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The etiquette of engagement and marriage


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Title:TheEtiquetteofEngagementandMarriage
DescribingModernMannersandCustomsofCourtshipand
Marriage,andgivingFullDetailsregardingtheWedding
CeremonyandArra
Author:G.R.M.Devereux
ReleaseDate:November21,2009[EBook#30522]
Language:English

***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKETIQUETTEOFENGAGEMENT,MARRIAGE***

ProducedbyClareGraham



TheEtiquetteof
EngagementandMarriage


DescribingModernMannersand
CustomsofCourtshipandMarriage,and
givingFullDetailsregardingthe
WeddingCeremonyandArrangements


ByG.R.M.Devereux
Authorof"EtiquetteforWomen,"etc,etc.


FirstpublishedJanuary1903

ThisetextpreparedfromthereprintofMarch1919published
byC.ArthurPearsonLtd.,HenriettaStreetLondonandprinted
byNeillandCo.Ltd.,Edinburgh.





LISTOFCONTENTS
Chapter

Page



INTRODUCTORYREMARKS

13

I

THEBEGINNINGSOFCOURTSHIP-FAVOURABLEOPPORTUNITIES-INTELLECTUALAFFINITY--ARTISTIC
FELLOWSHIP--ATHLETICCOMRADESHIP-AMATEURACTING--SOCIALINTERCOURSE-DIFFERENTIDEASOFETIQUETTE


16

II

INTRODUCTIONS--RECOGNITIONOF
AFFINITY,ORLOVEATFIRSTSIGHT--HOWTO
21
FOLLOWUPANACQUAINTANCE--KINDLY
OFFICESOFRELATIONSANDFRIENDS

III

INTERCOURSEBETWEENUNCONFESSED
LOVERS--THEQUESTIONOFPRESENTS-25
EXCHANGEOFHOSPITALITY--THEMANWHO
LIVESATHOME--THEMANINROOMS

IV

INTERCOURSEWITH(1)THEHOMEGIRL;(2)
THEBACHELORGIRL;(3)THEBUSINESS
30
GIRL;(4)THESTUDENTORPROFESSIONAL
GIRL--FRIENDSWHOBECOMELOVERS
FLIRTS,MALEANDFEMALE--HECHANGES


V

HISMINDONTHEVERGEOFAPROPOSAL-36
HOWSHEACCEPTSTHESITUATION--HOW
SHEMAYGIVEENCOURAGEMENTORWARD
OFFANUNWELCOMEOFFER

VI

THEQUESTIONOFAGE--YOUNGLOVERS-YOUNGMENWHOWOOMATURITY--OLDMEN 41
WHOCOURTYOUTH--MIDDLE-AGEDLOVERS

VII

PROPOSALS:PREMEDITATED,
SPONTANEOUS,PRACTICAL,ORROMANTIC-NORULEPOSSIBLE--TACTWANTEDIN
CHOICEOFOPPORTUNITY--UNSEEMLY
HASTEANINSULTTOAWOMAN--KEEN
46
SENSEOFHUMOURDANGEROUSTO
SENTIMENT--SOMETHINGSTOAVOID-VAGUELYWORDEDOFFERS--WHENSHEMAY
TAKETHEINITIATIVE

VIII

ENGAGEMENTS--THEATTITUDEOFPARENTS
ANDGUARDIANS--MAKINGITKNOWNINTHE
FAMILY,TOOUTSIDEFRIENDS-CONGRATULATIONS--THECHOICEAND
51
GIVINGOFTHERING--MAKING
ACQUAINTANCEWITHFUTURERELATIONSIN-LAW,PERSONALLYORBYLETTER

IX

HISVISITSTOHERHOME--THEENGAGED
COUPLEINPUBLIC--INSOCIETY--VISITINGAT
THESAMEHOUSE---GOINGABOUT
56
TOGETHER,ETC.--THEQUESTIONOF
EXPENSES


X

LOVE-LETTERS--LONGORSHORT
ENGAGEMENTS--BROKENENGAGEMENTS-CLANDESTINEENGAGEMENTS--JUSTIFIABLE 60
INCERTAINCASES--WHERETHEMOTHER
SHARESTHESECRET--FRIENDSWHOACTAS
GO-BETWEEN

