Page:Twilight.djvu/104

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96
TWILIGHT

You have been so splendidly frank and outspoken. I have suffered all my life from a sort of stupid reticence, probably cowardly. But to-night, and to you, I want to throw off the habit of years and not miss, before it is too late, the luxury of being natural.

Well, I am hot with hatred that you should have been hurt, and yet I am happy that you have told me of your wounds. Tonight I pray that it may be given to me to heal them.

I am writing this because I must—though conventionally the shortness of our acquaintance does not justify me. But I have been conventional so long—circumstance has ruled and limited my doings. And tonight it comes to me that chance and fate are, or should be, greater than environment. The Gods only rarely offer gifts, and the blackness and blankness of despair follow their refusal. So I cling to the hope that they have now offered me a precious gift, and that in spite of all your pain—all the past which now so embitters you, to me may come the chance in some small way of proving to you that in friendship there is healing, and in sympathy and understanding, at least the hope of forgetfulness.

I shall hardly dare to read over what I have written, for I should either be conscious that it is inadequate to express what I have wanted to say to you—or that I have presumed too much in writing what is in my mind.

Look upon those Musicians as playing a prelude, not to a dream but to a happier future, and then my pleasure in the little gift will be enormously increased.

It has been a sort of joke in my family that I am