children's clothing which will probably last until the ad vent of the next infant. There are men — perhaps "so called " should be added here also — who go away every winter, or at every approach of hard times, or whenever any money comes in — taking the money, of course, with them. The calm reliance on the charity of neighbors and of churches, and of charitable societies, displayed by such deserters, is a tribute to be accepted with a certain misgiv ing and reflection as to the wisdom of the policy upon which it rests. The spurious deserter, who is in collusion with the begging wife, is far more common than will be thought possible by the inexperienced. He may be living at home, or temporarily lodging elsewhere.
The twenty-fourth annual report of the Philadelphia Society for Organizing Charity identifies and gives illus trations of five classes, as follows: the Chronic Deserter, the Reclaimable Deserter, the Spurious Deserter, the Half-Excusable Deserter, and the Un-Get-At-Able De serter. The special report on Deserted Wives and Desert ing Husbands, published by the Associated Charities of Boston in 1901, contains an analysis of two hundred and thirty-four families known to the district committees and agents of that society. In the discussion of the treatment of these families several distinct policies are described and illustrated. The first is that of reconciliation, which can be sought in only a small proportion of cases, either be cause the husband's whereabouts cannot be learned or because his character is " so bad that his going is a good riddance." The second remedy tried by the Boston So ciety is helping the family by providing training or opportunity to earn self-support in their own home with out the man's help, securing help from relatives being considered a part of this second remedy. Breaking up the home ; caring for some of the children by charity, in order that the rest of the family may become self-supporting ; securing legal separation, followed, if necessary, by such relief as would be provided for a widow with children, are the remaining remedies tried and approved, according to the varying circumstances of the different cases.
The trend of recent legislation is, perhaps, best pre sented by the provision of a law passed by the Legislature of the state of Illinois in 1903. The first section of this law is as follows : " That every person who shall, without good cause, abandon his wife and neglect and refuse to maintain and provide for her, or who shall abandon his or her minor child or children in destitute or necessitous circumstances and wilfully neglect or refuse to maintain and provide for such child or children, shall be deemed guilty of a misde meanor, and on conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail, house of correction, or workhouse, not less than one month or more than twelve months, or by both such fine and im prisonment ; and should a fine be imposed, it may be directed by the court to be paid in whole or in part to the wife or to the guardian or custodian of the minor child or children; provided that, before the trial (with the consent of the defendant), or after conviction, instead of imposing the punishment hereinbef ore provided, or in addition thereto, the court in its discretion having regarded the circumstances and financial ability of the defendant, shall have the power to pass an order, which shall be subject to change by it from time to time, as the circumstances may require, directing the defendant to pay a certain sum weekly for one year to the wife, guardian, or custodian of the minor child or children, and to release the defendant from the custody, on probation, for the space of one year upon his or her entering into a recognizance, with or with out sureties, in such sums as the court may direct. The
conditions of the recognizance shall be such that if the defendant shall make his or her personal appearance in court whenever ordered to do so within a year, and shall further comply with the terms of the order or of any subse quent modification thereof, then the recognizance shall be void, otherwise of full force and effect. If the court be satisfied by information and due proof, under oath, that at any time during the year the defendant has violated the terms of such order, it may forthwith proceed with the trial of the defendant under the original indictment, or sentence him or her under the original conviction, as the case may be. In a case of forfeiture of a recognizance and enforcement thereof by execution, the sum recovered may, in the discretion of the court, be paid in whole or in part to the wife, guardian, or custodian of the minor child or children." The second section describes what evidence of marriage and parentage is essential, and provides that the wife shall be a competent witness in any case brought under this act.
A new law in the state of Pennsylvania provides simi larly that, " If any husband or father being within the limits of this Commonwealth shall hereafter separate him self from his wife, or from his children, or from wife and children, without reasonable cause, and shall wilfully neg lect to maintain his wife or children, such wife or chil dren being destitute, or being dependent, wholly or in part, on their earnings for adequate support, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding one year, and to pay a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or either, or both, at the discretion of the court, such fine, if any, to be paid or ap plied in whole or in part to the wife or children, as the court may direct." This law also permits suspended sentence, declares that a wife is a competent witness, and that proof of separation and neglect to support shall be prima facie evidence that such separation and neglect are wilful and without rea sonable cause on the part of the husband.