Magnum Bonum eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 846 pages of information about Magnum Bonum.
past year, was, John thinks, the real reason of his being unable to rally when the fever had brought him down, after the dreadful exertion at Abville.  Dear fellow, he never let us guess how much his patience cost him.  I think we had looked to John’s arrival as if it would act like magic, and it was very sore disappointment when his treatment was producing no change for the better, but the prostration went on day after day.  Poor Bobus was in utter despair, and went raging about, declaring that he had been a fool ever to expect anything from Kencroft, and at last he had to be turned out of the sick-room.  For I should tell you that the one thing that kept me up was the entire calm grave composure that John preserved throughout, and which gave him the entire command.  He never showed any consternation or dismay, nor uttered an augury, but he went quietly and vigilantly on, in a manner that all along gave me a strange sense of confidence and trust, that all that could be done was being done, and the issue was in higher hands.  He would not let anyone really help him but Sister Dorothea, with her trained skill as a nurse.  I don’t think even I should have been suffered in the room, if he had not thought Jock might be more conscious than was apparent, for he had not himself received one token of recognition all those three days.  Poor Bobus! the little gleam of light that Jock had let in on him seemed all gone.  I do not know what would have become of him but for the good Ashtons.  He had been persuaded for a time that what was so real to Jock must be true; but when Jock was no longer conscious, he had nothing to help him, and I am afraid he spoke terrible words when Primrose talked of prayer and faith.  I believe he declared that to see one like his brother snatched away when just come to the perfection of his early manhood, with all his capacity and all his knowledge in vain, convinced him either that this universe was one grim, pitiless machine, grinding down humanity by mere law of necessity, or if they would have it that there was supernatural power, it could only be malevolent; and then Primrose, so strong in faith as to venture what I should have shrunk from as dangerous presumption, dared him to go on in his disbelief, if his brother were given back to prayer.

“She pitied him so much, the sweet bright girl, she had so pitied him all along, that I believe she prayed as much for him as for Jock.

“Of course I did not know all this till afterwards, for all was stillness in that room, except when at times the clergyman came in and prayed.

“The next thing I am sure of, was John’s leaning over me, and his low steady voice saying, ’The pulse is better, the symptoms are mitigating.’  Sister Dorothea says they had both seen it for some hours, but he made her a sign not to agitate me till he was secure that the improvement was real.  Indeed there was something in that equable firm gentleness of John’s that sustained me, and prevented my breaking down.  Even then it was another whole day before my darling smiled at me again, and said, ‘Thanks’ to John, but oh! with such a look.

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Magnum Bonum from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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