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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

Courting an Old Maid

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


Courting an old MaidSome men may discourse most elaborately upon the art of angling, disputing warmly and pertinaciously concerning the relative merits of soft crab and clam as a bait, or what ought to be the shape of a hook – others can boast if they choose of their fast horses, get in raptures at the magnificent action of the bob-tail bay, betting their lives he can make his mile in 2:40 and be ready to back the opinion by putting up the funds – or others again, having a more exalted idea of human felicity, may tell you of the ecstatic bliss one experiences in sparking of a widow, (cowhides and revolvers included); but, oh ye gods and little fishes, what is to be compared to the pleasure unalloyed of courting a prim, coy old maid, (the term is not applied as commonly used, for a variety, the gems of the sex are those that are styled old maids.)

Ah! The ineffable rapture – the joy unspeakable – the wild delight of stealing a kiss from the measure placed lips of an unsuspecting Miss Dimity. And who can describe the all-overish sensation so singularly fixing itself upon, and gradually stealing over him, when he hears the sounds – “Now don’t, sir – oh don’t Mr. Brown – don’t” as he attempts so seize the hand that she fain would use to conceal the roses (a little faded to be sure) blossoming on her chaste cheeks.

If the man almost confirmed in bad habits would be reclaimed, rely upon it as the speediest and safest way is to address an old maid, for she will as kindly and unerringly point out the remedies for ill practices, as apply such restoratives to a pair of dilapidated unmentionables as are needed. Its really a comfort (provided you are minus muddy feet, or wish to avoid a look of undisguised horror) to visit the premises presided over by such a fair one – every thing is in such apple-pie order. And so feelingly and urgently does she speak of the necessity of guarding against exposure – that you are led to expostulate – “Oh woman, thy gentleness and foresight are indeed blessings to reckless male humanity.

Expatiate, if you will, upon sparkling eyes and ruby lips, but should you desire sensible courting (doubtless a misnomer) try an old maid, and a wager for it, you will find something substantial, if the expression be allowable.