Macleod of Dare eBook

William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 492 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.
hair and a Byronic collar, and was a little nervous—­fell in love with me, for he wrote a furious panegyric of me, and sent it next morning with a bouquet, and begged for my photograph.  The elderly gentleman, on the other hand, gave me a great deal of good advice; but I subdued even him, for before he went away he spoke in a broken voice, and there were tears in his eyes, which papa said were owing to a variety of causes.  It is ludicrous enough, no doubt, but it is also a little bit humiliating.  I try to laugh the thing away, whether the opinion expressed about me is solemnly stupid or merely impertinent, but the vexation of it remains; and the chief vexation to me is that I should have so little command of myself, so little respect for myself, as to suffer myself to be vexed.  But how can one help it?  Public opinion is the very breath and life of a theatre and of every one connected with it; and you come to attach importance to the most foolish expression of opinion in the most obscure print.”

“And so, my dear friend, I have had my grumble out—­and made my confession too, for I should not like to let every one know how foolish I am about those petty vexations—­and you will see that I have not forgotten what you said to me, and that further reflection and experience have only confirmed it.  But I must warn you.  Now that I have victimized you to this fearful extent, and liberated my mind, I feel much more comfortable.  As I write, there is a blue color coming into the window that tells me the new day is coming.  Would it surprise you if the new day brought a complete new set of feelings?  I have begun to doubt whether I have got any opinions—­whether, having to be so many different people in the course of a week, I have any clear notion as to what I myself am.  One thing is certain, that I have been greatly vexed and worried of late by a succession of the merest trifles; and when I got your kind letter and present this evening, I suddenly thought, Now for a complete confession and protest.  I know you will forgive me for having victimized you, and that as soon as you have thrown this rambling epistle into the fire you will try to forget all the nonsense it contains and will believe that I hope always to remain your friend,

“GERTRUDE WHITE.”

His quick and warm sympathy refused to believe the half of this letter.  It was only because she knew what was owing to the honor and self-respect of a true woman that she spoke in this tone of bitter and scornful depreciation of herself.  It was clear that she was longing for the dignity and independence of a more natural way of life.  And this revelation—­that she was not, after all, banished forever into that cold region of art in which her father would fain keep her—­somewhat bewildered him at first.  The victim might be reclaimed from the altar and restored to the sphere of simple human affections, natural duties, and joy?  And if he—­

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Macleod of Dare from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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