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The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas père
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"Yes."

"Very ill?"

The young man gave Aramis a piercing glance, and answered, "I thank
you." After a moment's silence, "I have seen you before," he continued.
Aramis bowed.

Doubtless the scrutiny the prisoner had just made of the cold, crafty,
and imperious character stamped upon the features of the bishop of Vannes
was little reassuring to one in his situation, for he added, "I am
better."

"And so?" said Aramis.

"Why, then - being better, I have no longer the same need of a confessor,
I think."

"Not even of the hair-cloth, which the note you found in your bread
informed you of?"

The young man started; but before he had either assented or denied,
Aramis continued, "Not even of the ecclesiastic from whom you were to
hear an important revelation?"

"If it be so," said the young man, sinking again on his pillow, "it is
different; I am listening."

Aramis then looked at him more closely, and was struck with the easy
majesty of his mien, one which can never be acquired unless Heaven has