Let’s restore R.L. Stevenson!
(To R.L. Stevenson)

hokuto77's Notes on his essay 'Virginibus Puerisque'
On Marriage 1
On Marriage 2  (advice about marriage)
Hope, Faith, and Love in married life

hokuto77's Notes on his essay 'Virginibus Puerisque'

 I, hokuto77, can't possibly forget what Stevenson (1850-94) did for me when I was a high school student. His plain, refined prose style has long remained clear in my memory. One day, in class, students read
a few short English sentences. Our English teacher said to us with a smile," This is
a jewel." To the best of my recollection, he told us something interesting about Stevenson.
 Anyhow, at that time the source of the precious short was not printed in the text I read.
 Long afterward, in my middle twenties, while reading
Treasure Island during summer holidays I came across those expressions which I had been taught as 'a jewel'. Naturally the profound impression  came back to me as though it was only yesterday. The encounter with the valuable thing suggested that I read the novel from cover to cover in a comparatively short time. The text was the annotated edition by Dr. S. Ichikawa, published by Kenkyusha C. Ltd. If the novel were read carefully, the copious notes would be of great use to English students of today.

In the preface Dr. Ichiwakawa said he had lectured on the novel at the Imperial University of Tokyo for five months [from September in the 8th year of the Taisho period (1912-26) to next January].
  I’m still doubtful whether I should mention it here or not, but it’s better to confess that I did not get any speck of information that
R. L. Stevenson had already been excluded from the main literary world and perfectly rejected by Modernist writers and literary critics, as early as the outset of the 20th century. According to the comments by Richard Ambrosini and Richard Dury, the reason is that Stevenson played with popular genres and he had non-serious meta-literary brilliance.
 It’s important that literary work has universality in its value, but the key point is what worth any one of its readers will obtain from reading the work itself. The proverb “
Ignorance is bless.” was very useful to me then: what I did not know blissfully did me good.
 Before commenting parts of his essay
'Virginibus Puerisque', etc. or thinking about current literary value of 'Treasure Island', I, hokuto77, quote the few short passages that I read as a high school student which made a deep lasting impression on me.

Begin quote.
 To explain in words takes time and a just and patient hearing; and in the critical epochs of close relation, patience and justice are not qualities on which we can rely. But the look or the gesture explains things in a breath; they tell their message without ambiguity;
    Notes by hokuto77:
      critical=of the nature of a crisis, involving risk or suspense     epoch=period markedby notable events
      close=near to the heart, intimate     quality=mental or moral attribute    in a breath=at a breath
unlike speech, they cannot stumble, by the way, on a reproach or an allusion that should steel your friend against the truth; and then they are direct expression of the heart, not yet transmitted through the unfaithful and sophisticating brain.     End quote.
                                   (From Virginibus Puerisque IV
Truth Of Intercourse)

stumble on=come on by chance     by the way=during journey(COD)
allusion=covert, implied, indirect, reference  steel(v)=harden         transmit=suffer to pass through
sophisticate=spoil the simplicity or purity or naturalness of

Comment by hokuto77:
 On my first reading, the infinitive phrase used as the sentence subject surprised me agreeably and
'to explain in words takes time' deeply impressed me. Till then I had drilled myself in the correct grasp of the function of a preparatory ‘it’, so I was used to a sentence with a formal subject in it.
 When young, people are often troubled by a misunderstanding among family members, or close friends, or team mates or their class mates and the like. They take pains to remove misunderstanding. The passage is worth reading and it'll be of great use to young people.
 Here is another reason that I was deeply impressed by it: the style is plain but each word has a heavy meaning. He did not often use polysyllable words.
The syntax is compact and strong enough to clearly and effectively convey to us what it means.

Begin quote.
 Falling in love is the one illogical adventure,the one thing of which we are tempted to think as supernatural, in our trite and reasonable world. The effect is out of all proportion with the cause. Two persons, neither of them, it may be, very amiable or very beautiful, meet, speak a little, look a little into each other's eyes. That has been done a dozen or so of times in the experience of either with no great result.
  Notes by hokut77:
      trite=commonplace, worn out     reasonable=exercising common sense and sane judgment (H.C.Wyld)
      effect=result, consequence        out of all proportion to=too great to correspond with    amiable=lovable
      a dozen or so of times i.e. many times

 But on this occasion all is different. They fall at once into that state in which another person becomes to us the very gist and center-point of God's creation, and demolishes our laborious theories with a smile; in which our ideas are so bound up with the one master-thought that even the trivial cares of our own person become so many acts of devotion, and the love of life itself is translated into a wish to remain in the same world with so precious and desirable a fellow creature.              End quote.               (From Virginibus Puerisque III On Falling in Love)
      gist=essence   be bound up with=having the sameinterests,as closelyconnected with       master=commanding, superior
     demolish=overthrow, crush to pieces (building, plan, argument or theoryor its author, opponent)
    trivial=of small value or importance        person=one's body or bodily presence
      life=animate existence, being alive        the one master-thought i.e. thinking of only the other person, or the lover

Comments by hokuto77:
  It is psychologically fit to the feelings of those who are in love with someone. Their states of minds are very carefully analysed. When I read this passage, I happened to be in love with a girl, which was sadly unrequited, I was deeply impressed by it. Repeated reading made me desire to read the whole of the Essay, but the opportunity had always been a long way from me.
 Even in your sixties, you can appreciate the Essay, to your hearts' content, often nodding your head in assent to Stevenson by your own experiences of falling in love. No matter how often we fall in love, we find what Stevenson says is always the case.
 Y. Okakura notes that Virginibus Puerisque is a Latin title, meaning 'For Girls and Boys'. As the title suggests, Stevenson wrote the Essay thoroughly for young people from beginning to end. Roughly speaking, it might be ascribed to the manners in which he was brought up at home. As a child, when he was taken ill in bed, his nurse Alison Cunningham read him Bible and various stories about people in Scotland, and it exerted effective influence over him and his desire for reading was greatly excited by it. At first I guessed that later, when he started writing, he might have thought it desirable to lead people to read and think and imagine when they were young and fresh. But the further study of his essays will tell me another strong reason for his zeal to write for young people. I will study it later.
 Here I consider a little more deliberately the literary value of "Virginibus Puerisque". Today, the reputation of "Virginibus  Puerisque" will be divided. Some readers will place high literary value on it, while others low. I think 'high or low' will depend on a reader's literary sensitivity.
 Stevenson set out to write the papers with a high ideal and a definite end.  We can see it clearly in the dedication of the book to his friend, William Ernest Henley. According to it, we get to know  though in a style of essay, he was trying to appeal what he thought valuable to young people.
 He desperately tried to believe what you feel or thinks true in youth to be stable and unchanging all through your life. As we read it on, we understand he did his best to maintain that his notions be right. But he was forced to admit that what he considered and believed could not escape what the times ever changing had brought about. I feel pity or sympathy to hear him say that 'a good part of the volume would answer to the long-projected title; but the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest.' Indeed some parts or some thoughts of it are quite out of date, but if people try to read him, even today, early in the 21st century, they will be touched or affected by his keen insight into human nature. And they will be persuaded to think over again how to live their own life and the result will urge them to lead a more fruitful life.
 Judging from his own expression, 'These papers are like milestones on the wayside of my life.' it naturally follows that he meant them to be also like milestones on his aspirations for literature. His attachment to
the papers is such that here and there we will find out the heart of his literature.
 His literary style is concise and plain, but each word has deep meaning. To understand them fully will take linguistic abilities of English. And
Okakura says that his arguments in the papers are witty and refined with savor of the un-worldliness of a Zen. In his 'Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics,' R.H.Blyth(1896-1964) says that in English literature we find expression of the Zen attitude towards life most consistently and purely in Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Dickens, and Stevenson.
 Far from being desultory essays, or random notes, or hack writings, his papers will be, if readers have literary sensitivity sufficiently, justly regarded as true essay on life and first-rate genuine literature.
 I quote, by way of suggestion, his dedication of the book to his friend, William Ernest Henley. It was written to him in 1881.

