Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. III.: That a Plurality of Wives greatly depends on the Means of supporting them. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. III.: That a Plurality of Wives greatly depends on the Means of supporting them. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 1.
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That a Plurality of Wives greatly depends on the Means of supporting them.
THOUGH, in countries where polygamy is once established, the number of wives is principally determined by the opulence of the husband, yet it cannot be said that opulence established polygamy in those states, since poverty may produce the same effect, as I shall prove when I come to speak of the savages.
Polygamy, in powerful nations, is less a luxury in itself than the occasion of great luxury. In hot∥ climates they have few wants, and it costs little to maintain a wife and children; they may, therefore, have a great number of wives.
[∥ ]In Ceylon, a man may live on ten sols a month: they eat nothing there but rice and fish. Collection of Voyages made to establish an India Company.