moiety of his first wife's fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life-interest in it

Type: Historical | Title: Sense and Sensibility (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 1

"Moiety" is legally one-half, though it can vary in ordinary speech.

The gist is that the interest on the remainder of his first wife's money went to him, Henry Dashwood. The arrangement was conventional: he was allowed to use throughout his life the interest on the principal but upon his death the principal and interest go to their son, John, thus eliminating his second wife and their daughters.

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