《人性的弱点》第6篇 第1章 如何最快速的自掘婚姻的坟墓
Seventy-Five years ago, Napoleon III of France, nephew of NapoleonBonaparte, fell in love with Marie Eugenic Ignace Augustine deMontijo, Countess of Teba, the most beautiful woman in the world—and married her. His advisors pointed out that she was only thedaughter of an insignificant Spanish count. But Napoleon retorted:"What of it?" Her grace, her youth, her charm, her beauty filled himwith divine felicity. In a speech hurled from the throne, he defied anentire nation: "I have preferred a woman I love and respect," heproclaimed, "to a woman unknown to me."
Napoleon and his bride had health, wealth, power, fame, beauty,love, adoration—all the requirements for a perfect romance. Neverdid the sacred fire of marriage glow with a brighter incandescence.But, alas, the holy flame soon flickered and the incandescencecooled—and turned to embers. Napoleon could make Eugenic anempress; but nothing in all la belle France, neither the power of hislove nor the might of his throne, could keep her from nagging.
Bedeviled by jealousy, devoured by suspicion, she flouted his orders,she denied him even a show of privacy. She broke into his officewhile he was engaged in affairs of state. She interrupted his mostimportant discussions. She refused to leave him alone, alwaysfearing that he might be consorting with another woman.Often she ran to her sister, complaining of her husband,complaining, weeping, nagging, and threatening. Forcing her wayinto his study, she stormed at him and abused him. Napoleon,master of a dozen sumptuous palaces, Emperor of France, could notfind a cupboard in which he could call his soul his own.
And what did Eugenic accomplish by all this? Here is the answer. Iam quoting now from E.A. Rheinhardt's engrossing book, Napoleonand Eugenic: The Tragicomedy of an Empire: "So it came about thatNapoleon frequently would steal out by a little side door at night,with a soft hat pulled over his eyes, and, accompanied by one of hisintimates, really betake himself to some fair lady who was expectinghim, or else stroll about the great city as of old, passing throughstreets of the kind which an Emperor hardly sees outside a fairy tale,and breathing the atmosphere of might-have-beens."
That is what nagging accomplished for Eugenic. True, she sat on thethrone of France. True, she was the most beautiful woman in theworld. But neither royalty nor beauty can keep love alive amidst thepoisonous fumes of nagging. Eugenic could have raised her voice likeJob of old and have wailed: "The thing which I greatly feared iscome upon me." Come upon her? She brought it upon herself, poorwoman, by her jealousy and her nagging. Of all the sure-fire, infernaldevices ever invented by all the devils in hell for destroying love,nagging is the deadliest. It never fails. Like the bite of the kingcobra, it always destroys, always kills.
The wife of Count Leo Tolstoi discovered that—after it was too late.Before she passed away, she confessed to her daughters: "I was thecause of your father's death." Her daughters didn't reply. They wereboth crying. They knew their mother was telling the truth. Theyknew she had killed him with her constant complaining, her eternalcriticisms, and her eternal nagging. Yet Count Tolstoi and his wifeought, by all odds, to have been happy. He was one of the mostfamous novelists of all time. Two of his masterpieces, War and Peaceand Anna Karenina will forever shine brightly among the literaryglories of earth.
Tolstoi was so famous that his admirers followed him around dayand night and took down in shorthand every word he uttered. Even ifhe merely said, "I guess I'll go to bed"; even trivial words like that,everything was written down; and now the Russian Government isprinting every sentence that he ever wrote; and his combinedwritings will fill one hundred volumes.
In addition to fame, Tolstoi and his wife had wealth, social position,children. No marriage ever blossomed under softer skies. In thebeginning, their happiness seemed too perfect, too intense, toendure. So kneeling together, they prayed to Almighty God tocontinue the ecstasy that was theirs. Then an astonishing thinghappened. Tolstoi gradually changed. He became a totally differentperson. He became ashamed of the great books that he had written,and from that time on he devoted his life to writing pamphletspreaching peace and the abolition of war and poverty.
This man who had once confessed that in his youth he hadcommitted every sin imaginable—even murder—tried to followliterally the teachings of Jesus. He gave all his lands away and lived alife of poverty. He worked in the fields, chopping wood and pitchinghay. He made his own shoes, swept his own room, ate out of awooden bowl, and tried to love his enemies.
Leo Tolstoi's life was a tragedy, and the cause of his tragedy was hismarriage. His wife loved luxury, but he despised it. She craved fameand the plaudits of society, but these frivolous things meant nothingwhatever to him. She longed for money and riches, but he believedthat wealth and private property were a sin. For years, she naggedand scolded and screamed because he insisted on giving away theright to publish his books freely without paying him any royaltieswhatever. She wanted the money those books would produce. Whenhe opposed her, she threw herself into fits of hysteria, rolling on thefloor with a bottle of opium at her lips, swearing that she was goingto kill herself and threatening to jump down the well.
