The Conjugal Kiss or an
Unruffled Crinoline
Keeping the Home Fires Burning
There are three kinds of men who fail to understand women - young men, old men and middle-aged men.
IRISH PROVERB
Once you had chosen a good breeding partner and exchanged your vows, it was imperative that you got into production right away, and A Manual of the Etiquette of Marriage published in London in 1840, offered advice to ensure that production remained at full capacity, throughout a woman's child-bearing years.
The Etiquette of Marriage
As the gentlemen only are privileged to make advances, we will commence with them, deeming them the more responsible.

Has that man a call to be a husband who, having wasted his youth in excesses, looks around him at the eleventh hour for 'a virtuous young girl', (such men have the
effrontery to be very particular on that point), to make up his damaged constitutions, and perpetuate it in their offspring?' (This was no doubt a  pre-emptive strike designed to keep young men on the straight and narrow to ensure that his offspring did not inherit unwanted vices)
Has he any call to be a husband, who adds to his wife's manifold cares that of selecting and providing the household stores, and enquires of her after that, how she spent the surplus shilling of yesterday's appropriation?

Has he any call to be a husband, who leaves his wife to blow out the lamp, and bruise her precious little toes while she is navigating the bed-post? (Ah yes, those tiny little feet.)

Has he any call to be a husband, who sits down on his wife's best bonnet, or puts her shawl over her shoulders upside down, or wrong side out, at the Opera?

Has he any call to be a husband, who goes 'unbeknown' to his wife, to some wretch of a barber, and parts, for a shilling, with a beard which she has coaxed from its infantine sprout to luxueriant, full-grown, magnificent, unsurpassable hirsuteness, and then comes home, to her horrified vision, a pocket edition of Moses?


Has he any call to be a husband, who kisses his wife only on Saturday night, when he winds up the clock and pays the grocer, and who never notices, day by day, the neat dress, and shining bands of hair arranged to please his stupid milk and watership?
Not wanting to be "a pocket edition of Moses", this unfortunate gent is giving mother nature a hand.
1856 Harper's Magazine Entitled "The Mustache Movement"
And a Word to the Ladies:

Has that woman a call to be a wife, who sits reading the last new novel, while her husband stands before the glass, vainly trying to pin a buttonless shirt-bosom?

Has that woman a call to be a wife, who expects her husband to swallow diluted coffee, soapy bread, smokey tea, and watery potatoes, six days out of seven?

Has she a call to be a wife, who would take advantage of a moment of conjugal weakness, to extort money or exact a promise?

Has she a call to be a wife who values an unrumpled collar or crinoline more than a conjugal kiss?
Love and Common Sense
Light on Dark Corners
1.  Do you love her because she goes to the altar with a head full of book learning, her hands of no earthly use; save for the piano and brush; because she has no conception of the duties and responsibilities of a wife; because she hates housework, hates it's everlasting routine and reccuring  duties; because she hates children and will adopt every means to escape motherhood; because she loves her ease, loves to have her will supreme, loves, oh how well, to be free to come and go, to let the days slip idly by, to be absolved from all responsibility, to live without labour, without care?  Will you love her selfish, shirking, calculating nature after twenty years of close companionship?    

2.  Do you love him because he is a man, and therefore, no matter how weak mentally, morally or physically he may be, he has vested in him the power to save you from the ignominy of being an old maid?  Because you would rather be a 'Mrs. Nobody' than make the effort to be a 'Miss Somebody'?  Because you have  great big empty space in your head and heart that nothing but a man can fill?  Because you feel you cannot live without him?  God grant the time may never come when you cannot live with him.

3.  Do you love her because she is a thoroughly
womanly woman; for her tender sympathetic nature; for the jewels of her life, which are absolute purity of mind and heart, for the sweet sincerity of her disposition; for her loving charitable thought; for her strength of character?  Because she is pitiful to the sinful, tender to the sorrowful, capable, self-reliant, modest, true-hearted?  In brief, because she is the embodiment of all womanly virtues?     

4.  Do you love him because he is a manly man; because the living and operating principle of his life is a tender reverence toward all women, because his love is the overflow of the best part of his nature; because he has never soiled his soul with an unholy act or his lips with an oath; because mentally he is a man amoung men; because physically he stands head and shoulders above the masses; because morally he is far beyond suspicion, in his thought, word or deed; because his earnest consecrated life is a mighty power on God's side?

5.  But there always has been and always will be unhappy marriages until men learn what husbandhood means, how to care for that tenderly matured, delicately constituted being, that he takes into his care and keeping.  That if her wonderfully adjusted organism is overtaxed and over burdened, her happiness which is largely dependent upon her health, is destroyed.

