Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/137

This page has been validated.
107
THE GREAT NEW WORLD.

she said, "and oh, Boy! I'd make it so pretty! and we'd go out to the theatres and have a gay old time".

I was horrified; married at my age, no, Sir! It seemed absurd to me and with Jessie. I saw she was pretty and bright, but she knew nothing, never had read anything: I couldn't marry her. The idea made me snort. But she was dead in earnest, so I agreed to all she said, only insisting that first I must got regular work; I'd buy the engagement ring too: but first we must have another great evening. Jessie didn't know whether her sister would go out, but she'd see. Meanwhile we kissed and kissed and her lips grew hot and my hand got busy, and then we walked again, on and on, and finally went into the great Museum.

Here I got one of the shocks of my life. Suddenly Jessie stopped before a picture representing, I think, Paris choosing the Goddess of Beauty, Paris being an ideal figure of youthful manhood.

"Oh, isn't he splendid!" cried Jessie, "just like you", she added with feminine wit, pouting out her lips as if to kiss me. If she hadn't made the personal application, I might not have realized the absurdity of the comparison. But Paris had long, slim legs while mine were short and stout, and his face was oval and his nose straight, while my nose jutted out with broad, scenting nostrils.

The conviction came to me in a flash: I was ugly with irregular features, sharp eyes and short squat figure: the certainty overpowered me: I had learned before that I was too small to be a great athlete, now I saw that I was ugly to boot: my heart sank: I can not describe my disappointment and disgust.

Jessie asked; what was the matter and at length I told her. She wouldn't have it: "You've a lovely