Men's ambition and love for their wives and children lead them to
the battlefields of labor, of literary, commercial, professional and
political life. And so long as they know their families have faith in
them, they look forward to the struggle with eagerness and continue in
the struggle of endurance without pausing to think of its hardships. The
confidence of their families strengthens and encourages them in their
desires to fill the vacant space in the world's thought, which will, if
they succeed, give them honor, fortune and fame.
While the husband fights out in the open, the good wife is on the
alert protecting the children and caring for the home. He has trials and
troubles to meet, but he thinks of his home, of his children; his lovely
wife who is there with them, and this thought strengthens, cheers, rests
and comforts him. Man is attached to his wife and children by his
affection for them. It gives him happiness to protect and support them.
At the battle of Waterloo, Marshall Ney, Napoleon's most trusted
officer, after he had been repulsed in many desperate charges by
Wellington stood (with his clothes shot and torn off), half naked among
the dead, only a few of his soldiers about him, and discharged his
firearms until his ammunition was exhausted. Then be used his sword
until it was broken, and after that used the hilt of it on the heads of
the enemy until by main force he was crushed to the earth.
When his soul left the body and the spirit took wings, it was
said: "He fought for those who had confidence in him, and died. for
those whom he loved, his Emperor, his country and his home."
Many business men and politicians who have families to encourage
them, have fought the battles of life with the same heroism Ney
exhibited at Waterloo. Some succeeded, some failed; and it will be found
that the successful were those whose families bad confidence in them,
and that the greatest portion of those who failed did not have the
confidence of their wives. The wives claimed higher rank than their
husbands although their commissions were by the union, dated on the same
The general who does not have the confidence of the commanding
officer, who has been put under the command of another officer whose
rank is lower than his own, has no courage for battle, and, so it is
with the man whose wife claims higher rank than he.
Man is strong, yet not strong enough to get through this world
without having friends who have confidence in him, which gives him
courage to fight life's battles.
One man went home and said to his wife, "I made an investment of a
hundred dollars and the whole thing was a fraud. I lost 'the money and
am sorry for it. We could ill afford to lose it." His wife replied, "I
am sorry, too, but all men make mistakes, many of them greater than you
have and you will be able to make it up, and within a short time we will
not know the difference as to whether we lost or gained the one hundred
Next day the husband, happier than before, went to his business
whistling and singing, rejoicing that he was among the living, fearing
not at all for his success, and ready to enter the fray as Ney did at
A second man went home and said to his wife, "I am sorry, but I
made an investment of a hundred dollars, and the whole thing was a
fraud. I lost the money." Said his wife in reply, "I am surprised that
YOU would do such a thing as that; any fool would have known better. You
are always losing money. You are not cautious or wise enough to make a
He ate his dinner without a word, slunk off to the club rooms, sat
in a dark corner watching other men enjoy themselves, which only made
his heart more sad. The result of his wife not having confidence in him
took from him all ambition and energy, the result of which was failure.
It has always been my policy in business never to employ a man who
I knew was having trouble or disagreements with his wife. And I believe
that rule is followed by all first-class business men. They believe that
when a man has trouble in his family his mind cannot be in a right
condition for attending to his business.
A friend handed me a clipping from some newspaper (name unknown),
telling of an interview by Elbert Hubbard with a railway division
superintendent at Ashtabula. I copy here the substance of what the
"You say disobedience to orders? No, it is domestic infelicity.
Why should an engineer run past the station where he is ordered to stop?
It is his own life he endangers most. Why should a train dispatcher send
out two trains facing each other at the same time on one track or why
does a train tender throw a switch right in front of a fast express?
"People call those things accidents but that is not the word. They
are the result of mental conditions.
"Do you remember when two passenger trains met head on in Indiana
last year? The engineer of one of those trains had in his pocket an
order to take the sidetrack at a certain station. He ran by that station
at the rate of fifty miles an hour and in five minutes there was a crash
that snuffed out fifty-four lives and two hundred thousand dollars worth
"I knew the engineer. He was married to a smashing, dashing,
beautiful creature and they boarded at a hotel; had no children. boarded
there, too, and we all made eyes at Hank's handsome wife. She was not a
bad woman, JUST AN IDLE ONE. Hank was proud of her, too.
