Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: Of an Equality of Treatment in Case of many Wives. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. VII.: Of an Equality of Treatment in Case of many Wives. - 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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Of an Equality of Treatment in Case of many Wives.
FROM the law which permitted a plurality of wives followed that of an equal behaviour to each. Mahomet, who allowed of four, would have every thing, as provisions, dress, and conjugal duty, equally divided between them. This law is also in force in the Maldivian isles† , where they are at liberty to marry three wives.
The law of Moses‡ even declares, that, if any one has married his son to a slave, and this son should afterwards espouse a free woman, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. They might give more to the new wife, but the first was not to have less than she had before.
[† ]See Pirard, c. 12.
[‡ ]Exod. xxi. 10. 11.