France, Nov. 30
Dear Martha, -
Poor Kids, what a frightfully romantic name: I really cant see why a kind parent could inflict a name like that on any girl. Imagine some amative youth sighing forth a syblant, "Dear Martha". Oh Gosh! But never mind, Sis dear, men are all fools and doubtless some chap some day that you have the sweetest name in creation. And yet with your case in plain view John and Nelda were cruel enough to bestow on their perfectly well-put-together & good-looking baby-girl the praenomen of "Glowena." Gee. Probably her girlfriends will call her "Glowworm" or "Weiner" or something equally frightful.
But here I meant this to be a perfectly nice, brotherly letter and lo! I have spent the whole first page teasing. But that's like me.
However, don't you worry about that name, Girlie, but just about the girl.
Now just a few word of advice on what constitutes a "nice" girl.
First of all let us say disposition, and after all disposition makes the person. A ‘nice' girl must always be cheerful. None of your glum looks mind you, no wrinkled forehead, for that is what makes a girl "plain" - just a cheery countenance. And you can't look cheery unless you are carefree so one musn't worry, see! If you can't do something or other - that's all right someone else can, so smile and let it go. However don't mistake frivolous giddy laughter for cheerfulness. I have known some attractive little gigglers but after all they were only playthings. One likes to see a girl who can think if she choose. So No. 1. Be cheerful.
Number two requires no explanation. Be Kind. Don't snub, don't make fun of others - it isn't pleasant you know - don't misjudge 7 be always considerate.
Don't be selfish. Selfishness is a hateful trait and is more invidious than one would imagine. When one can only see one's own side of a question. Therefore always before you make a decision that will involve any one else place yourself in their boots and look at your projected action thru' their eyes. If you do this you wont be selfish.
Don't carry tales. This is very important from a social point of view. Girls nearly all carry tales and it causes lots of trouble too. A girl who doesn't carry tales will always have true friends both girls & boys.
Don't be sensitive. I used to be very much so. Its an awful feeling and also quite useless & unfounded. Don't imagine people don't want to associate with you because others are as eager to make friends as you are. It was a long time before I convinced myself as to that; but its true. Besides it makes one stiff & awkward and people think you are priggish. So don't take offence where none is meant etc.
All these thing to make up a cheerful sunny disposition. They count more than good looks, in fact I really believe they make good looks. At any rate this I know that by looking at anyone's face I can see their character. And bad characters have ugly faces & good characters have good faces. Good thoughts register themselves on the face & make one beautiful. I know ‘tis so. So if you want to good-looking be sweet & good.
As to personal appearance. Nothing counts more in making a girl attractive than daintyness. What I mean by that is this 1st immaculate cleanness - clean teeth, clean well-kept finger-nails, no body odours - that means a bath daily or at least twice a week. No oily hair - avoid loud perfumes but a little subtle scent on the hair is very fetching. Don't have dresses too stiff and never elaborate. One or two fussy parts to a dress is sufficient.
Then learn to be graceful. Don't take too long steps as it is condusive to big feet. Hold yourself erect - not too stiff but erect. Nothing is better for graceful carriage than athletics & dancing. Don'' be a bit hurt if you feel you are a bit awkward --all girls in their early teens are awkward and ungracefull as giraffes - you will understand that when you come to study psychology.
Best and last of all be morally pure, - it is the one thing that really counts and brings reward in this world. This, last, may sound hypocritical to you, coming from me but I looks on things in that way now. There's a reason - simply love & Minnie. Don't laugh, kid, love is worth all the other things in the world and more - it is holy - God's greatest gift to men & women.
Therefore don't mock love. I don't mean that there is any harm in a harmless flirtation although there may be, at that.
But there that's enough for this time. This letter is for you & you only and I hope it may be some good.
You wanted to know how old was the youngest girl I paid her way for. Well that is a perfectly reasonable question. I thing Beryl was sweet sixteen when I first took her to the J. H. S. sports.
No, Sissie Dear, I didn't say "Poor little Kid", I said "Well I'll be ¬¬¬¬d" and it struck me for the first time that you were sixteen and now a "girl" and a child no longer.
Well if you want answers to any question at all ask me and I'll do my best. Certainly write anyway.
Ever your loving brother
P.S. Remember this letter is for you exclusively. F.