In all the world there is no figure so poig-nantly pathetic as that of the lonely woman - the woman who isn't wanted. And in all the world there is no tragedy - for it is a tragedy - that excites so little sympathy; for the comprehension of the majority of men and women who have work to do, and believe themselves to be part of the universal scheme, does not extend to the agony of mind of the lonely woman, whose lack of imagination is her only real burden.
" Not Wanted !"
The lonely woman is a confirmed pessimist. a martyr to her own foolish doubts. Her outlook on life is so cramped and narrow, and her self-effacement so complete, that she cannot conceive a reason for her existence. Often she lives the life of a recluse, hiding from the light of a workaday world as though every glance of her fellow-creatures implied scorn and contumely. " I am not wanted ! " The brand on her forehead is of her own searing. " I am not wanted " is in her downcast and mirthless eyes, for the sense of humour is the first of her faculties that the lonely woman allows to die. " I am nothing to the world; the world can go on very well without me." These are her thoughts; they constitute her martyrdom, and yet she wonders why the world cannot understand and sympathise accordingly. The reason is simple enough: In the creating of things, no allowance was made for the lonely woman; somewhere in the scheme there is a niche for the labours of every woman, for it is given to every woman - as it is given to every man - to make her fellows happier and wiser for her existence.
' But what can 1 do ?" asks the lonely woman plaintively. " Nobody wants me, nobody seeks me. I have no natural favours to commend me either to man or woman. 1 live and suffer in solitude; my world ends at the garden gate. I don't know the meaning of friendship."