Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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XXXIV.
Mismated.
Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
    Dear Madam--Here is the story in brief:  One year ago
this month my wife decided to go on the stage, while I was
absent from home on a business trip.  She obtained an open-
ing in a small concert hall in New Jersey.  When I returned,
I learned that she had become much attached to a frequenter
of the resort.  I accused and upbraided her.  She then de-
serted me and her infant child, and since that time we have
not lived together, and she has gone the pace.  I cannot for-
give her sin, and yet I cannot forget her.  I loved her with a
mad devotion, and still love her as of old; but even if she
were to return and beg forgiveness, the shadow of her past
and present life would appear on the horizon and cause bitter
feelings.  But what shall I do?  Her face is continually before
me at my work, and the cogs in the machinery at the factory
where I am employed seem to repeat her name at every
revolution.  I do not believe in divorce.
    Possible, in this great country, there are other cases like
mine.  Can you suggest a remedy, a way to forget an un-
faithful wife and mother?                                         Z.

    In the many hundreds of letters sent to me
I never received one which more strongly
appealed to my sympathies than the above.
    I wish I were a magician, that I could weave a
spell for the writer, which would insure forgetful-
ness.
    Time only can heal his wounds.  It is one of
life's terrible jests, when a man with so much soul
and heart and feeling, is mated with a frivolous and
worthless woman--a woman so devoid of the power
of appreciation of God's greatest blessings, that she
can give up such a love for the cheap pleasures of a
third-class theatrical career.
    It sets one questioning why so often in this world
we find the loving-natured, devoted woman mated
to the brute, and the big-souled man tied to the fool
or wanton.  Thank God it is not always so!  But
the frequency of these mismatings makes one long
to "put asunder those whom the law has brought
together," and give a new shake to the matrimonial
dice-box.
    Were I wise enough to tell this stricken man how
to forget a woman whom he still loves, I would be
indeed a marvel.  My whole time would be occu-
pied with just that one art--and my classes would
embrace a large share of humanity--for everywhere
the world over are suffering hearts crying for forget-
fulness.  But this is God's province, and He and
His able assistant, Time, alone can teach the art of
forgetting.
    Meantime, I would suggest to this man a change
of location, if possible.  If he has any leisure time
not devoted to his work, we would be wise to take
up some study which will help to distract his mind.
    Let him make the most of himself, and let his
heart be open to all the sorrows of those who toil and
suffer about him.
    Do something to help somebody every day, and
pray God for courage first, and peace afterward.
They will come in time.  And during the waiting,
which is so hard to bear, keep in mind that suffer-
ing of some kind is the universal lot, and that it
means growth for mind and spirit when nobly
borne.  It is only the inferior soul that is warped
by sorrow.
    Great souls are mellowed and enriched by it, like
the earth by winter's storms.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.
 

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