“After all, what is the good of all these convictions? Unmarried mothers have suffered enough beforehand, and been brought so low in every human regard by the brutal and callous attitude of the world—the punishment ought to suffice."
Geissler rose, and said at last: "No doubt. But what about the children?"
"True," said the advocate, "it's a sad business about the children. Still, all things considered, perhaps it's just as well. Illegitimate children have a hard time, and turn out badly as often as not."
Geissler felt perhaps some touch of malice at the portly complacency of the man of law; he said:
"Erasmus was born out of wedlock.”
"Erasmus of Rotterdam."
"And Leonardo the same."
"Leonardo da Vinci? Really? Well, of course, there are exceptions, otherwise there would be no rule. But on the whole…."
"We pass protective measures for beast and bird," said Geissler; "seems rather strange, doesn't it, not to trouble about our own young?"
The advocate for the Crown reached out slowly and with dignity after some papers on the table, as a hint that he had not time to continue the discussion. "Yes…." said he absently. "Yes, yes, no doubt…."
Geissler expressed his thanks for a most instructive conversation, and took his leave.”
Excerpt From: Hamsun, Knut. “Growth of the Soil.”