23rd Thread: Mother recommends roses over laurels
Servants, slaves, sharecroppers, day laborers lead a harsh life all in submission and destitution, as they depend on the will of their master. We women are not much better off, even though we belong to the noble class. We go where we are sent, we eat if men allow, we sleep on a feather bed or on straw in a nook, we dress in silks or rags, depending on what our husbands can or will provide. No winners’ crown for us, no tribune for us to parade all dressed in senatorial purple. Yet, if our fate is not too terrible, if we are not beaten every day, if we are not separated from those we love, do we not know more happiness than men who always want more? More power, more wealth, more glory? They design cities and temples, they hustle in governmental assemblies and set up laws, they launch expeditions and negotiate acquisitions, they write, they argue, they engrave their names in stone. When they have managed to snatch extra gold, extra laurels, extra influence, are they happier than the slave who, sitting on the doorstep at the end of the day, when the temperature is cooler, lifts a rose to his nostrils?
My heart felt heavy when I have was informed this morning that we will not inherit our portion of my parents’ property, neither mine nor thine, my brothers having managed to divert it all to their profit. I was soothing my grief by embroidering a headband when I heard a knock on the door. It was you, my solace, my ray of sun, you bringing me sesame cakes, the first that you have baked by yourself! Here, give me another because there are none sweeter!
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