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woman, as man may know woman, and, if there be nothing solid, if there be none of the strong, dependable traits of character, not your mere kissable things, but things to eat, to nourish, to strengthen, to respect, then comes satiety on the wings of the wind.

I beg that you will not think me hard or cold, a mere calculator of chances when so much is at stake. I know you might as well expect to pick up the Iliad, after throwing the letters of the Greek alphabet upon the floor, as to see the end that will result from these complications. But I am fighting myself to help you. I am trying my best to guide you and to speak to you, not as I think you wish to be spoken to, not as habit or custom or even the ethical principles of the day suggest, but as an honest man would speak to him he loves, and for whom he would be wise and merciful, even as is the great Judge of all. I am weary these days; the sensations of life are not for me; surely mine is the harvest of a quiet eye, if such a harvest there be, and I grow less sure that right is always what men say it is, or that wrong is always what we call wrong. I only know that it cannot be false in me to bid you be a man, - a man who can throw back his head and put up his face to heaven and look God in the eye.

I shall hope to hear from you soon again. You must read what I have written, though here and there it be harsh, or even contemptuous, to one or both of you people, feeling my arm over your shoulder.

Yours,

PERCY DASHIEL.

EIGHTEENTH LETTER

Washington, D. C.

DEAR PERCY:

You tell me to read your letters carefully, to learn and inwardly digest. I do, all but the last; I cannot digest them. In my present condition I throw them off. I have known a typhoid convalescent to die of a bowl of bread and milk, and you expect me to digest a surfeit of good advice, and I, not a convalescent, only a patient approaching a crisis. There is a time to preach, and a time for silence. If Blondin were crossing Niagara on a wire, you would not yell directions from the shore. Also there is a time when a physician drops medications, and watches in silence the heart action; then is the moment when, knowing he has done his best, he waits to see if his patient goes under or over the fence. I am rising to the jump of my life; I may clear and land in clover; I may trip and land in hell. So far as I am concerned, it is "a condition, not a theory, that confronts you.”

You regret the fact that Mrs. B. cannot ride on my saddle-bow, down Penn. Avenue, with the atmosphere all little holes, made by B.'s bullets. As for sabres, I am afraid he would have to borrow them from the army, or the presentation swords in the Congressional Library

You have read too much “ Don Quixote." Come back to earth, O Q., or learn the sense of Sancho, or, there is always the quarries " for me.

Do not forget there can be strenuous love without strenuous life; besides, it appears to me that, what with my experiences in Aiken and Washington, all the strenuity I need has been injected into my life of late.

Your sermons are stones flung at a conscious sinner. Keep your stones, and prepare your oil to pour into the wounds of an erring friend. You would not kick a man when he is down; don't sermonise him while the battle is on. He needs encouragement then, and advice afterward. A clergyman is an habitual debauchee where advice is concerned. There are no men in the world who need to learn the

value of silence at critical moments so much

as God's deputies. With the majority of your cloth, I am not in sympathy. I was teased into going to church the other day, for the first time in ten years, to listen to an

eminent divine.” A good, vain phrase, that. After listening for awhile, I discov

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