Begin quote.
 My dear William Ernest Henley, We are all busy in this world building Towers of Babel; "---" Thus I began to write these papers with a definite end: I was to be the Advocatus, not I hope Diaboli, but Juventutis;
      Towers of Babel=visionary plans(COD)   Advocatus(L)=advocate(Okakura)   AdvocatusDiaboli(L)=devil'sadvocate i.e.
   AdvocatusJuventutis(L)=youth's advocate(Okakura)     advocatus(L)=one called in to aid another,
          in legal cause, an advocate(Wyld)  
    diabolos(L)=a slanderer(Wyld)    juventus(L)=youth(Wyld) 
temperately=not violently
 or excessively
I was to state temperately the beliefs of youth as opposed to the contentions of age; to go over all the field where the two differ, and produce at last a little volume of special pleadings which I might call, without misnomer, Life at Twenty-five. But things kept changing and I shared in the change.
         contention=controversy age=latter part of life     go over=examine carefully in
every part
   pleading=formal statement of defense  special pleadings =new evidence
brought up in a law court
to opposeevidence offered by other side(Wyld).Here, Stevenson
used this meaning figuratively.
  misnomer=wrong use of term *"opposed to the contentions of age" is equivalent to 'evidence offered by'
The Tower of Babel
I clung hard to that entrancing age; but with the best will, no man can be twenty-five forever. The old, ruddy onvictions deserted me, and, along with them, the style that fits their presentation and defence. I saw, and indeed my friends informed me, that the game was up. A good part of the volume would answer to the long-projected title; but the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest."---". 
Notes by hokuto77:
     entrancing=charming, enchanting   ruddy=red, rosy    conviction=assured belief     *the game was up=the projecthas
    good=considerable(amount)    answer to=correspond to     prison-house=(fig.) prison,place of
   *the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest i.e. the rest part is enclosed by the fences of
 These papers are like milestones on the wayside of my life; and as I look back in memory, there is hardly a stage of that distance but I see you present with advice, reproof, or praise. Meanwhile, many things have changed, you and I among the rest: but I hope that our sympathy, founded on the love of our art, and nourished by mutual asistance, shall survive these little revolutions undiminished, and, with God's help, unite us to the end.      R.L.S.        End quote.
   wayside=side of road   a stage of that distance i.e. astopping-place at every mile   sympathy=agreement with another in
       tasted, opinions, aspirations
    revolution=complete change   art=literature  *hardly---but~=hardly---that---not~ i.e.
       almost every-- ~
  *there is hardly a stage of that distance but I see you---= At almost every stage of that distance I see you~

To Contents

On Marriage 1

 A little survey of his arguments in Virginibus Puerisque I, and it will do well as an introductory guide to reading the essay, Virginibus Puerisque I. Stevenson says, "The fact is, we are much more afraid of life than our ancestors, and cannot find it in our hearts either to marry or not to marry. Marriage is terrifying, but so is a cold and forlorn old age." He says that there are some big disadvantages to marriage, though you have real advantages in your married life. Rough as it sounds, I will show you fifteen arguments on getting married life by Stevenson.
 (1) According to him, marriage gives us a sort of stability in life, though friendship with men is very uncertain.

Begin quote.
 The friendship of men is vastly agreeable, but they are insecure. "---" And a man who had a few friends, or one who has a dozen (if there be any one so wealthy on this earth), cannot forget on how precarious a base his happiness reposes; and how by a stroke or two of fatea death, a few light words, a piece of stamped paper, a woman's bright eyeshe may be left, in a month, destitute of all.
  Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     precarious=uncertain      repose on=be supported or based on       stroke=blow, shock given by blow
     light=not important or profound, trivial    a piece of stamped paper  i.e. a  document   a woman's bright eyes  i.e. awoman's
       eyes that is lit up with love
love affairs with a woman    destitute of=devoid of

 Marriage is certainly a perilous remedy. Instead of on two or three, you stake your happiness on one life only. "---" and you have not to fear so many contingencies; it is not every wind that can blow you from your anchorage; and so long as Death withholds his sickles, you will always have a friend at home.    End quote.
    perilous=risky   stake on =risk as a bet   contingency=uncertainty of occurrence  your anchorage  i.e. married life with
      your wife   
sickle=hook used for reaping cornby hand   *so long as Death withholds his sickles  i.e. while you two are alive

(2)Stevenson says that to have a long marriage, we have to compromise with the other by knowing each other well. Besides making compromises, wisdom and patience are inevitable, that two different lives can be one.

Begin quote.
  People who share a cell in Bastile, or are thrown together on an uninhabited isle, if they do not immediately fall to fisticuffs, will find some possible ground of compromise.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    cell=small room for one in prison   the Bastille=ancient state prison in Paris, taken and destroyed by the mob inthe Revolution,
       July 14,1789.(Wyld)
    fisticuffs=fighting with the fists      fall to=begin    ground=foundation, motive

They will learn each other's ways and humours, so as to know where they must go warily, and where they may lean their whole weight. The discretion of the first years becomes the settled habit of the last; and so, with wisdom and patience, two lives may grow indissolubly into one.   End quote.
     way=custom, manner of behaving, personal peculiarity     humour=inclination   warily=cautiously
    lean their whole weight i.e. behave without reserve and as freely as they please  discretion=liberty of deciding as one thinks fit,
       absolutely or within limits
     *the first years (of marriage) becomes---      indissolubly=firmly and lastingly

 (3)Stevenson says, in keeping married life, a man, whether great or small, becomes ordinary and lives an uneventful life.

Begin quote.
  But marriage, if comfortable, is not at all heroic. "---"  In marriage, a man
become slack and selfish, and undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being. The air of the fireside withers out all the fine wildings of the husband heart.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    slack=relaxed, loose, inactive    undergo=be subject to, suffer      degeneration=becomingdegenerate
     (degenerate)=having lost good qualities proper to the kind      fatty degeneration=with morbid deposition of fat (POD) (morbid
    =unwholesome, sickly)      deposition<deposit)        being=constitution, nature
     *undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being i.e. his morality grows weak   wilding=wild plant i.e. quality of being wild

He is so comfortable and happy that he begins to prefer comfort and happiness to everything else on earth, his wife included. Yesterday he would have shared his last shilling; today "his first duty is to his family,"  "---" Twenty years ago this man was equally capable of crime or heroism; now he is fit for neither. "---" It is not for nothing that Don Quixote was a bachelor and Marcus Aurelius married ill. "---".          End quote.
   *his wife included i.e. his wife is included in everything else on earth       for nothing=without any reason (Wyld), to no
(married) ill=with unfortunate results (note by
 (4)Stevenson says that a woman gets some direct profit by getting married, whether ill or well.

