A Day Like This

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The Independent Online
28 April, 1764 LORD AUCHINLECK writes to his son, James Boswell, who was studying law in Utrecht: 'It gave me concern that you had been in distress, but did not appear strange; the change from an idle dissipated life to a life of application and study was so great that it could not but affect your spirits. I remember Dr Cheyne, a physician at Bath, having, by too full living, brought himself to that degree of corpulency that he had his coach made to open wholly on the side and was really become a burden to himself, resolved to live abstemiously, and reduced his body so much that he was obliged to be swaddled to make his loose skin clasp to his body. By this operation his intellectuals were reduced prodigiously and his spirits sunk to the greatest degree. However, as he had given a strict charge to his friends to keep him at it, by degrees he became inured to the new way of living and all his faculties, with his spirits, returned.