XI

FOREIGNETIQUETTEOFENGAGEMENTS-BETROTHALMUCHMORESERIOUSTHANIN 65
ENGLAND

XII

MARRIAGE--FIXINGTHEDAY--PREPARATIONS-SELECTINGTHEBRIDESMAIDSANDTHEIR
71
DRESSES--BUYINGTHEWEDDING-GOWN-THETROUSSEAU—INVITATIONS

XIII

WEDDINGPRESENTS--CHOOSINGAND
FURNISHINGTHEHOUSE--WHATTHE
BRIDEGROOMSUPPLIES--THEBRIDE'S
SHAREINTHEMATTER

XIV

THENATUREOFTHECEREMONY,RELIGIOUS
ORCIVIL--BANNSORLICENSE--LEGAL
81
FORMALITIES--SETTLEMENTS,ETC.

XV

THEWEDDING-DAY--WHATISEXPECTEDOF
(1)THEBRIDE;(2)THEBRIDESMAIDS;(3)
THEBRIDEGROOM;(4)THEBESTMAN;(5)
THEBRIDE'SPARENTS--ATTHEBRIDE'S
HOUSE--DRESSING--STARTINGFORTHE
CHURCH--THETYINGOFTHEKNOT--SOCIAL
ASPECT--RECEPTIONORBREAKFAST

77

86


XVI

THEGUESTS--THEWEDDINGPRESENTSON
VIEW--STARTINGFORTHEHONEYMOON-DRESSANDLUGGAGE--WHERETOGOAND
HOWLONGTOSTAY--INEVITABLETESTOF
TEMPERAMENT--POSSIBLE
DISAPPOINTMENTSANDDISILLUSION,
PASSINGORPERMANENT

92

XVII

THERETURNHOME--APLUNGEINTOTHE
PRACTICAL--HOUSEKEEPING--WEDDING
CALLS--THENEWLY-MARRIEDCOUPLEAT
HOMEANDINSOCIETY

97

XVIII

MIXEDMARRIAGES--DIFFERENCESOF
COLOUR,NATIONALITY,ANDRELIGION-102
SCOTCHMARRIAGES--MARRIAGEOFMINORS
ANDWARDSINCHANCERY

XIX

FOREIGNETIQUETTEOFMARRIAGE-VARIOUSCUSTOMS

107

XX

RUNAWAYMATCHES--RE-MARRIAGEOF
WIDOWSANDWIDOWERS--THECHILDREN-THEHOME--DRESS—COMPARISONS

113

XXI

MARRYINGFORLOVE;FORMONEY;FORA
HOME;FORAHOUSEKEEPER--CONCLUDING 117
REMARKS



INDEX



121




{13}


THEETIQUETTEOF
ENGAGEMENTAND
MARRIAGE





INTRODUCTORYREMARKS

ThewordCourtshiphasanold-worldsoundaboutit,and
carriesthemindbacktothestateliermannersofbygonedays.
Nowadayswehavenoleisureforcourtlygreetingsand
elaborately-turnedcompliments.Weareslackeningmanyofthe
oldbonds,breakingdownsomeoftheoldrestraint,and,
thoughitwillseemtreasontomembersofapastgenerationto
sayit,weare,letushope,arrivingatalessartificialstateof
things.
DuringthemarchofcivilisationMarriageandthe
circumstancesthatleaduptoithaveundergonemanyand
wonderfulchanges,thoughthedeep-seatedfundamentalidea
ofhavingamatehasremainedunalteredinessence.
Justasthesavageofto-daystealsorfightsforhisduskybride,
sodidourownrudeforefathersofpastageslooktorapineand
theswordasthenaturalmeansofprocuringthematewhowas
toministertotheirjoysandnecessities.
AstheChinesegirlofthetwentiethcenturyisboughtbyher
husbandlikeapieceoffurnitureoracookingutensil,sothe
childbrideofancientRomeusedtotakeaformalfarewellof
herdollsandplaythings,makingasolemnofferingofthemto
theGods,beforeshewassoldtothehusbandwhowaslegally
entitledtobeatherifheliked,shebeingnothingbuthisslave
intheeyesofthelaw.
Wehavetravelledfarsincethen,anditwouldbeimpossible
eventotouchuponthemainpointsofdevelopmentthathave
{14}placedEngagementandMarriageupontheirpresent
footingamongstus.Itistobenotedthatnotwocountrieshave


