Quotation by Friedrich Von Schlegel

Almost all marriages are only concubinages, liaisons, or rather provisional attempts, remote approximations of real marriage. The true nature of marriage does not conform to the paradoxes of this or that system, but rather according to all canonical and secular laws that more than one person should become only one. This ought to warrant the least possible infringement of free will, which certainly has a right to be consulted when the question at issue is whether one is to be an individual or only the integral part of a common personality; it is even hard see what legitimate argument can be raised against a marriage à quatre. But if the state must insist on holding together those attempts at marriage that have failed, it is actually obstructing marriage, for its cause would be advanced by new and possibly more successful attempts.
Friedrich Von Schlegel (1772–1829), German philosopher. Aphorism 34 in Selected Aphorisms from the Athenaeum (1798), translated by Ernst Behler and Roman Struc, Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms, Pennsylvania University Press (1968).
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