Thursday, January 21, 2010

To Marry, or Not to Marry?

Listening to NPR this afternoon, I found this hilarious excerpt of Darwin's rationalization:
(to see these written on a chalk board in Darwin's hand writing, see here)

"Darwin's notes on marriage are transcribed here:

This is the question


Children � (if it Please God) � Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, � object to be beloved & played with. � �better than a dog anyhow. � Home, & someone to take care of house � Charms of music & female chit-chat. � These things good for one's health. � Forced to visit & receive relations but terrible loss of time. �

W My God, it is intolerable to think of spending ones whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all. � No, no won't do. � Imagine living all one's day solitarily in smoky dirty London House. � Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music perhaps � Compare this vision with the dingy reality of Grt. Marlbro' St.

Marry � Marry � Marry Q.E.D.

Not Marry:

No children, (no second life), no one to care for one in old age.� What is the use of working 'in' without sympathy from near & dear friends�who are near & dear friends to the old, except relatives

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

Quite an interesting perspective, from this very insightful scientist, born 200 years ago.

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