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THE CONFESSIONS OF A WIFE
I thought 'we would be late to the
theater last night, but we got to the
box just as the curtain was going Up.
' Mr. and Mrs. Belden only had time
to welcome and seat us. The house
was dark and so I could just see that
my hostess was a stunning looking
woman in a very decollete gown with
pearls about her neck and the most
wonderful amber ornaments I had
ever seen in her blonde hair.
The play was one of those French
farces which, like the rest of its type,
is licentious and supposedly laugh
able. In this play the principal character,
a French actress and demimondaine,
disports herself about the stage in a
species of undress that is made more
enticingly indecorous by its ribbon
decorations. I must have looked
shocked, for when we arrived at our
flower-trimmed table at Martins
(pronounced Martans), which is sup
posed to be the smart Bohemian place
in New York to eat your after-the-theater
lobster, Mr. Belden said:
"I am afraid that Mrs. Waverly did
not enjoy the play."
"I did not," I said rather emphat
ically, although Dick kicked me, un
der the table.
"I don't think any nice woman en
joys that kind of an exhibition,"
quickly interposed Mrs. Belden, "and
I told Mr. Belden so, but he thought
you might be curious to see a typical
"Please don't think I am narrow
and prudish," I hastened to explain,
for Dick looked rather blank, "but I
don't believe any right-minded wo
man can accept license as a subject
for levity, and only on the stage is it
tolerated as a subject of jokes by
well-mannered people. A book writ
ten in the same vein as 'Madame
President' could not be sent through
the mails." I
"You see, Mr. Belden," I continued,
with "my best smile, "I haven't been
married long enough to ask my hus
band why a man always thinks there
is no harm done if the breaking of
the seventh commandment is treat
ed as a joke. I am sure, to a woman,
the disobeying of that 'Thou shalt
not' always means tragedy."
"I guess she's got us dead to
rights, Waverly," said Mr. Belden,
"and I think that is the reason why
a woman likes those problem plays
and why a man loathes them."
"Yes," said Mrs. Belden, who
seemed as clever as she was pretty,
"you men have shirked the conse
quences through all the ages" and
women hav6-had to face them."
"Gracious!" exclaimed Dick, "is
our little party going to turn itself
into a feminist lecture."
"Not if you will hurry up the
broiled lobster, Dick," I answered,
"and in the meantime I'm going to
be impertinent enough to ask Mrs.
Belden where she got those exquisite
amber ornaments she is wearing in
Then, of course, the talk turned to
fads and fashions. Mrs. Belden said
she would go with me the next day
to buy some amber for myself.
When we got home Dick said:
"Say, Madge, do you think the Bel
dens seem very happy? Mrs. Bel
den was rather cynical."
"You are thinking of that speech
she made about a man classing his
wife with his morning shave and
breakfast instead of his dinner and
his favorite wine," I said. "Well,
dear, perhaps it comes to that in the
end, only most women aren't clever
enough to put jt that way."
"You don't mean that, dearheart?"
asked Dick in a shocked voice.
"Not now, dear man, when you are
close beside me and I can feel your
arms about me but you must re
member the Beldens' honeymoon