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The Clementine Homilies by Unknown

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 defective, 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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