- Marrying to Please Others - Stigma of "Old Maid," or "Old Bachelor" - Sound Courting - Flirting as a Pastime - Fashion and Domestic Duties - How Romance Disappears - Dram Drinking Husband - Marrying for Money - Long Courtships - Temperaments that are Too Much Alike - Like Parents, Like Children - Prowling Fortune Hunters - Marrying Out of Your Natural Sphere - Evils of Coquettery - Defective Education - Exciting Unhealthy Passions - Harmonious Developmnent of the Whole Woman
To one and all we would say, do not marry unless you love, and do not love unless guided by reason and judgment. Do not marry contrary to your own judgment and inclination, merely to please your friends; for this reflection does not bring domestic peace when you find that you are confined to one not at all congenial to your feelings: your happiness, in married life, will depend on your union, and not how it was brought about.
Being so very accommodating as to give your hand and virtue to a man without your love, because you cannot bear to see him weep when refused; or because you are afraid of hurting his feelings, if you refuse him, is a spirit that should not be recognized among human beings where their own welfare and that of posterity depend on a different course of conduct.
"A Crooked Stick At Last."
Do not marry then in any case to avoid importunities and puerilities, or to save the tears and feelings of others; as selfishness, if it can be so called, or rather self-love, is justifiable in this case.
Do not marry because you think it is the last opportunity. To refuse good offers in hope of obtaining those more eligible, and then through fear of living in single blessedness, to accept because you think you will have the "crooked stick at last," is like a man grasping a straw to save himself from going over the dam. Never marry to get rid of the stigma of being called an old maid, or an old bachelor.
It is an honor and a credit to many, that they have had prudence and sense of duty sufficient to control their feelings, and to enable them to remain single.
Many, by not consulting their organization and qualifications for married life, have brought great evils on themselves and also on posterity, simply to show the world that they can marry, and thus remove the reproaches (that many fling) of a single life.
Desperately Anxious to Get a Husband.
Said a certain lady, "I would not live single if I had to marry the greatest 'roue' in the city." That was weakness and folly.
In this all-important step, which has to do with your own individual happiness particularly, allow your friends and enemies to give you facts, and be thankful for them, but think for yourself; exercise your own judgment independently. By judgment we do not mean the calculations of mere intellect, but the whole mind, embracing the feelings, the sentiments, and propensities. When the consent of all these faculties of the mind has been obtained, then it is certain you are under a moral obligation to marry, regardless of opposition.
Do not marry with the determination to rule or not to be ruled. Scarcely anything appears more foolish than this absurd feeling of "I am not to be dictated to," "I will have my own way," "I shall not sign away my liberty, I can tell you," etc.- the lady afraid to yield, for fear complete submission will be the result; the husband, from dread of appearing to be under "petticoat government."
Domestic Enjoyment Destroyed.
A civil war of this kind puts to flight, most effectually, all hope of domestic enjoyment. It is, invariably, the growth of foolish pride and morbid, little independence, as far removed from real dignity as light from darkness - oftentimes exhibited before marriage in persisting in certain actions or habits when their suspension is desired.
It cannot be too stronly impressed on your minds, that "mutual forbearance is the touch-stone of domestic happiness." "The angel of the marriage covenant bears the inscription of each wing, which he folds in sorrow when the admonition is unheeded."
Do not be so modest as to let one do all the courting, the other replying only in monosyllables; for very frequently the tongue becomes more pliable, or loosed when damages cannot be repaired.
Playing the "dumb belle" and silent lover, is a very silly mode of transacting business. No; it is your duty to unfold your characters in their true colors to each other. In the married state, it is your duty, and should be your pleasure, to sympathize with and console each other, and thus beget a winning and soothing confidence that does much towards making home desirable and happy.
Coquettes and Flatterers.
Do not marry a coquette or a flatterer. A coquette has no heart, and a flatterer but a hollow and deceptive one.
Do not trifle with your affections, by keeping company as a matter of curiosity or of opposition.
