小女花不棄線上看,Part 7 长腿叔叔 Daddy Long Legs
26th September Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Back at college again and an upper classman. Our study is better than ever this year--faces the South with two huge windows and oh! so furnished. Julia, with an unlimited allowance, arrived two days early and was attacked with a fever for settling.
We have new wall paper and oriental rugs and mahogany chairs-- not painted mahogany which made us sufficiently happy last year, but real. It's very gorgeous, but I don't feel as though I belonged in it; I'm nervous all the time for fear I'll get an ink spot in the wrong place.
And, Daddy, I found your letter waiting for me--pardon--I mean your secretary's.
Will you kindly convey to me a comprehensible reason why I should not accept that scholarship? I don't understand your objection in the least. But anyway, it won't do the slightest good for you to object, for I've already accepted it and I am not going to change! That sounds a little impertinent, but I don't mean it so.
I suppose you feel that when you set out to educate me, you'd like to finish the work, and put a neat period, in the shape of a diploma, at the end.
But look at it just a second from my point of view. I shall owe my education to you just as much as though I let you pay for the whole of it, but I won't be quite so much indebted. I know that you don't want me to return the money, but nevertheless, I am going to want to do it, if I possibly can; and winning this scholarship makes it so much easier. I was expecting to spend the rest of my life in paying my debts, but now I shall only have to spend one-half of the rest of it.
I hope you understand my position and won't be cross. The allowance I shall still most gratefully accept. It requires an allowance to live up to Julia and her furniture! I wish that she had been reared to simpler tastes, or else that she were not my room-mate.
This isn't much of a letter; I meant to have written a lot--but I've been hemming four window curtains and three portieres (I'm glad you can't see the length of the stitches), and polishing a brass desk set with tooth powder (very uphill work), and sawing off picture wire with manicure scissors, and unpacking four boxes of books, and putting away two trunkfuls of clothes (it doesn't seem believable that Jerusha Abbott owns two trunks full of clothes, but she does!) and welcoming back fifty dear friends in between.
Opening day is a joyous occasion!
Good night, Daddy dear, and don't be annoyed because your chick is wanting to scratch for herself. She's growing up into an awfully energetic little hen--with a very determined cluck and lots of beautiful feathers (all due to you). Affectionately, Judy
30th September Dear Daddy,
Are you still harping on that scholarship? I never knew a man so obstinate, and stubborn and unreasonable, and tenacious, and bull-doggish, and unable-to-see-other-people's-point-of-view, as you.
You prefer that I should not be accepting favours from strangers.
Strangers!--And what are you, pray?
Is there anyone in the world that I know less? I shouldn't recognize you if I met you in the street. Now, you see, if you had been a sane, sensible person and had written nice, cheering fatherly letters to your little Judy, and had come occasionally and patted her on the head, and had said you were glad she was such a good girl--Then, perhaps, she wouldn't have flouted you in your old age, but would have obeyed your slightest wish like the dutiful daughter she was meant to be.
Strangers indeed! You live in a glass house, Mr. Smith.
And besides, this isn't a favour; it's like a prize--I earned it by hard work. If nobody had been good enough in English, the committee wouldn't have awarded the scholarship; some years they don't. Also-- But what's the use of arguing with a man? You belong, Mr. Smith, to a sex devoid of a sense of logic. To bring a man into line, there are just two methods: one must either coax or be disagreeable. I scorn to coax men for what I wish. Therefore, I must be disagreeable.
I refuse, sir, to give up the scholarship; and if you make any more fuss, I won't accept the monthly allowance either, but will wear myself into a nervous wreck tutoring stupid Freshmen.
That is my ultimatum!
And listen--I have a further thought. Since you are so afraid that by taking this scholarship I am depriving someone else of an education, I know a way out. You can apply the money that you would have spent for me towards educating some other little girl from the John Grier Home. Don't you think that's a nice idea? Only, Daddy, EDUCATE the new girl as much as you choose, but please don't LIKE her any better than me.
I trust that your secretary won't be hurt because I pay so little attention to the suggestions offered in his letter, but I can't help it if he is. He's a spoiled child, Daddy. I've meekly given in to his whims heretofore, but this time I intend to be FIRM.
Yours, With a mind, Completely and Irrevocably and World-without-End Made-up,
9th November Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
I started down town today to buy a bottle of shoe blacking and some collars and the material for a new blouse and a jar of violet cream and a cake of Castile soap--all very necessary; I couldn't be happy another day without them--and when I tried to pay the car fare, I found that I had left my purse in the pocket of my other coat. So I had to get out and take the next car, and was late for gymnasium.