movedquitesidebysideinthismatter.Wefindthewrittenand
unwrittenlawswhichregulatetheconductofmantowoman
differenttosomeextentineveryland,andwhatwouldbean
actofcourtesyinonecountrywouldberegardedasaserious
breachofetiquetteinanother.
Noonehasmadeacleansweepofalltheoldformalities;there
arestillcertainthingswhichmayandmaynotbedone;andit
isforthisreasonthatafewhintsonthisevernew,everengrossingsubjectofCourtshipandMarriagemaybefound
helpfultothosewhoarecontemplatingthemostimportantstep
inthelifeofmanorwoman.
WeareveryfreeandeasynowinEngland,thoughnotquiteas
unconventionalastheyareontheothersideoftheAtlantic.We
haveabolishedagreatmanyofthefalsebarrierserectedby
Mrs.Grundyorherpredecessors,whichkeptyoungmenand
womenfromenjoyingeachother'ssocietyinaninnocent,
naturalway.Ofcoursethereisnogainwithoutacertain
amountofloss,andwhilewehaveadvancedinfreedomwe
haveretrogradedinchivalry,deference,andcourtesy.
Thegirlwhodailymeetsamanoncommongroundinhis
businessorhissportisnotregardedbyhimwiththesame
"distantreverence"whichthedevoutloverofformerdays
cherishedfortheladyofhisheart.Perhapsaswearebut
humanbeingsitisaswellthatwearemorenatural,andless
giventoidealiseourbeloved.Womenarenolongerbroughtup
inthebeliefthatitisadisgracenottogetmarried,andastill
greaterdisgracetoshowtheleastsignofbeinganxioustofulfil
theirdestiny.Everynormally-mindedwomanwhoishonest
withherselfmustconfesstoherownheart--eveniftonoother-thatmarriagerightlyunderstoodisthelifeforwhichshewas
intended,andtheoneinwhichshewouldfindthehighest,
puresthappiness.If,however,therightmanfailstoappear,she
canmakeherselfveryhappy.Shedoesnotthinkthateachman
ofheracquaintanceisdesiroustomarryher,orthataten
minutes'tête-à-têtewillexposehertotheriskofaproposal.


AsthingsgonowmenandwomeninEnglandhaveabundant
opportunitiesforseeingandknowingeachotherbeforelinking
theirlivestogether.Thisfreedomofintercourse,{15}however,
isfetteredhereandtherebywhatwecallEtiquette,which
variesconsiderablyinthedifferentscalesofsociallife.The
costermayhavelessceremonyinhiswooingandweddingthan
thenobleman;theroyalprinceishedgedinbyformalities
unknowntothemiddleclasses;butineveryrankthereare
acceptedtraditions,writtenandunwrittenrules,towhichmen
andwomenmustsubmitiftheywillbeself-respecting,lawabidingcitizens.



{16}


CHAPTERI
TheBeginningsofCourtship--FavourableOpportunities-IntellectualAffinity--ArtisticFellowship--AthleticComradeship-AmateurActing--SocialIntercourse--DifferentIdeasof
Etiquette.

WhocanfixtheexacttimeatwhichCourtshipbegins?Itmay
ormaynotbeprecededbyLove;itmaycoincidewiththebirth
ofthetenderpassion;itmaypossiblybewellinadvanceof
Cupid'sdarts;or,sadtosay,itmaybelittlemorethanthe
preludetoapurelybusinesstransaction.

Opportunities.
Menandwomenmeeteachotheronveryvariedplanes,and
eachwalkinlifehasitsownopportunities.Theintellectually
mindedmaybegintheircourtshipovermustybooksorchoice
editions,andadvancedstudentswillmakeloveasardentlyasa
countrymaidandherrusticlover.Adrymathematicalproblem
maybeasgoodamediumfortheloverasanosegayoraverse
ofpoetry.

ALoveoftheArts
impliesanemotionalelementthatlendsitselftolove-making.
Musicisresponsibleforagreatdeal.Thepassionofthelovesong,thepathosofthecomposersoeasilybecomethe
languageoftheinterpreter,whenloveisintheheart.



