Interesting Facts You Need To Know About Love, Flirtation, Marriage, Monogamy And Affection – The Vintage Woman

Interesting Facts You Need To Know About Love, Flirtation, Marriage, Monogamy And Affection - The Vintage Woman Blog Post Banner Image

Interesting Facts You Need To Know About Love, Flirtation, Marriage, Monogamy And Affection – The Vintage Woman.



Love


The attraction of the sexes for each other, though based upon the dual principle of generation which pervades the living world and which has its analogies in the attractive forces of matter, yet pervades the whole being.


Love is not merely the instinctive desire of physical union, which has for its object the continuation of the species—it belongs to the mind as well as to the body. It warms, invigorates, and elevates every sentiment, every feeling; and in its highest, purest, most diffusive form unites us to God and all creatures in Him.


All love is essentially the same, but modified according to its objects and by the character of the one who loves. The love of children for their parents, of parents for offspring, brotherly and sisterly love, the love of friendship, of charity, and the fervor of religious love, are modifications of the same sentiment—the attraction that draws us to our kindred, our kind; that binds together all races and humanity itself, resting on the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.


It is but natural that this love should vary in degrees. Attractions are proportional to proximity. Family is nearer than country; we prefer our own nation to the rest of the race.


Each individual has, also, his own special attractions and repulsions. There is love at first sight and friendship at first sight. We feel some persons pleasant to us; to be near them is a delight. Generally such feelings are mutual—like flows to like, or as often, perhaps, differences fit into each other. We seek sympathy with our own tastes and habits, or we find in others what we lack.


Thus the weak rest upon the strong, the timid are fond of the courageous, the reckless seek guidance of the prudent, and so on. The sentiment of love for the opposite sex —tender, romantic, passionate—begins very early in life. Fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, have a special fondness for each other, as, also, have brothers and sisters; but the boy soon comes to admire someone, generally older than himself, who is not a relation.


Very little girls find a hero in some friend of an elder brother. Fondness for cousins generally comes more from opportunity than natural attraction, though a cousin may have very little appearance of family relation. The law appears to be that free choice seeks the diverse and distant. A stranger has always a better chance with the young ladies of any district than the young men with whom they have always been acquainted. Savages seek their wives out of their own tribe.


It is my belief that naturally (I mean in a state of pure and unperverted nature, but developed cultivated, and refined by education) every man loves womanhood itself, and all women so far as they approximate to his ideal; and that in the same way every woman loves manhood, and is attracted and charmed by all its gentle, noble, and heroic manifestations.


By such a man, every woman he meets is reverenced as a mother, sister, daughter, or, it may be, cherished in a more tender relation, which should be at first, and may always remain, free from any sensual desire.


Such love may have many objects, each attracting the kind and degree of affection which it is able to inspire. Such love of men for women, and women for men, may be free and will be free just in the degree in which it is freed from the bondage of sensual passion.


Such love has a direct tendency to raise men above the control of their senses. The more of such love one has and the more it is diffused, the less the liability to sink into the lower and disorderly loves of the sensual life.


The idea that every attraction, every attachment, every love between the sexes must lead to marriage—that no love can be tolerated but with that end in view—is a very false and mischievous one. It deprives men and women of the strength and happiness they might have in pure friendships and pure loves, and it leads to a multitude of false and bad marriages.


Two persons are drawn together by strong attractions and tender sentiments for each other who have no more right to be married than if they were brother and sister, but who have the same right to love each other. But their true sentiments for each other, and consequent relation to each other, are not understood by those around them and perhaps not by themselves.


They are urged by the misapprehension of others, by their expectation, by ignorant gossip, by the prejudice of society, based upon low and sensual estimates of life, to marry; they find that they must either marry or lose the happiness they have in each other’s society, and they make the irrevocable mistake.


When it is understood that there are other loves than that of marriage; when the special attraction that justifies union for life, and the begetting of offspring, is discriminated from all the other attractions that may bring two souls into very near and tender relations to each other, there will be more happiness in the world and fewer incomplete, imperfect, and, therefore, more or less unhappy, marriages.



Flirtation



Nothing can be more detestable than that playing with fire which goes by the name of flirtation but there are men and women who have the happiness of living and of being tenderly and devotedly loved by persons of the opposite sex—loved purely, nobly, happily—without injury and with great good.


When such loves are accompanied by perfect trust in the goodness, purity, truth, and honor of the beloved, there can be no jealousy, no desire for selfish absorption, no fear of deprivation of any right. There is no reason why a husband or a wife should limit the range of pure and spiritual affection to near relatives.


The man who can love a sister as sisters are often loved, may love in the same way, or as purely, any woman who might be his sister. As men and women learn to purify their lives, the world will grow more tolerant and love will become more universal.


The tender and fervent exhortations to mutual love to be found in the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament are now almost without a meaning. But they had a meaning to those to whom they were addressed, and when we are better Christians, and bring our lives to the purity of Christian morality, they will have a meaning to us and we shall learn that, in a sense we have not dreamed of, God is Love.



Monogamy



In the human race all circumstances point to monogamy as the lawful or natural condition. Males and females are born in almost equal numbers. If there are two or three per cent. more of males than females, the risks of life with males soon make the number even. Therefore, as a rule, no man can have more than one wife without robbing his neighbor.


