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justice. The other day I lunched with an American girl, brought up by a perfect type of American mother, and also with a foreign girl beauty. I assure you it worried me, trying to forget all the American girl didn't know and I did, and trying to remember all the foreign girl knew that I had tried to forget. The women here are not so clever as the men. In New York it is just the reverse. I took into dinner the other night the beautiful wife of a diplomat. She informed me about the moment soup was served that she had a "lofely baby and a lofely husband.” As I knew nothing about sterilised milk and less about diplomacy, conversation flagged. On my left I had a lady you felt sure had been younger and prettier, though now she was neither old nor ugly, but she was fat. She regaled me with all the little errors of the other women present. Have you never noticed that as women grow older, fat and circumspection come about the same time. A woman, who was frail in more senses than one when she was slight, with the accession of fat has an accession of virtue. There is always something ridiculous about fat. After dinner a man talked to me who had a mind of memorised trifles, and lo! in a little while I felt that my acquaintance with idiocy had become intimacy. On this occasion they had coloured servants. If you ever have them, get them pink or blue. The butler we had was a lump of inefficient black pomposity.
To be honest, I do not care for gatherings of any sort. People collectively are cattle, as is proved by panics; individually they are often intelligent.
Every once in awhile a gray-haired statesman passes out of sight in a cloud of scandal involving one of the opposite sex. Given a man of intellect and a woman of none, given a man of morals and a woman of none, a man of money and a woman of none, a woman of beauty and a man of none, a woman who can recall to an aged man the lost passions of his youth, and you have the ladder by which a statesman descends into an abyss of obloquy. Of course, there is no fool like an old fool, but remember a bad woman is the Devil's chef d'oeuvre.
Monday. There is no use arguing with myself or you. I cannot keep away from her. I have decided to return to Aiken. Any decision is better than no decision at all, for it puts the mind at rest. All my life I have suffered and been without pleasure, and to
suffer is the best means to acquire an appetite for enjoyment. To go without food brings an appetite; to go without pleasure brings appreciation. Suppose you had lived all your life in a darkened room, where the pupils of your eyes had become abnormally developed, so you could just distinguish the outline of things sufficiently not to stumble; then imagine the room flooded with light for the first time, so you could see colour and detail — what a Bacchanalian revel of the sense of sight! what a drunken orgy of delight, to realise as a revelation the full beauty of things hitherto unseen! She has been all this to me, and more. Nowadays it is always sunlight in my brain; the curtains of
mind are never drawn. Of course you do not understand - how can you? There is, I know, a lost language to properly express
the way I feel, and I must needs learn it before I can make you realise that a miracle has been performed that I have been "born again.”
Washington, Thursday. I think I mentioned to you before that I find Fate a humourist of a very high grade. You can judge better if I am right, by reading what follows.
I was strolling toward the club Tuesday morning when who should I see striding toward me but B. This time his smile had broadened to a grin, as he came toward me with outstretched hand.
“By Jove, you here!” he exclaimed; “how delightful!” and his grin became audible. Rattling on, he continued: “ Thought we would break the journey North by stopping off here; only arrived this morning; are staying at the Berring