Where, as in this country, there is a fair chance of every woman’s being married who wishes it, the more things are left to their natural course the better. Where girls are brought up to be good daughters and sisters, to consider the development of their own intellectual and moral natures as the great business of life, and to view matrimony as a good, only when it comes unsought, and marked by such a fitness of things, inward and outward, as shows it to be one of the appointments of God, they will fully enjoy their years of single life, free from all anxiety about being established, and will generally be the first sought in marriage by the wise and good of the other sex; whereas those who are brought up to think the great business of life is to get married, and who spend their lives in plans and manoeuvres to bring it about, are the very ones who remain single, or, what is worse, make unhappy matches.
Very young girls are apt to suppose, from what they observe in older ones, that there is some peculiar manner to be put on in talking to gentlemen, and not knowing exactly what it is, they are embarrassed and reserved; others observe certain airs and looks, used by their elders in this intercourse, and try to imitate them as a necessary part of company behavior, and so become affected, and lose that first of charms—simplicity, naturalness. To such I would say, your companions are in error; it requires no peculiar manner, nothing to be put on, in order to converse with gentlemen any more than with ladies; and the more pure and elevated your sentiments are, and the better cultivated your intellect is, the easier will you find it to converse pleasantly with all. If, however, you happen to have no facility in expressing yourself, and you find it very difficult to converse with persons whom you do not know well, you can still be an intelligent and agreeable listener, and you can show by your ready smile of sympathy that you would be sociable if you could. There is no reason in the world why any one, who is not unhappy, should sit in the midst of gay companions with a face so solemn and unmoved, that she should seem not to belong to the company; that she should look so glum and forbidding that strangers should feel repulsed, and her best friends disappointed. If you cannot look entertained and pleasant, you had better stay away, for politeness requires some expression of sympathy in the countenance, as much as a civil answer on the tongue.
Never condescend to use any little arts or manoeuvres to secure a pleasant beau at a party, or during an excursion; remember that a woman must always wait to be chosen, and “not unsought be won,” even for an hour. When you are so fortunate as to be attended by the most agreeable gentleman present, do not make any effort to keep him entirely to yourself; that flatters him too much, and exposes you to be joked about.