A Fortnight at the Dead Lake -- Doomed -- Beatrice -- Beginning, and End
d much tenderness towards each other. Only once I kissed her lips; it was when I left for the University at nineteen years of age.
"Though I deeply felt the pain of leaving my adoptive home, yet I fancied it would not become me as a man to show any emotion, still my voice failed me when my dear mother embraced me with tears in her eyes. Little Ellen stood pale, and silent by her side. I turned to her with some joke and jestingly gave her different directions about the care of my zoological collection, (preserved in camphor and spirits of wine) which I had entrusted to her charge. Then I drew this child of eight into my arms to bid her farewell. As I kissed her, I was startled by a sudden shudder which ran through her frame, as if an asp had bitten her. She staggered back with closed eyes and nearly fainted away. She quickly recovered however, and next day wrote me a childishly merry letter.
"Since that day I only once touched her lips again, and then they were cold and closed for ever.