Writers have dwelt with much effect upon the evils produced on the intellect by novel reading, but, the effects of literary trifling, had as they may be, fall far short of the ravages of hydra-headed social dissipation. Parties, routs, the strained and tender compliment, the sigh and protestation, the coquetting and flirting practiced as mere pastime, inevitably destroy true affection. Persons who have passed but one season in amusements of this sort, have generally rendered themselves incapable of being influenced by natural and true affection - their feelings have been completely seared.
Persons who have been drilled in all the tactics of fashion, should be resolutely avoided, nine cases in ten. They have become susceptible of but one love - the love of themselves. The plague has tainted their blood, producing certain death to all the warm and generous sympathies that should issue from the cup of gladness into the secluded bosom of the family.
Do not be so precise and regular in the time that you make your visits - both parties, thus prepare for such occasions by embellishing and rending their appearance foreign to nature; each parades his or her good qualities to the front, and shows how pleasant, kind, agreeable, and polity they can be when they are prepared for it.
From using these forced and artificial means to entertain each other, an acquaintance is made with one's abilities for pleasing only, and not for displeasing; the disagreeable traits of character, not being necessary, are concealed; but the occasion over, they manifest themselves in right good earnest, and when it is entirely too late - the words "for better or for worst," have been pronounced.
In your courting days you had the "better," but now you are prepared to appreciate the meaning of the latter term.
It is positive fact, that men and women are not heroes and angels, except upon the pages of a romance.
When you are married, you will be obliged to come in contact while your faces are flushed by exercise, dresses disordered by labour, tempers a little ruffled by trifling circumstances and annoyances - when the toilet is not prepared with extra care, and many other trifles connected with "little responsibilities," establishing beyond a doubt that earth is not heaven, and poor human nature somewhat else than poetry.
Love Should Not be Stimulated.
These things are so; and you may as well study each other in these situations, as when “dressed up” and seated in the parlor. In the one case, you are liable to be “taken in;” and in the other, knowing what to expect, disappointment cannot creep in. Contentment must reign - giving a fair opportunity for happiness.
Do not excite your love by foreign stimulants. The influences of love and wine should never be united. Men, when under the excitement of intoxicating liquors, are not in full possession of all their faculties: they have excited their animal propensities, and by so doing, have rendered the manifestations of their feelings brutal. There is no woman of sense and purity throughout the land, but must, having the knowledge of the debating influences of ardent spirits, the foul and demoniac crimes which have been committed under the auspices of drunkenness, view the attentions of persons under this animal excitement as an insult of the blackest kind.
Errors to be Avoided.
If you are very poor, do not marry a person very wealthy, merely on account of his or her wealth, unless you wish to act the part of a servant, and to live with the continued reflection that you are eating another’s bread and riding in another’s carriage.
If you have insane or consumptive tendencies of body, do not marry one who has the same, unless you wish to bring upon yourself, your family, and posterity, all the evils of hereditary disease.
Do not be so long in courting as to change your mind, or so quick as to be rash, or ignorant of the character you have chosen. If you have no love in your soul, do not marry unless it is with one of a similar disposition.
If your mental or physical organization is extremely susceptible to impressions, do not marry one of the same extreme or of the opposite order. There should be a tendency to the medium line; if an organ or function is very large in one, then it should be less in the other, so be disgusted with the extravagant manifestation of it. If one has an organ very small, the other should have it a little larger, so that it may not be deficient in the family; and also that it may serve as a stimulus for the one in whom it is weak.
Variety is Desirable.
A long article might be written on this subject, and a detailed account of the manner in which each of the developments should rank, might be mentioned; but that is not necessarily, as the subject addresses itself to the common sense of every one.
Variety is at times agreeable and even desirable; yet extremes in any of the arrangements of nature, or in two separately organized bodies, scarcely even harmonize in action or in that adaptation necessary to produce uniform results.
A gentleman, who thought he understood human nature very well, the motives of action, etc, had very small acquisitiveness, and, in his selecting a wife, looked for one with the organ large; but, when they were united, this was the source of trouble and contention; for, she took all his earnings, and unwilling that he should expend a single cent beyond his actual necessities. This state of feeling increased to such a degree that he separated from her, and now lives alone in the world, unhappy and desolate, convinced that extremes do not always produce happiness.
This law of harmony and balance should be recognized, not only for the convenience of the parties concerned, but for the sake of posterity.
What Kind of Children Will You Have?
