Author of" How to be Happy Though Married" etc., etc.
Love Before Marriage - The Eastern and the Western View - All the World Loves a Lover - Love at First Sight - Love a Worker of Miracles - The Creator of a New Eden - The Happy Marriages of Great Men - How to Preserve the Romance of Marriage - Husband Lovers and Sweetheart Wives
Easterns think that the marriages of young people should be arranged for them by their parents, and that the young people need not, and ought not, even to see each other until the wedding-day. "Love," they say "comes after marriage."
We in the West think that love should precede as well as follow it, and few of us are like the Scotch mother, who said to one who had congratulated her on the marriage of her daughter, "To be sure, Jeanie hates her good man, but then we can't expect everything."
Thoughtful people appreciate the beauty and understand the importance of falling in love. When Queen Victoria was about to be married, her subjects were delighted because it was a love match. " It is this," Lord Melbourne said to her, "which makes your Majesty's marriage so popular." As a rule, a Queen has to marry, not her own choice, but the one most expedient politically, and we all feel that before people marry their imaginations should be kindled and their hearts touched.
" Tell me where is fancy bred, Or in the heart or in the head ? "
In this sweet little song of Shakespeare the word "fancy" means love; and the true answer as it seems to me, to the question is that this love or fancy is bred or produced, not in the head, where we think and speculate and make bargains, but in the heart, where we feel, admire, and love.
When a Man Should Marry
There is a difference between a man who wishes to marry because he has fallen in love and another who wishes to fall in love because he " wants to settle." A real man does not argue with himself on these matters. He does not ask himself, " How much will this girl's father stump up ? " or, " If I marry how shall I spoil my prospects ? ' No, he feels and acts. He mates like the bird, because he cannot help doing so.
Perhaps the best advice one could give a young man in this matter would be to say,
Wait until you can't wait any longer." Wait, that is, until she come with smiles so sweet and manners so gracious that you cannot resist her, and then may you be happy ever after !
As a rule, healthy, natural falling in love takes place at first sight :
"The very instant that I saw you, did My heart fly to your service."
A young man when introduced to a certain young lady feels a bewildering, delightful sensation. He does not know what has come over him. He says to himself, " Of course, I'm not a marrying man, but if I were I might do worse than marry that young lady." And when he does marry her his friends say, "Well, I never could see what Mr. So-and-so saw to like in Miss So-and-so." They could not see it, and the man himself could not see it, but it was nature speaking to him in his strongest feelings, and saying, "Choose her, for she is the one that will complete and fill up your nature, or refuse her for the sake of another with more money or with more influential connections, and your nature will be starved, stinted, and only half made up."
It is true that many mistakes come from falling in love with the wrong person; but though instinct is not infallible, it is, as a rule, the best guide we have. One country-man said to another, "Now, if everyone had been of my mind, everyone would have wanted to marry my old woman." To this his friend replied, If everyone had been of my mind no one would have wanted to marry her." So it is that each eye forms its own idea of the beauty and fitness of things, and this gives us all a chance of getting married.
"Do you drame of me, Mike?" said an Irish girl to her lover. "Drame of you is it ? Sure, and it's as how I can't get a wink of sleep for draming of you." This was love's young dream with a vengeance. "Oh, what a recreation it is ! " exclaimed a man of the same country, "to be falling in love; it makes the heart beat so delicately that you can't go asleep for the pleasure of the pain."
" Who hath not felt that breath in the air, A perfume and freshness strange and rare, A warmth in the light, and a bliss everywhere, When two hearts yearn together ? All sweets below, and all sunny above, Oh, there's nothing in life like making love."
The enthusiasm of the happy months that precede matrimony puts people at their best. They then are particularly anxious to please. The glossy fur and resplendent plumage which beasts and birds obtain in the courting days of spring are not more natural than are the generous feelings and enthusiastic ambitions of young men and young women when they gently turn to thoughts of love.
When taking delightful walks on summer evenings, ideal lovers build castles in the air. Some of these may reach to heaven, for they may be the beginning of mutual work and mutual improvement that will fit the happy pair, after a useful life here, for a more perfect one beyond.
"And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love that he had to her." What romance there is in this old Biblical love story ! Work that is done for love seems short and sweet.
In spite.of what cynics say, I believe that there are Jacobs to-day who are urged by love to work and not to despair. One of these at an examination for a Civil Service appointment was seen taking a card from his pocket. The examiner thought that he had caught him-copying, and demanded to see the card. The man blushed, but handed it to the examiner. It was the photograph of the girl whom he hoped to marry if the appointment were obtained. When he came to a difficult question he sought inspiration from her dear face.