26th September Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Back at college again and an upper classman. Our study is better than ever this year--faces the South with two huge windows and oh! so furnished. Julia, with an unlimited allowance, arrived two days early and was attacked with a fever for settling.

We have new wall paper and oriental rugs and mahogany chairs-- not painted mahogany which made us sufficiently happy last year, but real. It's very gorgeous, but I don't feel as though I belonged in it; I'm nervous all the time for fear I'll get an ink spot in the wrong place.

And, Daddy, I found your letter waiting for me--pardon--I mean your secretary's.

Will you kindly convey to me a comprehensible reason why I should not accept that scholarship? I don't understand your objection in the least. But anyway, it won't do the slightest good for you to object, for I've already accepted it and I am not going to change! That sounds a little impertinent, but I don't mean it so.

I suppose you feel that when you set out to educate me, you'd like to finish the work, and put a neat period, in the shape of a diploma, at the end.

But look at it just a second from my point of view. I shall owe my education to you just as much as though I let you pay for the whole of it, but I won't be quite so much indebted. I know that you don't want me to return the money, but nevertheless, I am going to want to do it, if I possibly can; and winning this scholarship makes it so much easier. I was expecting to spend the rest of my life in paying my debts, but now I shall only have to spend one-half of the rest of it.

I hope you understand my position and won't be cross. The allowance I shall still most gratefully accept. It requires an allowance to live up to Julia and her furniture! I wish that she had been reared to simpler tastes, or else that she were not my room-mate.

This isn't much of a letter; I meant to have written a lot--but I've been hemming four window curtains and three portieres (I'm glad you can't see the length of the stitches), and polishing a brass desk set with tooth powder (very uphill work), and sawing off picture wire with manicure scissors, and unpacking four boxes of books, and putting away two trunkfuls of clothes (it doesn't seem believable that Jerusha Abbott owns two trunks full of clothes, but she does!) and welcoming back fifty dear friends in between.

Opening day is a joyous occasion!

Good night, Daddy dear, and don't be annoyed because your chick is wanting to scratch for herself. She's growing up into an awfully energetic little hen--with a very determined cluck and lots of beautiful feathers (all due to you). Affectionately, Judy

30th September Dear Daddy,

Are you still harping on that scholarship? I never knew a man so obstinate, and stubborn and unreasonable, and tenacious, and bull-doggish, and unable-to-see-other-people's-point-of-view, as you.

You prefer that I should not be accepting favours from strangers.

Strangers!--And what are you, pray?

Is there anyone in the world that I know less? I shouldn't recognize you if I met you in the street. Now, you see, if you had been a sane, sensible person and had written nice, cheering fatherly letters to your little Judy, and had come occasionally and patted her on the head, and had said you were glad she was such a good girl--Then, perhaps, she wouldn't have flouted you in your old age, but would have obeyed your slightest wish like the dutiful daughter she was meant to be.

Strangers indeed! You live in a glass house, Mr. Smith.

And besides, this isn't a favour; it's like a prize--I earned it by hard work. If nobody had been good enough in English, the committee wouldn't have awarded the scholarship; some years they don't. Also-- But what's the use of arguing with a man? You belong, Mr. Smith, to a sex devoid of a sense of logic. To bring a man into line, there are just two methods: one must either coax or be disagreeable. I scorn to coax men for what I wish. Therefore, I must be disagreeable.

I refuse, sir, to give up the scholarship; and if you make any more fuss, I won't accept the monthly allowance either, but will wear myself into a nervous wreck tutoring stupid Freshmen.

That is my ultimatum!

And listen--I have a further thought. Since you are so afraid that by taking this scholarship I am depriving someone else of an education, I know a way out. You can apply the money that you would have spent for me towards educating some other little girl from the John Grier Home. Don't you think that's a nice idea? Only, Daddy, EDUCATE the new girl as much as you choose, but please don't LIKE her any better than me.

I trust that your secretary won't be hurt because I pay so little attention to the suggestions offered in his letter, but I can't help it if he is. He's a spoiled child, Daddy. I've meekly given in to his whims heretofore, but this time I intend to be FIRM.

Yours, With a mind, Completely and Irrevocably and World-without-End Made-up,

Jerusha Abbott

9th November Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I started down town today to buy a bottle of shoe blacking and some collars and the material for a new blouse and a jar of violet cream and a cake of Castile soap--all very necessary; I couldn't be happy another day without them--and when I tried to pay the car fare, I found that I had left my purse in the pocket of my other coat. So I had to get out and take the next car, and was late for gymnasium.

It's a dreadful thing to have no memory and two coats!

Julia Pendleton has invited me to visit her for the Christmas holidays. How does that strike you, Mr. Smith? Fancy Jerusha Abbott, of the John Grier Home, sitting at the tables of the rich. I don't know why Julia wants me--she seems to be getting quite attached to me of late. I should, to tell the truth, very much prefer going to Sallie's, but Julia asked me first, so if I go anywhere it must be to New York instead of to Worcester. I'm rather awed at the prospect of meeting Pendletons EN MASSE, and also I'd have to get a lot of new clothes--so, Daddy dear, if you write that you would prefer having me remain quietly at college, I will bow to your wishes with my usual sweet docility.

I'm engaged at odd moments with the Life and Letters of Thomas Huxley-- it makes nice, light reading to pick up between times. Do you know what an archaeopteryx is? It's a bird. And a stereognathus? I'm not sure myself, but I think it's a missing link, like a bird with teeth or a lizard with wings. No, it isn't either; I've just looked in the book. It's a mesozoic mammal.

