Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Etiquette of Love, Courtship, and Marriage I


Love is a subject which has interestingly occupied the attention of both sexes ever since Adam and Eve were first created. Men of various minds and diversified character, and ladies of every distinction have all paid their court at the shrine of love. It has been justly styled the "ruling passion," and is no less predominant than universal. A celebrated writer on this subject has said, "that love forms part and parcel of a woman's existence - that in other words, from the moment of her emergency into womanhood until she has attained her fiftieth year, her affections are constantly occupied with one or other of the opposite sex. Equally true is it, that young ladies are constantly thinking of and earnestly panting after the matrimonial state. Men have various objects of ambition: - women have only one, and that one is marriage. All their thoughts, all their intrigues, all their scheming, all their actions - have the promotion of the one grand object - getting comfortably married - in view. It seems to them the end, as it constantly is the aim of their existence."

How far these remarks are true we leave it to our fair readers to judge; but we are of opinion that much that goes by the specious character of love has little or no effect upon the heart.

We have always looked upon love in a very different light from that species of flirtation and merriment which characterizes the joyous hours of youth. True love is sober, serious, and sedate. It is one of the most serious and important acts which can characterize the life of either man or woman. Some of the deepest realities in our experience are the effects of love.

There are many false impressions as to the real nature of genuine love. Many form their estimate of love from that unnatural system of philosophy found in novels and light reading. Other look upon it as a system of flirtation and coquetry. True love is founded upon esteem, and requires something more than external beauty to make it perennial.

Source: T.E.G., The Etiquette of Love, Courtship, and Marriage (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. ; Easingwold: Thomas Gill, 1847), 13-15.

N.B.: This is only the first section of the small book, The Etiquette of Love, Courtship, and Marriage. Further sections will be used for future posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment