This is a subject on which much is said and much written,
but the opinions offered are so conflicting that little good is effected
by its frequent discussion.
Aside from some few exceptions – the general law
of Nature seem to decide that “too early” marriages are likely
to be attended with more injurious effects than the opposite extreme;
and also that there is a medium which all rational minds can easily determine.
It is admitted by all, that mutual love is an indispensable
requisite in the matrimonial connection; and it is believed by some that
the strongest attachments are formed in youth. This, however, admits of
exceptions, too; and cannot be set down as a general rule.
Young love is like all the other fancies of youth, who
are prone to over-reach the mark; they aspire to unattainable objects;
their imperfect vision magnifies the joys which they picture to themselves
in future, and nothing but experience in the school of life will convince
them of their mistake. Until the faculties of mind are sufficiently developed
to enable them to decide between love and romance, one would naturally
suppose that the formation of an attachment for life was premature.
The physical constitution also, is a matter of great
importance, and it too often disregarded. It is a well-known fact that
the children of very young parents are generally sickly, and either die
at an early age, or suffer with disease through life. Parents transmit
both their mental and physical constitutions to their children’
and the well-being of the future generation depends, materially, upon
the wisdom of the present.
It is got to be proverb that “the youngest children
are the smartest;” and in proof of this, it is a fact that most
of the “great men” of our own and other countries, are the
youngest of their families – and children of middle aged parents.
Franklin, for instance, was the fifteenth child of his father, and the
eighth of his mother. Daniel Webster was the youngest son, by a second
marriage. Lord Bacon’s father was fifty, and his mother thirty-two
years of age, at his birth. Judge Story’s mother was forty-four
at his birth; and Dr. Doddridge was the twentieth child of his parents.
Many similar cases might be quoted, while very few such
men as these are to be found in the world, who were the offsprings of
very young parents. – Make a note of this, young ladies and gentlemen,
who are contemplating wedlock.