Our Deportment eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about Our Deportment.


A young man has no right to put a slight upon his future bride by appearing in public with other ladies while she remains neglected at home.  He is in future her legitimate escort.  He should attend no other lady when she needs his services; she should accept no other escort when he is at liberty to attend her.  A lady should not be too demonstrative of her affection during the days of her engagement.  There is always the chance of “a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip;” and over-demonstrations of love are not pleasant to be remembered by a young lady, if the man to whom they are given by any chance fails to become her husband.  An honorable man will never tempt his future bride to any such demonstration.  He will always maintain a respectful and decorous demeanor toward her.

No young man who would shrink from being guilty of a great impropriety, should ever prolong his visits beyond ten o’clock, unless it be the common custom of the family to remain up and to entertain visitors to a later hour, and the visit paid is a family one and not a tete-a-tete.  Two hours is quite long enough for a call; and the young man will give evidence of his affection no less than his consideration, by making his visits short, and, if need be, making them often, rather than by prolonging to unreasonable hours.


Neither party should try to make the other jealous for the purpose of testing his or her affection.  Such a course is contemptible; and if the affections of the other are permanently lost by it, the offending party is only gaining his or her just deserts.  Neither should there be provocation to little quarrels for the foolish delight of reconciliation.  No lover will assume a domineering attitude over his future wife.  If he does so, she will do well to escape from his thrall before she becomes his wife in reality.  A domineering lover will be certain to be more domineering as a husband.


Sometimes it is necessary to break off an engagement.  Many circumstances will justify this.  Indeed anything which may occur or be discovered which shall promise to render the marriage an unsuitable or unhappy one is, and should be accepted as, justification for such rupture.  Still, breaking an engagement is always a serious and distressing thing, and ought not to be contemplated without absolute and just reasons.  It is generally best to break an engagement by letter.  By this means one can express himself or herself more clearly, and give the true reason for his or her course much better than in a personal interview.  The letter breaking the engagement should be accompanied by everything, in the way of portraits, letters or gifts, that has been received during the engagement.  Such letters should be acknowledged in a dignified manner, and no efforts should be made or measures be taken to change the decision of the writer, unless it is manifest that he or she is greatly mistaken in his or her premises.  A similar return of letters, portraits and gifts should be made.

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Our Deportment from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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