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A Norwegian Honeymoon Henry van Dyke

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"The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses."--SOLOMON SINGLEWITZ: The Life of Adam.

It was not all unadulterated sweetness, of course. There were enough difficulties in the way to make it seem desirable; and a few stings of annoyance, now and then, lent piquancy to the adventure. But a good memory, in dealing with the past, has the art of straining out all the beeswax of discomfort, and storing up little jars of pure hydromel. As we look back at our six weeks in Norway, we agree that no period of our partnership in experimental honeymooning has yielded more honey to the same amount of comb.

Several considerations led us to the resolve of taking our honeymoon experimentally rather than chronologically. We started from the self-evident proposition that it ought to be the happiest time in married life.

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"It is perfectly ridiculous," said my lady Graygown, "to suppose that a thing like that can be fixed by the calendar. It may possibly fall in the first month after the wedding, but it is not likely. Just think how slightly two people know each other when they get married. They are in love, of course, but that is not at all the same as being well acquainted. Sometimes the more love, the less acquaintance! And sometimes the more acquaintance, the less love! Besides, at first there are always the notes of thanks for the wedding-presents to be written, and the letters of congratulation to be answered, and it is awfully hard to make each one sound a little different from the others and perfectly natural. Then, you know, everybody seems to suspect you of the folly of being newly married. You run across your friends everywhere, and they grin when they see you. You can't help feeling as if a lot of people were watching you through opera-glasses, or taking snap-shots at you with a kodak. It is absurd to imagine that the first month must be the real honeymoon. And just suppose it were,--what bad luck that would be! What would there be to look forward to?"

Every word that fell from her lips seemed to me like the wisdom of Diotima.

"You are right," I cried; "Portia could not hold a candle to you for clear argument. Besides, suppose two people are imprudent enough to get married in the first week of December, as we did!--what becomes of the chronological honeymoon then? There is no fishing in December, and all the rivers of Paradise, at least in our latitude, are frozen up. No, my lady, we will discover our month of honey by the empirical method. Each year we will set out together to seek it in a solitude for two; and we will compare notes on moons, and strike the final balance when we are sure that our happiest experiment has been completed."

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Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

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