from The Life and Beauties of Fanny Fern
Article by "Fanny Fern" (Sara Willis Parton)
New York: H. Long and Brother, 1855


  FANNY has "tried it," and she knows.

"Sambo, what am your 'pinion 'bout de married life? Don't you tink it de most happiest?"
"Well, I'll tell you 'bout dat ere—'pends altogether how dey enjoy themselves.

  "Sambo! Sambo! be quiet. You needn't always tell the truth. White folks don't. Just as sure as you do it, you'll lose every friend you have.

  "Don't roll up the whites of your eyes at me that way. It's gospel I'm telling you. I promise you I don't go through creation with my eyes shut; and I've found out that good people always tell the truth when it don't conflict with their interests; and they like to hear it from you when it hits none of their peculiaristicks! There's your chart and compass, so shape your course accordingly.

  "I hope you don't intend to insinuate that mat-


trimony isn't paradise! Guess you forget how bewitching they look when they stand up before the minister, promising all sorts of pretty things and afraid to look each other in the eye? Orange wreaths and bouquet de humbug—alabaster kid gloves—hair curled within an inch of their lives—Brummel neck-tie, patent boots, satin slippers and palpitating hearts! Oh, Sambo! can't make me believe a cloud ever comes over such a blue sky—no indeed! They're just as contented a twelve month after, as a fly in a spider's web.

  "You never saw a husband yet, that wasn't as docile as a lamb when everything went to his mind. Don't they always love and cherish their wives as long as there is a timber left of them? Wouldn't they extinguish the lamp of life for any man, or woman, who dare say a word to their dispraise? Would they ever do that same themselves? Answer me that?

  "And as to wives; they are as easily driven as a flock of sheep when a locomotive comes tearing past. Oh! y-e-s, Sambo, matrimony is a 'blessed institution,' so the ministers say, (finds 'em in fees, you know!) and so everybody says—except those who have tried it! So go away, and don't be wool-gathering. You'll never be the 'Uncle Tom' of your tribe."