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THE ENQUIRER'S ORACLE;

OR,

What to Do and How to Do It.

COURTSHIP, MATRIMONY, AND MARRIED LIFE.

THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF EACH PERIOD.

1. The Beginning of Courtship. nary people that, somehow or other, -What is more like the opening of a get married, and are most likely to get new book than the initiation of a married, at any given age, little attraccourtship? To uninterested observers tive as they may appear to presumpit is an inevitable subject for joke and tuous critics. banter. To fond parents it is matter 3. Worth Better than Beauty. for the deepest anxiety. For the in- -The ordinary course of love, to the dividuals most intimately concerned it dreamy a mystery, and to the shallow is a time of flutter, and doubt, and philosopher something that “no fellow awakening, and hope. With most of can understand,” vividly illustrates and those who are personally involved it is brings into prominence the sterling the making or marring of the whole truth that worth of character is superior future—the beginning of a new life. to the most conspicuous beauty. Hence, 2. Unexpected Courtship. - when we hear a person say,

" However There is nothing affecting human des could he have married such a fright ? " țing in connection with which it may or, “Whatever she could see in him is be more confidently said, “Never de beyond comprehension," we may be spair ;" for it is not the most beautiful

sure that there are virtues and merits nor most accomplished that are the that are more than sufficient to commost successful in love-rather the re

pensate for any supposed inferiority of Whether it is that beauty and appearance. accomplishments make their possessors 4. Pleasing and being Pleased. capricious, or whether they deter the -Success in courtship, no less than in advances of the majority, and so di- other passages of sublunary existence, minish the chances, may be matter for depends, for the most part, upon the doubt; but it is not so very unusual for greater or less degree of ability for the belle of the family to lapse into the pleasing that may be possessed by either old maid, or for the Apollo of an ad party. This ability is more or less inmiring circle to remain in the frigid nate or deficient in the constitution of zone of bachelorship, until he becomes every individual. There is a manner the subject of merriment as the verit- about some people that makes every able “old beau” of the party, Be look, and smile, and act, and word, ai. that as it may, it is the plain and ordi- element of satisfaction to others. OL

verse.

NOT TO OFFEND IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS PLEASING,

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LITTLE BOATS SHOULD KEEP NEAR SHORE.

the contrary, there are some unfortunate | nor desirable to measure the effect too people who, with the best intentions, critically of everything to be said or dr, more likely, without any intentions, done. Too much study of that kind is are always contriving to do or say some calculated to induce an artificial love thing or other with a malappropriate that can hardly be desirable; but that ness enough to make a cat laugh if it is no reason why inappropriate words could indulge in such an evidence of or acts should be said or done in sheer emotion, or, otherwise, that might make wantonness and disregard of conseangels weep. if they happened to be quences. It is possible in such rela. sufficiently interested in the conse- tionships to be over-confident, and to quences. Of such are the contrasts of be seriously misunderstood : for though personal conduct that often govern the love, like justice, may be blind, it is results of a courtship.

not necessarily deaf, as Jacques remind5. Choice of a Partner for Life. eth us, with some appropriateness, in -Grave things are sometimes said the “Honeymoon ;' and what is true about choosing with reference to matri- in the honeymoon is equally true in the monial intentions, and the importance courtship. It should be borne in mind of regulating the choice wisely and that, in such contingencies, a very well. Serious reflections thereon are

small cloud may cause a very incon

venient eclipse. amongst the delusive conceits of which some men and women seem to be the 7. Love Letters. Many a love victims. In the majority of cases, letter, as disclosing the deficiencies of choice has nothing whatever to do with the writer, has effectually extinguished it. True love is no more within control the love it was presumably intended to than is to-morrow's weather. If a fan. Oh! unhappy writer in such a marriage is to be one of love, it is an pass, especially if it be the first letter! instinctive sentiment beyond the power Unfortunately, education is so partially of choice; if it is to be a mercenary spread in some quarters, that a showy marriage, it is not the choice of a part girl, of good social position, with some ner, but of a fortune. The only legiti- powers of engaging conversation, may mate exercise of choice is in the nega- be totally unable to write a presentable tive direction. You may suppress love, letter; and the smart fellow who has but you cannot inspire it as a matter been prosperous enough in business to of choice. If it be really true that live in style, or has inherited enough to there be deliberate choice in some be independent, whose correspondence cases, and it be acted upon, it is hardly has been limited to counting-house an assurance to the chosen one of the inanities or the briefest memoranda, undivided affection that should accom- may feel at a loss when for the first pany such a union. We may depend time entering upon the agonies of in. upon it there is no more real choice in diting a few lines extending beyond the such matters than there is in the precise customary phrases relating to the dryest position of the paintings of a lily. matters of trade and finance. Out of 6. Too much Confidence.-Speak- such elements ridiculous and sometimes

fatal love letters grow. ing of the malappropriateness of what ore may say or do, there may be a kind

8. Disclosures in Law Courts. of confidence in courtship that pre- -Judging from the love letters that sumes too much ; and where a word or come before judges, and get into the an act may seem to convey an idea of papers, they are the most ridiculous of carelessness of consequences calculated all documents; and if they were any to prevent the growth and permanence reliable criterion of the generality, the of the loving sentiment that will not best course would be to refrain from thrive without some cultivation. Where them entirely. It is beyond the conthere is a growing confidence and ad- ception of sensible people to imagine vancing intimacy, is neither possible what could induce anyone to call

VESSELS LARGE MAY VENTURE MORE.

