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to it; for, as clever Mr. Eothen (what a curious name for a gentleman of property and connections to have) remarked about “ Alas!" I doubt if anybody ever really said “Pshaw!”.
or a novel. out of a
say, in real life, “Stuff!” and "Rubbish!" instead. “My dear General," then I observe,
sciatica; it isn't liver, it isn't pancreas, it isn't “it isn't thorax.
It's Age, General and some of these days you 'll die for want of Gargall ;
It makes me cross, lying here, to hear the old breath."
croaking and grumbling; to see him swathing and bandaging, and coddling up that troublesome old body, which will not give him nor anybody else trouble much longer.
Ah! Louisa, Louisa! how impatient and querulous we can be of the suflerings of others, when we ourselves are suffering.
cold to my cold?” I heard a little girl say What's your
“Am I, too, on a bed of roses ? ” cried the tortured Montezuma, when his Minister screamed out in agony from the heap of burning coals on which the Spaniards
Community in affliction, I am sorry to believe, makes us mutually intolerant and uncharitable. "Tis when one is hale and hearty, and happy, that sympathy wells out for those who are in low estate and evil ease. Damiens on the wheel has no compassion to spare for his predecessor Ravaillac. Sir Charles has told me that in the hospitals he has heard patients crying out to the nurse to
stop that fellow's groaning in the next bed; he's only shamming;” and I am afraid that crows are not the only two-legged beings who, when they find a comrade sick and ailing, fall upon him and peck him to death. Gargall don't pity me.
I've caught him making faces at me behind my sofa, as Shanko Fanko my page well knows; and I am perfectly certain that I don't pity him in the slightest degree. Let him make his will, and do justice to his
once to another.
had laid him.
relations and friends, or send and marry Frederica de Fytchett, and leave her a rich widow. Were I tall and comely, and happy, you would find me full of sympathy for my suffering brothers and sisters; but I am alone and miserable, and cynical (when I am cross, as I am now), and have no sympathy, save for myself, and very
little even of that. 'Tis a pretty story, my dear, of Sir Philip Sidney, wounded at the battle of Zutphen, and bidding them pass the water-flask, ere he drank himself, to the dying soldier near him, saying, “ Thy necessity is greater than mine ; ” but I
I am afraid that it is only a tale out of the story-books after all. Sir Charles used to say that people didn't do such things on battle-fields, but fought and struggled for the water, rather. Don't tell me about mutual sympathy in suffering. Why, wounded soldiers will drag their lengths along the ground, and strip the bodies of their slain comrades, wrenching off stars and crosses with stiffening fingers, and gnawing off epaulettes with their teeth. Sympathy! Why, I have heard that when the French frigate Medusa was wrecked, and after the raft had put off from her—(you will one day see M. Géricault's ghastly picture in the Louvre, called " Le Radeau de la Méduse ”—a real Gorgon picture it is)— there were two men left on board the water-logged barque; two famishing, hopeless wretches, expecting death every minute ; and these two men must needs quarrel and hate each other. They lived in different parts of the wreck, and whenever they met it was to curse, and run at one another with drawn knives. To be sure they were Frenchmen, which is saying a great deal; but—there's sympathy and loving-kindness for you!
My twinge is over. You shall have no more gall and wormwood in this letter, but as much milk and honey as ever you can desire. The elephants feel their confinement. sometimes, dear; and then they go frantic, tear down their palisades, and trample on their keepers ; but half an hour afterwards they are as tranquil and docile as lambs, and the boy mahout may bestride their necks, and drive them whither he lists, with his puny goad. So it is with your mamma !
I was talking of Amelia-Charlotte and her influenza. Don't let her take any more of the Ermolina Sympathetica, if you can help it; but bid her pin her faith to the good, old-fashioned water-gruel. There is nothing like it; and with plenty of hot water, with some of the best flour of Durham mustard in it, or perhaps a little bran, I think water-gruel would cure a broken leg. I don't doubt but that she has a very acute attack of influenza, but I do know that people call colds in the head by very strange and high-sounding names now-adays. In my day gruel, footbaths, sweet spirits of nitre, a mustard plaster perhaps-(use brown paper, my dear, in preference to linen rag; it draws much better, and the more inflammation you have outside, the less danger there is of inflammation inside the chest)—were considered infallible specifics for the worst cold in the head that could possibly happen. We were content to give Master Tommy an extra pocket-handkerchief when he had a cold ; now the dear child has influenza, and we call in Dr. Rheum, and cram the poor little innocent with physic. Of course, Amelia-Charlotte knows best, but I don't think that woman could have influenza. It isn't in her! Pay her every attention, my darling, consistent with the due care of your own precious health. She has Frederica with her, and the best of nurses - and attendants. Be you another daughter to her; but pray
ask Dr. Rheum what he thinks of the epidemic nature of influenza; and don't go near Amelia-Charlotte's room if there be any danger of catching a cold in your dear little head. It must be very annoying for poor Mr. de Fytchett,
coming home tired and exhausted from the Royal Rabbit Warrens' Office, to find sickness in his house—and of such a trifling character, too. But Amelia-Charlotte was always an aggravating thing.
The illness of your kind protectress has imposed on you, I see, a new round of duties; and, although I regret the cause, I can but rejoice at the effect of her temporary confinement to her chamber. You say that you have been shopping with Frederica every day this week—not mere millinery and gloves, and nicknack shopping, but real substantial visits to the commercial establishments at which your friends deal.
For though Amelia-Charlotte keeps a cook and housekeeper at handsome wages, she is sensible enough to retain a considerable portion of the purveying department in her own hands. This is as it should be; and when you are married, Louisa, I trust that you will not only know the price of every article consumed in your house, but will have ordered a fair proportion of your stores in your own person and voice. I don't expect a lady to haunt the oilman, the cheesemonger, and the butcher's shop; to command so many quartern loaves, or so many pounds of butter, or so much pickled pork; but it behoves her from time to time to visit her tradespeople herself, even if she does it in her carriage-and-pair, and see how things are getting on, not only as regards the quality of the goods, but the prices she is paying for them.
I don't want her to chaffer and higgle with shopkeepers, but it is her duty to see that she isn't cheated; that her husband and children are not cheated ; and that her tradesmen and servants don't cheat her. Injustice to all is the result of indifference. Nine-tenths of the dishonest servants are made by careless mistresses. As for tradesmen, there are a few, proud of long commercial descent and of well-earned aristocratic patronage, who