 237

  Workmen, conditions among, Egypt, 108

  Writ _de homine replegiando_, 336


  _Xenodocheion_, shelter for poor, 268, 293

  Xenophon, 195, 207


  =Yagarundi=, 22

  Yahweh, 139, 158–67

  Yamato-hiko, 78

  Yao, or Yau, Chinese Emperor, 47, 51

  Yarriba, in Africa, 153

  Yedo (Tokio), 82

  Yen Tcheou, 59

  Yew, or Yin, sacrifice of, 55

  Ynca (Inca), 144

  Young, Lucien, 44

  Yu Chun, 51, 52


  =Zagros=, 91

  Zeno, 246

  Zethus, 187

  _Zimmi_, 183

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