I've elected economics this year--very illuminating subject. When I finish that I'm going to take Charity and Reform; then, Mr. Trustee, I'll know just how an orphan asylum ought to be run. Don't you think I'd make an admirable voter if I had my rights? I was twenty-one last week. This is an awfully wasteful country to throw away such an honest, educated, conscientious, intelligent citizen as I would be. Yours always, Judy

7th December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Thank you for permission to visit Julia--I take it that silence means consent.

Such a social whirl as we've been having! The Founder's dance came last week--this was the first year that any of us could attend; only upper classmen being allowed.

I invited Jimmie McBride, and Sallie invited his room-mate at Princeton, who visited them last summer at their camp--an awfully nice man with red hair--and Julia invited a man from New York, not very exciting, but socially irreproachable. He is connected with the De la Mater Chichesters. Perhaps that means something to you? It doesn't illuminate me to any extent.

However--our guests came Friday afternoon in time for tea in the senior corridor, and then dashed down to the hotel for dinner. The hotel was so full that they slept in rows on the billiard tables, they say. Jimmie McBride says that the next time he is bidden to a social event in this college, he is going to bring one of their Adirondack tents and pitch it on the campus.

At seven-thirty they came back for the President's reception and dance. Our functions commence early! We had the men's cards all made out ahead of time, and after every dance, we'd leave them in groups, under the letter that stood for their names, so that they could be readily found by their next partners. Jimmie McBride, for example, would stand patiently under 'M' until he was claimed. (At least, he ought to have stood patiently, but he kept wandering off and getting mixed with 'R's' and 'S's' and all sorts of letters.) I found him a very difficult guest; he was sulky because he had only three dances with me. He said he was bashful about dancing with girls he didn't know!

The next morning we had a glee club concert--and who do you think wrote the funny new song composed for the occasion? It's the truth. She did. Oh, I tell you, Daddy, your little foundling is getting to be quite a prominent person!

Anyway, our gay two days were great fun, and I think the men enjoyed it. Some of them were awfully perturbed at first at the prospect of facing one thousand girls; but they got acclimated very quickly. Our two Princeton men had a beautiful time--at least they politely said they had, and they've invited us to their dance next spring. We've accepted, so please don't object, Daddy dear.

Julia and Sallie and I all had new dresses. Do you want to hear about them? Julia's was cream satin and gold embroidery and she wore purple orchids. It was a DREAM and came from Paris, and cost a million dollars.

Sallie's was pale blue trimmed with Persian embroidery, and went beautifully with red hair. It didn't cost quite a million, but was just as effective as Julia's.

Mine was pale pink crepe de chine trimmed with ecru lace and rose satin. And I carried crimson roses which J. McB. sent (Sallie having told him what colour to get). And we all had satin slippers and silk stockings and chiffon scarfs to match.

You must be deeply impressed by these millinery details.

One can't help thinking, Daddy, what a colourless life a man is forced to lead, when one reflects that chiffon and Venetian point and hand embroidery and Irish crochet are to him mere empty words. Whereas a woman--whether she is interested in babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or Plato or bridge--is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.

It's the one touch of nature that makes the whole world kin. (That isn't original. I got it out of one of Shakespeare's plays).

However, to resume. Do you want me to tell you a secret that I've lately discovered? And will you promise not to think me vain? Then listen:

I'm pretty.

I am, really. I'd be an awful idiot not to know it with three looking-glasses in the room. A Friend

PS. This is one of those wicked anonymous letters you read about in novels.

20th December Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

I've just a moment, because I must attend two classes, pack a trunk and a suit-case, and catch the four-o'clock train--but I couldn't go without sending a word to let you know how much I appreciate my Christmas box.

I love the furs and the necklace and the Liberty scarf and the gloves and handkerchiefs and books and purse--and most of all I love you! But Daddy, you have no business to spoil me this way. I'm only human-- and a girl at that. How can I keep my mind sternly fixed on a studious career, when you deflect me with such worldly frivolities?

I have strong suspicions now as to which one of the John Grier Trustees used to give the Christmas tree and the Sunday ice-cream. He was nameless, but by his works I know him! You deserve to be happy for all the good things you do.

Goodbye, and a very merry Christmas. Yours always, Judy

PS. I am sending a slight token, too. Do you think you would like her if you knew her?

11th January

I meant to write to you from the city, Daddy, but New York is an engrossing place.

I had an interesting--and illuminating--time, but I'm glad I don't belong to such a family! I should truly rather have the John Grier Home for a background. Whatever the drawbacks of my bringing up, there was at least no pretence about it. I know now what people mean when they say they are weighed down by Things. The material atmosphere of that house was crushing; I didn't draw a deep breath until I was on an express train coming back. All the furniture was carved and upholstered and gorgeous; the people I met were beautifully dressed and low-voiced and well-bred, but it's the truth, Daddy, I never heard one word of real talk from the time we arrived until we left. I don't think an idea ever entered the front door.

Mrs. Pendleton never thinks of anything but jewels and dressmakers and social engagements. She did seem a different kind of mother from Mrs. McBride! If I ever marry and have a family, I'm going to make them as exactly like the McBrides as I can. Not for all the money in the world would I ever let any children of mine develop into Pendletons. Maybe it isn't polite to criticize people you've been visiting? If it isn't, please excuse. This is very confidential, between you and me.

I only saw Master Jervie once when he called at tea time, and then I didn't have a chance to speak to him alone. It was really disappointing after our nice time last summer. I don't think he cares much for his relatives--and I am sure they don't care much for him! Julia's mother says he's unbalanced. He's a Socialist--except, thank Heaven, he doesn't let his hair grow and wear red ties. She can't imagine where he picked up his queer ideas; the family have been Church of England for generations. He throws away his money on every sort of crazy reform, instead of spending it on such sensible things as yachts and automobiles and polo ponies. He does buy candy with it though! He sent Julia and me each a box for Christmas.

