In all ages woman has been the source of all that is pure, unselfish, and heroic, in the spirit and life of man. It was for love that Anthony lost a world. It was for love that Jacob worked for seven long years, and for seven more; and I have often wondered what must have been these emotions when on the morning of the homely, scrawny, bony Leah instead of the lovely and beautiful presence of his beloved Rachel.
A distinguished French philosopher answered the narrative of every event with the question, “Who was she?” Helen conquered Troy, plunged all the nations of antiquity to war. And gave the earliest, as it is still the greatest, epic which has come down through all time.
Poetry and fiction are based upon woman’s love, and the movements of history are mainly due to the sentiments or ambitions she has inspired. There is no aspiration which any man entertains, no achievement he seeks to accomplish, no great and honorable ambition he desires to gratify, which is not directly related to either or both a mother and a wife. From the hearth some around which linger the recollections of our mother, from the fireside where our wife awaits us, come all the purity, all the hope and all the courage with which we fight the battle of life. The man who is not thus inspired, who labors into so much to secure the applause of the world accomplishes little of good for others or of honor for himself. I hope that each of us may always have near us: A perfect woman nobly planned, to warm, to comfort, and command, and yet a spirit still, and bright with something of an angel light.