Friday, June 05, 2009

in praise of obligation

To continue this multi-post localism and loyalty theme, here's a delightful excerpt from Henry James' novel, Portrait of a Lady (courtesy of Kenneth Minogue). Therein, Isabel Archer explains her reasons for returning to a less than exhilarating marriage:
He was not the best of husbands, but that didn't alter the case. Certain obligations were involved in the very fact of marriage and were quite independent of the quantity of enjoyment extracted from it.
My wife of course has no idea how Isabel feels, as I have long been the object of her perpetual enthrallment. But the quote may be of assistance to others.