Lurana Waterhouse Sheldon.

My Queen: A Weekly Journal for Young Women. Issue 3, October 13, 1900 online

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“But his picture,” said Marion, a little helplessly.

“Tell him exactly how you got it, and he will probably explain. No
doubt the girl stole it while she was working for his mother.”

Marion took her advice and followed it carefully, telling him, in the
presence of her friends, of Kittie’s death, but without mentioning the
poor girl’s words about the picture.

Dr. Brookes looked grieved to hear of the girl’s death, but he smiled
when he saw the photograph of himself. It was just as Miss Allyn had
guessed—the little maid had stolen it.

“The first instance on record of any young lady caring enough about me
to want my picture,” remarked the young man, with a mischievous glance
at Miss Allyn.

For once the young lady was not ready with a gay reply, and Marion,
with great tact, managed to turn the conversation.

After a little while both Dollie and Miss Allyn excused themselves, and
Marion and Reginald Brookes were alone together.

“Miss Marlowe,” said the doctor, after they had been chatting for some
time, “I came here to-night on a rather serious errand. I hope I shall
not frighten you by telling you about it, but honestly I can’t keep it
to myself much longer.”

He spoke so earnestly and so gently that Marion’s cheeks flushed in an
instant. She seemed to feel what was coming, although she tried not to
show it.

“You are a dear, good girl, Miss Marlowe,” he whispered, coming closer
to her on the sofa, “and I’m an impetuous chap—I can’t make love on
schedule! You see, it’s this way,” he went on, talking eagerly, “I
fell in love with you that night on the train. It came over me in a
second, and I couldn’t resist it. Not that I tried very hard,” he said,
laughing a little and pressing the slender fingers that he had found
and imprisoned.

“But you don’t know me at all, Dr. Brookes,” Marion tried to answer.

“Oh, I do, indeed!” was the ardent reply. “I know that you are good
and brave and noble. I know that your sister and Miss Allyn love you
dearly. Then my mother almost fell in love with you that evening, too,
and last, but not least, I know that I love you, and if that isn’t
enough I’d like to know what is lacking.”

He was kneeling close by her side now, looking up into her eyes, and as
Marion saw his handsome face, with its candid, fearless expression, she
felt overwhelmed with shame that she had ever doubted him.

Still, he was waiting for her to answer and she must be perfectly
honest: She liked him exceedingly well, but did she love him?

Almost as if for answer, the dark, pleading face of Mr. Ray seemed to
rise before her vision. Marion caught her breath quickly and her voice
trembled as she answered:

“Wait—please wait,” she murmured, with a bewitching smile. “I do not
know my own mind yet—and your words are so unexpected.”

“All right, Marion,” said the young man, as he touched his lips to her
hand. “I will wait, of course, for I do not wish you to be mistaken,
but, oh, Marion, dear, do please try to love me!”

The last glance between them was one of loyal friendship. As he bade
her good night Marion was proud that he loved her.

“It will all come right some day,” she murmured to herself. “Some day
my heart will choose between them, but until then the duties of life
are before me and I must go patiently on in the career I have chosen.”


No. 4 of My Queen is entitled “Marion Marlowe’s Noble Work; or, The
Tragedy at the Hospital,” a story of the deepest interest, in which
Marion passes through many thrilling experiences.

Questions and Answers



Note.—This department will be made a special feature of this
publication. It will be conducted by Miss Shirley, whose remarkable
ability to answer all questions, no matter how delicate the import,
will be much appreciated, we feel sure, by all our readers, who need
not hesitate to write her on any subject. Miss Shirley will have their
interests at heart and never refuse her assistance or sympathy.

The following letters are a few which we have received from time to
time, addressed to the editors of our different publications, the
answers to which will be found interesting.

Street & Smith.

“My dear Miss Shirley, will you please answer this question? I would
not dream of asking it if it was not such a serious matter. Is there
any subject relating to matrimony and married life that is too
indelicate for my fiance and myself to discuss before marriage? There
are one or two things that I wish to settle, and my mother says I
would be unmaidenly to even whisper them. Please give me your candid
opinion on the subject.

