In the view of the wise, Heaven is man and Earth woman: Earth fosters what Heaven lets fall.
When Earth lacks heat, Heaven sends it; when she has lost her freshness and moisture, Heaven restores it.
Heaven goes on his rounds, like a husband foraging for his wife's sake;
And Earth is busy with housewiferies: she attends to birth and suckling that which she bears.
Regard Earth and Heaven as endowed with intelligence, since they do the work of intelligent beings.
Unless these twain taste pleasure from one another, why are they creeping together like sweethearts.
This chapter begins with a continuation of the discussion of traditional expectations about marriage begun in Chapter 10. Traditional marriage, as we use the term, refers to what most of us mean by marriage. As we saw in Chapter 10, this involves the expectation of a lifelong monogamous union with exclusive sexual rights in the spouse. It involves the acceptance of patriarchy or a companionship type of relationship between husband and wife. It implies a common division of labor in which the husband provides for the family and the wife bears and raises children and takes care of the domestic chores. It involves an expectation that the husband and wife will share a great deal of their lives with each other. And fi