Andrew Harpe - T's Wedding 364

A MODERN writer describes marriage as "having an 
appointment with happiness in the palace of chance."

Two persons are complete strangers to each other. One day 
they meet. They think they appreciate each other, understand 
each other. They encounter no serious obstacles; their social 
position is just about the same; their financial status similar; 
their health seems sufficient; their parents offer no 
objections; they become engaged. They exchange loving 
commonplaces wherein nothing of the depths of their souls is 
revealed. The days pass; the time comes--it is their wedding 
day.

They are married. In the beginning of their acquaintance, 
they did not know each other at all. They do not know each 
other much better now, or at least, they do not know each 
other intimately. They are bound together; possible mishaps 
matter little to them; they are going to make happiness for 
themselves together. It is a risk they decided to run.

That this procedure is the method followed by many can 
scarcely be denied.

Let us hope that we personally proceed with more prudence.

Upon the essential phases of life together, the engaged 
couple should hold loyal and sincere discussion. And in these 
discussions and exchange of ideas, each one should reveal 
himself as he really is, and let us hope that this revelation is 
one of true richness of soul.

To make a lover of a young man or young woman is not such 
a difficult achievement. But to discover in a young man 
before marriage the possibility, or better still, the assurance 
of a good husband who will become a father of the highest 
type, and in a young woman, the certain promise of the most 
desirable type of wife who has in her the makings of a real 
mother and a worthy educator--that is a masterpiece of 
achievement!

"To love each other before marriage! Gracious, that is simple," 
exclaims a character in a play, "they do not know each other! 
The test will be to love each other when they really do get 
acquainted." And he is not wrong.

In keeping with his thought is the witty answer given by a 
young married man to an old friend who came to visit him.

"I am an old friend of the family," explained the visitor. "I 
knew your wife before you married her."

"And I, unfortunately, did not know her until after I married 
her!"

But even when a man and woman do know each other deeply 
and truly before marriage, how many occasions they will still 
have for mutual forbearance. It is necessary for them to have 
daily association with each other in order to understand each 
other; for the woman, to understand what the masculine 
temperament is; for the man to understand what the feminine 
temperament is. That may seem like a trifling thing; yet it 
goes a long way toward a happy marriage. To understand 
each other not only as being on his part a man and on her 
part a woman, but as being just such a man or just such a 
woman, that is to say, persons who in addition to the general 
characteristics of their species possess particular virtues and 
particular faults as a result of their individual temperaments-
-that requires rare penetration!

A home is not drawn by lot, blindly. A palace of chance! No, 
indeed. If we want to turn it into a palace of happiness as far 
as that is possible here below, we must above all things 
refuse to have anything to do with chance. We must know 
what we are doing and where we are going.

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