Nikola Tesla And Matrimony

Friday, August 14, 1896
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val. ae. ua avr, seem 14, IBM] THE ELECTRICAL REVIEW. 193 Tnoss who are acquainted with the Ni§:;f,T:,;”d History of Socrates must have read how, upon his making a discourse concerning Love, he pressed his point with so much success that all the bachelors in his audience took the opportunity of getting married on the first occasion, and all the married men immediately took horse and galloped home to their wives. We think that it is rather a pity that Mr. Tesla did not hear Socrates on this subject for his own good, though for the good of science in general we much prefer that he should be reminded of it a score of centuries or so later. According to a New York daily paper, Nikola Tesla is a disciple of the Baoonian theory, that the man who marries gives hostages to fortune. “I do not believe," he says, “that an inventor should marry, because he has so intense a nature and so much in it of \vild passionate qualities that in giving himself to a woman he might love, he would give everything, and so take everything from his chosen field." It can readily bc imagined with what reluctance Mr. Tesla would allow his views on this important question to he heralded broadcast to the world, but in doing so he is doubtless actuated by a sense of duty to his fellow inventors, and “simple duty hath no place for fear." Those of us who had the pleasure, a short time ago, of meeting this gentle, un- assuming and clever man, can hardly reconcile our views of him as a woman-hater ; rather wc would interpret this infor- mation concerning him as representing him to be not a woman-hater so much asadevotee of science. If he were the former we should feel disposed to remind him that it is very usual for those who have been severe upon marriage in some part or other of their lives, to enter into the Fraternity of Benedicts which they have ridiculed, and to see their raillery return upon their own heads. Marriage, which is a blessing to another man falls upon such nn one us a judgment. Congrevc’s “ Old Bachelor ” isa literary example of this kind, and llymen takes his revenge in kind on those who turn his mysteries into iiditule. Mr. Tesla is yet u young man, and doubtless he will be the first to admit that he has much to learn. Possibly his immersion in the deep seas of pure science have so far flooded out from his experience, that emotional life, which, after all, is the only part of life which is worth living. Wo are not going to take up the cudgels on behalf of matrimony, neither are we going to enlist the resources of our memory in discovering great inventors who caught inspiration and obtained zest for their work, and encouragement to persevere unto the end by associating their lives with women whom they really loved. The history of scientific development is full of such instances, and, if Miz Tesla is unaware of them, it is only another illustration of the tremendous concentration which he brings to the matters he may have on hand to the entire exclusion of everything else which is interesting in the world. To tum from pathos to bathos, one would have thought that tho material advantages, which to many orders of mind is associated with the idea of wife, would have appealed to him when he received, in the course of one of his experiments, a shock of three and n half million volts. lt is said that this shock, entering his body above tho shoulder, signalised its departure by leaving a haha in his sock. Being a bachelor, it may be presumed that he did not have anyone to mend it, but if be had been of a practically reflective turn of mind, it ought to have occurred to him that matrimony did present some material advantages. Of course Mr. Tesla may be quite invulnerablé to Cupid‘s shafts, but somehow or other we doubt it. We are great admirers of him and his work, and we give him credit for good hard sense, and we do not think he is like the Frenchman who excused his bachelorhood on the grounds that he was “ one butterfly zat fly from flower to flower and sip ze honey ; " the very fact of his being such a devotee to his science proves that his nature is a very intense one. We have faith enough in women to believe that his fate will come, and that some one will be found who is not only a match for his intensity in all respects, but who will tax his inventive genius to the utmost; for example, in trying to explain where he was at 2 o'ciock some night when she had gone to his laboratory to bring him home, and found it dark, although he had told her he was going to “stay down town to work to-night." We are afraid that Mr. Tesla has been studying Punch, whose well-known advice about getting married is a household word. Or possibly he may remember ;Esop's Fables; the frogs there were extremely wise; they had s mind for some water, but they knew they would have to go down a deep well for it, from which it would be impossible to get ont, and so they elected to hop round the edge of the well and contemplate it without com- mitting themsclves. Or again, Mr. Tesla may remember that old saying that “ he who marries n wife may possibly takc un cel by the tail." Whatever may be the cause of the abnormal emotional condition in which this distinguished scientist finds himself, we hope that it will soon be removed, for we are convinced that science in general, and Mr. Tesla in particular, will be all the richer when he gets married.