It's a dreadful thing to have no memory and two coats!
Julia Pendleton has invited me to visit her for the Christmas holidays. How does that strike you, Mr. Smith? Fancy Jerusha Abbott, of the John Grier Home, sitting at the tables of the rich. I don't know why Julia wants me--she seems to be getting quite attached to me of late. I should, to tell the truth, very much prefer going to Sallie's, but Julia asked me first, so if I go anywhere it must be to New York instead of to Worcester. I'm rather awed at the prospect of meeting Pendletons EN MASSE, and also I'd have to get a lot of new clothes--so, Daddy dear, if you write that you would prefer having me remain quietly at college, I will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet docility.
I'm engaged at odd moments with the Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley-- it makes nice, light reading to pick up between times. Do you know what an archaeopteryx is? It's a bird. And a stereognathus? I'm not sure myself, but I think it's a missing link, like a bird with teeth or a lizard with wings. No, it isn't either; I've just looked in the book. It's a mesozoic mammal.
I've elected economics this year--very illuminating subject. When I finish that I'm going to take Charity and Reform; then, Mr. Trustee, I'll know just how an orphan asylum ought to be run. Don't you think I'd make an admirable voter if I had my rights? I was twenty-one last week. This is an awfully wasteful country to throw away such an honest, educated, conscientious, intelligent citizen as I would be. Yours always, Judy
7th December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Thank you for permission to visit Julia--I take it that silence means consent.
Such a social whirl as we've been having! The Founder's dance came last week--this was the first year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen being allowed.
I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last summer at their camp--an awfully nice man with red hair--and Julia invited a man from New York, not very exciting, but socially irreproachable. He is connected with the De la Mater Chichesters. Perhaps that means something to you? It doesn't illuminate me to any extent.
However--our guests came Friday afternoon in time for tea in the senior corridor, and then dashed down to the hotel for dinner. The hotel was so full that they slept in rows on the billiard tables, they say. Jimmie McBride says that the next time he is bidden to a social event in this college, he is going to bring one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the campus.
At seven-thirty they came back for the President's reception and dance. Our functions commence early! We had the men's cards all made out ahead of time, and after every dance, we'd leave them in groups, under the letter that stood for their names, so that they could be readily found by their next partners. Jimmie McBride, for example, would stand patiently under 'M' until he was claimed. (At least, he ought to have stood patiently, but he kept wandering off and getting mixed with 'R's' and 'S's' and all sorts of letters.) I found him a very difficult guest; he was sulky because he had only three dances with me. He said he was bashful about dancing with girls he didn't know!
The next morning we had a glee club concert--and who do you think wrote the funny new song composed for the occasion? It's the truth. She did. Oh, I tell you, Daddy, your little foundling is getting to be quite a prominent person!
Anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and I think the men enjoyed it. Some of them were awfully perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls; but they got acclimated very quickly. Our two Princeton men had a beautiful time--at least they politely said they had, and they've invited us to their dance next spring. We've accepted, so please don't object, Daddy dear.
Julia and Sallie and I all had new dresses. Do you want to hear about them? Julia's was cream satin and gold embroidery and she wore purple orchids. It was a DREAM and came from Paris, and cost a million dollars.
Sallie's was pale blue trimmed with Persian embroidery, and went beautifully with red hair. It didn't cost quite a million, but was just as effective as Julia's.
Mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmed with ecru lace and rose satin. And I carried crimson roses which J. McB. sent (Sallie having told him what colour to get). And we all had satin slippers and silk stockings and chiffon scarfs to match.
You must be deeply impressed by these millinery details.
One can't help thinking, Daddy, what a colourless life a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that chiffon and Venetian point and hand embroidery and Irish crochet are to him mere empty words. Whereas a woman--whether she is interested in babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or Plato or bridge--is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.
It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. (That isn't original. I got it out of one of Shakespeare's plays).
However, to resume. Do you want me to tell you a secret that I've lately discovered? And will you promise not to think me vain? Then listen:
I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it with three looking-glasses in the room. A Friend
PS. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels.
20th December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
I've just a moment, because I must attend two classes, pack a trunk and a suit-case, and catch the four-o'clock train--but I couldn't go without sending a word to let you know how much I appreciate my Christmas box.
I love the furs and the necklace and the Liberty scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs and books and purse--and most of all I love you! But Daddy, you have no business to spoil me this way. I'm only human-- and a girl at that. How can I keep my mind sternly fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me with such worldly frivolities?
