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4-368 (Raw)

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author,male,Glynn, Patrick Mc Mahon,42 addressee,female
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Niall, 1998
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4-368-raw.txt — 4 KB

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I suppose it would do poor justice to the reputation my countrymen bear for courage - though in this case it may be called audacity - if I did not risk, as so many others in other cases have, with better or worse fortune done, the inevitable question. The world is made up of incompatibles, or rather contradictions; without the Union of opposites there would be no possibility of the average that makes progress. I am, in most of the qualities that build a character, at one pole, you at the other; but your sex is born to redeem, and Goodness Knows there is a big field for redemption in my case. Well, you can well think that I am, for once at all events in my life, in a bit of a muddle. I have written pamphlets, leading articles, essays etc., by the mile, but never before put in writing the impertinence of a proposal of marriage. And this has to be done, at the table of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales, with the Federal Convention sitting, and Mr. Lyne, within a yard of me, pouring on the too-thinly-protected top of my head, a niagra of figures. However, I must attempt it.
Well, Dear Miss Dynon, to be candid, which indeed is my dearest desire. I heard of you six or seven years ago, and from what a lady who knew you well said of you then, I know, if on meeting you I did not feel it instinctively, that you are as deserving of the reputation you bear as I am under the Estimate many, or rather some of my generous friends in Kindness form of me. [121] I say this, because it will tell you at once, that I cannot possibly misunderstand you. You unfortunately - or rather, perhaps, fortunately for myself, - know little of me; that is, outside my reputation as a public man. But as far as I can say it, I feel I am a Bohemian in temperament, fond of the softer - I don't like to say poetic - side of life; liable, like many of my too romantic country men to extremes of spirit, by no means correct as the world goes, but at all events capable of discerning, if not following, the Right. The girl that takes me will deserve an indulgence - a dispensation from purgatory, so that I may have at least a negative recommendation.
But I find, with my usual want of pluck in matters outside my line, I am becoming all preface. The Sum of it all is this, if you consent to marry me, Miss Dynon, you will, for the sacrifice, deserve Heaven, and probably save me from somewhere else. May I ask you to do so. I am by no means well off - but why should I say that to you - but I can and do work, and though, if I may use the term for the Sake of its expressiveness, devil-may-care in most matters, will try under the great responsibility, to become financially orthodox, I don't care the proverbial rap for the Ceremonial side of life.
If you consent to become my wife - a great word - why should we not be married at once. It will have the advantage for me that the matter will be inevitably settled before you know too much of me. It is a great occasion here. I have plenty of friends here now, and, though a bit of a reprobate in Religion, an aunt, Superioress of the Sisters of St Joseph, who would back me up if necessary. And she reminds me of one, who gives a relative merit to her son. I have a Mother that, apart from prejudice, I can from the bottom of my heart say, is, as my aunt said on Sunday, a saint, if ever a woman, who is no narrow puritan, can be one. I never yet met a man or woman that did not respect her disposition; an able, self-sacrificing, as well as thoroughly human and feminine woman.
If you have me, I can honestly promise you to give you no divided heart, and to live no double life. You will know me, for good or bad, as I am.
Well, if you will bless me, I will with your consent, go for you on Friday, marry on Saturday, and return same day. If you will come - anyhow I wish you would - over at once, so much the better. We can be married on the arrival of the train. My friend Mr. O'Malley will give me away; I hope he has not done so already. This is a lot to ask, but the occasion is my great excuse. I am not my own master now - we are the servants of the Nation and its destinies. Besides as I said, I know you thoroughly - and after we can call one another wife and husband; well what does the unorthodox way of settling the bond matter.
In Hopes of a reply that will enable me to really begin to live, I am, Dear Miss Dynon,