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“A woman's love is always hysterical, whether for God or man, but not necessarily ephemeral. The light that floods my eyes now, and shuts you off, enables me to see the value of things in their true perspective.
Again, ' For all time, good-bye.'”
And here is my last word to her:
Women are never selfish, except unconsciously so. I say this because it is the custom in this country to exalt women at the expense of truth.
"I am quite healed, for which I thank your last letter. I feel like a typhoid patient, who has been cured by an iced bath. You remind me of a pivoting prism, but the side that is toward me now reflects no light. Your iridescent love is your God's just now, I believe.
Hitherto I have cultivated my memory; hereafter it shall be forgetfulness, for in this world it is better to know how to forget than how to remember.
“A woman's capacity to disengage herself from a fact and embrace a theory is worthy of everything but emulation. The fact that I loved you seems to have been absolutely lost sight of in your theories about right and wrong. I do not judge you, I only wonder. Our natures and dispositions are so different, one from the other, that to sit in judgment is an assumption of the rights of God.
“ You cannot take away from me the love I bear for the woman I once knew, any more than you can steal the memory of some music that has become a part of my life, but do not grieve over this; it is only a fact that you can readily ignore. God has given you
a conscience; has He one of His own? If so, some things He permits on this earth must give it many a season of unrest!'
Quick, quick, Percy, to my aid. Write immediately, or shall I come to you? I said I was quite healed; I lied, from a pride I had not. Once in an abattoir I saw the heart of a bullock torn from the warm flesh and thrown on the ground; it quivered from the cold. Oh, I am so cold, so cold! Make haste.
MY DEAR DOUGLAS:
To say that I am sorry is merely the rough way of language to express to you my grief. I have no preachments for a man torn and hurt as you are. What did it, who did it, whether there is a right or wrong, matters not, now that you are wounded and sorehearted. Of course you may come to me, if you can. How gladly I would go to you, or take you away somewhere if I could. What a bundle of sorrows is that sheaf of letters, — your own bone thrown back at you, and this strange woman more of an enigma than ever, at least to me. I have so little experience of women that I must needs write to you very roughly, apparently, merely because this woman and all women are theories to me. They express a right or a wrong, and there my experience stops short. My mother, as you know, was an angel, gentle, patient, forgiving, soberminded, married young, dead before she was forty, and leaving a memory that made all women sacred to the males of her household. Katharine, my sister, with more experience of the world, is not unlike her, gentle, forgiving, seeing no evil, about whom the trials and troubles of her household and of her friends flock as naturally as birds about a lighthouse. This friend of yours, whose letters I am very glad to read, because they give me the only glimpse I am ever to have of her now, she seems to me different. You may