Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Love Letters Part II


Marrying for a Home.

Let no lady commence and continue a correspondence with a view to marriage, for fear that she may never have another opportunity. It is the mark of judgement and rare good sense to go through life without wedlock, if she cannot marry for love. Somewhere in Eternity, the poet tells us, our true mate will be found. Do not be afraid of being and "old maid." The disgrace attached to that term has long since passed away. Unmarried ladies of mature years are proverbially among the most intelligent, accomplished, and independent to be found in society. The sphere of woman's action and work is so widening that she can to-day, if she desires, handsomely and independently support herself. She need not, therefore, marry for a home.

Intemperate Men (alcoholic or other addiction problem)

Above all, no lady should allow herself to correspond with an intemperate man, with a view to matrimony. She may reform him, but the chances are that her life's happiness will be completely destroyed by such a union. Better a thousand times, the single, free, and independent maidenhood, than for a woman to trail her life in the dust, and bring poverty, shame, and disgrace on her children, by marrying a man addicted to dissipated habits.

Marrying Wealth.

Let no man make it an ultimate object in life, to marry a rich wife. It is not the possession, but the acquisition of wealth, that gives happiness. It is a generally conceded fact that the inheritance of great wealth is a positive mental and oral injury to young men, completely destroying the stimulus to advancement. So as a rule, no man is permanently made happier by a marriage of wealth; while he is quite likely to be given to understand, by his wife and others, from time to time, that whatever consequence he may attain, it is all the result of his wife's money. Most independent men prefer to start, as all our wealthiest and greatest men have done, at the foot of the ladder and earn their independence. Where, however, a man can bring extraordinarily talent or distinguished reputation, as a balance for his wife's wealth, the conditions are more nearly equalized. Observation shows that those marriages prove most serenely happy where husband and wife, at the time of marriage, stand, socially, intellectually, and pecuniarily, very nearly equal. For the chances of successful advancement and happiness in after life, let a man wed a woman poorer than himself rather than one that is richer.

Poverty.

Let no couple hesitate to marry because they are poor. It will cost them less to live after marriage than before, one light, one fire, etc., answering the purpose for both. Having an object to live for, also, they will commence their accumulations after marriage as never before. The young woman that demands a certain amount of costly style, beyond the income of her betrothed, no young man should ever wed. As a general thing, however, women have common sense, and if husbands will perfectly confide in their wives, telling them exactly their pecuniary condition, the wife will live within the husband's income. In the majority of cases where men fail in business, the failure being attributed to the wife's extravagance, the wife has been kept in entire ignorance of her husband's pecuniary resources. The man who would be successful in business, should not only marry a woman who is worthy of his confidence, but he should at all times advise with her. She is more interested in his prosperity than anybody else, and will be found his best counselor and friend.

Confidence and Honor

The love correspondence of another should be held sacred, the rule of conduct being, to do to others as you wish them to do to you. No woman, who is is a lady, will be guilty of making light of the sentiments that are expressed to her in a letter. No man, who is a gentleman, will boast of his love conquests, among boon companions (bosom buddy, chums, best mate), or reveal to other the correspondence between himself and a lady. If an engagement is mutually broken off, all the love letters should be returned. To retain them is dishonorable. They were written under circumstances that no longer exist. It is better for both parties to wash out every recollection of the past, by returning to the giver every memento of the dead love.

How to Begin a Love Correspondence

Some gentlemen, being very favorably impressed with a lady at first sight, and having no immediate opportunity for introduction, make bold, after learning her name, to write her at once, seeking an interview, the form of which letter will be found hereafter. A gentleman in doing so, however, runs considerable risk of receiving a rebuff from the lady, though not always. It is better to take a little more time, learn thoroughly who the lady is, and obtain an introduction through a mutual acquaintance. Much less embarrassment attends such a meeting, and having learned the lady's antecedents, subjects are easily introduced in which she is interested, and thus the first interview can be made quite agreeable.

The way is now paved for the opening of a correspondence, which may be done by a note inviting her company to any entertainment supposed to be agreeable to her, or the further pleasure of her acquaintance by correspondence, as will follow.

Letters of Love (Part 1) - 1875


I copy the following word for word from this book. As I read it for the hundredth time, I cannot help to think that much of the advise given below is still so very appropriate and useful today. In addition, I believe that if I had not put the date of the book above, and changed a small bit of the wording, Christian parents would find all of the advice given still very relevant and appropriate. Enjoy.


Of all letters, the love letter should be the most carefully prepared. Among the written missives , they are the most thoroughly read and re-read, the longest preserved, and the most likely to be regretted in after life.

The Importance of Care

They should be written with the utmost regard for perfection. An ungrammatical expression, or a word improperly spelled, may seriously interfere with the writer's prospects, by being turned to ridicule. For any person, however, to make sport of a respectful, confidential letter, because of some error in the writing, is in the highest degree unladylike and ungentlemanly.

