Women And Love In Alexander's 'The Enchantress'

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2.4 The Enchantress In two poems Alexander wrote during his youth in the Caribbean, Hamilton expresses two very different positions on women and love. One is idealistic, painting women as almost angelic creatures, the other one employs a very different tone, painting women as dangerous sirens. Hamilton’s early visions of love stuck with him throughout his life, as he seemed to be drawn towards two kinds of women, the agreeable and grounded type that perfectly described his wife Eliza, and the more scandalous kind embodied by his mistress, Maria Reynolds. Even during his marriage Hamilton had often engaged in flirtatious conversations with women. However, there is no evidence of any infidelity until the day Maria Reynolds walked into his office, telling him a tale of an abusive husband who had now abandoned her, leaving her help- and moneyless. Due to the hardships his mother had had to endure after James Hamilton had left her on St. Croix, Alexander was drawn towards women in need, always being eager to help them. As is explained in the song Say No To This, the young woman came to Hamilton, appealing to his “humanity”, as he described it himself. When he went to visit her at her house later that night to give her a bank bill, he realized that “other than pecuniary consolation would be acceptable”. They commenced an affair that was to last for more than a year, even despite a sudden change of events. Not long after Maria came to him for help, her husband James Reynolds
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