Friday, August 24, 2007

The dictates of reason

Two quotations from Jonathan Swift, just to cheer you up for the day...

On population:
Encouraging marriage as all wise nations did, is an appendix to the Maxim of people the riches of a Nation; we ought to discourage it. The wretches we see with children.
On propagation:
Although reason were intended by providence to govern our passions, yet it seems that, in two points of the greatest moment to the being and continuance of the world, God hath intended our passions to prevail over reason. The first is, the propagation of our species, since no wise man ever married from the dictates of reason. The other is, the love of life, which, from the dictates of reason, every man would despise, and wish it at an end, or that it never had a beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, quite.
    Yet I am rather proud to be a parent just at the moment. The time when one's offspring has her first public exam results, the ones that will be on her c.v. for ever, is a watershed, no? It is rather a remarkable time, and to my mind, a mark of independence, of passage from child to woman. I have nurtured an independent being! That's my job over then. One down, one to go, then "hello world", again.