y generous, and could not lend a deaf ear to any tale of distress.
Between 1642, when Saskia died, and 1649, it is not easy to follow the progress of his life; we can only state with certainty that his difficulties increased almost as quickly as his work ripened. His connection with Hendrickje Stoffels would seem to have started about 1649, and this woman with whom he lived until her death some thirteen years later, has been abused by many biographers because she was the painter's mistress. Some have endeavoured to prove, without any evidence, that he married her, but this concession to Mrs. Grundy seems a little beside the mark. The relations between the pair were a matter for their own consideration, and it is clear that Hendrickje came to the painter in the time of his greatest trouble, to serve him lovingly and faithfully until she passed away at the comparatively early age of thirty-six.
She bore him two children, who seem to have died young, and, curiously enough, her position in the house
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