In repu­blics, where it is essen­tial that morals be pure, bas­tards must be more stig­ma­ti­zed than in monar­chies.

The pro­vi­sions made against them in Rome were per­haps too harsh. But with the ancient ins­ti­tu­tions making it man­da­tory for all citi­zens to marry, mar­ria­ges being moreo­ver tem­pe­red by per­mis­sion to repu­diate or divorce, nothing but very great moral cor­rup­tion could have led to concu­bi­nage.

We must observe that, the qua­lity of citi­zen being consi­de­ra­ble in demo­cra­cies, where it car­ried with it the sove­reign autho­rity, laws were often enac­ted on the sta­tus of bas­tards which had less rela­tion to the thing itself and to the res­pec­ta­bi­lity of mar­riage than to the par­ti­cu­lar cons­ti­tu­tion of the repu­blic. Thus the peo­ple some­ti­mes recei­ved bas­tards as citi­zens in order to increase their autho­rity against the gran­dees. Thus in Athens the peo­ple exclu­ded bas­tards1 from the num­ber of citi­zens in order to obtain a grea­ter por­tion of the grain which the king of Egypt had sent to them. In short, Aristotle2 tells us that in seve­ral cities, when there were not enough citi­zens, bas­tards could inhe­rit ; and that when there were enough, they could not.

See Aristote, Politics, book VI. ch. iv.

Ibid., book III, ch. iii.