The luctuosa hereditas, the mournful succession of ascendants to descendants, to the twentieth penny only. Direct successions, or those of descendants to ascendants, pay no tax.
All persons capable of making a will could leave legacies, real or personal, but these were not due if the testator died insolvent. When a man died intestate, the succession devolved on the descendants of the deceased; but, these failing, the nearest ascendants were called; if there were brothers and sisters, they were entitled to succeed together along with the ascendants in the same class.
Will the digesting of a ragout of little birds, however often repeated by him or his ascendants, suffice to make him a finished bird-catcher? The Cerceris has eaten Weevil; her ancestors have all eaten Weevil, religiously.
He did not like it; he could not account for it; and he determined to stop it. Never since the days of his Limulus ancestry had any of his ascendants thought thus. Their modes of thought might be many, but their thought was one.
Under their very feet the little street boys play their games of pitching at tiny pyramids of dried lupins, unless they have filberts, and lupins are almost as good; and as the dandified hanger-on of Mæcenas, straining his ear for the sound of his patron's voice from within the litter, heedlessly crushes the little yellow beans under his sandal, the particular small boy whose stake is smashed clenches his fist, and with flashing eyes curses the dandy's dead to the fourth generation of ascendants, and he and his companions turn and scatter like mice as one of the biggest slaves threateningly raises his hand.
4 The children of two brothers or sisters, or of a brother and sister, may lawfully intermarry. 5 Again, a man may not marry his father's sister, even though the tie be merely adoptive, or his mother's sister: for they are considered to stand in the relation of ascendants. For the same reason too a man may not marry his great-aunt either paternal or maternal.
This is very clearly expressed in the Roman names: when they speak of "Quintus, son of Quintus, grandson of Quintus and so on, the Quintian," the family reaches as far as the ascendants are designated individually, and where the family terminates the clan is introduced supplementary, indicating derivation from the common ancestor who has bequeathed to all his descendants the name of the "children of Quintus."
But few days passed ere his widow bare a handsome boy and named him Hasib Karim al-Din, as her husband charged her; and immediately after his birth she summoned the astrologers, who calculated his ascendants and drawing his horoscope, said to her, "Know, O woman! that this birth will live many a year; but that will be after a great peril in the early part of his life, wherefrom can he escape, he will be given the knowledge of all the exact sciences."
If there is no survivor the property passes to that friend who takes up the responsibilities of the funeral and accompanying ceremonies. The law of inheritance, then, is as follows: First, lineal descendants; second, ascendants; third, lateral descendants; fourth, surviving spouse; fifth, self-appointed executor who was a personal friend of the deceased.
If he did not so desire, or if he died, the woman was shorn and forced to spend the rest of her life in a nunnery; two thirds of her property were given to her relatives in descending line, the other third to the monastery; if there were no descendants, ascendants got one third and the monastery two thirds; relatives failing, the monastery took all; and in all cases goods inserted in the dowry contract were to be kept for the husband.