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now. I pulled myself together and went on. I conquered the small world of my own profession. I often wondered if she was in front of me here or there where I spoke, if she saw my name in the papers, if she ever understood, if she really loved me as I loved her. Strange that in so small a world I never saw her again even by accident. Once or twice I met one or another of her relatives, and then I heard that she had married some man in New York. He was rich, I heard, and lived among men and women whose interests were worlds apart from mine. I do not know his name or hers. I do not know where they are, or what they are, or what they do, or whether there are children. I only know what I have told you. No woman has been a temptation to me since then. I have been worked like a pack-horse by my own success. My hours have been long, my engagements many, my holidays none. I was getting along at a fine pace professionally, when my energy, my nerves, my ambition, and my back, were all broken in a moment, and here I am.

I am amazingly interested in you now. I am of no interest to myself or anybody else, unless it be to you, these days. I would save you from my miseries if I could. I would atone for my selfishness in the past, for my self-centredness, by giving what I have left of life to bring peace and perchance happiness to another. I thank you for the confidence that bade you send me copies of those letters. So much advice is wasted in this world because so often the confessor is only told half the story, only knows half the problem. If my poor little story of the sadness of my life strengthens the bond between us, makes you know something of the genuineness of my sympathy, the telling of it will not have been in vain. Then, too, I would not have you think that I would not repose the same confidence in you that you have reposed in me. What there is of me I offer to solace your grief, and, if possible, to comfort you as you walk amidst the ruins through which I have walked these years past. But best of all, if it could happen that you should see some better way, and slough off all this, and come out of it a better and a stronger, and withal a kindlier man, then verily I should feel almost as though I were living on in you.

I am, my dear Douglas, how well you must know it now,

Affectionately yours,

PERCY DASHIEL.

TWENTIETH LETTER

DEAR PERCY:

Bless you for the best man God ever made. For you to search in the past for a story that reflects no credit on yourself, so as to make me feel less lonely, is to show a friendship of which a woman could not conceive. Imagine a woman throwing mud at herself in order to make an erring woman-friend feel less isolated. Have you never noticed how a reference to a woman's friendship for a woman, brings to the face of a man a sad smile? He knows, whether analyst or not, that in its best sense no such thing exists. A woman judges a man with allowances. She never makes any for her own sex. The fact that she has resisted a temptation, before which another woman has fallen, hardens her heart for all time. No woman ever took a bird's-eye view of another woman's life; her mental stand is too close to everything she studies. For her a fly-speck on a big canvas would spoil the picture, and so a woman's judgment of another is valueless, and the least clever of men intuitively knows this. In her affection for one of her sex, the spirit of good-fellowship is lacking. The live and let live theory, the capacity to forget and forgive right royally, is altogether wanting, and what remains is the feeling that if she is not as I

she is not as she should be. Her greatest happiness is to forgive a man and condemn a woman. A woman will live with a drunken and brutal husband until his death, will hide his and her shame during life, and sanctify his memory afterward,

am,

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