You know, I think I'll be a Socialist, too. You wouldn't mind, would you, Daddy? They're quite different from Anarchists; they don't believe in blowing people up. Probably I am one by rights; I belong to the proletariat. I haven't determined yet just which kind I am going to be. I will look into the subject over Sunday, and declare my principles in my next.

I've seen loads of theatres and hotels and beautiful houses. My mind is a confused jumble of onyx and gilding and mosaic floors and palms. I'm still pretty breathless but I am glad to get back to college and my books--I believe that I really am a student; this atmosphere of academic calm I find more bracing than New York. College is a very satisfying sort of life; the books and study and regular classes keep you alive mentally, and then when your mind gets tired, you have the gymnasium and outdoor athletics, and always plenty of congenial friends who are thinking about the same things you are. We spend a whole evening in nothing but talk-- talk--talk--and go to bed with a very uplifted feeling, as though we had settled permanently some pressing world problems. And filling in every crevice, there is always such a lot of nonsense--just silly jokes about the little things that come up but very satisfying. We do appreciate our own witticisms!

It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones--I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. Not to be for ever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant. It's like farming. You can have extensive farming and intensive farming; well, I am going to have intensive living after this. I'm going to enjoy every second, and I'm going to KNOW I'm enjoying it while I'm enjoying it. Most people don't live; they just race. They are trying to reach some goal far away on the horizon, and in the heat of the going they get so breathless and panting that they lose all sight of the beautiful, tranquil country they are passing through; and then the first thing they know, they are old and worn out, and it doesn't make any difference whether they've reached the goal or not. I've decided to sit down by the way and pile up a lot of little happinesses, even if I never become a Great Author. Did you ever know such a philosopheress as I am developing into? Yours ever, Judy

PS. It's raining cats and dogs tonight. Two puppies and a kitten have just landed on the window-sill.

Dear Comrade,

Hooray! I'm a Fabian.

That's a Socialist who's willing to wait. We don't want the social revolution to come tomorrow morning; it would be too upsetting. We want it to come very gradually in the distant future, when we shall all be prepared and able to sustain the shock.

In the meantime, we must be getting ready, by instituting industrial, educational and orphan asylum reforms. Yours, with fraternal love, Judy Monday, 3rd hour

11th February Dear D.-L.-L.,

Don't be insulted because this is so short. It isn't a letter; it's just a LINE to say that I'm going to write a letter pretty soon when examinations are over. It is not only necessary that I pass, but pass WELL. I have a scholarship to live up to. Yours, studying hard, J. A.

5th March Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

President Cuyler made a speech this evening about the modern generation being flippant and superficial. He says that we are losing the old ideals of earnest endeavour and true scholarship; and particularly is this falling-off noticeable in our disrespectful attitude towards organized authority. We no longer pay a seemly deference to our superiors.

I came away from chapel very sober.

Am I too familiar, Daddy? Ought I to treat you with more dignity and aloofness?--Yes, I'm sure I ought. I'll begin again.

My Dear Mr. Smith,

You will be pleased to hear that I passed successfully my mid-year examinations, and am now commencing work in the new semester. I am leaving chemistry--having completed the course in qualitative analysis-- and am entering upon the study of biology. I approach this subject with some hesitation, as I understand that we dissect angleworms and frogs.

An extremely interesting and valuable lecture was given in the chapel last week upon Roman Remains in Southern France. I have never listened to a more illuminating exposition of the subject.

We are reading Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey in connection with our course in English Literature. What an exquisite work it is, and how adequately it embodies his conceptions of Pantheism! The Romantic movement of the early part of the last century, exemplified in the works of such poets as Shelley, Byron, Keats, and Wordsworth, appeals to me very much more than the Classical period that preceded it. Speaking of poetry, have you ever read that charming little thing of Tennyson's called Locksley Hall?

I am attending gymnasium very regularly of late. A proctor system has been devised, and failure to comply with the rules causes a great deal of inconvenience. The gymnasium is equipped with a very beautiful swimming tank of cement and marble, the gift of a former graduate. My room-mate, Miss McBride, has given me her bathing-suit (it shrank so that she can no longer wear it) and I am about to begin swimming lessons.

We had delicious pink ice-cream for dessert last night. Only vegetable dyes are used in colouring the food. The college is very much opposed, both from aesthetic and hygienic motives, to the use of aniline dyes.

The weather of late has been ideal--bright sunshine and clouds interspersed with a few welcome snow-storms. I and my companions have enjoyed our walks to and from classes--particularly from.

Trusting, my dear Mr. Smith, that this will find you in your usual good health, I remain, Most cordially yours, Jerusha Abbott

24th April Dear Daddy,

Spring has come again! You should see how lovely the campus is. I think you might come and look at it for yourself. Master Jervie dropped in again last Friday--but he chose a most unpropitious time, for Sallie and Julia and I were just running to catch a train. And where do you think we were going? To Princeton, to attend a dance and a ball game, if you please! I didn't ask you if I might go, because I had a feeling that your secretary would say no. But it was entirely regular; we had leave-of-absence from college, and Mrs. McBride chaperoned us. We had a charming time--but I shall have to omit details; they are too many and complicated.


Up before dawn! The night watchman called us--six of us--and we made coffee in a chafing dish (you never saw so many grounds!) and walked two miles to the top of One Tree Hill to see the sun rise. We had to scramble up the last slope! The sun almost beat us! And perhaps you think we didn't bring back appetites to breakfast!

Dear me, Daddy, I seem to have a very ejaculatory style today; this page is peppered with exclamations.