“Lena W.”

Absolute confidence between engaged people and a perfect understanding
of each other’s wishes and temperaments is the surest possible
foundation for a successful marriage. The ignorance which is taken
to the altar does not affect two people alone, but is perpetuated
frequently for many generations, and is always accompanied with
misunderstanding and misery. It is a mother’s part to look into such
questions as have embarrassed my correspondent. Some mothers are sadly
negligent in their duty towards their children. A little plain speech
would have saved much suffering. All subjects are holy that have to do
with the solemn obligations of matrimony.

“I have been engaged for three years and expect to be married next
spring. Now that I am almost face to face with this change in my life
that I have anticipated with so much pleasure, I am ashamed to confess
that I almost dread it. I love my betrothed dearly, but I am so afraid
that I shall not be happy when my whole existence is wrapped up in him
and his affairs. All the time that we have been engaged I have seen
other friends, and we have both gone out a great deal. When I become a
married woman I am afraid that I shall find the monotony unbearable.
Do you think that I am very wicked to feel so, and had I better
postpone my marriage for a time?

“Alice D. K.”

Your diffidence is not an unusual feeling, nor one of which to be
ashamed. No woman of delicate sensibilities can face so radical a
change in her whole existence without nervousness.

Those who take such a matter calmly are thicker skinned than their
sisters. There is no reason why the “monotony” should be unbearable.
You and your husband can still enjoy the pleasures of society, but
enjoy them together, and there is nothing more pleasant in life than
the chat together after the ball or party or theatre. When you have
both devoted yourselves to entertaining others for an evening you will
be glad indeed to have your husband get your wrapper and slippers for
you and to cuddle up on a cozy armchair and talk the evening’s events
over with him before you sleep.

“I am in deep trouble and know of no one to turn to but you, dear
Miss Shirley. I have been engaged to a young man for over a year, and
we expected to be married this winter. Last night he told me that
he did not want to marry me unless I knew everything about him, and
then he told me that he had once stolen a large sum of money from his
employer, and that he had been arrested, but his father paid the money
back and he was released. Since then he has paid his father back and
has been upright and made his way in the world; but it seems awful to
me to marry a man with almost the shadow of a crime hanging over him.
Won’t you tell me what you think about it?

“Minnie A.”

The poet says:

“I hold it truth with him who sings—
That men may rise on stepping stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.”

That a man has stepped aside and repented is the best possible proof of
his integrity. If you cannot value a lover who is honest enough to want
to come to you with his whole life open as a book for you to read, you
cannot have much appreciation of true manliness. The man who can live
down a thing like that and make his way in the world afterward is a man
to be proud of, and we judge that he is well worthy of any girl’s true
affection. If you loved him you would not hesitate a moment, but would
help him to forget the past and to “go forward to meet the shadowy
future without fear and with a manly heart.”

We wish that we knew the young man personally so that we could clasp
his hand in friendship and tell him that we would stand by him in his
earnest endeavor.

“I am at variance with my lover on a subject that I am afraid deeply
concerns our future happiness. My lover is a Unitarian while I and
my family have always been Episcopalians. We differ on religious
matters now, and I am afraid that our differences will be more serious
after marriage. My family and myself have all been at him to join our
church, but he won’t do it.

“Ought I to insist upon his accepting my faith with me or should that
be left open for discussion after we are married?

“Grace P.”

If the question of a belief is more important to you than the
affection of your lover we advise you to relinquish him at once. True
love will not let such subjects as religion or politics interfere
with its tranquillity. No doubt your lover’s belief is quite as
precious to him as yours is to you and if you cannot win him over by
intelligent, kindly arguments you had better allow him to follow his
own inclinations. Always remember that the right to disagree belongs to
every individual, but there is no reason for such disagreement being a
source of misery. In a general way, we would advise settling all such
matters before marriage. Bickering is bad enough when people are not
bound to each other by any tie, but it is ten-fold worse when there is
a compact between them.

