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Chapter XIII.—A Woman of a Sorrowful Spirit.

But Peter alone did not think it worth while to look at the sights that were there; but noticing a certain woman sitting outside before the doors, begging constantly for her support, he said to her, “O woman, is any of your limbs 295defective, that you submit to such disgrace—I mean that of begging,—and do not rather work with the hands which God has given you, and procure your daily food?”  But she, groaning, answered, “Would that I had hands able to work!  But now they retain only the form of hands, being dead and rendered useless by my gnawing of them.”  Then Peter asked her, “What is the cause of your suffering so terribly?”  And she answered, “Weakness of soul; and nought else.  For if I had the mind of a man, there was a precipice or a pool whence I should have thrown myself, and have been able to rest from my tormenting misfortunes.”

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