The chosen one (fragment from letters of two brides)

“He who is to win my heart, my dear, must be harsh and unbending with
Men, but gentle with women. His eagle eye must have power to quell
With a single glance the least approach to ridicule. He will have a
Pitying smile for those who would jeer at sacred things, above all, at
That poetry of the heart, without which life would be but a dreary
Commonplace. I have the greatest scorn for those who would rob us of
The living fountain of religious beliefs, so rich in solace. His
Faith, therefore, should have the simplicity of a child, though united
To the firm conviction of an intelligent man, who has examined the
Foundations of his creed. His fresh and original way of looking at
Things must be entirely free from affectation or desire to show off.
His words will be few and fit, and his mind so richly stored, that he
Cannot possibly become a bore to himself any more than to others.

“All his thoughts must have a high and chivalrous character, without
Alloy of self-seeking; while his actions should be marked by a total
Absence of interested or sordid motives. Any weak points he may have
Will arise from the very elevation of his views above those of the
Common herd, for in every respect I would have him superior to his
Age. Ever mindful of the delicate attentions due to the weak, he will
Be gentle to all women, but not prone lightly to fall in love with
Any; for love will seem to him too serious to turn into a game.

“Thus it might happen that he would spend his life in ignorance of
True love, while all the time possessing those qualities most fitted
To inspire it. But if ever he find the ideal woman who has haunted his
Waking dreams, if he meet with a nature capable of understanding his
Own, one who could fill his soul and pour sunlight over his life,
Could shine as a star through the mists of this chill and gloomy
World, lend fresh charm to existence, and draw music from the hitherto
Silent chords of his being – needless to say, he would recognize and
Welcome his good fortune.

“And she, too, would be happy. Never, by word or look, would he wound
The tender heart which abandoned itself to him, with the blind trust
Of a child reposing in its mother`s arms. For were the vision
Shattered, it would be the wreck of her inner life. To the mighty
Waters of love she would confide her all!

“The man I picture must belong, in expression, in attitude, in gait,
In his way of performing alike the smallest and the greatest actions,
To that race of the truly great who are always simple and natural. He
Need not be good-looking, but his hands must be beautiful. His upper
Lip will curl with a careless, ironic smile for the general public,
Whilst he reserves for those he loves the heavenly, radiant glance in
Which he puts his soul.”

The chosen one (fragment from letters of two brides)