Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. IV.: Of Families. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. IV.: Of Families. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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IT is almost every where a custom for the wife to pass into the family of the husband. The contrary is without any inconveniency established at Formosa,* where the husband enters into the family of the wife.
This law, which fixes the family in a succession of persons of the same sex, greatly contributes, independently of the first motives, to the propagation of the human species. The family is a kind of property: a man who has children of a sex which does not perpetuate it, is never satisfied if he has not those who can render it perpetual.
Names, whereby men acquire an idea of a thing, which one would imagine ought not to perish, are extremely proper to inspire every family with a desire of extending its duration. There are people, amongst whom names distinguish families: there are others, where they only distinguish persons: the latter have not the same advantage as the former.
[* ]Du Halde, tom. i. p. 165.