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and most probably they will let things take their own course. Marriage
is too important a matter to admit of being hastened.
There are, I am aware, unwise parents, who, from various motives, will
throw obstacles in the way of young people who are desirous of coming
together. Some are so selfish as to be unwilling to part with their
daughter, preferring their own happiness to hers. Others are so silly
as to think no ordinary man good enough for her, and therefore, if
they had their own way, would have her to become an old maid.
Fortunately, such shortsighted people are not infrequently outwitted.
If your parents are, as I hope they are, reasonable in their views and
expectations, one of the chief concerns of their life will be the
promotion of your happiness, and it behooves you to pay the utmost
deference to their opinion; and should they, from circumstances they
become aware of, deem it advisable that you should either postpone or
even break off an engagement, they will doubtless give you such
weighty reasons as will justify you in acting on their advice. Where,
however, as sometimes happens, they unwisely refuse their consent to
their child's marriage at a time when she well knows from her own
feelings, and also from the sanction she receives from the opinion of
trustworthy and judicious friends, that she would be making a real
sacrifice were she to comply with their wishes; if, I say, under such
circumstances she acts disobediently and marries the man she loves,
more blame attaches to the parents than to herself, and the sooner
they forgive her the better.
It is very common for young men, when going into the company of young
woman, together with their best dress to put on their best behavior;
in fact, to assume a character which is not their natural one, but far
superior to it.
Some hold the opinion that
"ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR."
To me it appears there cannot be greater folly and wickedness than for
young people who are thinking of marrying to attempt to deceive each
other. What is the good of it? A very short period of married life
will entirely dispel the illusion. I suppose people of the world may
think it fair to overreach one another in their dealings, saying
"everyone for himself." They have no intention of seeking to promote
the other's happiness; present gain is all they want. But a married
pair, to be happy, must
RESPECT AND ESTEEM, AS WELL AS LOVE,
each other; and this cannot be attained except by the constant
endeavor to _be_ as well as to _appear_ true and good.
That young men should behave well in the presence of women is only
natural and right; none but a fool would do otherwise. But you, long
before thinking of marrying, should take all fair means to learn what
is the general conduct and habits of your male acquaintance in their
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