The Dangerous Age eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 106 pages of information about The Dangerous Age.

Later on, when I have had time to rest a little, I shall be delighted to hear from you; although I foresee that five-sixths of the letters will be about your children, and the remaining sixth devoted to your husband—­whereas I would rather it was all about yourself, and our dear town, with its life and strife.  I have not taken the veil; I may still endure to hear echoes of all the town gossip.

If you were here, you would ask what I proposed to do with myself.  Well, dear Lillie, I have not left my frocks nor my mirror behind me.  Moreover, time has this wonderful property that, unlike the clocks, it goes of itself without having to be wound up.  I have the sea, the forest; my piano, and my house.  If time really hangs heavy on my hands, there is no reason why I should not darn the linen for Torp!

Should it happen by any chance—­which God forbid—­that I were struck dead by lightning, or succumbed to a heart attack, would you, acting as my cousin, and closest friend, undertake to put my belongings in order?  Not that you would find things in actual disorder; but all the same there would be a kind of semi-order.  I do not at all fancy the idea of Richard routing among my papers now that we are no longer a married couple.

With every good wish,
              Your cousin,
                       ELSIE LINDTNER.

MY DEAR, KIND FRIEND, AND FORMER HUSBAND,

Is there not a good deal of style about that form of address?  Were you not deeply touched at receiving, in a strange town, flowers sent by a lady?  If only the people understood my German and sent them to you in time!

For an instant a beautiful thought flashed through my mind:  to welcome you in this way in every town where you have to stay.  But since I only know the addresses of one or two florists in the capitals, and I am too lazy to find out the others, I have given up this splendid folly, and simply note it to my account as a “might-have-been.”

Shall I be quite frank, Richard?  I am rather ashamed when I think of you, and I can honestly say that I never respected you more than to-day.  But it could not have been otherwise.  I want you to concentrate all your will-power to convince yourself of this.  If I had let myself be persuaded to remain with you, after this great need for solitude had laid hold upon me, I should have worried and tormented you every hour of the day.

Dearest and best friend, there is some truth in these words, spoken by I know not whom:  “Either a woman is made for marriage, and then it practically does not matter to whom she is married, she will soon understand how to fulfil her destiny; or she is unsuited to matrimony, in which case she commits a crime against her own personality when she binds herself to any man.”

Apparently, I was not meant for married life.  Otherwise I should have lived happily for ever and a day with you—­and you know that was not the case.  But you are not to blame.  I wish in my heart of hearts that I had something to reproach you with—­but I have nothing against you of any sort or kind.

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The Dangerous Age from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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