Polygamy is therefore a manifest injustice, and may become the most grievous of all monopolies.


Children are the most helpless of all young creatures and require the care of parents for the longest period. The care of a husband for his wife, and of a father for his child, is an evident necessity. The proper care and education of a single child should extend over at least fifteen years, and that of a family may reach to thirty years, or throughout the greatest part of an ordinary life.


During all periods of pregnancy, childbearing, nursing, and the education and care of a family, every woman has a right to the sympathy, sustaining love, and constant aid of her husband. No man has a right to desert or leave helpless, or even dependent upon others, except in extraordinary cases, the mother of his children.



Marriage



Marriage, like celibacy, should be a matter of vocation. The special object of marriage is to have children; the co-operating motive is that two persons drawn to each other by a mutual affection may live helpfully and happily together.


A selfish marriage, for its merely animal gratifications—a marriage in which strength, health, usefulness, often life itself, are sacrificed to sensuality and lust—is a desecration of a holy institution, and somewhat worse in its consequences than promiscuous profligacy, for the consequences of that may not fall upon one’s children and posterity.


There are many persons who have no right to marry. There should be a kind and amount of love that will justify and sanctify such a relation. There should be a pure motive and the fixed intention of making the relation what it ought to be to husband, wife, and children.


There should be a reasonable assurance of the power to provide for a family. There should be that amount of health, that freedom from bodily and mental disease, that physical and moral constitution which will give a reasonable prospect of children whose lives will be a blessing to themselves and to society.


When there is deformity of body, or an unhappy peculiarity of temper or mind liable to be inherited, people should not marry, or if they live together, should resign the uses of marriage. People should conscientiously refrain from propagating hereditary diseases. Persons near of kin are wisely forbidden to marry, for there is in such cases the liability of imperfect generation—the production of blind, deaf, idiotic or insane offspring.



Should marriage be for life?


As a rule, undoubtedly. Every real, proper, true marriage must be. It takes a lifetime for a husband and wife to make a home and rear and educate and provide for a family of children. But what if people make mistakes and find that they are not suitably married?


These are mistakes very difficult to remedy. If a man, after deliberately making his choice of a woman, ceases to love her, how can he honorably withdraw from his relation to her, and enter upon another, when she still loves him, and is ready to fulfill her part of the contract?


Laws cannot very well provide for mistakes. If the distaste for each other be mutual, and both parties desire to separate, a separation may of course be permitted; but it is a serious question whether two such persons can go into the world and find new partners, with justice to the rest.


The law which permits of no divorce certainly bears hard upon individual cases; but if it leads to greater seriousness and care in forming such relations, it may be, on the whole, the best thing for society that it should be strictly observed.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Sexual Intercourse, its laws and conditions, it’s use and abuse.


There is an increasing and alarming prevalence of nervous ailments and complicated disorders that could be traced to have their sole origin from this source. Hypochondria, in its various phases, results from the premature and unnatural waste of the seminal fluid.


Then speedily ensues a lack of natural heat, a deficiency of vital power, and consequently indigestion, melancholy, languor, and dejection ensue; the victim becomes enervated and spiritless, loses the very attributes of man, and premature old age soon follows.





It is a prevalent error that it is necessary for the semen to be ejected at certain times from the body; that its retention is incompatible with sound health and vigor of body and mind. This is a very fallacious idea. The seminal fluid is too precious—nature bestows too much care in its elaboration for it to be wasted in this unproductive manner.



It is intended, when not used for the purpose of procreation, to be reabsorbed again into the system, giving vigor of body, elasticity and strength to the mind, making the individual strong, active, and self-reliant. When kept as nature intended, it is a perpetual fountain of life and energy—a vital force which acts in every direction, a motive power which infuses manhood into every organ of the brain and every fiber of the body.


The law of sexual morality for childhood is one of utter negation of sex. Every child should be kept pure and free from amative excitement and the least amative indulgence, which is unnatural and doubly hurtful.


No language is strong enough to express the evils of amative excitement and unnatural indulgence before the age of puberty; and the dangers are so great that I see no way so safe as thorough instruction regarding them at the earliest age. A child may be taught, simply as a matter of science, as one learns botany, all that is needful to know, and such knowledge may protect it from the most terrible evils.


The law for childhood is perfect purity, which cannot be too carefully guarded and protected by parents, teachers, and all caretakers. The law for youth is perfect continence—a pure vestalate alike in both sexes. No indulgence is required by one more than the other—for both nature has made the same provision. The natures of both are alike, and any—the least—exercise of the amative function is an injury to one as to the other.


Men expect that women shall come to them in marriage chaste and pure from the least defilement. Women have a right to expect the same of their husbands. Here the sexes are upon a perfect equality.


On this subject, Dr. Carpenter (physiological works) has written like a man of true science, and, therefore, of true morality. He lays it down as an axiom that the development of the individual and the reproduction of the species stand in an inverse ratio to each other.


He says: “The augmented development of the generative organs at puberty can only be rightly regarded as preparatory to the exercise of the organs. The development of the individual must be completed before the procreative power can properly be exercised for the continuance of the race.”