Begin quote.
 Marriage is so much use to a woman, opens out to her so much more of life, and puts her in the way of so much more freedom and usefulness, that, whether she marry ill or well, she can hardly miss some benefit. It is true, however, that* some of the merriest and most genuine of women are old maids, and wives who are unhappily married, have often most of the true motherly touch. And this would seem to show, even for women, some narrowing influence in comfortable married life. But the rule is none the less certain: if you wish the pick of men and women, take a good bachelor and a good wife.   End quote.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     puts her in the way of --- i.e. lets her gain ---  touch=characteristic mode of behavior (Wyld), trait
    motherly touch  i.e. touch of the mother   narrow(v)=diminish, lessen, contract
    narrowing influence i.e. influencethat makes --- narrow  none the less=nevertheless  the pick of~ =the best among~ (POD)
    *The underlined part is probably based on lives with Stevenson’s beloved nursemaid.

 (5)Stevenson says that falling in love is not the reason for getting married, and that happy couples have never had strong emotion in love or in hatred. According to him, their desire for marriage is of the same low level as that for choosing fruit at dessert.

Begin quote.
 I am so often filled with wonder that so many marriges are passably successful, and so few come to open failure, the more so as I fail to understand the principle on which people regulate their choice. I see women marrying indiscriminately with staring burgesses and ferret-faced, white-eyed boys, and men dwell in contentment with noisy scullions, or taking into their lives acidulous vestals.
  Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     *wonder that ---  [apposition]    *the more so   i.e. the more I am filled with wonder that ---
     regulate=moderate   indiscriminately=at random  staring burgess=an inhabitant of a town with the
     e yes wide open and glaringi.e. a man who has money but has no talent or knowledge
      ferret-faced, white-eyed boy=white-eyed young man with a face like that of a ferret   i.e. thoughtless
      young man  scullion=washer of dishes and pots    acidulous=somewhat acid    vestal=woman who
      devotes her life to religion, nun   acidulous vestal i.e. a woman who is lacking in human kindness
      *take -- into one's life i.e. marry –-

It is a common answer to say the good people marry because they fall in love; and of course you may use or misuse a word as much as you please, if you have the world along with you. But love is at least a somewhat hyperbolical expression for such lukewarm preference. It is not here, anyway, that Love employs his golden shafts; he cannot be said, with any fitness of language, to reign here and revel. Indeed, if this be love at all, it is plain the poets have been fooling with mankind since the foundation of the world.
    *you have the world along with you   i.e. people agree with you      hyperbolical=rhetorically or poetically exaggerated(Wyld)
     lukewarm=not zealous, neither hot nor cold    shaft=(poet.) an arrow, a spear      reign=rule as sovereign
     revel=make merry, engage in merrymaking

And you have only to look these happy couples in the face, to see they have never been in love, or in hate, or in any other high passion all their days. When you see a dish of fruit at dessert, you sometimes set your affections upon one particular peach or nectarine, watch it with some anxiety as it comes round the table, and feel a quite sensible disappointment when it is taken by someone else. I have used the phrase "high passion."  Well, I should say this was about as high a passion as generally leads to marriage.  End quote.
     sensible=great enough to be perceived, distinct  high passion=strong emotion( not by Okakura)
 (6)Steveson says that very passionate love for each other is not suitable for married life.

Begin quote.
 To deal plainly, if they only married when they fell in love, most people would die unwed; and among the others, there would be not a few tumultuous households. The Lion is the king of Beasts, but he is scarcely suitable for a domestic pet. In the same way, I suspect love is rather too violent a passion to make, in all cases, a good domestic sentiment.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     to deal plainly i.e. if we treat the matter clearly and easily  e.g. to tell the truth to be frank with you
     unwed<unwedded=unmarried, single      tumultuous=uproarious, noisy   tumultuous households i.e. quarrels between
      husband and wife 
   make=become     sentiment=a mental feeling, the sum of what one feels on some subject

Like other violent excitements, it throws up not only what is best, but what is worst and smallest, in men's characters. Just as some people malicious in drink, or brawling and virulent under the influence of religious feeling, some are moody, jealous, and exacting when they are in love, who are honest, downright, good-hearted fellows enough in the everyday affairs and humours of the world.     End quote.
    throw up=vomit, eject from the stomach  brawl=engage in noisy quarrel  virulent=feeling or showing intense ill-will,filled with
     moody=gloomy, sullen     exacting=severe    downright=frank, honest   affairs=ordinary pursuits of life
   humours=faculty of perceiving comicality

 (7)Stevenson shows us a quotation of a good example of 'recommendations of a bride-to-be,' which he says is very agreeably comical. Sure it is.

Begin quote.
  I cannot help fancying most people make, ere they marry, some such table of recommendations as Hannah Godwin wrote to her brother William anent her friend, Miss Gay. It is so charmingly comical, and so pat to the occasion, that I must quote a few phrases.
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    fancy(v)=imagine, conceive     ere=before     anent=about, concerning    pat=fit, opportune
  "The young lady is in every sense formed to make one of your disposition really happy. She has a pleasing voice, with which she accompanies her musical instrument with judgement. She has an easy politeness in her manners, neither free nor reserved. She is a good housekeeper and a good economist, and yet of a generous disposition.
  judgment=good sense         accompany=(mus.)support by performing subsidiary part
  easy=not stiff or ceremonious     economist=thrifty person

As to her internal accomplishments, I have reason to speak still more highly of them: good sense without vanity, a penetrating judgement without a disposition to satire, with about as much religion as my William likes, struck me with a wish that she was my William's wife."
 accomplishments=acquired knowledge, arts, and graces(Wyld)    highly=favourably, with esteem or honour
*speak highly of i.e. praise     vanity=unreality/conceit       penetrating=acute, keen

 That is about the tune: pleasing voice, moderate good looks, unimpeachable internal accomplishments after the style of the copy-book, with about as much religion as my William likes; and then, with all speed, to church.     End quote.

     about=nearly     tune=air, melody, with or without harmony    unimpeachable=not liable to be doubted, blameless
after=according to    copy-book=one containing copies forlearners to imitate cf. copy-book morality : of commonplace kind,
     like the sentences in copy-book

 (8)Stevenson advises that it be better to choose the other from a dispassionate point of view and, what’s more, he says there must be some guiding principle of marriage.

Begin quote.
 How then, seeing we are driven to the hypothesis that people choose in comparatively cold blood, how is it they choose so well?  One is almost tempted to hint that it does not much matter whom you marry; that, in fact, marriage is a subjective affection, and if you have made up your mind to it, and once you talked yourself fairly over, you could "pull it through" with anybody.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    hypothesis=supposition made as basis for reasoning &.c        cold-blooded=lackingpassion, enthusiasm, sensibility(Wyld)
talk---over=persuade---by talking      pull--through=get oneself safely through(danger, illness, etc.)