AthleticComradeship.
ThefascinationsofArtaremoresensuousthanthevigorous,
breezypleasuresofoutdoorpursuits.Forhealthy-mindedlovemakingthiscomradeshipyieldsgoldenopportunities.{17}The
outdoorpairmaynotlooksosentimentalastheartisticcouple;
buttheirheartsmaybeastenderandtheirloveastrue,though
theirhandsmeetoverthemendingofatyreorthefindingofa
tennisballinsteadofbeingclaspedintheecstasybornofsweet
sounds.

AmateurActing.
IknowofanAmateurDramaticSocietythathasbeen
nicknamedtheMatrimonialClubfromthenumberofmarriages
thathavetakenplaceamongthemembers.Thisamusement
doespavethewayforcourtship,forinnootherarethe
conventionalitiessocompletelysetasideforthetimebeing.
Thosewhohavethusbeenbroughttogetherinmake-believe
arenotalwaysanxioustoresumeformalrelations.Acting
affordspricelessopportunities.

MakinguphisMind.
Nowwhenamanhasmadeuphismindthathewantstomarry
acertaingirl,heemergesfromtheindefinitestageof
observation,admiration,orflirtation,andbeginstomakehis
intentionsknown.Inviewoftheimpossibilityofauniversallaw
ofetiquette,itmaybesaidthattheremarksinthesepages
applytothatlargestsectionofsocietyknownasthemiddle
classes.
Whenamanisinapositiontomarry,heshouldbeespecially


carefulnottosingleoutagirlbyhisattentionsifhedoesnot
intendtoproposetoher,forthewayinwhichhisconductis
regardedwillbegreatlyinfluencedbyhisbankingaccount,and
onewithasmallincomeandsmallerprospectsmaydothings
withimpunitythatamaninmoreaffluentcircumstancescould
notdowithouttheriskofhavingaseriousconstructionput
uponthem.

"Ineligibles."
Ionceheardaveryrichyoungmanbewailhisfateonthis
score.Hesaid:"Afellowwithonlyahundredayeargetsallthe
fun.Hecantalktoanynicegirlhelikesasmuchashelikes,
andnothingissaid,becausepeopleknowhecan'tmarry.Butif
youhavealittlemoney(hisranintothousands){18}theysay
you'reengagedthesecondtimeyou'reseenwithalady!"
Thismaysoundmercenary,butafterallitisonlypractical.
Whenitisknownthatamanneitherisnorislikelytobeina
positiontomarry,parentsencouragehisvisitstothehouse,or
permithisattentionstotheirdaughters,attheirownrisk.Not
thatlackofmeanswillpreventfallinginlove--farfromit!When
parentsthinkmarriageimpossibletheysometimesgive
opportunitiestoanineligible,andthenareaggrievedathis
makinggooduseofthem.
Therearemanythingstobeconsideredatthebeginningof
courtship.Muchmustdependuponthefamilyofthelady.

SocialIntercourse.
Inahouseholdwherethereisneitherfathernorbrotheronthe
sceneamanmustwalkwarily.Heissuretobechaffedabout
anyspecialintimacywithsuchafamily,andevenwell-meant


chaffsometimesspoilsasituation.Awomanwhohasnogrownupson,andhaslost,oristemporarilyseparatedfrom,her
husband,willdowelltoavoidanyundueeagernessin
cultivatingmasculinesociety.Sheshouldexerciseherown
intuition,andextendacordial,unaffectedwelcometosuch
menasshethinkssuitablefriends,orpossiblehusbands,for
herdaughters.Sheshouldbeequallycarefultoeschewany
signofmatch-makingintrigueornarrow-mindedsuspicion.If
sheistherightsortofmotherthemenwillprobablyfindinher
acharmingcompanionandvaluablefriend.
Itismostessentialthatgirlswhohavebeenmainlybroughtup
underfeminineinfluencesshouldhaveampleandvaried
opportunitiesoflearningsomethingabouttheothersex,by
personalintercourse,beforethereisanyquestionoftheir
marriage.Ifthisisnotdoneitwillbefoundthattheygenerally
fallapreytothefirstsuitorwhocomesalong.Theyhave
formedunreal,impossible,andoftenfoolishideasaboutmen,
andareunabletodistinguishthetaresfromthewheat.Agirl
withbrothersormenfriendsisfarmorelikelytomakeawise
choicethanonewhohasformedherideasfromheroesof
fiction.
Whereamanisintroducedbythesonofthehouse,hispathis
onsmootherground.As"Charlie'schum"hehasa{19}
perfectlyreasonableandinnocentexcuseforhisfrequent
visits,eventhoughCharliemayreceiveaminimumofhis
attention.Ontheotherhand,fathersandbrothersarenot
alwaysaidstocourtship.Theyholddifferentviewsaboutthe
mantothoseoftheirwomenkind,andmaymakethings
unpleasantforallparties.Amancansoonestablishhimselfas
asortoforacleinafemininecircle,andhascountlesschances
ofmakinghimselfusefultotheladies.Hemayhavetoconsider
theproprietiesalittlemore,butthenheismasterofthe
situation,withnoneofhisownkindtopointouttheweakjoints
inhisarmour.



