Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

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346            UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
Two days after this, Alfred St. Clare and Augustin parted ; and Eva, who had been stimulated, by the society of her young cousin, to exertions beyond her strength, be­gan to fail rapidly. St. Clare was at last willing to call in medical advice, — a thing from which he had always shrunk, because it was the admission of an unwelcome truth.
But, for a day or two, Eva was so unwell as to be con­fined to the house; and the doctor was called.
Marie St. Clare had taken no notice of the child's grad­ually decaying health and strength, because she was com­pletely absorbed in studying out two or three new forms of disease to which she believed she herself was a victim. It was the first principle of Marie's belief that nobody ever was or could be so great a sufferer as herself; and, there­fore, she always repelled quite indignantly any suggestion that any one around her could be sick. She was always sure, in such a case, that it was nothing but laziness, or want of energy ; and that, if they had had the suffering she had, they would soon know the difference.
Miss Ophelia had several times tried to awaken her maternal fears about Eva ; but to no avail.
" I don't see as anything ails the child," she would say; " she runs about, and plays."
" But she has a cough."
" Cough ! you don't need to tell me about a cough. I 've always been subject to a cough, all my days. When I was of Eva's age, they thought I was in a consumption