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Title: Three Guineas (1938) Author: Virginia Woolf * A Project Gutenberg of Australia e Book * e Book No.: 020093Edition: 1 Language: English Character set encoding: HTML Date first posted: November 2002 Date most recently updated: November 2002 This e Book was produced by: Don Lainson [email protected] notes: Notes indicated in the e Book are located ,in chapter order, at the end of the e Book.Project Gutenberg of Australia e Books are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included.What is that congregation of buildings there, with a semi-monastic look, with chapels and halls and green playing-fields?To you it is your old school; Eton or Harrow; your old university, Oxford or Cambridge; the source of memories and of traditions innumerable.
You have never sunk into the contented apathy of middle life, for, as your letter from an office in the heart of London shows, instead of turning on your pillow and prodding your pigs, pruning your pear trees--you have a few acres in Norfolk--you are writing letters, attending meetings, presiding over this and that, asking questions, with the sound of the guns in your ears. those three dots mark a precipice, a gulf so deeply cut between us that for three years and more I have been sitting on my side of it wondering whether it is any use to try to speak across it.
Without someone warm and breathing on the other side of the page, letters are worthless.
You, then, who ask the question, are a little grey on the temples; the hair is no longer thick on the top of your head.
But one does not like to leave so remarkable a letter as yours--a letter perhaps unique in the history of human correspondence, since when before has an educated man asked a woman how in her opinion war can be prevented? Therefore let us make the attempt; even if it is doomed to failure.
In the first place let us draw what all letter-writers instinctively draw, a sketch of the person to whom the letter is addressed.War, as the result of impersonal forces, is you will agree beyond the grasp of the untrained mind.