MARRIAGE WITH PEACE IS THE WORLD'S PARADISE.

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another his “Tantalorum Tibby," as | any subject which would render such a recorded of Mr. Mantalini ; and yet meeting between us desirable.—Yours 'here are, as authentically proved, truly, people silly enough to use expressions equally ridiculous, and, apparently,

12. Foolish Concession. — Any other people equally gratified at being lady receiving the first-quoted leiter so addressed. Let us be comforted would lay herself open to the charge of with the assurance that such extreme lack of perception if she failed to disweaknesses are not universal.

cover the motive, and she would be

equally chargeable with folly or trifling 9. Well-expressed Letters.-To if she granted the interview with the the well-regulated mind and the well- foregone determination to refuse any educated hand, worthy of the love by consequent proposal. There is enough which real love letters are inspired, the evidence to convince us that trifling of composition thereof is an improving that sort is sometimes indulged in, and exercise of the noblest expressions of to some there may appear no harm in genuine sentiments of the highest it; but there is mischief lurking in order.

folly of that kind, which may not 10. Preliminary Exercises. -pected severity, that may well be shrunk

unlikely bring punishment of unex. Where courtship, or a desire to enter from. upon acceptable courtship, springs from strong and irrepressible emotions, it is 13. Reciprocal Sentiments. -scarcely possible for it to be free from When the receiver of the first-named doubts and fears, that need solution by letter is favourably disposed towards means of bringing them to the test of the writer, she may, if there is no acceptance or refusal ; and, however known objection to such a course, write much one may prefer negotiations of a a letter to the following effect strictly personal character, it is by no “Dear Mr. -In reply to your means bad policy to prepare the way letter, I write to inform you that I by such a letter as may suffice for its shall be at home to-morrow from purpose, without committing either the to or shall walk in the park from writer or the receiver to anything more;

to-morrow evening.-Yours and nothing is better than a simple truly, request for an interview, as thus:“Dear Miss Merton,- I write for the

14. Offers of Marriage. — Rca. purpose of requesting that you will sonable discretion should generally favour me with an appointment for an

suffice to prevent anyone from making interview, at which I very earnestly de

an offer of marriage in writing. There sire to secure your approval of what I may be circumstances where it is undesire to communicate. I await your

avoidable, but they must be extremely

If a forlorn swain has succeeded reply with feelings of anxiety, which I trust you will mitigate by avoiding

in securing an interview such as is delay.--Yours most faithfully,

suggested by the foregoing letters, he must, with such a forecast of a favour

able reception, be very faint-hearted if 11. Foolish Presumption.–Any he cannot win the fair lady on such a cne writing such a letter without any favourable occasion. Should he feel kind of incidental previous encourage; too nervous for personal explanations at ment must be described as foolish, and such a meeting, it is but a poor recomwould get a well-merited rebuke by mendation, and should he, after becomsuch a letter as the following :

ing conscious of such a sense of personal “Sir,-Your letter is so surprising incompetence, venture to commit himand unexpected, that I must decline self upon paper, he not only risks without further consideration the inter contemptuous rejection, but the proview you request, as I cannot imagine spect of having his letter handed round

7 to

rare.

INCONSTANCY IS DESPICABLE; FAITHLESSNESS IS BASE.

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DESPISE TRIFLING AFFRONTS, AND THEY WILL VANISH.

for the amusement of a confidential 17. Doubtful Cases.-Many more circle. Depend upon it, such writing suitors would get favourable answers can never be considered wise, and is

sooner if the respective ladies were often absolutely foolish.

sure of them. It is not a light matter 15. Rejected Addresses. Where for mere gallantry to obtain a favourthere is a decided repugnance of a able answer from deluded confidence, suitor, there can scarcely be a difficulty and for the deluded confidence to in giving him a negative. There are discover, too late, with reference to the sɔme cases, indeed, where the only master of gallantry, that subsequent course is to ignore and take no notice events interest him nomore. Unhappily, of the offer in any form. If the offer it is quite impossible to be certain that be in person there is nothing easier professed love is real, or that, being than leaving the room and sending a

real for the time, it is of an enduring message that an engagement prevents

character. For these, and for other a return, or something of that kind. reasons, it behoves every lover to keep If the proposal be in writing it may the promptings of love under reasonable suffice to put it on the fire. These, control. Especially is it necessary, in however, are very extreme cases, where this respect, for every lady to take the slightest concession would be de- scrupulous care that she does not make rogatory. In qualified cases, where a fool of herself, because that is the sume consideration is due, the best plain English that must be recognized course, beyond all doubt, is to ask in cases enough to be painfully illustratime for reflection, even though an

tive. Before allowing ardour to express ultimate negative be intended. It is itself too swiftly, it is desirable to put the only way of mitigating any pro

it to the test of time. In the true lover, hable pain, provided always that the

as in the true soldier, a moderate negative be conveyed in a reasonably amount of repulse, or even a temporary short time. In such a case, if the defeat, will rather stimulate than deter. mind is really made up, it is due to the suitor, who is believed to be truly is recorded of the “ Fair Imogene

