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Jena, March 25th.
Dear Mr. Anstruther,—You ask me to tell you more about my illness, but I am afraid I must refuse. I see no use in thinking of painful past things. They ought always to be forgotten as quickly as possible; if they are not, they have a trick of turning the present sour, and I cling to the present, to the one thing one really has, and like to make it as cheerful as possible—like to get, by industrious squeezing, every drop of honey out of it. Just now I cannot tell you how thankful I am simply to be alive with nothing in my body hurting. To be alive with a great many things in one's body hurting is a poor sort of amusement. It is not at all a game worth playing. People talk of sick persons clinging to life however sick they are, say they invariably do it, that they prefer it on any terms to dying; well, I was a sick person who did not cling at all. I did not want it. I was most willing to be done with it. But Death, though he used often to come up and look at me, and once at least sat beside me for quite a long while, went away again, and after a time left off bothering about me altogether; and here I am walking out in the sun every day, and listening with immense pleasure to the chaffinches.
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