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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter I: The end of one life,   pp. 1-17

Page 10

10                  Satan Came to Eden 
husband's striking tolerance sprang from the fear that any action on 
his part would bring about a public scandal, and not from any 
higher or more generous sentiment. While I could not accuse him 
of not loving me, it hurt me to think that such a purely practical 
consideration could outweigh the normal resentment which must 
have filled him. But this is the way of conventional married life with 
its mean compromises and essential untruths. 
  The fascination of Dr. Ritter's personality had caught and held 
me from the first. But love, in the ordinary meaning of the word, 
does not convey the many-sidedness of my feeling for this man 
with his astonishing blond mane, his youthful bearing, and his steel- 
blue eyes that looked out from under his furrowed forehead so 
compellingly. He was so vital that I never felt any disparity in our 
ages-he was fifteen years older than I-a thing which, in my hus- 
band, I had always been depressingly conscious of. I felt that time 
could have no power over such dynamic strength as that, and "age"
in terms of years had no significance in the case of this truth-seeker, 
progressing smoothly and surely by intellect along the way which 
I had gropingly sought, and already so far ahead of me. 
  I think it is quite a mistake to say that "love is blind." I
that mine was not. I know that for the sake of his great mind and 
spirit I tolerated more in Dr. Ritter, I made more compromises in 
order not to hinder our great mutual quest, than most women would 
in relation to any man, and I certainly in relation to any other. 
For in his human contacts he was rough and unskillful, and the fact 
that one was a woman-perhaps the only woman he did not despise 
-entitled one to no special clemency or favor at his hands. 
  In my husband's eyes I was the victim of hypnotic suggestion. 
He even attributed the sudden, rapid improvement in my health to 
the same influence. And indeed under the spell of Dr. Ritter's pow- 
erful assurance that I could be well if I would will myself to be, my 
health had become incomparably better than it had been for years. 
It was Dr. Ritter's teaching that one of the dangers of chronic 
malady is that it brings about, if we allow it to, a degeneration of 
all healthy instincts both physical and moral, and that this is the 
peril every patient is morally bound to fight against. "If ever we 
are called to account by God," he used to say, "He will not ask

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