"---" even if we regard it(=matrimony) as no more than a sort of friendship recognized by the police, there must be degrees in the freedom and sympathy realized, and some principle to guide simple folk in their selection. Now what should this principle be? "---" and in all this most critical matter, has common sense, has wisdom, never a word to say? In the absence of more magisterial teaching, let us talk it over between friends: even a few guess may be of interest to youths and maidens."---".     End quote.
 freedom=frankness, excessive familiarity    sympathy=conformity of temperament, spiritual harmony, and understanding
realize=be fully conscious of        critical=decisive for good or ill    magisterial=having or showing power or authority;
     showing great knowledgeor understanding(OALD),
weighty, of moment, authoritative( Wyld)

 (9)Stevenson kindly describes some details of things with which to start married life.

Begin quote:
 In all that concerns eating and drinking, company, climate, and ways of life, community of taste is to be sought for.  It would be trying, for instance, to keep
bed and board with an early riser or a vegetarian. In matters of art and intellect, I believe it is of no consequence."---".  End quote.
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
   community=fellowship(COD),common possession or enjoyment (Wyld)
   trying=exhausting, endurable only with difficulty(POD), painful (Wyld)   consequence=importance

(10)Stevenson maintains that the agreement on basics like religion, education, and etc between man and wife will be indispensable for their marriage to hold good.

Begin quote.
 We had each of us some whimsy in the brain, which we believed more than anything
else, and which discoloured all experience to its own shade. How would you have people agree, when one is deaf and the other blind? Now this is where there should be community between man and wife.
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    whimsy=capricious idea, whim   discolour=change or spoil the colour of    shade=reproduction of shade or shadowing painting
     or drawing, by more sombre less vivid colour, or by darkening or blackening
which discoloured all experience to its own shadeThe phrase comes from the image of 'painting'. It means some whimsy in the
      brain makes all experience harmonious with itself.
   to its own shade  to=so as to be in harmony with (Y.Okakura)
it=whimsy    community=possession of a common character or nature (Wyld)

They should be agreed on their catchword in "facts of religion," or "facts of science," or "society, my dear"; for without such an agreement all intercourse is a painful strain upon the mind. "About as much religion as my William likes," in short, that is what is necessary to make a happy couple of any William and his spouse.
 catchword=word so placed as to draw attention    make A of B  i.e. B is made into A
    *"society, my dear" The phrase is an addressing expression in conversation betweenhusband and wife, who aretalking about
      'society.' ‘society’ is notmy dear. ‘my dear’ is the concerning husband or
wife.   spouse=husband or wife

For there are differences which no habit nor affection can reconcile, and the Bohemian must not intermarry with the Pharisee. The best of men and the best of women may sometimes live together all their lives, and, for want of some consent on fundamental questions, hold each other lost spirits to the end.    End quote.
    reconcile=harmonize      intermarry=become connected by marriage (with other tribes &c.)
(11) Stevenson says that 'fresh mind' is especially a very valuable contribution to happy marriage. Knowledge of politics or other sober things is unnecessary. He explains in detail conditions that are needed for wife to keep marriage well.

They go as given below.
          1. talent for and about life:
                niceties of the heart and faculty for willing compromise

                  *[niceties =trivial point, small detail]
          2. talented as a woman:
                a fine touch for the affections and a good gossip
          3. a fresh and unsophisticated mind
unsophisticated=simple-minded, innocent; pure (Wyld)

Begin quote:
 A certain sort of talent is almost indispensable for people who would spend years together and not bore themselves to death. But the talent, like the agreement, must be for and about life. To dwell happily together, they should be versed in the niceties of the heart, and born with a faculty for willing compromise.

 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    must be for and about life  *for life=all one's life    *about life=around life   be versed in=be skilled in, be proficient in
  niceties=minutiae(COD)=trivial point, small detail     willing=cheerfully ready
The woman must be talented as a woman, and it will not much matter although she is talented in nothing
else. She must know her metier de femme and have a fine touch for the affections. And it is more important that a person should be a good gossip, and talk pleasantly and smartly of common friends and the thousand and one nothings of the day and hour, than that she should speak with the tongues of men and angels; for a while together by the fire, happens more frequently in marriage than the presence of a distinguished foreigner to dinner.
 metier de femme=mission of female     affections=emotions, feelings of a fine touch for the affections i.e. knowledge of niceties of
     feelings (between husband and wife)    
gossip=idle talker, newsmonger, tattler, esp. of women(COD) 
thousand and one=myriad, numberless(COD), too many to specify (POD)     nothing=trifle, very inferior thing
the tongues of men and angels   i.e. formal, pompous
expressions     distinguished=eminent, famous, of high standing
That people should laugh over the same sort of jests, and have many a story of
"grouse in the gun-room," many an old joke between them which time cannot wither nor custom stale, is a better preparation for life, by your leave, than many other things higher and better sounding in the world's ears.
  *That people---stale, is a better preparation = It is a better preparation thatpeople---stale   jest=joke grouse in the gun-room
grouse  i.e. a game-bird   *gun-room=room in private house in which guns and sporting tackle are kept i.e. a story that the
     master of the house often tells guests
proudly time cannot wither nor custom [can] stale (Her infinite variety) [quoted from ‘Antony
Cleopatra’,II,ii,243]      wither=deprive of freshness    stale =make -- lacking novelty, make -- not freshor common;
     make --- uninteresting(C.T. Onions)
    leave=permission       *By your leave means 'apology, often iron. for taking liberty'

You could read Kant by yourself, if you wanted; but you must share a joke with some one else. You can forgive people who do not follow you through a philosophical disquisition; but to find your wife laughing when you had tears in your eyes, or staring when you were in a fit of laughter, would go some way towards a dissolution of the marriage.
   by yourself=alone   disquisition=long or elaborate treatise or discourse on subject (COD)   dissolution=(fig.)the undoing of a
   dissolution of the marriage=the act of officially ending the marriage (OALD)

I know a woman who, from some distaste or disability, could never so much as understand the meaning of the word politics, and has given up trying to distinguish Whigs from Tories;
 distaste=dislike      never so much as--=not even--   Whig=Member of the political party that, after the Revolution of 1688,
     amid at subordinating the power of the crown to that of Parliament and the
upper classes, passed the Reform Bill, and in the 19th
     century was succeeded by the Liberals. (COD)
   The word expresses the antithesis of everything expressed by Tory. (Wyld)
   Tory=Member of the party that opposed the exclusion of Duke of York (James II), inclined to the Stuarts after 1689,accepted
    George III and the established order in Church and State, opposed
Reform Bill of 1832, and has been succeeded by Conservative
    party. (COD)

but take her on her own politics, ask her about other men or women and the chicanery of everyday existencethe rubs, the tricks, the vanities on which life turnsand you will not find many more shrewd, trenchant, and humorous.
  take her on her own politics i.e. let her be engaged in her own politics    *take her on --- and ask her about ---, and you will not
     find ---
= if you take her on ---, you will not find ---    *you will not find many (who are) more --- (than her)   chicanery=legal
     trickery, underhand dealing     
rub=difficulty   trenchant=severe, fierce  *---and humorous (than her)

Nay, to make plainer what I have in mind, this same woman has a share of the higher and more poetical understanding, frank interest in things for their own sake, and enduring astonishment at the most common. She is not to be deceived by custom, or made to think a mystery solved when it is repeated."---".
   plain=clear     enduring=lasting, permanent    *she is not to be deceived=she cannot be deceived
    *it is repeatedit=the mystery