And in the following extract from his “Principles of Human Physiology,” he confirms my statement respecting the unscientific and libertine advice of too many physicians: “The author would say to those of his younger readers who urge the wants of nature as an excuse for the illicit gratification of the sexual passions, ‘try the effects of close mental application to some of those ennobling pursuits to which your profession introduces you, in combination with vigorous bodily exercise, before you assert that appetite is unrestrainable and act upon that assertion.’





Nothing tends so much to increase the desire as the continual direction of the mind toward the objects of its gratification, whilst nothing so effectually represses it as a determined exercise of the mental faculties upon other objects and the expenditure of nervous energy in other channels.


Some works which have issued from the medical press contain much that is calculated to excite, rather than to repress, the propensity; and the advice sometimes given by practitioners to their patients is immoral as well as unscientific.”


Every man and every woman, living simply, purely, and temperately—respecting the laws of health in regard to air, food, dress, exercise, and habits of life—not only can live in the continence of a pure virgin life when single, and in the chastity which should be observed by all married partners, but be stronger, happier, and in every way better by so living.


Chastity is the conservation of life, and the consecration of its forces to the highest use. Sensuality is the waste of life, and the degradation of its forces to pleasure divorced from use. Chastity is life; sensuality is death.


From the age of puberty to marriage, the law, is the same for both sexes—full employment of mind and body, temperance, purity, and perfect chastity in thought, word, and deed. The law is one of perfect equality. There is no license for the male which is not equally the right of the female.


There is no physiological ground for any indulgence in one case more than in the other. No man has any more right to require or expect purity in the woman who is to be his wife than the woman has to require and expect purity in her husband. It is a simple matter of justice and right.


No man can enter upon an amative relation with a woman, except in marriage, without manifest injustice to his future wife, unless he allow her the same liberty; and also without a great wrong to the woman, and to her possible husband.


It is contended that the sins of men against chastity are more venial than those of women, because of the liability of women to have children. But men are also liable to be the fathers of children, who are deeply wronged by the absence of paternal care.


The child has its rights, and every child has the right to be born in honest, respectable wedlock, of parents able to give it a sound constitution and the nurture and education it requires. The child who lacks these conditions is grievously wronged by both father and mother.


The law of marriage is, that a mature man and woman, with sound health, pure lives, and a reasonable prospect of comfortably educating a family, when drawn to each other by the attraction of mutual love, should chastely and temperately unite for offspring. The sexual relation has this chief and controlling purpose.


The law of nature is intercourse for reproduction. Under the Christian law, marriage is the symbol of the union of Christ with the Church; husband and wife are one in the Lord; they are to live in marriage chastity, not in lust and uncleanness; and there cannot be a more hideous violation of Christian morals than for a husband to vent his sensuality upon a feeble wife; against her wishes and when she has no desire for offspring and no power to give them the healthy constitutions and maternal care which is their right.





The law of Christian morality is very clear. It is the sexual union first and chiefly for its principal object. It is for the husband to refrain from it whenever it is not desired; whenever it would be hurtful to either; whenever it would be a waste of life; whenever it would injure mother or child, as during pregnancy and lactation.


A man who truly loves a woman must respect and reverence her, and cannot make her the victim of his inordinate and unbridled, selfish and sensual nature.


He will be ever, from the first moment of joyful possession to the last of his life, tender, delicate, considerate, deferent, yielding to her slightest wishes in the domain of love, and never encroaching, never trespassing upon, never victimizing the wife of his bosom and the mother of his babes. We have romance before marriage, we want more chivalry in marriage.


This is not the world’s morality, yet it seems to one the world must respect it. This, high and pure Christian morality is not always enforced by Christian ministers, some of whom yield too much to human sensuality and depravity, instead of maintaining the higher law of Christian purity, which is but nature restored or freed from its stains of sin.


The world requires that unmarried women should be chaste, while it gives almost unbridled license to men. A girl detected in amours is disgraced and often made an outcast. In young men such irregularities are freely tolerated.





They are “a little wild”; they “sow their wild oats”; but open profligacy, the seduction of innocence, the ruin of poor girls, adultery, harlotry and its diseases do not hinder men from marrying, nor from requiring that those they marry should have spotless reputations.


It is not for a moment permitted that women in these matters should behave like men, and a pure girl is given to the arms of a wasted debauchee, and her babes are perhaps born dead, or suffer through life with syphilitic diseases, while she endures a long martyrdom from disordered, diseased, and unrestrained sensuality.


For the unmarried, young men, soldiers, sailors, and all who do not choose to bear the burdens of a family, society has its armies of prostitutes—women like others, and more than others, or in less reputable fashion, the victims of the unbridled lust of men. They are everywhere tolerated as


Necessary evils and, in some places, protected or regulated; and, from economical or philanthropic considerations, or both, combined efforts are made to free them from the contagious diseases which for some centuries have been a curse attending this form of the violation of the laws of nature—one of the consequences of lust which is the divorce of the sexual instinct from its natural use and purpose.





The christian law of marriage as set down in the Holy Scriptures, and defined by the best writers on moral theology, is in harmony with nature, in consonance with the higher nature of man. “God hath set the earth in families.”


