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the monotony of each other's company. By the same rule should the
choleric and the patient be united, and the ambitious and the humble;
for the opposites of their natures not only produce pleasurable
excitement, but each keeps the other in a wholesome check. In the size
and form of the parties the same principles hold good. Tall women are
not the ideals of beauty to tall men; and if they marry such, they
will soon begin to imagine greater perfections in other forms than in
those of their own wives. And this is well ordered by nature to
prevent the disagreeable results which are almost certain to grow out
of unions where the parties have a strong resemblance.
For instance, tall parents will probably have children taller than
either, and mental imbecility is the usual attendant of extreme size.
The union of persons prone to corpulency, of dwarfs, etc., would have
parallel results; and so, likewise, of weakly and attenuated couples.
The tall should marry the short, the corpulent the lean, the choleric
the gentle, and so on, and the tendency to extremes in the parents
will be corrected in the offspring.
Apart from these considerations, there are reasons why persons of the
same disposition should not be united and wedlock. An amiable wife to
a choleric man is like oil to troubled waters; an ill-tempered one
will make his life a misery and his home a hell. The man of studious
habits should marry a woman of sense and spirit rather than of
erudition, or the union will increase the monotony of his existence,
which it would be well for his health and spirits to correct by a
little conjugal excitement; and the man of gloomy temperament will
find the greatest relief from the dark forebodings of his mind in the
society of a gentle, but lively and smiling partner.
However, in some particulars the dispositions and constructions of
MARRIED PEOPLE MUST ASSIMILATE
or they will have but few enjoyments in common. The man of full habits
and warm nature had better remain single than unite his destinies with
a woman whose heart repulses the soft advancements of love; and the
sanguine female in whose soul love is the dominant principle should
avoid marriage with a very phlegmatic person, or her caresses, instead
of being returned in kind, will rather excite feelings of disgust.
Thus the discriminations to be made in the choice of a partner are
Nature generally assists art in the choice of partners. We
instinctively seek in the object of our desires the qualities which we
do not possess ourselves. This is a most admirable arrangement of
Providence, as it establishes an equilibrium and prevents people from
tending to extremes; for it is known that unions of dwarfs are
fruitful of dwarfs, that giants proceed from the embrace of giants,
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