There were four of us-George,and William Samuel Harris,and myself,and Montmorency.We were sit-ting in my room,and we were smoking and talking about how bad we were-ill,I mean,of course. We were all feeling in poor health,and we were getting quite worried about it.Harris said that he felt really bad sometimes,and he did not know what he was doing.And then George said that he felt bad,too,and that he did not know what he was do-ing either.With me it was my heart.I knew it was my heart because I had read something in a magazine about the symp-toms of a bad heart.I had all of them. It is a most extraordinary thing,but every time I read about an illness,I realize that I have it too-and that my symptoms are very bad!In fact,my health has always been a worry,I remember… One day I had a little health problem,and I went to the British Museum Library to read about it.I took the book off the library shelf,and I began to read.After some time,I turned over the page and I began to read about another illness.I don't remember the name of the illness,but I know it was something really terrible.I read about half a page-and then I knew that I had that disease too. I sat there for a time,cold with horror.Slowly,I beqan to turn over more pages.I came to a disease which was worse than the last one.I began to read about it and,as I expected,I had that disease too.Then I began to get really interested in myself,so went back to the beginning of the book.I started with the letter'a'and I read from 'a'to'z'.I found that there was only one disease which I did not have.This made me a little unhappy.Why didn't I have that disease too? When I walked into that reading-room,I was a happy,healthy young man.When I left I was a very sick man,close to death… But I was talking about my heart-nobody understood how ill I really was.I had this bad heart when I was a boy.It was with me all the time.I knew that it was my heart because I had all the symptoms of a bad heart.The main symptom was that I did not want to work.Of course,nobody understood that the problem was my heart.Doctors were not so clever then.They just thought that I was lazy! 'Why,you lazy boy,you,'they used to say.'Get up and do some work for once in your life!'they did not understand that I was ill. And they did not give me medicine for this illness-they hit me on the side of the head.It is very strange,but those blows on my head often made the illness go away for a time.Sometimes just one blow made the sickness disappear and made me want to start work immediately… Anyway,that evening,George and William Harris and I sat there for half an hour,and described our illnesses to each other.I explained to George and William Harris how I felt when I got up in the morning.William Harris told us how he felt when he went to bed.Then George stood in front of the fire,and,with great feeling,he showed us how he felt in the night. George always thinks he is ill,but really,there is never any-thing the matter with him,you know. At that monent Mrs Poppets,my housekeeper,knocked on the door.She wanted to know if we were ready to have supper. We smiled sadly at each other,and then we said that perhaps we should try to eat something.Harris said that a little food helped to prevent illness.So Mrs Poppets brought the supper in.We sat down at the table,and for half an hour we managed to play with some steak and chips-and with a large cake that Mrs Poppets had made. When we had made ourselves eat something,we filled our glasses,and we lit our pipes.Then we began to talk about our health again.We were not quite sure what was the matter with us.However,we were all quite certain of one thing-we had been doing too much work. 'We need a rest,'Harris said. 'A rest and a change,'George added. I agreed with George,and I said that perhaps we could go to the country.We could find a nice,quiet place and we could sit in the warm summer sun.We could go somewhere peaceful,far away from other people. Harris said that he thought that would be awful.He added that he had been to a place like that once.Everyone went to bed at eight o'clock,and he had to walk for an hour to buy cigarettes and a newspaper. 'No,'Harris said.'If you want a rest and a change,then the sea is best.' I said that this was a terrible idea.A sea trip is fine if you are going for a month or two-but not for a week.I know what it is like… You start out on Monday and you think that you are going to enjoy yourself.You wave goodbye happily to your friends.You walk up and down on the ship,like Captain Cook,Sir Francis Drake or Christopher Columbus.On Tuesday you wish that you had not come.On Wednesday,Thursday and Friday you wish that you were dead.On Saturday you are able to drink something.You begin to smile a little at the kind people who ask you how you are.On Sunday you start to walk again,and you eat a little.And on Monday morning,as you stand and wait to get off the ship-you begin to enjoy yourself. I remember that a friend of mine once took a short sea trip from London to Liverpool for his health.He bought a return ticket,but,when he got to Liverpool,he sold it and he came back by train… So I was against the sea trip-not for myself,you understand.I am never seasick.But I was afraid for George.George said he would be fine.In fact,he said he would quite like it,but he thought that Harris and I would both be ill.Harris said he was never seasick.In fact,he had often tried to be ill,but he had not succeeded.It is very strange,but,when you are on land,you never meet anybody who has ever been seasick! So George said,'Well,let's go up the river,then.'He added,'We'll have fresh air on the river.The hard work on the boat will make us hungry,so we'll enjoy our food.We'll sleep well,too.' Harris replied,'Well,you never have any trouble sleeping,anyway.In fact,you're always going to sleep!' But,in the end,Harris agreed that it was a good idea.I thought that it was a good idea,too.The only one who did not like the idea was Montmorency. 'It's different for me,'his face said.'You like it,but I don't!There's nothing for me to do.I don't smoke.I don't like looking at the trees and the flowers,and when I'm asleep you'll play about with the boat and I'll fall over the side!' Montmorency's idea of a good time is to collect together all the most awful dogs he can find and then go round the town,looking for other awful dogs to fight. But we were three to one,so we decided to go anyway.