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and national reputation, written in response to his request for her
opinion of the dance. The statements made in this remarkable letter
are so clear and convincing that every parent ought to read it. We quote
the chief portions as follows:--
"'I will venture to lay bare a young girl's heart and mind by giving
you my own experience in the days when I waltzed.
"'In those times I cared little for Polka or Varsovienne, and still
less for the old-fashioned "Money Musk" or "Virginia Reel," and
wondered what people could find to admire in those "slow dances." But
in the soft floating of the waltz I found a strange pleasure, rather
difficult to intelligibly describe. The mere anticipation fluttered
my pulse, and when my partner approached to claim my promised hand for
the dance, I felt my cheeks glow a little sometimes, and I could not
look him in the eyes with the same frank gayety as heretofore.
"'But the climax of my confusion was reached when, folded in his warm
embrace, and giddy with the whirl, a strange, sweet thrill would shake
me from head to foot, leaving me weak and almost powerless, and really
almost obliged to depend for support upon the arm which encircled me.
If my partner failed from ignorance, lack of skill, or innocence, to
arouse these, to me, most pleasurable sensations, I did not dance with
him the second time.
"'I am speaking openly and frankly, and when I say that I did not
understand what I felt, or what were the real and greatest pleasures
I derived from this so-called dancing, I expect to be believed. But
if my cheeks grew red with uncomprehended pleasure then, they grow pale
with shame to-day when I think of it all. It was the physical emotions
engendered by the contact of strong men that I was enamored of--not
of the dance, nor even of the men themselves.
"'Thus I became abnormally developed in my lowest nature. I grew bolder,
and from being able to return shy glances at first, was soon able to
meet more daring ones, until the waltz became to me and whomsoever
danced with me, one lingering, sweet, and purely sensual pleasure,
where heart beat against heart, hand was held in hand, and eyes looked
burning words which lips dared not speak.
"'All this while no one said to me, You do wrong; so I dreamed of sweet
words whispered during the dance, and often felt while alone a thrill
of joy indescribable yet overpowering when my mind would turn from my
studies to remember a piece of temerity of unusual grandeur on the part
of one or another of my cavaliers.
"'Girls talk to each other. I was still a school girl, although mixing
so much with the world. We talked together. We read romances that fed
our romantic passions on seasoned food, and none but ourselves knew
what subjects we discussed. Had our parents heard us, they would have
considered us on the high road to ruin.
"'Yet we had been taught that it was right to dance; our parents did
it, our friends did, and we were permitted. I will say also that all
the girls with whom I associated, with the exception of one, had much
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