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Charlesgate - March 11-13
Dear & kindest of friends -
I feel that at times I particularly exemplify a mental condition touched upon in your last - to me - namely - an infirmity of will which seemingly makes one helpless to deal on occasion with the most trifling matters - (minor duties call them for the nonce), & demanding no more effort than might the turning of one's head & yet each a haunting presence from week to week - month to month - yes - & year to year it may be -
Perhaps to call these psychological naggings - "minor duties" reflects too seriously upon the amoral attitude of the individual [deletion: of the] who neglects them - for duties are not negligible - But certainly they acquire some color of obligation from their persistency in holding on. Now - not to let slip an illuminating [deletion: concrete] case in point - here for so long - so long - you have been spending yourself in generous thought & more generous effort under adverse circumstances to win an entity you believed in from the dark & make it visible to men. And did she about whom this obscure but interesting drama in a sense revolved - did she help
or give the impression that she would fain help, by encouraging word or presence where line or measure would have been acceptable? I know not. If you saw a child of light struggling with gnomes - if inertia had left you a void of spirit - you would [deletion: if]however feebly - shy stones at the gnomes - wouldn't you? Did I shy any stones? I not not on the contrary, I balked & dallied - & [deletion: that] went my way - and that is the size of it, as they say in the rural district of N.H.
About the photo, I should like a half dozen - & if you will do me the favor & give my address to your photographer
he can send them to me directly with the bill. I sent two of the pictures I had from you to Olive Dargan & she warmed the cockles of my heart with an enthusiastic rejoinder that must have been meant for you. I find that others also of my friends approve them above all direct photos" hitherto made of late years. Accept my heartfelt thanks for this also.
I hope you will feel strong enough to read in the new volume of plays "A son of Hermes"--I believe it to be the richest piece of fun--a masterpiece--that the dramatic impulse has worked since the great time.
I shall hope to see you before April bursts into bloom. I have not been riding so much of late. The motive seeming to be much engaged elsewhere! But how rejoiced I shall be to see you again upright--in the obvious banks, as of old.
In faith & constant affection, Your A.W.
Whitney, Anne and Wellesley College Archives, "Letter from Anne Whitney, Boston, Massachusetts, to Elizabeth Bigelow Greene, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1913 March 11" (1913). Papers of Anne Whitney (MSS.4): Correspondence. 723.