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MOTHER, domestic relations. A woman who has borne a child.
     2. It is generally the duty of a mother to support her child, when she is left a widow, until he becomes of age, or is able to maintain himself; 8 Watts, R. 366; and even after he becomes of age, if he be chargeable to the public, she may, perhaps, in all the states, be compelled, when she has sufficient means, to support him. But when the child has property sufficient for his support, she is not, even during his minority, obliged to maintain him. 1 Bro. C. C. 387; 2 Mass. R. 415; 4 Miss. R. 97.
     3. When the father dies without leaving a testamentary guardian, at common law, the mother is entitled to be the guardian of the person and estate of the infant, until he arrives at fourteen years, when he is able to choose a guardian. Litt. sect. 123; 3 Co. 38; Co. Litt. 84 b; 2 Atk. 14; Com Dig. B, D, E; 7 Ves. 348. See 10 Mass. 135, 140; 15 Mass. 272; 4 Binn. 487; 4 Stew. & Part. 123; 2 Mass. 415; Harper, R. 9; 1 Root, R. 487.
     4. In Pennsylvania, the orphans' court will, in such case, appoint a guardian until the infant shall attain his fourteenth year. During the joint lives of the parents, (q.v.) the father (q.v.) is alone responsible for the support of the children; and has the only control over them, except when in special cases the mother is allowed to have possession of them. 1 P. A. Browne's Rep. 143; 5 Binn. R. 520; 2 Serg. & Rawle 174. Vide 4 Binn. R. 492, 494.
     5. The mother of a bastard child, as natural guardian, has a right to the custody and control of such child, and is bound to maintain it. 2 Mass. 109; 12 Mass. 387, 433; 2 John. 375; 15 John. 208; 6 S. & R. 255; 1 Ashmead, 55.

References in classic literature ?
There now, the trays are ready, and everything in but my ball dress, which I shall leave for Mother to pack," said Meg, cheering up, as she glanced from the half-filled trunk to the many times pressed and mended white tarlatan, which she called her `ball dress' with an important air.
Or -- but this more rarely happened -- she would be convulsed with rage of grief and sob out her love for her mother in broken words, and seem intent on proving that she had a heart by breaking it.
Mother came at me so that I thought she was crazy, and I was whipped and tumbled off to bed, without any supper, before I could get over wondering what had come about; and, after that, I heard mother crying outside the door, which made me feel worse than all the rest.
Very well, be content; your niece is loyal to her allegiance: her mother laid deep the foundations of her love for Spain, and she will go back to you as good a Spaniard as you are yourself.
I brought a little Randall girl down on the stage from Maplewood to-day, mother.
But she could hear of no situation that at once answered her notions of comfort and ease, and suited the prudence of her eldest daughter, whose steadier judgment rejected several houses as too large for their income, which her mother would have approved.
They were never more my guide than when I helped to put her to earth, not whimpering because my mother had been taken away after seventy-six glorious years of life, but exulting in her even at the grave.
If you find your mothers," he said darkly, "I hope you will like them.
The reason mothers and nurses know what her remarks mean, before other people know, as that "Guch" means "Give it to me at once," while "Wa" is "Why do you wear such a funny hat?
The next moment the two mothers separated, and, before they rushed together again, the lynx lashed out at the cub with a huge fore-paw that ripped his shoulder open to the bone and sent him hurtling sidewise against the wall.
Why, Spear," he exclaimed, "always took in a bunch of them for his mother.
So vivid were they, in his relation of them, that he once held a dispute with his sister as to the particular figure or print of a chintz morning-dress which he had seen their mother wear, in the dream of the preceding night.

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