“Garcon” outlined his ideal wife in an article published in the December, 1893 issue of The Young Woman’s Journal, to which “Muchacha” responded with a description of her “Model Husband” in The Contributor of March, 1894. Share what you think of Garcon’s list, then come back this afternoon for Muchacha’s reply (with its – to me – revealing but unexpected reference to plural marriage).
When I marry my desire is to find a woman possessing as many as possible of the following characteristics:
She should be so virtuous as to live not only above reproach, but above suspicion.
She should be religious, yet not sanctimonious.
She should be honest, truthful and candid, yet not consider it hypocrisy to refrain from telling people all that she may think or hear about them that is disagreeable.
She should be kind and attentive to all people, but reserve her sweetest smiles and kindest acts for me.
She should avoid every word or act that is likely to arouse my ver jealous disposition, yet not live in constant fear of my anger.
She should love children, and never consider them “nuisances” or ‘wish them dead,” and yet not be so indulgent as to allow them to grow up in idleness, disobedience or sin.
She should make her home so pleasant that angels will delight to make it their abode, and that the family may consider it the one place on earth where a foretaste of heaven is obtained; yet she should not make herself a slave to home, but move around in the world and improve mankind by her noble life.
She should never turn the hungry, naked or poor away from her door unprovided, yet she should not encourage begging or pauperism by misapplied charity.
She should be careful and economical, yet not selfish nor stingy.
She should be clean and tidy in her person and dress, yet not so prim as to be obnoxious.
Her house should be clean and orderly, yet not so neat that muddy feet will bring frowns to her brow or cross words to her lips.
She should find some time each day for intellectual culture, even though this may make early rising necessary, and to her physical health she should give due attention.
She should encourage rather than deter me in the performance of ecclesiastical and other duties, yet not for the reason that “my room is better than my company.”
She should be free from ridicule for my faults yet should show them to me that I may strive to overcome the same.
She should be willing to bear adversity without murmuring, as she enjoys prosperity without pride.
She should manifest a contented spirit, feeling thankful for what she enjoys, rather than to find fault because she sees others enjoy that which she does not possess.
She should be filled with a forgiving spirit towards all people, yet not be a fawning sycophant.
She should be neither boastful, haughty nor complaining.
She should determine that the income shall exceed the expenditure, yet should not desire to hold the purse-strings in her hands, unless I become financially incapable.
I should be the ONE man on the earth whom she is constantly studying an trying to please, and for whom she is willing to forsake kindred, home, country and everything except God and what pertains to celestial glory.
if I could obtain a wife possessing these qualities, I would certainly feel assured that she would bear with my numerous imperfections, and would lead me to grander conceptions of life here and hereafter, thus making me more fruitful in noble deeds.
“Girls,” the Journal’s editor writes, “the writer who hides under this pen name is handsome, gifted, eloquent, magnetic and fascinating. If he is not one of the chief authorities of the Church he is very near kin to one. Now, who of all of you can fill these many requirements which he portrays for the woman of his love?”