A young wife writes me that her husband,
who adores her, makes too public this adora-
tion, often indulging in demonstrations of affection
in the presence of other people. She says:
"Now, I am as fond of him as he is of me, but I
think that our demonstrations of affection should be
reserved for our hours of privacy This habit of
his annoys me and I frequently chide him for it.
And yet I feel sometimes that I ought to be thank-
ful for the gift of honest love; that I should over-
look all faults of such a nature as his."
Not long ago a wife complained to me that her
husband, who was the soul of tenderness and devo-
tion in the privacy of their own home, assumed an
indifferent and cold air always in the presence of a
third party, even intimate friends or relatives, so
afraid of ridicule was he.
"I feel mortified," she said, "and hurt to think
my husband is ashamed of his love for me. No one
believes he cares for me who sees us together."
It is evident that nature made a mistake in
fashioning the minds of both of these husbands.
One was given too great indifference to public
opinion, the other too great sensitiveness regarding
it. One is too bold in his convictions, the other too
timid. One is inclined to display his wealth too
freely on all occasions, one too anxious to hoard it
and convey the impression of poverty to behold-
One can understand the feelings of both wives.
A woman who possesses that jewel of inestimable
price--the love of a man she adores--does not like
to have it obtrusively displayed in the presence of
the vulgar and unappreciative; nor does she like to
have it so concealed that no one in the world sus-
pects she possesses such a treasure.
The first husband is like a man who might insist
upon his wife decking herself in her jewels at all
hours of the day and in all places, saying, "I have
presented you with these jewels, and I am not
ashamed to have any one see you wear them."
The other husband is like the man who might
compel his wife to conceal her jewels and never
allow an eye to behold them.
Both men are unreasonable. A man should be
proud of his love for a woman, but he should, too,
be dignified in his expression of it. Yet he should
never permit a cynical world to mistake dignity for
indifference. I must confess to a greater leniency
toward the first culprit than toward the last.
The spendthrift is always less offensive than the
No more cruel insult can be offered God or a
woman, than to be ashamed of an honest love.
The right sort of a man allows the whole world to
see by his manner, his expression, and his life when
he loves a good woman, but he keeps for her alone
those demonstrations of affection which need no
A kiss is never enjoyed by three. "Time and
tide" are things which never wait, but a caress is
neither, and it is all the better for waiting until the
Yet most women would rather the guests witnessed
the kiss than to know they questioned its bestowal.
Men enjoy being loved in secret, but a woman
always likes to have another woman know she is
The wise lover does not conceal his affection from
observers, nor does he allow it to become a matter
of ridicule to the vulgar or the jealous.
Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.