Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Etiquette of Love, Courtship and Marriage III


It is generally admitted that the first affections are the strongest and purest, and if they meet with corresponding feelings and impressions, they are indelible, for neither time nor circumstances can efface them from the mind. How guarded therefore we should be in the bestowment of them. How carefully should we keep them under proper control. The happiest marriage are the result of first affections, if the parties are only guided by prudence and discretion. Nothing on earth is so pure and holy as "first love." When the youthful heart first yields to the tender impressions of unsophisticated love, it as nearly resembles the innocent 'condition of our first parents in paradise as any thing in this life can possibly approach to. 'What would not the loving object suffer for the object beloved?' Would persecution, or imprisonment, or death itself be regarded? No! Such are the first feelings of love in a  noble mind. How far removed from all low views and selfish calculations is a first attachment. It has an ideal existence of its own, free from the grosser parts of our nature - a fortuitous heaven. A first lvoe is the poetry of heaven, and radiates the mind with the atmosphere of light and beauty. Sometimes a passing cloud will darken for awhile the brightness of its azure, but it is swept away by the next balmy breeze, and instead of tarnishing the glory or diminishing the beauty of the picture, it leaves it more lovely than before.

Such are the effects of a first attachment upon the heart. How necessary to use care and caution lest they should be unworthily bestowed. The happiness of after life in a great measure depends upon a first love.

Source: T.E.G., The Etiquette of Love, Courtship, and Marriage (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. ; Easingwold: Thomas Gill, 1847), 20-22.

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