Monday, December 21, 2009

Darwin on Marriage


The Lady Wife and I are pleased to announce that today is the 35th anniversary of our marriage. We were thinner then, but just as happy now.
Last spring I had the honor of presenting the following reading at the wedding of our niece Elana to our new Nephew-in-law Seth. The notes on marriage by Charles Darwin were apparently scribbled in the margin of one of his notebooks. Read and enjoy:


Deciding Whether or Not to Marry:

Not Marry?

Freedom to go where one liked
choice of Society and little of it.
Conversation of clever men at clubs
Not forced to visit relatives, and
to bend in every trifle
to have the expense and anxiety of children -
perhaps quarrelling -
Loss of time -
cannot read in the Evenings -
fatness and idleness -
anxiety and responsibility -
less money for books
if many children, forced to gain one's bread (But then it is very bad for one's health to work too much).
Perhaps my wife won't like
London, then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent, idle fool.


Marry?

Children - (if it please God) -
constant companion, who will feel interested in one
(a friend in old age) -
object to be beloved and played with - better than a dog anyhow
Home, and someone to take care of house
Charms of Music and female Chit Chat -
These things good for ones health but terrible loss of time
My God, it is unthinkable to think of spending
one's whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all
No, no won't do
Imagine living all one's days solitarily in smoky
dirty London House -
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa
with good fire, and books and music perhaps - compare this vision with dingy reality
Marry! Marry! Marry!

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