Adultery is a sin, because it disorders that divine arrangement. Fornication is a sin, because it prevents pure marriages. Prostitution is a sin, because it is a sacrifice of women, who might be wives and mothers, to the selfish lusts of men. All useless indulgence is a waste of life, and a kind of suicide.


In a pure marriage union, men and women unite themselves with God in acts of creative power. The progress of humanity depends upon individual development and the conditions at generation and gestation. With culture and a harmonized development, we acquire a higher and more integral life. When two parents are in their highest condition and in


A true union with each other, the child combines the best qualities of both parents. When parents are not in the unity of a mutual love, the child may be inferior to either parent. The intensity of mutual love tends to the reproduction [of the best faculties of both parents in the child. When men or women are exhausted or diseased the race deteriorates. Health is therefore one of the conditions of progress.


“It is all very fine,” I shall be told, “to talk of purity and chastity; but we must take men as they are. How are you going to make men pure and chaste, and respectful of the purity of women? How can you get men with strong amative propensities to live like anchorites?”


How can you get men to do anything right, or refrain from any wrong thing? There are three motives—fear of punishment, hope of reward, and sense of right or the principle of duty.


The first of these is the lowest, but often the most effectual; the second is higher, and appeals to hope and the love of happiness; the third, the highest of all motives, pure and unselfish as the love of truth, as in mathematics, acts on noble minds with great power.





Men of real conscientiousness love the right for its own sake. They are just from love of justice; pure from a sense and love of purity. They love good, and God as the source of all good; and do right, not from fear or hope, but from pure love.


We must appeal to all motives. Men refrain from theft and other dishonest conduct from the dread of disgrace and punishment, because they see that “honesty is the best policy,” and from a sense of justice and regard to the rights of property, or a sense of honor which makes a mean action impossible.


By similar motives great numbers are restrained from drunkenness and other vices. Children are to be restrained from impurity by the fear of the terrible consequences of unnatural indulgence in causing disease and pain, by the hope of a pure, healthy and happy life of love in manhood and womanhood, and by a sense of the beauty and holiness of chastity and the sacredness of the functions by which the race is recreated and preserved.


The religious feelings that our bodies are to be kept pure, healthy, and holy in every way as the temples of the Holy Ghost cannot be too early instilled into the infant mind, which is open to the highest sentiments of veneration, devotion, and heroic religion. In youth there are the same motives. Indulgence in solitary vice is self-destructive of all that youth most values—a profanation of his own body.



Seduction



Is a desecration of what he should hold in the most tender reverence. To the young man, womanhood should be sacred, and every woman, mother, sister, beloved of the present or the future, should never be wronged by one thought of impurity.


In this matter instinct goes with right. The inward voice supports the outer law of morality. Before men can become bad, their instinctive modesty must be broken down. Unless very badly born, with disordered amativeness, hereditary from a diseased and lustful parentage, they must be perverted and corrupted before they can act immodestly and impurely.


Women are protected by a strong public sentiment around them. They have the dread of disgrace. For them to yield to their own affectionate desires, or the solicitations of a lover, is a fall, is ruin. They have the hope of a loving husband, a happy home, and the respect of society.


And in woman passion has commonly less force, and the sentiment of modesty and purity more power. Women are weak in yielding to solicitation, giving everything for love; but we see how protective of female virtue are these motives to vast numbers.


Men can perfectly restrain the sensual part of their natures whenever they have a strong motive to do so. A child would be simply mad who was not controlled by the presence of father, mother, and persons he respected or feared. Young men have no difficulty when they are in the company of pure women.


They are in no trouble when their lives are full of mental and muscular activity, and particularly if their habits of eating simply and temperately, of refraining from heating and exciting stimulants, and sleeping in cold beds and fresh air, are such as health requires.





There needs but the strong will to live purely in any one, and at any age, the will that comes from the high motives of conscience and religion, or all motives combined. A strong sense of what is just and right controls even the motions of our bodies and actions which seem to be involuntary.


A man who has a vivid sense of the right and duty of refraining from sensuality, and preserving his own purity of mind and body and the chastity of all women, will do so even in his dreams. When the will is right, all things are soon brought into its subjection. The mind controls the organization, and the life forces are directed into other channels.


A strong man, full of life and love can safely hold a virgin in his arms, and respect her virginity, if he have but the motives and the will to do so. If he be pure in his will, how can he commit impurity? If a woman be sacred in his eyes, how can he profane her?


It is not that men have not the power of restraint, the power to do right; it is that they lack the motive. They have lost the sense of right; they are even impelled to do wrong by the pressure of opinion around them. Boys and young men are driven into libertinage by the ridicule of their companions. Vice is considered manly.





They seek sensuality in an evil emulation, as they learn to smoke, or gamble, or drink; and, later on, vanity has often more to do with excess than the force of lust. Young men seduce girls that they may boast of it. They keep mistresses because it is the fashion.


They exhaust themselves because they wish to give a high idea of their manly powers. Even in marriage, women are injured and have their health destroyed by yielding weakly, or from a false sense of duty to a husband whose own motive is the desire to acquit himself manfully in what he considers his marital duties.


Men and women are, in thousands of cases, wretched victims to what they imagine to be the wants or expectations of each other. A man, ignorant of the nature of women and the laws of the generative function, goes on in a process of miserable exhaustion, to please his wife.


