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[269] They did speak as men do who perfunctorily acquit themselves of a duty, but praised extravagantly what I had written, saying about it such things that if any people had heard them who were not my personal friends and kindly disposed towards me, they could not possibly have failed to suppose that my visitors were trying to make a fool of me and that I had lost my wits and was altogether a simpleton if I allowed myself to be persuaded of what they said.

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