Memoirs of a Midgetby Walter de la Mare
A few introductory and explanatory remarks are due, I think, to the reader of the following Memoirs. The Memoirs themselves will disclose how I became acquainted with Miss M. They also refer here and there to the small part I was enabled to take in straightening matters out at what was a critical juncture in her affairs, and in securing for her that independence which… See more details below
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A few introductory and explanatory remarks are due, I think, to the reader of the following Memoirs. The Memoirs themselves will disclose how I became acquainted with Miss M. They also refer here and there to the small part I was enabled to take in straightening matters out at what was a critical juncture in her affairs, and in securing for her that independence which enabled her to live in the privacy she loved, without any anxiety as to ways and means. At the time, it is clear that she considered me a dilatory intermediary. I had not realized how extreme was her need. But she came at last to take a far too generous view of these trifling little services--services as generously rewarded, since they afforded me the opportunity of frequently seeing her, and so of becoming, as I hope, one of her most devoted friends.
One of the duties devolving on me as her sole executor--certain unusual legal proceedings having been brought to completion--was the examination of her letters and papers. Amongst these were her Memoirs--which I found sealed up with her usual scrupulous neatness in numerous small, square, brown-paper packages, and laid carefully away in a cupboard in her old nursery. They were accompanied by a covering letter addressed to myself.
Miss M.'s handwriting was even more minute than one might naturally, though not perhaps justifiably, have anticipated. Her manuscript would therefore have been difficult enough for aging eyes to decipher, even if it had not been almost inextricably interlined, revised and corrected. Literary composition to this little woman-of-letters was certainly no "primrose path." The packages were therefore handed over to a trustworthy typist; and, at my direction, one complete and accurate copy was made of their contents.
After careful consideration, and after disguising the names of certain persons and places to preclude every possibility of giving offence--even Mrs Percy Maudlen, for instance, if she ever scans these pages, may blush unrecognized!--I concluded that though I was under no absolute obligation to secure the publication of the Memoirs, this undoubtedly had been Miss M.'s intention and wish. At the same time, and for similar reasons, I decided that their publication should not take place until after my death. Instructions have therefore been left by me to this effect. Here then my editorial duties begin and end. Nothing has been altered; nothing suppressed.
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