I have it planned exactly what you look like—very satisfactorily— until I reach the top of your head, and then I am stuck. I can’t decide whether you have white hair or black hair or sort of sprinkly grey hair or maybe none at all.
Here is your portrait:
But the problem is, shall I add some hair?
Would you like to know what colour your eyes are?
They’re grey, and your eyebrows stick out like
a porch roof (beetling, they’re called in novels),
and your mouth is a straight line with a tendency
to turn down at the corners. Oh, you see, I know!
You’re a snappy old thing with a temper.
I have a new unbreakable rule: never, never to study at night no matter how many written reviews are coming in the morning. Instead, I read just plain books—I have to, you know, because there are eighteen blank years behind me. You wouldn’t believe, Daddy, what an abyss of ignorance my mind is; I am just realizing the depths myself. The things that most girls with a properly assorted family and a home and friends and a library know by absorption, I have never heard of. For example:
I never read Mother Goose or David Copperfield or Ivanhoe or Cinderella or Blue Beard or Robinson Crusoe or Jane Eyre or Alice in Wonderland or a word of Rudyard Kipling. I didn’t know that Henry the Eighth was married more than once or that Shelley was a poet. I didn’t know that people used to be monkeys and that the Garden of Eden was a beautiful myth. I didn’t know that R. L. S. stood for Robert Louis Stevenson or that George Eliot was a lady. I had never seen a picture of the `Mona Lisa’ and (it’s true but you won’t believe it) I had never heard of Sherlock Holmes.
Now, I know all of these things and a lot of others besides, but you can see how much I need to catch up. And oh, but it’s fun! I look forward all day to evening, and then I put an `engaged’ on the door and get into my nice red bath robe and furry slippers and pile all the cushions behind me on the couch, and light the brass student lamp at my elbow, and read and read and read one book isn’t enough. I have four going at once. Just now, they’re Tennyson’s poems and Vanity Fair and Kipling’s Plain Tales and—don’t laugh—Little Women. I find that I am the only girl in college who wasn’t brought up on Little Women. I haven’t told anybody though (that would stamp me as queer). I just quietly went and bought it with $1.12 of my last month’s allowance; and the next time somebody mentions pickled limes, I’ll know what she is talking about!
(Ten o’clock bell. This is a very interrupted letter.)
I have the honour to report fresh explorations in the field of geometry. On Friday last we abandoned our former works in parallelopipeds and proceeded to truncated prisms. We are finding the road rough and very uphill.