I meant to have written a lot about the budding trees and the new cinder path in the athletic field, and the awful lesson we have in biology for tomorrow, and the new canoes on the lake, and Catherine Prentiss who has pneumonia, and Prexy's Angora kitten that strayed from home and has been boarding in Fergussen Hall for two weeks until a chambermaid reported it, and about my three new dresses-- white and pink and blue polka dots with a hat to match--but I am too sleepy. I am always making this an excuse, am I not? But a girls' college is a busy place and we do get tired by the end of the day! Particularly when the day begins at dawn. Affectionately, Judy

15th May Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

Is it good manners when you get into a car just to stare straight ahead and not see anybody else?

A very beautiful lady in a very beautiful velvet dress got into the car today, and without the slightest expression sat for fifteen minutes and looked at a sign advertising suspenders. It doesn't seem polite to ignore everybody else as though you were the only important person present. Anyway, you miss a lot. While she was absorbing that silly sign, I was studying a whole car full of interesting human beings.

The accompanying illustration is hereby reproduced for the first time. It looks like a spider on the end of a string, but it isn't at all; it's a picture of me learning to swim in the tank in the gymnasium.

The instructor hooks a rope into a ring in the back of my belt, and runs it through a pulley in the ceiling. It would be a beautiful system if one had perfect confidence in the probity of one's instructor. I'm always afraid, though, that she will let the rope get slack, so I keep one anxious eye on her and swim with the other, and with this divided interest I do not make the progress that I otherwise might.

Very miscellaneous weather we're having of late. It was raining when I commenced and now the sun is shining. Sallie and I are going out to play tennis--thereby gaining exemption from Gym.

A week later

I should have finished this letter long ago, but I didn't. You don't mind, do you, Daddy, if I'm not very regular? I really do love to write to you; it gives me such a respectable feeling of having some family. Would you like me to tell you something? You are not the only man to whom I write letters. There are two others! I have been receiving beautiful long letters this winter from Master Jervie (with typewritten envelopes so Julia won't recognize the writing). Did you ever hear anything so shocking? And every week or so a very scrawly epistle, usually on yellow tablet paper, arrives from Princeton. All of which I answer with business-like promptness. So you see--I am not so different from other girls--I get letters, too.

Did I tell you that I have been elected a member of the Senior Dramatic Club? Very recherche organization. Only seventy-five members out of one thousand. Do you think as a consistent Socialist that I ought to belong?

What do you suppose is at present engaging my attention in sociology? I am writing (figurez vous!) a paper on the Care of Dependent Children. The Professor shuffled up his subjects and dealt them out promiscuously, and that fell to me. C'est drole ca n'est pas?

There goes the gong for dinner. I'll post this as I pass the box. Affectionately, J.

4th June Dear Daddy,

Very busy time--commencement in ten days, examinations tomorrow; lots of studying, lots of packing, and the outdoor world so lovely that it hurts you to stay inside.

But never mind, vacation's coming. Julia is going abroad this summer-- it makes the fourth time. No doubt about it, Daddy, goods are not distributed evenly. Sallie, as usual, goes to the Adirondacks. And what do you think I am going to do? You may have three guesses. Lock Willow? Wrong. The Adirondacks with Sallie? Wrong. (I'll never attempt that again; I was discouraged last year.) Can't you guess anything else? You're not very inventive. I'll tell you, Daddy, if you'll promise not to make a lot of objections. I warn your secretary in advance that my mind is made up.

I am going to spend the summer at the seaside with a Mrs. Charles Paterson and tutor her daughter who is to enter college in the autumn. I met her through the McBrides, and she is a very charming woman. I am to give lessons in English and Latin to the younger daughter, too, but I shall have a little time to myself, and I shall be earning fifty dollars a month! Doesn't that impress you as a perfectly exorbitant amount? She offered it; I should have blushed to ask for more than twenty-five.

I finish at Magnolia (that's where she lives) the first of September, and shall probably spend the remaining three weeks at Lock Willow-- I should like to see the Semples again and all the friendly animals.

How does my programme strike you, Daddy? I am getting quite independent, you see. You have put me on my feet and I think I can almost walk alone by now.

Princeton commencement and our examinations exactly coincide-- which is an awful blow. Sallie and I did so want to get away in time for it, but of course that is utterly impossible.

Goodbye, Daddy. Have a nice summer and come back in the autumn rested and ready for another year of work. (That's what you ought to be writing to me!) I haven't any idea what you do in the summer, or how you amuse yourself. I can't visualize your surroundings. Do you play golf or hunt or ride horseback or just sit in the sun and meditate?

Anyway, whatever it is, have a good time and don't forget Judy.

10th June Dear Daddy,

This is the hardest letter I ever wrote, but I have decided what I must do, and there isn't going to be any turning back. It is very sweet and generous and dear of you to wish to send me to Europe this summer--for the moment I was intoxicated by the idea; but sober second thoughts said no. It would be rather illogical of me to refuse to take your money for college, and then use it instead just for amusement! You mustn't get me used to too many luxuries. One doesn't miss what one has never had; but it's awfully hard going without things after one has commenced thinking they are his-- hers (English language needs another pronoun) by natural right. Living with Sallie and Julia is an awful strain on my stoical philosophy. They have both had things from the time they were babies; they accept happiness as a matter of course. The World, they think, owes them everything they want. Maybe the World does--in any case, it seems to acknowledge the debt and pay up. But as for me, it owes me nothing, and distinctly told me so in the beginning. I have no right to borrow on credit, for there will come a time when the World will repudiate my claim.

I seem to be floundering in a sea of metaphor--but I hope you grasp my meaning? Anyway, I have a very strong feeling that the only honest thing for me to do is to teach this summer and begin to support myself.

