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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_fever Check out the wikipedia entry on that one, I don't know if this is really related, but it is a bacterial infection. Considering that at the time the story goes there were no antibiotics, I might be mistaken on this one but I think people didn't even used to wash hands when handling sick people, I don't know how ...


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The word "hold" is part of the phrasal verb "took hold", which is divided here by an adverb "so fast". The pronoun "it", the thing that it taking hold of his mind, refers to "[h]is grief", the subject of the previous clause. This passage might be rephrased in easier English as follows: His grief only became more deep and rankling when he was free to ...


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