The Definitive History of the Surname STABLES in Yorkshire

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"The Notices of the Stables Family"
by William Stables (1794-1862)

Page 41  From Leeds, I returned through Harewood to see Mr. Stables, he being
very weak and near his end. He was wishful that I should tarry with him until
he died. I told him that my wife wished to come. He said, "She can do me no
good." This was on the Monday, and she purposed to see him on the
Wednesday. I told him of her intention, but said he, "I shall be dead by
Wednesday," and he was. Before we parted, he observed, "I have been as
active as many man, but it has all been in sin," A person present said, "We are
all sinners." "Do not," said he, "tell me of all," meaning that he was worse
than any other. I then
asked him if he could forgive the offense I had committed. He answered,"I CAN."
"You think so," said I. He replied, "I now see myself to be the worst of all." I
knelt down and prayed with him, in which he joined heartily. He afterwards
pressed me to stay with him, that I could scarcely get away. When I was gone
out of the room, he asked the servant, "Where is Richard?" She said, "He is in
the kitchen." "Tell him," said he, "to come and pray with me again, or to read to
me the lamentation of a sinner; nothing else can do me any good." I therefore
went in and prayed with him once more, and then took my leave of him. I was
much affected at parting with him, but am in hope that I shall meet him again,
to part no more forever."

He had a long illness, and part of the time his daughter, Mrs. Burdsall, was
in attendance on him, When near his death, one day as she was seated near his
bedside, he commenced a conversation of experimental religion, asking her if she
knew anything of this conver-sion, and if she was born again, etc. She had with
her, her daughter Mary, a fine sharp little girl. Of her he was very fond. One
day she came skipping into his parlous, having got a white petticoat on, on
which he said to her, "Thou's very proud." --(Aunt Birdsall).

In the Harewood churchyard is an altar tombstone with the following
inscription, copied by me July 3, 1821i
"Here lies the body of Jane, the wife of William Stables, of Stanke. She
departed this life ye 14th of Jany. 1747, in the 28th year of her age. Here lies
the body of Mary, the second wife of William Stables of Stanke. She departed
this life September the third, 1759, aged 32 years. Also the body of the above
named William Stables, who departed this life the 13th of June, 1787, aged 79

NOTE A. ---- They procured a license for the house as a place of worship
for Protestant Dissenters, which I have in my possession. Some" time after,
John Stables fell into temptation. He had a lad 16 or 17 years old, son of
Anthony Shearwin - - lived with him as servant. They disagreed about
something and the lad rebelled against his master. It is said they fought, but
he beat the lad sadly - it was said improperly; and for this he discontinued as
a member of the society, and remained out about a year. At the same time the
meetings were taken from the house to the Low Hall, and at least some of the
meetings were continued there until the family left the farm about 1841.
Page 42 The descendants of William and Mary Stables of Stanke were:
FIRST: ELIZABETH, born Doer. 9th, 1752. When she was a little girl she had a
very severe attack of fever. by which she was brought so low, that all hope of
her recovery fled away. For a considerable time (I believe about 14 days) the
fever was so high as to cause constant delirium.
While laid in cradle in this distressing state, she bit the end of one of her
forefingers. It was immediately put on again, and well secured with bandages,
but was ever after very crooked and stiff. The fever also left her very dull of
hearing, which affliction lasted as long as life.
As she had the misfortune to lose her mother ere she was seven years of
age, she was trained up under the immediate and principal direction of her
widowed father, who, indeed, was probably ism assisted in this duty, in its
earlier stages by her aunt Anne Procter, who, being herself a widow, resided
sometimes, at least, with her brother at Sandygate. Elizabeth seems to have
inherited in a considerable degree her father's natural temper. She had good
sense, but was warm and hasty, and as she was the eldest of the children, she
was early a kind of mistress in the house, and frequently assumed a more
authoritive tone, expression, and manner, than was agreeable to her brothers
and sister.
