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[319] beautiful, and attracted me to him from the first. His weakness was so great that he was utterly unable, for a long time, even to feed himself, and, of course, could not write. When I offered to do so for him, he declined, saying, that she knew, through a friend, that he was here; and that the sight of a strange hand, with the conviction that it would bring that he was too ill to write for himself, would be worse for her than to wait for a little while.

One day, some time afterward, I came to his bedside, and found a paper lying there with a few unmeaning scratches, as I thought, upon it; he held them up to me.

“ The best I could do.”

“What were you trying to do?” said I; “ did you mean that for drawing?”

A look of intense disappointment passed over his face.

“ I was afraid so,” said he; “ then it would frighten her, as I thought. I meant it for my signature, and I've looked at it, and looked at it, and hoped it didn't look as bad as I thought, at first; but if you ask what I'm trying to do, when you see it, the game's up, and it's no use.”

I assured him that such a signature would be stronger proof of the real state of the case than any letter I could send telling the facts, and giving the reasonable ground for hope which we now felt. But he still preferred to wait; and ere very long we found, by pinning the paper to the table, to keep it firm, he could execute a tolerably legible epistle. The weeks rolled on, and, by slow degrees, he regained his strength; his

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