One fine August bank-holiday many thoughts, more or less connected with the day, prompted me to write this essay, so forcibly did it appear that people required help to make their lives easier and happier.
Since then there have been several bank-holidays; and though trade is depressed throughout the country, though financial panic has ruined thousands, yet the demand for beer, spirits, and tobacco is as great as ever; the hollow gaieties of life are as noisy as ever—perhaps the more so for being more hollow; still our most precious friends kill themselves with overwork—mental pulverization. If they eased their minds by employing their hands they might yet live, even though many could not, last autumn, afford to buy the breath of sea or mountain air which would have strengthened them for the burdens of the new year. Those who were wise and who had capital invested it in health, that being likely to bring them in the best return.
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