She seems, however, not to have been ignorant of the responsibility of her
situation, and the importance of setting before the other children a good
example. Accordingly, she went very regularly with her father to church, and
used regularly to pray in secret, and thus most probably served God according
to the light she had: and many times she would tell the Lord in this private
way, by her bedside, of her cares and fears and especially would tell the Lord
what a wild thoughtless sister she had, while, perhaps, at the same time her
sister was laid in bed laughing at her simplicity. - - (Aunt Burdsall)
When her two brothers and sister joined the Methodist Society, she
stuck by the Church, and her distressed father, and was then (as he said) the
only comfort he had left. She quite agreed with him in opposing the spread
of the Methodist heresy, and advised him not to let her sister Mary have any
money, "for the Methodists would get it." When, however, her brothers and
sister had left them, she began to see that there must be something more in
religion than she had yet found, and that the Methodist religion, which had
produced so great a change in her giddy sister, must be the religion of the
Bible. In this way she reasoned, until her sins were brought to remembrance;
she was no longer that good Christian she had been accustomed to consider
herself. She felt her need of a Saviour. She was humbled, joined the
Methodist Society, and about two years after them became as Methodistic as
any of them, much to the affliction of her true church father.
After the death of her father, she still resided at Sandygate, with her
brother William, at least for upwards of two years. But I understand
they did not agree very well. He was the master, but during her father's
lifetime she had been accustomed to have things pretty much her own way,
and it was not now so easy to submit to her younger brother, hence little
dissentions arose, sometimes, indeed, it was about very little things - once
even about making a cake. Father going so far as to tell her, he could to
better than she did. They had
Page 43 a very unpleasant dispute about something not long after their father's
death. She seemed bent on leaving him, but she had her sister's little girl,
Mary Burdsdale, with them, and she could not tell what to do with her.
She, however, packed up her bundle of clothes, and taking it with her
little niece, she trudged off to Arthington, a village about three
miles off, where lived an uncle (I believe) of hers, or rather a brother
of her father's first wife, a Mr. Moiser, with whose family they were
intimate and occasionally visited. To them, therefore, she bent her way,
and after remaining with them four or five days, or a week, she began to
cool down a little, her high affront began to wear off, and at length she
returned again to her brother.
When my father was about to be married, she was very much incensed
and instead of making things as agreeable as she could, made them very
unpleasant. She would not go to the wedding, and when he was gone, she
gathered all she had together and procuring some conveyance for her goods
and herself, left the place in the hands of the servants, and went to
reside with her sister Burdsall at York,
With them she continued to reside a year or two in single blessed-
ness, and then entered into the holy estate of matrimony with a
Mr. Hawkins of York, a butter and bacon factor, a very respectable
man, a member of the Methodist Society, and a class leader therein.
For two or three years after her marriage, she did not show any
signs of having any family. This very much distressed her (it was said) on
account of 1200 pounds payable after her death to her descendants (as the
sum principal of the annuity she had for life), whereas, if she left no
issue, it was to be divided in a way pointed out between her brothers and
sister, without her having any control of its disposal. Therefore, children
she much desired, for them she longed, -wept and prayed, but (the event
showed; the thing which she did displeased the Lord. He granted her a
child, but he chastened her sorely thereby, Soon after her confinement,
her milk became troublesome it never came to flow properly fever ensued,
and she became delirious. Nobody could do anything with her byher sister,
and as she had a small family of her own, it was very inconvenient for
her to leave home. Under such circumstances, it was thought best to remove
Aunt Hawkins to Aunt Burdsall's residence. Accordingly, three weeks after
her confinement, she was taken thither, and continued to reside with her,
until death put a period to her sufferings, a,space of twelve or fifteen
weeks. I am not aware that during the whole of this time she had any lucid
intervals, reason was obscured. Sometimes she wept and was quite harmless;
at other times she was very unmanageable, and was obliged to submit only
to the discipline of the strait jacket. I have no doubt, the Lord looking
on her afflicted state, said, it is enough, and signed her release Jan.
10, 1795, aged 42 years. Soon after her confinement the little boy was put
out to nurse near Walingate Bar. The Lord, however, saw good to take the
infant also, and he departed this life the day after his mother. It was
brought in its coffin to Uncle Burdsdall's, and it was then
Page 44 taken out, and put into the coffin with his mother, being laid in her arms In this
position they were interred in the yard of St. Lawrence's Church, Walmgate,
York, After a number of years (and a second marriage) Mr. Hawkins also
departed this life, and was buried by the side of his wife, Elizabeth, my aunt.
- - (Aunt Burdsall).

a The descendants of William and Mary Stables of Stanke were:
SECOND: JOHN, born at Stank April 12th, 1755. Like his other
children, his father gave him a good education, but where and in what way, I
have not been informed.
