The kempton wace letters

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TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheKempton-WaceLetters,by JackLondonandAnnaStrunsky ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith almostnorestrictionswhatsoever Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org Title:TheKempton-WaceLetters Author:JackLondon AnnaStrunsky ReleaseDate:February27,2010[EBook#31422] Language:English ***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEKEMPTON-WACELETTERS*** ProducedbyCurtisWeyant,MartinPettitandtheOnline DistributedProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net(This filewasproducedfromimagesgenerouslymadeavailable byTheInternetArchive/AmericanLibraries.) THEKEMPTON-WACELETTERS JACKLONDON'SBOOKS "Heopenedwindowsforthemuponthesplendourandthesavagery,thepompandthepitif thathehadfoundinmanycornersoftheearth Hesawthatineveryscene,ineveryhumana therewasanelementwhichlifteditintotheregionofthebeautiful,andhemadeallhisreade it,whetherhewaslearnedorignorant;cultivatedoronlyjustabletoread Fulljusticehas been done to him There was no silver in his purse, only gold."—Hamilton Fyfe in "The Mail." TheValleyoftheMoon JerryoftheIslands Michael,BrotherofJerry HeartsofThree IslandTales TheRedOne TheAcorn-Planter TheLittleLadyoftheBigHouse *TheMutinyoftheElsinore TheStrengthoftheStrong TheNight-Born *ADaughteroftheSnows LostFace SouthSeaTales WhenGodLaughs *SmokeBellew TheKempton-WaceLetters SmokeandShorty TheCruiseoftheSnark TheCruiseoftheDazzler TurtlesofTasman 7s 6d netand4 7s 6d netand2s 7s 6d netand2 6s netand2s 6s netand2s 6s netand1s 7s 6d netand2s 6s netand1s 6s netand1s 6s netand1s 6s netand1s BeforeAdam TheScarletPlague TheGodofHisFathers Adventure TheHouseofPride LoveofLife ASonoftheSun AnOdysseyoftheNorth ChildrenoftheFrost *JohnBarleycorn *TheJacket Revolution WaroftheClasses TheHumanDrift TheIronHeel TheRoad *Filmshavebeenfoundedonthesenovels MILLS&BOON,Ltd.,49RupertSt.,London,W.1 THEKEMPTON-WACE LETTERS BY JACKLONDON AND ANNASTRUNSKY "AndofnaughtelsethanLovewouldwe discourse."—DANTE,SonnetII MILLS&BOON,LIMITED 49RUPERTSTREET LONDON,W.1 CopyrightintheUnitedStatesofAmerica,1903,bytheMacmillan CompanyPrintedinGreatBritainbyLove&MalcomsonLtd LondonandRedhill KEMPTON-WACELETTERS I FROMDANEKEMPTONTOHERBERTWACE LONDON, 3AQUEEN'SROAD,CHELSEA,S.W August14,19— Yesterday I wrote formally, rising to the occasion like the conventional happy fatherratherthanthemanwhobelievesinthemiracleandlivesforit Yesterday Istintedmyself Itookyouinmyarms,gladofwhatisandstatelywithrespect forthefulnessofyourmanhood Itisto-daythatIletmyselfleapintoyoursina passionofjoy Idwellonwhathascometopassandinflatemyselfwithpridein yourfulfilment,moreasamotherwould,Ithink,andsheyourmother Butwhydidyounotwritebefore?Afterall,thegreateventwasnotwhenyou found your offer of marriage accepted, but when you found you had fallen in love Thenwasyourhour Thenwasthetimeforcongratulation,whenthecall wasfirstsoundedandthereveilleofTimeandAboutfelluponyoursoulandthe marchtoanother'sdestinywasbegun Itisalwaysmoreimportanttolovethanto beloved Iwishithadbeenvouchsafedmetobebywhenyourspiritofasudden grewwillingtobestowitselfwithoutquestionorletorhopeofreturn,whenthe selfbrokeupandyougrewfaintobeatoutyourstrengthinpraiseandservice for the woman who was soaring high in the blue wastes You have known her long, and you must have been hers long, yet no word of her and of your love reachedme Itwasnotkindtobesilent Barbaraspokeyesterdayofyourfastidiousness,andwetoldeachotherthatyou