Tact.
Atactfulsuitorwillbecourteoustoeverymemberofhis
sweetheart'sfamily.Hewillnotforamomentletitbethought
thatheconsidershertheonlyoneworthyofhisnotice.Even
youngerbrothersandsistersarepreferableasallies,anditwill
makethewholepositionmuchpleasanterifheislikedbyher
ownpeople.Hewillespeciallymakeithisbusinesstostand
wellwithherparents.ByprettilyfilialattentionstoMollie's
motherhiscausewillbemateriallystrengthened,andthough
theyoungladymaygrudgethetimehespendsindiscussing
politicsorstocksandshareswithherfather,herowncommon
sensewilltellherthatitisaverygoodinvestmentforthe
future.Moreover,areallynice-mindedgirlwouldnevertolerate
amanwhowasdiscourteoustoherparents,howeverflattering
hisattitudemightbetoherself.

ABreachofEtiquette.
Whenagirlisstayingwithfriends,nomanshouldpayhis
addressestoherunknowntoherhostessoragainstthatlady's
wishes.Itisbettertoendavisitthantoabusehospitality.The
hostessisresponsibletohervisitor'sparentsforthetime
being,andtheloversshouldconsiderherposition.Whatever
socialordomesticrestrictionsmaystandbetweenamanand
thewomanhewishestowoo,hemustpayacertainregardto
themforhersake,ifnotforhisown.Notwohouseholdsare
regulatedbythesamecodeinthesmallerdetailsofetiquette.
{20}Inonefamilyold-worldnotionsofdecorumprevail,and
theloverwillwantself-restraintandprudence;inanotherthe
lawoflibertyreignssupreme,andtheyoungpeopledopretty
muchastheylike.Insuchacirclethelover'spresencewillbe
takenforgranted--onemoreorlessdoesnotmatter--and
courtshipismadeeasy.Manbeingbynatureahunterwho


valueshisspoilsinproportiontothedangersanddifficulties
overcomeinthechase,isnotalwayssokeentosecurethe
quarrythatcoststheleasteffort,sothefreeandeasyparents
oftenfindthattheirdaughtersremainunmarried.



{21}


CHAPTERII
Introductions--RecognitionofAffinity,orLoveatFirstSight-HowtoFollowupanAcquaintance--KindlyOfficesofRelations
andFriends.

Introductions.
Therearedefinitelawsofetiquetteinthematterof
introductions.Amanhasseentheladyonce,or,itmaybe,has
watchedherfromadistancewithlongingeyesformonthspast.
Hemaynotmakehimselfknowntoherwithouttheaidofa
thirdperson,whoshouldfirstascertainwhetherhis
acquaintancewillbeagreeabletotheobjectofhisadmiration.
Itmayhappenthatthegodswillsendhimsomeluckychance
ofrenderingheratimelyservice.Hemightrescueherdog
fromacaninestreetfray,pickupatrinketshehaddropped,or,
betterstill,likethepeopleinnovels,travelwithheronalong
journeyandprovehimselfatactfulcavalier.Underanyofthese
circumstancestheicewouldbebroken,andpossiblyan
informalintroductionwouldtakeplace.Itought,however,tobe
supplementedbymoreregularproceedingsbeforeany
recognisedintercourseispossible.
Agirlisnotsupposedtoaskforanintroductiontoaman,but-lowbeitspoken--sheoftendoes;notpublicly,ofcourse,butshe
simplyconfidesinhermarriedladyfriendorfavouritebrother,
neitherofwhomwouldnaturallygiveheraway.
Amanoughtnottohauntagirlwhoseacquaintancehewishes
tomake.Thereisawidemarginbetweenacceptinginvitations
tohouses,orturningupopportunelyatpartieswherehemay
expecttomeether,andwalkingobtrusivelypastherhouse


