IS HOMOEOPATHY A CURE FOR LOVE?
Since the publication of ‘Her
Royal Highness Woman’ and ’Between Ourselves,’
some people, I am afraid, have somehow been under the
impression that I keep open a sort of Dr. Cupid’s
office, in which I hold consultations on questions
referring to love and matrimony; and I have received
many letters-far too many to answer-in
which fair correspondents in trouble have written
Only quite recently I received a letter
from a lady, who writes: ’I am madly in
love with a man whom I cannot marry, but whom I have
to see on business almost every day; what should I
do to be cured? Should I marry another man who
is now seeking my hand, who can offer me a very good
position, but whom I do not love?’
Now, here is a problem if you like:
Can matrimony be administered as an antidote?
If so, in what doses?
To tell you the truth, I rather believe
in homoeopathy-that is to say, in the cure
of the like by the like. You want to be cured
of your love for a man-why, love another;
it is as simple as possible. Yes, but the lady
tells me she cannot love that other, yet she seems
inclined to ‘swallow’ him as an antidote.
At any rate, she suggests that she might do so, and
I suppose she wants me to tell her whether she is
likely to be successful, if the cure will be effective
Of course, there is more chance of
happiness in a marriage which is contracted between
a man who loves a woman and a woman who does not love
him than in one contracted between a woman who loves
a man and a man who does not love her. Under
the circumstances, a man, after entering matrimonial
life, is much more likely to win his wife’s love
than a woman her husband’s. I believe this
to be so true as to be almost taken for granted.
But, my dear lady correspondent, are
you going to tell that man honestly on what terms
you are going to marry him? Are you going to trust
to his intelligence, his tact, his love, his devotion,
to win your affections? And are you going to
do your utmost to help him? Surely you are not
going to deceive him, let him think you love him, and
prepare for him and for yourself a life of misery
and wretchedness, and thus build your married life
on contempt and deceit, which will lead you to hate
But enough of awful suppositions,
for, between you and me, I can declare that your case
is much more hopeful than you think. The disease
from which you suffer-or, rather, from
which you imagine that you suffer-is quite
curable, and is cured every day without having to
resort to such extreme measures as you suggest, for,
dear lady, do you not say to me that you love that
Fireworks, shells, volcanic eruptions,
and mad love have this in common: they may do
harm, cause suffering, but they last a short time only.
And, pray, why do you see the man on business every
day? Is he your confessor, your doctor, your
music-teacher, your dancing-master? Has a royal
escapade of recent date, like a ‘penny dreadful,’
created a disturbance in your otherwise well-balanced
And why can’t you marry him?
Oh, I see, he is married already.
Now, are you aware that we never fall
in love madly except with people whom we cannot marry?
You say you did not know that. I tell you you
have no idea how simple your case is, and how common.
By the way, would not, perchance,
that man be the ‘juvenile lead’ who acts
in the romantic drama which is being played every day
in your city? Oh, you matinee girl! Are
you aware that matinee girls invariably love madly?
Yes, as madly and as idiotically as do in the play
the heroes whom they worship.
Now, do not take tragically, or even
seriously, such little clouds as ‘mad love.’
Do not use big words for very little things. Mad
love is the easiest love to cure. Change your
doctor or your dancing-master, or-if I
have otherwise guessed right-patronize another
theatre. Go and see ’Hamlet’-that
will cure you of ‘Romeo.’
Then look more carefully at that very
sensible man who offers you marriage and a good position,
and if you realize that you can make him happy, and
you are sure you are not madly in love with him, marry
him. And if you study him very closely and discover
in him qualities and attainments that may lead you
to fall in love with him madly, don’t tell him:
he might believe you.
Men are so silly!