Men, women and emotions.
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
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Environment is frequently mistaken for constancy.EPIGRAMS AND SAYINGS.
Many a woman lives forty years true to some early
memory which forty days of close association with the
right man would have demonlished. It is circumstances
rather than any inherent difference in nature, that
causes woman to seem more constant to the past than
Ingratitude on the part of my friend wounds me
scarcely more than to detect in him a hasty desire
to repay me for some material favor I have be-
stowed out of pure affection. Such a spirit turns
friendship into a mere money exchange, and ren-
ders kindness a matter of bargain and sale. How-
ever he may disguise the fact, it is the self-centered
man who is hypersensitive about incurring friendly
obligations. The really broad and noble nature ac-
cepts them in the spirit in which they are given,
confident that he can pay the debt, not to his
friends, but to humanity, as the true friend would
There is something vitally wrong in the blood of
man who reveals the same unhealed wound year
after year, for it is the impulse of a healthful nature
to heal wounds! So is there something radically
wrong in the make-up of the person who shows you
the same cankering sorrow year after year, for it is
also the wish and purpose of progressive nature
that we shall outgrow our early griefs. He who
does not, has a right to our pity but not to our ad-
I would rather be faithful to my future than to
my past, if it becomes a matter of choice.
Man is not satisfied with the same rude vehicles
and implements which he used two hundred years
ago, and why should he be blamed for progressing
also in the matter of creeds? Just as the torchlight
has given way to electricity, so must dogma give
way to a broader spirituality.
A man once rebuked me for not being orthodox.
"The faith of my childhood, learned at my mother's
knee, is good enough for me!" he said. But the
expanding soul cannot be blamed for finding the
faith of its childhood insufficient, any more than
the full grown man can be blamed for abandoning
the crib and the nursing-bottle of his infancy. It is
only by outgrowing the ideas of our ancestors that
the world advances.
The wife who devotes her self to covering up and
condoning the sins of a notoriously bad husband,
sets a poor example for other and better men.
The woman who clings to the memory of an un-
faithful man is not constant; she is merely stub-
It is impossible for an absolutely passionless
woman to be either just or generous in her judg-
ments of humanity at large. It is a strange fact
that she needs an admixture of the baser phsyical
element, to broaden her spiritual vision, and
quicken her sympathies.
Some people make such an ado about their virtue,
we almost wish they would lose it.
What ever we intensely desire, must come to us.
It is only a question of the force and constancy of
Marriage is like the opium habit; once contracted,
difficult to cure. That is why widows and widow-
ers are so prone to wed again, and again, even after
the most disastrous experiences.
The most difficult of arts, is that of companion-
ship to a loved one who is ill. Devotion alone is
not enough. You must possess the tact and self-
control, to show thoughtfulness without solicitude,
attention without anxiety. You must exhibit sym-
pathy, but hide all worry. Only one man in a hun-
dred can fill the trying position, and only one
woman in ten.
There are people who would like to get a "cor-
ner" on all the sympathy in the world. They are
never happy unless everybody they meet is feeling
sorry for them.
Men have broader views; they get outside of
themselves far more than women do. They dwell
less in their own emotions, and are consequently
more interesting companions.
When we cease to feel the neglect of one we
love, we begin not to love. Many a man congratu-
lates himself upon the fact that his wife is "becom-
ing more sensible," when she is really becoming in-
I think the most cruel judgments in the world
come from the women who resent never having
been tempted themselves.
All beauty is a record of truth and harmony in a
past incarnation. If it divorces those qualities in
this life, it must expect deformity and discord in
Men boast of their infidelities, women conceal
No soul ever transgressed a divine law without
injuring some innocent being. There is no absolute
individuality. We are all linked and lashed to-
gether by invisible and indissoluble threads, spun
down from the Great Source. When any man
attempts to extricate himself he but more hopeless-
ly interlaces and snarls the net-work which unites
God pardons a kind lie sooner than a vicious
The term "Ladies man" always suggest a frivol-
ous nature, some thing even more intolerable in a
man than in a woman.