She submits, sometimes in pain, often in disgust, weariness, and weakness, to what she dare not, from love or fear, refuse. Men have to know what is right and to will to be right. This will is omnipotent. God helps those who have the will, who have even the desire, to do right.


If the presence of those we fear or reverence, respect or love, restrain us from sin and stimulate us to right action, faith in the existence and presence of God and angels, and the spirits of the departed, must have a more powerful and pervading influence.


No one who really believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, no one who is strongly impressed with the reality of a spiritual life, can go on doing what he knows to be wrong. A religious faith is therefore the most powerful of all restraints from evil and incitement to good.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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The basis of a happy marriage.


The state of conjugal union should be the happiest in the whole of the existence of either man or woman, and is such in a congenial marriage. Yet in the history of very many marriages contentment or happiness is palpably absent and an almost insufferable misery is the heritage of both parties.



It is therefore important that previous to the marital union the parties should take everything into consideration that fore-shadows happiness after marriage, as well as everything calculated to despoil conjugal felicity.





The first requisite of congenial marriage is love.



Without being cemented by this element the conjugal union is sure to be uncongenial. It is the strongest bond, the firmest cord, uniting two hearts inseparably together. Love for the opposite sex has always been a controlling influence with mankind.



It is the most elevating of all the emotions and the purest and tenderest of all sentiments. It exerts a wonderful power, and by its influence the grandest human actions have been achieved. Of what infinite worth it is to either sex to be compensated with a worthy and satisfying love, and how ennobling to the impulses and actions it is to bestow the sentiment upon one worthy to receive and willing to return.



Love is the mainspring that regulates the harmony of conjugal life, and without it there is a void in the machinery, productive only of jars, convulsive movement, and a grating and inharmonious action.



The soul yearns for love and to love, and unless the desire is compensated human life is a blank and becomes a purposeless existence. Love ever stimulates the good and suppresses the bad, if kept in a proper channel and guided by pure affections.





Another requisite of a happy marriage is health.



No person has a moral right to engage in wedlock who cannot bring to his partner the offering of good health.



Another consideration is evenness of temper.



In the wooing days everyone is a lamb, and only becomes the howling wolf after marriage. Circumstances that ruffle the temper in the presence of the intended are but like the harmless squib, but would become like the explosive torpedo in his or her absence or in after-marriage.



Quarreling caused by matrimonial differences is the most frequent cause of infelicity, and most of it is caused by an innate irate temper of either husband or wife.





The tastes should not be dissimilar. Some of them may be unimportant, but others are a fruitful source of disagreement. The social wife will never be contented with the unsocial husband, and the gay husband, though his gayety may not be commendable, will always accuse his wife if she lacks a social disposition to a great extent.



The religious wife will never excuse a tendency to irreligion in her husband, and though he may be far from being immoral, she is unhappy if he does not participate in her devotions. The one devoted to children will never be happy with one having a natural repugnance for them.



In this way we might multiply facts illustrative of the importance of an investigation into the similarity of taste previous to marriage. Great love, however, overcomes almost every obstacle.





The parties should be nearly of one age. The husband should be the elder. The union of the old husband to the young wife, or the reverse, is seldom a happy one. It is seldom that such a marriage occurs in which the incentive is not the wealth of either of the parties. [This requisite is not set in stone and some people have been known to have happy marriages despite differences in age].




Marriages are usually contracted to gratify various desires, as love, fortune or position. The results are more truthfully stated by an eminent divine in the following:



“Who marries for love, takes a wife; who marries for fortune, takes a mistress; who marries for position, takes a lady.” To a man there is but one choice that he can rationally make, a marriage of love. My female readers, I hope, will decide rather to wed a husband than the master or the elegant gentleman.



A little foresight, a little prudence, and a little caution will prevent in most cases the entrance into a marriage which, by the very nature of the alliance, is certain to be an unhappy and improper one.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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It would probably be interesting to many to describe the marriage ceremonies observed by different nations, but to enter into a descriptive detail would occupy too much space. It is sufficient to say that while some wives are wooed and won, others are bought and sold; while in some countries the husband brings the wife to his home, in others, as in Formosa, the daughter brings her husband to her father’s house, and he is considered one of the family, while the sons, upon marriage, leave the family forever.



In civilized countries, the ceremonies are either ministerial or magisterial, and are more or less religious in character; while in others, less civilized, the gaining of a wife depends upon a foot-race, in which the female has the start of one-third the distance of the course, as is the custom in Lapland.



In Caffraria, the lover must first fight himself into the affections of his ladylove, and if he defeats all his rivals she becomes his wife without further ceremony. Among the Congo tribes, a wife is taken upon trial for a year, and if not suited to the standard of taste of the husband, he returns her to her patents.



In Persia, the wife’s status depends upon her fruitfulness; if she be barren, she can be put aside. In the same country they have also permanent marriages and marriages for a certain period only—the latter never allowed to exceed ninety years.



