Benjamin Riley

"Novel Lovemaking"

NOVEL LOVEMAKING.—At Desborough, a small town in Northamptonshire, there is a gentleman engaged in some manufacturing business, named Benjamin Riley. Mr. Riley some time since determined to marry one of the young women employed in his factory, named Mary Anne Paine; but, having before his eyes the fear of Mrs Grundy, the worthy manufacturer has taken the novel course of publishing justification of his conduct in the columns of a local newspaper.

In his advertisement, Mr. Riley tells his workpeople and the townsfolk in general that he is anxious to do everything openly and above board, and he feels they have some sort of right to ask his reasons for so flagrant a breach of the conventionalities. Accordingly they are informed that the marriage is not to take place till May next, and that in the mean time Mr. Riley will have his "intended," as he calls her, educated to a level with himself, for "of course to unite myself to this young woman now would be very foolish indeed, I having been favoured with a good education and cultivation, and she an uncultured factory girl."

Mr. Riley has, therefore, advertised in the British Standard and Patriot, and in a few days his advertisement will be in two other papers, for "a lady, a member of a Christian church, to instruct in various branches of useful knowledge a young lady whose education has been neglected." Liberal terms being offered, nine Christian ladies have already responded to this appeal, and no doubt others will reply, so that there will be a good field of choice, and Miss Paine will also, says Mr. Riley, if nothing prevents, "have a very voluminous correspondence from myself."

The result expected is that by the wedding-day the young lady will be pretty well informed in ordinary matters, having learned to play fairly on the harmonium, to read the French language with ease, to write it fairly, and to speak it with tolerable fluency. Mr. Riley, having thus made a clean breast of his matrimonial designs, has (as he says) ordered the publisher of the South Midland Free Press to send a copy of the paper in which the exposé appears to all the factory workers in his employ.

The Penny Illustrated Paper, 17 June 1865, Page 3


Punch had rather more to say on this story in an article entitled "A Lover's Confidences."

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