Journal of Dr GFW
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It would have been much pleasure to me could I have avoided the recital of the occurrences of today. I have, for several days, suffered in mental agitation severe pain, and judging from the cause which producted it, there is reason to fear that the present is but the commencement.
I will now in as short a space as practicable relate the cause of the disturbance. I will here say that I adore my companion and my object and wish is to make her contented and comfortable. But I can never consent to act in opposition to what appears to me to be improper in order to accomplish it. I cannot abandon propriety for impropriety, principle for unprinciple. These to me are everything and if I now resign them, want and misery still more galling will haunt my hours of repose. Indeed, I could not expect to be countenanced by any. No, I had much rather embrace the could arms of death than live disrespected. I observed more than a usual degree of dissatisfaction depicted on the countenance of my companion. A cold, unsociable indifference to everything but her own self. I was at home the greater portion of the day and endeavored to amuse her by reading, as I thought this would be attended with both pleasure and profit but, alas, it produced no effect but a sullen mode of contempt. It was all the expression that could be elicited. Having some medicine to compound, and as I cannot set idle, I employed my time in this for a while. When all at once, she spoke, the first time during the day, and very abruptly said, "I am a good mind to go and get Alexander to go with me to get some grapes." Having been treated so disrespectfully my reply was quite improper, but I had been so irritated I could have submitted to any severity without emotion. I said, "You had better get some of the other boys to go with you." Now she had never intimated to me nor could I get her to declare the cause of her unhappy state of mind that she wanted grapes or anything of the kind. Had she requested me to have accompanied her I should have done so. I now said I would go with her if she wished as it would afford me much pleasure to do so, as I desired to see her contented and happy. But she gave no reply. As for myself I had no desire for these things, but if it would be productive of satisfaction to her I would take great delight in accompanying her. But all to no purpose, silent contempt seemed to afford more satisfaction than my proffered company. But I well knew the cause. I have been for the last week so much confused in mind as not to feel disposed for conversation, even to my best friends, and from no other cause than this domestic disquietude. And the first start of all was this. Today there is a camp meeting a few miles from this place, and my wife had during the week expressed a desire to go. To which I said I was not inclined, and did not wish to attend, and that my business there seemed to forbid the idea as it was my duty to be here at home unless called away and that I could see more satisfaction at home than abroad unless on business of a pecuniary nature. And this is not all, if I was ever so desirous of going and nothing before mentioned to oppose, I would not go because I have no vehicle for that purpose and my circumstances fordibs even the idea of purchasing one at present. And as to borrowing, you know my aversion. Having thus stated my real objections, hoping that reason would have its proper effect in restoring her mind to its proper state, I then mildly asked her if she still wished to go and received the unpleasant reply, "I shan't tell you whether I do or not, because you do not want me to go."
I was astonished and said no more. is this a bosom companion, dividing the troubles and sorrows incident to life and endeavor by cheerfulness and resignation to our situation to make it pleasant and agreeable to all and particular to her companion, whose welfare should be her greatest delight and afford her more pleasure than gazing at the multitude. The feelings of my own mind I cannot describe. I went to Mr. A. Conrad and requested that he would take her in his carriage; came home and saddled my horse; and went to visit the afflicted, her words and conduct was ever in my ears and eyes, I saw all was lost of peace and confidence. I returned home and found my dwelling locked and evacuated. She was gone. Where or with whom I know not. I will not praise my own goodness or pretend that I am any better than others, but believing the course adopted by me was the correct and proper one, in every consideration, it was her duty to have acquiesced in it. But no, believing the course adopted by me was the correct and proper one in every consideration, it was her duty to have acquiesced in it. But no, that love of power and want of control over men, that love of power and want of control over mere desire; and without one good motive attending it was so great, that she would sacrifice peace and happiness for life for a mere moment of gazing at the crowd and confusion of a camp meeting. Now what must be the inevitable consequence of such proceeding? Perfect death to all good and kind feeling. Complete loss of domestic happiness, annihilation of all respect, love or esteem, indifference to everything near or dear, changing in every respect the balmy couch of connubial felicity turning that which on earth should be a heaven into the torments of despair, and at last complete estrangement and final destruction of constancy! All for fancy!!!