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[214] the slow malaria of an old one. For the purposes of this disease we are still too young. It is, according to Byron, a peculiarly English affliction, although the name be French:

For ennui is a growth of English root,
Though nameless in our language; we retort
The fact for words, and let the French translate
That awful yawn which sleep cannot abate.

We have still too much of the Puritan in us, as a nation; have too many cares and duties and missions; we still work too hard and marry too young — for ennui, properly so called. We exhibit overwork, not underwork; our appointed disease is not ennui, but nervous prostration. It may be no better; it may even be worse; but it is a different thing.

When we think to escape Puritanism into the realms of fashion it is no better. Our civilization is not yet thoroughly adjusted for idle people; the wheels are not oiled; domestic service alone is a perpetual conflict. It is only in Europe that one has leisure for ennui. The situation which made until recently the staple of English novels was that which Mrs. Walford's story of Mr. Smith represents-that of a comfortably provided family, where half a dozen maidens toil not, neither do they spin,

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