Women's Veneration BY MRS. STOWE
If women have one weakness more marked than another, it is towards veneration. They are born worshippers,—makers of silver shrines for some divinity or other, which, of course, they always think fell straight down from heaven. The first step towards their falling in love with an ordinary mortal is generally to dress him out with all manner of real or fancied superiority; and having made him up, they worship him. Now a truly great man, a man really grand and noble in heart and intellect, has this advantage with women, that he is an idol ready-made to hand; and so that very painstaking and ingenious sex have less labor in getting him up, and can be ready to worship him on shorter notice. In particular is this the case where a sacred profession and a moral supremacy are added to the intellectual. Just think of the career of celebrated preachers and divines in all ages. Have they not stood like the image that "Nebuchadnezzar the king set up," and all womankind, coquettes and flirts not excepted, been ready to fall down and worship, even before the sound of cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, and so forth? Is not the faithful Paula, with her beautiful face, prostrate in reverence before poor, old, lean, haggard, dying St. Jerome, in the most splendid painting of the world, an emblem and sign of woman's eternal power of self-sacrifice to what she deems noblest in man? Does not old Richard Baxter tell us, with delightful single-heartedness, how his wife fell in love with him first, spite of his long, pale face,—and how she confessed, dear soul, after many years of married life, that she had found him less sour and bitter than she had expected? The fact is, women are burdened with fealty faith, reverence, more than they know what to do with; they stand like a hedge of sweet-peas, throwing out fluttering tendrils everywhere for something high and strong to climb by,—and when they find it, be it ever so rough in the bark, they catch upon it. And instances are not wanting of those who have turned away from the flattery of admirers to prostrate themselves at the feet of a genuine hero who never wooed them, except by heroic deeds and the rhetoric of a noble life.