MAGNOLIA, Four days later

I'd got just that much written, when--what do you think happened? The maid arrived with Master Jervie's card. He is going abroad too this summer; not with Julia and her family, but entirely by himself I told him that you had invited me to go with a lady who is chaperoning a party of girls. He knows about you, Daddy. That is, he knows that my father and mother are dead, and that a kind gentleman is sending me to college; I simply didn't have the courage to tell him about the John Grier Home and all the rest. He thinks that you are my guardian and a perfectly legitimate old family friend. I have never told him that I didn't know you--that would seem too queer!

Anyway, he insisted on my going to Europe. He said that it was a necessary part of my education and that I mustn't think of refusing. Also, that he would be in Paris at the same time, and that we would run away from the chaperon occasionally and have dinner together at nice, funny, foreign restaurants.

Well, Daddy, it did appeal to me! I almost weakened; if he hadn't been so dictatorial, maybe I should have entirely weakened. I can be enticed step by step, but I WON'T be forced. He said I was a silly, foolish, irrational, quixotic, idiotic, stubborn child (those are a few of his abusive adjectives; the rest escape me), and that I didn't know what was good for me; I ought to let older people judge. We almost quarrelled--I am not sure but that we entirely did!

In any case, I packed my trunk fast and came up here. I thought I'd better see my bridges in flames behind me before I finished writing to you. They are entirely reduced to ashes now. Here I am at Cliff Top (the name of Mrs. Paterson's cottage) with my trunk unpacked and Florence (the little one) already struggling with first declension nouns. And it bids fair to be a struggle! She is a most uncommonly spoiled child; I shall have to teach her first how to study--she has never in her life concentrated on anything more difficult than ice-cream soda water.

We use a quiet corner of the cliffs for a schoolroom--Mrs. Paterson wishes me to keep them out of doors--and I will say that I find it difficult to concentrate with the blue sea before me and ships a-sailing by! And when I think I might be on one, sailing off to foreign lands-- but I WON'T let myself think of anything but Latin Grammar.

The prepositions a or ab, absque, coram, cum, de e or ex, prae, pro, sine, tenus, in, subter, sub and super govern the ablative.

So you see, Daddy, I am already plunged into work with my eyes persistently set against temptation. Don't be cross with me, please, and don't think that I do not appreciate your kindness, for I do--always--always. The only way I can ever repay you is by turning out a Very Useful Citizen (Are women citizens? I don't suppose they are.) Anyway, a Very Useful Person. And when you look at me you can say, 'I gave that Very Useful Person to the world.'

That sounds well, doesn't it, Daddy? But I don't wish to mislead you. The feeling often comes over me that I am not at all remarkable; it is fun to plan a career, but in all probability I shan't turn out a bit different from any other ordinary person. I may end by marrying an undertaker and being an inspiration to him in his work. Yours ever, Judy

19th August Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,

My window looks out on the loveliest landscape--ocean-scape, rather-- nothing but water and rocks.

The summer goes. I spend the morning with Latin and English and algebra and my two stupid girls. I don't know how Marion is ever going to get into college, or stay in after she gets there. And as for Florence, she is hopeless--but oh! such a little beauty. I don't suppose it matters in the least whether they are stupid or not so long as they are pretty? One can't help thinking, though, how their conversation will bore their husbands, unless they are fortunate enough to obtain stupid husbands. I suppose that's quite possible; the world seems to be filled with stupid men; I've met a number this summer.

In the afternoon we take a walk on the cliffs, or swim, if the tide is right. I can swim in salt water with the utmost ease you see my education is already being put to use!

A letter comes from Mr. Jervis Pendleton in Paris, rather a short concise letter; I'm not quite forgiven yet for refusing to follow his advice. However, if he gets back in time, he will see me for a few days at Lock Willow before college opens, and if I am very nice and sweet and docile, I shall (I am led to infer) be received into favour again.

Also a letter from Sallie. She wants me to come to their camp for two weeks in September. Must I ask your permission, or haven't I yet arrived at the place where I can do as I please? Yes, I am sure I have--I'm a Senior, you know. Having worked all summer, I feel like taking a little healthful recreation; I want to see the Adirondacks; I want to see Sallie; I want to see Sallie's brother-- he's going to teach me to canoe--and (we come to my chief motive, which is mean) I want Master Jervie to arrive at Lock Willow and find me not there.

I MUST show him that he can't dictate to me. No one can dictate to me but you, Daddy--and you can't always! I'm off for the woods. Judy

CAMP MCBRIDE, 6th September

Dear Daddy,

Your letter didn't come in time (I am pleased to say). If you wish your instructions to be obeyed, you must have your secretary transmit them in less than two weeks. As you observe, I am here, and have been for five days.

The woods are fine, and so is the camp, and so is the weather, and so are the McBrides, and so is the whole world. I'm very happy!

There's Jimmie calling for me to come canoeing. Goodbye--sorry to have disobeyed, but why are you so persistent about not wanting me to play a little? When I've worked all the summer I deserve two weeks. You are awfully dog-in-the-mangerish.

However--I love you still, Daddy, in spite of all your faults. Judy


開學了,我已經是高年級生.今年我們的書房更棒了 - 有兩扇朝南的大窗,而且,裝飾得好美.茱莉亞開學前兩天回校,用她沒有金額限制的預算瘋狂的裝飾了一番.

我們有全新的壁紙,東方地毯,桃花木椅子 - 不是去年那種已經令我們大大滿足的畫上去的桃花木紋,而是真正的桃花木.好美的木質,但我卻一點歸屬感也沒有,緊張兮兮的擔心墨水滴到某處弄髒家具.

而且,Daddy,我發現一封你的來信 - 不好意思 - 是你的秘書的來信.