I have strong suspicions now as to which one of the John Grier Trustees used to give the Christmas tree and the Sunday ice-cream. He was nameless, but by his works I know him! You deserve to be happy for all the good things you do.
Goodbye, and a very merry Christmas. Yours always, Judy
PS. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think you would like her if you knew her?
I meant to write to you from the city, Daddy, but New York is an engrossing place.
I had an interesting--and illuminating--time, but I'm glad I don't belong to such a family! I should truly rather have the John Grier Home for a background. Whatever the drawbacks of my bringing up, there was at least no pretence about it. I know now what people mean when they say they are weighed down by Things. The material atmosphere of that house was crushing; I didn't draw a deep breath until I was on an express train coming back. All the furniture was carved and upholstered and gorgeous; the people I met were beautifully dressed and low-voiced and well-bred, but it's the truth, Daddy, I never heard one word of real talk from the time we arrived until we left. I don't think an idea ever entered the front door.
Mrs. Pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels and dressmakers and social engagements. She did seem a different kind of mother from Mrs. McBride! If I ever marry and have a family, I'm going to make them as exactly like the McBrides as I can. Not for all the money in the world would I ever let any children of mine develop into Pendletons. Maybe it isn't polite to criticize people you've been visiting? If it isn't, please excuse. This is very confidential, between you and me.
I only saw Master Jervie once when he called at tea time, and then I didn't have a chance to speak to him alone. It was really disappointing after our nice time last summer. I don't think he cares much for his relatives--and I am sure they don't care much for him! Julia's mother says he's unbalanced. He's a Socialist--except, thank Heaven, he doesn't let his hair grow and wear red ties. She can't imagine where he picked up his queer ideas; the family have been Church of England for generations. He throws away his money on every sort of crazy reform, instead of spending it on such sensible things as yachts and automobiles and polo ponies. He does buy candy with it though! He sent Julia and me each a box for Christmas.
You know, I think I'll be a Socialist, too. You wouldn't mind, would you, Daddy? They're quite different from Anarchists; they don't believe in blowing people up. Probably I am one by rights; I belong to the proletariat. I haven't determined yet just which kind I am going to be. I will look into the subject over Sunday, and declare my principles in my next.
I've seen loads of theatres and hotels and beautiful houses. My mind is a confused jumble of onyx and gilding and mosaic floors and palms. I'm still pretty breathless but I am glad to get back to college and my books--I believe that I really am a student; this atmosphere of academic calm I find more bracing than New York. College is a very satisfying sort of life; the books and study and regular classes keep you alive mentally, and then when your mind gets tired, you have the gymnasium and outdoor athletics, and always plenty of congenial friends who are thinking about the same things you are. We spend a whole evening in nothing but talk-- talk--talk--and go to bed with a very uplifted feeling, as though we had settled permanently some pressing world problems. And filling in every crevice, there is always such a lot of nonsense--just silly jokes about the little things that come up but very satisfying. We do appreciate our own witticisms!
It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones--I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be for ever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant. It's like farming. You can have extensive farming and intensive farming; well, I am going to have intensive living after this. I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to KNOW I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not. I've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses, even if I never become a Great Author. Did you ever know such a philosopheress as I am developing into? Yours ever, Judy
PS. It's raining cats and dogs tonight. Two puppies and a kitten have just landed on the window-sill.
Hooray! I'm a Fabian.
That's a Socialist who's willing to wait. We don't want the social revolution to come tomorrow morning; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come very gradually in the distant future, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock.
In the meantime, we must be getting ready, by instituting industrial, educational and orphan asylum reforms. Yours, with fraternal love, Judy Monday, 3rd hour
11th February Dear D.-L.-L.,
Don't be insulted because this is so short. It isn't a letter; it's just a LINE to say that I'm going to write a letter pretty soon when examinations are over. It is not only necessary that I pass, but pass WELL. I have a scholarship to live up to. Yours, studying hard, J. A.
5th March Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
President Cuyler made a speech this evening about the modern generation being flippant and superficial. He says that we are losing the old ideals of earnest endeavour and true scholarship; and particularly is this falling-off noticeable in our disrespectful attitude towards organized authority. We no longer pay a seemly deference to our superiors.
I came away from chapel very sober.
Am I too familiar, Daddy? Ought I to treat you with more dignity and aloofness?--Yes, I'm sure I ought. I'll begin again.
