Life is a pretty tragedy especially for women. On comes a gay dame of manners & tone so fine & haughty that all defer to her as to a countess, and she seems like the dictator of society. Sit down by her, & talk of her own life in earnest, & she is some stricken soul with care & sorrow at her vitals, & wisdom which charity cannot see any way of escape for her from remediless evils. She envies her companion in return, until she also disburdens into her ear the story of her misery, as deep & hopeless as her own.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 7:48