Spring 1900, "My darling, I cannot write you a little word tonight"

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Spring 1900, "My darling, I cannot write you a little word tonight"




Woolley speaks of her and Marks being too proud to admit their feelings at first, their love for each other, and their age difference


Mary Woolley


April 10 1900





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My darling, I cannot write
you a little word tonight,
This longing to see you
sends me to my desk as
regularly as the clock comes
‘round to nine, and if I
talk with you in person for
a little, the “empty place”
seems not quite so forlorn!
It is almost time for our
after sunrise supper, which
we always have Sunday
evening, my mother, father
and I, such a cozy little
group - there is a place
at the table for you, dear,
as well as the place in my
heart. How well you fit into it,
Jeannette - Does it seem possible
that it is only a few short
weeks since we have felt
first we could say all that
we feel, without restraint or
constraint? Two such proud
ladies, too, each one afraid
that she felt more than
the other and determined
to keep her own self-
respect! How fond we are
of that last, you and I,
and how strange it is, con-
sidering that fact, that we
did not keep on until the
end of time, very good friends
very polite and considerate
of each other, without having
the joy of knowing and express-
ing all the deep affection which
each had in her heart for
the other.
It makes me so happy to see
you happy - Jeannette - to feel
that I have a part in it,
you are so dear to me be-
cause you are what you are -
yourself! as I cannot ex-
press it in words and one
of my deepest joys the last
few weeks has been to see
your face grow happier and to
realize that perhaps I had
something to do with it!
I cannot tell you what you
are to me, first a part of
my life and a very big part -
No one for whom I long when
I am tired or perplexed
or pleased or -----in what-
ever mood I may happen
to be! There are many
things in life which are
very agreeable, but which
are not essential - I enjoy
lots of the things, which
I having just now --
but----I could be without
them-- It would be pretty hard
back now, having once known
your love, to live cheerfully
and happily without it.
So, dear, do not try to be
like me - I fall so far
short - Set us rather by
to help each other to be what
we wish our lives to be, I
must be strong this next
term, in so many ways,
dearest, and I shall rely up-
on you, oh! so much, not
in the way of doing things
if only you can be with
me during the hour which
is yours and to which I
look forward all of the
twenty-four. It is work
which to wait for great
things and an affection as
deep and strong as ours is
surely a great thing in our
Tuesday afternoon --
I am just home from
Boston and find your
letter, finished Sunday
evening awaiting me.
Dear, dear little girl, if
only I could put my
arms around you and
try to make it easier!
I cannot bear to have
you away from me, and
away when you need
me - I have felt every
evening that I must see
you and I have tried to
make writing take the
place of being - but it
does not, does it, dear?
I cannot say all that
I wish - I must send
this very soon, in order
that you may hear from
me tomorrow - My Sunday
letter went half-finished
but never mind. I should
near finish saying all
that I have in my
heart to say to you,
Jeannette. I did not
call you “child,” indeed
I did not! I am not
so old - you need
not think it, no matter what the
papers may say!
Dear, I have a lovely scheme, which
is, for us to go to the shore, to
some quiet place, for a lovely
Sunday together, if not during the
term, at least right soon after it.
I had a moment’s talk with Miss
Plucter [??] at the reception Saturday
which I will follow up by a letter or
call - she did not say that she had an
opening in her school, neither did
she say that she had not - I have
a faint hope; at least I will try.
Dear, this must go - and with it goes
the tenderest love which is in me to
give to my friend. - and that is
yours, as you well know -
288 High Street
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
April tenth, nineteen hundred




Mary Woolley, “Spring 1900, "My darling, I cannot write you a little word tonight",” Digital Exhibits of the Archives and Special Collections, accessed November 16, 2018, https://ascdc.mtholyoke.edu/items/show/557.

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