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Courtship and Marriage
And the Gentle Art of Home-Making

written by "Swan, Annie S. (Annie Shepherd), 1859-1943"
...on good behaviour with a person we only see occasionally, even every day, so long as the cares and worries of life are in the background, never obtruded, however heavily they press, because these short moments are too precious to be clouded in any way. It is easy to be unselfish for a little while; to bow, now and then, absolutely to another's will; to suffer discomfort once a week, if necessary, to make a dear one comfortable. All such little sacrifices during courting days seem but a privilege, and make up the poetry of that happy time. But the day comes sooner or later to the married pair, when the prose pages must be turned, and poetry relegated to the background, days on which the reality of life, in all its grim nakedness, seems to banish romance, and when love needs all its strength and staying power for the fight. The common-sense man or woman, of which type a few examples yet remain with us, will prepare themselves for the slight disappointments which are inevitable, when two people, regarding each other from an adoring distance, and having invested each other with many exaggerated gifts and graces, put themselves voluntarily to the test of everyday life, with all its prosaic details, its crosses and losses, its silences and its tears. It is like making a new acquaintance, having to meet each other in all situations, and in various unromantic and sometimes supremely trying conditions. Edwin pacing his chamber floor anathematising a buttonless shirt is a picture our comic journals have made familiar to us; and Angelina in her curl-papers and untidy morning gown looks a different being from the sylph in evening attire all smiles and blushes. These extreme examples serve only to illustrate my contention, that the closeness of the marriage relation carries its peril with it. To the man or woman, however, who marries for that love which is based on the qualities of both head and heart, and who knows that daily lif...

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