When he was about 22 years of age, he was savingly converted to God, and
joined the Methodist Society, soon after which he began to pray with his
father's family, though he would not bow down with them himself.
In the spring of the following year, I believe 1777, he, along with his
brother and youngest sister came to reside at Kirkby-Overblow. John and
William did not, however, very well agree. Their natural tempers were
considerably different and their views on many subjects did not coincide; and
as John was the eldest, he took the principal part of
the ordering department and acted the master; and as his temper was cool, so
he was very firm and perservering in pursuing his objects. William, however,
thought that as he was equal partner and joint occupier, that he ought to be
more consulted than he was, and on this score they disagreed, and ultimately
parted, after remaining united at the farm from one to two years, William
returning to his father at Sandygate. After they had got to their new residence,
they immediately erected an alter to the living God, and around that altar
morning and evening they assembled to tell their cares and fears and wants to
Him that heareth prayer. Soon after they joined themselves to Richard
Burdsall's Methodist class at Kearby; that they considered nearer for them
than Harewood, to which they went to meet in class, a while at their first
coming. Besides it kept them more out of the circle of their poor old distressed
father. After a while, however, they began to have occasional meetings in
their own house. (Note A, page 41), and as there was a family come to the Low
Hall, who were their nearest neighbours, James and Frances Ridsdale, a little
before them, who were both Methodists, so that after the lapse of a year or two,
they formed a class at Kirkby, consisting of the two families, and Joseph
Shearwin, a farmer who had removed from Kearby to live in the village. After
this they had regular class and prayer meetings, and they occasionally
prevailed on the itinerant preachers in the Leeds Circuit, who then preached at
Pannal on the Sunday evenings, to come by them on the Monday, and preach to
them at noon. After sometime they obtained a regular supply of local
preachers on the Sunday, perhaps once a fortnight. This they continued by
having their preaching at five o'clock in the afternoon, so that the local
preacher that was at Pannal at two o'clock came to Kirkby by five, and after
again preaching, had usually to ride to Leeds, where most of them resided.
Among those who used to come at that
Page 45 time were John Ripley, Watson Wild, Mr. Richie of Otley, and Phillip
Hardcastle, who afterwards went out to travel; and they often had a
plain, simple old man, called Joseph Bradley, who was by trade a rat-
As in those days the circuits were very extensive, and the regular
ministers but few, so the assistance they could have from the circuit
preachers was but slender, and if meetings were held, they must conduct
them generally themselves. John Stables and James Ridsdale were the
principal public characters, and in order to benefit their neighbours at the
public prayer meetings, they took in their turn the principal labour.
This plan continued for a great number of years, even down to the death
of them both. Their usual way was to commence with singing and prayer;
Afterwards he that began, read a chapter out of the Scriptures, and
expounded thereon, according to the light and ability they had, and
afterwards the other gave out a few verses of a hymn and prayed.
It will easily be perceived, that to frequently engage in such
exercises before the same hearers, must necessarily require them to
acquaint themselves well with the Bible, and the general subjects of
Divinity, and so it proved with each of them, that by the frequent engaging
in such expounding labours, they became apt and expert at the work, and
prepared for a wider field of action; and in process of time, were each
placed on the plan as local preachers. Both continued to labour in the
Word and Doctrine, until dust returned to dust.
After his sister Mary had continued with him for about three years, she
abruptly left him, and entered on the married state with Richard Burdsall, and
then, for about eighteen years he had to endure all the K inconvenience of
hired housekeepers.
When he was about 43 years of age he became enamoured with a young
woman in the neighbourhood. Her name was Mary Myers. She was niece and
housekeeper to William Beek (Beck?) of Walton Head. He was a rather large
farmer, and besides carried on a considerable trade in butter. He used
regularly to take my uncle's butter, by going with which to the house
himself, he became acquainted and attached to Mary. One cannot suppose
that she was the deliberate choice of his sober judgment, but his
affections becoming entangled and his passions stirred, he was ultimately
brought to make her his wife. Though the union was in several respects a
very unwise and foolish one, (((there was so much difference in their
ages, that she looked more like his child than his partner, he being about
43 and she 19 years of age. She had been trained, too, in quite a different
sphere to him. He had been used to entertain, cultivate and act on ideas
more suitable to a state of servitude, than that of a mistress,There was an
amazing disparagement in their property; while he was possessed of landed
estates worth more than ten thousand pounds, she had for her portion, an
aged grey Scotch Galloway, a side saddle and bridle, a buffet or corner
cupboard for china, etc., altogether worth about t5 pounds))), yet,
notwithstanding these difficulties, they were married Augst. , 1798.
