Tao Te Ching
THE TAOISM OF LAO TZU
Fake Lao Tzu Quote
"Marriage is three parts love..."
This is NOT a quote from Tao Te Ching:
"Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins."
Lao Tzu did not write about marriage and marital love at all. Nor would he be comfortable with the word "sin," which is something closely linked to Christianity. Still, this quote is frequently accredited to him — I fail to see why.
It is, in fact, from a play called The New York Idea by Langdon Elwyn Mitchell (1862-1935). It premiered 1906, and was published in a book 1908. John, one of the characters of the play, speaks bitterly about his former wife (pages 62-63):
The earliest web page I have found accrediting the quote to Lao Tzu is in a comment from February 25, 2011, on a blog post on temptation and sin. It appeared on Facebook for the first time the same year, ascribing it correctly to Mitchell. The following year, on April 26, 2012, the first Facebook post ascribing it to Lao Tzu appeared.
I am not convinced that ascribing the quote to Lao Tzu originated with Arnold's book, but I have not found any earlier source to it. Why anyone would imagine this to be a genuine Lao Tzu quote remains a mystery.
September 18, 2020.
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