Excerpt from The Woollen Dress: La Robe De Laine
In dedicating to you this story of "The Woollen Dress," I discharge a very old debt, a debt of my youth, when enthusiasm for your works - your poems, I ought rather to call them - flushed and exalted me as the first misty moments of the dawn suffuse the surface of the earth.
With what magic did you not gild our adolescent years! We were at the spoiled age of twenty, at the threshold of life's work, when one arms one's self against love, and indulges in yearnings for universal things which only later, alike with him who has lived too much and him who has not lived at all, accept their limitations and disenchantments; - we were twenty, and we found in you that melancholy which at twenty it is so sweet to breathe.
This book is the story of a quite simple young girl crushed by the cruelties of our modern life. When I hear children singing that old round, which I am sure you loved as well as I,
"We were ten girls in a field
All waiting to be married,"
I picture Claudine, Suzanne, Dumaine and their companions as a graceful chorus in which the voices of old France still sound.
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