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A Victorian Scrapbook

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

Victorian Family, People and Relationships

Getting Married

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


EVERY young girl, now-a-days, expects to get a rich husband; and therefore rich men ought to be abundant. In the country, we admit that girls are sometimes brought up with an idea of work, and with a suspicion that each may chance to wed a sober, steady, good-looking, industrious young man, who will be compelled to earn by severe labour the subsistence of himself and family.

Getting MarriedThere are not so many brought up with such ideas now, even in the country, as there used to be; but there are some, and they, consequently, learn how to become worthy helpmates to such worthy partners….

This is why so many young men fear to marry. The young women they meet with are all so imbued with notions of marriage so utterly incompatible with the ordinary relations of life in their station; they are so wholly inexperienced in the economy of the household; they have been taught, or have taught themselves, such a “noble disdain” for all kinds of family industry; they have acquired such expectations of lady-like ease and elegance in the matrimonial connection, that to wed any one of them is to secure a life-long lease of domestic unhappiness, and purchase wretchedness, poverty, and despair.

All this is wrong, and should be amended. Such fallacies do not become a sensible age, nor a sensible people. Our grandfathers and mothers had more wisdom than this. The present age is much too fast a one in this respect. Let us sober down a little. Let every young woman be taught ideas of life and expectations of marriage suitable to her condition, and she will not be so frequently disappointed. Should she be fortunate, and wed above that condition, she may readily learn the new duties becoming to it, and will not have been injured by having possessed herself of those fitting a station below. Let her anticipate always a marriage with one in the humbler walks of life; and then, should she happen to do better, her good fortune will be only the more delightful.