Page 46  Report says that she was a neat, tidy, good looking woman; that her
temper and manners were rather soft, and on the whole agreeable, and that
was a person of tolerably good natural sense; but from her narrow
education, and contracted sphere of motion, her ideas were rather low, and
her ability altogether unequal to the place she was thus called to occupy.
Nevertheless, they lived together on the whole as comfor- tably as could be
expected on account of their disparity, and his having nearly all his life
been accustomed to reign over his family and concerns with single and
undisputed sway.
About nine months after their marriage, July 1799, she presented him
with a daughter which was baptized_, by the mane of Hannah.

In 1789 he purchased an estate in the township of Pannal, (Admission
at Forest Court of John Stables 1st July, 1789. In 1780 he built the two
cottage houses in the middle of the village of Kirkby, which cost him
143/14/0 - Note at bottom of page),called Falwith, originally, most
probably, Foulwath, from its joining on the Leeds and Harrogate turnpike
road, where it crosses the Rivulet or Beck called Crimple, over which math
there is now, however, a good stone bridge. The estate consisted of a
little over 60 acres of rather hilly and uneven land bounded in a long zig-
zag line on the south by the Crimple, from which was drawn water to work an
old corn mill on the premises. This he afterwards entirely removed, and
built a comparitively large one, which cost him 1000 pounds, and was on a
new site considerably nearer the house. It belonged to Sir John Coghill,
Bart., of Dublin, who had Robt. Stockdale, Esqr., a solicitor of
Knaresbrough as his agent, of whom my uncle bought it {I think) for 2800
pounds. Uncle had heard that it was on sale, also that Mr. Stockdale was in
great want of 500 pounds immediately in order to take up with him to
London, for some special business. He took with him to view the land and
try to treat for it, his cousin Brian Procter. They had a very hard
bargain, and seemed likely not to agree for it, when after offering 2800,
five hundred of which he would pay down in five days, the remainder on
obtaining possession. They were about to retire. They had had this
conversation about the business in Mr. Stockdale's office at Knaresbro. My
Uncle went out, and stood on the steps outside. Brian turned into the office
again to reason with Mr. S. alone, talked to him warily, talked as if here
were Mr. S.'s friend, thought it worth what he asked, but he could not get
his relation any further' he would be sure of his money at the proper time;
would get him the 500 pounds in a few days, so that he thought he had
better let him have it; and ultimately, his necessities for having some
money immediately being very urgent, he yielded and took the price offered.
The deeds are dated 24 June 1789, and the estate was let for some
Page 47 years to the old tenant; but he afterwards took it into his own hands,
keeping a Hind on it, and he also afterwards built a second house for a
miller to occupy. This was not finished long before his death. The new
mill was built about 1801, and as my uncle had not much skill at
mechanics, he took for his guide and instructor, William Burrows of Scott
Hall Mills, near Leeds, who had there a mill, on the same principles as
he recommended to my uncle.
