“There is a time for everything under the sun…a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing” (Eccl. 3:1, 5b).

“There cannot be a better practical illustration of the wise saw and ancient instance, that there may be too much of a good thing, than is presented by the loving couple. Undoubtedly it is meet and proper that two persons joined together in holy matrimony should be loving, and unquestionably it should be pleasant to know and see that they are so; but there is a time for all things, and the couple who happen to always be in a loving state before company are well-nigh intolerable.

Let all couples, present or to come, therefore profit by the example of Mr. and Mrs. Leaver, themselves a loving couple in the first degree….

‘Augusta, my soul,’ says Mr. Leaver. ‘Augustus, my life,’ replies Mrs. Leaver. ‘Sing some little ballad, darling,’ quoth Mr. Leaver…’I couldn’t possibly, my love,’ replies Mrs. Leaver, ‘and it’s very naughty of you to ask me.’ Naughty, darling!’ cries Mr. Leaver. ‘Yes, very naughty, and very cruel,’ returns Mrs. Leaver, ‘for you know I have a sore throat, and that to sing would give me great pain… Go away!’ Mrs. Leaver has said, ‘go away!’ because Mr. Leaver has tapped her under the chin: Mr. Leaver is not doing as he is bid, but on the contrary, sitting down beside her, Mrs. Leaver slaps Mr. Leaver…and all persons present look the other way, and hear a still small sound as of kissing.”

Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz. [1836]