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With carriages to take me out for drives,Pg 8 closed upon wet days, open on fine; with cricket and bowls and archery for the summer, and a pack of harriers to follow across country in the winter; with the head of the establishment, who lived in a sweet little cottage with his family, to give me five o’clock tea on the Sundays; with five refections a day whereof to partake, with my fellow-lunatics, if so disposed, in my private sitting-room when I could not stand it; with a private chapel for morning prayers or Sunday service, the same companions and attendants for a congregation, and some visitors who would come to look at us; with little evening parties for whist or music amongst ‘ourselves,’ and a casual conjuror or entertainer from town to distract us sometimes for an evening; with an occasional relative to come and see me, beg me not to get excited, and depart as soon as possible,—what more could man desire? ...These parties, games, entertainments, meals, without a friend’s face near me, without hope, wish, or volition; with the shouts and cries of the really violent to wake me sometimes at night; with every form of personal afflictionPg 10 to haunt and mock and yet companion me by day; with poor fellows playing all sorts of strange antics round me, herded together anyhow or nohow, with or without private rooms of their own—more, I am afraid, in proportion as their friends could or would pay for them or not, on the footing of ‘first-class patients’ than on any other intelligible principle; with Death in the house every now and then, falling suddenly and terribly on one of these unhappy outcasts from some unsuspected malady within, which they could not explain, spoken of in whispers, and hushed up and forgotten as soon as might be; with the warders—‘attendants,’ if you like it better—playing their rough horse-play all over the great house, the Philistines making sport of the poor helpless Samsons, and varying their amusements by coarse and gross language which made the chilled blood run colder;—the story makes me shrink in the telling, and almost regret that I have undertaken to tell it.