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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1874 edition. Excerpt: ...Elfride. Woman's ruling passion--to fascinate and influence those more powerful than she--though operant in Elfride, was decidedly purposeless. She had wanted her friend Knight's good opinion from the first: how much more than that elementary ingredient of friendship she now desired, her fears would hardly allow her to think. In originally wishing to please the highest class of man she had ever intimately known, there was no disloyalty to Stephen Smith. She could not--and few women can--realize the possible vastness of an issue which has only an insignificant cause. Her letters from Stephen were necessarily few, and her sense of fidelity clung to the last she had received as a wrecked mariner clings to flotsam. The young girl persuaded herself that she was glad Stephen had such a right to her hand as he had acquired (in her eyes) by the elopement. She beguiled herself by saying, " Perhaps if had not so committed myself I might fall in love with Mr. Knight." All this made the week of Knight's absence very gloomy and distasteful to her. She had retained Stephen in her prayers, and his old letters were re-read--as a medicine in reality, though she deceived herself into the belief that it was as a pleasure. These letters had grown more and more hopeful. He told her that he finished work every day with a pleasant consciousness of having removed one more stone from the barrier which divided them. Then he drew images of what a fine figure they two would cut some day. People would turn their heads and say, " What a prize he has won." She was not to be sad about that wild runaway attempt of theirs (Elfride had repeatedly said that it grieved her). Whatever any other person who knew of it might think, he knew well enough the modesty of her nature. The only...
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