severaltimesaday,orshadowingheroutshoppingandat
publicplacesofamusement.Averyyounggirl{22}might
thinkthisromantic,thoughyouthisterriblymatter-of-fact
nowadays.Herelderswouldcertainlyconsideritrude,andput
himdownasamantobeavoided.Anelderlysentimental
spinsterwouldbeinaflutter.Alevel-headedgirlwouldthink
himabore,ifnotabitofafool.

LoveatFirstSight.
Thisseemsaverylargeorder,forlovemeanssomuch.That
thereisoftenawondrousrecognitionofaffinity,asortofflash
fromsoultosoulkindlingthedesireforcloserunion,is
undeniable.Amansuddenlyseestheonewhomheresolvesto
winforhiswife.Awomanrealisesthatshehasfoundtheman
ofallotherstowhomshewouldgladlygiveherself.Thisisnot
love;itisbuttheheraldthatgoesbeforetheking.
Opinionsonthesubjectofmarryingone'sfirstlovearemuch
divided,andonehasrathertobegthequestionbysayingthat
itismainlyamatteroftemperament.Theageatwhichyou
beginfallinginlovehasalsotobetakenintoaccount.A
modernwritergivesitashisopinionthat"Awisemanwill
nevermarryhisfirstlove,forheknowsthatmatrimony
demandsasmuchspecialattentionasanyofthelearned
professions.Unqualifiedamateursswellthelistsofthedivorce
court."

TheMan'sCase.
Itmaybetakenforgrantedthatthemanwhohassome
experienceofwomenandtheirwaysmakesabetterloverthan
onewhoknowsnothingofthem.Lovemaysupplyhimwith
essentials,butonlypracticecanperfectdetails.Amanoffive-


and-twentymaybesupposedtoknowhisownmind.

TheGirl'sCase.
Thegirlinherteenswhogivesherloveandherselfmayfind
fullsatisfactioninhermarriage;butblindself-confidenceand
impulsiveinexperiencemaylayupastoreofsorrowforthe
future.Nomaniswisetohurryayounggirlintomarriage.

{23}
HowtofollowupanAcquaintance.
Oncetheintroductionisoveritremainsmainlywiththemanto
makethemostofhisadvantages.Heobtainspermissiontocall;
anditisnotabadplantoallowashortintervaltoelapse
beforeavailinghimselfoftheprivilege.Hemustnotseem
neglectful,butmaywaitjustlongenoughtogivetheladytime
tothinkabouthim,towonder,towish,tolongforhiscoming.
Hewillbecarefulnottotransgressanydetailofetiquettein
thishisfirstcall,buthewillnotleavewithouthavingmade
somedistinctadvance,havingfoundsomepretextforaless
formalvisit.Hewillconveytoherinasubtle,meaningmanner
thatthesunwillnotshineforhimtillheseesheragain.

HerFamily.
Hewillfindoutwhatinterestsherpeople.Hewillbringher
fatherrarecuttingsforhisgarden,orintroducehimtoachoice
brandofcigars.Hewilllendhermotherbooks,singorreciteat
herpetcharityentertainments,orevenmakeamartyrof
himselfatflower-showsandbazaars.Hewillbringdesignsfor
hersister'swood-carving,orteachsmallTommytoridea


bicycle.
Astotheladyofhisheart,hewillbeginbysharingherpursuits
onlyasameanstoanend,forwhenlove-makingoncestepsin
otherpursuitsareneglected,ifnottotallyshelved,forthetime
being.Thistransitionstagerequiresgreattact.Hemustnot
startleherbytoosuddenadevelopment.Somewomenmay
liketobetakenbystorm,tobemarriedbycaptureasitwere,
buttheaveragegirllikestohavetimetoenjoybeingwooed
andwon.Shebasksinthegradualunfoldingofhislove;she
rejoicesovereachnewphaseoftheircourtship;shelingers
longinglyonthethresholdofhergreathappiness.Sheis
intoxicatedbythesenseofherownpower;sheistouchedby
thedeferencewhichcurbshisardour.

