The Rationale of Punishment

Book III

Of Privative Punishments, Or Forfeitures

Chapter V

Section I


The evils liable to be experienced by the husband from the forfeiture of this condition consist in the loss of the pleasures belonging to it.

  1. The pleasures, which are the principal objects in the institution of marriage, may be divided into, 1st Pleasures of sense; and 2nd---Pleasures proceeding from the perception of an agreeable object, which depends partly on the senses, and partly on the imagination.
  2. The innumerable minor pleasures of all kinds resulting from those inexigible services which belong to a husband's authority. Notwithstanding their variety, they may be all of them comprised under the head of pleasures of possession.
  3. The pleasures resulting from the use of the property derived from the wife: these belong to the same head as the preceding.
  4. Where the wife has separate property, over which a power of disposal is reserved to her, pleasure resulting from the hope of becoming possessed of this part of her property. Pleasure of expectation founded on the pleasures derivable from the possession of wealth.
  5. The pleasure resulting from the persuasion of being beloved. This affection producing a variety of uncompellable services, which have all the charms of appearing to be spontaneous, as those that are the result of friendship. These pleasures may be referred to the pleasures of the moral sanction.
  6. The pleasure resulting from the good repute of the wife which is reflected upon the husband, and which has a natural tendency, as honour derived from any other source, to conciliate to him the esteem and goodwill of persons in general. This may also be referred to the 5pleasures arising from the moral sanction.
  7. The pleasure of witnessing her happiness, and especially that part of it which he is most instrumental in producing. This is the pleasure of benevolence or goodwill.
  8. The pleasure resulting from the several uncompellable services received at the hands of the family of which he has become a member. This may be referred to the pleasures of the moral sanction.
  9. The pleasure of power, considered generally, independently of any particular use that may be made of it, with which he is invested, in virtue of the exclusive controul he possesses over the fund for reward and punishment. This may be referred to the pleasures of the imagination.
  10. The pleasure resulting from the condition of father. This we shall have occasion to notice in considering the evils resulting from the forfeiture of the condition of the father.

This same catalogue, with such slight variations, as the reader will find no difficulty in making, is applicable to the condition of wife.

The task of coolly analysing and classifying feelings of this nature may appear tedious, but it is not the less necessary if we would estimate the amount of evil resulting from the loss of this condition.

[RP, Book III, Chapter V] [RP, Book III, Chapter V, §2]