Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hypochondria, "Villette," Charlotte Brontë, 1853

There sat a silent sufferer — a nervous, melancholy man. Those eyes had looked on the visits of a certain ghost — had long waited the comings and goings of that strangest spectre, Hypochondria. Perhaps he saw her now on that stage, over against him, amidst all that brilliant throng. Hypochondria has that wont, to rise in the midst of thousands — dark as Doom, pale as Malady, and well nigh strong as Death. Her comrade and victim thinks to be happy one moment — " Not so," says she ; "I come." And she freezes the blood in his heart, and beclouds the light in his eye.

Villette, Charlotte Brontë, 1853
Read the full text of Villette (a great read through and through!) by clicking here. You can also purchase a hard-copy by clicking here. And a special thanks to my good friend Catherine for lending me a copy of this book. It was truly a perfect traveling companion.

Image: "The Hypochondriac," by Thomas Rowlandson, 1788. from the online exhibiton "Before Depression, 1660-1800". Click on image to see larger version.

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