New PDF release: Birthright of Man: An Anthology of Texts on Human Rights

By Jeanne Hersch

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Sample text

And above all, forget not the poor, but feed them as long as you can, succour the orphan and judge the widow in person. Allow not the powerful to have a man die. Put neither the just nor the guilty to death, nor allow them to put others to death; even if a man be guilty of death, 82 cause not the loss of a soul. Life is beyond price; protection and respectfor the individual Equal dignity of old and young, rich and poor The old man’s soul has not been taken from him, nor the young man’s placed under lock and key.

See, my grandson, as a man you are not capable of setting down anything anywhere so that you can see, as a woman can, whether it has been touched. Therefore I tell you: a woman is clever. And if you respect what is women’s business your reputation will not suffer. And your wife will honour you, because she knows that you have learnt to keep quiet like other men. 122 Children belong to no one. They belong neither to their parents, nor to society. They are tributary only to their future freedom. But in children this freedom is not yet real but only potential.

If a woman is left behind by her husband who goes away to perform a religious duty or to be a hermit or for some other pious activity, she must wait for him for eight years. If he leaves her in order to become a scholar and to gather learning, she must wait for six years. If he leaves her to earn money, becoming a merchant or sailing abroad, she must wait for ten years. If he leaves her just to find a [new] wife, she must wait for three years. Now, when the husband does not send his wife money, she is allowed to marry some other man.

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Birthright of Man: An Anthology of Texts on Human Rights by Jeanne Hersch


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