The Woman Who Did

Written by a man, this is the story of a woman who had principles that women must be equal to men. But it didn’t fit in this society at this time. Will elsewhere than London fit with her idea? She wants the evolution of the humanity and always make her decisions in that direction. View what happened to her, you’ll be surprised!

A Charming Young Man

Next afternoon, about two o'clock, Alan called with a tremulous heart at the cottage. Herminia had heard not a little of him meanwhile from her friend Mrs. Dewsbury.

"He's a charming young man, my dear," the woman of the world observed with confidence.

"I felt quite sure you'd attract one another. He's so clever and advanced, and everything that's dreadful, just like yourself, Herminia. But then he's also very well connected. That's always something, especially when one's an oddity. You wouldn't go down one bit yourself, dear, if you weren't a dean's daughter.

The shadow of a cathedral steeple covers a multitude of sins. Mr. Merrick's the son of the famous London gout doctor, you MUST know his name, all the royal dukes flock to him. He's a barrister himself, and in excellent practice. You might do worse, do you know, than to go in for Alan Merrick."

Herminia's lip curled an almost imperceptible curl as she answered gravely, "I don't think you quite understand my plans in life, Mrs. Dewsbury. It isn't my present intention to GO IN for anybody."

But Mrs. Dewsbury shook her head. She knew the world she lived in.

"Ah, I've heard a great many girls talk like that beforehand," she answered at once with her society glibness; "but when the right man turned up, they soon forgot their protestations. It makes a lot of difference, dear, when a man really asks you!"

Herminia bent her head. "You misunderstand me," she replied. "I don't mean to say I will never fall in love. I expect to do that.

I look forward to it frankly, it is a woman's place in life. I only mean to say, I don't think anything will ever induce me to marry, that is to say, legally."

Mrs. Dewsbury gave a start of surprise and horror. She really didn't know what girls were coming to nowadays, which, considering her first principles, was certainly natural. But if only she had seen the conscious flush with which Herminia received her visitor that afternoon, she would have been confirmed in her belief that Herminia, after all, in spite of her learning, was much like other girls. In which conclusion Mrs. Dewsbury would not in the end have been fully justified.

When Alan arrived, Herminia sat at the window by the quaintly clipped box-tree, a volume of verse held half closed in her hand, though she was a great deal too honest and transparent to pretend she was reading it.

She expected Alan to call, in accordance with his promise, for she had seen at Mrs. Dewsbury's how great an impression she produced upon him; and, having taught herself that it was every true woman's duty to avoid the affectations.

And self-deceptions which the rule of man has begotten in women, she didn't try to conceal from herself the fact that she on her side was by no means without interest in the question how soon he would pay her his promised visit.

As he appeared at the rustic gate in the privet hedge, Herminia looked out, and changed color with pleasure when she saw him push it open.

"Oh, how nice of you to look me up so soon!" she cried, jumping from her seat (with just a glance at the glass) and strolling out bareheaded into the cottage garden.

"Isn't this a charming place? Only look at our hollyhocks! Consider what an oasis after six months of London!"

She seemed even prettier than last night, in her simple white morning dress, a mere ordinary English gown, without affectation of any sort, yet touched with some faint reminiscence of a flowing Greek chiton.

Its half-classical drapery exactly suited the severe regularity of her pensive features and her graceful figure. Alan thought as he looked at her he had never before seen anybody who appeared at all points so nearly to approach his ideal of womanhood. She was at once so high in type, so serene, so tranquil, and yet so purely womanly.

"Yes, it IS a lovely place," he answered, looking around at the clematis that drooped from the gable-ends. "I'm staying myself with the Watertons at the Park, but I'd rather have this pretty little rose-bowered garden than all their balustrades and Italian terraces.