|• Main||• Contacts|
there were not so many suitable advertisements as she had expected.
She sat down by the paper-rack with a general feeling of resemblance
to Vivie Warren, and looked through the Morning Post and Standard and
Telegraph, and afterward the half-penny sheets. The Morning Post was
hungry for governesses and nursery governesses, but held out no other
hopes; the Daily Telegraph that morning seemed eager only for skirt
hands. She went to a writing-desk and made some memoranda on a sheet of
note-paper, and then remembered that she had no address as yet to which
letters could be sent.
She decided to leave this matter until the morrow and devote the morning
to settling up with Mr. Manning. At the cost of quite a number of torn
drafts she succeeded in evolving this:
"DEAR MR. MANNING,--I find it very difficult to answer your letter.
I hope you won't mind if I say first that I think it does me an
extraordinary honor that you should think of any one like myself
so highly and seriously, and, secondly, that I wish it had not been
She surveyed this sentence for some time before going on. "I wonder,"
she said, "why one writes him sentences like that? It'll have to go,"
she decided, "I've written too many already." She went on, with a
desperate attempt to be easy and colloquial:
"You see, we were rather good friends, I thought, and now perhaps it
will be difficult for us to get back to the old friendly footing. But if
that can possibly be done I want it to be done. You see, the plain fact
of the case is that I think I am too young and ignorant for marriage.
I have been thinking these things over lately, and it seems to me that
marriage for a girl is just the supremest thing in life. It isn't just
one among a number of important things; for her it is the important
thing, and until she knows far more than I know of the facts of life,
how is she to undertake it? So please; if you will, forget that you
wrote that letter, and forgive this answer. I want you to think of me
just as if I was a man, and quite outside marriage altogether.
"I do hope you will be able to do this, because I value men friends.
I shall be very sorry if I cannot have you for a friend. I think that
there is no better friend for a girl than a man rather older than
"Perhaps by this time you will have heard of the step I have taken in
leaving my home. Very likely you will disapprove highly of what I have
Page 6 from 9: Back 1 2 3 4 5  7 8 9 Forward