Thursday, May 6, 2010
23 April, 1836
I know that you are upset because I haven’t responded sooner to your letters, but you must forgive me, because I have been having such a distressing time. Gerald has simply been giving me the willies. Really ~ of what could he been thinking when he married me? He should have known that we were perfectly unsuited to each other. I told him so at the time; he thought I was being charming. Mama and Papa should have known better too, but you know how parents are ~ so eager to get rid of their daughters, to see us “well married.”
I finally realized that I had had enough. Really ~ how much can a person be expected to endure? Gerald’s optimism isn’t merely rosy ~ it’s positively crimson. There we were, sitting in the parlour, Gerald nattering on about how he loves me, the wonderful future he foresees for us, what we would name our children ~ children! really! ~ and I felt as if all my own thoughts were being rattled out my head in a one-wheeled rickshaw pulled by a mad ostrich over a cobble-stoned road. So I’ve arranged for tomorrow early to have Gerald drugged and carted off to join the Foreign Legion (Crimea? Algeria? I forgot to ask). If he comes back, I hope that it will be with a tolerable sense of pessimism, otherwise I shall have to pack him off to Siberia; you know how he detests the cold.
As soon as I am rid of him, my dearest Sophie, I shall fling some clothes into a trunk and come to you for a visit. I know, of course, that you keep yourself busy with your own schemes, but also that I shall be welcome nevertheless, for I am, of all your friends, the most faithful and
Ruth is an independent scholar working in Medieval and Renaissance literature. She's trying to finish a book on the evolution of the concept of bastardy from around 1350 to the 1600's. Unlike the narrator of her letter, she decided to keep her husband, and even likes the progeny that showed up as a result of that decision.
Posted by Karen Cantwell at 6:35 AM