had gained a triumph of happiness in your love, for you are not of those who cheatthemselves Youchooserigorously,strainingfortheheartoftheendasdo allrigoristswhoarealsohedonists Becauseweareinpossessionofthisbitof data as to your temperamental cosmos we can congratulate you with the more abandon Oh, Herbert, you know that this is a rampant spring, and that on leavingBarbaraItrampedoutoftheconfinesintothegreen,happier,italmost seems,thanIhaveeverbeen?Doyouknowthatbecauseyouloveawomanand shelovesyou,andthatbecauseyouaresweptalongbycertainforces,thatIam happyandfeelmyselfinsightofmyportionofimmortalityonearth,farmore thanbecauseofmybooks,dearlad,farmore? IwishIcouldflyEnglandandgettoyou ShouldIhaveashadelessofyouthan formerly, if we were together now? From your too much green of wealth, a barrennessoffriendship?Itdoesnotmatter;whatishergaincannotbemyloss One power is mine,—without hindrance, in freedom and in right, to say to Ellen's son, "Godspeed!" to place Hester Stebbins's hand in his, and bid them forthtothesunrise,intothegloryofday! Everyourdevotedfather, DANEKEMPTON XXXV FROMTHESAMETOTHESAME STANFORDUNIVERSITY November27,19— Beoutspoken!WhatwillhappenIcanonlysurmise,butyoumusttellherwhat sheistoyou Setherright ThisisthefourthletterinsevendaysaboutHester Iamendeavouringtomake youacquaintedwithher Ihadnoneedifyoulovedher Howshelovesyou!Yet she thinks that your calm is depth, your silence prayer Her pride protects her, butshestrainsforthewordwhichdoesnotcome Shehasneverbeenquitesure, andIthank Godforthat Hesterhasbeenfearingsomewhat,andshehas been doubting, and it is this that may save her when the night sets in and the storm breaksoverherhead You,too,arethankfulthatherinstinctsservedhertrueandthatsheneverquite acceptedthegiftthatseemedtohavebeenproffered? You have a right to demand the reason for my renewed attack It is because I have learned the strength of her love "You are blessed beyond words," I said twodaysago,butasyourejecttheblessing,Hestermustknowitandyoumust tellher Herbert,Iamyourfriend DANEKEMPTON XXXVI FROMHERBERTWACETODANEKEMPTON THERIDGE, BERKELEY,CALIFORNIA November29,19— Whataflutterofletters!AndwhataflutteryDaneKemptonitis!Thewineof ourwesternsunshinehasbittenintoyourbloodandyouaregrownover-warm I am glad that you and Hester have found each other so quickly and intimately; gladthatyouareunderhercharm,asIknowhertobeunderyours;butIamnot gladwhenyouspellyourselfintoherandwriteoutyourheart'sforebodingson herheart Foryouarestrangelymorbid,andyouarecertainlyguiltyofreading yourowndoubtsandfearsintoherunspokenandunguessedthoughts Believe me, rather than the soul of her love seeming narrower than she hopes, the truth is she gives her love little thought at all She is too busy—and too sensible Likeme,shehasnotthetime Weareworkers,notdreamers;andthe minutesaretoofullforustolavishthemonaneternalweighingandmeasuring ofheartthrobs Besides, Hester is too large for that sort of stuff She is the last woman in the worldtopeerdownatthescalestoseeifsheisgettingfullvalue Weleavethat to the lesser creatures, who spend their courtship loudly protesting how unutterable, immeasurable, and inextinguishable is their love, as though, forsooth,eachdreadedlesttheotherdeemitabadbargain Wedonotbargain andchafferoverourfeelings,HesterandI Surelyyoumistake,andstirstorms inteacups "Beoutspoken,"yousay Ifmyconsciencewerenotclear,Ishouldbetroubled bythat Asitis,whathaveIhidden?WhatsharpbusinesshaveIdriven?And whoisitthatcried"cheated!"