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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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A vintage ghost story for your delectation.

Originally posted on Mrs Daffodil Digresses.

“1855, March 28.—The following story was told me by Lady S., who heard it from Mr. M., a gentleman of considerable note, and one not at all given to romancing:—

“Mr. M., a well-known lawyer, went to stay with Mr.T., in the county of ___. In the course of their first evening together, Mr. M. learned that, among his host’s neighbours, was an old friend of his own, for whom he had great regard; but of whom he had lost sight since college days. The next morning Mr. M asked the gentleman of the house if he would forgive him if he walked over to see his old friend; adding a request that if he were asked to dinner, he might be allowed to accept the invitation.

“On being assured that he might do whatever was most agreeable to himself, he went to make his call—not on foot, as he had proposed, but in his friend’s dog-cart. As he anticipated, the gentleman he went to see insisted on his staying to dinner. He consented, and sent the groom back with the dog-cart, with a message to his master to say that, as it would be a fine moonlight night, he should prefer walking home. After having passed a very agreeable day with the old fellow-collegian, he bade him good-bye; and, fortified with a couple of cigars, sallied forth on his return. On his way he had to pass through the pleasant town of ___, and on coming to the church in the main street, he leaned against the iron railings of the churchyard while he struck a match and lighted his second cigar. At that moment the church clock began to strike. As he had left his watch behind him, and did not feel certain whether it were ten o’clock or eleven, he stayed to count, and to his amazement found it twelve. He was about to hurry on, and make up for lost time, when his curiosity was pricked, and the stillness of the night broken, by the sound of carriage wheels on the road, moving at a snail’s pace, and coming up the side street directly facing the spot where he was standing. The carriage proved to be a mourning-coach, which, on turning at right angles out of the street in which Mr. M. first saw it, pulled up at the door of a large red brick house. Not being used to see mourning-coaches out at such an unusual hour, and wondering to see this one returning at such a funereal pace, he thought he would stay and observe what happened. The instant the coach drew up at the house, the carriage door opened, then the street door, and then a tall man, deadly pale, in a suit of sables, descended the…

via The Funeral Coach: 1855 | Mrs Daffodil Digresses.

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