The man who assisted in effecting a brother's ruin, is not a suitable partner for his sister; and a moment's reflection might have convinced you that your agency in the matter to which I allude, has earned for you, not the love, but the unchangeable dislike of..." "Sir.-- There was a time when your addresses would have flattered and pleased me, but that time has long since passed away.
Your conduct during the last two years has been made known to me, and, viewing you in the light of a dangerous man, I do not desire anymore intimate acquaintance.
Usually the tone of the letter is vague and contains assurances that the honored lady thanks the gentleman for his offer but she cannot accept his proposal.
The Victorian precept that a lady "never explains or complains" is followed rigidly.
There are usually flowery forms for written proposals from the suitor as well as a plethora of gushing acceptances from the bride-elect.
Near the end of the section there is generally one curt letter of refusal to a marriage proposal.
Things get very NSFW in 2010 when rapper Plies takes the concept further.I could not reasonably expect happiness from a union with an individual who has destroyed the mental quiet of more than one young person, by his total disregard for what is due to the weaker by the stronger sex..." Indeed, men of the period seem to have had such a predilection for going astray that the "courtship" section also includes a lengthy epistle entitled "Remonstrance of a young lady against the reckless life of her future husband".The lady writes to her future husband that the company he is keeping of late is "fast" and that his associates are "prejudicial to his future prospects" in business and also, since possessed of greater fortunes than has he, are luring him into a life beyond his means.That such a letter was not absurd to include in a serious work is mute testimony to the number of young men who "failed" in the world.-- I am astonished at your temerity, or, rather, your impudence.