?Beoutspoken—aboutwhat,pray? You bid me tell her what she is to me Which is to bid me tell her what she alreadyknows,totellherthatsheistheMotherWoman;thatofallwomensheis dearesttome;thatofallthewalksoflife,thatoneispleasantestwhereinImay walk with her; that with her I shall find the supreme expression of myself and thelifethatisinme;thatinallthisIhonourherinthefinest,loftiestfashionthat mancanhonourwoman Tellherthis,Dane Byallmeanstellher "Ah,Idonotmeanthat,"Ihearyousay Well,letmetellyouwhatyoumean,in myownway,andbidyoutellherforme Inthelustofmyeyessheisnothingto me Sheisnotameresensedelight,atoyforthedebaucheryofmyintellectand the enthronement of emotion She is not the woman to make my pulse go feveredandmegomad Norisshethewomantomakemeforgetmymanhood andpride,totumblemedowndodderingatherfeetandgibberinglikeanape Sheisnotthewomantoputmythoughtsoutofjointandtheworldoutofgear, and so to befuddle and make me drunk with the beast that is in me, that I am ready to sacrifice truth, honesty, duty, and purpose for the sake of possession She is not the woman ever to make me swamp honour and poise and right conductinthevortexofblindsexpassion Sheisnotthewomantoarouseinme suchuncontrolleddesirethatforgratificationIwoulddooneilldeed,orputthe slightest hurt upon the least of human creatures She is not the most beautiful womanGodAlmightyeverplantedonHisfootstool (Therehavebeenandare many women as true and pure and noble) She is not the woman for whose bedazzlementImustadvertisethevalueofmygoodsbysweatingsonnetstoher, orshiveringserenadesather,orperpetuatingfolliesforher Inshort,sheisnot anythingtomethatthewomanofconventionalloveistotheman And again, what is she to me? She is my other self, as it were, my good comrade,andfellow-workerandjoy-sharer Withherwomanshecomplements mymanandmakesusone,andthisisthehighestcivilisedsenseofunion Sheis to me the culmination of the thousands of generations of women It took civilisationtomakeher,asittakescivilisationtomakeourmarriage Sheisto me the partnerin amarriageof thegods,forwebecome gods,we half brutes, whenwemuzzlethebeastandarenotmenacedbyhisgrowls Underheavenshe ismywifeandthemotherofmychildren Tellher,then,tellherallyouwish,youdearoldfluttery,motherypoetfather— asthoughitmadeanydifference HERBERT XXXVII FROMDANEKEMPTONTOHERBERTWACE STANFORDUNIVERSITY December3,19— NotthreeweeksagoyouweresittingoppositemeandspeakingofHester You admittedmanythingsthatnight,amongstthemthatthegirlnevercarriedyouoff your feet You stated over again with precision all you had written You betrothed yourself, not because Hester is different from everybody else in the world, but because she is like You took her for what is typical in her, not for what is individual You preferred to walk toward her before your steps were impelled, because you feared that impulsion would preclude rational choice Withthehopeofout-trickingnature,youreachedforHesterStebbins,inorder thattheremightbeawallbetweenyourheart'sfancyandyourself,shouldyour heartbecomerebellious Iwastounderstandthatthisisthenewschool,thatso livethemastersofmatterandofself And as you spoke, I wondered about the woman Hester and the form of lovemaking which existed between you, and whether she was simple and without anycharmdespitehercultureandhergiftofsong "Sheeitherloveshimtoowell toknowortohavethestrengthtocare,orsheis,likehim,ofthenewschool,"I thought Isatandwatchedyou,notingyouryouth,surprisedbythescorninyour eyes and the sadness on your lips You seemed hopeless and helpless I closed my eyes "What has he left himself?" I kept asking "How will he tread 