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In 18— my oldest friend died. We had been at school and collegetogether, and our intimacy had never been broken. I was trustee for hiswife and executor at his death. He died of a lingering illness, duringwhich his hopes of living were alternately raised, and depressed. Twoyears before he died, he gave me a huge parcel carefully tied up andsealed. Take care of, but don't open this he said: if I get better,return it to me, if I die, let no mortal eye but yours see it, and burnit.
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His widow died a year after him. I had well nigh forgoten this packetwhich I had had full three years, when looking for some title deedsI came cross it, and opened it, as it was my duty to do. Its contentsastonished me. The more I read it, the more marvellous it seemed. Ipondered long on the meaning of his instructions when he gave it to me,and kept the manuscript some years, hesitating what to do with it.
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