Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A man in love

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Loretta reports:

I came upon this sweet little passage in The Lady’s Stratagem.*  It’s taken from The Young Woman's Companion; or, Female Instructor, a book that remained in print for most of the 19th century.  If the Stratagem isn’t in your budget right now, you can read more about Love & Courtship as well as receive Advice Previous to Matrimony here.
~~~~~
LOVE AND COURTSHIP,
The following are the most genuine effects of an honourable passion among men, and the most difficult to counterfeit. A young man of delicacy often betrays his passion by his too great anxiety to conceal it, especially if he have little hopes of success. True love renders a man not only respectful but timid, in his behaviour to the woman he loves. To conceal the awe which he feels, he may sometimes affect pleasantry, but it sits awkwardly on him, and he quickly relapses into seriousness. He magnifies all her real perfections in his imagination, and is either blind to her failings, or converts them into beauties.

His heart and his character will be improved in every respect by his attachment. His manners will become more gentle, and his conversation more agreeable; but diffidence and embarrassment will always make him appear to disadvantage in the company of the object of his affections.

When you observe these marks in a young man's behaviour, you must reflect seriously what you are to do. If his attachment be agreeable to you, if you feel a partiality for him, you would do well not to discover to him, at first, the full extent of your love. Your receiving his addresses shews your preference, which is all at that time he is entitled to know. If he have delicacy, he will ask for no stronger proof of your affection, for your sake; if he have sense, he will not ask it, for his own.

If you see evident proofs of a young man's attachment, and are determined to shut your heart against him; as you ever hope to be used with generosity by the person who shall engage your heart, treat him honourably and humanely. Do not suffer him to linger in a state of miserable suspense, but be anxious to let him know your sentiments concerning him.
~~~~~
*For more, see yesterday's blog

Illustrations courtesy  Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Above left:  A Receipt for Courtship

Below right:  The Dutch Apollo!

5 comments:

Miss Tami Lee said...

So sweet! I love this. And very parallel to the way men behave today :)

nightsmusic said...

Treat him humanely? Sounds like they're talking about a dog there :lol:

Sometimes, I wish they still kept to those attitudes and customs today. ;) And I really, really need that book!

An aside! Speaking of Colonial Williamsburg (I know, but I can't resist) They're offering a sewing embellishments class. I really wish I could go. But I thought of you two immediately.

Via Victoriana Magazine:

Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Design Center teaches re-creation of 18th-century accessories and garments. The Costume Design Center is offering sewing workshops that teach adult guests how to put 18th-century touches on colonial costumes. The “Stomacher Embellishment Workshop” explores a variety of ways to decorate a stomacher, an 18th-century lady’s accessory, at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 17. Ribbon and thread flowers, gathered and pinked ribbons, and lace trimmings will be taught. Knowledge of sewing and hand skills are helpful. All tools will be provided but attendees may bring their own sewing implements. Cost is $75. Reservations for this program is required and can be made through 1-800-HISTORY.

Always Trista said...

I have to find this book!
Can you explain the joke in the second cartoon? I'm sure there's something historical that's really hilarious having to do with "Dutchman's breeches" (besides the obvious!) that I'm not getting.

LorettaChase said...

Miss Tami Lee, reading this I kept thinking of Jane Austen's novels, and the strangely quiet and awkward behavior of some of the men--as contrasted with, say, Mr. Collins!___Theo, there are still guys who get tongue-tied around girls they admire--and there are plenty of girls who could use a lesson in how to treat their admirers humanely!___Always Trista, this is a satirical look at the Princess Charlotte's engagement to the Prince of Orange, which she managed to break off, in spite of her father. Scroll down for a bit more info here: http://www.georgianindex.net/Prn_Charlotte/P_Charlotte.html
Charlotte thought the Prince of Orange was ugly. He was sickly and he drank. So when she saw the beautiful Prince Leopold, she dumped the Prince of Orange. So the obvious is definitely part of the joke. Someone else will have to explain all the little symbolic details in the print, though.

Finegan Antiques said...

A lot of men today could benefit from this book. But let's not be sexist, so could a lot of woman. In some ways it was a easier time for women but I for one would not like to give up my hard won rights and freedoms. Heck we are still fighting for them today.

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