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Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23, 1860

On this date in 1860 . . . the Keeper of the Journal, aka James Madison Hall, is in New York with his father, Joshua James Hall . . . and there are no Journal entries for the rest of the month of July . . . but elsewhere in the United States . . .

CHARLESTON MERCURY, July 23, 1860, p. 3, c. 5

On Marriage. -- I suppose there is a modicum of romance in most natures, and that if it gather about any event it is that of marriage. Most people marry their ideals. There is more or less fictitious and fallacious glory resting upon the head of every bride, which the inchoate husband believes in. Most men and women manufacture perfection in their mates by a happy process of their imaginations, and then marry them. This, of course, wears away. By the time the husband has seen his wife eat heartily of pork and beans, and, with her hair frizzled, and her oldest dress on, full of the enterprize [sic] of overhauling things, he sees that she belongs to the same race as himself.

And she, when her husband gets up cross in the morning, and undertakes to shave himself with cold water and a dull razor, while his suspenders dangle at his heels, begins to see that man is a very prosaic animal. In other words, there is such a thing as a honeymoon, of longer or shorter duration; and while the moonshine lasts, the radiance of the seventh heaven cannot compare with it. It is a very delicious little delirium -- a febrile mental disease -- which, like measles, never comes again.

When the honeymoon passes away, setting behind dull mountains, or dipping silently into the stormy sea of life, the trying hour of marriage life has come. Between the parties, there are no more illusions. The feverish desire of possession is gone -- vanished into gratification -- and all excitement has receded. Then begins, or should begin, the business of adaptation. If they find that they do not love one another as they thought they did, they should double their assiduous attentions to one another, and be jealous of everything which tends in the slightest degree to separate them. Life is too precious to be thrown away in secret regrets, or open differences. And let me say to every one to whom the romance of life has fled, and who are discontented in the lightest degree with their condition and relations, begin the work of reconciliation before you are a day older.

Renew the attentions of earlier days. Draw your hearts close together. Talk the thing all over. Acknowledge your faults to one another, and determine that henceforth you will be all in all to each other; and my word for it, you shall find in your relation the sweetest joy earth has for you. There is no other way for you to do. If you are happy at home you must be happy abroad; the man or woman who has settled down upon the conviction that he or she is attached for life to an uncongenial yoke fellow, and that there is no way of escape, has lost life; there is no effort too costly to make which can restore to its setting upon the bosoms, the missing pearl. -- Timothy Titcomb.

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