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want of strength and a little tightness in the chest. I envied Sam's walk with you to-day, which I will not do again, as I may get very tired of envying. I imagine you now sitting in your new black dress, which I like so much, and if I were a little less selfish and more enthusiastic I should run round and surprise you with a knock at the door. I fear I am too prudent for a dying kind of lover. Yet there is a great difference between going off in warm blood, like Romeo, and making one's exit like a frog in a frost. I had nothing particular to say to-day, but not intending that there shall be any interruption to our correspondence (which at some future time I propose offering to Murray), I write something. God bless you, my sweet love! Illness is a long lane, but I see you at the end of it, and shall mend my pace as well as possible.
No. 32. DEAR GIRL:
Yesterday you must have thought me worse than I really was. I assure you there was nothing but regret at being obliged to forego an embrace which has so many times been the highest gust of my life. I would not care for health without it. Sam would not come in— I wanted merely to ask him how you were this morning. When one is not quite well, we turn for relief to those we love: this is no weakness of spirit in me: you know when in health I thought of nothing but you; when I shall again be so it will be the same. Brown has been mentioning
to me that some hint from Sam, last night, occasions him some uneasiness. He whispered something to you concerning Brown and old Mr. Dilke which had the complexion of being something derogatory to the former. It was connected with an anxiety about Mr. D. Sr.'s death, and an anxiety to set out for Chichester. These sort of hints point out their own solution: one cannot pretend to a delicate ignorance on the subject: you understand the whole matter. If any one, my sweet love, has misrepresented to you, to your mother, or Sam, any circumstances which are at all likely, at a tenth remove, to create suspicions among people who, from their own interested notions, slander others, pray tell me: for I feel the least attaint on the disinterested character of Brown very deeply. Perhaps Reynolds or some other of my friends may come towards evening; therefore, you may choose whether you will come to see me early to-day, before or after dinner, as you may think fit. Remember me to your mother, and tell her to drag you to me if you show the least reluctance
MY DEAREST GIRL:
I endeavour to make myself as patient as possible. Hunt amuses me very kindly — besides, I have your ring on my finger and your flowers on the table. I shall not expect to see you yet, because it would be so much pain to part with you again.