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Excerpt from "The Birth-mark"

Excerpt from "The Birth-mark"

In what may be Aylmer's most discouraging moment, we see him almost coolly observing Georgiana as her body struggles with the concoction he has prepared for her. His affection and concern for her, it appears, are overridden by his pursuit of knowledge. Georgiana's last episode becomes another entry in his chronicle of experiments.
She spoke the last words with a gentle reluctance, as if it required almost more energy than she could command to pronounce the faint and lingering syllables. Scarcely had they loitered through her lips, ere she was lost in slumber. Aylmer sat by her side, watching her aspect with the emotions proper to a man, the whole value of whose existence was involved in the process now to be tested. Mingled with this mood, however, was the philosophic investigation, characteristic of the man of science. Not the minutest symptom escaped him. A heightened flush of the cheek--a slight irregularity of breath--a quiver of the eyelid--a hardly perceptible tremor through the frame--such were the details which, as the moments passed, he wrote down in his folio volume. Intense thought had set its stamp upon every previous page of that volume; but the thoughts of years were all concentrated upon the last.



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