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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsA Woman Of The World: Her Counsel To Other People's Sons And Daughters - To the Sister of a Great Beauty
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A Woman Of The World: Her Counsel To Other People's Sons And Daughters - To the Sister of a Great Beauty Post by :Christine_S. Category :Nonfictions Author :Ella Wheeler Wilcox Date :May 2012 Read :1027

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A Woman Of The World: Her Counsel To Other People's Sons And Daughters - To the Sister of a Great Beauty

I am far from laughing, my dear girl, at your assertion that your position is little short of tragic.

To be the ordinary sister of an extraordinary beauty, is a position which calls for the exercise of all the great virtues in order to be borne with dignity, good taste, and serenity.

I remember seeing you and Pansy when you were ten and she twelve years of age. I foresaw what lay before you then, and have often wondered how you would meet the occasion when you were both "finished," and at home under the same roof, and socially launched. It was wise for your mother to separate you so early in life, and place you under different teachers, and in different schools.

It is difficult for a girl in her late childhood and early teens to use philosophy and religion to support her, when she is made a Cinderella by unthinking associates and friends, and forgotten and neglected while a more attractive sister is lionized.

Had you always walked in the shadow of your handsome sister until to-day, I fancy your disposition would have become warped with resentment and envy.

And perhaps your feelings for Pansy would have been less affectionate than now.

I am glad to have you tell me that Pansy is so modest and unassuming and so genuinely solicitous for your happiness.

She must have been particularly fortunate in her environment while at school to possess such qualities after knowing as she has known for twenty-two years that her beauty is dazzling to the eye of even the chance beholder.

There is no greater obstacle to the development of the best qualities in a young woman than the possession of such unusual beauty. From her cradle she is made to realize its power, and men and women teach her in a thousand unconscious ways to be selfish and self-centred. She receives attentions, and her acquaintance is sought, with no effort on her part, while more gifted and deserving companions are unnoticed. She is made to realize that she is one to be served, where less attractive girls are taught to "stand and wait."

The love nature of each human being is either developed or stunted by neglect during the early years of life, and, as a rule, the beautiful woman is incapable of a deep, absorbing, and unselfish love, because she has grown up the receiver instead of the giver.

Were you, my dear Sallie, to know the number of great beauties who have failed to find happiness in marriage, you would be amazed. But the explanation is simple; for man is a being who, however he may worship beauty before marriage, worships his own comfort more deeply afterward. And it is rare indeed when a famous beauty troubles herself to plan for the comfort or happiness of the man she marries. It is the natural result of her education to think man made to adore and serve her.

I hope Pansy may keep her loving and lovable qualities, and that she may marry before the adoration and admiration of many men become necessary to her life. For the beauties' matrimonial barque most often founders on the reef of plural lovers.

As for yourself, I can only suggest that you acquire many accomplishments, and perfect yourself in music and languages, and that you seek for the attainment of all the subtle graces, which are, in the long run, more lasting as sources of happiness for a woman than mere beauty. It is a peculiarly significant fact that the great passions of history have not been inspired by very young or startlingly beautiful women, but by those of maturity and mental charms.

Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Aspasia, Petrarch's Laura, had all crossed the line between youth and middle life, and there are no authentic proofs that any one of the number was a dazzling beauty. Some of the world's most alluring women have been absolutely plain.

You are not plain. It is only by comparison that you so regard yourself.

There is much you can do to make yourself more attractive personally. You know what Rochefoucauld said: "No woman is in fault for not being beautiful at sixteen; any woman is in fault if she is not beautiful at forty."

However much it may sound like a platitude, it is a great and eternal truth that your mental activities are chiselling your features. By keeping yourself concerned with good, gracious, and great thoughts, you are shaping your face into a noble beauty minute by minute, and hour by hour.

Avoid as much as possible looking at repulsive and ugly objects.

Look at whatever is beautiful and seek for it.

Search for whatever is admirable in nature and human nature, and muse upon those things in your moments of solitude.

Cultivate love-thoughts for humanity at large.

Avoid severe criticisms, and develop sympathy and pity in your soul. Study the comfort and pleasure of strangers in public places, and friends and associates in nearer relations.

Remember always how brief a thing, and ofttimes sad, life is to many, and seek to brighten and better it as you pass along.

Meanwhile, take care of your person, study your lines and your features, and learn how to dress and how to carry yourself; how to obtain "presence," that indescribable charm in woman.

Take daily care of your complexion, which to a woman is of prime importance.

Call in the skill of the specialist to help you preserve and beautify your skin and hair, just as the dentist and the oculist are to be consulted to help you preserve teeth and eyes. Think beauty for mind, soul, and body; live it, and believe it is your right.

And just as surely as you pursue this line of conduct for ten years, just so surely will you find yourself at thirty far more attractive than at twenty, and at forty more lovely than at thirty. Learn to be a linguist, and acquire skill upon some one instrument, that you may entertain those who care to converse, and give pleasure to those who wish to be silent.

You are young, and life with its splendid possibilities is before you. There is nothing a woman with youth, will-power, and _love may not accomplish--even to the convincing of the world that she is beautiful, when her mirror may say otherwise.

For enduring and all-encompassing beauty is a composite thing, and unless a woman possesses the spiritual and mental portions, the physical phase soon loses its attractions for the cultivated eye; while with the development of the first two, the third is certain to come.

Begin to-day, my dear girl, to _grow beauty which shall make you a power and an influence in the world where you move, and which shall invite, rather than fear, the approach of time.

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