hours better; divide the task among more days, and give the nights to friends and sleep. There is enough of necessary pain and suffering in the world. It is wrong to add to the inevitable sum of illness by heedless and needless exposures, by striding from volume to volume of “Vesey” “in the mad boots.” Remember old Chamisso, and be wise.Dr. Howe wrote from Rome, Dec. 1843:—
My joy at receiving your letters has been sadly dashed with sorrow by what Greene tells me about your health, and yet it is not so much sorrow as anxiety; for, probably, ere this you are well again, and again drawing desperately upon your capital of health and strength. You may be again working hard all day; eating without regard to time, or quality, or quantity; sitting up two-thirds of the night, using up the whole stock of nervous power accumulated by one night's sleep, and anticipating that of the next by forced loans; steaming about on your long legs, and running to and from Cambridge, and up and down Boston streets, as if your body were as immortal as your spirit. You may be doing all this,—and yet I am none the less uneasy about you. You know, or you ought to know, your constitutional predisposition; and that the continuance of your life, more than that of most men, is dependent upon your treatment of yourself. I trust that you have even now abandoned that morbid and unnatural state of mind which made you careless whether you should live or die. You, in your own morality, condemn the agent of charity or the public functionary who, having intrusted to him money or power for the good of others, should squander it carelessly or misapply it to unworthy objects; and yet where is your conscientiousness when you squander, abuse, and destroy the time, the talents, and the power which God entrusted to you,—a thing which you most assuredly do when you neglect or injure your health? . . . I used to warn you that you would suddenly break down or up, if you continued to be so careless about it; and though you may not yet have done so, I repeat the warning: and I beg you, moreover, to gratify your friends, to serve humanity, and to benefit yourself, by presenting what is almost never seen,—a young man full of physical strength, and urged on by noble impulses, consenting to curb his impetuosity and to live in observance of laws which, though unwritten, are as obligatory as those engraved upon tables of stone or recorded in the statutes of the realm. All this sermonizing and exhorting will do no good, I suppose; but I have done what I could. And now, if you will, go on, neglect exercise, neglect sleep, study late and early, stoop over your table, work yourself to death, grieve all your friends and break my heart; for where, dear Charlie, at my time of life, shall I find a friend to love as I love you?
Jan. 1, 1844.A happy New Year to you, dear Charlie,—the first I have wished to any one, save Julia. I want a gift, a great favor, from you. Do you promise? I know you do. Well, after you have read this, write a note to Dr. James Jackson, and ask him to name a time when he can talk a half-hour with you. Go and submit your whole case to him; tell him, if you will, that you are