The organization of children depends on two things; first, the organization of the parents; and secondly, the influence of circumstances on the minds and activity of the various faculties and functions of those parents before conception, and particularly afterward on the part of the mother.
If, then, both parents have the same function very large or very small, the child must necessarily partake of that extreme, unless a change is produced by the force of circumstances. If both parents are idiots, the child will be idiotic. If very nervous or consumptive, the children will be so disposed. If conscientiousness, firmness, self- esteem, or any other organ is very small int he parents, they will be so in the child, unless it is rendered large by the great activity of these faculties in the parents. If cautiousness, secretiveness, destructiveness, amativeness, or any of the animal propensities are very large and active in the parents, they will be manifest in the children.
If you are very rich, select your companions yourself, instead of permitting another to choose for you; so that you may not be troubled with the reflection that you were selected for your wealth.
A young lady of royal blood, from the south of Europe, who was very wealthy, accomplished and beautiful, traveled in this country in the garb of a servant or companion, for the purpose of making her own observations and selecting her friends without her name, rank, and wealth being known; fearing that they might be the means of attracting attention, and draw a crowd of flatterers around her, regardless of her own natural qualities, which was not a very pleasant reflection. She was a true unsophisticated child of nature, traveled extensively, and enjoyed herself highly.
A gentleman, appreciating her native talent, made love to her and they were married and settled at the south. She had the satisfaction to know and experience that she was beloved for herself alone. He was made thrice happy, when he found, in addition to her own personal and acquired qualifications, all other things desirable. They lived in the enjoyment of almost uninterrupted felicity for many years. After his death, she returned to Europe to grace again the circles of wealth and intelligence, which she had voluntarily left for a season. Had she followed some other course, she might have been the dupe of some fortune hunter, prowling over the country.
Consent of Parents.
Be sure that you have the confidence and sanction of the parents before you proceed with your negotiations. To secure the affections of a young lady, and make arrangements to be married, and then ask the consent of the parents and be refused, is quite an unpleasant predicament in which to be placed. In this case you are left to one of two alternatives, either of which is unfortunate.
To marry contrary to the wishes of friends and parents, or sacrifice your love, both of which might have been avoided, if the necessary precautions had been taken in season. Do not marry so much above or below your sphere, as either to secure the contempt and the reproaches of friends, or fail to adapt yourself to the peculiar condition of your companion.
Finally, do not allow any one faculty of the mind, ane one condition of the body, any one favorable or flattering remark, the enthusiasm of the moment, or the excitement of passion to balance all other considerations - thus bringing about a partial union, and securing the possibility only of imperfect happiness.
Acting from the Highest Motives.
Those individuals who are governed by selfish motives in these matters, will resort to dishonest and improper means to accomplish their object. They have not a sufficient amount of conscience or principle to regulate and control them; the consequence of which is, there can be no confidence placed in them; they are liable at any and all time to go or be led astray, and are especially unfit to assume the weighty responsibilities which devolve on heads of families.
Persons of this character should be resolutely and determinedly avoided. From the existence of such men and women in society, can be traced the origin of the deception, pretension, falsehood, flattery, assumed piety, strained politeness and artificial endeavors to entertain each other while together, which may be denominated the reefs and shoals of the sea of matrimony.
Trifling with Affections.
Many unprincipled young men of fortune, leisure and accomplishments in our cities, spend much of their time in female society, using all their faculties and powers of pleasing with apparently honest intentions, labor assiduously to secure the affections of your ladies, and afterward make their dignified and lofty boasts of how many beautiful and charming young ladies are crazy after them, even if they do not proceed farther and trifle with their affections in the basest manner. Such men, or apologies for men, deserve to be branded with the blackest marks of infamy, the most indelible sign of disgrace, meriting nothing but obloquy and contempt.
Young women, too regardless of consequences, sometimes thoughtlessly turn coquettes, present their charms and bright attractions, use their best endeavors, exhibit devotion and exclusive affection, and by these means decoy and lead astray, if not absolutely ruin, many an honest, worthy young man. The hearts of such ladies exist but in name; they have long since been dissipated in thin air; they are only worthy of becoming the wives of the soulless persons described in the last paragraph.
