Books > Old Books > East Wind: West Wind (1939)


Page 39

PART I - CHAPTER III

"It is not to be supposed that. you would be drawn to me whom you behold for the first time, as I behold you also. You have been forced into this marriage as much as I have. We have been helpless in this matter until now. Yet now that we are alone we may create our life according to our own desires. For myself, I wish to follow the new ways. I wish to regard you in all things as my equal. I shall never force you to anything. You are not my possession-my chattel. You may `be my friend, if you will."
These were the words I heard on my bridal night. At first I was amazed beyond understanding of their meaning. I equal to him? But why? Was I not his wife? If he did not tell me what to do, then who would? Was he not my master by law? No one had forced me to marry him-what else could I do if I did not marry? And how could I marry except as my parents arranged it? Whom could I marry if not the man to whom I had been betrothed all my life? It was all according to our custom. I did not see wherein lay any force.
Then his words burned again in my ears. "You have been forced into this as much as I have." I was suddenly faint with fear. Did he mean to say he did not wish to be married to me?

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