a matter of vast consequence to one of his tastes, was marvellously strong to the last.
The one severe illness of his manhood was the result of an over-exertion, in the winter of 1828-29.
He describes this, himself, as ‘an illness which, though no great things in itself, was a serious matter to me, because it was the first time I was ever seriously unwell.
I was confined strictly to my bed for a week, and to the house something less than a month.’
Making light, also, of the cause of it, he says, ‘My complaint was in my side: a swelling that came suddenly, in consequence of exposure at the Hospital
, when it was on fire.
The scene was very distressing, the sick people fearing they should be burned alive; and, as one of the Trustees, I went round among them, reassuring them as much as I could, and so got wet and caught a cold.’1
He actually did more than this, for he helped in moving the patients, and undoubtedly strained himself.
One thing, however, always amused him in connection with this illness.
The nature of it was peculiar enough, and obscure enough, to cause an account of it to be printed—without names—in a medical journal.
showed this one day to a distinguished medical man from another city, and when he had read it, asked him what he thought ailed the patient in that case.
The answer was, ‘I don't know, and I don't believe the attending physicians knew either.’
From the time when he formed a home of his own, Mr. Ticknor
studied to make it a centre of comfort and improvement to all its members; and the warm and faithful feelings which his friendships proved were shown in their greatest strength in his own family.
During several years when his wife was in a sensitive and prostrated state of health, and during her severe illnesses, his devotion to her comfort, his ingenuity and patience in ministering to the needs of mind and body, showed that his tact and tenderness were not quenched by study; while his watchful and close personal attention to the education of his eldest daughter proved his ability to keep every added duty in its true proportion.