There are two essential requisites for a happy life. One is laughter, the other is
love. Money can help, but we speak of what is essential not merely desirable.
They have a number of qualities in common. Both defy definition but are instantly
recognisable. When they happen, you are left in no doubt.
Laughter enlarges the spirit. Love opens up a window to the soul. Laughter liberates
and refreshes us, making the sombre aspect of the world sparkle and gay. Love spreads
its warmth through the veins of our life. Love heals. Laughter speeds the healing. Love
is undemanding. Laughter is giving.
These two elements are the core and backbone of a happy marriage if it is to flourish beyond
the formal requirements of the matrimonial state.
But can one thrive without the other? A witty response or a comic tale will provoke
mirth, it is true. But the laughter of which I speak is far more than that.
It mirrors a sense of joyfulness and without joy love may wither. Laughter and love
alike require nourishment and sharing demands both. Without love there is nothing
to rest the pursuit of selfishness. Without laughter there is nothing to make the
This poem was written by Montague and was read out to Veronica at their wedding.