18. Qualified Acceptances.-It in earnest, and worthy of kindly regard, that "she answered him, “You must to write that " upon full reflection, I

This comes find it impossible to reply to you in ask my respectable papa. other than an unqualified negative,

under the head of a class of doubtful which is irrevocable, and cannot be

It may be interpreted to mean recalled.” If the writer feels at liberty that the lady is deficient in a due proto say that she is already engaged, that portion of reciprocity, and from that may be the best of all answers; other point of view may be regarded as wise it is most judicious to be brief, apt to forget that the blooming blos

rather cool. The ardent lover is too and to avoid giving reasons that may som, under the premature heat of an open the door to subsequent complica- early spring time, is not unlikely to be tions.

the first to yield to any succeeding storm. 16. Persistent Addresses. Regard for the wishes of papa, or of Where the would-be suitor persists in some other friend, may seem to be an writing or contriving interviews that inappropriate interruption to “sighing are not desired, and where he will not like furnace,” but it is a leading example take "no" for an answer, or where of the true wisdom of governing the correspondence is out of the question, passions by material considerations that it is a good plan to obtain the interven distinguish civilized life from barbation of some elderly relative, who is rism. There is another excellent reason willing to communicate to the objection why the reply of Imogene may be well able person that his proceedings are judged. If the sighing Alonzo has not mere annoyances that can have no the courage to lay the case before papa, satisfactory result.

it may be one of the best evidences

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cases.

ANGER BEGINS WITH FOLLY AND ENDS WITH REPENTANCE.

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD ALWAYS LOOKS CLEANEST.

5

to

one.

moon.

that he is not worthy to be accepted as may be pardonable, and may even be a lover. From that, and from many worthy of sincere sympathy; but to other points of view, clandestine en- allow future prospects to be obscured by {agements savour of a degree of such a cloud for any lengthened pericá cowardice that is the reverse of admir- is unworthy and reprehensible. Unforable.

tunately the ideas of plighted faith and 19. Misplaced Affections.

broken hearts derive injuriousencourageWomen, more than men,

ment from many poems and novels,

are most likely to suffer from giving way

that are too obviously designed to premature attachments ; for one of the play upon and make capital out of the greatest trials in life to a woman is dis unwholesome sentiments of love-sick appointment in love, either from an people, who, on the contrary, require unrequited attachment or a misplaced the nonsense shaken out of them by

It is the secret source of half an unsparing hand coming from a very the wretchedness and ill-health

different quarter. Anything like de

among women, and to guard against it should spair of the future for such a cause is be a leading aim of female education.

contemptible childishness, only to be

compared to a peevish baby, crying and 20. Inevitable Trials. — Some puling because it cannot have the writers have contended that so very

Let it be remembered that common is it for women to be disap- that moon will decline and be succeeded pointed in their first love, that the loss by another, the emblem of perpetual and recovery of the heart is to the mind renewal of beauty, virtue, and worth ; what the whooping cough or measles in all time, and in all people ; ever may be to the body, without experienc- changeful, yet the same; bounteous of ing which the constitution cannot be good in all ages for those who wisely properly set up.

adapt themselves to its various phases : 21. The Lover's Despair.

and such is not so bad a similitude of Where an attempt or desire to form a

the course of love. Change of scene, matrimonial engagement has failed,

the active engagements of life, whole. there is perhaps a universal tendency at and public affairs, constitute the best

some interest in elevating amusements first to regard one's future existence as

antidotes when love is an infliction, ard an incurably blighted life. There can be no doubt that the social isolation of the best promise of its renewal under some families and many individuals,

more encouraging circumstances. unhealthily contributes to such despairing sentiments. Parents and relatives Where letters have passed during an

23. Exchange of Letters. should have some regard for these in; abortive courtship, it is generally not evitable passages of experience, and advisable or fair to keep them, but it should, from such a point of view, relax is not judicious to return them, unle. those tendencies to exclusiveness of in there is an exchange. Cases have been tercourse that prevail in some quarters. disclosed where one of the parties has Reasonable checks upon indiscriminate

returned letters, but has failed, on acquaintanceship are, of course, essential, but to carry them to extremes is request, to obtain the letters from the equally unwise and unfeeling, and other side, which have been subse

To where life in such circumstances is quently used against the writer. overtaken by a disappointment in love, only way is to secure the services of a

avoid such a painful contingency, the the most disastrous consequences may trusted friend to make a formal exresult.

change of letters at a personal inter22. Becoming Fortitude.-As for view. This requires to be done with individuals, upon whom disappointment tact, because, where a letter or two of in love has severely fallen, a consider- more than ordinary importance has able amount of temporary depression | been written,. the possessor may be

WILLOWS ARE WEAK, YET THEY-. BIND OTHER WOOD.

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