Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Chicago's Non-Sentimental Club.
Chicago has a "Non-Sentimental Club."  It is
composed of women who pride themselves
on being free, not only from sentimentalism, but
from sentiment also, it seems.
   One of the women married an officer, I believe,
during the recent Spanish war.  Her husband was
a "good fellow" whom she admired.  Of course,
she would not think of loving any man in a senti-
mental manner.  The bridegroom was ordered to
Cuba the day of the wedding.  The wife did not
weep or ask to follow.  She stayed at home and
attended her business. Of course, she is a
business woman.  After some months her "busi-
ness" called her to Cuba.  She violently asserted
this fact, lest any one should think she wished to go
to Cuba in order to be near her husband.
   Now, of all the silly and obnoxious phases of the
"woman's movement," this club is the acme.
   Fortunately it can only be regarded as a farce,
and I doubt if it expects to be taken seriously by
any one.  But even as a farce, it seems to be a
   It is not even funny.  The woman without senti-
ment and romance in her nature is as unnatural as
a juiceless orange.  She is a picture without per-
spective, or lights and shadows.  She is a book
without plot, motive, or style.
   Sentiment is to woman what perfume is to the
   A man without sentiment is an unfortunate
being; a woman without it is a blemish on the face
of nature.
   Instead of educating sentiment and romance out,
we should educate it into people.
   It is the keynote to life--to happiness.
   The best wife, mother, daughter, and sister is
always a woman of sentiment.
   It is only when the thorny briars of duty are
made to blossom with the flowers of sentiment, that
life's hard tasks become endurable.
   The best wife is the woman who idealizes her hus-
band, who surrounds him with a halo of romance
and sentiment, which in nineteen cases out of
twenty causes him to become the very being she
imagines him.
   I know a mother whose constant idealizing senti-
ment toward a selfish and deplorably commonplace
son, resulted in his transformation into a thoughtful
and appreciative man who was worthy of her affec-
   The "Non-Sentimentalists" talk about looking
"facts square in the face."  They forget that it is
rude to stare.  "Facts" resent such impoliteness on
our part.  Why should we go about staring "facts"
out of countenance?  We are told they "are stub-
born things."  It is enough to make a fact stubborn
to eternally hear that phrase and to have people
forever staring it in the face.
   Surround a fact with a little sentiment, place a
halo about its head and give it a sweet smile instead
of a cold stare, and you will find its stern exterior
quite susceptible to change and its "stubbornness"
giving way.
   Sentiment goes hand in hand with love, and the
two can regenerate the world.  Without them life
is not worth the living.
Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
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