New York April 12th 1899
I am really rejoiced, my dear Margaret, that you have an excuse for not writing to me sooner. I bore your silence with much impatience, I thought I deserved better [usage ?].
So, Margaret, after you are married I must not entrust my secrets to your care. I cannot coincide with you in the opinion that the most illimitable confidence ought to exist between those whom the bands of matrimony have united. As to what relates entirely to themselves, the confidence ought, perhaps, to be boundless, but the secret of a friend should ever be most sacredly preserved, they are a property which should be inalienable [and ?] no consideration whatever should induce us to reveal them. But if the performance of this duty by accompanied by difficulty [?] [?], then indeed, we ought not to accept the confidence of a friend but candidly own the reason of our refusal. Surely this is not necessary. To me it would be a sacrifice of some of my [dearest ?] pleasures. I know nothing more heart-soothing, more delightful, more capable of heightening affection, than being trusted with the concerns of a friend, to alleviate her cares, by sympathy, and perhaps to [?] her, by advice. We marriage to annihilate such communications, it would indeed be the death of friendship. The espousals of a friend, instead of being witnessed by joy, would induce the same emotion we should have felt at her funeral. That being [?] be unpardonably selfish , who would wish to
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