A wedding reading
Many moons ago, I did an MA in Modern and Contemporary Poetry. (I know, it just sounds like one of those qualifications that absolutely leads to a job the minute you leave university, doesn’t it?)
Last night, I had all of these glorious books back out again, scouring them for the perfect second reading for our wedding.
We already have one poem planned and after a few joyful hours reacquainting myself with some of these poets, I couldn’t find a second poem that complements our first one and wasn’t either too sappy or too bleak.
But then, the books still strewn around the room, I found a perfect Darwin quote on an internet search.
My fiancé is an enthusiastic hobby naturalist, so an extract from Charles Darwin’s diaries is particularly apposite. Plus, who could resist this quote?
Deciding whether or not to propose to his cousin, Darwin drew up a list of pros and cons for marriage:
(Anyone reading this who is also coming to my wedding, please look away now!)
“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. — but terrible loss of time. —
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.
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 —”
The dog! The loss of time! The wish to read in the evenings! The banishment from London turning him into an indolent fool! This has to be the greatest wedding reading ever written…
- Take a look at all my August break photos