Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Here, marriage is contracted by the parents of the
parties to it. There are no valentines, no stolen interviews, no riding
out, no courting in dim parlors, no lovers' quarrels and reconciliations
-- no nothing that is proper to impending
matrimony. The young man takes the girl his father selects for him, marries
her, and after that she is unveiled, and he sees her for the first time.
If, after due acquaintance, she suits him, he retains her; but if he suspects
her purity, he bundles her back to her father; if he finds her diseased,
the same; or if, after just and reasonable time is allowed her, she neglects
to bear children, back she goes to the home of her childhood. How
strange these barbarians are; in our more civilized land, a barren wife
is the most prized.
- The Innocents Abroad
- the text in red first appeared in the 1872 Routledge edition.