The world is full of this reckless and unprincipled way of trifling with the most ardent, influential and endearing feelings of our nature.
Source of Untold Evils and Misery.
Were the evils brought upon society, families and individuals by this extensive but very pernicious course of conduct thoroughly investigated and dwelt upon, we should be presented with the real first cause why there are so many lewd men and women, so much vice, immorality, and licentiousness in our cities - would unfold the origin of the wretchedness and despair of miserable thousands, and expose the causes of many an early death.
It is the duty of every one, and God holds them accountable for the performance, to use their personal influence in removing unhealthy tendencies, particularly of the kind to which we have alluded.
As young people are now educated, many are not capable or qualified to discharge the duties which necessarily present themselves in the marriage relations.
The primary powers of their mind, their inclinations and passions, however, are not changed or modified to suit their abilities.
They are urged on by the blind impulses of their nature, to the altar of marriage, no more prepared to fulfil their solemn vows. or to discharge their duties, than is the mariner to navigate the broad surface of the mighty ocean without chart or compass.
The education of young ladies, especially, is very defective in many circles, particularly among the more fashionable, wealthy, and artificially accomplished.
Instead of being taught to work and help support themselves, thereby forming habits of industry and economy that are of invaluable service in after life, and securing healthy, hilarity, vivacity, and sprightliness by the free and ready exercise of muscle and mind, they become feeble and sickly in their bodies, as well as peevish and fretful in their dispositions.
Their parents become their slaves, their very drudges, and they are allowed to grow up in a debilitating and enervating idleness, their bodily powers only equaled in puerility by their mental - unable to take care of themselves of boldly meet difficulties which some unforeseen event may cast in their path, fitted only for toys and playthings, not for companions and confidants- the whole extent of their useful acquirements being ability to dress fashionably, behave genteelly, walk and dance gracefully, play upon the piano very beautifully, talk very softly and sweetly, to ridicule the idea of coming in contact with any of the commonplaces of life, pore over the sickly and trashy tales of a magazine or novel, and amuse the company by a display of their personal attractions, natural and unnatural, exciting and unhealthy, if not an immoral influence over others.
Or if, perchance, they work, it is merely to show their taste upon some article of dress designed to adorn their too artificial bodies, consulting neither health nor convenience, or, perhaps, to put on their gloves and dust the parlor, possibly to set the table, and yet very anxious to marry without understanding the rudiments of house keeping.
Such wives and mothers should be scarce, and y et such a system of education is encouraged by the other sex, who are by far the greatest sufferers, being more fond of their wives and daughters when they appear well, even to the neglect of their families; also by paying attentions and clustering around those young ladies whose dress is most "baby-like."
The true principles of education, founded upon athletics and physiology, would say, cultivate and improve the physical powers to the utmost, so as to secure health of body, strength of constitution, and the power of becoming parents of children, not characterized by weakness and effeminacy.
Exercise the mind, who whole mind, bearing in view the fact that the brain, the material organ of the mind, is capable of being benefitted by regular tasks, and of being injured by excesses, precisely in the same manner as the body can be weakened by any over-action.
Long Life and Happiness.
When the mental and physical organization of man is properly understood, and the laws by which those organizations are affected are obeyed, families will enjoy uninterrupted health, long life and uniform happiness.
Man's enjoyment in this life depends more on the proper exercise of the social feelings and their gratification in the domestic relations, than on any other condition in life. For him to enter upon these duties, and assume the necessary obligations without being thoroughly qualified and prepared, would be as great a sin and violation of duty as for an ignorant man, unacquainted with the principles of Christianity, and not enlightened by grace, to attempt to teach the way of salvation.
It should be looked at, reasoned upon, and spoken of, as an honest and most important business. To treat serious subjects in a light, trifling, nonsensical manner, is quite injurious, and should be reprobated.
We should do it with an eye upon our mutual and individual happiness, remembering that perfect happiness can arise only from the proper adaptation and exercise of all our natural powers, socially, morally, intellectually, and physically - consequently, we should consult all of them, and gratify as many as possible. And above all, we should do it with the reflection that from three to six generations of our descendants will be directly affected by the choice we make.
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P. O. Box 7615
S7K 4R4, Canada