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"Because I was a fool," she answered. "When you tell my story you must do it as sympathetically as possible, make people sorry for me. But that is the truth. I was unhappy because I was a fool."

"You still think I shall write your story. The critics will be pleased …" I began to remember all they would say, the flattering notices.

"Why were you crying?" she persisted. "Are you a fool too?"

"No. Only on Ella's account I don't want to die."

"You need not fear. Is Ella some one who loves you? If so she will keep you here. Gabriel did not love me enough. If some one needs us desperately and loves us completely, we don't die."

"Did no one love you like that?"

"I died," she answered concisely, and then gazed into the fire.

My limbs relaxed, I felt drowsy and convinced of great talent. I had never done myself justice, but with this story of Margaret Capel's I should come into my own. I wrote the opening sentence, a splendid sentence, arresting. And then I went on easily. I, who always wrote with infinite difficulty, slowly, and trying each phrase over again, weighing and appraising it, now found an amazing fluency come to me. I wrote and wrote.

De Quincey has not spoken the last word on