Charles Darwins Gedanken zum Thema Heirat (seiner eigenen)

Bevor er heiratete überlegte Darwin kurz, was die Vor- und Nachteile der Ehe sind:

THE FOLLOWING notes in Charles Darwin’s hand were hurriedly scrawled in pencil on scraps of paper; one is on a letter addressed to him whilst he was living at 36 Great Marlborough Street. The writing of the notes must therefore have been in one of the years 1837 or ’38. He was married to Emma Wedgwood on January 29th, 1839. How these youthful questionings escaped destruction cannot now be known. Perhaps they fell into the hands of Emma herself?

Work finished Work finished
If not marry TRAVEL? Europe— Yes? America????
If I travel it must be exclusively geological — United States — Mexico.Depend upon health and vigour and how far I become zoological. If I don’t travel—Work at transmission of Species—microscope—simplest forms of life—Geology—Oldest formations?? Some experiments—physiological observations on lower animals.

(B).    Live in London—for where else possible—in small house near Regents Park—keep horses—take Summer tours collect specimens some line of Zoolog: speculations of Geograph: range and geological general works—systematize and study affinities.

If marry—means limited—
Feel duty to work for money. London life, nothing but Society, no country, no tours, no large Zoolog: collect., no books. — Cambridge Professorship, either Geolog: or Zoolog:—comply with all above requisites—I couldn’t systematize zoologically so well.
But better than hibernating in country—and where? Better even than near London country house—I could not indolently take country house and do nothing— Could I live in London like a prisoner? If I were moderately rich I would live in London, with pretty big house and do as (B)—but could I act thus with children and poor—? No— Then where live in country near London; better; but great obstacles to science and poverty.
Then Cambridge, better, but fish out of water, not being Professor and poverty. Then Cambridge Professorship,—and make best of it—do duty as such and work at spare times—My destiny will be Camb. Prof. or poor man; outskirts of London—some small square etc.—and work as well as I can.
I have so much more pleasure in direct observation, that I could not go on as Lyell does, correcting and adding up new information to old train, and I do not see what line can be followed by man tied down to London.—In country—experiment and observations on lower animals,—more space—

The second paper is headed:—This is the Question

Children—(if it please God)— constant companion, (friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, object to be beloved and played with—better than a dog anyhow—Home, and someone to take care of house—Charms of music and female chit-chat. These things good for one’s health. Forced to visit and receive relations but terrible loss of time.

My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working and nothing after all.—
No, no won’t do.—
Imagine living all one’s day solitarily in smoky dirty London House.—Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, and books and music perhaps—compare this vision with the dingy reality of Grt Marlboro‘ St. Marry—Marry

No children, (no second life) no one to care for one in old age.—

What is the use of working without sympathy from near and dear friends—who are near and dear friends to the old except relatives.
Freedom to go where one liked
—Choice of Society and little of it. Conversation of clever men at clubs.—
Not forced to visit relatives, and to bend in every trifle—to have the expense and anxiety of children—perhaps quarrelling.
Loss of time—cannot read in the evenings—fatness and idleness —anxiety and responsibility—
less money for books etc—if
many children forced to gain one’s bread.—(But then it is very bad for one’s health to work too much)
Perhaps my wife won’t like London; then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent idle fool—

It being proved necessary to marry—When? Soon or Late. The Governor says soon for otherwise bad if one has children—one’s character is more flexible—one’s feelings more lively, and if one does not marry soon, one misses so much good pure happiness.—On the reverse side of the page comes the summing up

But then if I married tomorrow: there would be an infinity of trouble and expense in getting and furnishing a house,—fighting about no Society—morning calls—awkwardness—loss of time every day—(without one’s wife was an angel and made one keep industrious)—Then how should I manage all my business if I were obliged to go every day walking with my wife.—Eheu!! I never should know French,—or see the Continent,—or go to America, or go up in a Balloon, or take solitary trip in Wales—poor slave, you will be worse than a negro—And then horrid poverty (without one’s wife was better than an angel and had money)—Never mind my boy—Cheer up—One cannot live this solitary life, with groggy old age, friendless and cold and childless staring one in one’s face, already beginning to wrinkle. Never mind, trust to chance—keep a sharp look out.—There is many a happy slave—