Originally posted on Mrs Daffodil Digresses.

The Love Letter, Raimundo Madrazo

In Madrid a young lady, noted for her beauty and musical gifts, whom I had met on several occasions at the British Embassy, paid me a visit in company with her duenna in order to ascertain something very near what, I presume, she would have termed her heart. The stately duenna waited discreetly in the anteroom whilst my fascinating visitor, with impassioned volubility, declared the object of her visit. It was just this: Two young bloods of Madrid were very much in love with her. On family grounds one was as acceptable as the other, and, personally, she really had no preference. She could not marry both, but, eventually, would surely marry one of them — but which? Would I advise her? Would I make the choice for her? Alas! what had I to do with other people’s little love affairs? And what man has yet been born who could safely and wisely take upon himself such a momentous decision? Obviously I promptly declined the role cast for me. But she resented my refusal with the prettiest possible display of petulance.

I explained that in my country when in doubt we frequently tossed for it, letting the spin of the coin determine our decision. It, I added, would possibly collide with her conception of things to toss a coin with “Heads — Jose; tails —Juan.” She agreed that it would not be a convincing decision. It, to tell the truth, was much too matter-of-fact for her romantic disposition. There is chance, but precious little sentiment, associated with the tossing of a coin. Finally, I suggested that as she was uncertain in her choice, and as, presumably, it didn’t really matter much either way who was the successful suitor, she should…

via Choosing a Husband for Clarita: c. 1915 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses.

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