Does anyone know the meaning behind the phrase, "for the romance of the thing"?
Standing in the middle of the room, they renewed their bowing, and passing from side to side, with a gravity and tediousness almost ludicrous, till he finished the ceremony by approaching and lifting her veil from her head. We were told that till then he had never seen her! She blushed, and sat without raising her eyes; but, alas for the romance of the thing--she was ugly! (Travels in South-Eastern Asia, embracing Hindustan, Malaya, Siam, and China, H. Malcolm)
Hmm here's another sentence
At this time, I was a fore-mast hand aboard the Amazon, having joined her in Valparaiso, for the romance of the thing--to learn how to catch whales and eat blubber; and my curiosity was in a fair way of being satisfied, for we were bound for the Pacific South Cruising-ground, where whales can be had for the catching... (The Knickerbocker: Or, New York Monthly Magazine, Volume 4, C. F. Hoffman Et al.)