Having the offer of a flat of land from Matthew Saver of Meanewood,
near Leeds ---it lay within his Kirkby estate and is known as Sur - Average,
and near two acres in the present (1855) Land Heads --there was about 11
acres of it, which he bought for 660 pounds, that is 60 pounds per acre,
deeds dated 13 May, 1791,----about the same time he make an exchange with
the proprietor of the low Hall Estate, giving to them a part of his Bull
Croft, and the right to a carriage road up the walk, and in exchange they
gave to him their right to a road up the Summergate and a lane across the
top of our Summergate cow close and both carr Nobbs Closes. These
exchanges, however, produced some unpleasantness towards him and James
Ridsdale, as some said that the
road across our fields was a road to other lands besides James Ridsdale's
fields, None of them, however thought proper to bring the business to any
legal issue, and quiet possession has long since settled any doubts on the
In 1801 there was other two fields on sale, adjoining his Fulwith
estate. They contained 11 a., 2 r., 14 p.,, It was knows as Jackson's
Land, and adjoined on the Leeds and Harrowgate road at the top of Almford
Bank. I believe it was to be sold by auction, and my uncle wished his
cousin Brian Procter to buy it for him as his friend. He, accordingly, bought
the property, but himself having some fields also laying contigious to it,
he refused to let my uncle have his bargain, unless he would give him
twenty pounds for buying it. Some of their friends thought it was not very
honourable and respectable conduct, but my uncle submitted to it and paid him
his demand. Cost 510 pounds, Deeds dated 6 April 1801,
His Fulwith estate and mill he occupied up to his death, along with his
Kirkby one, where he continued to reside. He generally rode to Foulwith
every day, which, with his business at home, found him plenty of
employment. But he was a man of business, constantly about it, looking after
this, that or the other person or thing, but without putting his hand to almost
anything himself. Indeed, my father says, that he was never fond of working
himself, and especially towards the later part of his life, he employed
many work-people and managed and improved his estates with great diligence
and ability.
Page 48  Early in 1805 my uncle fell onto a very feeble state of health. I
never heard that he had much pain, but great languor and weakness,
which continued to increase on him, until God signed his release Septr.
25, 1805, being then upwards of 50 years of age. During his long and
tedious illness, I could never learn that he would have the assistance
of any regular medical man. I believe he did consult a Mrs. Wright, a
celebrated water, castor of addle near Leeds, but with this exception I
believe he was his own doctor. Indeed he had very little confidence in
medicine generally, as he was fully convinced that "Afflictions spring
not out of the dust,* and that He that
inflicts can as easily remove the suffering, to that he felt very careless
about secondary causes.
His state of mind, in prospect of Eternity, I understand was
remarkably peaceful. He had not much joy, but in full assurance of
acceptance, he calmly and confidently east his whole self on the mercy of
God in Christ Jesus, on him alone depending, with all the simplicity of a
little child, for Grace here, and Glory hereafter.
In his person he was about the middle size, rather small bones,
quite straight and active, and towards the later part of his life, rather fleshy
and portly. His temper was remarkable for placidity and mildness. His
understanding and penetration was very quick, and his mind altogether a
vigorous and strong one. I have heard Aunt Burdsall say that when they
were young people together, she used to think that John had as much sense
as all the rest put together. He was very easy of access, and being of an
affable and cheerful disposition, he was generally an acceptable
companion. He had always something to say to any who fell in his way, but
was considerably removed from that chit-chat, which is so common among
great talkers. On the contrary, his conversation was seasoned with grace.
Few people came into his company without receiving a word of advice,
instruction, or reproof, and his endeavoring to turn their attention to the
care of their souls and the things of eternity.
He was quite remarkable for the simplicity and plainness of his
manners and dress. He was neither a fop, nor a clown; indeed he might
carry his homeliness of appearance a little to an extreme. He was no
sloven, but his clothes were both coarse and few, so that after his
death, when his personal property was valued to my father, his whole
wardrobe was put down at 5 pounds, 5 shillings, which my father thought was
much more than it was worth.
By some persons he was accounted a covetous and niggardly man;
perhaps most so by those who only very partially knew him. Indeed, his
personal expenses were very small. Always abstemious and self denying, he did
not indulge in eating and drinking, when traveling, at markets &c, as many
do. Perhaps he carried this to an extreme. His cousin Brian Procter used to
tell him that for 5 pounds a year in little things of that sort, he might
obtain the character of being a gentleman. He, however, in these, as in
every other part of his business, thought for himself, and by his sturdy
perseverance showed that he was superior to the laugh or sneers or frowns
of those who thought
Page 49 differently from him. I am not certain, however, that what was called by
some his niggardliness, arose from any natural or innate love of money,
but from a conscientious design not to waste his Lord's good, but to be
able to pay everyman his own. For what with the purchases he had made of
land, the improvements he had made in it, the buildings
of the new mill and the millers house, at his death he had a considerable
amount of borrowed money.
He was, however, on all hands allowed to be a benefactor to the poor...
