chapter  IV
2 Pages

Of the Love towards Children

THAT which we have said even now is a part of true love, which doth shame the Christian women. But after the children be weaned, a.nd at all times, they love them all, observing this law that Nature hath grafted in the hearts of all creatures (except in lewd slippery women) to have care of them. And when it is question to demand of them some of their children (I speak of the 50uriquois, in whose land we dwelt) for to bring them into France, they will not give them; but, if anyone of them doth yield unto it, presents must be given unto him, besides large promises. We have already spoken of this at the end of the 17th chapter. 50 then I find that they have wrong to be called barbarous, seeing that the ancient Romans were far more barbarous than they; who oftentimes sold their children for to have means to live. Now that which causeth them to love their children more than we do in these parts is that they are the maintenance of their fathers in their old age, whether it be to help them to live or to defend them from their enemies; and Nature conserveth wholly in them her right in this respect. By reason whereof that which they wish most is to have number of children, to be thereby so much the mightier as in the first age of the world, when virginity was a thing reprovable, because of God's commandment to men and women to increase, multiply, and replenish the earth [Genesis i. 28]; but after it was filled, this love waxed marvellous cold, and children began to be a burden to fathers and mothers, whom many have had in disdain, and have very often procured their death. Now is the way open for France to have a remedy for the same.