Q. R. H.—Courtship is an indispensable preliminary to marriage. Sebastopol has to be taken by a regular siege. It is the same with that citadel—a woman’s heart. You must approach it in due form, and fire the big guns of big promises.
Here, the London Journal editor responds to a correspondent's query presumably about whether a period of courtship is necessary, with a timely reference to the Siege of Sebastopol that was, well, ongoing (September 1854 - September 1855), because the Russians did not wish to give up the Crimea. To translate: the peaceful-looking Victorian lady, pictured there in Charles Green's 1878 watercolor (titled appropriately "Courtship"), represents the Imperial Russian Army under attack by enormous British cannons, like this one:
|by William Simpson|
Sounds very romantic.