Espousals

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ESPOUSALS, contracts. A mutual promise between a man and a woman to marry each other, at some other time: it differs from a marriage, because then the contract is completed. Wood's Inst. 57; vide Dig. 23, 1, 1; Code, 5, 1, 4; Novel, 115, c. 3, s. 11; Ayliffe's Parerg. 245 Aso & Man. Inst. B. 1, t. 6, c. 1, Sec. 1.

References in classic literature ?
To proceed: as soon as Luscinda saw me she said, 'Cardenio, I am in my bridal dress, and the treacherous Don Fernando and my covetous father are waiting for me in the hall with the other witnesses, who shall be the witnesses of my death before they witness my betrothal.
Had not the betrothal of that memorable night been followed by the betrothal at the altar, by the vows before God
To it she had come back joyfully after all her absences; at its window she had knelt through that night of bitter agony when she believed Gilbert dying, and by it she had sat in speechless happiness the night of her betrothal.
Levin saw proofs of this in his dress, in the old-fashioned threadbare coat, obviously not his everyday attire, in his shrewd deep-set eyes, in his idiomatic, fluent Russian, in the imperious tone that had become habitual from long use, and in the resolute gestures of his large, red, sunburnt hands, with an old betrothal ring on the little finger.
Then he explained, aloud, what he knew of the little story of their betrothal.
Love was made on these occasions in the form of bracelets; and, on all occasions during the period of betrothal, took a manufacturing aspect.
Prince Philip and the Queen were very much part and parcel to the conspiracy of Charles and Diana's betrothal to beget a future Royal family, as it was very clear from an early age that she was a persona non gratis and lured into a non-suitable marriage.
Another very interesting chapter calls attention to betrothal and marriage in the works of Elizabeth Gary.
His arguments for encouraging betrothal and allowing divorce, however, seem to rest on shakier ground.
When we last checked in with ``Frasier,'' Niles (David Hyde Pierce) had just eloped, Daphne (Jane Leeves) was about to get married, and it just didn't matter - they finally confessed their love for one another and bolted just before the betrothal was to take place.
We have been in negotiations and we have done due diligence, but we have not completed a betrothal,' he said.
And Juliet (Mar Baudesson) seems perfectly happy with her betrothal to Pads even after Romeo (Kim McCarthy) comes along, which makes you wonder why she goes off with the po-faced boy.