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Beloved: This is your first letter from me: yet it is not the first I have
written to you. There are letters to you lying at love's dead-letter
office in this same writing so many, my memory has lost count of them!
This is my confession: I told you I had one to make, and you laughed: you
did not know how serious it was for to be in love with you long before
you were in love with me nothing can be more serious than that!
You deny that I was: yet I know when you first really loved me. All at
once, one day something about me came upon you as a surprise: and how,
except on the road to love, can there be surprises? And in the surprise
came love. You did not know me before. Before then, it was only the
other nine entanglements which take hold of the male heart and occupy it
till the tenth is ready to make one knot of them all.
In the letter written that day, I said, "You love me." I could never
have said it before; though I had written twelve letters to my love for
you, I had not once been able to write of your love for me. Was not
Now I have confessed! I thought to discover myself all blushes, but my
face is cool: you have kissed all my blushes away! Can I ever be ashamed
in your eyes now, or grow rosy because of anything you or I think?
So! you have robbed me of one of my charms: I am brazen. Can you love
You love me, you love me; you are wonderful! we are both wonderful, you
Well, it is good for you to know I have waited and wished, long before
the thing came true. But to see you waiting and wishing, when the
thing was true all the time: oh! that was the trial! How not suddenly
to throw my arms round you and cry, "Look, see! O blind mouth, why are
And you never knew? Dearest, I love you for it, you never knew! I believe
a man, when he finds he has won, thinks he has taken the city by assault:
he does not guess how to the insiders it has been a weary siege, with
flags of surrender fluttering themselves to rags from every wall and
window! No: in love it is the women who are the strategists: and they have
at last to fall into the ambush they know of with a good grace.
You must let me praise myself a little for the past, since I can never
praise myself again. You must do that for me now! There is not a battle
left for me to win. You and peace hold me so much a prisoner, have so
caught me from my own way of living, that I seem to hear a pin drop
twenty years ahead of me: it seems an event! Dearest, a thousand times,
I would not have it be otherwise: I am only too willing to drop out of
existence altogether and find myself in your arms instead. Giving you my
love, I can so easily give you my life. Ah, my dear, I am yours so
utterly, so gladly! Will you ever find it out, you who took so long to