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How French Matrimonial Law Works.

M. Naquet is still stumping France in favor of a law of divorce, and his pleading has been so warm, eloquent, and convincing, that he has either converted or silenced all his oponents. One of the last anecdotes he related in order to show the superiority of divorce over separation, which leaves the husband with full power over the wife, was this. Some years ago a man was tried for his life and condemned to death. The jury, contrary to custom, did not admit “extenuating circumstances,” which would have saved the man’s life. The fact was that this man had a wife, 20 years of age, and worthy of the deepest commiseration. Had her husband been allowed to live she would have remained bound to him ; and the jury, in refusing to the convict a verdict which would have saved him from the guillotine, thought of the wife. “The Procurator General,” says M. Naquet, “after having admitted to me that the jury in this affair had acted with uncommon severity, added, ‘ i alight have signed a demand for pardon; but I did not do so. Why? Because this pardon, in saving the head of the guilty man, would have made a victim of his wife, who was a thousand times mare interesting With this alternative before me—allow the law to take its courseor condemn an innocent woman to a horrible punishment-—! chose the least evil; better that the man in mounting the scaffold should leave the wife free !’ ”

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How French Matrimonial Law Works. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 28, 29 November 1879

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