Thursday, 13 March 2014


This good advice comes to you from artist and philosopher Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472).

  • No one can deny that a man requires a woman for procreating children. But not more than one, okay? And why not?
  • Because he cannot provide more than is needed for himself and one wife and children. Maybe he could have more wives if he had fewer children?
  • Apparently some fellows didn’t want even one wife. How wrong-headed can young men be? Alberti’s advice: Perhaps it would help to put them under some compulsion. A father might put the following clause into his will: “If you do not marry when you reach the appropriate age, I disinherit you.”
  • What is the appropriate age? Twenty-five. A younger man is better off spending his fire and force in establishing and strengthening his own position than in procreating. The youthful seed, moreover, seems faulty and frail and less full of vigor than that which is ripened.
  • As for the bride required for the purpose of procreation: Let female relatives present the groom-to-be with a list of eligible women. He can then choose the one who suits him best. And take your time. Marrying is like acquiring property – Buyers like to look it over several times before they actually sign the contract.

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