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The Scientific Mind at Work

In 1838, then-29-year-old Charles Darwin prepared a list of pros and cons around the question of marriage.

On the plus side of the ledger, he wrote, “My God, it is intolerable to think of spending one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all.” (Lest you think that Chuck was a hopeless romantic, however, keep in mind that he also wrote that a “nice soft wife” would be “better than a dog anyhow.”)

On the minus side? “Not forced to visit relatives,” “cannot read in the Evenings,” “fatness & idleness” [presumably his own], and “less money for books &c.”

Can’t really argue with his reasoning—especially since he ultimately came down in favor of matrimony. Sure, he ended up marrying his cousin, but still.



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