Your lover has as much right to his religious views as you have to
yours, and the sooner you recognize that right—the sooner you will have
proved your own true womanliness.

“I have always been called a ‘flirt’ by my girl friends just because
I liked to have a good time with the boys. There are four or five of
them now that want me to marry them, but there is only one that I
really care anything about, and I’m not sure that I care anything for
him. I do feel badly when I see him looking disconsolate when I am
flirting with some one else, and I am always sorry when I have hurt
his feelings.

“Do you think this is love, and if I married him, do you think I could
be a good wife to him? I would not like to give him the worst of the

“Hattie B. S.”

Your letter seems to us to be a candid admission of your feelings. You
do not state your age, but we should imagine that you were young and
just a little foolish.

We hardly think you have experienced the feeling called love, although
your evident pity for the one young man’s feelings is akin to the
sentiment. You should endeavor to redeem your reputation at once as the
sobriquet of “Flirt” is not very desirable. You will never win the love
of a good man so long as you show that your nature is fickle. We should
advise you to devote your time to your work or your books and try to
develop your character. In this way you may be able to discover your
exact feelings towards the young man whom you seem to prefer at present.

“In spite of the fact that I have steadily repulsed him, a young man
of my acquaintance has stuck to me for months. I have told him plainly
that I do not believe that I will ever really love any one, but he has
persisted in showing me attention, and now I almost look to him for
all my friendship, for the other men, I am sure, do not really care
for me—they are just flirting like I am myself. I know this one would
propose if I gave him the chance, but I won’t give him an opportunity
unless I am going to accept him. Do you think I would be doing him an
injury to marry him? I am not vicious, but I am afraid that I would
want to flirt after marriage just the same as I do now.

“Olive W.”

By no means marry this young man until you are sure you love him. There
have been too many of these uncertain marriages made already without
your swelling the number.

A woman who would “flirt” after marriage must be terribly lacking in
dignity, and if she does not respect herself she cannot expect to be
respected. We should judge that the young man you speak of is a very
nice person, and we sincerely hope for his sake that he will marry an
honest, self-respecting woman.

“We live in the suburbs, and I have been coming to New York to
matinees ever since I wore long dresses. I met a fellow at a
continuous performance one afternoon, and we struck up an acquaintance.

“Since then I have corresponded with him and have met him in the city
a number of times, and had luncheon with him. Now he wants me to
go to the theatre with him some evening and spend the night at his

“I have met his landlady and she is simply lovely and I know she will
see that I come to no harm. But would I be doing wrong to accept the

“Some of my girl friends say that I could not do worse, and some of
them say that it is no worse to spend the night in the city than to
spend the entire day—as I have done, several times.

“Won’t you please advise me, as I am only nineteen years old and
realize that I can’t judge for myself.

“Isabel F. A.”

We cannot quite understand your letter, Isabel. In all our experience
we have never heard of anything so extraordinary! If the young man
you speak of was living at home with his mother and sisters, and
it was their invitation we could find no fault with your staying
under the same roof with your friend, but the idea of your staying
at his boarding-house is beyond the bounds of respectability, and
in spite of her smiles, no one would think worse of you than his
landlady. The manner in which you met this young man is thoroughly
unconventional. Be careful that your acquaintance with him does not
terminate disastrously. You speak very truly when you say you “cannot
judge for yourself,” but at nineteen years of age you should show
more wisdom and discretion. We are inclined to be suspicious of this
young man’s motives; but a girl who allows herself to be “picked up”
at a continuous performance, as the saying is, can hardly expect to be
treated any differently. You had better discontinue this acquaintance
if you do not wish trouble.