KindlyOfficesofRelationsandFriends.
Outsiderscanoftenmakeormarapossiblemarriage.When
thethirdpersonundertakestointroducetwopeopleinacase
{24}whereevenaone-sidedattractionissupposedtoexist,no
remarkshouldbemadeaboutit.Theladyfriendwhotellsagirl
thataman"isverymuchtakenwithher,"strikesafatalblowat
theunconsciousgracewithwhichthegirlwouldotherwise
havereceivedhim.Theblunderingbrotherwhoblurtsout:"My
sistersaysthatgirl'sawfullygoneonyou,oldchap!"probably
makeshischumfightshyofthegirl,orindulgeinalittlefunat
herexpense.Itshouldberememberedthatanearer
acquaintancedoesnotalwaysconfirmimpressionsformedata
distance.
AsisterwhowilldiscreetlyplaythepartofNumberThreeis
invaluable.Abrotherwhowillbringthemanhometodinner,or
arrangecyclingexpeditions,isatreasure.Theauntwhogives
dancesorriverpartiesjustwhenhehashisholidayis
inestimable.Theunclewhohasafancyforstagemanaging,
andcaststhetwoforthelovers'partsinacharmingly


unconsciousfashion,isarelationworthhaving.Married
friendsoneithersidecanaffordmanyextraanddelightful
opportunitiesofmeeting.Whilethussmoothingthepathof
love,allobtrusiveallusiontothesuspectedorrecognisedstate
ofthingsshouldbecarefullyavoided.Itisanunpardonable
breachofetiquetteforanyonetodrawattentiontothe
movementsofacouplebyalaugh,anod,orawinkwhich,
thoughnotintendedtoreachthem,givesfrequentriseto
unpleasantsituations.Herfriendsshouldguardagainst
anythingsavouringofahusband-trap;hisfriendsshouldavoid
anyindicationthattheylookuponherashislawfulprey.
Thereshouldbenoquestionablechaffortalkingatthepossible
lovers.Olderpeoplewhohaveforgottenhowtendertheirown
sensibilitiesoncewereareratherfondofcrackingjokes,and
maketactless,pointedremarks.Theoldfriendofthefamily
whoslapstheprospectivesuitorontheback,andinthelady's
presencechallengeshimtokissherunderthemistletoe,only
succeedsinmakingthembothuncomfortable.Theelderly
relativewhonodshercap,saying:"Ohyes,weknowallabout
it!Wewereyoungourselvesonce!"probablyhasthebest
intentions,buthaschosentheworstwayofshowingthem.



{25}


CHAPTERIII
IntercoursebetweenUnconfessedLovers--TheQuestionof
Presents--ExchangeofHospitality--TheManwholivesatHome-TheManinRooms.

UnconfessedLovers.
Thereisafascinating,yetwithaltormenting,insecurityinthe
intercourseprecedinganactualDeclarationofLove.Itmaybe
theante-chambertoanearthlyparadise.Itmaybutprovetobe
afool'sparadise.GeorgeEliotdescribestwoofhercharacters
asbeing"inthatstageofcourtshipwhichmakesthemost
exquisitemomentofyouth,thefreshestblossom-timeof
passion--wheneachissureoftheother'sloveandallitsmutual
divination,exaltingthemosttrivialword,theslightestgesture
intothrillsdelicateanddeliciousaswaftedjasminescent."
Itmaybethathehassomehonourablereasontoforbidhis
speakingwhenhewould.Hemayfeartoloseheraltogetherif
heistoohasty.Possiblythereisanothermaninthecase.She
mayberevellinginthenewjoyoflifewithoutanalysingits
source.Ifshehasfacedthesecretofherownheartshewill
mountguardoverherselflestwordorlookshouldbetrayher,
beforehehastoldherthatshedoesnotloveinvain.

BreachesofEtiquette.
Whenamanfindsthathisattentionsareunwelcome,anda
womanhasusedeverymeansinherpower,shortofactual
rudeness,toshowhimthatshedoesnotdesirehisnearer
acquaintance,hehasnorighttoforcehimselforhisloveupon


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