這封信內容單薄,我原本打算寫很多的 - 但我一直在忙著幫四扇窗戶的窗簾及三個門簾縫邊(我很得意看不出縫邊的線的痕跡),忙著用牙粉把一張銅製書桌刷亮(很辛苦的工作),忙著用指甲刀磨平電線,還忙著把四箱的書和兩皮箱的衣服歸位(潔若沙愛柏擁有兩皮箱的衣服聽起來似乎很不可思議,但那是真的),而且當中還得忙著歡迎五十位歸隊的同學.


晚安,親愛的Daddy,別因為你的小雞想要獨立自主而生她的氣.她已經長成一隻活力充沛的大雞 - 有著堅定的咯咯叫聲和一身美麗的羽毛(全歸功於你).









況且,這獎學金並不是一份幫助,而是一個獎賞 - 一個我努力念書而得到的獎賞.我的英文作績不夠好,委員會是不會發出這份獎學金的;有幾年他們並沒有發出獎金.但是 - 跟一個男人爭辯有什麼用呢?史密斯先生,你屬於一個缺乏邏輯的性別.有兩個方式讓一個男人產生邏輯,哄他或是反對他.我不屑為了達成目的而哄男人,因此我必須反對他.








今天我到鎮上去採購,買了一罐鞋油,一些做一件新上衣的材料,一瓶紫羅蘭乳霜,一塊香皂 - 都是生活必須品,一些令生活開心的必須品 - 但是當我想要付錢時,我發現把錢包忘在另一件大衣的口袋裏了.所以我得離開商店搭車回來,因此上體育課遲到了.


茱莉亞潘得敦邀請我去她家過耶誕節.你可以想像嗎,史密斯先生?想像孤兒院的潔若莎愛柏坐在一戶富有人家的餐桌邊.不知道為何茱莉亞會邀請我 - 她最近似乎挺喜歡我的.老實說,我比較想要去莎莉家,但茱莉亞先開口邀請,所以如果我要去某處過耶誕節,那也會是紐約,而不是渥爾切斯特了.對於見到潘得敦家族這件事,我有點害怕,再者我得去買很多新衣服 - 所以親愛的Daddy,如果你來信要求我安靜的留在學校過節,我會一如以往的順從你的指示.

最近在讀湯瑪斯赫胥黎(註)的自傳和信件 - 閒暇時的輕鬆閱讀.你知道什麼是始祖鳥嗎?是一種鳥?而且是扁鍬?我也不確定,不過我猜那是進化過渡期的化石,像是有牙齒的鳥,或是有翅膀的蜥蝪.喔,不是.我剛看了書,那是一種中生代的哺乳類.


今年我修了經濟學 - 一個深具啟發性的科目.修完後我要進行慈善事業和改革,然後,理事先生,我會知道如何運作孤兒院.如果我有投票權,你不覺得我會是一個令人欽佩的投票者嗎?上週我剛滿二十一歲.把如此誠實,勤奮,聰明的知識份子排除在選舉之外,這個國家真是浪費人材.




謝謝你同意我去茱莉亞家 - 我想你的沈默等於同意.

最近真是身處於社交漩渦中啊!上週有創校舞會 - 今年是首度所有的學生都可參加;以前只有高年級生才可去的.

我邀請了吉米麥克白,莎莉邀請他在普林斯頓的室友,去年這名室友有去他們家的夏日野營 - 他是一個非常好的紅髮男孩 - 茱莉亞邀請了一個來自紐約的男子,他並不有趣,但舉止合宜.他和德拉麥特奇契斯特有關係.我完全沒聽過這個人,也許你知道他是誰.

總之 - 我們的客人在週五下午到達,剛好趕上大四生廳堂的午茶,然後衝回飯店吃晚飯.他們說因為飯店客滿了,所以他們得排排睡在撞球桌上.吉米麥克白說下回他再受邀到我們學校參加活動時,他要把他們家夏日野營的帳蓬帶來,在我們校園中紮營.


第二天早上我們有一個很開心的演唱會 - 你知道會中那首有趣的新歌是誰寫的嗎?沒錯!真的是她寫的.跟你說,Daddy,你的小棄兒已經變成一個蠻傑出的人了.

總之在這愉悅的兩天我們玩得很開心,我想男士們也是.想到要見到一千個女孩子,有些男士一開始還挺擔心的,但他們很快就調適過來了.我們來自普林斯頓的那兩位男士度過了快樂的時光 - 至少他們是這麼說的,而且他們邀請我們春天去參他們學校的舞會.我們已經接受了,請不要反對,Daddy.





當你想到雪紡紗,威尼斯針法,手工刺繡和愛爾蘭針織對一個男人是如此空洞的字眼時,忍不住會想到男人被迫面對的是多麼沒有色彩的生命啊!然而一個女人 - 不管她是不是對小孩,微生物,丈夫,詩詞,傭人,平行四邊形,園藝,柏拉圖,或是橋牌有興趣 - 對衣服的興趣是永遠根本不變的.





PS 這是一封你在小說中會讀到的匿名信.



我只有幾分鐘的時間可以寫信了,因為我得去上兩堂課,然後打包一大一小的行李箱,趕四點的火車 - 但在我出發之前,我一定要跟你說我有多麼感謝你寄來的耶誕禮盒.

我好愛你送的皮草,項鍊,圍巾,手套,手帕,書和錢包 - 但更重要的是我好愛你!但是,Daddy,你不可以這樣子寵我.我只是一個平凡人 - 一個女孩.當你送我這麼世俗的奢侈品時,我如何專心致力於學習這件事呢?




PS    我也寄了一個小禮物給你.如果你認識她,你會喜歡她嗎?