6.  Until men give the women they marry the undivided love of their heart; until constancy is the key-note of a life which speaks eloquently of clean thoughts and clean hearts.

7.  Until men and women recognize that self-control in a man, and modesty in a woman, will bring a mutual respect which years of wedded life will only strengthen.  Until they realize that love is the purest and holiest of all things known to humanity; will marriage continue to bring unhappiness and discontent, instead of that comfort and restful peace, which all loyal souls have a right to expect and enjoy.

8.  Be sensible and marry a sensible, honest and industrious companion, and happiness through life will be your reward.
This poem appeared in the December, 1856; edition of Harper's Magazine and is appropriate to the topic, so I thought I'd share.
How it Happened
THE snow lay on the window-panes,
Winds howled along the leafless lanes; Within, the fire shone bright and clear,
And Ben sat there and I sat here.

I  watched the glow upon his cheek,
Where summer left a sunny streak;
Like pearls the snowy teeth appeared,
That glistened through his tawny beard.

"I love you, Dora," murmured Ben;
" Ah! will you love me back again ?"
His voice was sweeter than the tune
Of bugles played beneath the moon!

I took two filberts from a bowl,
Two filberts smooth, and brown, and whole; To each I gave a secret name,
And placed them nigh the clearest flame.

They hissed and burned upon the bars;
And shot a thousand fiery stars:
I trembled lest a certain one
Should leap, and leave my hopes undone.

My fears were vain, my heart was shamed: The lilts with one accordance flamed.
" They burn together!" quick' I cried,
And Ben crept closer to my side.


"They cling together, firm and true ;
Each burns for each, as I for you.
Thus let our lives together glow­
Nay, Dora! crush that jesting 'No'

The hand that stole around my waist,
the lips that dared my lips to taste,
The breast that hid my blushing cheek, Translated what I did not speak.

And now the white snow, comes again,
Once more peeps through our window-pane: As Ben ,and I sit side by side,
Nor has the flame we burned with died.
Sexual Proprieties and Improprieties of Marriage
Light on Dark Corners - Toronto 1894
SEPARATE BEDS - Many writers have vigorously championed as a reform the practice of separate beds for husband and wife. While we would not recommend such separation, it is no doubt very much better for both husband and wife, in case the wife is pregnant. Where people are reasonably temperate, no such ordinary precautions and separate sleeping places may be
necessary. But in case of pregnancy it will add rest to the mother and add vigor to the unborn child. Sleeping together, however, is natural and cultivates true affection, and it is physiologically true that in very cold weather life is prolonged by husband and wife sleeping together.

THE AUTHORITY OF THE WIFE - Let the wife judge whether she desires a separate couch or not. She has the superior right to control her own person. In such diseases as consumption, or other severe or lingering diseases, separate beds should always be insisted upon.

THE TIME FOR INDULGENCE - -The health of the generaive functions depends upon exercise, just the same as any other vital organ. Intercourse should be absolutely avoided just before or after meals, or just after mental excitement or physical exercise. No wife should indulge her husband when he is under the influence of alcoholic stimulants, for idiocy and other serious maladies are liable to be visited upon the offspring.

RESTRAINT DURING PREGNANCY - There is no question but what moderate indulgence during the first few months of pregnancy does not result in serious harm; but people who excessively satisfy their ill-governed passions are liable to pay a serious penalty.
FREQUENCY - Some writers claim that intercourse should never occur except for the purpose of childbearing; but such restraint is not natural and consequently not conducive to health. There are many conditions in which the health of the mother and offspring must be respected, It is now held that it is nearer a crime than a virtue to prostitute woman to the degradation of breeding animals by compelling her to bring into life more offspring than can be born healthy, or be properly cared for and educated.

NO RULE - In this work we shall attempt to specify no rule, but simply give advice as to the health and happiness of both man and wife. A man should not gratify his own desires at the expense of his wife's health, comfort or inclination.  Many men no doubt harass their wives and force many burdens upon their slender constitutions. But it is a great sin and no true husband will demand unreasonable recognition. The wife when physically able, however, should bear with her husband. Man is naturally sensitive on this subject, and it takes but little to alienate his affections and bring discord into the family.

THE MARRIAGE BED - The best writers lay down the rule for the government of the marriage-bed, that sexual indulgence should only occur about once in a week or ten days, and this of course applies only to those who enjoy a fair degree of health. But it is a hygienic and physiological fact that those who indulge only once a month receive a far greater degree of the intensity of enjoyment than those who indulge their passions more frequently. Much pleasure is lost by excesses where much might be gained by temperance, Riving rest to the organs for the accumulation of nervous force,
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