of love is not a product of reasoning and statistics, like one’s
love for other reptiles and animals. I think that this must be so.
I love certain birds because of their song; but I do not love Adam
on account of his singing–no, it is not that; the more he sings
the more I do not get reconciled to it. Yet I ask him to sing,
because I wish to learn to like everything he is interested in.
I am sure I can learn, because at first I could not stand it,
but now I can. It sours the milk, but it doesn’t matter; I can get
used to that kind of milk.
It is not on account of his brightness that I love him–no, it is
not that. He is not to blame for his brightness, such as it is,
for he did not make it himself; he is as God make him, and that
is sufficient. There was a wise purpose in it, THAT I know.
In time it will develop, though I think it will not be sudden;
and besides, there is no hurry; he is well enough just as he is.
It is not on account of his gracious and considerate ways and
his delicacy that I love him. No, he has lacks in this regard,
but he is well enough just so, and is improving.
It is not on account of his industry that I love him–no, it is
not that. I think he has it in him, and I do not know why he
conceals it from me. It is my only pain. Otherwise he is frank
and open with me, now. I am sure he keeps nothing from me but this.
It grieves me that he should have a secret from me, and sometimes it
spoils my sleep, thinking of it, but I will put it out of my mind;
it shall not trouble my happiness, which is otherwise full
It is not on account of his education that I love him–no, it is
not that. He is self-educated, and does really know a multitude
of things, but they are not so.
It is not on account of his chivalry that I love him–no, it is not that.
He told on me, but I do not blame him; it is a peculiarity of sex,
I think, and he did not make his sex. Of course I would not have
told on him, I would have perished first; but that is a peculiarity
of sex, too, and I do not take credit for it, for I did not make
Then why is it that I love him? MERELY BECAUSE HE IS MASCULINE,
At bottom he is good, and I love him for that, but I could love
him without it. If he should beat me and abuse me, I should go
on loving him. I know it. It is a matter of sex, I think.
He is strong and handsome, and I love him for that, and I admire him
and am proud of him, but I could love him without those qualities.
He he were plain, I should love him; if he were a wreck, I should
love him; and I would work for him, and slave over him, and pray
for him, and watch by his bedside until I died.
Yes, I think I love him merely because he is MINE and is MASCULINE.
There is no other reason, I suppose. And so I think it is as I
first said: that this kind of love is not a product of reasonings
and statistics. It just COMES–none knows whence–and cannot
explain itself. And doesn’t need to.
It is what I think. But I am only a girl, the first that has
examined this matter, and it may turn out that in my ignorance
and inexperience I have not got it right.
Forty Years Later
It is my prayer, it is my longing, that we may pass from this
life together–a longing which shall never perish from the earth,
but shall have place in the heart of every wife that loves,
until the end of time; and it shall be called by my name.
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