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posed; and there were speeches also for the proposition of the health of the bishop and clergy of the diocese. The book was evidently got up only for very respectable people because I observed there was no toast whatever and no speech which had any reference to Nonconformist ministers. There were also speeches for charity dinners and educational meetings, the openings of schools, and the laying of the first stones of public institutions. There were some very interesting model speeches suitable for wedding breakfasts ; and these were followed in natural order by speeches that were suitable for christenings. In fact, the book was of that character that I thought it exactly suited to my case, and I hesitated a little about whether it might not be a good speculation. But last of all I thought I would rely upon my unaided efforts, and the kind indulgence of a Birmingham audience, which I have never yet found to fail me."
Now, as all persons are not in the same position as the Right Hon. Member, and able to “rely upon their unaided efforts," I have compiled this little work, and in doing so I have purposely abstained from any pompous display, either in the thoughts or style. The idea of the publication was hastily conceived, and it was as hastily executed, during the intervals snatched from an active business life, and doubtless it will be found deficient in that perspicuous arrangement with which the taste and judgment of a practised literary hand would have embellished it,- the absence of which will, however, I trust, be overlooked.
Thus much for the design of the work. I now propose to give an account of its origin.
While pursuing my vocation of a provincial bookseller, a French gentleman entering my shop, addressed me thus : “Sir, I want a little English speaker book.” I placed in his hands a copy of “Enfield's Speaker," whereupon he said, “No! no! no! sir; that is not what I want: I want the little book of English Speeches." I observed that Enfield's was one of the most popular “Speakers," but that I had Mavor's, Knowles's, Brewer's, and a variety of others of a similar character; to which he replied, “No! nol no!-excuse me-I want the book of English Speeches already made to hand, because, for example, I have to go—because I am invited-to the English wedding to-morrow—that is, the next day after that-to the wedding of my friend the English lady that spent a great portion of her life in my native town, which is in France : she marry the English gentleman, who is also my friend-all will be grand—I shall be called on to say something, when my health is what you call drunk
—then I must say the speech, and I must say something about the newly-married couple-to wish joy-happiness, and all that sort of thing—something what is pretty, nice, funny-make the young folks laugh-flatter my young friends that is married-and all that; you understand-comprendre, eh?" I confessed I did not know of such a work in the English language; there were many "Letter Writers" to give persons an idea of wording a letter, “Pulpit Helps" in the shape of skeleton sermons for the instruction of young clergymen; but as to “Ready-Made Speeches,” except ponderous political ones, I did not think that such a work existed. He expressed his surprise, adding, that he had seen such books in his own and the German (Allemand) language. “It is surprise very much.” He further added, that he had been into every bookseller's shop in the town, but that no one seemed to understand what he did really want so well as I did. I acknowledged the compliment, and being then and there struck with the “idea,” promised, as I knew of no such work, and having been frequently asked for the same thing before, that I would write and compile one by the time he came to England again—he having observed, during our conversation, that most likely he should have to come in another year for the “christening," and then he should have to say something else—"make another speech.” Taking the hint as above, I have written and compiled The Book of ReadyMade Speeches, which I now present to the English, public--simply to supply hints.
As this work originated in respect to a wedding, and as there is scarcely any time in our “life's journey" when "hints" are more required, not only for speech-making, but also in the arrangements of the wedding-day,—the success of which is at times somewhat marred, not from a lack of desire, or a lack of funds, but from a
want of organization and aforethought,—and that much of the wedding-day “confusion worse confounded" may be obviated, I beg to draw the attention of fathers, mothers, brides, bridegrooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, best-men, &c. &c., to the contents of a handbook, entitled “The Etiquette of Courtship and Matrimony," with a complete guide to the forms of a wedding, published by Messrs. George Routledge & Son, price Sixpence, which is arranged thus :
CHAPTER I. FIRST STEPS IN COURTSHIP. Advice to both parties at the outset; Introduction to the Lady's family.-CHAPTER II. ETIQUETTE OF COURTSHIP. Restrictions imposed by Etiquette; what the Lady should observe in Early Courtship; what the Suitor should observe in ditto; Etiquette as to Presents; the Proposal; Mode of Refusal when not approved ; Conduct to be observed by a Rejected Suitor; Refusal by the Lady's Parents or Guardians.-CHAPTER III. ETIQUETTE OF AN ENGAGEMENT. Demeanour of the Betrothed Pair ; should a Courtship be long or short?-CHAPTER IV. PRELIMINARY ETIQUETTE OF A WEDDING. Fixing the Day; how to be Married : by Banns, Licence, &c.; the Trousseau ; Duties to be attended to by the Bridegroom; who should be asked to the Wedding; Bridesmaids and Bridegroom's men, duties of.—CHAPTER V. ETIQUETTE OF A WEDDING. Costume of Bride, Bridesmaids, and Bridegroom; Arrival at the Church; the Marriage Ceremonial; Registry of the Marriage; Return Home and Wedding Breakfast; Departure for the Honeymoon. CHAPTER VI. ETIQUETTE AFTER THE WEDDING. Wedding Cards: Modern Practice of “No Cards;" Reception and Return of Wedding Visits.-CHAPTER VII. PRACTICAL ADVICE TO A NEWLY-MARRIED COUPLE.
Lastly, the reader is desired to take the advice of the poet, who says—“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
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