我度過一個有趣的 - 而且耀眼的 - 耶誕假期,而且我很慶幸我不屬於這麼一戶人家.我真心的寧願我的出身是孤兒院.不管成長過程有多少不順,至少其中沒有偽裝.現在當人們說到身外之物所造成的負擔時,我瞭解他們真正的意思了.那戶人家的物質氛圍令人喘不過氣來;直到搭上回來的火車,我才真正的髮了口氣.他們的家俱充滿了華麗的雕刻和軟墊;在他們家遇到的人個個都打扮高貴,壓低聲音說話,而且教養良好;但說真的,Daddy,從我到達的那一刻起,我沒有聽到一句真心話.我想真心話在他們家是不存在的.


我只有見到哲維少爺一次,他在午茶時間來訪,但我沒有機會和他單獨說話.我好失望,因為去年夏天我們一起在農場玩得好開心.我不認為他有多關心他的親戚,反之亦然.茱莉亞的媽媽說他人格失衡.他是一個社會主義者 - 不過謝天謝地的是他沒有留長髮戴紅領帶.她不知道他那些奇思怪想是哪來的;他們全家好幾代都上英格蘭教堂.他在各種瘋狂的改革上一擲千金,而不是把錢花在有意義的事物上,例如遊艇,汽車和打馬球時騎的小馬.不過他倒是有用他的錢買糖果.他送我和茱莉亞一人一盒耶誕糖果.


我看到好多好多的劇院和飯店和漂亮的房子.腦中塞滿了混亂的瑪瑙和鍍金和馬賽克地磚和手心.我還沒有恢復平靜,但很興趣回到校園和我的書堆中 - 我相信我真的是個學生;學校的平靜氣氛比紐約更令人振奮.大學生活讓人心生滿足;書籍,學習和固定的課程讓人精神充實,讀累了可以去體育館或是操場運動一下,而且還有很多氣味相投的朋友和你思考著相同的事情.我們整晚除了說話什麼也沒做,然後精神奕奕的上床睡覺去,好像我們解決了重要的世界大事似的.而在每一個生活中的細縫是無止盡的廢話 - 一些對瑣碎小事脫口而出的蠢笑話.我們還蠻欣賞我們的俏皮話的.

並不是最大的喜悅才是最重要的;喜悅是來自無數的小事 - 我已經發現快樂的秘訣了,Daddy,就是活在當下.不要老是對過去的事感到後悔,或是對未來抱有期望;而是讓眼前的這一刻過得最最飽滿.就跟種田一樣,你可以在廣大的農場努力工作著,而我則打算努力的生活著.我要充分享受每一秒,而且在我享受著每一秒的生活時,我要知道自己正在享受人生.大部份的人不是在過生活,而是在比賽.他們努力的想要達到遠在地平線的目標,他們熱切的追逐,跑得氣喘噓噓,導致沒空欣賞沿途美麗寧靜的鄉村景緻;當他們回過神來時,發現自己已經年老體衰,驚覺有沒有達到目標根本不重要.我決定要在路邊坐下,把所有的小幸福疊起來堆得高高的,即使我因此而不能成為一個大作家.你有聽過如我這般的女哲學家嗎?


PS 今晚下著傾盆大雨.兩隻小狗和一隻小貓才剛落到窗台上.(註)

註:英文的傾盆大雨是 raining cats and dogs,字面的意思是下貓跟狗;關於這個片語的起源有一些不同的說法,我也不知道哪個是正確的.


















想必你會很高興的聽到我成功的考過期中考,現在正朝新學期的功課而努力.我不再修化學 - 而目己經完成定性分析 - 正進入生物學的課程.對於修習生理學我心存猶豫,因為就我所知我們得分屍蚯蚓和青蛙.






近來氣候理想 - 耀眼的陽光和白雲,點綴其中是一些受歡迎的暴風雪.我和我的同伴很喜歡走路上下課,尤其是上課.





春天來了!校園好美.我覺得你應該親自過來看一下.上週五哲維少爺又來了 - 但他偏偏挑了一個最不合適的時間,因為莎莉,茱莉亞和我正趕著去搭火車.你知道我們去哪裏嗎?我們去普林斯敦大學參加一個舞會和球賽.我沒有事先問過你,因為我覺得你的秘書會說不可以.但那是完全合乎規定的,我們向學校請假,麥克白太太陪著我們去.我們玩的好開心 - 不過我得省略一些細節,因為太多太複雜了.


黎明前便醒了.夜班警衛叫我們起床 - 共六個人 - 我們煮了咖啡(你絕沒見過這麼多咖啡渣!),然後走了兩哩路去獨樹山丘看日出.最後一個山坡爬得最吃力!我們差一點被太陽打敗.而且也許你覺得之後我們會沒有胃口吃早餐.


原本我打算寫的是:運動場邊正在開花的樹和新的媒渣步道,明天要上的煩人的生物學,湖裏的新獨木舟,凱薩琳得了肺炎,普利西的小貓從家裏跑出來,而且在宿舍待了兩個禮拜才被清潔女工發現,還有我的三件新洋裝 - 白色,粉紅色和藍色的小圓點,以及一頂搭配的帽子 - 但是我實在太睏了.我只是在找藉口,對嗎?但女子大學是一個忙碌的地方,每天結束時我們都極度疲倦,黎明起床那天尤其累啊.








最近的天氣很零星瑣碎.開始寫信時在下雨,現在則是出太陽.莎莉和我要去打網球 - 這樣一來就不用進體育館了.


這封信好久以前就該寫完的.你不會介意吧,Daddy?我真的很喜歡寫信給你,那給我一種擁有家人的感覺.你知道嗎?你並不是我唯一寫信的對象,除了你以外還有其他兩個人.這個冬天哲維少爺寫了一些美妙的長信給我(信封是打字機打的,以免茱莉亞認出他的筆跡.)你有聽過如此令人震驚的事嗎?另外大概每隔一週,我會收到從普林斯敦大學寄出的一封潦草的,用黃色筆記本寫的信.兩者我都有如處理公事般的即刻回覆.你瞧 - 我現在和其他女生一樣了 - 也有信可以收了.







