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illness, and now she wore it simply combed in its natural tresses
over her temples and neck. Her appearance was altered, as I had
told Heathcliff; but when she was calm, there seemed unearthly
beauty in the change.
The flash of her eyes had been succeeded by a dreamy and
melancholy softness; they no longer gave the impression of looking
at the objects around her; they appeared always to gaze beyond,
and far beyond--you would have said out of this world. Then the
paleness of her face--its haggard aspect having vanished as she
recovered flesh--and the peculiar expression arising from her
mental state, though painfully suggestive of their causes, added to
the touching interest which she awakened; and--invariably to me,
I know, and to any person who saw her, I should think--refuted
more tangible proofs of convalescence, and stamped her as one
doomed to decay.
A book lay spread on the sill before her, and the scarcely
perceptible wind fluttered its leaves at intervals. I believe Linton
had laid it there; for she never endeavoured to divert herself with
reading, or occupation of any kind, and he would spend many an
hour in trying to entice her attention to some subject which had
formerly been her amusement.
She was conscious of his aim, and in her better moods endured
his efforts placidly, only showing their uselessness by now and
then suppressing a wearied sigh, and checking him at last with the
saddest of smiles and kisses. At other times, she would turn
petulantly away, and hide her face in her hands, or even push him
off angrily; and then he took care to let her alone, for he was
certain of doing no good.
Gimmerton chapel bells were still ringing; and the full, mellow