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Barnwell, with all the energy of truth, thus expresses herself:
“ Women by whom you are the source of joy,
Among the Athenians it was enacted by Solon, that the man who ravished a free woman, was fined a hundred drachms; he who only enticed her, twenty drachms, or, as some mention, two hundred; for it was considered a greater injury to corrupt a woman's mind than her body; but the man who forced a free virgin was to pay a thousand drachms; and whoever deflowered one was obliged to marry her. Nearly the same good discipline did the Jewish laws enforce: the man who decoyed and seduced a virgin with them, was
a George Barnwell, Act iv."
obliged to pay the father fifty shekels of silver; for so sacred and so honourable was chastity considered among the Jews, that if a man married a woman who had not the proofs of innocence, on complaint of the husþand to the father, the damsel was brought to the door of her father's house, and the men of the city were allowed to stone her to death; but if a man by absolute violence had seduced a damsel, she was exonerated from the, imputation of guilt, and the man, in such a case, was punished with death. Adultery, which is a species of more criminal seduction, was considered by them so grievous a sin, that they punished both the man and the woman with death; for each of them was brought out* to the gate of the city for that purpose, and stoned with stones.
Adultery, except only that kind, which was frequent in some parts of Greece, was considered as a most flagitious crime.
* Deuteronomy, chap, xxji.
Lycurgus, the Spartan law-giver, tells us, that the best expedient against jealousy, was to allow men the mutual freedom of each others' wives: this he made a very commend able piece of liberality; laughing at those who thought the violation of their beds such an insupportable affront, as to revenge it by murders and cruel wars.
One of the Athenian punishments for this crime, was to put out the eyes of the adulterers, depriving them thereby of those organs which first admitted the incentives of lust: they were likewise exposed to other severe and dreadful punishments.
Oh Seduction! what hast thou done! thou hast barbarously severed the daughter from the parent, and the parent from the daughter; thou hast separated friends, and made desolation in families; thou hast committed duels, suicides, and murders: thou hast filled the
streets with pitiable wretches, instructed gamblers, emboldened highwaymen, and directed the forger's pen: thou hast crowded gaols, and furnished gibbets ! if punishment, therefore, as it ought to be, was proportioned to the offence, how striking, how effective should be that of the Seducer!
The chastity of woman is her all! if by insidious arts, à man has injured that, every possible restitution in his power, should strictly be demanded.
In the Diocess of the Isle of Mann, there is a law by which, if a single woman prosecutes a single man for a rape, the Ecclesiastical Judges empannel a jury; and if they find him guilty, he is so returned to the temporal courts, where, if that guilt be confirmed, the deemster delivers to the woman a rope, a sword, and a ring; and she has it in her choice to have him hanged, or beheaded, or to marry him. * In other ecclesiatical jurisdictions of England, the culprit is not placed in such dismal jeopardy.
The common laws of our country are however justly severe against all those, who in the accomplishment of seduction resort to foul measures; and in many other cases, award suitable damages; but in ordinary seductions, the ruined maid is too frequently left to bewail her own credulity and execrate the memory of her base delinquent: instead of applying the sword, the rope, or the ring, at the option of the injured, it is left to the choice of the injurer, in case of bastardy, whether he will give security to provide for the child, go to gaol, or prevail on the woman to marry him.
Those, who are accustomed to officiate at the altar, cannot but painfully regret, that
* Vide The life of Dr. Wilson, Lord Bishop of Sodor and Maon, by Cruttwell, vol. 1.malso, Feltham's Tour through the Island of Mann