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82   MEMORIES OF MY LIFE

necessarily in a desultory way, on account of an impending domestic sorrow. My dear father's originally fine constitution, long tried by severe asthma and gout, had at length seriously given way. He required continual medical and surgical treatment and trusted in me, so to him 1 went. The end came in October 1844 at Hastings. His remains had to be taken to Leamington. It was a wretched journey, for the railway was not even then completed the whole way.

The effect of his death was to remove the main bond that kept our family together, and we soon became more or less separated. Two of my sisters married within the year, and I found myself with a sufficient fortune to make me independent of the medical profession. So my status of pupilhood was closed, and I had henceforth to be my own director. Being much upset and craving for a healthier life, I abandoned all thought of becoming a physician, but felt most grateful for the enlarged insight into Nature that I had acquired through medical experiences.