THE beautiful saying of Newton, that he felt like a child who had been picking up a few pebbles on the shore of the great ocean of undiscovered truth, may well occur to any writer who attempts to say something on the vast subject of marriage. The infinite variety of circumstances and characters affects it in infinitely various ways, and all that can here be done is to collect a few somewhat isolated and miscellaneous remarks upon it. Yet it is a subject which cannot be omitted in a book like this. In numerous cases it is the great turning-point of a life, and in all cases when it takes place it is one of the most important of its events. Whatever else marriage may do or fail to do, it never leaves a man unchanged. His intellect, his character, his happiness, his way of looking on the world, will all be influenced by it. If it does not raise or strengthen him it will lower or weaken. If it does not deepen happiness it will impair it. It brings with it duties, interests, habits, hopes, cares, sorrows, and joys that will penetrate into every fissure of his nature and modify the whole course of his life.
It is strange to think with how much levity and how little knowledge a contract which is so indissoluble and at the same time so momentous is constantly