'The paths gray heads abhor?'" My own head bowed itself as before an irreparable loss Ihadrejoinedthechildofmycareonlytofindhimblastedasbygrief,the firstsunshinesmittenfromhisfaceandhisheartweighted Oneword,oneray lighting your looks in a wonted way, one uncontrolled movement of the hand, onelittlesilencefollowingthementionofher,wouldhaveledmetobelievethat Ihadnotunderstoodandthatallwaswell Thenightgrewoldwithyourplans and analyses We parted with a sense of shame upon us that we should have writtenandspokensolongandwithsuchheat,andtosuchlittlepurpose Youdonotseehowthisanswersyourlastletter Iwilltellyou Itshowsyouthat youhaveexplainedyourselffullythenightwespokefacetoface YousaythatHesteristhewomantocomplementyourman Thissoundslikea lover,onlyIhappentoknowthatsheisnottheirresistiblewoman Ifounditout quitebyaccident—afewwordsdroppedintoaletter,acorroborationofthefact andfurthercommittal,aprotracteddefenceofyourposition,runningthrougha correspondence of over a year, and, finally, a face-to-face declaration What boots it now that you write prettily? You not love Hester You want her to motheryourchildren,andyouinstallherinyourlifeforthepurposebeforethe need Loveisnotlust,anditisgood Theirresistiblemarriage,alone,istherightone Uponit,alone,doesthesacramentrest Thechivalryofyourlastletterrefersless tothegirlthantoyourownends ItisnotbecauseHesteriswhatsheis,that"of allthewalksinlifethatoneispleasantestwhereinyoumaywalkwithher,"but because that walk is the one you choose beyond any other for your wife to follow Themotherwomanislegion,andyourefusetospecialise Hesterdoesnotpeerdownatthescalestoseeifsheisgettingfullvalue,yetshe does look to her dignity, and, being poor, will not account herself rich Hester hasfeltsinceyoumadeknowntoherthatyouwishedhertobeyours,thatshe countedpunilyinyourscheme,thatyouplacedlittleofyourselfinchargeofher Shelovedyouandavowedit,butshehasneverbeenhappy Thetragedyoflove is not (what it is thought to be) the unreciprocated love, but the meagerly returnedlove Itisbettertoberejected,equalturnedfromequal,thantobeheld withslimdesireforslightpurpose Canyouseethis,Herbert?Youarehurting thegirl'slife Shewillaskforwhatyouwithhold,thoughnotawordrisetoher lips; will thirst for it through the years, will herself grow cramped with your denialtillherownloveseemathingofdream,unstableandvagueandillusive Andallthetimeyouaregentle Youaredevotedtoherinterests,furtheringher happinesstothebestinyourpower;butyourpowercannottouchherhappiness Itisnotwhatyoudo;itisthemotivetoyouracts,andHesterwouldknowthat shehasleftyouunmoved Yourespectthefunctionofmotherhood,butyoudo notloveHester Tellherthis,andpreventherfromenteringaunioninwhichshe mustfeelherselfhalfuseful,halfwifely,halfhappy,andthereforeallunhappy It is not Hester's fault that you cannot love her, and perhaps it is not her misfortune There is no need for panic Of two persons, one loving and one loath,theindifferentoneisintheright Canatreedefenditselffromthehewer's axe?Whatwouldavailit,then,tofeelpainattheblows?Itisbeyondourcontrol toloveornottolove,andnoeffortthatwemayputforthcandrawlovetous whenitisdenied Itdoesnotavailustosufferfromunrequitedlove ThiswhichIhavejustsaidisanarticleoffaithwhichthedoctrineofexperience oftencontradicts,fortheremaybemistake,andtheonewhodoesnotlovemay beinthewrong Ifonlyyoucouldwaittoseethebeautywhichisshebeforeyou callher!AyearlaterandHestermayflowerforyouinapassionateblossoming; her face may challenge you to live A year later and you may find that she is indeedthewomantoguideyouandtofollowyou;hervoiceasong;hereyesa