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[188] are in other respects, it may be, women of character, energy, and independence. In the great majority of cases the male adviser is doubtless to be trusted; in a smaller number he is treacherous or incompetent. Often he is the husband, and that only increases the completeness of the confidence, and, if he is unfit for the trust, the rapidity of the downfall. It is not uncommon to see men who have run through two fortunes-their own and that of a wife. I knew a lady, not now living, who inherited $75,000. Her first husband reduced it to $25,000; her second, to nothing. The amount is of no consequence; it is just as easy to run through a million dollars as a hundred, if you only begin to run.

The trouble is that no virtue, no high aim, no devoted affection, is a safeguard against this calamity. The noblest men and the noblest women may be its victims. One of the purest philanthropists I ever knew was an instance of this. He was widely known, had a generosity only too unbounded, and an independent property, his wife also possessing one of her own. He was a trained lawyer, though not practising, and he commanded such confidence that he was repeatedly made trustee or executor under the wills of others. At the end of his life it was found that he had made no separation of the securities representing these trusts from his own.

Nevertheless the trusts were all paid in full from

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