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The Bed-Book of Happiness   By: (1871-1929)

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First Page:

"A GATHERING OF HAPPINESS, A CONCENTRATION AND COMBINATION OF PLEASANT DETAILS, A THRONG OF GLAD FACES, A MUSTER OF ELATED HEARTS."

CHARLOTTE BRONTË

THE BED BOOK OF HAPPINESS

Being a Colligation or Assemblage of Cheerful Writings brought together from many quarters into this one compass for the diversion, distraction, and delight of those who lie abed, a friend to the invalid, a companion to the sleepless, an excuse to the tired, by

HAROLD BEGBIE

HODDER AND STOUGHTON LONDON NEW YORK TORONTO

PRINTED IN 1914 BY HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD., LONDON AND AYLESBURY.

to

SIR JESSE BOOT

If, in my pages, those who suffer find Such cheer as warms your heart and lights your mind, Glad shall I be, but gladder, prouder too, If this my book become a friend like you .

RONDEL

BESIDE YOUR BED I COME TO STAY WITH MAGIC MORE THAN HUMAN SKILL, MY PAGES RUN TO DO YOUR WILL, MY COVERS KEEP YOUR CARES AWAY.

THE NURSE ARRIVES WITH LADEN TRAY, THE DOCTOR CANCELS DRAUGHT AND PILL; BESIDE YOUR BED I COME TO STAY WITH MAGIC MORE THAN HUMAN SKILL.

AND YOU THRO' FAERY LANDS WILL STRAY, AT LAUGHTER'S FOUNTAIN DRINK YOUR FILL, FOR THO' YOUR BODY CRY "I'M ILL!" YOUR MIND WILL DANCE FROM NIGHT TO DAY. BESIDE YOUR BED I COME TO STAY WITH MAGIC MORE THAN HUMAN SKILL .

THE RENDERING OF THANKS

To Mr. Austin Dobson and his publishers, Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd.

To Mr. R.A. Streatfeild, Mr. Henry Festing Jones, and Mr. A.C. Fifield, the publisher, for permission to make use of "The Note Books of Samuel Butler."

To Mr. W. Aldis Wright and Messrs. Macmillan for my quotations from "The Letters of Edward FitzGerald."

To Mr. E.I. Carlyle, author of "The Life of William Cobbett."

To Sir Herbert Stephen and Messrs. Bowes & Bowes of Cambridge for permission to include verses from the "Lapsus Calami" of J.K. Stephen.

To Mrs. Hole, Mr. G.A.B. Dewar, and Messrs. George Allen & Co., for my quotations from Mr. Dewar's "The Letters of Samuel Reynolds Hole."

To Messrs. Chatto & Windus for my extracts from the Works of Mark Twain.

To Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons for permission to make a quotation from "Mrs. Brookfield and her Circle."

To Messrs. Constable & Co. for my raid on the "Letters of T.E. Brown."

To Messrs. George Bell & Son for the verses taken from C.S. Calverley's "Fly Leaves."

To Mr. E.V. Lucas, prince of anthologists, for the liberal use I have made of his "Life of Charles Lamb."

To Mr. G.K. Chesterton, and his publishers, Messrs. Methuen, Mr. Duckworth, Mr. J.M. Dent, and Mr. John Lane.

To Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. ( the owners of the copyright ) for permission to include letters of Thackeray to Mrs. Brookfield.

To Messrs. Gibbings & Co. for my extracts from the admirable translation of Sainte Beuve.

And to all authors, living and dead, who have assembled in this place to entertain the sick and the weary.

H.B.

FOREWORD

"It is worth," said Dr. Johnson, "a thousand pounds a year to have the habit of looking on the bright side of things."

It is worth more than all money to have the capacity, the power, the will to see the bright side of things, to possess the assurance that there is a veritable and persisting bright side of things, when the mind is gloomed by physical weakness and the heart is conscious only of languor and distress. At such a dull time even a long established habit may desert us; with our faculties clouded and obscured we are tempted to doubt the entire philosophy of our former life; we sink down into the sheets of discomfort, and roll our heads restlessly on the pillow of discontent; we almost extract a morbid satisfaction from the fuliginous surrenderings of pessimism. Mrs. Gummidge at our bedside might be as unwelcome as Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, or Zophar the Naamathite; but there is a Widow in the soul of all men as mournful and lugubrious as the tearful sister of Mr... Continue reading book >>




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