In fact, the marriage ceremonies differ in nearly all countries. To us some may appear very absurd, and yet our customs may be just as amazing to them. It matters but little how a conjugal union is effected so long as sanctioned by law or custom and it obligates the parties, by common opinion, to observe the duties pertaining to married life.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Marriage is in law the conjugal union of man with woman, and is the only state in which cohabitation is considered proper and irreprehensible. The marriage relation exists in all Christian communities, and is considered the most solemn of contracts, and, excepting in Protestant countries, it is regarded as a sacrament.



In some countries its celebration falls under the cognizance of ecclesiastical courts only, but in the United States it is regarded as merely a civil contract, magistrates having, equally with clergymen, the right to solemnize it, though it is usually the practice to have it performed by a clergyman and attended with religious ceremonies.



Marriage, as a legalized custom, is of very ancient origin. It is doubtful whether even the primitive man was not governed in the intercourse of the sexes by some recognition of the union being confined to one chosen one. No greater promiscuity can certainly be supposed than occurs in the lower animals, where pairing is the law.



The nobler animals, as the lion, elephant, etc., never have but one mate, and even in case of death do not remate. As men advanced, civil codes were inaugurated and certain protection given to the choice of the parties. The earliest civil code regulating marriage, of which we have any account, was that of Menes, who, Herodotus tells us, was the first of the Pharaohs, or native Egyptian kings, and who lived about 3,500 years before Christ. The nature of his code is not known.



The Biblical account extends further back, but it does not appear that any laws existed regulating marriage, but each one was allowed to choose his wife and concubines, and it is supposed that common consent respected the selection. Next, Moses gave laws for the government of marriage among the Israelites.



The early Greeks followed the code of Cecrops, and the Romans were also governed in their marital relations by stringent laws. In fact, the necessity of some law regulating the intercourse between the sexes must have become very apparent to all nations or communities at a very early period. It certainly antedates any legal regulations with regard to the possession of property.



It is very probable that every community did by common consent afford to each male one or more females, and the presumption is that such choice or assignment, as the case may have been, was respected by common agreement as inviolable. It is doubtful if ever promiscuity was the law or privilege with any community of men, even in their primitive state.



The possession of reason is antagonistic to such a belief; and man was most probably elevated above the beast by the faculty of reason in this respect as in others. Promiscuous indulgence is always evidence of debauchery, and a departure from that natural course which is prompted by an innate sense of propriety characterizing mankind.



The law is very indefinite with regard to what constitutes a legal marriage. It is an unsettled question, both in England and this country, whether a marriage solemnized by customary formalities alone is legal, or if one characterized by the mere consent of the parties is illegal. The latter has been held as legal in some instances in both countries.



Kent, in his “Commentaries,” lays down the law that a contract made so that either party recognizes it from the moment of contract, and even not followed by cohabitation, amounts to a valid marriage, and also that a contract to be recognized at some future period, and followed by consummation, is equally valid.



It is unfortunate that the law is so undecided in this respect. The decisions arrived at, for or against, were not dependent upon any recognized law, but seem to be influenced by the character of the cases, either for favor or discountenance.



As long as the law recognizes cohabitation legal only in marriage, it seems to me that if consummated under consent of the parties to bear marital relations with each other, or promise of marriage, the act should be unhesitatingly pronounced as the equivalent of a valid marriage in all instances.



If cohabitation is only a marital prerogative, the law should not stultify itself by recognizing it as possible to occur in any other relation. If either of the parties is married, the law defines it as adultery, and very properly defines the punishment. It is necessary to the progress of the age that some such principle should be recognized in common law so as not to subject the decision of the question to the individual opinion of any judge.



It would at once obviate the confusion of sentiment now held in regard to it and besides arrest the decision in test cases from mere caprice of the tribunal. It is certainly as correct a principle as any in common law, and would, in its operations as a statute law, be free from injustice, and capable of doing much good.



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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Young men are fond of your company and of paying you every polite attention, and you, as a right-minded woman, are well pleased to be so treated. It is due to you as a woman. Now, each of them is, or ought to be, looking out for a wife, and it is well that you should know this.



It is, too, more important than you perhaps are aware, that you should be carefully making your own observations, so that when the time arrives for one of them to ask you to become his wife you may not be taken by surprise, but may know how to act on the occasion.



Let me caution you here against a failing that is common among young women. I mean that of making themselves too cheap. They feel flattered by the attentions paid to them, and are not sufficiently aware that many young men are fond of indulging in flattery; and such, if they find a young woman weak enough to be pleased with it, will perhaps play upon her feelings and gain her affections without having any honorable intentions towards her.



As a protection against such, I recommend you to have a proper respect for yourself, and to consider with what object or purpose you receive their attentions. If you respond without an object, you may be doing them wrong; if you accept them when they have no right intentions, you allow them to wrong you.



For this purpose consider well what you are—a human being intended for an eternity of bliss. God has made you a woman; and, believe me, as there is no fairer, so there is no nobler creature than woman. She is formed to be her husband’s helpmate and the mother of his children, and the all-important work of training these for heaven depends mainly upon her.



Great, then, is her responsibility; but God has given her the requisite love and power to do her duty with satisfaction and delight. He has placed you in this beautiful world that by doing your duty as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend, you may become fitted to enter His heavenly kingdom.



