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Sam Weller (search for this): chapter 45
ance. But the peril of which I speak comes not from the intrusive, but from the affectionate and the conscientious-those who bring into the room every conceivable qualification for kind service except observation and tact. The invalid's foes are they of his or her own household, or, at any rate, are near friends or kind neighbors. The kinder they are the worse, unless they are able to show this high quality in the right way. If they could only learn to plan their visits on the basis of Sam Weller's love-letter, which was criticised by his father as rather short! She'll wish there was more of it, said Sam; and that's the whole art oa letter-writing. For want of this art the helpless invalid is hurt instead of helped; she cannot, like other people, assist the departure of the guest by pleading an engagement, or even by rising from the chair; she must wait until the inconsiderate visitor is gone. Under such circumstances she really needs to be saved from her friends. I remember a
Harriet Martineau (search for this): chapter 45
nd says, with sincere but tardy contrition, I am afraid I have tired you. Oh no, says the patient; not at all. It is her last gasp for that morning; she can scarcely muster strength to say it; but let us be polite or die. Brevity is the soul of visiting, as of wit, and in both eases the soul is hard to grasp. As some preacher used to follow a sound maxim for his sermons, No soul saved after the first twenty minutes, so you cannot aid in saving the sick body after the first five. Harriet Martineau, in her Life in the Sickroom, says that invalids are fortunate if there is not some intrusive person who needs to be studiously kept at a distance. But the peril of which I speak comes not from the intrusive, but from the affectionate and the conscientious-those who bring into the room every conceivable qualification for kind service except observation and tact. The invalid's foes are they of his or her own household, or, at any rate, are near friends or kind neighbors. The kinder t