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144 A FEW MEMORIES
to consult must be our first discovery, and we must look back nearly 100 years or we shall be defeated by the hideous costume of the beginning of this century.
" If I can get to the theatre it is useless to say that I will seize the opportunity. But the weather is terribly against me. I may tell you (between ourselves) that the mischief this time is a deranged condition of the nerves near the heart, and a very slight cause sets in action a terrific pain in the chest and the arms. But I am getting stronger, and the doctor seems to have no fear of the result, with one terrible ' if' — that is to say, * if I am careful.' Ever thine,
" WILKIE COLLINS.
" Let me thank you for kindly sending the scenario, which reached me safely yesterday."
In spite of the most intense physical suffering he was one of the cheeriest spirits I have ever met.
Even in the midst of illness he continued to work.
"90 GLOUCESTER PLACE, PORTMAN SQUARE, W., 4' Wednesday, March iit/t, 1885.
" DEAR MARY ANDERSON,—May I call to-morrow (Thursday) afternoon at 3.30, if I shall not be in