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Jur. lib. 1. tit. 9; Opera, tome 4.) Dr. Taylor, in his Elements of Civil Law, (pp. 403-406,) gives a concise history of the progress of the Roman jurisprudence, in its efforts to destroy this undue power of the parent; but Bynkershoek has composed a regular treatise, with infinite learning, on this subject. It is entitled “Opusculum de jure occidendi, vendendi, et exponendi liberos apud veteres Romanos." (Opera, tome 1, p. 346.) Heineccius gives the history of the Roman jurisprudence from Romulus to Justinian, relative to this tremendous power of the father, which, he says, was justly termed by the Roman authors patria majestas. The obedience, and even gratitude, of children to their parents has been in all times considered not only proper, but a primary duty. “Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20 : 12.) We have already referred to the great power given to the parents by the Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Gauls, and Romans. Among the Hindoos, disobedience to parents was followed by a loss of the child's inheritance. (Gentoo Code, by Halhed, p. 64.) The first emigrants to Massachusetts followed the Jewish law, and made filial disobedience a capital crime. (Gov. Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts, vol. 1, p. 441.) Who can make question but that a man that hath children and family, both justly may and in duty ought to preserve them of his charge (as far as he is able) from the dangerous company of persons inflicted with the plague or pestilence,
or other contagious, noisome, and mortal diseases, and if such
persons should offer to intrude into the man's house among his children and servants, notwithstanding his prohibition and warning to the contrary, and thereby shall endanger the health and the lives of them of the family, can any man doubt but that in such case the father of the family, in defense of himself, may withstand the intrusion of such infected and dangerous persons, and if otherwise he can not keep them out may kill them ? Now in Scripture corruption in mind or judgment is counted a great infection or defilement, yea, and one of the greatest ; for the apostle saying of some men, that to them there is nothing pure, gives this as the reason of it, because even their mind and conscience is defiled, (Titus 1: 15,) as if defilement of mind did argue the defilement of all; and that in such case there was nothing pure, even as, when leprosy was in the head, the priest must pronounce such a man utterly unclean, sith the plague was in his head. (Levit. 13 : 44.) And it is the Lord's command that such corrupt persons be not received into house, (2 John 10,) which plainly enough implies that the householder hath power to keep them out, and that it was not within their power to come in if they pleased, whether the householder would
(Colonial Records of Mass.) If any child or children above sixteen years old, and of competent understanding, shall curse or smite their natural father or mother, he or they shall be put to death, unless it can be sufficiently testified that the parents have been very unchristianly negligent in the education of such children, or so provoked them by extreme and cruel correction that they have been forced thereunto to preserve themselves from death or maiming. (Laws of New-Plymouth, Mass. 1671.) If a man have a stubborn or rebellious son, of sufficient years and understanding, namely, sixteen years of age, which shall not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them, then shall his father or mother, being his natural parents, lay hold on him, and bring him before the magistrates assembled in court, and testify unto them that their son is stubborn and rebellious, and will not obey their voice and chastisement, but lives in sundry notorious crimes; such a son shall be put to death, or otherwise severely punished. (Ib.) These same laws were in force in Connecticut as early as 1642, and the following scriptural authorities were cited in their support: Ex. 21 : 17; Lev. 20; Ex. 20 :15; Deut. 21: 20, 21.
SEC. 3. We believe that all governments and all peoples have regarded filial disobedience with great disfa
Even filial ingratitude among the ancient Greeks seems to have been looked upon as extremely impious, and attended with the most certain effects of divine vengeance. (Iliad, book 9, v. 454.) In modern times, , the right of the parent to exact obedience from his children is still conceded, but his powers for enforcing his commands are more in consonance with the civilization of the times. In English law, the parent may lawfully
correct his child, being under age,
in a reasonable manner. (1 Blackstone, 452.) So also in American law. (2 Kent's Com. 203.) There can be no doubt as to the parent's power to enforce his authority to this extent. So long as he keeps within the bounds of reason, 'he will be protected, and aided, if need be, by the law.
“Honor thy parents to prolong thine end;
With them, though for truth, do not contend :
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT_TEACHER AND PUPIL.
SEC. 1. A school-master is liable criminally if, in inflicting punishment upon his pupil, he goes beyond the limit of reasonable castigation, and, either in the mode or degree of correction, is guilty of any unreasonable or disproportionate violence or force; and whether the punishment was excessive under the circumstances of any case, is a question for the jury. (Commonwealth v. Randall, 4 Gray, 36; 3 Greenl. on Ev. sec. 63.) He is also liable to be dismissed for cruelty. Teachers are not often barbarous, yet it may not be improper to state here that the law is a strong power to protect the weak from injustice, and to take from the strong a full equivalent for the wrongs which they may commit. When the Hon. John A. Dix was Superintendent of Schools for the State of New-York, he gave the following as his opinion: The practice of inflicting corporal punishment upon scholars, in any case whatever, has no sanction but usage. The teacher is responsible for maintaining good order, and he must be the judge of the degree and nature of the punishment required when his authority is set at defi