til she suddenly exclaimed, "Edmund, is papa really getting worse?"
"Why should you think so, Marian?"
"I don't know, only from what you say when people inquire after him; and sometimes when I come to think about it, I believe he can do less than last year. He gets up later, and does not go out so often, and now you say he will never get quite well, and I always thought he would."
"No, I am afraid there is no likelihood of that, Marian: the doctors say he may be much better, but never quite well."
"But do you think he is better?"
"He has had less suffering of late, certainly, and so far we must be thankful; but, as you say, Marian, I am afraid he is weaker than last time I was at home, and I thought him much altered when I came. Still I do not think him materially worse, and I believe I might have thought him improved, if I had been here all the winter."
Marian became silent again, for her disposition was not to express her feelings readily, and besides, she was young enough to be able to pu
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