Chapter 25

           MariaSilvawaspoor,andallthewaysofpovertywerecleartoher. Poverty,toRuth,wasawordsignifyinganot-niceconditionofexistence. Thatwashertotalknowledgeonthesubject. SheknewMartinwaspoor,andhisconditionsheassociatedinhermindwiththeboyhoodofAbrahamLincoln,ofMr.Butler,andofothermenwhohadbecomesuccesses. Also,whileawarethatpovertywasanythingbutdelectable,shehadacomfortablemiddle-classfeelingthatpovertywassalutary,thatitwasasharpspurthaturgedontosuccessallmenwhowerenotdegradedandhopelessdrudges. SothatherknowledgethatMartinwassopoorthathehadpawnedhiswatchandovercoatdidnotdisturbher. Sheevenconsidereditthehopefulsideofthesituation,believingthatsoonerorlateritwouldarousehimandcompelhimtoabandonhiswriting. 

           RuthneverreadhungerinMartin’sface,whichhadgrownleanandhadenlargedtheslighthollowsinthecheeks. Infact,shemarkedthechangeinhisfacewithsatisfaction. Itseemedtorefinehim,toremovefromhimmuchofthedrossoffleshandthetooanimal-likevigorthatluredherwhileshedetestedit. Sometimes,whenwithher,shenotedanunusualbrightnessinhiseyes,andsheadmiredit,foritmadehimappearmorethepoetandthescholarthethingshewouldhavelikedtobeandwhichshewouldhavelikedhimtobe. ButMariaSilvareadadifferenttaleinthehollowcheeksandtheburningeyes,andshenotedthechangesinthemfromdaytoday,bythemfollowingtheebbandflowofhisfortunes. 

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