M. Reclus and His Daughters

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M. Reclus and His Daughters

The union of the two daughters of Elisee Reclus to The union of the two daughters of Elisee Reclus to the lovers of their choice, regardless of the sanction of Church or State, has given rise to a stormy discussion in Europe, and resulted in the publication of the following letter from M. Reclus to Lucien-Victor Mennier:

Monsieur,—I am bound to thank you for the words of sympathy which you have spoken regarding the marriage of my daughters, and which very largely compensate for the outrages so contemptible in their source. The approbation of an honest man makes me happy. Having done nothing to justify the press in making a purely private act its prey, I have not seen fit to contradict the fantastic tale which called forth all this discussion. But I am bound to tell you personally that I have used no paternal authority in "marrying" my daughters. It has never entered my head that the sacrament of religion and the majesty of the law should have parental authority for their successor. In the fullness of their liberty the young people have chosen, and they asked me to speak only because they saw in me the best and closest of their friends. On them alone fall the responsibility and honor of their acts. This good word for them I am bound to say.

You predict that this example will be followed; I am sure of it, for they are right in seeking the sanction of their conduct, not in the articles of the penal or civil code, but in their conscience. They have done what they thought they ought to do. and forthwith are rewarded by the sympathy of men of heart. As for the insults of the unclean, these also are a reward.

Be so kind, my dear sir, as to accept my respectful salutations.

Elisee Reclus.

Paris, October 25,1882.