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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 178 [05-11-1861]

              [Gunn�s handwriting]
Fan on the Marriage.

[newspaper clipping]
  How any young fellow can have the face to
walk into your family, and deliberately ask for
one of your daughters, passes me.  That it is
done every day, does not lessen my astonish-
ment at the sublime impudence of the thing.
There you have been, sixteen, or seventeen, or
eighteen years of her life, combing her hair, and
washing her face for���him!  It is lucky the
thought never strikes you while you are doing
it, that this is to be the end of it all.  What if
you were married yourself? that is no reason
why she should be bewitched away into a sep-
arate establishment just as you begin to lean up-
on her, and be proud of her; or at least, it stands
to reason, that after you have worried her
through the measles, and chicken-pox, and scar-
let fever, and whooping-cough, and had her
properly baptized and vaccinated, this young
man might give you a short breathing spell be-
fore she goes.
  He seems to be of a different opinion; he not
only insists upon taking her, but upon taking her
immediately, if not sooner.  He talks well about
it�very well; you have no objection to him, not
the least in the world except that.  When the
world is full of girls, why couldn�t he have fixed
his eye on the daughter of somebody else?
There are some parents who are glad to
be rid of their daughters.  Blue eyes are as
plenty as blueberries; why need it be this par-
ticular pair?  Isn�t she happy enough as she is?
Don�t she have meat and bread and clothes
enough, to say nothing of love?  What is the use
of leaving a certainty for an uncertainty, when
that certainty is a mother, and you can never 
have but one?  You put all these questions to
her, and she has the sauciness to ask, if that is
the way you reasoned, when her father came for
you.  You disdain to answer, of course; it is a
mean dodging of the question.  But she gets
round you for all that, and so does he too,
though you try your best not to like him; and
with a� �well if I must, I must,� you just order
her wedding-clothes, muttering to yourself the
while, ��dear�dear�what sort of a fist will that
child make at the head of a house; how will she
ever know what to do in this, that, or the other
emergency; she who is calling on �mother��
fifty times a day�to settle every trifling ques-
tion.  What folly for her to set up house for
herself.  How many mothers have had these
foreboding thoughts over a daughter�s wedding-
clothes; and yet that daughter has met life, and
its unexpected reverses, with a heroism and
courage as undaunted as if every girlish tear had
not been kissed away by lips, that alas! may be
dust, when this baptism of womanhood comes
upon her.		         FANNY FERN.
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