Loneliness is an all-pervading consciousness of
Many an overzealous reformer imagines he is
teaching morality, when he is really giving instruc-
tions in vice. It is dangerous to describe an evil
too closely, in order to warn against it. I have seen
hell so warmly depicted on canvas that a shivering
beggar drew near it fascinated, unmindful of the
cold church edifice opposite.
Were it not a seeming blasphemy, I should like to
improve upon the Bible injunction "Ask and ye
shall receive" in this wise: "Ask for others and ye
shall receive for yourselves!" For of this truth I
am certain, the more utterly forgetful we are of our
own needs in our anxiety for others, (not in mere
actions but in our deepest hearts) the more we are
remembered and cared for by divine forces.
It often seems in this world, when a soul is floun-
dering in a net-work of sin's weaving, striving to
extricate itself, that the devil like a great spider
comes along and spins new meshes about it.
Those who belong to each other spiritually, will
find each other and dwell together through eterni-
ties of love.
The most unfortunate being is he who has no one
dependent upon him for support. However poor
such a man may be, he is wise if he takes a cat, a
dog, or a blind beggar to care for, in order that he
may get out of himself.
Nothing flatters a man's vanity so much as being
told that he is not like other men.
It is better to believe in an error than in noth-
When we ask for long life we ask to weep over
If there had been no God originally, the devout
belief of billions of souls in his existence would
long ago have called him into being. How curious,
then, if instead of God creating man, man created
Wrinkles are only dimples grown old.
If to be constant with old friends, necessitates
staying back with old ideas, I must submit to the
accusation of fickleness. I claim the right to follow
the leadings of my spirit and my intelligence; no
matter what ties and associations are left in the
rear. I would rather merit the friendship of my
higher self, than the approbation of my companions
of the past.
The chivalry of the average man consists in de-
fending a woman against every man save himself.
It is the woman who feels the strongest in her
virtue and secure in her social position who is
most fearless in her efforts to uplift the afflicted
It may be true that whatever is choice is always
exclusive; but whatever is exclusive is not always
I sometimes think God must be a woman--He is
expected to forgive so much.
We warn our sons with loud voices against the
dangers of the wine cup and the gaming table; but
too many of us sit silent while our daughters con-
tract habits of malicious speaking and envious crit-
icism, which are quite as great evils in Society to-
day, as intemperance, or gambling.
You may as well talk of hiding the glory of the
sunrise from the earth, as the fervor of a great pas-
sion from the object which inspired it.
As a garment long worn becomes inpregnated
with the odors of the body, so the atmosphere of a
house becomes saturated with the essence of the
spiritual nature of its inhabitants.
Many a low rascal on earth, boasts of his noble
ancestors under ground.
Did you ever think how curious it is that a man
expects a whole Eternity of bliss from a Ruler who
denies him a single month of it here.
As malice creates malice, so often generosity
The fact that a man bears an excellent reputation
among men, is no proof that he may not be the
worst possible companion for a woman.
The world is full of good hearted yet short sight-
ed people who brand any man as an infidel whose
ideas of divine worship differ from their own.
Prayer is the key to heaven. It admits us to the
sacrament of angels.
A very benevolent heart is seldom coupled with
a cautious head.
There are triumphs sadder than any defeat; there
are joys more painful than any grief.
He who said that love, to be sincere, must be of
slow growth, that man was a fool.
As God said unto the darkened world, "Let
there be light" and there was light, so unto many
a slumbering heart he has said "Let there be love,"
and there was love. Radiant, glowing, eternal, as
is the splendor of the sun in the heavens.
Thoughtlessness is the consort of selfishness; and
the two are parents of crime.
When will a man ever learn that he can not offer
a greater insult to the woman he has once professed
to love, than to call her his "friend."
"Last times" are always sad.
It is the ripe fruit which falls when a south wind
shakes the tree.
He sat for more than an hour, trying to analyze
his feelings. When a woman does that, ten to one
she is in love. When a man does it, ten to one he
Men, women and emotions. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago : W. B. Conkey, 1893.
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