Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIII.: Of Sea-port Towns. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XIII.: Of Sea-port Towns. - 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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Of Sea-port Towns.
IN sea-port towns, where men expose themselves to a thousand dangers, and go abroad to live or die in distant climates, there are fewer men than women: and yet we see more children there than in other places. This proceeds from the greater ease with which they procure the means of subsistence. Perhaps even the oily parts of fish are more proper to furnish that matter which contributes to generation. This may be one of the causes of the infinite number of people in ‡ Japan and China∥ , where they live almost wholly on § fish. If this be the case, certain monastic rules, which oblige the monks to live on fish, must be contrary to the spirit of the legislator himself.
[‡ ]Japan is composed of a number of isles, where there are many banks, and the sea is there extremely full of fish.
[∥ ]China abounds in rivers.
[§ ]See Du Halde, tom. ii. p. 130, 142.