a fortnight with my wife.
I still remember the first half.
hour of Margaret's conversation.
She was then twentysix years old. She had a face and frame that would indicate fulness and tenacity of life.
She was rather under the middle height; her complexion was fair, with strong fair hair.
She was then, as always, carefully and becomingly dressed, and of ladylike self-possession.
For the rest, her appearance had nothing prepossessing.
Her extreme plainness,—a trick of incessantly opening and shutting her eyelids,—the nasal tone of her voice,— all repelled; and I said to myself, we shall never get far. It is to be said, that Margaret made a disagreeable first impression on most persons, including those who became afterwards her best friends, to such an extreme that they did not wish to be in the same room with her. This was partly the effect of her manners, which expressed an overweening sense of power, and slight esteem of others, and partly the prejudice of her fame.
She had a dangerous reputation for satire, in addition to her great scholarship.
The men thought she carried too many guns, and the women did not like one who despised them.
I believe I fancied her too much interested in personal history; and her talk was a comedy in which dramatic justice was done to everybody's foibles.
I remember that she made me laugh more than I liked; for I was, at that time, an eager scholar of ethics, and had tasted the sweets of solitude and stoicism, and I found something profane in the hours of amusing gossip into which she drew me, and, when I returned to my library, had much to think of the crackling of thorns under a pot. Margaret, who had stuffed me out as a philosopher, in her own fancy, was too intent on establishing a good footing between us, to omit any art of