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The accretion of embedded qualifiers progressively separates the mother further from memory, beclouding both her maternity ("as such") and her physicality, until she recedes invisibly from the narrative in complete darkness ("at night") and death: "Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence, her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger" (13).
For every individual willing to overlook Jefferson's slaveholding for the sake of his drafting of the Declaration of Independence, someone else would surely, and not unreasonably, see the private act as dwarfing or beclouding the public achievement.