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Jena, March 31st.
Dear Mr. Anstruther,—Yes, of course I will be friends. And if I can be of any use in the way of admonishment, which seems to be my strong point, pray, as people say in books, command me. Naturally we are all much interested in you, and shall watch your career, I hope, with pleasure. I am sorry the Foreign Office bores you so much. Do you really have to spend your days gumming up envelopes? Not for that did you win all those scholarships and things at Eton and Oxford, and study Goethe and the minor German prophets so diligently here. You say it will go on for a year. Well, if that is your fate and you cannot escape it, gum away gayly, since gum you must. Later on when you are an ambassador and everybody is talking to you at once, you will look back on the envelope time as a blessed period when at least you were left alone. But I hope you have a nice wet sponge to do it with, and are not so lost to what is expedient as to be like a little girl I sat next to yesterday at a coffee party, who had smudged most of the cream that ought to have gone inside her outside her, and when I suggested a handkerchief said she didn't hold with handkerchiefs and never had one. 'But what does one do, then,' I asked, looking at her disgraceful little mouth, 'in a case like this? You can't borrow somebody else's—it wouldn't be being select.' 'Oh,' she said airily, 'don't you know? You take your tongue.' And in a twinkling the thing was done. But please do not you do that with the envelopes. My father and step-mother send you many kind messages. Yours sincerely,
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