Now in a world where most of us walk very contentedly in the little lit circle of their own reason, and have to be reminded of what lies without by specious and clamant exceptionsearthquakes, eruptions of Vesuvius, banjos floating in mid-air at a seance, and the likea mind so fresh and unsophisticated is no despicable gift. I will own I think it a better sort of mind than goes necessarily with the clearest views on public business.
 *in a world---a mind so fresh---is no despicable gift.   *little lit circle lit<light   reason=the intellectual faculty by which
    conclusions are drawn from premises
   *without i.e. beyond the little lit circle        specious=fair or right on the surface,
    clamant=noisy, insistent   and the like=etcetera(etc), and so on  séance[ˈseɪɒns]=meeting of spiritualists
   despicable=worthy of being despised; mean     gift=talent or faculty miraculously bestowed    own(v)=admit as true

It will wash. It will find something to say at an odd moment. It has in it the spring of pleasant and quaint fancies. Whereas I can imagine myself yawning all night long until my jaws ached and the tears came into my eyes, although my companion on the other side of the hearth held the most enlightened opinions on the franchise or the ballot.   End quote.
 go with--=agree, be in accordance with wash=(of clothes, cloth etc) stand washing without damage
   odd=additonal, casual, unconnected   *odd moments=spare time   quaint=odd, eccentric
   whereas=when on the other hand, while [used in contrasting two statement]  hearth=floor of fireplace
enlightened=instructed, informed    franchise=right of voting at public elections esp. for member of Parliament
suffrage ballot=act of voting secretly, by whatever method, for a candidate, esp. for election to Parliament, or to any post filled by
     votes of electors

To Contents

   On Marriage 2 (advice about marraige)

(12) Stevenson mentions the names of desirable professions in married life and goes into detail about them. Read from contemporary point of view, their explanations are very interesting and they show clearly the characteristics of each profession. It's clear that he had no prejudice about professions and that he thought all of them to be honorable, not an object of joke or despise at all.

Begin quote.                            [Numbering and coloring dark blue made by hokuto77]
 The question of professions, in as far as they regard marriage, was only interesting to women until of 1ate days, but it touches all of us now.  Certainly, if I could help it, I would never marry a wife who wrote. The practice of  letters is miserably harassing to the mind and after an hour or two's work, all the more human portion of the author is extinct; he will bully, backbite, and speak daggers.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    in as far as--=to the extent to which--  regard=(of things)concern, have relation to   touch=have to do with, deal with, affect
help=prevent, avoid       harassing=troubling, worrying    human=of man as opposite to God      portion=part, share
bully=treat cruelly, tease physically or morally     backbite=speak ill of when absent       speak daggers=speak bitterly so as
      to wound

Music, I hear, is not much better. But painting, on the contrary, is often highly sedative; because so much of the labour, after your picture is once begun, is almost entirely manual, and of that skilled sort of manual labour which offers a continual series of successes, and so tickles a man, through his vanity, into good humour.
 sedative=tending to soothe  tickle=amuse, cause laughter
   vanity=empty pride, conceit, based on personal attainments or attractions or qualities
  Alas! in
④letters there is nothing of this sort. You may write as beautiful a hand as you will, you have always something else to think of, and cannot pause to notice your loops and flourishes; they are beside the mark, and the first law stationer could put you to the blush. "---".    End quote.
   loop=figure made by a curvethat crosses itself (e.g. the top of a written l)   flourishes=ornamental curved lines in handwriting
beside the mark(=wide of the mark)  i.e. off the point, astray (POD)    law-stationer=one who sells stationery needed by
     lawyers and taking in legal documents to be
engrossed (by Okakura)    *engross=write in large letters; express in legal form
   *stationer=one who sells writing materials etc. (COD)  *the first law stationer could put --- i.e. the first
law stationer could write
      so well as to put---       
blush=reddening of face in shame etc.   put---to the blush=cause---blush from shame &c.

(13)Stevenson comments about highly hoped-for dispositions which are to be desired of a marriage partner. He thinks it depends on them whether man and wife get on well together.

Begin quote.
Those who have a few intimates are to be avoided; while those who swim loose, who have their hat in their hand all along the street, and who can number an infinity of acquaintances and are not chargeable with any one friend, promise an easy disposition and no rival to the wife's influence.
 I will not say they are the best of men, but they are the stuff out of which adroit and capable women manufacture the best of husbands.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
   intimate=familiar friend      swim loose=try to be on good terms with everybody (Okakura)   an infinity of=a boundless number of
   chargeable with--=liable to be accused of by--   easy=frank, affable (Wyld) / easy-going, relaxed
no rival to the wife's influence i.e. will easily be under the influence of his wife   stuff=that from which anything, material or
     non-material, is
constructed or made     adroit=skilful and clever, especially in dealing with people

 It is to be noticed that those who have loved once or twice already are so much the
better educated to a woman's hand;
the bright boy of fiction is an odd and most
uncomfortable mixture of shyness and coarseness, and needs a deal of civilizing.                                                                                            End quote.

   *to a woman's hand=ready for a woman's purpose (POD)=ready for a woman without exertion on a woman's own part (COD)
   *the bright boy of fiction i.e. a young man like a lover in a fiction who is quick-witted      a deal of=a great deal of  i.e. a large
     amount of
   coarseness=not being refine or delicate     civilize=improve the morals or manners of, impart social arts and
     graces to (Wyld)
  *need --- civilizing=need to be civilized---

(14)As Stevenson says that 'at least they will do no harm, for nobody will follow my advice', he wrote as freely as he liked, without any reservation. Thanks to it, reading the essay will surely do our heart good. You must take it into consideration that in his days, like at the beginning of the21st century, no one insisted smoking damage the health and sometimes cause lung cancer. He may argue that to live with a person who is always stern, not relaxed, places a terrible strain on the mind. In fact such a person is hard to please.

Begin quote.
 Lastly (and this is, perhaps, the golden rule), no woman should marry a teetotaller, or a man who does not smoke. It is not for nothing that this "ignoble tabagie," as Michelet calls it, spreads over all the world. Michelet rails against it because it renders you happy apart from thought or work; to provident women this will seem no evi influence in married life.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    teetotaller=total abstainer(one who drinks no alcohol)   not for nothing=to some purpose
     ignoble=mean, base   tabagie=tobaccos   *Michelet(1795~1874) was a famous historian in France. 
rail against=blame bitterly and violently     render=make     provident=looking ahead

Whatever keeps a man in the front garden, whatever check wandering fancy and all inordinate ambition, whatever makes for lounging and contentment, makes just so surely for domestic happiness. These notes, if they amuse the reader at all, will probably amuse him more when he differs than when he agrees with them; at least they will do no harm, for nobody will follow my advice.   End quote.
   inordinate=excessive      make for=contribute to, lead to  lounging<lounge=spend one's time idly and lazily
(15)Stevenson offers readers his final advice on marriage. He uses an appropriate metaphor of ‘sailing a ship’. It is powerfully clear and to the point. To use it, marriage is not a paradise in life, or comfortable shelter from hardships of life.