Necessity of Caution

As a rule, the love letter should be very guardedly written. Ladies, especially, should be very careful to maintain their dignity when writing them. When, possibly, in after time the feelings entirely change, you will regret that you wrote the letter at all. If the love remains unchanged, no harm will certainly be done if you wrote with judgment and care.

At What Age to Write Love Letters

The love letter is the prelude to marriage, a state that, if the husband and wife be fitted for each other, is the most natural and serenely happy; a state, however, that none should enter upon until, in judgement and physical development, both parties have completely matured. Many a life has been wrecked by a blind impulsive marriage, simply resulting from a youthful passion. As a physiological law, man should be twenty-five, and woman twenty-three, before marrying.

Approval of Parents

While there may be exceptional cases, as a rule, correspondence should be conducted only with the assent and approval of the parents. If it is not so, parents are themselves generally to blame. If children are properly trained, they will implicitly confide in the father and mother, who will retain their love until they are sufficiently matured to choose a companion for life. If parents neglect to retain this love and confidence, the child, in the yearning for affection, will place the love elsewhere, frequently much too early in life.

Time of Courtship

Ladies should not allow courtship to be conducted at unseasonable hours. The evening entertainment the walk, the ride, are all favorable for the study of each other's tastes and feelings. For the gentleman to protract his visit at the lady's residence until a late hour, is almost sure to give offence to the lady's parents, and is extremely ungentlemanly.

Honesty

The love letter should be honest. It should say what the writer means, and no more. For the lady or gentleman to play the part of a coquette, studying to see how many lovers he or she may secure, is very disreputable, and bars in its train a long list of sorrows, frequently wrecking the domestic happiness for a life-time. The parties should be honest also in the statement of their actual prospects and means of support. Neither should hold out to the other wealth or other inducements that will not be realized, as disappointment and disgust will be the only result.

Marrying For A Home

Let no lady commence and continue a correspondence with a view to marriage, for fear that she may never have another opportunity. It is the mark of judgement and rare good sense to go through life without wedlock, if she cannot marry for love. Somewhere in Eternity, the poet tells us, our true mate will be found. Do not be afraid of being an "old maid." The disgrace attached to that term has long since passed away. Un

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Letter from a Father Remonstrating with his Son

Danbury, Conn., July 17 18____

My Dear Son:

I am sorry to learn that you are not inclined to be as strict in your line of duty as you should be. Remember my son, that a down-hill road is before you, unless you rouse yourself and shake off immediately the habits of dissipation that are fastening themselves upon you. Be sure, dear boy, that nothing but sorrow and shame can come of bad company, late hours, neglect of duty, and inattention to the obligation of morality. I am willing to think that you have not given this matter sufficient thought heretofore; that your actions are the result of thoughtlessness rather than a disposition to do wrong. But be forewarned in time. You must change your course of action immediately or incur my severe displeasure.

I urge this, my boy, for your sake. Remember that my hapiness is bound in your own, and that nothing could give me greater pleasure than your prosperity. I trust that it will not be necessary for me to use more severe language than this.

Your Anxious Father,
Franklin Mathews

The Son's Reply

Boston, Mass., June 9, 18___

Dear Father

I realize that I need the good advise contained in your letter. I am aware, as I stop and think of my conduct, that I have given you reason for anxiety, but I intend, by attention to my business hereafter, and a complete reformation of my habits, to give you no occasion for concern about me in the future. Believe me, I love and respect you too much to intentionally wound your feelings, or to bring down your gray hairs with sorrow.

Excuse me, dear Father, for having given you this uneasiness, and trust me as

Your affectionate and Repentant Son,
Charles Mathews

From an Absent Wife to her Husband

Dearest Love,
I am at last safely under uncle's roof, having arrived here last evening, baby and myself both well, but really very tired. We had no delay, except about two hours at Buffalo. Uncle met me at the depot with his carriage, and in fifteen mintues from the time of my arrival, I was cosily in my room, which was all in readiness for me.

Uncle and aunt seem greatly pleased with my coming, and both are loud in their praise of the baby. They very much regret that you could not have come with me, and say they intend to prevail on you to make them a visit when I'm read to go home.

Baby looks into my eyes once in a while and says, solemnly, "Papa, papa!" I do actually believe he is thinking about home and wants to keep up a talk about you. Everybody thinks he looks like his papa. By day after to-morrow I will write a long letter. I want you to get this by first mail, so I make it short.

With dearest love I am
Your Wife,
Caroline

Answer to the Foregoing

Michigan City, Ind., March 7 18____

Dear Wife:
I was indeed rejoiced to hear of your safe arrival, having had no little anxiety for you, which is relieved by the receipt of your letter.

I miss you very much, the house looks so dreary without your loved presence; but I am, nevertheless, glad that you are making your visit, as the journey, I trust, will be beneficial to your health.

Kiss baby for me. Only by his absence do I know how much I have enjoyed my play with our little Charlie. Don't take any concern about me. Enjoy your visit with the utmost extent. In one of my next letters I will write whether I can go East and return with you.

Remember me to uncle and aunt,

Your ever Faithful Husband,
William
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