My Dear Mr. Smith,
You will be pleased to hear that I passed successfully my mid-year examinations, and am now commencing work in the new semester. I am leaving chemistry--having completed the course in qualitative analysis-- and am entering upon the study of biology. I approach this subject with some hesitation, as I understand that we dissect angleworms and frogs.
An extremely interesting and valuable lecture was given in the chapel last week upon Roman Remains in Southern France. I have never listened to a more illuminating exposition of the subject.
We are reading Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey in connection with our course in English Literature. What an exquisite work it is, and how adequately it embodies his conceptions of Pantheism! The Romantic movement of the early part of the last century, exemplified in the works of such poets as Shelley, Byron, Keats, and Wordsworth, appeals to me very much more than the Classical period that preceded it. Speaking of poetry, have you ever read that charming little thing of Tennyson's called Locksley Hall?
I am attending gymnasium very regularly of late. A proctor system has been devised, and failure to comply with the rules causes a great deal of inconvenience. The gymnasium is equipped with a very beautiful swimming tank of cement and marble, the gift of a former graduate. My room-mate, Miss McBride, has given me her bathing-suit (it shrank so that she can no longer wear it) and I am about to begin swimming lessons.
We had delicious pink ice-cream for dessert last night. Only vegetable dyes are used in colouring the food. The college is very much opposed, both from aesthetic and hygienic motives, to the use of aniline dyes.
The weather of late has been ideal--bright sunshine and clouds interspersed with a few welcome snow-storms. I and my companions have enjoyed our walks to and from classes--particularly from.
Trusting, my dear Mr. Smith, that this will find you in your usual good health, I remain, Most cordially yours, Jerusha Abbott
24th April Dear Daddy,
Spring has come again! You should see how lovely the campus is. I think you might come and look at it for yourself. Master Jervie dropped in again last Friday--but he chose a most unpropitious time, for Sallie and Julia and I were just running to catch a train. And where do you think we were going? To Princeton, to attend a dance and a ball game, if you please! I didn't ask you if I might go, because I had a feeling that your secretary would say no. But it was entirely regular; we had leave-of-absence from college, and Mrs. McBride chaperoned us. We had a charming time--but I shall have to omit details; they are too many and complicated.
Up before dawn! The night watchman called us--six of us--and we made coffee in a chafing dish (you never saw so many grounds!) and walked two miles to the top of One Tree Hill to see the sun rise. We had to scramble up the last slope! The sun almost beat us! And perhaps you think we didn't bring back appetites to breakfast!
Dear me, Daddy, I seem to have a very ejaculatory style today; this page is peppered with exclamations.
I meant to have written a lot about the budding trees and the new cinder path in the athletic field, and the awful lesson we have in biology for tomorrow, and the new canoes on the lake, and Catherine Prentiss who has pneumonia, and Prexy's Angora kitten that strayed from home and has been boarding in Fergussen Hall for two weeks until a chambermaid reported it, and about my three new dresses-- white and pink and blue polka dots with a hat to match--but I am too sleepy. I am always making this an excuse, am I not? But a girls' college is a busy place and we do get tired by the end of the day! Particularly when the day begins at dawn. Affectionately, Judy
15th May Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
Is it good manners when you get into a car just to stare straight ahead and not see anybody else?
A very beautiful lady in a very beautiful velvet dress got into the car today, and without the slightest expression sat for fifteen minutes and looked at a sign advertising suspenders. It doesn't seem polite to ignore everybody else as though you were the only important person present. Anyway, you miss a lot. While she was absorbing that silly sign, I was studying a whole car full of interesting human beings.
The accompanying illustration is hereby reproduced for the first time. It looks like a spider on the end of a string, but it isn't at all; it's a picture of me learning to swim in the tank in the gymnasium.
The instructor hooks a rope into a ring in the back of my belt, and runs it through a pulley in the ceiling. It would be a beautiful system if one had perfect confidence in the probity of one's instructor. I'm always afraid, though, that she will let the rope get slack, so I keep one anxious eye on her and swim with the other, and with this divided interest I do not make the progress that I otherwise might.
Very miscellaneous weather we're having of late. It was raining when I commenced and now the sun is shining. Sallie and I are going out to play tennis--thereby gaining exemption from Gym.
A week later
I should have finished this letter long ago, but I didn't. You don't mind, do you, Daddy, if I'm not very regular? I really do love to write to you; it gives me such a respectable feeling of having some family. Would you like me to tell you something? You are not the only man to whom I write letters. There are two others! I have been receiving beautiful long letters this winter from Master Jervie (with typewritten envelopes so Julia won't recognize the writing). Did you ever hear anything so shocking? And every week or so a very scrawly epistle, usually on yellow tablet paper, arrives from Princeton. All of which I answer with business-like promptness. So you see--I am not so different from other girls--I get letters, too.
