Monday, July 14, 2008

How to be a Good Wife, Part II

9. Cultivate personal attractiveness. When you were encouraging the attentions of him whom you now call husband, you did not neglect any item of dress or appearance that could help you. Your hair was always in perfect training. You never greeted him with a ragged or untidy dress or soiled hands. It is true that your "market is made," but you cannot afford to have it "broken." Cleanliness and good taste will attract now as they did formerly. Keep yourself at your best. Make the most ofyour physical endowments. Neatness and order break the power of poverty.

10. Do not forget thepower of incidental attentions. The arrow that pierces between the joints of the mail is the one that does the execution. A little time spent by your husband's side, without actually being busied with either work or plans or complaints, is not wasted. A hand on the shoulder, a look, the creeping of your hand into his, any of the thousand little things which your instinct will teach you how to do, may drive away a cloud, and perpetuate the sunshine.

11. Make your home attractive. This means more than furniture. It means the thousand little touches of taste that drive the darkness out of the corners, and the stiffness out of the parlor, and the gloom out of the house. Make your home so easy that you will feel easy in it yourself. Feel at home in it yourself, then the others will also feel easy there. Keep your house clean, and in good order. It takes less time to so keep things than to neglect them and hunt them. Even poverty is no excuse for dirt. Many a man is driven by the home dirt to the bar-room, and through that to death. Have your table clean. Your food may be coarse and cheap, but if it is clean, and put on in an inviting shape, the meal will be relished. We have relished meals in a cabin where there was but one dish on the table and that the kettle in which it was cooked. The appetizer was on the floor, which shone from the scrubbing-brush till one could safely eat from it. Your home is your kingdom. Its order and attractiveness will have much to do with your position as a wife.

12. Preserve sunshine. People shun clouds. Light is life. It does not matter that some things have gone wrong. Things have ways of going crooked. It is not best for you to keep pouring your petty trials into your husband's ears. There are times when he must hear them, but study these times. Do not keep up such a din of complaint that he identifies the idea of home with the idea of distress. In a sense he isyour supreme guest. Make the best of what you have. Keep the order at the front, and organize order backward as rapidly as possible. You do not wish to always appear in the role of a beggar who sits by the highway showing his wounds and deformities as reasons for receiving pennies. Some people always retail their distresses and ailments, till one shuns them like a pest hospital. When your husband comes in, let him let him receive a flood of sunlight. It will do no harm if he comes to think of you as sunlight. True, he is under equal obligation to bring sunlight with him, but you can help him by example. One certain result you will secure, namely, you will avoid all the imaginary storms, be better prepared to meet the real ones, and have a vast deal of sunshine in your own life as a constant companion.


  1. Another keeper, thank you for all the work it took in typing these all out.

  2. marqueta,

    I am so glad I stopped by... I needed it to read this. I'll read it again and print it. This is something that we, as wives, most never forget...

    Thank you for stopping by :)



  3. Thank you, Deby, and Mari for stopping by, and for your kind comments. Isn't the wisdom of the ages amazing?



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