Way Down East - A Romance of New England Life (Chapter 7, page 1 of 7)

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Chapter 7

A mother's love--how sweet the name!
What is a mother's love?
--A noble, pure and tender flame,
Enkindled from above,
To bless a heart of earthly mould;
The warmest love that can grow cold;
That is a mother's love.--James Montgomery.

It took all the medical skill of which the doctor was capable, and the
best part of twenty-four hours of hard work to rouse Anna from the
death-like lethargy into which she had fallen. Toward morning she
opened her eyes and turning to her mother, said appealingly: "Mother, you believe I am innocent, don't you?"

"Certainly, darling," Mrs. Moore replied, without knowing in the least
to what her daughter referred. The doctor, who was present at the
time, turned away. He knew more than the mother. It was one of those
tragedies of everyday life that meant for the woman the fleeing away
from old associations, like a guilty thing, long months of hiding, the
facing of death; and, if death was not to be, the beginning of life
over again branded with shame. And all this bitter injustice because
she had loved much and had faith in the man she loved. The doctor had
faced tragedies before in his professional life, but never had he felt
his duty so heavily laid upon him as when he begged Mrs. Moore for a
few minutes' private conversation in the gray dawn of that early

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