Friday, September 11, 2009


1. Marrying for Wealth.—Those who marry for wealth often get what they marry and nothing else; for rich girls besides being generally destitute of both industry and economy, are generally extravagant in their expenditures, and require servants enough to dissipate a fortune. They generally have insatiable wants, yet feel that they deserve to be indulged in everything, because they placed their husbands under obligation to them by bringing them a dowry. And then the mere idea of living on the money of a wife, and of being supported by her, is enough to tantalize any man of an independent spirit.

2. Self-Support.—What spirited husband would not prefer to support both himself and wife, rather than submit to this perpetual bondage of obligation. To live upon a father, or take a patrimony from him, is quite bad enough; but to run in debt to a wife, and owe her a living, is a little too aggravating for endurance, especially if there be not perfect cordiality between the two, which cannot be the case in money matches. Better live wifeless, or anything else, rather than marry for money.

3. Money-Seekers.—Shame on sordid wife-seekers, or, rather, money-seekers; for it is not a wife that they seek, but only filthy lucre! They violate all their other faculties simply to gratify miserly desire. Verily such "have their reward"!

4. The Penitent Hour.—And to you, young ladies, let me say with great emphasis, that those who court and marry you because you are rich, will make you rue the day of your pecuniary espousals. They care not for you, but only your money, and when they get that, will be liable to neglect or abuse you, and probably squander it, leaving you destitute and abandoning you to your fate.

5. Industry the Sign of Nobility.—Marry a working, industrious young lady, whose constitution is strong, flesh solid, and health unimpaired by confinement, bad habits, or late hours. Give me a plain, home-spun farmer's daughter, and you may have all the rich and fashionable belles of our cities and villages.

6. Wasp Waists.—Marrying small waists is attended with consequences scarcely less disastrous than marrying rich and fashionable girls. An amply developed chest is a sure indication of a naturally vigorous constitution and a strong hold on life; while small waists indicate small and feeble vital organs, a delicate constitution, sickly offspring, and a short life. Beware of them, therefore, unless you wish your heart broken by the early death of your wife and children.

7. Marrying Talkers.—In marrying a wit or a talker merely, though the brilliant scintillations of the former, or the garrulity of the latter, may amuse or delight you for the time being, yet you will derive no permanent satisfaction from these qualities, for there will be no common bond of kindred feeling to assimilate your souls and hold each spell-bound at the shrine of the other's intellectual or moral excellence.

8. The Second Wife.—Many men, especially in choosing a second wife, are governed by her own qualifications as a housekeeper mainly, and marry industry and economy. Though these traits of character are excellent, yet a good housekeeper may be far from being a good wife. A good housekeeper, but a poor wife, may indeed prepare you a good dinner, and keep her house and children neat and tidy, yet this is but a part of the office of a wife; who, besides all her household duties, has those of a far higher order to perform. She should soothe you with her sympathies, divert your troubled mind, and make the whole family happy by the gentleness of her manners, and the native goodness of her heart. A husband should also likewise do his part.

9. Do Not Marry a Man With a Low, Flat Head; for, however fascinating, genteel, polite, tender, plausible or winning he may be, you will repent the day of your espousal.

10. Healthy Wires and Mothers.—Let girls romp, and let them range hill and dale in search of flowers, berries, or any other object of amusement or attraction; let them bathe often, skip the rope, and take a smart ride on horseback; often interspersing these amusements with a turn of sweeping or washing, in order thereby to develop their vital organs, and thus lay a substantial physical foundation for becoming good wives and mothers. The wildest romps usually make the best wives, while quiet, still, demure, sedate and sedentary girls are not worth having.

11. Small Stature.—In passing, I will just remark, that good size is important in wives and mothers. A small stature is objectionable in a woman, because little women usually have too much activity for their strength, and, consequently, feeble constitutions; hence they die young, and besides, being nervous, suffer extremely as mothers.

12. Hard Times and Matrimony.—Many persons, particularly young men, refuse to marry, especially "these hard time," because they cannot support a wife in the style they wish. To this I reply, that a good wife will care less for the style in which she is supported, than for you. She will cheerfully conform to your necessities, and be happy with you in a log-cabin. She will even help you support yourself. To support a good wife, even if she have children, is really less expensive than to board alone, besides being one of the surest means of acquiring property.

13. Marrying for a Home.—Do not, however, marry for a home merely, unless you wish to become even more destitute with one than without one; for, it is on the same footing with "marrying for money." Marry a man for his merit; and you take no chances.

14. Marry to Please No One But Yourself.—Marriage a matter exclusively your own; because you alone must abide its consequences. No person, not even a parent, has the least right to interfere or dictate in this matter. I never knew a marriage, made to please another, to turn out any otherwise than most unhappily.

15. Do Not Marry to Please Your Parents. Parents can not love for their children any more than they can eat or sleep, or breathe, or die and go to heaven for them. They may give wholesome advice merely, but should leave the entire decision to the unbiased judgment of the parties themselves, who mainly are to experience the consequences of their choice. Besides, such is human nature, that to oppose lovers, or to speak against the person beloved, only increases their desire and determination to marry.

16. Run-Away Matches.—Many a run-away match would never have taken place but for opposition or interference. Parents are mostly to be blamed for these elopements. Their children marry partly out of sprite and to be contrary. Their very natures tell them that this interference is unjust—as it really is—and this excites combativeness, firmness, and self-esteem, in combination with the social faculties, to powerful and even blind resistance—which turmoil of the faculties hastens the match. Let the affections of a daughter be once slightly enlisted in your favor, and then let the "old folks" start an opposition, and you may feel sure of your prize. If she did not love you before, she will now, that you are persecuted.

17. Disinheritance.—Never disinherit, or threaten to disinherit, a child for marrying against your will. If you wish a daughter not to marry a certain man, oppose her, and she will be sure to marry him; so also in reference to a son.

18. Proper Training.—The secret is, however, all in a nutshell. Let the father properly train his daughter, and she will bring her first love-letter to him, and give him an opportunity to cherish a suitable affection, and to nip an improper one in the germ, before it has time to do any harm.

19. The Fatal Mistakes of Parents.—There is, however one way of effectually preventing an improper match, and that is, not to allow your children to associate with any whom you are unwilling they should marry. How cruel as well at unjust to allow a daughter to associate with a young man till the affections of both are riveted, and then forbid her marrying him. Forbid all association, or consent cheerfully to the marriage.

20. An Intemperate Lover.—Do not flatter yourselves young women, that you can wean even an occasional wine drinker from his cups by love and persuasion. Ardent spirit at first, kindles up the fires of love into the fierce flames of burning licentiousness, which burn out every element of love and destroy every vestige of pure affection. It over-excites the passions, and thereby finally destroys it,—producing at first, unbridled libertinism, and then an utter barrenness of love; besides reversing the other faculties of the drinker against his own consort, and those of the wife against her drinking husband.