Posted by Jessamyn on July 15, 1997 at 00:31:31:
In reply to Re: courting & engagements posted by Smallfry on July 14, 1997 at 22:20:24
] ] Another interesting tidbit I've read was that once an engagement had been established, it was legally binding for the man. If he called it off, there was cause for monetary compensation on the lady's part. If the reverse were to occur, the man would receive no such 'severence fee.'
] If he called it off, her reputation and therefore future marriage prospects would suffer. If the gentleman wanted out, he had to convince her to do so. I imagine sometimes by acting like a cad.
Wentworth's polite and gentlemanly method of getting rid of this unwanted attachment is by absenting himself as much as possible, giving the girl every opportunity to get over him.
(It works, by the way. Somebody else proposes while he's gone, and I rather imagine a proposal in the hand is worth two roaming the countryside.)
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