During your courtship let me entreat you to be very careful and circumspect. There is no period of life that can compare with this delightful season. It is, or should be, full of sunshine and sparkling with the poetry of life; but alas! to many it is the opposite. A want of judgment—a momentary indiscretion—has not only blotted out this beautiful springtime of life, but has marred, darkened, and blighted the whole of the after lifetime.



No maiden can, under any circumstances, place her character in the hands of any man before marriage. No matter how sincere the love, how ardent the protestations, how earnest or plausible the pleadings, you must not, you cannot, surrender your honor. You must preserve your prudence and virtue;



Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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When to marry.


The proper age to marry is a somewhat vexed question, but needlessly so, because that age varies much, according to temperament and other circumstances relating to the individual. Although after puberty the sexual organs are capable of reproduction, yet it by no means follows that they should be used for that purpose.


Their early activity is intended for the perfection of the body and mind, and not for the continuation of the species.


Very early marriage therefore, should be avoided, because the nervous force expended in amative indulgence is imperatively required in both sexes for developing the physical and mental faculties. The zoösperms produced by the male in the first years of puberty are inferior in power and less capable of producing healthy offspring than those of mature years.




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The early germs, also, of the female are less fitted for fecundation than those that appear later in life; nature evidently intending these early efforts to be used on the individuals themselves in building up their bodies, strengthening their minds, and preparing them to reproduce their species in maturer years.


There is a serious day of reckoning for early indulgence; for precocious persons (unless their constitutions are as powerful as their desires) who give way to their passions at their first exactions, barter their youth for their enjoyment, and are old and weary of the world at an age when people of more moderate habits are only in the meridian of pleasure and existence.


Generally the best age to marry where the health is perfect, is from twenty-one to twenty-five in the male and from eighteen to twenty-one in the female. As a general rule, marriages earlier than this are injurious and detrimental to health.




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Men who marry too young, unless they are of cold and phlegmatic constitution, [and thus moderate in their conduct, become partially bald, dim of sight, and lose all elasticity of limb in a few years; while women in a like position rarely have any bloom on their cheek or fire in their eye by the time they are twenty-five. And all profound physiologists agree that from the same cause the mental faculties suffer in the same ratio.


A medium, however, is to be observed. It is not well to defer till middle age the period of connubial intercourse; for too tedious spinsterhood is as much calculated to hasten the decay of beauty as too early a marriage.


Hence, there is rarely any freshness to be seen in a maiden of thirty; while the matron of that age, if her life has been a happy one, and her hymeneal condition of not more than ten years’ standing, is scarcely in the heyday of her charm’s. And the same rule will apply with equal force to the other sex; for, after the first prime of life, bachelors decay and grow old much faster than married men.




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Financial Standing.



The rich are qualified for marriage before the poor. This is owing to the superiority of their aliment; for very nutritious food, and the constant use of wines, coffee, etc., greatly assists in developing the organs of reproduction; whereas the food generally made use of among the peasantry of most countries—as vegetables, corn, milk, etc.—retards their growth.


Owing to this difference of diet, the daughter of a man of wealth, who keeps a good table, will be as adequate to certain duties of married life at eighteen as the daughter of a humble peasant at twenty-one.


Singular as it may seem, it is none the less true, that love novels, amorous conversations, playing parlor games for kisses, voluptuous pictures, waltzing, and, in fact, all things having a tendency to create desire, assist in promoting puberty and preparing young persons for early marriage. Those who reach this estate, however, by artificial means and much before the natural period will have to suffer for it in after life.




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The female who marries before the completion of her womanhood—that is, before her puberty is established—will cease to grow and probably become pale and delicate, the more especially if she become pregnant soon after marriage. A person who is thus circumstanced will also be liable to abortions and painful deliveries.


Marriage unless under very peculiar circumstances, should not take place until two or three years after the age of puberty. Many instances could be cited of the injurious effects resulting from not observing this rule.


The case of the son of Napoleon I. is a notable instance, who, at the age of fifteen or sixteen, began his career of sexual indulgence, which ended his life at the early age of twenty-one years.




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He was an amiable, inoffensive, and studious youth, beloved by his grandfather and the whole Austrian court; and though the son of the most energetic man that modern times has produced, yet, from his effeminate life, he scarcely attracted the least public attention.


Let me, therefore, advise the male reader to keep his desires in leading-strings until he is at least twenty-one, and the female not to enter the pale of wedlock until she is past her eighteenth year; but after these periods marriage is their proper sphere of action, and one in which they must play a part or suffer actual pain as well as the loss of one of the greatest of earthly pleasures.



Mental, Physical And Personality Considerations.



Marriages are most happy and most productive of handsome and healthy offspring when the husband and wife differ, not only in mental conformation, but in bodily construction. A melancholy man should mate himself with a sprightly woman, and vice versa; for otherwise they will soon grow weary of the monotony of each other’s company.




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By the same rule should the choleric and the patient be united, and the ambitious and the humble; for the opposites of their natures not only produce pleasurable excitement, but each keeps the other in a wholesome check. In the size and form of the parties the same principles hold good.


Tall women are not the ideals of beauty to tall men; and if they marry such, they will soon begin to imagine greater perfections in other forms than in those of their own wives. And this is well ordered by nature to prevent the disagreeable results which are almost certain to grow out of unions where the parties have a strong resemblance.


