I have often had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most overwhelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of a man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that at times it approaches to sublimity.
There is in every true woman’s heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams, and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. No man knows what the wife of his bosom is–no man knows what a ministering angel she is–until he has gone with her through the fiery trials of this world.
From a fascinating essay by Washington Irving entitled The Wife.
Also from that:
True love will not brook reserve; it feels undervalued and outraged, when even the sorrows of those it loves are concealed from it….
“Undervalued and outraged.” I might have used the same words myself. Above *many* things I hate to be excluded from the minds of those I love.
I have an essay of my own, about this role of women/wives, that has been percolating since March.
This reading has rather awakened the idea again. I’ll have to see if it’s done gestating…