In the following correspondence, the reader shall see how modern people make marriage proposals to each other. The reader will be instructed in these modern ways, and thereby come to see the horridness of modern culture; so that he may learn to avoid such situations.
From a Gentleman to his Mistress, desiring her hand in marriage.
I have long struggled with the most honorouble and respectful passion for you that ever filled the heart of man. It is true that you have lately made numerous jests at my expense, that you have teased me, and that you have been very snappish with me. I hope, madam, that I have not lost my high-standing in your feelings too much. I can no longer struggle with a secret that has given me so much torture to keep; and I am racked with doubts and fears, upon anticipating your response.
There is one thing wanting to complete my proposal to you, viz. information relating to my fortune and details of my offer to you. Let be known then that my fortune is quite sufficient, and I can cast accompts as good as the next fellow. Apart from the standard wifely privileges you shall have as my romantic cohabitant, you shall also be given a banking account with a credit limit of $30,000 a year, and you shall be the owner of a new Toyota Corolla. What think you of this offer, Madam?
Condescend to embolden my respectful passion, by one favourable line; have pity on this honourable suitor. Hoping that my humble address will not quite be unacceptable to you, is the wish of
Your affectionate Admirer, and devoted Servant,
In answer to the preceding
What came over you with such a bold gesture? Having received your last letter yesterday afternoon, so bewildered a state I got in, that I actually asked the maid to try to knock me down with a feather. The maid thwacking me with the peacock f., I did collapse onto the bed. You are racked with fears and doubts, and yet you do not take that as sign that your proposal may be inappropriate, or, at the least, grossly premature?
Forsooth, Mack, upon recovering from my swoon, I did burst forth into a fit of laughter upon considering your letter. I know not what jests, aimed at your expense, you speak of, nor what right you have in bribing me as you have done. I am sorry to disappoint you, Mack, but you have failed to impress me with your Toyotas, your credit lines, and all your trumpery; for, as Richardson wrote in his famous Book, a woman should desire to be rather the poorest man’s wife, than the richest man’s whore, or something like that.
Upon a different topik, it is my desire that you accompany me and my friend, Miss Carrington, to the playhouse next weekend. Your agreement in this regard is most necessary to mitigate your general silliness.
Your friend and servant,
The Gentleman's submissive Reply
I humbly beg your forgiveness for my boldness. As soon as I sent out my last letter to you, I knew instantly that I had made a mistake, and wished that I could undo my rashness. But my strong passions for you must have o’erpowered my sense of reason.
You allow me to think that my offer may be interpreted as a gesture of premature nature, rather than as merely despicable, as it surely was. For I behaved most despicably with regard to your virtue. And need it be said that your virtue deserves to be known and admired anywhere in the world where good Christians live? How I admire all your jokes, dear Betsy, no matter who their target be, for, through your wit, you have been known to make very discerning judgments upon us men. It is but that I am over-punctilious too often, Madam, that I unable to take your hearty jokes.
Yet I know not what to say, and I am at a loss for how I may restore my reputation in your eyes. If I may be allowed one more act of rashness---let it then be known that you shall be given a banking account with a $50,000 credit line, an Accura Sedan, and a private studio apartment in Gramercy Park. What think you of this, madam?
Torture me no more, I beg of you. Let me be received to favour, and I will be more cautious for the future. Give me but one word, and I shall know whether death or eternal happiness is the fortune of
Your most respectful Admirer, and obedient Servant,
The Lady's angry Answer
You have rudely ignored the invitation I made to you with regards to chaperoning me and Miss Carrington on our trip to the playhouse this weekend. O Mack, I fear you have become quite the absent-minded one. Aye, you will surely say---but I am in love and I have no memory for anything else, I know nothing of what is going on in this world anymore. And allow me to add, nothing but that which satisfies your own amorous adventures.
You are right to admit that your punctilio is the reason you take offense at even the most good-natured humour. As Rosalind from that famous Play says, a gentleman can never take a woman without her tongue, or something like that. Therefore, unless you learn to stomach my jokes, you shall continue to nag this creature, whom you so profess to love. O Mack, I have no patience for such games.
No one will deny that the most important attribute any honest woman might have is her virtue. And for what should I be nagged continuously, if I rather refuse to exchange my virtue for an Accura Sedan? Besides, know ye not that the Accura Sedan has received low overall rear safety ratings upon last examination? Do you wish to endanger my life and the life of Miss Carrington, in your beautiful car, just for your satisfaction, Mack? I also do not believe in polluting any further our poor Mother Earth. And thus I bid you adieu,
The Gentleman's Reply, more explicitly avowing his Passion
I would be a monstrous villain indeed if I in any way might have endangered the lives of the most wonderful ladies in all New York City. I could not live with myself with such an burden. Please forgive this absent-minded man. Love has made me most thoughtless, but I hope that this may be mitigated, as you described it, by my devotion to you.
You have a most charming tongue indeed, Madam. Allow me to express my fondness for that tongue. It presents folly in its proper light, and rebukes all those who have not the stomach to hear honest appraisals of themselves. It is most excellent of your tongue to chide me for my punctilio.
Of course, I would be so very delighted to accompany you and Miss Carrington to the playhouse this weekend. Tho’ you know how difficult 'twill be for me to concentrate on the action on stage, when sitting next to you, and desiring to cater to your every whim. Would you like a drink, Madam? Shall I fetch you a bonbon, Madam? Does Miss Carrington have any wishes, Madam? Shall I tell the orchestra to play less loudly, Madam?
If I may be forgiven another act of rashness, I now declare that, as my wife, you shall be given a bank account of $60,000 in credit line, a one bedroom apartment in Gramercy Park, a Toyota Prius, and an I-Pad two, in addition to your all you standard wifely privileges. What think you of this, Madam?
Please take me down from the rack, whereon I have been these last few days, suffering greatly. I hope that my offer may be met with a more favourable reception this time. Let your sharp tongue be a force for good, and you will not regret it. For I am, and ever must be, whether you’ll allow it or not,
Your most devoted Admirer, and humble Servant,
The Lady's forgiving Reply
Relax, my schnookums, you may come down from the rack, and cease your hysterical weeping. Since I received your last letter, I have given your proposal close scrutiny, and I have come to the decision to look upon it favourably. Now, if you will be so kind as not to trouble my head about it anymore. My father shall send a professional someone to discuss with you all matters relating to the marriage.
How thoughtful of you, Mack, to have finally realized that a studio apartment could not possibly be acceptable to me; for I would then be a horrid friend if, in the event that Miss Carrington wished to sleep-over with me, I did not think of her comforts also.
Please do not nag me or Miss Carrington during the performance of the play with any such butlering as you’ve described. I assure you, it is most unnecessary, tho’ you are most kind in offering us such services, which properly belong to the lowly servants. And because we are engaged, I will allow you the freedom to kiss my hand in public---but do not overdo it with dramatic affectation, as you are wont to do, Mack. I do not want to suffer any public embarrassment. And if you behave like a proper gentleman I will allow you to kiss my cheek at the end of the evening, and you may also kiss Miss Carrington’s hand at the end. But do not overdo that neither, lest you further agitate