Begin quote.
 But the last word is of more concern. Marriage is a step so grave and decisive that it attracts light-headed, variable men by its very awfulness.
   Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    concern=matter that affects one/importance  (by Okakura)    grave=important/serious
    light-headed=thoughtless     variable=not constant or steady  *its  i.e. of marriage

They have been so tried among the inconstant squalls and currents, so often sailed for islands in the air or lain becalmed with burning heart, that they will risk all for solid ground below their feet.   End quote.
    try=test  squall=sudden violent storm of wind esp. at sea and with rain &c.   in the air= in the wind i.e. before the wind/in a
     defenseless state      
sailed for islands  i.e. court women   be calmed=(of a ship) deprived of wind and unable to make progress
     by   *
burning=intense   *heart=affection, love   *sailing lain becalmed with burning heart i.e. he cannot get across a
   passionate love for a woman i.e. his passionate love for a woman has not been understood    risk=venture, hazard
   for solid ground below their feet i.e. for a stable marriage life

Begin quote.
 Desperate pilots, they run their sea-sick, weary bark upon the dashing rocks. It seems as if marriage were the royal road through life, and realized, on the instant, what we have all dreamed on summer Sundays when the bells ring, or at night when we cannot sleep for the desire of living.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    desperate=reckless from despair/staking all on a small chance   weary=tired    bark=any ship or boat    dashing rock  i.e. rock
    which will destroy a ship if she collides with it
   *the dashing rocks i.e. marriage      run -- =drive -- ,make -- run
    royal road=splendid, first-rate road   cf. no royal road to—      realize=cause--to become real/give reality to
   on the instant=at once(POD)/at first (by Okakura)     on summer Sundays when the bells ring  i.e. when we get married

They think it will sober and change them. Like those who join a brotherhood, they fancy it needs but an act to be out of the coil and clamour for ever.   End quote.
  They think it  *it=marriage    sober(v)=make--moderate, sane  brotherhood=association for mutual help etc.(COD) 
but=only just, not more than     coil (archaic)=tumult, confusion, bustle   clamour=shouting, confused noise
to be out of the coil and clamour i.e. to live in peace  They fancy it needs    *it=to be out of the coil---

Begin quote.
 But this is a wile of the devil's. To the end, spring winds will sow disquietude, passing faces leave a regret behind them, and the whole world keep calling and calling in their ears. For marriage is like life in thisthat it is a field of battle, and not a bed of roses.    End quote.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
   wile=trick     disquietude=the state of disquiet, restless  *a regret  i.e. an expression of grief, sorrow
   leave---behind=leave---as consequence or trace (COD)    bed of roses=pleasant easy condition( by Okakura)
call=utter words in such a tone as to attract attention and with deliberate purpose of so doing (Wyld)
the whole world keep calling and calling in their ears  i.e. the whole world continue to give warning and call for serious reflection.

To Contents

Hope, Faith, and Love in married life

 Now I will quote some passages from Virginibus Puerisque. Naturally they are mainly about marriage and its life. Arguments are mostly from man's side, which must be considered as reflecting the trend of the world in the nineteenth century. They are full of witty remarks. In the last part he thinks about the differences of Hope and Faith. The contrasts are interesting, when read from its philosophical and psychological points of view.
  The following quotation is about the role of '
hope' in life.

1. Hope, they say, deserts us at no period of our existence. From first to last, and in the face of smarting disillusions, we continue to expect good fortune, better health, and better conduct; and that so confidently, that we judge it needless to deserve them.
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    desert=abandon, forsake      in the face of=despite, in spite of  smarting=of mental sharp pain   deserve=be entitled to, by
     conduct or qualities
   *we judge it needless to deserve them. i.e. we believe that we are worthy of them.
The impression by hokuto77:

It is by constantly entertaining hopes for something that we can continue to live. The idea that hope won't desert us is worthy of deep thinking and quite helfful in itself.
The following is about what boyhood means to us. It corresponds to 'the introduction' of the dedication to his dear friend,
William Ernest Henley.

2. And our boyhood ceasedwell when?not, I think, at twenty; nor, perhaps, altogether at twenty-five; not yet at thirty; and possibly, to be quite frank, we are still in the thick of that arcadian period. For as the race of man, after centuries of civilization, still keeps some traits of their barbarian fathers, so man the individual is not altogether quit of youth, when he is already old and honoured, and Lord Chancellor of England.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    arcadian= simple, innocent, rural     trait=characteristic feature    father=forefather     *as--,so~
    Lord Chancellor=highest judge, head of legal profession,& member of government (POD)

The impression by hokuto77:

Natsume-Soseki (1867-1916) says that human life consists of the continuity of man's consciousness. Man cannot change into another being or another stage of life without continuing to bear some parts of what he was. What he used to be or what he attained in his earlier days affect his way of thinking, or life style.

3. We advance in years somewhat in the manner of an invading army in a barren land; the age that we have reached, as the phrase goes, we but hold with an outpost, and still keep open our communications with the extreme rear and first beginnings of the march. There is our true base; that is not only the beginning, but the perennial spring of our faculties; and grandfather William can retire upon occasion into the green enchanted forest of boyhood.
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     somewhat=in some degree      manner=way a thing is done or happens    barren land=land incapable of bearing fruit, or
   outpost=one of the series of posts or stations set out at a distance in front of a main body of troops to observe
      the enemy and prevent surprise (Wyld)
   perennial=flowing through all seasons of the year    upon occasion=whenever need
      arises; now and
then     enchanted=bewitched

The impression by hokuto77:

It is self-evident that the education given in boyhood is very important to the healthy growth of man. But here in the above passage it is noteworthy that
Stevenson highly value the boyhood as a whole. He thinks it the very starting point of everything in man's life. As he writes "grandfather William can retire upon occasion into the green enchanted forest of boyhood.", so in everything we fall back upon what we learned in our boyhood when we retire from public life.
  Here I think about two expressions: one is by
Stevenson himself and the other Shakespeare.
I quote from Hamlet Act, Scene 2.  It goes:
        Hamlet: Hark you, Guildenstern, and you too:
         at each ear a hearer: that great baby you
         see there is not yet out of his swathing-clouts.
Rosencrantz: Happily he’s the second time come to
        them; for they say an old man is twice a child.

  Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    hark=listen   *you too;  you=Rosencrantz  *at each ear a hearer i.e. be a hearer at each ear=listen to me with both your
   that great baby  i.e. Polonius   swathing-clouts=swaddling-clothes (=strips of cloth used in the past for wrapping a
      baby tightly)    
 Happily=perhaps *he’s come to them the second time; cf. (for) the first time
    come to them   *them=swathing-clouts      for=because

 The expression "they say an old man is twice a child." is the most famous of the similar phrases. The meaning is not so complicated, or rather very simple.
 Of the two expressions, in metaphor and depth of meaning,
Stevenson's "retire upon occasion into the green enchanted forest of boyhood" is by far the more effective than Shakespeare's "an old man is twice a child", though it has been much more well-known to common people. So I dare to say there's a complete difference between the above two expressions.
  The followings are about marriage life. These passages are full of witty remarks. But some are old, and some are up-to-date.

4. Times are changed with him who marries; there are no more by-path meadows, where you may innocently linger, but the road lies long and straight and dusty to the grave. Idleness which is often becoming and even wise in the bachelor, begins to wear a different aspect when you have a wife to support. Suppose, after you are married, one of those little slips were to befall you. What happened last November might surely happen February next. They may have annoyed you at the time, because they were not what you had meant; how will they annoy you in the future, and how will they shake the fabric of your wife's confidence and peace!
Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    *no more--but~ cf. not--but~        becoming=suitable, appropriate, be fitting
  slip=accidental piece of misconduct        suppose=if         fabric=system (Wyld)

The impression by hokuto 77:

The outset shows you that a marriage life is very dreary and hopeless routine. I advise you to make up your mind to bear with it. The same kind of misconduct as you have when you are single will bring about more serious problems in married life. It must be well recognized.

