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rejoice in the va et viens of this bustling family.
When are you coming north? Why do you not stop over in Washington and make the acquaintance of the new administration and tell me about it all? In any event, write soon again and count upon me, poor me! if that be any comfort to you, always.
Aiken, South Carolina. DEAR PERCY:
I am not aware that in my last letter I made any confession to you that I was “in love ” with any one. I remember referring to a friendship, that was all. Fearing, however, you may look upon this statement as a reflection on your own perspicacity, I make haste to say now, that I am “hopelessly and madly in love." I believe the above is the customary phraseology.
Your last letter hurts — why don't you temper the wind to the shorn lamb, for I am shorn of everything that appeals to you and revelling in everything that appeals to
Never give to a patient too much truth at once. When one takes poison, if one takes too much, one throws it off.
Your theory that I am acting as a gentleman should not, is to my mind puerile. Just at present, and perhaps for the first time in my life, I am true to myself and my best instincts. Would you have me, like the slothful servant, bury my talent in the earth? No; at present I am out at interest, and when I appear before my Lord I shall be rewarded for having increased in the knowledge of all things good in His sight. Truly am I now in the “ Kingdom of Heaven,” for I am as a man travelling in a far country.” Never was I so proud of myself as I am now, my conscience is like a ball of crystal.
One's first duty is to be true to oneself, the second is to be true to others.
Permit me also a vision. I see a man,
introspective, selfish, and cynical, with a heart like a hickory-nut, going about doing his duties, according to the laws conventional, in a perfunctory way — despised of himself and of the gods, a man whose life was so empty, that he fell so low as at times to feel pity for himself. A few months later he meets a woman who has for him the key of all the heaven there ever is on earth, and lol the man looks upward not downward, looks outward not inward, looks forward not back. The misery of the world, which was but a distant humming in his ears, becomes a mighty roar; he longs to be up and doing Christ's work, for love of himself is changed to love for others. Has that man worsened, think you? Is the bare tree of winter more acceptable in your eyes than when it puts forth its best, under a compelling sun?
Bah! Here I am apologising for the one glory of my life. A great passion is its own
And now, old boy, please don't argue any more; accept my present condition and point of view as a fact. My sweet old grandmother used to recite this verse:
“ When things are done and past recalling,
'Tis folly then to fret or cry ;
But when it's down e'en let it lie."
Learn this by heart.
Dear Lord! I am so happy, and what a queer sensation happiness is. I never even had a bowing acquaintance with it before, but now we are on intimate terms. Of
course there are moments when hell inter
venes, but that is when I don't expect to see her for twenty-four hours. As you see, I am as Carlyle described Monckton Milnes,