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Jena, Nov. 29th.
My darling, forgive me. If I could only get it back! I who hate unreasonableness, who hate bitterness, who hate exacting women, petty women, jealous women, to write a thing so angry. How horrible this letter-writing is. If I had said all that to you in a sudden flare of wrath I would have been sorry so immediately, and at once have made everything fair and sweet again with a kiss. And I never would have got beyond the first words, never have reached my step-mother's silly and rude remarks, never have dreamed of repeating the unkind, unjust things. Now, Roger, listen to me: my faith in you is perfect, my love for you is perfect, but I am so undisciplined, so new to love, that you must be patient, you must be ready to forgive easily for a little while, till I have had time to grow wise. Just think, when you feel irritated, of the circumstances of my life. Everything has come so easily, so naturally to you. But I have been always poor, always second-rate—oh, it's true—shut out from the best things and people, lonely because the society I could have was too little worth having, and the society I would have liked didn't want me. How could it? It never came our way, never even knew we were there. I have had a shabby, restricted, incomplete life; I mean the last ten years of it, since my father married again. Before that, if the shabbiness was there I did not see it; there seemed to be sunshine every day, and room to breathe, and laughter enough; but then I was a child, and saw sunshine everywhere. Is there not much excuse for some one who has found a treasure, some one till then very needy, if his anxiety lest he should be robbed makes him—irritable? You see, I put it mildly. I know very well that irritable isn't the right word. I know very well what are the right words, and how horrid they are, and how much ashamed I am of their bitter truth. Pity me. A person so unbalanced, so stripped of all self-control that she writes things she knows must hurt to the being she loves so utterly, does deserve pity from better, serener natures. I do not understand you yet. I do not understand the ways yet of people who live as you do. I am socially inferior, and therefore sensitive and suspicious. I am groping about, and am so blind that only sometimes can I dimly feel how dark it really is. I have built up a set of ideals about love and lovers, absurd crude things, clumsy fabrics suited to the conditions of Rauchgasse, and the first time you do not exactly fit them I am desperately certain that the world is coming to an end. But how hopeless it is, this trying to explain, this trying to undo. How shall I live till you write that you do still love me?
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