On Courtship and Matrimony Part 2

Ah so young love springs eternal!

At a juncture so critical in the life of a young inexperienced woman as that when she begins to form an attachment for one of the opposite sex at a moment when she needs the very best advice accompanied with a considerate regard for her overwrought feelings the very best course she can take is to confide the secret of her heart to that truest and most loving of friends her mother.

and who do we turn to for sound advice on matters of the heart?

Well not your parents in most cases, maybe a sibling but more than likely your friends who have little or no experience as well!!

Fortunate is the daughter who has not been deprived of that wisest and tenderest of counsellors whose experience of life, whose prudence and sagacity, whose anxious care and appreciation of her child’s sentiments, and whose awakened recollections of her own trysting days, qualify and entitle her above all other beings to counsel and comfort her trusting child, and to claim her confidence. Let the timid girl then pour forth into her mother’s ear the flood of her pent-up feelings. 

Friends in many ways have become family, some times even closer. Now that’s hardly surprising in today’s society where families are so fragmented as opposed to being the centre of community.

Let her endeavour to distrust her own judgment, and seek hope, guidance, and support from one who, she well knows, will not deceive or mislead her. The confidence thus established will be productive of the most beneficial results by securing the daughter’s obedience to her parent’s advice, and her willing adoption of the observances prescribed by etiquette, which, as the courtship progresses, that parent will not fail to recommend as strictly essential in this phase of life. Where a young woman has had the misfortune to be deprived of her mother, she should at such a period endeavour to find her next best counsellor in some female relative, or other trustworthy friend.

Again a trustworthy friend, these are a rare breed in my experience. Trust comes only over a number of years and experience…it’s far too easy to be let down by the people we trust and to find out they are pretenders but back to courting…

We are to suppose that favourable opportunities for meeting have occurred, until, by-and-by, both the lady and her admirer have come to regard each other with such warm feelings of inclination as to have a constant craving for each other’s society. Other eyes have in the meantime not failed to notice the symptoms of a growing attachment; and some “kind friends have, no doubt, even set them down as already engaged. The admirer of the fair one is, indeed, so much enamoured as to be unable longer to retain his secret within his own breast; and, not being without hope that his attachment is reciprocated, resolves on seeking an introduction to the lady’s family preparatory to his making a formal declaration of love. 

Ah a formal declaration of love…it could be none more romantic really. It usually involved:

a formal statement by a plaintiff specifying the facts and circumstances constituting his or her cause of action.

For example, from Mr Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennett

“You must know, surely you must know, it was all for you. You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I’d scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I would have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you. And I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.” – Spoken by Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Bit of a mouthful really when one hasn’t even had so much as a peck on the cheek but there is a certain charm about it!

But surprisingly after all that…

It is possible, however, that the lover’s endeavours to procure the desired introduction may fail of success, although, where no material difference of social position exists, this difficulty will be found to occur less frequently than might at Continue reading

On Courtship and Matrimony Part 1

Marriage, relationships and of course courting as it was called in the Victorian Era. The root of the word courting comes from “behavior of a courtier” Meaning ‘paying court to a woman with the intention of marriage and is from 1590s.

So here is so fine wisdom from Routledges, so let us look at the First Steps in Courtship:

We will take it for granted, then, that a gentleman has in one way or another become fascinated by a fair lady possibly a recent acquaintance whom he is most anxious to know more particularly. His heart already feels “the inly touch of love,” and his most ardent wish is to have that love returned.

Ah the course of young love, the chase, the catch or in my case flea in the ear and the disappointment! The course of true love rarely runs smoothly, from my own experience it really can be a nightmare (I am happily married now by the way).

In my younger days I was rebuffed for marriage once and it was heartbreaking but I wonder if we hadn’t embarked on a sexual relationship so quickly that rebuffing may not of happened.

Maybe some thing advice could still be of sound use:

At this point we venture to give him a word of serious advice. We urge him, before he ventures to take any step towards the pursuit of this object, to consider well his position and prospects in life, and reflect whether they are such as to justify him in deliberately seeking to win the young lady’s affections, with the view of making her his wife at no distant period. Should he after such a review of his affairs feel satisfied that he can proceed honourably, he may then use fair opportunities to ascertain the estimation in which the young lady, as well as her family, is held by friends.

To be honest I never had a clue how to attacrt the ladies, thankfully God blessed me and I was am/was not a bad looking chap but if I had looked like some sort of jack-pine savage…well what then!!

It is perhaps needless to add, that all possible delicacy and caution must be observed in making such inquiries, so as to avoid compromising the lady herself in the slightest degree. When he has satisfied himself on this head, and found no insurmountable impediment in his way, his next endeavour will be, through the mediation of a common friend, to procure an introduction to the lady’s family. Those who undertake such an office incur no slight responsibility, and are, of course, expected to be scrupulously careful in performing it, and to communicate all they happen to know affecting the character and circumstances of the individual they introduce.

Of course it’s always nice to find out if the young lady you are attracted to that reciprocates as it tends to cut out the inevitable kick in the teeth, embarrassment and broken heart that we would much sooner avoid… and so to the fairer sex…

We will now reverse the picture, and see how matters stand on the fair one’s side. First let us hope that the inclination is mutual; at all events, that the lady views her admirer with preference, that she deems him not unworthy of her favourable regard, and that his attentions are agreeable to her. It is true her heart may not yet be won: she has to be wooed; and what fair daughter of Eve has not hailed with rapture that brightest day in the spring tide of her life? She has probably first met the gentleman at a ball, or other festive occasion, where the excitement of the scene has reflected on every object around a roseate tint.

Sadly it tends to be at a pub or a club and the roseate tint tends to be vast amounts of alcohol nowadays.

We are to suppose, of course, that in looks, manner, and address, her incipient admirer is not below her ideal standard in gentlemanly attributes. His respectful Approaches to her in soliciting her hand as a partner in the dance, &c. have first awakened on her part a slight feeling of interest towards him. This mutual feeling of interest, once established, soon “grows by what it feeds on.” The exaltation of the whole scene favours its development, and it can hardly be wondered at if both parties leave judgment “out in the cold” while enjoying each other’s society, and possibly already pleasantly occupied in building “castles in the air.” Whatever may eventually come of it, the fair one is conscious for the nonce of being unusually happy.

The thrill of first meetings, getting to know each other…that wonderful butterfly feeling when you first fall in love. I believe that still exists today…

This emotion is not likely to be diminished when she finds herself the object of general attention accompanied; it may be, by the display of a little envy among rival beauties owing to the assiduous homage of her admirer. At length, prudence whispers that he is to her, as yet, but a comparative stranger; and with a modest reserve she endeavours to retire from his observation, so as not to seem to encourage his attentions. The gentleman’s ardour, however, is not to be thus checked; he again solicits her to be his partner in a dance. She finds it hard, very hard, to refuse him; and both, yielding at last to the alluring influences by which they are surrounded, discover at the moment of parting that a new and delightful sensation has been awakened in their hearts.

Ah that fantastic moment of mutual understanding and excitement…if only we could keep that for a life time!