Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

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

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Popping pills

Monday, April 6th., Cadogan Square, London.

Some weeks ago Mrs. S. M. recommended to me some anti-fat pills made and sold by a chemist at Nice. The course was six boxes. I got the six boxes from Nice and began. Mrs. S. M. positively assured me that they were quite harmless and very effective. After I had taken a little more than two boxes, I began to notice that I perspired very freely and also was short-winded after any exertion. Also that my heart made a too loud noise and was rather irregular. So much so that I could not sleep on my left side on account of the thumping row. Fjellsted, my masseur, told me my heart had been affected by something - he thought it was due to veronal, of which I had taken one dose for insomnia. (By the way my sleep grew heavier but much more broken, and no better as regards total quantity.) I hadn't and haven't told him about the anti-fat pills as his feeling against all pills is so strong.

Barbital or barbitone, marketed under the brand names Veronal for the pure acid and Medinal for the sodium salt, was the first commercially available barbiturate. It was used as a sleeping aid from 1903 until the mid-1950s.

I then sent for Dr. Griffin. He examined me and said my heart was organically quite all right, but that it had been upset by the pills and that I must at once cease to take them. He came a second time on Sunday, and said that the improvement, though noticeable, was very slight. I still have to walk upstairs very slowly and to avoid any physical strain. Dr. Griffin had the pills analysed. The analysis on the box (in accordance with French law) says: "Iodothyrine", "Hypophyse", "Surrenales", and "Genesiques". He said that the quantity of thyroid (cheap) was larger than in the formula on the box. He said that I oughtn't to take medicines without consulting him. And of course he is quite right. It is perfectly staggering the idiotic things even a wise man will do.

Additionally for April 6th., see 'Trouble and strife'

My wife is deceiving me.
At the end of March Marguerite went off to Frascati, ostensibly for a holiday, ostensibly alone. Then I discover from her letters that she has 'by chance' met Legros there, 'with his mistress'. She must think me a simpleton! We were introduced to Legros in 1920 by Robert Nichols, the poet. Legros is French and has lectured in French at Bedford College, where Marguerite gave a recital. He is also the tenant of Marguerite's flat in Thackeray Mansions. He is 16 years younger than Marguerite but she has clearly become infatuated with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment