Consequences are of no
consequence. Passion must be served. When could a miracle
be more pertinent?
It is just fifty years ago now; it was during the Indian
Mutiny. A lady friend of mine did me the honour to make me
her confidant. She paid the same compliment to many - most
of her friends; and the friends (as is their wont) confided
in one another. Poor thing! her case was a sad one. Whose
case is not? She was, by her own account, in the forty-
second year of her virginity; and it may be added,
parenthetically, an honest fourteen stone in weight.
She was in love with a hero of Lucknow. It cannot be said
that she knew him only by his well-earned fame. She had seen
him, had even sat by him at dinner. He was young, he was
handsome. It was love at sight, accentuated by much
meditation - 'obsessions [peradventure] des images
genetiques.' She told me (and her other confidants, of
course) that she prayed day and night that this distinguished
officer, this handsome officer, might return her passion.
And her letters to me (and to other confidants) invariably
ended with the entreaty that I (and her other, &c.) would
offer up a similar prayer on her behalf. Alas! poor soul,
poor body! I should say, the distinguished officer, together
with the invoked Providence, remained equally insensible to
her supplications. The lady rests in peace. The soldier,
though a veteran, still exults in war.
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