It has come to my attention that some fans watch Road to Avonlea for the romantic relationships between the characters.  One blossoming relationship in particular between Gus and Felicity appears to have generated avid interest and has consistently pushed the Avonlea Guides' sap meter to the limit.  My arm twisted, I reluctantly bring you the latest installment of the Family Guide on the etiquette and manners of courtship.


honeyCourtship! Its theme, how delightful!  Its memories and associations, how charming! Its luxuries the most luxurious proffered to mortals!  How great are the pleasures of sight, motion, breathing!  How much greater those of mind!  Yet a right love surpasses them all; and can render us all happier than our utmost imaginations can depict; and a wrong more miserable.
~ Social Etiquette, or: Manners and Customs of Polite Society, By Maud C. Cooke, 1896

The girls of the twentieth century are making a great mistake in surrendering their proud prerogative of being courted. It is in man's nature to sigh for the unattainable.  The fruit just ready to drop from the bough is seldom prized.  
~ Good Manners for all Occasions: A Practical Manual – Margaret Sangster

It is now held by many that the prudent and modest maiden should not even allow her lover, (even after their engagement), to kiss her.  Not until after marriage should such a favor be granted.”
~ Modern Manners and Social Forms. Julia M. Bradley, 1889.

“It is a sign of low-breeding to fidget with the hat, cane or parasol during a call.  They are introduced merely as signs that the caller is in walking dress, and are not intended, the hat to be whirled round the top of the cane, the cane to be employed in tracing out the pattern of the carpet, or the parasol to be tapped on the teeth, or worse still, sucked.”
~ Frost’s Laws and By-Laws of American Society
S.A. Frost, 1869.

courtship“When bent on paying calls, first don one of your prettiest gowns, then arm yourself with a liberal supply of small-talk and sally forth unafraid.”
~ Etiquette for Women
G.R.M. Devereux, 1902.    

“Visitors should furnish themselves with cards.  Gentlemen ought simply to put their cards into their pocket, but ladies may carry them in a small elegant portfolio, called a card-case.  This they can hold in their hand and it will contribute essentially (with elegant handkerchief of embroidered cambric,) to give them an air of good taste.”
~ Decorum
Anonymous, 1877.

“If you pay a lady a compliment, let it drop from your lips as if it were the accidental and unconscious expression of a profound truth.”
~ The Standard Book on Politeness, Good Behavior and Social Etiquette. Anonymous, 1884.

“It is not the correct thing for a lady to refuse the invitation of one gentleman, and then accept that of another for the same dance.  Duels have been fought for smaller matters than this.”
~ The Correct Thing in Good Society
Florence Howe Hall, 1902.   

The church is not the proper place to conduct a courtship.
~ Search Lights on Health
Prof. B. G. Jefferies and J. L. Nichols, 1896

readNo well bred lady will too eagerly receive the attentions of a gentlemen, no matter how much she admires him; nor, on the other hand, will she be so reserved as to altogether discourage him.
~ Our Deportment: The Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society, 1882

It is only the contemptible flirt that keeps an honorable man in suspense for the purpose of glorifying herself by his attentions in the eyes of friends. Nor would any but a frivolous or vicious girl boast of the offer she has received and rejected.
~ Our Deportment: The Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society, 1882

It is very injudicious, not to say presumptuous, for a gentleman to make a proposal to a young lady on too brief acquaintance. A lady who would accept a gentleman at first sight can hardly possess the discretion needed to make a good wife.
~ Our Deportment: The Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society, 1882

“To keep a lady’s company six months is a public announcement of an engagement.”  
~ Search Lights on Health, Prof. B.G. Jefferies and J.L. Nichols, 1896.

Don’t marry the woman who reads novels, and dreams of being a duchess or countess, or the wife of a multi-millionaire.
~ Don’ts for Everybody. Compiled by Frederic Reddale, 1907.

Don’t marry any female who is too young… Nor any woman who has a red nose, at any age; because people make observations as you go along the street.
Search Lights on Health
~ Prof. B. G. Jefferies and J. L. Nichols, 1896

“A timid woman should never marry a hesitating man, lest, like frightened children, each keep perpetually re-alarming the other by imaginary fears.”
Search Lights on Health
~ Prof. B. G. Jefferies and J. L. Nichols, 1896


“If you would have a serene old age never woo a girl who keeps a diary.”
~ The Cynic’s Rules of Conduct
Chester Field, Jr. 1905.

“If a woman… has had more than four husbands, she poisons them,--avoid her.”
~ The American Chesterfield. Lord Chesterfield, 18—

Don’t be continually talking about what a great beau you were in your younger days.  That you are still unmarried is sufficient evidence that you were, at least, an unsuccessful one.”
~ Don’ts for Everybody. Compiled by Frederic Reddale, 1907.

Don’t talk about your ‘conquests.’  It sounds silly. Leave it to silly girls.  Silliness is excusable in young girls, but not in old maids.”
~ Don’ts for Everybody. Compiled by Frederic Reddale, 1907.


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