S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Without the permanent union of the sexes there can be no permanent families: the dissolution of nuptial ties involves the dissolution of domestic society. But domestic society is the seminary of social affections, the cradle of sensibility, where the first elements are acquired of that tenderness and humanity which cement mankind together; and were they entirely extinguished the whole fabric of social institutions would be dissolved. Families are so many centres of attraction, which preserve mankind from being scattered and dissipated by the repulsive powers of selfishness. The order of nature is ever from particulars to generals. As in the operations of intellect we proceed from the contemplation of individuals to the formation of general abstractions, so in the development of the passions, in like manner, we advance from private to public affections; from the love of parents, brothers, and sisters, to those more expanded regards which embrace the immense society of human kind.
Unless you habitually court the privacy of the domestic circle, you will find that you are losing that intimate acquaintance with those who compose it which is its chief charm and the source of all its advantage. In your family alone can there be that intercourse of heart with heart which falls like refreshing dew on the soul when it is withered and parched by the heats of business and the intense selfishness which you must hourly meet in public life. Unless your affections are sheltered in that sanctuary, they cannot long resist the blighting influence of a constant repression of their development, and a compulsory substitution of calculation in their stead. Domestic privacy is necessary not only to your happiness, but even to your efficiency; it gives the rest necessary to your active powers of judgment and discrimination; it keeps unclosed those well-springs of the heart whose flow is necessary to float onwards the determination of the head. It is not enough that the indulgence of these affections should fill up the casual chinks of your time; they must have their allotted portion of it, with which nothing but urgent necessity should be allowed to interfere.