For instance, tall parents will probably have children taller than either, and mental imbecility is the usual attendant of extreme size. The union of persons prone to corpulency, of dwarfs, etc., would have parallel results; and so, likewise, of weakly and attenuated couples.




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The tall should marry the short, the corpulent the lean, the choleric the gentle, and so on, and the tendency to extremes in the parents will be corrected in the offspring.


Apart from these considerations, there are reasons why persons of the same disposition should not be united and wedlock. An amiable wife to a choleric man is like oil to troubled waters; an ill-tempered one will make his life a misery and his home a hell.


The man of studious habits should marry a woman of sense and spirit rather than of erudition, or the union will increase the monotony of his existence, which it would be well for his health and spirits to correct by a little conjugal excitement; and the man of gloomy temperament will find the greatest relief from the dark forebodings of his mind in the society of a gentle, but lively and smiling partner.


However, in some particulars the dispositions and constructions of married people must assimilate or they will have but few enjoyments in common.




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The man of full habits and warm nature had better remain single than unite his destinies with a woman whose heart repulses the soft advancements of love; and the sanguine female in whose soul love is the dominant principle should avoid marriage with a very phlegmatic person, or her caresses, instead of being returned in kind, will rather excite feelings of disgust.


Thus the discriminations to be made in the choice of a partner are extremely nice.Nature generally assists art in the choice of partners. We instinctively seek in the object of our desires the qualities which we do not possess ourselves.


This is a most admirable arrangement of Providence, as it establishes an equilibrium and prevents people from tending to extremes; for it is known that unions of dwarfs are fruitful of dwarfs, that giants proceed from the embrace of giants, and that offspring of parents alike irritable, alike passive, alike bashful, etc., inherit the prominent qualities of both to such a degree as to seriously interfere with their prospects in the world.




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It has another advantage. Through its means “Every eye forms its own beauty”; hence, what one person rejects is the beau ideal of another’s conceptions, and thus we are all provided for.


In fine, with man as with animals, the best way to improve the breed is to cross it, for the intermarriage of like with like and relative with relative not only causes man to degenerate, but if the system became universal would in time bring the human race to a termination altogether.


A male or female with a very low forehead should carefully avoid marriage with a person of like conformation, or their offspring will, in all probability, be weak-minded or victims to partial idiocy.


The system of crossing is so perfect that marriages between persons of different countries are likely to be pleasant and fruitful. Speaking on this subject, an English writer says: “The Persians have been so improved by introducing foreigners that they have completely succeeded in washing out their Mongolian origin.”







And the same author adds to the effect that in those parts of Persia where there is no foreign intercourse the inhabitants are sickly and stunted, while in those that are frequented by strangers they are large and healthy.


To make what is called, “A handsome couple,” the female should be about three inches less than the male, and the parties should be proportionately developed throughout their system.


A well formed woman says a modern physiologist, “should have her head, shoulders, and chest small and compact; arms and limbs relatively short; her haunches apart; her hips elevated; her abdomen large and her thighs voluminous. Hence, she should taper from the center, up and down.


Whereas, in a well-formed man the shoulders are more prominent than the hips. Great hollowness of the back, the pressing of the thigh against each other in walking, and the elevation of one hip above the other, are indications of the malformation of the pelvis.”




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From the same writer I take the following, which is applicable here. It is very correct in its estimates of beauty in both sexes:—


“The length of the neck should be proportionately less in the male than in the female, because the dependence of the mental system on the vital one is naturally connected with the shorter courses of the vessels of the neck.


“The neck should form a gradual transition between the body and head—its fullness concealing all prominences of the throat.


“The shoulders should slope from the lower part of the neck, because the reverse shows that the upper part of the chest owes its width to the bones and muscles of the shoulders.


“The upper part of the chest should be relatively short and wide, independent of the size of the shoulders, for this shows the vital organs which it contains are sufficiently developed.







“The waist should taper a little farther than the middle of the trunk, and be marked, especially in the back and loins, by the approximation of the hips. “The waist should be narrower than the upper part of the trunk and its muscles, because the reverse indicates the expansion of the stomach, liver, and great intestine, resulting from their excessive use.


“The back of woman should be more hollow than that of man; for otherwise the pelvis is not of sufficient depth for parturition.


“Women should have more extended loins than men, at the expense of the superior and inferior parts, for this conformation is essential to gestation. “The abdomen should be larger in woman than in man, for the same reason.


“Over all these parts the cellular tissue, and the plumpness connected with it, should obliterate all distinct projection of muscles.


“The surface of the whole female form should be characterized by its softness, elasticity, smoothness, delicacy, and polish, and by the gradual and easy transition between the parts.




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“The moderate plumpness already described should bestow on the organs of woman great suppleness. Plumpness is essential to beauty, especially in mothers, because in them the abdomen necessarily expands, and would afterwards collapse and become wrinkled.


“An excess of plumpness, however, is to be guarded against. Young women who are very fat are cold and prone to barrenness. “In no case should plumpness be so predominant as to destroy the distinctness of parts.”


A male and female formed on the above models would be well matched and have fine children.







Excerpt From The Ladies Book Of Useful Information.



Chloe



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