There is one event in their lives that to me is one of the mostpathetic scenes in history. As I have already, said, they weregloriously happy when they were first married; but now, forty-eightyears later, he could hardly bear the sight of her. Sometimes of anevening, this old and heartbroken wife, starving for affection, cameand knelt at his knees and begged him to read aloud to her theexquisite love passages that he had written about her in his diaryfifty years previously. And as he read of those beautiful, happy daysthat were now gone forever, both of them wept. How different, howsharply different, the realities of life were from the romantic dreamsthey had once dreamed in the long ago.
Finally, when he was eighty-two years old, Tolstoi was unable toendure the tragic unhappiness of his home any longer so he fledfrom his wife on a snowy October night in 1910—fled into the coldand darkness, not knowing where he was going.
Eleven days later, he died of pneumonia in a railway station. And hisdying request was that she should not be permitted to come into hispresence. Such was the price Countess Tolstoi paid for her naggingand complaining and hysteria.
The reader may feel that she had much to nag about. Granted. Butthat is beside the point. The question is: did nagging help her, or didit make a bad matter infinitely worse? "I really think I was insane."That is what Countess Tolstoi herself thought about it—after it wastoo late.
The great tragedy of Abraham Lincoln's life also was his marriage.Not his assassination, mind you, but his marriage. When Booth fired,Lincoln never realized he had been shot; but he reaped almost daily,for twenty-three years, what Herndon, his law partner, described as"the bitter harvest of conjugal infelicity." "Conjugal infelicity?" That isputting it mildly. For almost a quarter of a century, Mrs Lincolnnagged and harassed the life out of him.
She was always complaining, always criticizing her husband; nothingabout him was ever right. He was stoop-shouldered, he walkedawkwardly and lifted his feet straight up and down like an Indian.She complained that there was no spring in his step, no grace to hismovement; and she mimicked his gait and nagged at him to walkwith his toes pointed down, as she had been taught at MadameMentelle's boarding school in Lexington.
She didn't like the way his huge ears stood out at right angles fromhis head. She even told him that his nose wasn't straight, that hislower lip stuck out, and he looked consumptive, that his feet andhands were too large, his head too small.
Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln were opposites in everyway: in training, in background, in temperament, in tastes, in mentaloutlook. They irritated each other constantly.
"Mrs Lincoln's loud, shrill voice," wrote the late Senator Albert J.Beveridge, the most distinguished Lincoln authority of thisgeneration—"Mrs Lincoln's loud shrill voice could be heard across thestreet, and her incessant outbursts of wrath were audible to all wholived near the house. Frequently her anger was displayed by othermeans than words, and accounts of her violence are numerous andunimpeachable."
To illustrate: Mr and Mrs Lincoln, shortly after their marriage, livedwith Mrs Jacob Early—a doctor's widow in Springfield who was forcedto take in boarders.
One morning Mr and Mrs Lincoln were having breakfast when Lincolndid something that aroused the fiery temper of his wife. What, noone remembers now. But Mrs Lincoln, in a rage, dashed a cup of hotcoffee into her husband's face. And she did it in front of the otherboarders. Saying nothing, Lincoln sat there in humiliation and silencewhile Mrs Early came with a wet towel and wiped off his face andclothes.
Mrs Lincoln's jealousy was so foolish, so fierce, so incredible, thatmerely to read about some of the pathetic and disgraceful scenesshe created in public—merely reading about them seventy-five yearslater makes one gasp with astonishment. She finally went insane;and perhaps the most charitable thing one can say about her is thather disposition was probably always affected by incipient insanity.Did all this nagging and scolding and raging change Lincoln? In oneway, yes. It certainly changed his attitude toward her. It made himregret his unfortunate marriage, and it made him avoid her presenceas much as possible.
Springfield had eleven attorneys, and they couldn't all make a livingthere; so they used to ride horseback from one county seat toanother, following Judge David Davis while he was holding court invarious places. In that way, they managed to pick up business fromall the county seat towns throughout the Eighth Judicial District.The other attorneys always managed to get back to Springfield eachSaturday and spend the week-end with their families. But Lincolndidn't. He dreaded to go home: and for three months in the spring,and again for three months in the autumn, he remained out on thecircuit and never went near Springfield. He kept this up year afteryear. Living conditions in the country hotels were often wretched;but, wretched as they were, he preferred them to his own home andMrs Lincoln's constant nagging and wild outbursts of temper.
Such are the results that Mrs Lincoln, the Empress Eugenic, andCountess Tolstoi obtained by their nagging. They brought nothingbut tragedy into their lives. They destroyed all that they cherishedmost.
Bessie Hamburger, who has spent eleven years in the DomesticRelations Court in New York City, and has reviewed thousands ofcases of desertion, says that one of the chief reasons men leavehome is because their wives nag. Or, as the Boston Post puts it:"Many a wife has made her own marital grave with a series of littledigs."
So, if you want to keep your home life happy,
Rule 1 is: Don't, don't nag!!!
2011-02-15 10:33 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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