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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


better fortune. If the testator has no children at all, he may
select and give to any one whom he pleases the tenth part of the
property which he has acquired; but let him not be blamed if he
gives all the rest to his adopted son, and makes a friend of him
according to the law. If the sons of a man require guardians, and: the
father when he dies leaves a will appointing guardians, those have
been named by him, whoever they are and whatever their number be, if
they are able and willing to take charge of the children, shall be
recognized according to the provisions of the will. But if he dies and
has made no will, or a will in which he has appointed no guardians,
then the next of kin, two on the father's and two on the mother's
side, and one of the friends of the deceased, shall have the authority
of guardians, whom the guardians of the law shall appoint when the
orphans require guardians. And the fifteen eldest guardians of the law
shall have the whole care and charge of the orphans, divided into
threes according to seniority-a body of three for one year, and then
another body of three for the next year, until the cycle of the five
periods is complete; and this, as far as possible, is to continue
always. If a man dies, having made no will at all, and leaves sons who
require the care of guardians, they shall share in the protection
which is afforded by these laws.
And if a man dying by some unexpected fate leaves daughters behind
him, let him pardon the legislator if he gives them in marriage, he
have a regard only to two out of three conditions-nearness of kin
and the preservation of the lot, and omits the third condition,
which a father would naturally consider, for he would choose out of
all the citizens a son for himself, and a husband for his daughter,
with a view to his character and disposition-the father, say, shall
forgive the legislator if he disregards this, which to him is an
impossible consideration. Let the law about these matters where
practicable be as follows:-If a man dies without making a will, and
leaves behind him daughters, let his brother, being the son of the
same father or of the same mother, having no lot, marry the daughter
and have the lot of the dead man. And if he have no brother, but
only a brother's son, in like manner let them marry, if they be of a
suitable age; and if there be not even a brother's son, but only the
son of a sister, let them do likewise, and so in the fourth degree, if
there be only the testator's father's brother, or in the fifth degree,
his father's brother's son, or in the sixth degree, the child of his
father's sister. Let kindred be always reckoned in this way: if a
person leaves daughters the relationship shall proceed upwards through
brothers and sisters, and brothers' and sisters' children, and first
the males shall come, and after them the females in the same family.
The judge shall consider and determine the suitableness or
unsuitableness of age in marriage; he shall make an inspection of
the males naked, and of the women naked down to the navel. And if
there be a lack of kinsmen in a family extending to grandchildren of a
brother, or to the grandchildren of a grandfather's children, the
maiden may choose with the consent of her guardians any one of the
citizens who is willing and whom she wills, and he shall be the heir
of the dead man, and the husband of his daughter. Circumstances
vary, and there may sometimes be a still greater lack of relations
within the limits of the state; and if any maiden has no kindred
living in the city, and there is some one who has been sent out to a
colony, and she is disposed to make him the heir of her father's
possessions, if he be indeed of her kindred, let him proceed to take
the lot according to the regulation of the law; but if he be not of
her kindred, she having no kinsmen within the city, and he be chosen
by the daughter of the dead man, and empowered to marry by the
guardians, let him return home and take the lot of him who died
intestate. And if a man has no children, either male or female, and
dies without making a will, let the previous law in general hold;
and let a man and a woman go forth from the family and share the
deserted house, and let the lot belong absolutely to them; and let the

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