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"Similar agreements occurred in the 13th, 14th "and 15th centuries in Germany, Scandinavia and '^Italy, and were recognized as valid. I will communicate "three examples from preserved documents:

"1. In the State-Archives of Genoa there is a "contract drawn up in 1279 in the presence of the "Genoese notary Pietro Bargone, by which the Sicilian "woman Cerasia enters into the obligation towards "a certain Jacobus, to be at his disposal and command, "in consideration of maintenance and a remuneration "in money. In case she fails of the duties undertaken, ''Jacobus is to be entitled to cut off her nose, a hand "or a foot, without liability to be held' in any way

"accountable by any Court of Law.

"2. In a Cologne charter of 1263 drawn up before "a Justice and Jury (Richter und Schöffen a debtor "promises to allow himself to be beheaded in case he "breaks his obligation. —

"3. In a Silesian document of 1250 Konrad Blind, "before the Bailiff, declares himself guilty of death "if he commits certain transgressions against the "Church; the Bailiff and the Parish are in that case "to pronounce the forfeiting of his life. —

"The real earnest and frequency of such contracts "is furthermore attested by the fact that in a series "of mediaeval sources there are prohibitions of what "Tacitus records of the Teutons, viz. that they gamble "away an eye, nose, ear, hand or foot. In a word, "Shylock's pact was possible and valid according to "the law of those days." —

1 Grimm pp. 785 and 956, explains Schöffen as Oeschworenen, with a reference to Old English law.

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