22 FEBRUARY 1890, Page 14


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Your article in the Spectator of February 15th draws attention to a phase of human nature frequently noticed, little understood,—viz., the quiet cheerfulness of constant sufferers. Such patients are generally seen by outside friends and visitors during the intervals of relief ; and it is naturally at those times that the opinion is formed of the manner in which the-affliction is borne.

My own experience of great suffering, for a long period, has always since been to myself sufficient explanation of that which to many is a mystery. I have never known such abso- lute joy in life as in the cessation of great pain. Even the knowledge of certain recurrence, and almost the hopelessness of ultimate cure, could not darken those glad intervals : it is that " joy " of which I speak, which, thank God ! comes to great sufferers, which is so often a surprise and mystery to many.—