"Miss Earl, I never deceive my patients. It is useless to dose you with medicine, and drug you into semi-insensibility. You must have rest and quiet; rest for mind as well as body; there must be no more teaching or writing. You are over-worked, and incessant mental labor has hastened the approach of a disease which, under other circumstances, might have encroached very slowly and imperceptibly. If latent (which is barely possible) it has contributed to a fearfully rapid development. Refrain from study, avoid all excitement, exercise moderately but regularly in the open air; and, above all things, do not tax your brain. If you carefully observe these directions, you may live to be as old as your grandfather. Heart diseases baffle prophecy, and I make no predictions." He rose and took his hat from the table.
"Miss Earl, I have read your writings with great pleasure,
and watched your brightening career with more interest than I ever felt
in any other female author; and God knows it is exceedingly painful for
me to tear away the veil from your eyes. From the first time you were
pointed out to me in church, I saw that in your countenance which
distressed and alarmed me; for its marble pallor whispered that your
days were numbered. Frequently I have been tempted to come and
expostulate with you, but I knew it would be useless. You have no reader
who would more earnestly deplore the loss of your writings, but, for
your own sake, I beg you to throw away your pen and rest."