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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 182 pages of information about Pebbles on the shore [by] Alpha of the plough.

    And I went wheer munny wor, and thy moother coom to and
    Wi’ lots o’ munny laaeid by, and a nicetish bit o’ land. 
    Maybe she worn’d a beauty:  I nivver giv’ it a thowt;
    But worn’d she as good to cuddle and kiss as a lass as an’t nowt?

I have always hoped that Sammy rejected his father’s counsel and stuck to the poor parson’s daughter.

There is no harm of course in marrying money.  George Borrow said that there were worse ways of making a fortune than marrying one.  And perhaps it is true, though I don’t think Borrow’s experience was very convincing.  I have known people who “have gone where money was” and have fallen honestly and rapturously into love, but you have got to be very sure that money in such a case is not the motive.  If it is the penalty never fails to follow.  Mr. Bumble married Mrs. Corney for “six teaspoons, a pair of sugar tongs, and a milk-pot, with a small quantity of secondhand furniture and twenty pounds in money.”  And in two months he regretted his bargain and admitted that he had gone “dirt cheap.”  “Only two months to-morrow,” he said.  “It seems a age.”

Those who believe in “love at first sight” take the view that marriages are made in heaven and that we only come to earth to fulfil our destiny.  Johnson, who was an excellent husband to the elderly Mrs. Porter, scoffed at that view and held that love is only the accident of circumstance.  But though that is the sensible view, there are cases like those of Dante and Beatrice and Abelard and Heloise, in which the passion does seem to touch the skies.  In those cases, however, it rarely ends happily.  A more hum-drum way of falling in love seems better fitted to earthly conditions.  The method of Sir Thomas More was perhaps the most original on record.  He preferred the second of three sisters and was about to marry her when it occurred to him—­But let me quote the words in which Roper, his son-in-law, records the incident: 

“And all beit his mynde most served him to the seconde daughter, for that he thoughte her the fayrest and best favoured, yet when he considered that it woulde be bothe great griefe and some shame alsoe to the eldest to see her yonger sister in mariage preferred before her, he then of a certeyn pittye framed his fancye towardes her, and soon after maryed her.”

It was love to order, yet there was never a more beautiful home life than that of which this most perfect flower of the English race was the centre.

In short, there is no formula for falling in love.  Each one does it as the spirit moves.

ON A BIT OF SEAWEED

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