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I loved with a mixture of affection and reverence that knew no bounds

This reticence is exactly what friendship is intended to transcend, if we take Walton's notion of its value as a benchmark. He looks to an ideal friend "to regulate [his] mind" (Letter 2.2). Even Victor, in the revised text, conceives the value of a friend as being "to perfectionate our weak and faulty natures" (Letter 4.7). Victor's reserve, however, negates this function of friendship, suggesting a limit to how far it is able to surmount the barriers of what a later time might call ego-defences.