Initially, Lincoln's features were calm and his breathing slow and steady. Later one of his eyes became swollen and the right side of his face discolored.  Maunsell Bradhurst Field wrote in a letter to The New York Times that the President then started "breathing regularly, but with effort, and did not seem to be struggling or suffering.".   As he neared death, Lincoln's appearance became "perfectly natural"  (except for the discoloration around his eyes).  Shortly before 7 . Mary was allowed to return to Lincoln's side,  and, as Dixon reported, "she again seated herself by the President, kissing him and calling him every endearing name."