lightintheday Asyet,youhavenotgaugedher,andyouwouldputhertosmall uses Standaside,dearHerbert Itwillbebetter Ihaveplayedasurlypart ImaybeaccusedofhavingbeentoyoubothaDmitri RoudinandanIago Ibegyoutobelievethatithasnotbeeneasyforme Ihave uttered the earnest word, have driven you on by the goad of friendship, which drivesfar Ilookeduponthedaysthatcametrippingtowardyououtofthebluewhitehorizonoftimeandsawthemgrayforadearwoman,grayandsilentas thetomboveradeadlove,andheavyheartedforamanwhoismyson Everwhollyyours, DANEKEMPTON XXXVIII FROMHESTERSTEBBINSTOHERBERTWACE STANFORDUNIVERSITY December15,19— Overandended ItshallbeasIsaidlastnight Herbert,thereisnocallforanger; believe me, there is not I am doing what I cannot help doing You have not changed,butmyfaithinyouhas,andIcannotpretendtoahappinessIdonot feel Oh,butIlaugh,myverydearone,IlaughthatIcouldseemtochoosetowrest myselffromyou Didyouatonetimeloveme?Thatmorningofwildsunshine whenyoutookmyhandandaskedmetobeyourwifeseemsverylongago I shouldhaveunderstood—theblameisallmine—Ishouldhaveknownyoudid not love me, I should have been filled with anger and shame instead of happiness Theblameisallmine Last night,whileyou werespeaking,Iwasstandinginthewindowwondering whatallthetroublewasabout IcouldaffordtobecalmsinceIknewIwasnot hurtingyouverydeeply AtmostIwasdisappointingaveryself-sufficientman Howdowomenfindcourage,OGod,totakefrommenwholovethemthelove theygave?Nosuchordealmine? Farewell,Herbert Letusthinkcalmlyofeachothersincewehavehelpedeach otherforsolongastretchoflife Farewell,dear Alwaysyourfriend, HESTERSTEBBINS XXXIX FROMHESTERSTEBBINSTODANEKEMPTON STANFORDUNIVERSITY December18,19— Herbert has analyzed the situation and has arrived at the conclusion that my dissatisfactionarisesinaninordinatedesireforhappiness Youshouldnotcare so much about yourself, he says Poor, dear, young Herbert! He is very young andcannotasyetconceivehowmuchthereisaboutoneselfthatdemandscare I thoughtitoutinthehillsto-day Itwasgrayandtherewasafitfulwind Whatis thisselfishnessbutapromptingtomakemuchoflife?YouandIandpeopleof our kind are old before our time, that is the reason we are not reckless Our dreamsmatureus IwasameregirlwhenHerbertsaidhewishedtomarryme, butIwasoldenoughtograspthefullmeaningofthepact,ashecouldnotgrasp it In a moment I had travelled my way to the grave and back I looked at the sheer,quickcloudsthatflittedpasttheblue,andIfeltthatIhadcaughtupwith life;Ihadovertakenthewondersthathungintheskyofmydreaming ThenI lookedathimandthesunshinegotinmyfaceandmademelaugh(orcry)—I wassomorethanhappy,beingsomuchtoosureofhisneedofme IamgladI walked to-day The view from the hills was beautiful (You see I am not unhappy!)Istoodonarockandlookedaboutme,thinkingofyou,ofBarbara,— IfeelIknowher,—andofHerbert HeandIhadoftencometothesespots Oh, thehungrymemories!Yetwhatwerewebutayoungmanandayoungwoman, who,withoutbeingbatteredintoapathybymisfortune,withoutbeingweariedor ill, were taking each other for better or for worse because they seemed compatible? We were doing just that, to Herbert's certain knowledge! I failed him; he hoped for more complaisance Marriage is a hazard, Mr Kempton, confessitis,andamandoesmuchwhenhebindshimselftomakeawomanthe motherofhischildren—nay,thegrandmotheroftheirs,eventhat Whatelseand whatmore?Iwouldneverhavebeenwhollyinmyhusband'slife,comradeand fellowtoit Herbertknewthisclearly,andIvaguelybutIactedwithclearness onmyvagueness Itwashardtodo Ithasleftmebreathlessandalittleafraidto bemyself,—asifIhadkilledadearthing,—andtearful,too,andspasmodicfor