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[206]

Chapter 31: the prejudice in favor of retiracy

Miss Alcott, when serving as nurse in a soldiers' hospital, justified her demand of a small curtain for her chamber window on the fact of “the female mind having a prejudice in favor of retiracy during the nightcapped periods of existence.” But the truth is that if people could only be induced to believe it, such a prejudice exists not only for women, but for many men also, and during much more extended periods. An able Western critic, a lady, writes in despair that of three different poets of her own sex whom she wished to include in a biographical article, every one has replied that she preferred not to give any personal details about herself. Two of these reside at the East, one at the West; all desire to earn a modest income by their poems, and all to some extent succeed; all readily admit that a page or two of personal gossip about

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