At my age, alas! one no longer gets into mischief, either by moonlight or at midsummer, and yet to-day all the tricksey spirits of the invisible world are supposed to be abroad—tangling the horses' manes, souring the milkmaid's cream, setting lovers by the ears. Some such frisky Puck stirs even peaceable middle-aged blood at this season to mild little secret sins, such as beginning a diary in which to set down one's private naughty views—the heresies one has grown too staid and cautious to give speech to any longer.
All, I think, have some Secret Garden where they unbind the girdle of conventions and breathe to a sympathetic listener the opinions they would repudiate indignantly upon the housetops; but I know of no such kindred soul—indeed my private views are so heretical that I should tremble to whisper them even into the dull cold ear of night, lest I should cause it to turn pink, and thereafter hymns would not purge it. Hence no resource remains to ease my bosom of its perilous stuff but the unprotesting innocence of the blank pages of a diary.