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regulated as to keep off Pressure, and
preserve them, a comfort to their friends, for
many years."

Just my caseif I had only known it
when I was quietly basking in the sunshine
in my Kentish meadow!

But while I so rested, thankfully
recovering every hour, I had experiences more
odd than this. I had experiences of spiritual
conceit, for which, as giving me a new
warning against that curse of mankind, I
shall always feel grateful to the supposition
that I was too far gone to protest against
playing sick lion to any stray donkey with
an itching hoof. All sorts of people seemed
to become vicariously religious at my
expense. I received the most uncompromising
warning that I was a Heathen: on the
conclusive authority of a field preacher, who,
like the most of his ignorant and vain and
daring class, could not construct a tolerable
sentence in his native tongue or pen a fair
letter. This inspired individual called me
to order roundly, and knew in the freest
and easiest way where I was going to, and
what would become of me if I failed to
fashion myself on his bright example, and
was on terms of blasphemous confidence
with the Heavenly Host. He was in the
secrets of my heart, and in the lowest
soundings of my soulhe!—and could
read the depths of my nature better than
his ABC, and could turn me inside out,
like his own clammy glove. But what is
far more extraordinary than thisfor such
dirty water as this could alone be drawn
from such a shallow and muddy source
I found from the information of a beneficed
clergyman, of whom I never heard and
whom I never saw, that I had not, as I
rather supposed I had, lived a life of some
reading, contemplation, and inquiry; that
I had not studied, as I rather supposed I
had, to inculcate some Christian lessons in
books; that I had never tried, as I rather
supposed I had, to turn a child or two
tenderly towards the knowledge and love
of our Saviour; that I had never had, as
I rather supposed I had had, departed
friends, or stood beside open graves; but
that I had lived a life of "uninterrupted
prosperity," and that I needed this "check,
overmuch," and that the way to turn it to
account was to read these sermons and these
poems, enclosed, and written and issued by
my correspondent! I beg it may be
understood that I relate facts of my own
uncommercial experience, and no vain imaginings.
The documents in proof lie near my hand.

Another odd entry on the fly-leaf, of a
more entertaining character, was the
wonderful persistency with which kind
sympathisers assumed that I had injuriously
coupled with the so suddenly relinquished
pursuit, those personal habits of mine most
obviously incompatible with it, and most
plainly impossible of being maintained,
along with it. As, all that exercise, all
that cold bathing, all that wind and weather,
all that uphill trainingall that everything
else, say, which is usually carried about by
express trains in a portmanteau and hat-box,
and partaken of under a flaming row of
gaslights in the company of two thousand people.
This assuming of a whole case against all
fact and likelihood, struck me as particularly
droll, and was an oddity of which I certainly
had had no adequate experience in life until
I turned that curious fly-leaf.

My old acquaintances the begging-letter
writers came out on the fly-leaf, very piously
indeed. They were glad, at such a serious
crisis, to afford me another opportunity of
sending that Post-office order. I needn't
make it a pound, as previously insisted on;
ten shillings might ease my mind. And
Heaven forbid that they should refuse, at
such an insignificant figure, to take a weight
off the memory of an erring fellow-creature!
One gentleman, of an artistic turn (and
copiously illustrating the books of the
Mendicity Society), thought it might soothe my
conscience in the tender respect of gifts
misused, if I would immediately cash up
in aid of his lowly talent for original design
as a specimen of which he enclosed me
a work of art which I recognised as a
tracing from a woodcut originally published
in the late Mrs. Trollope's book on America,
forty or fifty years ago. The number of
people who were prepared to live long years
after me, untiring benefactors to their
species, for fifty pounds a piece down, was
astonishing. Also, of those who wanted
bank notes for stiff penitential amounts, to
give away:—not to keep, on any account.

Divers wonderful medicines and machines
insinuated recommendations of themselves
into the fly-leaf that was to have been
so blank. It was specially observable that
every prescriber, whether in a moral or
physical direction, knew me thoroughly knew
me from head to heel, in and out, through
and through, upside down. I was a glass
piece of general property, and everybody
was on the most surprisingly intimate terms
with me. A few public institutions had
complimentary perceptions of corners in my
mind, of which, after considerable self-
examination, I have not discovered any