Woman, then, whatever relation she may bear to society at large, whatever duties, in consequence of this relation, she may have to discharge, and whatever benefits, by the right discharge of these duties she may have it in her power to confer upon the community, must consider herself chiefly called to advance the comfort of man in his private relations; by promoting his peace, to promote her own; and to receive from him all that respect, protection, and ever assiduous affection, to which her equal nature, her companionship, and her devotedness, give her so just a claim.
She is, in wedded life, to be his constant companion, in whose companionship he is to find one, who meets him hand to hand, eye to eye, lip to lip, and heart to heart—to whom he can unburden the secrets of a heart pressed down with care, or wrung with anguish; whose presence shall be to him above all other friendship; whose voice shall be his sweetest music; whose smiles his brightest sunshine—from whom he shall go forth with regret, and to whose company he shall return with willing feet, when the toils of the day are over; who shall walk near his loving heart, and feel the throbbing of affection as her arm leans on his, and presses on his side. In his hours of private companionship, he shall tell her all the secrets of his heart; find in her all the capabilities, and all the promptings, of the most tender and endeared fellowship; and in her gentle smiles, and unrestrained speech, enjoy all to be expected in one who was given by God to be his companion and friend.
In that companionship which woman was designed to afford to man, must of course be included the sympathetic offices of the comforter. It is hers, in their hours of retirement, to console and cheer him; when he is injured or insulted, to heal the wounds of his troubled spirit; when burdened by care, to lighten his load by sharing it; when groaning with anguish, to calm by her peace-speaking words the tumult of his heart; and act, in all his sorrows, the part of a ministering angel.
Excerpt from “Woman’s Mission” Female Piety—The Young Woman’s Guide Through Life to ImmortalityJohn Angell James, (1785—1859)