The Jericho Road eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about The Jericho Road.

HUSBAND AND FATHER

Miss Frances Power Cobb is right, and she is wrong, when she says:  “It is a woman, and only a woman—­a woman all by herself, if she likes, and without any man to help her—­who can turn a house into a home.”  She is unquestionably right in her judgment, that it is a woman who can, if she will, turn a house into a home, but she is much in the wrong in her assertion that it is a woman all by herself, without any man to help her, who can effect such a beneficial transformation.  Woman possesses magical powers in the way of building up a home; but home naturally implies the presence and protection of man—­and it is man himself, if he likes, and without any woman to help him, who can give that home a semblance of that place where, as some people believe, the wicked suffer after they have “shuffled off this mortal coil.”  The husband can never make the home, but he can succeed most admirably, if so he choose, to unmake it, to banish its happiness and comfort, to exile from it its ministering angels of peace and content, to shatter woman’s sweet and blessed work to its very foundation.  Let the wife concentrate, all day long, all her care and ingenuity and love upon building up her little paradise at home, let her hands be ever so busy in strewing fresh flowers around the domestic hearth, let her heart be ever so happy throughout the day in the discharge of her domestic duties, let her countenance be ever so beaming in her sweet anticipation of the happy smile of appreciation, of the kind word of sympathy and encouragement, which shall be her reward when her husband returns; and then see this star in her domestic firmament enter, sulking and surly, blind to all that her busy hands have so lovingly prepared, grim and gruff to her and the little ones, who have been fitted up in their neatest and cleanest, in which to welcome their father’s return, and then see whether you can agree with Miss Cobb’s assertion “that it is a woman, and only a woman—­a woman all by herself, if she likes, and without any man to help her—­who can turn a house into a home.”  See how her heart sinks, how her voice, full of mirth and glee and music before his coming, dies in her throat, how the little ones, full of merriment all day long, tremblingly hide in the corner, or withdraw from the room; see how the intrusion of this grim spectre of malcontent shuts the door upon domestic peace and happiness, and withers every pious resolve to make home the dearest, sweetest, most contented and most sacred spot on earth, and then calculate how long, under such disheartening surroundings, woman will be able all by herself, and without any man to help her, to prevent her house from becoming anything and everything except a home.

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Project Gutenberg
The Jericho Road from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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