The Kempton-Wace Letters
Show me the ideally real Hester Stebbins, the spark of fire which is she. The storms have not broken over her head. She will laugh and make poetry of her laughter. If before she met you she wept, that, too, will help the smiling. There is laughter which is the echo of a Miserere sobbed by the ages. Men chuckle in the irony of pain, and they smile cold, lessoned smiles in resignation; they laugh in forgetfulness and they laugh lest they die of sadness. A shrug of the shoulders, a widening of the lips, a heaving forth of sound, and the life is saved. The remedy is as drastic as are the drugs used for epilepsy, which in quelling the spasm bring idiocy to the patient. If we are made idiots by our laughter, we are paying dearly for the privilege of continuing in life.
Hester shall laugh because she is glad and must tell