June being the wedding month, herewith follows some advice, circa 1833, regarding the proper conduct of married persons toward each other.
~~~~~ Of propriety of conduct in conjugal and domestic relations.
If any thing can render politeness ridiculous, and even odious, it is the disposition of certain persons, who in society are moderate, amiable, and gracious, but in private show themselves morose, rough and ill-natured. This fault, much too common, is one of the greatest inconsistencies of the human mind. You use all your exertions to please the world which you only see cursorily, and in which you have only power to procure a few moments of pleasure, and you neglect to be agreeable to your husband or wife, from whom you expect the happiness of a whole life… Conjugal intimacy, it is true, dispenses with the etiquette established by politeness, but it does not dispense with attentions. In the presence of your wife or husband, you ought never to do those things which carry with them an idea of disgust, nor perform those duties of the toilet, which before any one but yourself offend decency and cleanliness.*
…If at any time the society of your husband or wife causes you ennui, you ought neither to say so, nor give any suspicion of the cause by abruptly changing the conversation…
To entertain with a politeness particularly affectionate the friends of a person with whom you are connected by marriage; to respect inviolably the letters which she writes or receives; to avoid prying into the secrets which she conceals from you through delicacy; never to act contrary to her inclinations, unless they are injurious to herself, and even in this case not to oppose her, but to endeavor to check them with address and kindness; to beware of confiding to strangers or to domestics the little vexations which she causes you; to dread like poison marks of contempt, coldness, suspicion, or reproaches; to apologize promptly and in an affectionate manner if you have allowed yourself to run into any ill humor; to receive her counsels with attention, and benevolence, and to execute them as quickly as possible—these are the obligations of propriety and love, to which husbands possessed of gentleness bind themselves, by the sanctity of the vows which they have taken before God.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.