Did I tell you that I have been elected a member of the Senior Dramatic Club? Very recherche organization. Only seventy-five members out of one thousand. Do you think as a consistent Socialist that I ought to belong?
What do you suppose is at present engaging my attention in sociology? I am writing (figurez vous!) a paper on the Care of Dependent Children. The Professor shuffled up his subjects and dealt them out promiscuously, and that fell to me. C'est drole ca n'est pas?
There goes the gong for dinner. I'll post this as I pass the box. Affectionately, J.
4th June Dear Daddy,
Very busy time--commencement in ten days, examinations tomorrow; lots of studying, lots of packing, and the outdoor world so lovely that it hurts you to stay inside.
But never mind, vacation's coming. Julia is going abroad this summer-- it makes the fourth time. No doubt about it, Daddy, goods are not distributed evenly. Sallie, as usual, goes to the Adirondacks. And what do you think I am going to do? You may have three guesses. Lock Willow? Wrong. The Adirondacks with Sallie? Wrong. (I'll never attempt that again; I was discouraged last year.) Can't you guess anything else? You're not very inventive. I'll tell you, Daddy, if you'll promise not to make a lot of objections. I warn your secretary in advance that my mind is made up.
I am going to spend the summer at the seaside with a Mrs. Charles Paterson and tutor her daughter who is to enter college in the autumn. I met her through the McBrides, and she is a very charming woman. I am to give lessons in English and Latin to the younger daughter, too, but I shall have a little time to myself, and I shall be earning fifty dollars a month! Doesn't that impress you as a perfectly exorbitant amount? She offered it; I should have blushed to ask for more than twenty-five.
I finish at Magnolia (that's where she lives) the first of September, and shall probably spend the remaining three weeks at Lock Willow-- I should like to see the Semples again and all the friendly animals.
How does my programme strike you, Daddy? I am getting quite independent, you see. You have put me on my feet and I think I can almost walk alone by now.
Princeton commencement and our examinations exactly coincide-- which is an awful blow. Sallie and I did so want to get away in time for it, but of course that is utterly impossible.
Goodbye, Daddy. Have a nice summer and come back in the autumn rested and ready for another year of work. (That's what you ought to be writing to me!) I haven't any idea what you do in the summer, or how you amuse yourself. I can't visualize your surroundings. Do you play golf or hunt or ride horseback or just sit in the sun and meditate?
Anyway, whatever it is, have a good time and don't forget Judy.
10th June Dear Daddy,
This is the hardest letter I ever wrote, but I have decided what I must do, and there isn't going to be any turning back. It is very sweet and generous and dear of you to wish to send me to Europe this summer--for the moment I was intoxicated by the idea; but sober second thoughts said no. It would be rather illogical of me to refuse to take your money for college, and then use it instead just for amusement! You mustn't get me used to too many luxuries. One doesn't miss what one has never had; but it's awfully hard going without things after one has commenced thinking they are his-- hers (English language needs another pronoun) by natural right. Living with Sallie and Julia is an awful strain on my stoical philosophy. They have both had things from the time they were babies; they accept happiness as a matter of course. The World, they think, owes them everything they want. Maybe the World does--in any case, it seems to acknowledge the debt and pay up. But as for me, it owes me nothing, and distinctly told me so in the beginning. I have no right to borrow on credit, for there will come a time when the World will repudiate my claim.
I seem to be floundering in a sea of metaphor--but I hope you grasp my meaning? Anyway, I have a very strong feeling that the only honest thing for me to do is to teach this summer and begin to support myself.
MAGNOLIA, Four days later
I'd got just that much written, when--what do you think happened? The maid arrived with Master Jervie's card. He is going abroad too this summer; not with Julia and her family, but entirely by himself I told him that you had invited me to go with a lady who is chaperoning a party of girls. He knows about you, Daddy. That is, he knows that my father and mother are dead, and that a kind gentleman is sending me to college; I simply didn't have the courage to tell him about the John Grier Home and all the rest. He thinks that you are my guardian and a perfectly legitimate old family friend. I have never told him that I didn't know you--that would seem too queer!
Anyway, he insisted on my going to Europe. He said that it was a necessary part of my education and that I mustn't think of refusing. Also, that he would be in Paris at the same time, and that we would run away from the chaperon occasionally and have dinner together at nice, funny, foreign restaurants.