"One evening he kissed the dear woman good bye and started out to
make a night run. The order was countermanded and Hank was ordered to
take a special train out in the morning. He went home to tell his wife.
He used to tell her everything, but when he got home she was not there;
she had gone to the theater with a boot and shoe drummer from Chicago.
"Hank went away and walked the streets till morning. After that he
was never the same. He used to confide in me; he had to tell some one,
to keep his heart from bursting with suppressed grief. He grew
absent-minded, lost flesh and was nervous.
"Hank did not work on our road or I would never have let him touch
a throttle, no, not even if he had been my own brother; I knew what
"He was found under his engine and in his pocket the order he had
disobeyed and a picture in his watch of the woman who had caused the
disaster. It probably has never dawned upon this woman that she caused
"Marital infelicity was responsible for this railroad wreck and
causes most of the others. The only safe man is the one whose heart is
at rest; who has a home and wife who stays there, looks after the babies
and has no secrets."
I think that the only really happy man in the world, is made so by
his wife and family. For them he lives and strives.
And now I cannot see that there would be any difference in result
if a man went home and found his wife had gone to the theater with
another man or had gone to a political conclave or convention. Any man
who would not lose his head under such conditions, must certainly
believe in Letourneau's doctrine, to-wit: "There is, in fact, a great
social interest before which the PRETENDED RIGHTS of families must be
effaced."* [*Page 356, Evolution of Marriage.]
It has been said that no gentleman would seriously object to his
wife voting in opposition to him. This may be true, but I venture to say
that the man while not objecting, would be seriously thinking, the same
as Hank was doing the night he walked the streets. He would know that if
his wife accepted other men's advice in preference to his, she must have
more confidence in them than in him. Such thoughts would not be a
pleasant thing for a Man to ponder over, and he would lose confidence in
Those honorable office holders who have said "no gentleman would
object to his wife casting her vote in opposition to his," did not
consider whether the wife, if her husband cast his vote in opposition to
hers would object. Should women be made politically equal with men, they
will have quite the same right to object to what their husbands may do
in the way of casting their votes, as the men to object to what their
wives may do. And the women will not be slow to file their objections.
It seems to me that it would be impossible for husband and wife to
go to conventions, make nominating speeches, the husband for one
candidate, a woman, and the wife for another, a man, vote opposite, and
still retain confidence in each other.
It has been said in the states where women have suffrage, the wife
and husband talk matters over between themselves, go to the polls and
"vote solidly as a family unit." All very nice, the best possible plan
for keeping peace in the family, but if really the case, the author
cannot see that giving the franchise to the women will change any of the
laws of the United States or benefit the world in the least, because the
result of the elections will be the same as if only husbands did the
It seems that the writings and speeches of suffragettes often
oppose one another, although made by the same persons.
In one place they claim that women will change the laws and make
them better; that the men are more like the animal creation than the
human, and the laws passed by them are oppressive to the female sex.
Then in the next place they claim that the husband and wife go to the
polls and vote as a family unit.
We have two propositions before us, first, if we make women
electors they will vote in opposition to their husbands; second, they
will vote with their husbands. If they vote in opposition to their
husbands (or if the husbands vote in opposition to them), disturbances
and trouble will result. If they vote with their husbands, no benefit
will come from giving them the franchise, because it will not change the
result of elections but will damage society, by taking the woman's
attention and time away from her rightful duties in life, from the
training of her children and care of her home.
Suffragettes, who do not seem to care much for their homes, think
that distracting women's minds from their home duties, and engaging them
in political affairs, will be but a trifling matter. In fact, one writer
on Woman Suffrage says that a vote is only a little matter, seemingly
the smallest thing imaginable in the world to him, and that conferring
the suffrage upon the female sex is only a very small favor to grant
them. If women vote with their husbands, the obligation of the ballot
will cause them to neglect some of the duties which come in their
natural sphere of life. And if they vote in opposition to their
husbands, it would be better for us to pass divorce laws by which man
and wife can separate at will by mutual agreement, instead of having to
go through the long court procedure now required.
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