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Common Problems Among Young Patrons

Lucas, John Seymour. "Flirting," © Corporation of London

My dear Young Patrons,

Although Youth is becoming more and more of a faded memory to your humble Sir Peabody, I do have vague recollections of the fire in my soul during my time of courtship. I do see my fair share of misguided youth, neglected in their moral education by their families, who enter into unhappy marriages and find themselves living in the throes of youth.

Q: Sir Peabody- Could you enlighten me sir, to what is appropriate activity during courtship and what is not? My fair maiden is so beautiful, I often find it hard to keep within the confines of the good moral young man I know I should be! -Signed, A Youth Torn Asunder by Moral Predicament

A: To be answered by Mr. Peabody James Burgh with selections from “Youth’s Friendly Monitor.” (1)
Whenever you are settled in the World in an independent Way, so that you may have a reasonable Prospect of being able to maintain a Family, I advise you to marry (link to wedding page). It is the best and safest Condiytion of Life upon many Accounts. But you cannot be too cautious in makign your Choice; For as it is in Life, a Miscarriage is irretrievable; and Mistake in choosing may blast the whole Happiness of your Life.

Cyrus: I know the wild inclinations of modern youth. I call upon Burgh once again to say that “I tell you beforehand, that taking a full Swing of lawless Pleasure in Youth, you will find by fatal Experience, is only treasuring up to yourself. for all the Remainder of your Life, an inexhaustible Fund of Pain and Torment, upon the most favourable Supposition (2).

Youth are to follow strict conduct. If they have been properly trained in their families with Books such as Daniel Defoe’s The Family Instructor, they should know better than to stray off the path of morality (3).

Q: Sir Peabody, What characteristics are neccessary in a mate for conjugal felicity? I am a young virginal maid, sixteen years, and I have read Pamela but also Roxana, and I do not know whose example to follow! My mother and father are often at odds with one another, and I do hope you can help me to elucidate what is proper and what is not.
Modesty and humility, chastitity, lack of idleness, and good nature are necessary for both sexes to raise moral Children and live in true Felicity, but men and women must choose and think differently (4).

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