Not, indeed, by his bestowing large alms on the worthless and indolent, but by
giving employment to the frugal and industrious. a greater number
of whom earned their bread under him, than any other man in the neigh-
Finding his later end approaching, he (Aug. 30, 1805) endeavoured to
set his house in order, and made his will. He might have had one
previously made, but if so, he made a new one, by which, with the
exception of 100 pounds to his brother, 100 pounds to Miss Bears of
Follifoot (his two executors) and 100 pounds to his sister Burdsall, he
bequeathed the whole of his property to his daughter, then between six and
seven years of age, and on her demise under twenty one years of age, and
without leaving issue (which took place), to his brother. subject to
legacies of 500 pounds, to his nephews and nieces. when they attained
twenty one years of age.
Hannah, the only child of John and Mary Stables of Kirkby-Overblow,
was born July 1799. A few months after her birth, on her mother's illness
becoming dangerous and alarming, she was put out to nurse with the family
of Major England, Blacksmith and farmer of North Rigton. They were very
decent and respectable in their sphere, and appeared very suitable for such
an undertaking. With them she continued for two or three years, until she
could run about herself, when he brought her home to him where she
remained until his death.
Sometime previous to her father's decease, she began to attend the
village school, then taught by Ralph Snowball, the girls being instructed
in needlework &c. by his wife. There she continued, along with some of her
cousins, until July 1809. Being then more than ten years of age, she went
to Miss Weight's Ladies' Boarding School at Boston Spa, near Wetherby. With
her, and her successor, Miss Saul. she remained three years, until June 1812,
Her average cost at that school was about 45 pounds per annum, and with her
clothes made her expenses about 60 pounds per annum.
She remained with her cousins at Kirkby, and visiting among her other
relatives until April 1613, when taking up her residence with Miss Bears,
at Follifoot, she entered as a day scholar with Mr. Green= wood of Folly-
foot, who, at that time had a very large and flourishing school. There she
continued to attend until Xmas of the same year, when after the holidays,
in Jany. 1814, she went to Miss Fryer's school (Miss Bears paid for
fitting her up with suitable clothing &c 38 pounds 17 shillings and
entrance at the school 2/2/0.
Page 50 The Miss Fryer's school at Quebec, Leeds, was conducted by two sisters, and
was rather a fashionable school of considerable repute. It was not by any
means my father's choice, but was selected by Miss Bears, the other guardian
of Cousin Hannah, on the advice of,
and for the sake of peace my father yielded; and with them she remained
twelve months (vacations excepted)
All the vacation in Jany. 1815 she was only in a poor state of health, and
a little time previous to the time for the school commencing, her disease began
to assume a definite form. A substance began to form on her side, near the hip
bone, and continued to enlarge until it was about the size of an ordinary hen's
egg, which with her general debility, prevented her return to school. The later
part of the vacation she spent with Miss Bears in Follifoot and there she first
began to complain of being unwell; and as she then was much nearer the family
medical atten-dant**(Mr. Thomas Simpson of Knaresbro) but since become M.D.
of York) she there remained until her decease.
Towards the later end of March her disorder and the substance on her side
had so increased, that Mr. Simpson became seriously apprehensive of danger,
and wished to have the advice and assistance of some other surgeon. My father,
being then at Linnington, was written to and requested to come over
immediately. But not coming so soon as expected, on the 28th of March I set
off early in the morning, intending to go to Linnington to consult him on the
business, or to induce him to come over. When I had made my bait at York, and
my horse was being brought out for me to pursue my journey, my brother John
come up, having my mother behind him, they being on their way to Kirkby or
Follifoot. Brother returned to Linnington and I rode before mother to Follifoot,
where she remained with Miss Bears as the principal nurse of Cousin Hannah,
until she rested from her suffering.
On Mother's arrival at Follofoot, it was agreed, at the suggestion of Mr.
Simpson, to call in the assistance of a Mr. Atkinson, a very eminent surgeon at
York (he came five times and had eight guineas each visit).On examining the
patient, Mr. A. was of the same opinion as Mr. S. that it was proper to perform
an operation on the abscess as the lump on her side had now shown itself to
be, which after being cut discharged near a quart of thick matter. After a while
it began to gather and fill again, and was again cut two or three times,.
Ultimately it became a running wound, discharging a large quantity of very
offensive matter, and in the end run her down to the grave.
Cousin Hannah was not a religious character, and in the early part of
her affliction, continued in a very trifling and careless spirit; but as the
disorder grew on her, she became more serious, and evidently began to feel
that she needed something that she had not, to enable her to die in peace.
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