Montreal Daily Star, 6 January 1911, page 8
ADVICE WANTED ABOUT FINDING A WIFE
The other day something was said on this page about the humours of the woman’s pages from across the line. Since then a letter has been received which shows that we too have our humorists, the letter is headed “Advice wanted about finding a wife free from worldly fashions.” It is given without the slightest alteration. The writer says his parents brought him up to read, but they evidently did not bring him up to spell. However, that is a minor consideration while looking for a wife who shall combine all the virtues. “Would you see fit” this Diogenus in search of an honest wife writes “to give me a little space in your paper to ventilate my views upon modern fashions and also use this means of asking for advise in regard to obtaining a life companion suitable” satisfactory to a widower with such peculiar views as the writer. First I must tell you how I became so strange and perhaps excentrical [sic]. My parents brought me up to read and believe a very old fashioned Book which counseled ladies not to trouble about their outward adorning but to be sure to adorn themselves inwardly with such ornaments as the meek and quiet spirit which is in the sigh t of the Lord of great price. I do not want my prospective wife to take too much interest in the expensive and ever changing fashions. I don’t want her to go or desire to frequently visit ‘vanity fair,’ which is kept up all the year round to study and buy their wares. She would be ashamed of me and as I own but a small country farm would want a most economizing wife. She must be a patient woman. And [illegible] having little, to think she has [illegible]. She may have her clothes of good material made up in the plainest way and I think for summer I would like her to wear a nice plain hat like the Hornwrights wear, which is realy [sic] in its simplicity. Now I do not know the names nor what the different parts are of a woman’s vain attire. I think I know what corsets are. If I mistake no they are woman-killers. I once had a wife who had worn them and I am sorry to tell you I finally was obliged to bury her up in the ground. I don’t think I want my second wife to wear corsets.”
There are three things to be said in reply to this man. The first is, Give up all search for the paragon of a wife, more for her sake than your own. Secondly, Do you think any one human being has a right to dictate to another what or what not she shall wear or how she shall live? There is such a thing as personal responsibility. The third is merely a comment: I am glad for the first wife’s sake that she is peacefully “buried up” in the peaceful ground.