Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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The Woman Who Knows it All.
    A Clergyman recently made the assertion
that " an educated woman was a jewel shining
on the brow of society."
    I have known brilliantly educated women who
were of no more value to the world than a paste
diamond is to a person of refined taste.
    There is an education of the head, which, without
careful cultivation of the heart and spirit, renders
woman more like a thorn in the flesh of her asso-
ciates than a jewel upon society's brow.
    To know languages and sciences, to have read
many books, to have a wide knowledge of current
events, and to be acquainted with the customs of
many lands, sometimes has the effect of making a
man or a woman merely an egotist and a bore.
    Nothing is so terrible in human form as the
woman who knows it all.
    An intolerant air is too frequently the accompani-
ment of a great deal of book knowledge.  We have
all encountered the wise woman, who smiles with a
sort of patronizing indulgence while we talk, and
shows us plainly that she merely waits for us to
finish in order that she may explain things to us.
    The highly educated woman is not often a good
listener.  She knows so much that other people's
idea's bore her.
    The same can be said of many people who have
traveled extensively.  A conversation which does
not allow them the opportunity of "monopoly" is a
penance for them to endure, and they are not averse
to making the fact known.
    When mental education is accompanied by heart
culture and spiritual development, a very complete
and charming womanhood is the result.  But with
the two latter accomplishments, a very little educa-
tion sometimes produces a very great effect.
    The woman who can be truly said to "shine like a
jewel on the brow of society" is the woman of broad
sympathies, of sound judgment, and unselfish
impulses; who possesses enough education to con-
verse agreeable, and, at the same time, refinement
and thoughtfulness enough to make her a good lis-
tener.  A woman who feels herself akin to the
whole created world, and who is willing to learn
even from her social inferiors such lessons as earth's
humblest souls may sometimes teach earth's highest
    Society's "brow" needs to be decorated with
women-jewels who are not too highly educated or
cultured to love their husbands and to be faithful
to them; not too brilliant to be good mothers and
wise counsellors for their children, and not too "pro-
gressive" to wear their husbands' names and reflect
credit upon them.
    I am always sorry for the good, sweet, kind,
unselfish woman who has had no advantages in life,
and shows her lack of education and culture.
But I am far sorrier for the highly educated woman,
whose heart and soul seem to have been neglected
in the cultivating process.  I am afraid I have seen
more of the latter than of the former in my life.
Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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