Page:Twilight.djvu/131

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123
TWILIGHT

to answer this letter. I shall not watch for the coming of the post and be disappointed. She does not care for you overmuch I fear, this poor sister of yours, only for herself. I am sorry she is hunchbacked and ailing. But I am sorrier still that she is your sister and burdens you. Life has given you so little. Your dreary orphaned childhood in your uncle's large hospitable family, of which you were always the one apart, you and that same suffering sister; your strenuous schooldays. You say you were happy at Oxford, but for the cramping certainty that there was no choice of a career; only the stool at Stanton's, and so repayment for all your uncle had done for you. My poor Gabriel, it seems to me your boyhood and your manhood have been spent. And now you have only me. Me! with hands without gifts and arid lips, an absorbing egotism, and only my passionate desire for expression. I don't want to live; I want to write, and even for that I am not strong enough! My message is too big for me. Hold me and enfold me, I want to rest in you; you are unlike all other men because you want to give and give and give, asking nothing. And therefore you are my mate, because I am unlike all other women, being a genius. You alone of all men or women I have ever known will not doubt that I have a message, although I may never prove it. You don't want to be proud of me, only to rest me.

Which reminds me—that book on Staffordshire Pottery will never be written. How will you explain it to your partners, and the wasted expense of the illustrations? I shall send you a business letter withdrawing; then I suppose you will say