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  • The Betrothed is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, first published in book form in Departmental Ditties. It is a tongue-in-cheek work by the young bachelor Kipling, who affected a very worldly-wise stance. In it, he takes as his epigraph the report of evidence in a breach of promise case, "You must choose between me and your cigar". The poem simply has a narrator musing on the difference between his fiancée Maggie and his habit of smoking cigars: He weighs up Maggie's looks, and what she will be at fifty; the limitations of monogamy against "a harem of dusky beauties"; and the relatively unknown woman against the tried and tested "Counsellors" and "comforters". His conclusion is:

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