• William Minor Lile (1859-1935) was rector en professor aan de University of Virginia. Hij hield een groot deel van zijn leven een dagboek bij.
8 December, 1885 - Tuesday
Did not go to the office tonight. Am getting to be a giant "non-suiter!" Threw another plaintiff out of court today, the fourth within the past ten days.
Reasons why I should turn out a mustache:
I am old enough.
My associates all have them.
It would give me more the appearance of maturity than I now have.
It is a good thing to toy with when one is embarrasssed
and his hands are in the way. Might add to my appearance. It is customary.
It would save time devoted to shaving.
It would afford my friends so much pleasure, they would never be in want for a subject for teasing me.
Reasons why I shouId not turn out a mustache:
I would then be deprived of one of my most agreeable pastimes, shaving.
Somebody might say "shoot the dude".
A mustache insists on bathing in one's tea at table. It requires months to bring it to that degree of perfection to permit the owner to appear in polite circles. It is a source of continual petty surprise and annoyance, to one not accustomed to it. It is not an essential and never an accompaniment of beauty, else women would have them. How would the statues of Jupiter or Apollo look with mustaches?
Reasons why I am not going to turn out a mustache:
I can't (id est nondurn)
I think I am getting fat, though I don't know why I should, for I have been smoking to excess for some time. I think I smoked 25 or 30 cigarettes yesterday. Today I brought the number down to 12, but it required a good deal of will. I do not intend to smoke more than 12 hereafter. and I shall try to gradually cease the pernicious habit altogether. I used to chew most voraciously (I blush to confess), but by the persuasive influence of some good spirit I have entirely overcome the vile, disgusting, unnatural hatix. I have taken not more than a half dozen chews since about August 1st. And thereby hangs one of the best humors of the season. I occasionally smoke a pipe, just before bedtime. Pipe smoking encourages a good impression; (something very like "that pipe of yours has a very pleasant odor, Lile," ejaculates Charley Wierman, who is sitting at the opposite side of the table screwing a stem into the smaller orifice of a real Virginia Powhatan Clay. I assent with a grunt of satisfaction, and proceed).
I have been sleeping too late recently. I rarely get to the office before nine. On Sunday morning I have my breakfast sent to my room and get downtown just in time for church. I rarely go visiting, say once a week. Of course this does not include my goings in and comings out at Miss Alice's; she lives next door and I frequently drop in there on my way from the office at night, and stay an hour or so. And not infrequently the hour or so keeps her out of bed until after 12:00; for it is no unusual thing for me to make my appearance there after 11:00.
Dear Maud, my girl, I am thinking about you tonight and wondering if you are happy. lsn't it a hard fate that keeps us from seeing each other as often as we please? What a time we could have together these long winter evenings. Don't you remember a long time ago when everything seemed bright, that you said you longed for winter to come and gave a reason for which I kissed you? Do you remember it? If I only felt assured that your past or your present relations toward me were not a burden to you, that you had no regrets from that cause, and that you were as happy in your home as before you knew me, it would add very much to my peace of mind. I am sometimes inclined to reproach myself for the part I have taken in breaking in upon the repose and the peace of the little household of which you are the idol. You know as well as I do how it all came about. If there is any fault to be imputed to anybody, it is yours; the fault of being the woman that you are. Neither of us imagined that anything would come of our innocent "flirtation" as we thought it. I certainly did not, but before I knew it you had so grown up In my heart that when they said you must be taken away from me I felt that more than half of my life would go with you. Well, little woman, keep a stout heart, and have a care for mine which Is in your keeping, and all may come out right in the end.
Goodnight! The curtains have long since been drawn over your dear eyes, and you are sleeping the sleep of the innocent. Oh Sleep-God, in whose arms she rests, let me tell you what to whisper in her ear and what shall be the subject of her dreams! Goodnight again, sweet sleeper; God keep you safe, sweetheart.