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
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.