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for three long, agonizing weeks, when suddenly, after a long and more quiet sleep than she had had for some time, she opened her eyes, and knew her husband, who was sitting by her bedside, watching her with an intense anxiety in his face.
“Give me a little drink, my dear," she said.
O, had that cup of cold water, which her husband gave her then, purchased for himself eternal life, he would hardly have experienced a greater joy than he felt, when he saw Fanny lift up her bright blue eye calmly to his, and heard the music of her natural voice, as she pronounced his name, and gave signs of recovered
Roberts, who was unaccustomed to severe illness, was alarmed to find that his wife's recovery from the delirium was accompanied by a childlike weakness of mind, as well as body; and, but for his physician, he would have been thrown into utter despair, at hearing her speak of herself and him with a total forgetfulness of all that had passed during their residence in New York. She thought that she was in Boston, and that her illness was occasioned by her confinement, and was continually asking for the baby, who, she said, must be called Willy. They pacified her by
telling her that the doctor thought her too ill to Her husband was the only person
“Dear William,” she said to him, “what a good nurse you are! How sweet it is to have you take care of me! You can see our boy, though they will not let me see him. Who does he look like? It is to be hoped that he will have your nose and my eyes; and if he has your sense, pray let him have my nonsense, or there will be two against one, which is not fair, as the boys say."
It seemed as if her husband's heart would now burst with joy, as it before had been near breaking with hopeless misery. Sometimes he almost felt selfish enough to dread her gaining strength, and recovering her memory, lest she should again lose her love for him.
Gradually, Fanny began to recollect the past. A most careful, skilful, and tender nurse had assisted her husband in taking charge of her during her illness, and still more critical recovery, About a week after the restoration of her reason, she said to her husband, when the nurse was out of the room, I have an indistinct recollection of having seen that woman. I remember her gown ; and I cannot tell how it is, but it makes me want to laugh when I look at it; and I don't like her
6 It seems
then. But I never knew such a devoted, tender, excellent nurse. What is her name?”
Her husband evaded the question.
“ It seems to me that I have seen that gown before,” said Fanny, with a deep, low emphasis, and a sort of self-questioning tone. to me, WiHiam, as if that woman brought some horrid dream to my
mind.” “Remember," said her husband, “ that you have been very ill; and the doctor says that you must be very quiet."
May I not see my boy to-day?” said Fanny. 6. If the doctor consents, my
shall.” “How kind you are to me, William !” said his wife, kissing his hand, which was holding hers. “ You will always love me; will you
“So help me God, I will !” replied her husband.
Fanny gained strength so fast, that in a few days the doctor thought her husband might venture, when she asked for her baby, to tell her of the effect of her illness, and let her see her boy. 6 Can
be very calm," said Roberts, when she asked for her child, “can you be very calm, and hear what I have to say ?”
“ Yes,” she answered. “I am getting strong so fast, that I can promise even to be quiet.
“ You must know,” said her husband,“ that the fever you have had has destroyed, for the time, your memory. Your boy is three years old, and you think he is only three weeks. We are in New York - not in Boston."
“ And why are we here?” said Fanny;“why are we here in New York? O, now I remember, I have not seen Amy this long while."
“My father sent for me to come and live with him.”
“ Did he?” said Fanny, with a vacant and yet troubled look, like that of a person coming to his senses, after being stunned.
“ Yes, dear; he sent for us, and we moved here. And now, if
shall see Willy, and kiss him; and then you must try to sleep."
He was anxious to stop there; and he took the most effectual method of checking his wife's waking memory, by mentioning her boy.
“ Yes, O yes, let me see my child.”
The little fellow, carefully obeying his father's directions, came in slowly, on tiptoe, and went up to his mother. She held him back an instant, and looked like one whose eyes are dazzled, as the returning light of a mother's memory shone
on the form and face of her child. Poor Willy could bear it no longer.
“ Mother! dear mother! I love you. Don't you know me? It's Willy - your own boy,' he sobbed out, and nestled his head into her bosom.
Tears, blessed tears, came to the relief of the poor mother, as she pressed the child to her heart. Alas! around that unutterable joy, as it again took its place in her awakened memory, clustered so many terrible thoughts! Her husband feared this moment, and had planned various ways of meeting it; but they were all defeated, and a better way found out, by the untaught, artless address of a loving child.
“ Do not cry any more, mother, now; get well directly, mother. Father told me this morning that he never, never would leave you, nor me, while he lived. He says if you only get well, we will all live together, and try to be good and happy; and I have been wanting to get into your room ever since, and tell you of it, for I knew that would make you well.”
Thus did the angel hand of her own sweet innocent child suddenly lift up the veil which had so mercifully for her been dropped over the terrible past; and it seemed as if the darkness