最近好忙碌 - 再十天就是畢業典禮,明天大考,要讀好多書,打包好多行李,而外面的世界如此美麗,待在室內是一件很受傷的事.

不過沒關係,暑假快來了.茱莉亞要出國過暑假 - 連這次在內是第四次.毫無疑問的,Daddy,好運並沒有被公平的發放.莎莉和往常一樣要去阿迪朗戴克度假.你知道我要如何過暑假嗎?你可以猜三次.柳樹農場?錯.跟莎莉去阿迪朗戴克?錯.(我決不會再想要去,因為去年的經驗太令人失望.)你猜不出來了嗎?看來你不是很專心,Daddy.如果你保證不會做出連串的反對,我會告訴你正確的答案.不過我得先跟你的秘書說我已經打定主意非做不可了.


九月一日我在瑪哥諾利亞(她住的地方)結束家教,剩下的三個禮拜可能會待在柳樹農場 - 我想看看山普夫婦和農場所有的動物.


普林斯敦大學和我們學校期末考落在同一天 - 真討厭.莎莉和我好希望可以及時趕過去,但那當然是不可能的.





這是我寫過最難的信,但我還是決定這麼做,而且沒有任何轉圜的餘地.你想送我去歐洲過暑假是一件無比大方又窩心的提議 - 有那麼一會我完全被這個提議所吸引,但冷靜下來後我得說不.因為拒絕你贊助學費,但卻接受你贊助娛樂是一件不合邏輯的事.你不能讓我習慣於太多奢華的事物.一個人不會去想念從未擁有過的物品.由儉入奢易,由奢反儉難.和莎莉及茱莉亞住當室友,對我的禁慾哲學已經是一大折磨.他們從小便擁有一切,快樂對他們而言是如此的理所當然.他們覺得這個世界該給他們任何想要獲得的東西,也許真是如此 - 似乎是這個世界欠她們的.但對我來說,這個世界不欠我任何東西,而且在一開始我就被明確的告知.我沒有權利用信用預支,因為有一天世界會拒絕我的索求.




當我剛寫完上面那部份時,你知道發生什麼事嗎?佣人拿著哲維少爺的名片進來.這個夏天他也要出國,不過不是跟茱莉亞和她的家人一起去,而是獨自一人.我跟他說你有邀請我去,跟一群女孩,有一位女士帶領照顧.他知道你的存在,Daddy.他知道我父母雙亡,一位好心的紳士贊助我讀大學;不過我還沒有勇氣跟他說孤兒院和其他的事.他以為你是我的監護人,一個正派的家庭老友.我沒有跟說其實我並不認識你 - 因為那聽起來很奇怪.



總之,我迅速的打包行李並且上來回到寢室.我想我最好在寫完這封信之前就氣消.現在我的怒氣只剩餘燼了.此刻我人在山崖莊(派特森太太家的名字),行李還沒打開,佛羅倫斯(小的那個)已經在跟拉丁名詞奮戰.她的確需要奮戰,因為她是個被寵壞的小孩.我應該先教她如何讀書才對 - 她這一生還沒有認真專注在比冰淇淋汽水更難的事情上.

我們的教室在山崖一個安靜的角落 - 派特森太太希望我不要讓她的女兒往外跑 - 但我得說戶外藍藍的海洋和過往的帆船很難令人專心.而且當我想到我可能坐在其中一艘船航向國外 - 不,除了拉丁文法我禁止自己有任何其他的想法.






我的窗外是一片最美麗的風景 - 應該說是海景 - 除了海水和岩石外別無他物.

夏天在進行著.早上我和我的兩個傻女孩讀著拉丁文,英文和代數.我不知道瑪麗安要如何進入大學,或是進去後要如何留在大學.至於佛倫羅斯,她是無藥可救了 - 但是天啊,她真是一個漂亮的小人兒.只要長得漂亮,聰明與否一點也沒關係.不過我忍不住要想她們的談話會不會令她們的丈夫感到索然無味,除非她們運氣好到獲得和她們一樣蠢的丈夫.我覺得那蠻有可能的,這世界好像充滿了蠢男人,這個夏天我就遇見了幾個.

下午我們在崖邊散步,或是游泳,如果潮水恰當.我現在可以輕而易舉的在海水中游泳 - 你瞧,我受的教育已經可以派上用場了.


莎莉也捎來了一封信.她希望我九月去他們的露營待兩週.我必須獲得你的充許嗎?還是我已經到達可以自行做主的階段?是的,我想我已經可以自己做決定了,我要升大四了,你知道的.在工作了整個夏天之後,我想用健康的方式好好的放鬆一番;我想看看阿迪朗戴克;我想見莎莉;我想見莎莉的哥哥 - 他要教我划獨木舟 - 而且(其實這才是我最主要的動機)我希望哲維少爺到達柳樹農場時,發現我並不在那兒.

我必須讓他知道他不能要求我言聽計從.沒有人可以如此要求我,除了你以外,Daddy - 但你也不能永遠的如此要求我.我要出發去露營了.







吉米在叫我去划獨木舟了 - 對不起我沒有聽你的話,但為何你這麼堅持不讓我去玩耍一番呢?當我努力的工作了一個夏天之後,休假兩週是一件理直氣壯的事.狗佔住馬糟不讓馬吃草.你真是糟糕啊,Daddy.

不過 - 我還是愛你的,Daddy,僅管你並不完美.