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Shelley and the Marriage Question

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Author: John Todhunter
Published: 1889
Language: English
Wordcount: 5,768 / 24 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 60.4
LoC Category: HQ
Downloads: 440
Added to site: 2010.10.17 29298
Genre: Essays

your 'divine mistress.' Marriage was not ordained to be the paradise of ideal love, but for the sober discipline of the affections of men and women, and above all for the production and rearing up of good citizens of the commonwealth. To judge by your own writings, Mr. Shelley, you seem to have been running after a will-o'-the-wisp all your life in this ideal love. And if you did not catch it, is it likely that Tom, Dick, and Harry will? In any case the pursuit of it seems just as likely to make inconstant lovers as that sensuality you affect to look down upon. You always had the word 'for ever' on your tongue; but how long did your for evers last? No, no, my dear sir, the good of society demands fidelity to incurred responsibilities, and we find by practical experience that both men and women, but especially men, are inclined to shirk the responsibilities which indulgence of the sexual passion brings in its train. Hence the marriage contract. It does not concern itself primarily with either love or



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