5. And goodness in marriage is a more intricate problem than mere single virtue; for in marriage there are two ideals to be realized. A girl, it is true, has always lived in a glass house among reproving relatives, whose word was law;
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
   goodness=virtue, worth     intricate=involved, complicated   problem=difficulty: a situation that causes difficulties (Longman)
*in a glass house i.e. always in a uneasy, fearful situation    reproving=expressing criticism of something that someone has done

she has been bred up to sacrifice her judgments and take the key submissively from dear papa; and it is wonderful how swiftly she can change her tune into the husband's. Her morality has been, too often, an affair of precept and conformity.
 sacrifice=give up     word=command, order    key=key-note=the leading idea of a course of action; the prevailing tone of thought
    or feeling (OED)     
take the key from--- i.e. be in harmony with---     morality=principles concerning right and wrong behavior;
     moral judgments
   precept=an instruction, direction, or rule for action or conduct (OED)  conformity=compliance, agreement

 But in the case of a bachelor who has enjoyed some measure both of privacy and freedom, his moral judgments have been passed in some accordance with his nature. His sins were always sins in his own sight; he could then only sin when he did some act against his clear conviction; the light that he walked by was obscure, but it was single.
   some measure=some degree (=partly)    some=such to a certain extent   nature=somebody's character    sight=(of mental
      vision) point of view, judgment, estimation
    conviction=settled opinion, assured belief

Now when two people of any grit and spirit put their fortunes into one, there succeeds to this comparative certainty a huge welter competing jurisdictions. It no longer matters so much how life appears to one; one must consult another: one, who may be strong, must not offend the other, who is weak.
 grit=courage and determination; guts(Longman)      spirit=courage, determination or energy  fortune=the good or bad things that
     happen in life    
*this comparative certainty i.e. his own moral judgments without being disturbed by others       welter=confusion
   jurisdictions=right of exercising authority    *the other, who is weak i.e. his wife

The impression by hokuto77:

How lamentable, pitiable and regrettable! According to Stevenson girls were brought up, for many and many a century, as morally subordinate not equal beings to boys. The passage presents to us suitable materials with which to think of deeply rooted sex discrimination.
  The manners girls have been unfairly treated in moral principles is admirablyexpressed in brief description and we see that the ways were adopted for them to play their roles successfully. It hints strongly that those traditional one-sided gender roles might not have led to gender issues until the mid-1900s.
 My hypothesis is that a girl’s quickness, at which
Stevenson wondered, to adjust herself to her husband, that is, a new situation, has played, since the dawn of history, an active role in maintaining human society. I’m convinced that men, led by women, have made a cooperative effort to adapt their families to various changes in environment, politics, culture and etc.
When we know a boy was quite differently bred up from a girl, we can’t help but recognize the difficulties with which man tried to live in harmony with wife under a roof, his morality being his nature. I’m afraid, though today both equally bred up and educated, man resorts to violence against wife, somewhat out of tune with her, which was triggered by the failure to change their tunes into each other’s.
 Thanks to
Stevenson, we’ve learned that to live happily and peacefully a married couple, young or middle-aged or elderly, has to make every effort to be always in tune with each other. It’s not until then that we can stop our marriages from ending in divorce. Please allow me a bit of digression:to praise and appreciate the existence of your spouse is the key to the success of marriage.

6. But it is the object of a liberal education not only to obscure the knowledge of one sex by another, but to magnify the natural differences between the two. Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords; and the little rift between the sexes is astonishingly widened by simply teaching one set of catchwords to the girls and another to the boys.
   Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    natural differences=differences that a person was born with      man=a human being   catchword=a word of phrase so placed or
      printed as to attract attention; spec. the last word in an
actor's speech, serving as a guide to the next speaker; a cue
cue=a hint or guiding suggestion how to act, etc] (OED)      rift=a serious disagreement between people that stops their
      relationship from continuing

To the first, there is shown but a very small field of experience, and taught a very trenchant principle for judgment and action.; to the other, the world of life is more largely displayed, and their rule of conduct is proportionally widened.
 *the first=the girls      trenchant=sharp-pointed (OED)(here esp. very narrow)
    *the other=the boys     proportionally=comparatively

They are taught to follow different virtues, to hate different vices, to place their ideal, even for each other, in different achievements. What should be the result of such a course?  When a horse has run away, and the two flustered people in the gig have each possessed themselves of a rein, we know the end of that conveyance will be in the ditch.
 *different virtues (from the girls)      gig=a light, high,two-wheeled carriage, drawn by one horse
    run away=depart hurriedly       flustered=nervously agitated(=disturbed)     conveyance=transportation

The impression by hokuto77:

On first reading, we strongly oppose the content of the outset, thinking that it’s completely out-of-date, since ours is an age to promote gender equality. His chief aim is to criticize what is called a then liberal education. And later, to my relief, he criticizes the sexually discriminatory education.
 By the way, as you all know, the line, “
Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords;” is quoted from the Bible-Matthew IV:4 .....It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 Judging from the context and the original passage of the Bible, ‘catchwords’ may be, in his mind, equivalent to every word from God. Stevenson intends to place as high a value on ‘catchwords’ as the truth told by God, firmly convinced that man’s thinking and conduct and life itself are to be fully regulated by God’s words.
I’m sure the definition of ‘catchwords’ here is the cue that pays the part of
a hint or guiding suggestion how to act, etc, just as OED defines.
 Now, let’s come back to the subject. Here we discover his true worth again. In this passage too,
Stevenson shows us his excellent metaphors by sharply clear cut contrast. Indeed he is unrivaled in this line. If some parts tabulated, it goes:

girls: only a very small field of experience; a very limited principle
boys: knowing the world of life more largely;  rather widened rule of conduct
married life:

a couple of quite different moral principles

 gig conveyance:

reined by two drivers with disturbed nerves

7. And yet, when all has been said, the man who should hold back from marriage is in the same case with him who runs away from battle. To avoid an occasion for our virtues is a worse degree of failure than to push forward pluckily and make a fall. It is lawful to pray God that we be not led into temptation; but not lawful to skulk from those that come to us.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     hold back from---=refrain from ---   occasion=a suitable, favorable opportunity for doing something
    *occasion for our virtues  i.e. opportunity to show what virtues we have, such as courage, spirit, fortitude
  pluckily=courageously     skulk=hide, stay away in time of danger

The impression by hokuto77:

Married life is compared to a battle field.
According to him, it is far from an object of desire to run away from the enemy fire, or to desert doing your duty in the face of the enemy. He insists that we are not a deserter under the enemy fire. The metaphor is striking and harsh, but very instructive.

