In all the world, dearest, what is more unequal than love between a man and a woman? I have been spending an amorous morning and want to share it with you: but lo, the task of bringing that bit of my life into your vision is altogether beyond me.
What have I been doing? Dear man, I have been dressmaking! and dress, when one is in the toils, is but a love-letter writ large. You will see and admire the finished thing, but you will take no interest in the composition. Therefore I say your love is unequal to mine.
For think how ravished I would be if you brought me a coat and told me it was all your own making! One day you had thrown down a mere tailor-made thing in the hall, and yet I kissed it as I went by. And that was at a time when we were only at the handshaking stage, the palsied beginnings of love:—you, I mean!
But oh, to get you interested in the dress I was making to you to-day!—the beautiful flowing opening,—not too flowing: the elaborate central composition where the heart of me has to come, and the wind-up of the skirt, a long reluctant tailing-off, full of commas and colons of ribbon to make it seem longer, and insertions everywhere. I dreamed myself in it, retiring through the door after having bidden you good-night, and you watching the long disappearing eloquence of that tail, still saying to you as it vanished, "Good-by, good-by. I love you so! see me, how slowly I am going!"
Well, that is a bit of my dress-making, a very corporate part of my affection for you; and you are not a bit interested, for I have shown you none of the seamy side; it is that which interests you male creatures, Zolaites, every one of you.
And what have you to show similar, of the thought of me entering into all your masculine pursuits? Do you go out rabbit-shooting for the love of me? If so, I trust you make a miss of it every time! That you are a sportsman is one of the very hardest things in life that I have to bear.
Last night Peterkins came up with me to keep guard against any further intrusion of mice. I put her to sleep on the couch: but she discarded the red shawl I had prepared for her at the bottom, and lay at the top most uncomfortably in a parcel of millinery into which from one end I had already made excavations, so that it formed a large bag. Into the further end of this bag Turks crept and snuggled down: but every time she turned in the night (and it seemed very often) the brown paper crackled and woke me up. So at last I took it up and shook out its contents; and Pippins slept soundly on red flannel till Nan-nan brought the tea.
You will notice that in this small narrative Peterkins gets three names: it is a fashion that runs through the household, beginning with the Mother-Aunt, who on some days speaks of Nan-nan as "the old lady," and sometimes as "that girl," all according to the two tempers she has about Nan-nan's privileged position in regard to me.
You were only here yesterday, and already I want you again so much, so much!
Your never satisfied but always loving.