|About the Book|
We decide to go on holidayThere were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, and we were smoking and talking about how bad we were - ill, I mean, of course.We were all feeling in poorMoreWe decide to go on holidayThere were four of us - George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, and we were smoking and talking about how bad we were - ill, I mean, of course.We were all feeling in poor health, and we were getting quite worried about it. Harris said that he felt really bad sometimes, and he did not know what he was doing. And then George said that he felt bad, too, and that he did not know what he was doing either. With me it was my heart. I knew it was my heart because I had read something in a magazine about the symptoms of a bad heart. I had all of them.It is a most extraordinary thing, but every time I read about an illness, I realize that I have it too - and that my symptoms are very bad! In fact, my health has always been a worry, I remember . . .One day I had a little health problem, and I went to the British Museum Library to read about it. I took the book off the library shelf, and I began to read. After some time, I turned over the page and I began to read about another illness. I dont remember the name of the illness, but I know it was something really terrible.I read about half a page - and then I knew that I had that disease too.I sat there for a time, cold with horror. Slowly, I began to turn over more pages. I came to a disease which was worse than the last one. I began to read about it and, as I expected, I had that disease too. Then I began to get really interested in myself, so I went back to the beginning of the book. I started with the letter a and I read from a to z. I found that there was only one disease which I did not have. This made me a little unhappy. Why didnt I have that disease too?When I walked into that reading-room, I was a happy, healthy young man. when I left I was a very sick man, close to death ...But I was talking about my heart - nobody understood how ill I really was. I had this bad heart when I was a boy. It was with me all the time. I knew that it was my heart because I had all the symptoms of a bad heart. The main symptom was that I did not want to work. Of course, nobody understood that the problem was my heart. Doctors were not so clever then. They just thought that I was lazy!Why, you lazy boy, you, they used to say. Get up and do some work for once in your life! They did not understand that I was ill.And they did not give me medicine for this illness -they hit me on the side of the head. It is very strange, but those blows on my head often made the illness go away for a time. Sometimes just one blow made the sickness disappear and made me want to start work immediately . ..Anyway, that evening, George and William Harris and I sat there for half an hour, and described our illnesses to each other. I explained to George and William Harris how I felt when I got up in the morning. William Harris told us how he felt when he went to bed. Then George stood in front of the fire, and, with great feeling, he showed us how he felt in the night.George always thinks he is ill, but really, there is never anything the matter with him, you know.At that moment Mrs Poppets, my housekeeper, knocked on the door, she wanted to know if we were ready to have supper.We smiled sadly at each other, and then we said that perhaps we should try to eat something. Harris said that a little food helped to prevent illness. So Mrs Poppets brought the supper in. We sat down at the table, and for half an hour we managed to play with some steak and chips - and with a large cake that Mrs Poppets had made.When we had made ourselves eat something, we filled our glasses, and we lit our pipes. Then we began to talk about our health again. We were not quite sure what was the matter with us. However, we were all quite certain of one thing - we had been doing too much work.