Well, Daddy, it did appeal to me! I almost weakened; if he hadn't been so dictatorial, maybe I should have entirely weakened. I can be enticed step by step, but I WON'T be forced. He said I was a silly, foolish, irrational, quixotic, idiotic, stubborn child (those are a few of his abusive adjectives; the rest escape me), and that I didn't know what was good for me; I ought to let older people judge. We almost quarrelled--I am not sure but that we entirely did!
In any case, I packed my trunk fast and came up here. I thought I'd better see my bridges in flames behind me before I finished writing to you. They are entirely reduced to ashes now. Here I am at Cliff Top (the name of Mrs. Paterson's cottage) with my trunk unpacked and Florence (the little one) already struggling with first declension nouns. And it bids fair to be a struggle! She is a most uncommonly spoiled child; I shall have to teach her first how to study--she has never in her life concentrated on anything more difficult than ice-cream soda water.
We use a quiet corner of the cliffs for a schoolroom--Mrs. Paterson wishes me to keep them out of doors--and I will say that I find it difficult to concentrate with the blue sea before me and ships a-sailing by! And when I think I might be on one, sailing off to foreign lands-- but I WON'T let myself think of anything but Latin Grammar.
The prepositions a or ab, absque, coram, cum, de e or ex, prae, pro, sine, tenus, in, subter, sub and super govern the ablative.
So you see, Daddy, I am already plunged into work with my eyes persistently set against temptation. Don't be cross with me, please, and don't think that I do not appreciate your kindness, for I do--always--always. The only way I can ever repay you is by turning out a Very Useful Citizen (Are women citizens? I don't suppose they are.) Anyway, a Very Useful Person. And when you look at me you can say, 'I gave that Very Useful Person to the world.'
That sounds well, doesn't it, Daddy? But I don't wish to mislead you. The feeling often comes over me that I am not at all remarkable; it is fun to plan a career, but in all probability I shan't turn out a bit different from any other ordinary person. I may end by marrying an undertaker and being an inspiration to him in his work. Yours ever, Judy
19th August Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,
My window looks out on the loveliest landscape--ocean-scape, rather-- nothing but water and rocks.
The summer goes. I spend the morning with Latin and English and algebra and my two stupid girls. I don't know how Marion is ever going to get into college, or stay in after she gets there. And as for Florence, she is hopeless--but oh! such a little beauty. I don't suppose it matters in the least whether they are stupid or not so long as they are pretty? One can't help thinking, though, how their conversation will bore their husbands, unless they are fortunate enough to obtain stupid husbands. I suppose that's quite possible; the world seems to be filled with stupid men; I've met a number this summer.
In the afternoon we take a walk on the cliffs, or swim, if the tide is right. I can swim in salt water with the utmost ease you see my education is already being put to use!
A letter comes from Mr. Jervis Pendleton in Paris, rather a short concise letter; I'm not quite forgiven yet for refusing to follow his advice. However, if he gets back in time, he will see me for a few days at Lock Willow before college opens, and if I am very nice and sweet and docile, I shall (I am led to infer) be received into favour again.
Also a letter from Sallie. She wants me to come to their camp for two weeks in September. Must I ask your permission, or haven't I yet arrived at the place where I can do as I please? Yes, I am sure I have--I'm a Senior, you know. Having worked all summer, I feel like taking a little healthful recreation; I want to see the Adirondacks; I want to see Sallie; I want to see Sallie's brother-- he's going to teach me to canoe--and (we come to my chief motive, which is mean) I want Master Jervie to arrive at Lock Willow and find me not there.
I MUST show him that he can't dictate to me. No one can dictate to me but you, Daddy--and you can't always! I'm off for the woods. Judy
CAMP MCBRIDE, 6th September
Your letter didn't come in time (I am pleased to say). If you wish your instructions to be obeyed, you must have your secretary transmit them in less than two weeks. As you observe, I am here, and have been for five days.
The woods are fine, and so is the camp, and so is the weather, and so are the McBrides, and so is the whole world. I'm very happy!
There's Jimmie calling for me to come canoeing. Goodbye--sorry to have disobeyed, but why are you so persistent about not wanting me to play a little? When I've worked all the summer I deserve two weeks. You are awfully dog-in-the-mangerish.
However--I love you still, Daddy, in spite of all your faults. Judy
註：英文的傾盆大雨是 raining cats and dogs，字面的意思是下貓跟狗；關於這個片語的起源有一些不同的說法，我也不知道哪個是正確的．