... it does not originate in reason, and reason has nothing to do with it; a mother loves her wayward and perverse child in spite of reason. Moreover,
it is not a spiritual relationship, and has nothing to do with the mind
and temper of the child; its root is material; it is pure blood relationship,
but not the most permanent or exalted. It becomes offensive when too prominently
exhibited, and not infrequently it ceases with the childhood and helplessness
of the offspring. Mothers sometimes become rivals to daughters, and hate
them fervently. Fathers hate sons, and sons fathers; blood is no security.
The tie will break; we see it break throughout the whole animal creation.
It lasts with inferior animals only till the young are able to provide
for themselves, and then it ceases altogether. It is thus discovered that
consanguinity is not the root nor the germ of relationship at all. Did
mothers never hate their children – did animals never lose parental
attachment for their offspring – then we might boldly affirm that
there was a root or germ of relationship in blood. But we have abundant
evidence to the contrary – evidence to prove that blood relations
are least of all to be depended upon, and that the relationship weakens
with time still at last it disappears altogether, superseded by some spiritual
relationship, or relationship of pure feeling, which takes its place.
“Therefore shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his
wife;” and if parents and children thus part, much more so brothers
and sisters. But marriage is the great separating principle – families
are seldom altogether disjoined except by marriage. Blood keeps hold till
seized by the spirit. All begins and ends in this mysterious love of spirit
or feeling, which has no relationship with blood further than the common
relationship of species. This regenerates the blood relationship, which
is naturally mortal, by creating new alliances and founding new families.