Vol.VII No.IX Pg.6
November 1970

Love And Marriage

Robert F. Turner

Laugh at these quotes from Fnclopaedia Britannica, 1771 edition; then ask yourself if our current philosophy has produced more happiness, better homes, or more noble lives.

Falling In Love, 1771.

When man arrives to a certain age he becomes sensible of a peculiar sympathy and tenderness towards the other sex; the charms of beauty engage his attention, and call forth new and softer dispositions than he has yet felt. The many amiable qualities exhibited by a fair outside, or by the mild allurement of female manners, or which the prejudiced spectator without much reasoning supposes those to include, with several other circumstances, point his view and affection to a particular object, and of course contract that general rambling regard, which was lost and useless among the undistinguished crowd, into a peculiar and permanent attachment to one woman, which ordinarily terminates in the most important, venerable, and delightful connection in life.


Of the conjugal alliance the following are the natural laws. 1. Mutual fidelity to the marriage-bed. Disloyalty defeats the very end of marriage; dissolves the natural cement of the relation; weakens the moral tie, the chief strength of which lies in the reciprocation of affection; and, by making the offspring uncertain, diminishes the care and attachment necessary to their education.

2. A conspiration of counsels and endeavours to promote the common interest of the family, and to educate their common offspring. In order to observe these laws, it is necessary to cultivate, both before and during the married state, the strictest decency and chastity of manners, and a just sense of what becomes their respective characters.

3. The union must be inviolable and for life. The nature of friendship, and particularly of this species of it, the education of their offspring, and the order of society, and of successions which would otherwise be extremely perplexed, do all seem to require it. To preserve this union, and render the matrimonial state more harmonious and comfortable a mutual esteem and tenderness, a mutual deference and forbearance, a communication of advice, and assistance and authority, are absolutely necessary. If either party keep within their proper departments, there need be no disputes about power or superiority, and there will be none. They have no opposite, no separate interests; and therefore there can be no just ground for opposition of conduct.

From this detail, and the present state of things, in which there is pretty near a parity of numbers of both sexes, it is evident, that polygamy is an unnatural state: and though it should be granted to be more fruitful of children, which however it is not found to be; yet it is by no means so fit for rearing minds; which seems to be as much, if not more, the intention of nature, than the propagation of bodies.