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to her, and say:

'What's the matter, Dora?'

Dora would look up hopelessly, and reply, 'They won't come right.
They make my head ache so. And they won't do anything I want!'

Then I would say, 'Now let us try together. Let me show you,

Then I would commence a practical demonstration, to which Dora
would pay profound attention, perhaps for five minutes; when she
would begin to be dreadfully tired, and would lighten the subject
by curling my hair, or trying the effect of my face with my
shirt-collar turned down. If I tacitly checked this playfulness,
and persisted, she would look so scared and disconsolate, as she
became more and more bewildered, that the remembrance of her
natural gaiety when I first strayed into her path, and of her being
my child-wife, would come reproachfully upon me; and I would lay
the pencil down, and call for the guitar.

I had a great deal of work to do, and had many anxieties, but the
same considerations made me keep them to myself. I am far from
sure, now, that it was right to do this, but I did it for my
child-wife's sake. I search my breast, and I commit its secrets,
if I know them, without any reservation to this paper. The old
unhappy loss or want of something had, I am conscious, some place
in my heart; but not to the embitterment of my life. When I walked
alone in the fine weather, and thought of the summer days when all
the air had been filled with my boyish enchantment, I did miss
something of the realization of my dreams; but I thought it was a
softened glory of the Past, which nothing could have thrown upon
the present time. I did feel, sometimes, for a little while, that
I could have wished my wife had been my counsellor; had had more
character and purpose, to sustain me and improve me by; had been
endowed with power to fill up the void which somewhere seemed to be
about me; but I felt as if this were an unearthly consummation of
my happiness, that never had been meant to be, and never could have

I was a boyish husband as to years. I had known the softening
influence of no other sorrows or experiences than those recorded in
these leaves. If I did any wrong, as I may have done much, I did
it in mistaken love, and in my want of wisdom. I write the exact
truth. It would avail me nothing to extenuate it now.
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