yoursympathyandsanction Itoldhimthat foralongtime Idid notunderstand,supposingmyself beloved anddesiredandchosenforhimbyGod,thinkingheyearnedforthesubtletyand mysteryofme,thinkingallofhimneededmeandcleavedearthsandpartedseas tocometome Later,whenIbecameoppressedbyalackandwasmadetohear thestillnessthatfollowedmyunechoedwords,Ibecamegraveandstillmyself He had unloved me, I said, and I waited Something seemed pending, and meanwhileIcouldlove!Imademuchofeverywordofcomfortthathedropped me,anddweltwithhopeonthefuture AllthisItoldHerbertthenightwhenI explained, and he turned pale "You people fly away with yourselves I cannot followyou Whatiswrong,Hester?"Hesmiledinhisdistress Yetwastherein hissoftnessanimperiousness,commandingmetobeotherthanIam,forbidding metherighttocraveinsecretwhatIhadmadeboldtoaskforopenly Hisman was stronger than my woman, and I leapt to him again "My husband," I whispered,myhandsinhis This,evenafterIunderstood,dearestMr Kempton Itisasorrytangle Ifonlyonecouldsuitfeelingtotheory!Itisnotforatheory thatIrefusetobeHerbert'swife YetifIlovedhimenough,Icouldgiveuplove itself for him He hinted it, looking as from a distance at me in my attitude of protest and restraint If I loved him enough, I could forego love itself for him Somewhere there is a fault, it would seem, somewhere in my abandon is restraint,inmylove,self-seeking Remorseovercamemejustashewasaboutto leave, and I schooled myself to think that there had been no affront, that it honoursawomantobewantednomatterforwhatend,thateveryuseisanoble use,thatwediethesame,lovedorused IfHerbertWacewantsawifeandthinks mefitting,why,itiswell IthoughtallthisandagedasIthought Nevertheless, myhanddidnotputitselfoutasecondtimetodetainthemanwhohadforced metofacethis Thereisayouthherewholovesme IfHerbert'sfacecouldshinelikehisforone hour,IbelieveIwouldbehappierthanIhaveeverbeen Anditwouldnotspoil thathappinessifthisloveweretowardanotherthanmyself Sayyoubelieveme You must know it of me that before everything else in the world I pray that knowledge of love come to the man over whom the love of my girlhood was spilled Do you ask what is left me, dear friend? Work and tears and the intact dream Believeme,Iamnotpitiable HESTER EndoftheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheKempton-WaceLetters,by JackLondonandAnnaStrunsky ***ENDOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEKEMPTON-WACELETTERS*** *****Thisfileshouldbenamed31422-h.htmor31422-h.zip***** Thisandallassociatedfilesofvariousformatswillbefoundin: http://www.gutenberg.org/3/1/4/2/31422/ ProducedbyCurtisWeyant,MartinPettitandtheOnline DistributedProofreadingTeamathttp://www.pgdp.net(This filewasproducedfromimagesgenerouslymadeavailable byTheInternetArchive/AmericanLibraries.) 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slaveofthem,butIwas the makerofthemand the changerofthem Youworshippedat the shrineof the idea Isought the factand the lawbehind the fact Iwas the workerandmakerandliberator... The Acorn-Planter The LittleLadyof the BigHouse *The Mutinyof the Elsinore The Strengthof the Strong The Night-Born *ADaughterof the Snows LostFace SouthSeaTales WhenGodLaughs *SmokeBellew The Kempton- Wace Letters. .. filewasproducedfromimagesgenerouslymadeavailable by The InternetArchive/AmericanLibraries.) THE KEMPTON- WACE LETTERS JACKLONDON'SBOOKS "Heopenedwindowsforthemupon the splendourand the savagery, the pompand the pitif thathehadfoundinmanycornersof the earth
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