Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXV.: The same Subject continued. - Complete Works, vol. 1 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXV.: The same Subject continued. - 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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The same Subject continued.
THE Roman law gave the liberty of making presents before marriage; after marriage they were not allowed. This was founded on the manners of the Romans, who were led to marriage only by frugality, simplicity, and modesty, but might suffer themselves to be seduced by domestic cares, by complacency, and the constant tenour of conjugal felicity.
A law of the‡ Visigoths forbade the man giving more to the woman he was to marry than the tenth part of his substance, and his giving her any thing during the first year of their marriage. This also took its rise from the manners of the country. The legislators were willing to put a stop to that Spanish ostentation which only led them to display an excessive liberality in acts of magnificence.
The Romans, by their laws, put a stop to some of the inconveniences which arose from the most durable empire in the world, that of virtue; the Spaniards, by theirs, would prevent the bad effects of a tyranny the most frail and transitory, that of beauty.
[‡ ]Lib. 3. tit. 5. §. 5.