“Do you object to advising a young man, Miss Shirley? I am nineteen
years old and am engaged to be married. The girl I love is very large
and stout, she weighs nearly 200. I weigh only 138, and that is what
is the matter. Don’t you think I would be foolish to marry such a
big girl, even if I do love her? What in the world would I do if she
should grow any bigger? I’d look foolish and feel foolish every time I
went out with her. Of course, I want to do what is right. I know she’d
never get another fellow because of her size. Do you think I ought to
marry her and be a martyr?

“James L.”

No, James, we do not advise you to play the “martyr,” but it is not
altogether because of your sweetheart’s size, but because we are
confident that you do not love her. Why, James, if you really loved
her, you would be delighted to think there was so much of her! We are
sorry for the girl, but we do not agree with you that she will never
have another lover. We feel sure that some noble, honest fellow will
fall in love with her some day and be more than glad to marry her in
spite of her superfluous adipose tissue. We fancy your soul is about as
small as your body. At any rate, you are sadly lacking in moral courage.

“I have a very serious question to ask you, dear Miss Shirley, it is
this: Can a girl love two men and love them both sincerely? I have
never heard of any one doing it, but I confess that this is exactly my
predicament. I love two young men and could be happy with either of
them. Do you think it better not to marry either, or would it be safe
for me to marry the first one that asks me? I feel sure that they will
both propose before long.

“Nina B.”

Your question does not impress us as being very serious. If you are so
general in your affection you might toss up a cent to see which you
should marry. Apparently you are easily pleased in the matter of a
husband. For the sake of the young men, however, we trust you will not
marry either one. If they are honest young men they each deserve a good
wife, one who will love them and them alone, with true, loyal affection.

“The girls in the school that I attend all enjoy athletics, and we
recently organized a football team. We wear a suit with trousers
like the boys wear for the game with a short skirt over them that
reaches almost to our knees. No one found any fault with our fun until
this week when several of the more strait-laced people in the town
complained to some of our parents that they thought it was immodest
for us to go through the streets to the grounds where we play wearing
our costume. Won’t you let me know what you think about it?

“Etta W.”

Dr. Mary Walker has worn trousers for years, and she is a very
estimable woman, still we have never heard of her playing football. It
does not seem to us to be objectionable at all, for trousers and short
skirts are certainly very convenient and healthful. You did not say
how old the girls in your school are, but if they are over sixteen we
would certainly advise them to give up football. There are many other
games just as healthful, and far more graceful. I hope you girls have
not been trying to kick the knobs off of the gate posts as you went to
and from your play. Girls who imitate boys are sometimes given to these
pranks, and in that event we do not blame the natives for complaining.

“This seems almost a foolish subject for me to write to you about,
Miss Shirley, but I hope you will find time to answer me. The young
man whom I am engaged to simply hates pet animals. Now, I have a pet
cat that I raised from a wee little kitten, and I love her and all
animals dearly. Frank is always teasing her and grumbling if I pet
her. I have been wondering if a man with this disposition would make a
good husband. It seems absurd sometimes even to me to think it would
make any difference in our married life, but I have thought about this
one trait of his so much that I want to hear what your opinion is.

“Carrie S. S.”

We are very sorry indeed to learn of this trait in your betrothed. It
shows a bad disposition to dislike animals, yet it does not always
follow that a man will be unkind to a woman because of that trait in
his disposition. Personally I would not have a man about who was unkind
to animals, and I am inclined to think that such a man would be apt
to make almost any woman unhappy. The poor animals suffer enough, and
there is no one to protect them but ourselves. If we neglect this duty
it seems to me that we are culpable and deserve, even if we do not
receive, some severe form of punishment. We do not blame you at all
for feeling as you do, and advise you to try and reform your lover, if

“Please answer this question and oblige a constant reader: Is it
proper to allow a young man to put his arm around you when you are
riding in the surface cars or elevated, or when you are coming home
from Coney Island on the boat. I have allowed my escort to do so
several times, and some of my girl friends say that it looks very
silly. I am in love with this young man and he is in love with me. Is
there any harm in our showing our affection?


