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fathers and brothers are all employed in their respective money-making transactions, and a servant cannot be spared from American establishments ; if, therefore, they are to walk out and take exercise, it must be alone, and this can be done in the United States with more security than elsewhere, from the circumstance of everybody being actively employed, and there being no people at leisure who are strolling or idling about. I think that the portion of time which elapses between the period of a young girl leaving school and being married, is the happiest of her existence. I have already remarked upon the attention and gallantry shewn by the Americans to the women, especially to the unmarried. This is carried to an extent which, in England, would be considered by our young women as no compliment; to a certain degree it pervades every class, and even the sable damsels have no reason to complain of not being treated with the excess of politeness ; but in my opinion, (and I believe the majority of the American women will admit the correctness of it,) they do not consider themselves flattered by a species of homage which is paying no compliment to their good sense, and after which the usual attentions of an Englishman to the sex are by some considered as amounting to hauteur and neglect.

Be it as it may, the American women are not spoiled by this universal adulation which they receive previous to their marriage. It is not that one is selected for her wealth or extreme beauty to the exception of all others; in such a case it might prove dangerous ; but it is a flattery paid to the whole sex, given to all, and received as a matter of course by all, and therefore it does no mischief. It does, however, prove what I have observed at the commencement of this chapter, which is, that the women have not that influence which they are entitled to, and which, for the sake of morality, it is to be lamented that they have not; when men respect women they do not attempt to make fools of them, but treat them as rational and immortal beings, and this general adulation is cheating them with the shadow, while they withhold from them the substance.



I have said that the period between her emancipation from school and her marriage is the happiest portion of an American woman's existence; indeed it has reminded me of the fêtes and amusements given in a Catholic country to a young girl previous to her taking the veil, and being immured from the world ; for the duties

wife in America are from circumstances very onerous, and I consider her existence after that period as but one of negative enjoyment. And yet she appears anxious to abridge even this small portion of freedom and happiness, for marriage is considered almost as a business, or, I

I should say, a duty, an idea probably handed down by the first settlers, to whom an increase of population was of such vital importance.


* Bigamy is not uncommon in the United States from the women being in too great a hurry to marry, and not obtaining sufficient information relative to their suitors. The punishment is chipping stone in Sing Sing for a

It must, however, be admitted, that when a foreigner is the party, it is rather difficult to ascertain whether the gentleman has or has not left an old wife or two in the Old World.

few years.

However much the Americans may wish to deny it, I am inclined to think that there are more marriages of convenance in the United States than in most other countries. The men begin to calculate long before they are of an age to marry, and it is not very likely that they would calculate so well upon all other points, and not upon the value of a dowry; moreover, the old people “ calculate some," and the girls accept an offer, without their hearts being seriously compromised. Of course there are exceptions : but I do not think that there are many love matches made in America, and one reason for my holding this opinion is, my having discovered how quietly matches are broken off and new engagements entered into; and it is, perhaps, from a knowledge of this fact, arising from the calculating spirit of the gentlemen, who are apt to consider 20,000 dollars as preferable to 10,000, that the American girls are not too hasty in surrendering their hearts.

I knew a young lady who was engaged to an


acquaintance of mine ; on my return to their city a short time afterwards, I found that the match was broken off, and that she was engaged to another, and nothing was thought of it. I do not argue from this simple instance, but because I found, on talking about it, that it was a very common circumstance, and because, where scandal is so rife, no remarks were made. If a young lady behaves in a way so as to give offence to the gentleman she is engaged to, and sufficiently indecorous to warrant his breaking off the match, he is gallant to the very last, for he writes to her, and begs that she will dismiss him. This I knew to be done by a party I was acquainted with ; he told me that it was considered good taste, and I agreed with him. On the whole, I hold it very fortunate that in American marriages there is, generally speaking, more prudence than love on both sides, for from the peculiar habits and customs of the country, a woman who loved without prudence would not feel very happy as a wife.

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