8. But there is a vast difference between teaching flight, and showing points of peril that a man may march the more warily. And the true conclusion of this paper is to turn our back on apprehensions, and embrace that shining and courageous virtue, Faith.
 Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
     warily<wary=cautiously        *that--may~=so that--may~
9. Hope is the boy, a blind, headlong, pleasant fellow, good to chase swallows with the salt; Faith is the grave, experienced, yet smiling man. Hope lives on ignorance; open-eyed Faith is built upon a knowledge of our life, of the tyranny of circumstance and frailty of human resolution. Hope looks for unqualified success; but Faith counts certainly on failure, and takes honourable defeat to be a form of victory. Hope is a kind old pagan; but Faith grew up in Christian days, and early learnt humility.
  headlong=hasty, reckless     tyranny=something in your life that limits your freedom to do things the way you want to do
unqualified=complete; not limited by any negative qualities    count on=expect confidently      take=conclude, interpret
     pagan= non-Christian (OED)       humility=humble state of mind

10. You may safely go to school with hope; but ere you marry, should have learned the mingled lesson of the world: that dolls are stuffed with sawdust, and yet are excellent playthings;
  Words and constructions notes by hokuto77:
    mingle=mix, blend, combine      be stuffed with=be filled with    sawdust=wood fragments produced in sawing used in packing,
    address oneself to=apply oneself to, direct one's energy to

that hope and love address themselves to the perfection never realized, and yet, firmly held, become the salt and staff of life; that you yourself are compacted of infirmities, perfect, you might say, in imperfection, and yet you have a something in you lovable and worth preserving;
   *the perfection never realized=the perfection that is never to be realized   *firmly held=if they are firmly held
staff=support (Wyld)       the staff of life=a basic food, especially bread (OALD)     be compacted of=be made up of
   infirmity=weakness   *(being) perfect in--- i.e. (you are) absolutely imperfect   in=used to say what specific thing your
 statement is related to (Longman)

and that, while the mass of mankind lies under this scurvy condemnation, you will scarce find one but, by some generous reading, will become to you a lesson, a model, and a noble spouse through life.   End quote.
   mankind [' ×] (here, not human being but male)      scurvy=mean, dishonourable    condemnation=censure, blame
*scarce find one but will become=scarcely find one that will not become    generous=willing to see what is good about somebody or
     something (OALD)
   reading=your way of understanding, interpretation (Longman)      spouse=a husband or a wife(here it

The concluding impression by hokuto77:

 In the early-2000s, young Japanese people, especially women, are eager to find a good spouse and have a long happy married life. The newly coined phrase,  'kon-katsu' (婚活), which means 'efforts to get married' is in vogue, along with 'shu-katsu' (就活), which means 'attempts to obtain regular employment'.
 Topics concerning both of them sometimes receive widespread media coverage. The chief reason for this trend may be a genuine desire for a happy stable life. What a pity that today's Japanese people, young or old, have, if any, very few opportunities to read this excellent essay by

 Now, let’s back into the passages 9. and 10.
 The direct, plain style and logical arguments you read here are typical of his essay. Both are utterly convincing to you.
  In the number
9 he successively advances arguments on 'hope and faith' in marriage, the role of hope standing in marked contrast to that of faith. The differences are so persuasive and interesting that you will find there left no room for refutation of them.
 The tabulation of the contrast is as follows:

  hope:   boy blind ignorance success

kind pagan but old

faith: man open-eyed knowledge failure Christian with humility

 Stevenson suggests here to cherish 'hope and faith' is indispensable to anyone who is anxious to get married and keep married life long.
 Now, let’s enter upon the study of the number 10.
 What interest does the number 10 arouse of readers? He has developed his argument, introducing of the necessity for a boy or a bachelor to acquire some mixed worldly knowledge, and explained its calming and beneficial effects on his viewpoint of himself and marriage.
 Here 'hope and love' can't be considered separately. If you don’t give them up, both will become your bare necessities to live on, and you may get a good wife in the long run. How useful his advice!  When we think of present-day situations worldwide, the idea of holding firmly 'hope and love', if 'faith' added, will be effectively applied even in a whole range of normal activities; such as political, economic, educational, cultural, medical, scientific, artistic, environmental ones.
  From beginning to end,
Stevenson treats the subject 'Marriage' practically,philosophically, and psychologically. We come across witty or humorous remarks here and there and recognize they are produced from great insight into complex many-sided human lives.
 All things considered, I'm sure young people of today will find the essay very informative as well as absolutely fascinating.
 Dear readers, please allow me to jump to conclusions of the impression.
 Young people do not value
'enka songs', probably accepting a one-sided notion that they have gone stale. It is true that, their favorite hits are different from 'enka songs' in the rhythms, tempos, melodies, or the like, but their words can't avoid meaning much the same as those of the second.
  The emotions shared by man and his love, or the inner workings of human natureexperienced between man and wife who live under one roof are unchangeable from the generation of Homo sapiens to the infinite future.
 Stevenson's view of marriage and how to keep a happy married life, and the like will surely be applicable worldwide.
Enka song 'michizure' (a lifelong companion) was once very popular and are still sung or heard by quite a few people who like it. Regardless of the issue, I've made up my mind to translate it into English as conclusions of this impression on Stevenson. The theme of the song is 'view of life, morality, sympathy, hope, and love' shared between a couple living together.
  The vivid metaphor is very direct, anything but trite.
The simple and catchy melody is mellifluous, or 'sweetly flowing, sweet as honey'.
  Each stanza is terminated in the refrain, "To be your lifelong companion" [Omae to michizure ni] and it gives rise to responsible echoes in our hearts.
The musical score or the song would be very helpful for you to get a lasting, calming impression.  If you can visit the website, please click '牧村三枝子' [MICHIZURE]  Makimura Mieko You will be able to enjoy it from beginning to end without a break.

A Lifelong Companion MICHIZURE [みちづれ]

Mizuni tadayou uki gusa ni
Onaji sadameto yubiwo sasu
Kotoba sukuna ni mewo urumasete
Orewo mitumete unazuku omae
Kimeta kimeta
Omae to michizure ni

Floating weeds, on the water
We’re the same fortune as they, you murmur pointing.
Only a few words, tears in your eyes,

Gazing at me, you nod.
I’ve decided, I’ve decided
To be your lifelong companion.
水にただよう 浮草に
おなじさだめと 指をさす
言葉少なに 目をうるませて
俺をみつめて うなずくおまえ
きめた きめた
おまえと みちづれに

Hana no sakanai ukigusa ni

Itsuka minonaru tokiwo matsu
Samui yohuke ha osake wo katte
Tamano ogori to hashagu sugatani
Kimeta kimeta
Omae to michizure ni

No flowers on it, for floating weeds
To bear fruit we’re waiting.
On a late cold night you buy ‘sake’,
It’s my rare treat, say in a cheerful mood.
I’ve decided, I’ve decided
To be your lifelong companion.

花の咲かない 浮草に

いつか実のなる ときをまつ
寒い夜ふけは お酒を買って
たまのおごりと はしゃぐ姿に
きめた きめた
おまえと みちづれに

Ne nashi asu nashi ukigusa ni
Tsuki no shizuku no yadoru koro
Yume no naka demo konote wo motome
Saguri atere ba chiisana neiki
Kimeta kimeta
Omae to michizure ni

On floating weeds, rootless and no tomorrow,
When the Moon's dewdrops form,
Even in your dream, for my hand you grope,
Holdig hands, then asleep quiet breathing.

I've decided, I’ve decided
To be your lifelong companion.

根なし明日なし 浮草に
月のしずくの やどるころ
夢の中でも この手をもとめ
さぐりあてれば 小さな寝息

きめた きめた
おまえと みちづれに

(To be continued)

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