Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Curiosities of Marriage


A Great Many Widowers and Widows Remarry, Sometimes Twice.

It has been remarked that times of speculation are invariably accompanied by an increase of marriages. Dr. Farr, the eminent statistician, hazards thereon the suggestion that it is the spirit of speculation itself that leads many to embark on matrimony at such times. Another reason, which he is careful not to ignore, is the increased prosperity that induces and sometimes seems to accompany what he calls the periodical epidemics of speculation.

A great war, after it is over, is good for marriage. So is a good harvest, so is the establishment of new industries, or the extension of old ones. The reason is the same in all these instances — the increased prosperity of the general body of the people. So intimately is matrimony associated with national well doing that it has come to be styled the barometer of prosperity. Its indications, however, are more for the future than for the present dealing rather with the expected and anticipated than with the actual. But this only goes to substantiate what was said of marriage as a speculation.

The nation is sometimes extraordinarily sanguine, and when this is the case marriages are plentiful. Great popular leaders inspire this feeling. A statesman of genius at the head of affairs perceptibly increases the marriage rate.

In a word, the great fluctuations in the marriages are the results of peace after war, abundance after dearth, high wages after want of employment, speculation after languid enterprise, confidence after distrust and national triumphs after national disasters.

Autumn is the favorite season everywhere. With few spring is preferred. Half the weddings throughout the country are celebrated on Wednesday and Thursday. Saturday has more than its average number. Friday is not a favorite, as few marriages are celebrated on that day.

Widowers are more inclined to marry than bachelors. Widows are more inclined to marry than spinsters. Both facts are eloquent in favor of the comparative advantages of matrimony. For one bachelor that marries between the ages of 50 and 55, seven widowers remarry between these ages. These are marriages out of equal numbers of each class. The actual number of bachelors married will be greater only in proportion as they exceed by seven to one the actual number of widowers living at these ages. Under the same conditions, for every spinster married between 30 and 65 two widows are remarried. Inasmuch as the total number of spinsters far exceeds that of widows, and the figures given refer to marriages out of equal numbers, this disparity is not so noticeable. Its existence, however, is beyond dispute. Similarly, out of an equal number of widowers and bachelors between 25 and 30 years of age, 30 widowers remarry for every 13 bachelors who enter the bonds of Hymen for the first time.

Finally, one in ten of the survivors of the young men now living and one in eight of the young women now living will die as bachelors and spinsters if they live to the age of 60 and upward, besides the great numbers who died at younger ages. — New York Dispatch.

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