Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XI.: Of domestic Slavery independently of Polygamy. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XI.: Of domestic Slavery independently of Polygamy. - 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 domestic Slavery independently of Polygamy.
IT is not only a plurality of wives which, in certain places of the East, requires their confinement, but also the climate itself. Those, who consider the horrible crimes, the treachery, the dark villanies, the poisonings, the assassinations, which the liberty of women has occasioned at Goa, and in the Portuguese settlements in the Indies, where religion permits only one wife, and who compare them with the innocence and purity of manners of the women of Turkey, Persia, Indostan, China, and Japan, will clearly see that it is frequently as necessary to separate them from the men when they have but one, as when they have many.
These are things which ought to be decided by the climate. What purpose would it answer to shut up women in our northern countries, where their manners are naturally good, where all their passions are calm, and where love rules over the heart with so regular and gentle an empire, that the least degree of prudence is sufficient to conduct it?
It is a happiness to live in those climates which permit such a freedom of converse; where that sex which has most charms seems to embellish society, and where wives, reserving themselves for the pleasures of one, contribute to the amusement of all.