Page:Letters of Life.djvu/419

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With her native energy she kept about as usual, riding out and walking in the brighter days, and spending every morning in her study, as had always been her custom. But her flesh wasted away, and her strength failed; and daily the effort became greater. Yet she still required of herself the same early rising, the same careful attention to the details of her housekeeping, and seemed to redouble her thoughtful kindness for the welfare of others.

On Sunday, March 26th, the fourth Sunday in Lent, she attended church for the last time. It was a bright and beautiful day, and she was cheered and comforted by the holy service, but returned home very much fatigued. On the last day of March she writes: "No variation in my employments, except such as extreme weakness admits. Very much to be thankful for."

For about three weeks her case appeared exceedingly critical, and we were very anxious about her. Then her strength of constitution seemed in a measure to rally, her appetite returned, her cough became less violent, and she was again able to ride out and to walk a little when the weather was fine. We trusted that she was to be given back to us; and though we looked forward with apprehension to another winter, we hoped that the mild air of spring might, with God's blessing, bring her a measure of strength and health again. Her voice remained very weak, and her physician considered it absolutely necessary that she should use it as little as possible. She was therefore able to see but very few of her friends. But their constant kindness was most grateful to her. She kept a daily record of the calls of inquiry that were made, and the many gifts of flowers and rare fruits and delicacies that were sent to her.