In a little work entitled “Our Peculiarities,” by Viscountess Combermere, there is the following fine tribute to the class of old maids:
These single women, whom it is the cant of society to ridicule, may have often postponed their own settlement in life from the highest motives; filial devotion has, perhaps, engrossed them so entirely in early life that no selfish object diverted them from its holy duties.
It was sufficient to satisfy affection and to supersede hope; for the devoted, generous child, from the intensity of her love, has felt that the future must ever be a blank, when the interest that engrosses the present is withdrawn by death; and this dreary prospect adds another motive to her tenderness.
Unselfish as woman is under all circumstances, she is here more regardless of herself than in any other position. In married life she yields to her husband, who is her support and companion till death; to her children she looks for care and affection in age, but no consideration of future happiness or present pleasure encourages the patient daughter, as she watches day and night by the invalid mother, or the decrepit father.
Here is the purest love, unsullied by one sensual thought as its origin or its object; no instinct prompts it, no animal impulse strengthens it; the holiest feeling that fills the human heart, it yields only in purity to the love of God.
Source: Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1865
- House and Home: The Baby (1887)
- How to Cook Potatoes in Godey’s Lady’s Book
- Christmas Puddings from Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1870
- Giving Only Eye-Service
- Godey’s Presidential Profiles: John Quincy Adams