Mary: A Fiction

by Mary Wollstonecraft

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Chapter XXXI

Mary visited the continent, and sought health in different climates; but her nerves were not to be restored to their former state. She then retired to her house in the country, established manufactories, threw the estate into small farms; and continually employed herself this way to dissipate care, and banish unavailing regret. She visited the sick, supported the old, and educated the young.

These occupations engrossed her mind; but there were hours when all her former woes would return and haunt her.--Whenever she did, or said, any thing she thought Henry would have approved of--she could not avoid thinking with anguish, of the rapture his approbation ever conveyed to her heart--a heart in which there was a void, that even benevolence and religion could not fill. The latter taught her to struggle for resignation; and the former rendered life supportable.

Her delicate state of health did not promise long life. In moments of solitary sadness, a gleam of joy would dart across her mind--She thought she was hastening to that world where there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage.


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