Page:Aunt Phillis's Cabin.djvu/180

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Chapter XVIII.

It was in answer to Arthur's letter, expressing great anxiety to hear from home, in consequence of so long a time having passed without his receiving his usual letters, that Mr. Weston wrote him of Alice's illness. She was then convalescing, but in so feeble and nervous a condition, that Dr. Lawton advised Arthur's remaining where he was--wishing his patient to be kept even from the excitement of seeing so dear a relative. Mr. Weston insisted upon Arthur's being contented with hearing constantly of her improvement, both from himself and Mrs. Weston. This, Arthur consented to do; but in truth he was not aware of the extent of the danger which had threatened Alice's life, and supposed it to have been an ordinary fever. With what pleasure did he look forward, in his leisure moments, to the time when it would be his privilege always to be near her; and to induce the tedious interval to pass more rapidly, he employed himself with his studies, as constantly as the season would allow. He had formed a sincere attachment to Abel Johnson, whose fine talents and many high qualities made him a delightful companion. Mr. Hubbard was a connection of young Johnson's, and felt privileged often to intrude himself upon them. It really was an intrusion, for he had at present a severe attack of the Abolition fever, and he could not talk upon any other subject. This was often very disagreeable to Arthur and his friend, but still it became a frequent subject of their discussion, when Mr. Hubbard was present, and when they were alone.

In the mean time, the warm season was passing away, and Alice did not recover her strength as her friends wished.