Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/81

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perpetual. Efforts, which [70] to one in health, are like dew-drops shaken from the eagle's wing, seem to the invalid, like the ascent of the Alps, or like heaping Pelion upon Ossa.

Admitting, that a sickly woman has sufficient self-control, to repel the intrusion of fretfulness, and preserve a subdued equanimity, this, though certainly deserving of praise, is failing short of what she would wish to attain. The meek look of resignation, though it may cost her much to maintain, is not all that a husband wishes, who coming from the vexed atmosphere of business or ambition, would fain find in his home, the smile of cheerfulness, the playful charm of a mind at ease. Men prize more than we are aware, the health-beaming countenance, the elastic step, and all those demonstrations of domestic order, in which unbroken activity delights. They love to see a woman equal to her own duties, and performing them with pleasure. They do not like to have the principal theme of domestic conversation a detail of physical ills, or to be expected to question like a physician, into the variety of symptoms which have supervened since their departure. Or if this is occasionally borne with a good grace, where ill health is supposed to be temporary, yet the saddening effects of an enfeebled constitution, cannot always be resisted by him who expected in his wife a " yoke-fellow," [71]