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Letters To A Young Wife From A Married Lady
by [?]

LETTER I.

MY DEAR LIZZIE,

I have just received the pleasing intelligence of your marriage with one so worthy of your trust and affection. Of course, you are very happy; for there is no more perfect happiness for a young and loving woman than to centre her heart’s best feelings upon one being–to feel her destiny bound up in his–to become, as it were, a very part of his life. Perhaps, at such a time, my dear girl, it may seem unkind to throw the least shadow over the bright sky of your happiness; but I cannot refrain from giving you some little advice now, at the outset of your new life.

You are looking forward–are you not?–with perfect confidence to the future. You think that the sea upon which you are launched, will ever remain calm and untroubled as now; that you will go on for ever thus, joyous and happy–thus, free from care and sorrow; but, Oh, remember, there is no sunshine that is not clouded over sometimes; no stream so smooth as to be always undisturbed. Then, make up your mind to have cares, perplexities, and trials, such as have never troubled you before; and be prepared to meet them.

As yet, you are to your husband the same perfect being that you were before marriage, free from all that is wrong–your follies even regarded as delightful. You are now placed upon a pedestal–a very goddess; but, believe me, you must soon descend to take your place among mortals, and well for you if you can do it gracefully. Believe me, dearest, I have no wish to sadden your spirit–only to prepare it for the trials which must come to perplex it.

You must learn to have your faults commented upon, one by one, and yet be meek and patient under reproach. You must learn to have those sayings which you have heard praised as witticisms, regarded as mere nonsense, You must learn to yield even when you seem to be in the right; to give up your will even when your husband seems obstinate and unreasonable; to be chided when you expected praise, and have your utmost endeavours to do rightly regarded as mere duties. But, be not cast down by this dark side of the picture. You will be happier, spite of all these trials, than you have ever been, if you only resolve to be firm in the path of duty; to strive to do well always; to return a kind answer for a harsh word, and, above all, to control your temper. There may be times when this may seem impossible; but always remember that one angry word provokes another, and that thus the beautiful gem of wedded affection is tarnished, until what seemed to be the purest gold is found only gilded brass. Amiability is the most necessary of all virtues in a wife, and perhaps the most difficult of all others to retain.

Pray fervently for a meek forbearing spirit; cherish your kindly impulses, and leave the rest to your Father in Heaven.

I shall, if you like, write you again upon this subject. You know I have been wedded long enough to have had some little experience, and if it can benefit you, you are welcome to it.

Adieu for awhile. Ever your friend.

LETTER II.

MY DEAR LIZZIE,

I hardly know whether pleasure or pain was the uppermost feeling of my mind, while reading your reply to my last letter. You have some secret disappointment preying upon your young and thus far happy heart; and although you speak favourably of your new duties: as a wife, still there is not that couleur de rose about your descriptions of the present which used to tinge those of the future.

You have felt already, have you not, that the world has interests for your husband other than those connected with yourself–that he can be very happy even when you are not present to share his happiness? You are not the first, dear Lizzie, who has been thus awakened from an exquisite dream of love; yet do not repine nor fret, for that will only increase your sorrow, but reason with yourself. Think how many claims there are upon your husband’s time and society–claims to which he must bow if he wish to retain the position he now holds. Before your marriage, you were the all engrossing object of his thoughts–all that he depended upon for happiness. There was all the excitement of winning you for his wife, which caused him for a time to forego every other pleasure which might interfere with this one great object. But now that is all over. Like all others, he must proceed onward, and ever look forward to something yet to be attained.