The habit of hugging in public is certainly very bad taste, and we
agree with your friends that it also looks silly. In the first place,
unless the young man is engaged to you he has no right to embrace
you at all, and you would be much more modest and ladylike if you
refused to allow him such privileges in public. Embraces are but the
demonstrations of holy affection. They should not be paraded before the
eyes of the public.

“Do you think it is wrong for a married woman to engage in business?
I have a desirable situation offered me, and am tempted to accept it,
but my husband objects so decidedly that I have doubted the propriety
of my idea of working. My husband seems to feel that I have no right
to work, and says that he will not live with me if I do.

“We have no children and I would be glad of the occupation. Please
let me have your advice on the matter.

“Mrs. Ella W.”

We see no harm in your engaging in business with your husband’s
consent, but if he does not wish it and can provide well for you
without, we should certainly advise you to yield to his wishes. Married
women can discover many home occupations and amusements, and in other
ways develop their minds and talents. There is no necessity for home
life becoming monotonous. The question of propriety does not enter into
the subject. Consider your husband’s wishes because you love him and do
not disagree with him unless it is a matter of principle. What did you
marry him for if you wanted to go into business? If he had desired a
business woman for a wife he would probably have married one.

“I am eighteen years of age and am very much in love with a young man,
but there are several things about him which annoy me exceedingly, and
I hope you will be kind enough to give me your opinion. This young man
wears very good clothing, but when we go out together I frequently
notice that his garments need brushing, his linen is soiled and his
finger nails are in a dreadful condition. Are these faults serious, or
are they only trifles? I have been brought up to be very particular,
but I do not intend to be over-fastidious. Ought not a man to always
be clean shaven when he goes out with a lady?

“Arabella W.”

We can understand your feelings perfectly, my dear girl, for there is
hardly anything more repulsive than uncleanly habits. It is possible
the young man has had no training in this direction, but, of course,
this does not excuse him entirely. We would advise you to use a little
tact in throwing out hints.

Speak admiringly of the neat habits of others whom you meet, and see if
you cannot awaken him to a sense of his own shortcomings. If he does
not mend his ways, and you really intend to marry him, we should advise
you to call his attention to each defect, kindly and considerately.
If he becomes indignant and refuses to yield to your suggestions, we
would certainly advise you to give him up. “Cleanliness is next to
godliness,” and it is much easier to acquire. There is no excuse for
either man or woman possessing uncleanly habits.

“A young man whom I have known for a month has asked me to marry him.
He is handsome and agreeable, and I love him dearly. Do you think it
is wrong to marry on such short acquaintance? He is nearly six feet
tall and looks lovely on horseback. It will break my heart if you
advise me not to marry him.

“Lida D. B.”

Poor Lida! We feel sorry for you, but what can we say? We have no
desire to break your heart, but if we answer you at all we must try to
speak honestly.

Because a man is “six feet tall” and looks “lovely on horseback,” you
must not take it for granted that he will make a good husband. It
would be far better for you to endeavor to find out about his character
and ability to support you before you fall so completely into the
toils. We have seen many short acquaintances turn out satisfactorily,
but we do not think it wise to enter into so important an alliance
rashly unless each has previously been aware of the good character of
the other. Try to curb your impressionable heart, Lida, until you are
sure the young man is worthy of you.

“I have been engaged to be married for nearly three years, but am
beginning to despair of the marriage ever being consummated. The young
man to whom I am engaged is a very closemouthed person, and I cannot
find out what business he is engaged in, but every time I hint at
matrimony he pleads poverty as an excuse for deferring the ceremony. I
have seen him with fifty dollars in his pocket several times. Is not
this enough to pay for a wedding?

“Sarah B.”

We judge by your letter that the young man is not very deeply in love
with you, and the fact that he does not tell you his business looks

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Online LibraryLurana Waterhouse SheldonMy Queen: A Weekly Journal for Young Women. Issue 3, October 13, 1900 → online text (page 5 of 6)