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[2156] was the incitement to much perfectly good-natured, but nevertheless sharpish sparring between us. Whenever she said or did anything implying the usual demand of Woman on the courtesy and protection of Manhood, I was apt, before complying, to look her in the face and exclaim with marked emphasis,—quoting from her Woman in the Nineteenth Century, “—” let them be sea-Captains if they will! Of course, this was given and received as raillery, but it did not tend to ripen our intimacy or quicken my esteem into admiration. Though no unkind word ever passed between us, nor any approach to one, yet we two dwelt for months under the same roof, as scarcely more than acquaintances, meeting once a day at a common board, and having certain business relations with each other. Personally, I regarded her rather as my wife's cherished friend than as my own, possessing many lofty qualities and some prominent weaknesses, and a good deal spoiled by the unmeasured flattery of her little circle of inordinate admirers. For myself, burning no incense on any human shrine, I half-consciously resolved to “keep my eye-beam clear,” and escape the fascination which she seemed to exert over the eminent and cultivated persons, mainly women, who came to our outof-the-way dwelling to visit her, and who seemed generally to regard her with a strangely Oriental adoration.

But as time wore on, and I became inevitably better and better acquainted with her, I found myself drawn, almost irresistibly, into the general current. I found that her faults and weaknesses were all superficial and obvious to the most casual, if undazzled, observer. They rather dwindled than expanded upon a fuller knowledge; or rather, took on new and brighter aspects

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