Is there a more pitiable spectacle than that of a wife contending with others for that charm in her husband's sight which no philters and no prayers can renew when once it has fled forever?Women are so unwise. Love is like a bird's song beautiful and eloquent when heard in forest freedom, harsh and worthless in repetition when sung from behind prison bars.You cannot secure love by vigilance, by environment, by captivity. What use is it to keep the person of a man beside you if his soul be truant from you?
In the violent scorn of her revolted pride, of her indignant honor, had she forgotten a lowlier yet harder duty left undone?In her contempt and dread of yielding to mere amorous weakness had she stifled and denied the cry of pity, the cry of conscience?To suffer woes which hope thinks infinite. To forgive wrongs darker than death or night. To defy power which seems omnipotent. To love and live to hope till hope creates from it's own wreck the thing it contemplates. Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent.This had been the higher, diviner way which she had missed, this obligation from the passion of the past which she had left unfulfilled, unaccepted.Now the misgiving arose in her whether she had mistaken arrogance for duty; whether, cleaving so closely to honor she had forgotten the obligation of mercy.