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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Miracle cures?

Wednesday, October 8th., Cadogan Square, London.

Walking in Fulham Road yesterday morning I saw in a slatternly chemist's shop a section of window given to "Yeast is life. Vitamines mean health. X ---- Yeast tablets ... A lightning pick-me-up" guaranteed (or money back) to aid headaches etc. in 5 minutes, flatulence etc. in 5 to 10, stomach trouble in 10 to 15, flu cold in 24 hours. I went in and bought some - probably because I used to take yeast, and it may have done me a certain amount of good. 
I didn't know what was in the tablets (beyond yeast). I knew that for many years I had tried all sorts of remedies and that not one of them had succeeded with me. Yet, as usual, I had hope again. I believed again etc., etc. I took stuff blind again. This indestructible (though often destroyed) faith in quack medicine advertisements is a very interesting and perhaps universal trait. I took a tablet. I felt nothing. But about tea-time I felt a rather wonderful change in my organism. After tea I took two more tablets - or was it before tea? Anyhow I felt very much better. I took two on going to bed, and I have had the best night for many weeks. In fact I slept five and three-quarter hours, of which three and a quarter at a stretch. I felt I could do with more sleep; but I couldn't get it. However I have much more energy and optimism today.

In the afternoon I went up to Charing Cross Road to look at bookshops. Plenty of people looking at them. What struck me was that about half of the books outside the shop are so displayed - generally so low down - that you can't see the titles without physical feats. They are not attractively displayed either. they are as a general rule, stacked anyhow on the shelves and without order.

Additionally for October 8th., see 'Parisian impressions' -

I went to Paris yesterday morning at 7 o'clock. Bad weather. It being Monday morning the train was crowded. I got to the Rue d'Aumale on foot and by omnibus. And in the omnibus I noticed that two of the three horses had sore feet.

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