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The Weeping Woman
by [?]

Incidentally I asked her what authors she read mostly.

“O, I don’t remember the authors so much as I do the books,” said she; “I am a great reader. If I should tell you how much I have read, you wouldn’t believe it.”

I said I certainly would. I had frequently been called upon to believe things that would make the ordinary rooster quail.

If she discovered the true inwardness of this Anglo-American “Jewdesprit,” she refrained from saying anything about it.

“I read a good deal,” she continued, “and it keeps me all strung up. I weep, O so easily.” Just then she lightly laid her hand on my arm, and I could see that the tears were rising to her eyes. I felt like asking her if she had ever tried running herself through a clothes wringer every morning? I did feel that someone ought to chirk her up, so I asked her if she remembered the advice of the editor who received a letter from a young lady troubled the same way. She stated that she couldn’t explain it, but every little while, without any apparent cause, she would shed tears, and the editor asked her why she didn’t lock up the shed.

We conversed for a long time about literature, but every little while she would get me into deep water by quoting some author or work that I had never read. I never realized what a hopeless ignoramus I was till I heard about the scores of books that had made her shed the scalding, and yet that I had never, never read. When she looked at me with that far-away expression in her eyes, and with her hand resting lightly on my arm in such a way as to give the gorgeous two karat Rhinestone from Pittsburg full play, and told me how such works as “The New Made Grave; or The Twin Murderers” had cost her many and many a copious tear, I told her I was glad of it. If it be a blessed boon for the student of such books to weep at home and work up their honest perspiration into scalding tears, far be it from me to grudge that poor boon.

I hope that all who may read these lines, and who may feel that the pores of their skin are getting torpid and sluggish, owing to an inherited antipathy toward physical exertion, and who feel that they would rather work up their perspiration into woe and shed it in the shape of common red-eyed weep, will keep themselves to this poor boon. People have different ways of enjoying themselves, and I hope no one will hesitate about accepting this or any other poor boon that I do not happen to be using at the time.