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Braintree and open the house, and we will have a week or two there. Dull enough prospect for you, perhaps, but it would be giving me great pleasure. At all events, keep me posted about your movements. Remember that I would help if I could, and above all remember that I am impartially and loyally your well-wisher, and always

Affectionately yours,

PERCY DASHIEL.

SIXTEENTH LETTER

Washington.

DEAR PERCY:

Your kind letter received. I hope sincerely you will stick to me and believe in me, come what come may, even if I go mad;” if you don't, I promise to become an atheist. You cannot seem to understand I am not the least ashamed of myself, but per contra am as proud as a peacock head held high, chest thrown out, and defiance in my eye. Whether I shall go back to dear old Aiken, or remain here a little longer, I have not decided. You see, as I wrote to you, I mean to ignore his existence, that is, as much as it is possible to ignore where you hate. In the meanwhile I am happy. My conscience cannot be very clouded, as I do not remember when I have enjoyed the swift, sweet hours of sleep so much as now. Did you ever realise that sleep is the brain's recess; then it plays as it likes; it is no longer the slave of the will, hence the amusing inconsequence of dreams.

No one can be sinful and happy, so please cease thinking of me as a “monster of hideous mien;" besides, if heaven is only peopled by "those without sin," it will be crowded with babies, and I never was fond of the nursery as a living-room.

Because you never mention my wife, I know you are thinking a great deal about her, but do not worry. A real grievance would be a godsend to her. I don't wish to be disloyal, but I can speak of her to you when I could not to Mrs. B. She belongs, as you know, to that class of people one would like to make happy — at a great distance. It seems to me that the life of a peace-loving husband is one of a human intaglio, made so by the aggressive angularity of an assertive wife. Divorces begin when he tires of being an intaglio and tries to become a cameo; besides, it is difficult to keep fond of those who always manage to associate themselves in our minds with trouble. With most men and women, the quickest way to grow apart is to live together. Do not think ill of me for speaking in this way, remember I am writing to my father confessor. In this matter I may be all wrong, and I may not; I never know. Your life has tended to make you positive in regard to all things, mine to make me uncertain about everything. You would not distrust your judgment any more than your God. I might distrust both. My present predicament may be God's own doing - how do you know to the contrary? It seems to me sometimes as if the Creator were not omnipotent, but was playing a game of chess with the Devil - the world the board, mortals as pawns. This might account for the incomprehensible moves, involving cruelty, misery, and unnecessary death, that are made by fate; they may be God's moves of expediency to save the game in the end.

All that grieves me at present is the fact that I grieve you, but stay by me, Percy, old man; sometimes evil is done that good may come.

Wait with me till the end. You ask me to interest myself in Washington. I have. It is unique in this country; it will be the best residential city of the world sometime. In my opinion, it is the best governed city in the States, and that

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