It is quite difficult to understand clearly what reason led the Christians to abolish divorce. Marriage, in every nation on earth, is a contract sensitive to all conventions, and from it should be abolished only what could enfeeble its intended purpose. But the Christians do not regard it from this point of view and they go to considerable trouble to explain their attitude. Marriage to them does not consist in sensual pleasure; on the contrary. . . it seems they wish to banish that element from it as much as possible. Rather, it is to them an image, a symbol, and something mysteriously more, which I do not understand.
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Source Notes: Letter 116 (Usbek to Rhedi, at Venice, Paris, the 19th of the moon of Chahban, 1718), Persian Letters (1721); trans. George R. Healy (1964).
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