chapter  5
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Chapter V

It was not long after that a malignant 164 [contagious] distemper broke out in the neighbourhood, which proved fatal to many of the inhabitants, and was of unexampled rapidity in its effects. One of the first persons that was seized with it was Mr Clare. It may be 165 [believed that this incident spread grief and alarm] through the vicinity. Mr Clare was considered by them as something more than a mortal. The equanimity of his behaviour, his unassuming carriage, his exuberant benevolence and goodness of heart, joined with his talents, his inoffensive wit, and the comprehensiveness of his intelligence made him the idol of all that knew him. In the scene of his rural retreat at least he had not an enemy. All mourned the danger that now / threatened him. He appeared to have 166 [] the prospect of long life, and of going down to his grave full of years and of honour. Perhaps these appearances were deceitful. Perhaps the intellectual efforts he had 167 [exerted], which were occasionally more sudden, violent and unintermitted than a strict regard to health would have dictated, had laid the seeds of future disease. But 168 [a sanguine observer would infallibly have predicted], that his 169 [good sense, presence of mind and unaltered] chearfulness would be able even to keep death at bay for a time and baffle the attacks of distemper, provided 170 [this universal foe did not take him by surprise.] The general affliction 171 [therefore was] doubly pungent upon the present occasion.