Swan Annie Shepherd - Courtship and marriage

Author : Swan Annie Shepherd
Title : Courtship and marriage and the gentle art of home-making
Year : 1894

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The lovers. If this truly gentle art we do not hear a great deal. It has no academies connected with its name, no learned body of directors or councillors, no diplomas or graduation honours; yet curiously enough it offers more enduring consequences than any other art which makes more noise in the world. Its business is the most serious business of life, fraught with the mightiest issues here and hereafter - viz., the moulding of human character and the guiding of human conduct. It is right and fitting, then, that it should demand from us some serious attention, and we may with profit consider how it can best be fostered and made competent to bless the greatest number, which, I take it, is the ultima Thule of all art. To trace this gentle art from its early stages we must first consider, I think, the relation to each other before marriage of the young pair who aim at the upbuilding of a home, wherein they shall not only be happy themselves, but which, in their best moments, when the heavenly and the ideal is before them, they hope to make a centre of influence from which shall go forth means of grace and blessing to others. I do not feel that any apology is required for my desire to linger a little over that old-fashioned yet ever-new phase of life known as courting days. It is one which is oftener made a jest of than a serious study; yet such is its perennial freshness and interest for men and women, that it can never become threadbare; and though there cannot be much left that is new or original to say about it, yet a few thoughts from a woman's point of view may not be altogether unacceptable. We are constantly being told that we live in a hard, prosaic age, that romance has no place in our century, and that the rush and the fever of life have left but little time or inclination for the old-time grace and leisure with which our grandfathers and grandmothers loved, wooed, and wed. ...

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