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[136] But he was too bashful, as his friend Ellis declares, to tell her of it. No doubt, when he began to pay her attentions she was the most attractive young lady whom up to that time he had ever met. She was not only modest and winning in her ways, and full of good, womanly common-sense, but withal refined, in contrast with the uncultured people who surrounded both herself and Lincoln. β€œShe had a secret, too, and a sorrow,--the unexplained and painful absence of McNamar,--which, no doubt, made her all the more interesting to him whose spirit was often even more melancholy than her own.”

In after years, McNamar himself, describing her to me, said: β€œMiss Rutledge was a gentle, amiable maiden, without any of the airs of your city belles, but winsome and comely withal; a blonde in complexion, with golden hair, cherry-red lips, and a bonny blue eye. As to her literary attainments, she undoubtedly was as classic a scholar as Mr. Lincoln. She had at the time she met him, I believe, attended a literary institution at Jacksonville, in company with her brother.”

McNamar seems to have considered Lincoln's bashfulness as proof against the alluring charms of Miss Rutledge or anybody else, for he continues:

Mr. Lincoln was not to my knowledge paying particular attention to any of the young ladies of my acquaintance when I left for my home in New York. There was no rivalry between us on that score; on the contrary, I had every reason to believe him my warm, personal friend. But by-and-by I

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