FOR a happy marriage, it is necessary, of course, that the 
engaged couple find each other congenial and enjoy each 
other's company.

They must agree to share loyally the joys and the sorrows of 
wedded union and fulfill its obligations.

Each one must be bent on procuring for the other as much 
happiness as possible and oblige himself beforehand to a 
mode of life which will disturb his partner as little as 

The husband must love his profession, and his wife should 
share this love or at least neglect nothing in order to respect 
and facilitate it.

They should be able to make their decisions together, not 
certainly without sometimes having recourse to the counsels 
of competent authorities, but with a beautiful and joyful 
independence of any member of the family who may be too 
prone at times to attempt to domineer over the young couple. 
There should, of course, be no presumption, no narrow 
aloofness, but a serene and supple liberty of spirit; serene 
and supple humility.

In order to be able to practice the sanctity of their state in all 
the details of their life, they must understand their duty of 
leaning upon God. It will not be sufficient to link together 
their two wills; they must be determined to pray to obtain 
help from on High.

They must likewise have a certain concern, a legitimate 
concern, for physical charm, without, however, losing sight of 
the fact that beauty of soul is superior to beauty of body; so 
that if some day the physical attraction should diminish, they 
will not be less eager to remain together, but each will strive 
to find in the other the quality upon which profound union is 

Both of them must love children. They must develop in 
themselves to the best of their ability the virtues necessary 
for parenthood, the courage to accept as many children as 
God wants them to have and the wisdom to rear them well--
difficult virtues requiring strong souls.

Each must be possessed of a rich power of cordiality for the 
members of the other's family. Both must resolve to take their 
in-laws and their household as they find them, and adopt as a 
principle for their contacts with them, It was not to share 
hates but to share love that I entered into your family. 
Consequently, they must refuse to be drawn into family 
quarrels, seeking rather in all their actions to promote 
charity, union, and peace.

Even before their marriage, the young couple should decide 
to keep their expenses at a minimum, according to their 
situation, not with avarice or niggardliness, but with the 
desire to live in the gospel spirit of detachment from the 
goods of earth. Such judicious economy, which should of 
course be devoid of even the appearance of stinginess, will 
enable them to set aside something useful and necessary for 
their children. It will also enable them to relieve the misery 
around them.

It is to be assumed that both individuals contemplating 
marriage have the requisite health, since marriage has been 
created not only for mutual support but also to transmit life.

It is further to be assumed that each of the two has kept 
nothing of his past life hidden from the other, and that in 
view of this entire loyalty which is so desirable a trait in 
married couples, each has kept himself pure and refrained 
from dangerous experiences.


LOUIS PASTEUR came from a family of modest means. When 
he was twenty-six years old, his astonishing discovery in 
regard to crystals drew upon him the attention of scientists.

In 1849, he was named assistant professor in the University 
of Strasbourg. The rector of the university, Mr. Laurent, had 
three daughters. Fifteen days after Pasteur's first visit, he 
asked for Marie in marriage. The young scientist felt that this 
young woman understood life as he did and wanted the same 
kind of life he sought--a life of simplicity, of work, and of 
goodness. He sent this letter to Mr. Laurent:

"Sir, a request of great significance for me and for your 
family will be addressed to you in a few days and I believe it 
my duty to give you the following information which can help 
to determine your acceptance or your refusal.Picture7

"My father is a tanner at Arbois, a little city in the Jura region. 
My sisters keep house for my father since we had the sorrow 
of losing our mother last May. My family is in comfortable 
circumstances, but not wealthy. I do not evaluate what we 
own at more than ten thousand dollars. As for me, I decided 
long ago to leave my whole share to my sisters. I, then, have 
no fortune. All I possess is good health, a kind heart, and my 
position in the university.

"Two years ago I was graduated from l'Ecole Normale with the 
degree of agrege in the physical sciences. Eighteen months 
ago I received my doctorate, and I have presented some of my 
works to the Academy of Science where they were very well 
received, especially my last one. I have the pleasure of 
forwarding to you with this letter a very favorable report 
about this particular work of mine.

"That describes my present status. As for the future, all I can 
say is that unless I should undergo a complete change in my 
tastes, I shall devote myself to chemical research. It is my 
ambition to return to Paris when I have acquired a reputation 
through my work. Monsieur Biot has spoken to me several 
times to persuade me seriously to consider the Institute. In 
ten or fifteen years I shall perhaps be able to consider it 
seriously if I work assiduously. This dream is but wasted 
trouble; it is not that at all which makes me love science as 

Could a more modest, more completely sincere letter ever be 
sent by a young man in love?

And when he addressed himself to Marie he assured her with 
touching clumsiness that he was sure he could hardly be 
attractive for a young girl, but just let her have a little 
patience and she would learn his great love for her and he 
believed she would love him too, for "my memories tell me 
that when I have been very well known by persons, they have 
loved me."

But great as was his love for Marie, his heart was divided: 
Louis Pasteur loved science, he loved his crystals. He began 
to scruple about it, and finally wrote to his fiancee, asking 
her "not to be jealous if science took precedence over her in 
his life."

She was not jealous. Madame Pasteur married not only the 
man but also his passion for science. Her love had that rare 
quality of knowing how to efface itself, and to manifest itself 
precisely by not manifesting itself at all at times. She was a 
worthy companion of this great man, of this great scientist, of 
this great heart.