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When I am sick, I find myself very much like Mr. Woodhouse in Emma.
Mr. Woodhouse: Cake! Surely you’re not serving cake at your wedding, Miss Taylor! Far too rich, you put us all at peril! Where is Mr. Perry, the apothecary? I’m sure he will support me!
Mrs. Weston: Ah, he is over there, Mr. Woodhouse, having some cake.
And although we all know someone like Mr. Woodhouse—someone on the cautious side of health matters, carrying hand sanitizer everywhere and slipping on masks whenever possible—I think Jane might have included his comical personality to make fun of ourselves. For aren’t we all a little like Mr. Woodhouse at one time or another? Have you ever cancelled a date or appointment because the other person was recently ill? Have you washed your hands manically after visiting the doctor’s office? Have you gobbled Zicam because someone sneezed in front of you in line at the grocery store?
When I’m sick, I have to remind myself that things were so much more serious back in Mr. Woodhouse’s day. The truth is, if we had our illnesses back in the olden days, chances are we wouldn’t recover to blog about it. Only through the wonders of medical science have we conquered all the injuries and illnesses we’ve acquired during my life.
In fact, there were quite a bit of illnesses we might not have recovered from back in Regency England. One needs only watch the scene from Wives and Daughters where Molly and Roger can’t even touch because of illness to know how serious it was. Check out this blog post on lahilden.com if you want to get into a real hypochondriac state of mind. I mean we’re talking Cholera, Smallpox, Typhoid Fever… Really serious stuff!
You might be asking what the point of this blog is. Is it just a medication-induced rant brought on by too much Austen watching while sick? Is it because when you get sick you get all retrospective and try to make sense out of things we take for granted in our everyday lives?
Probably. But because of illness, I have gained a new respect for Mr. Woodhouse. He isn’t the scaredy-cat hypochondriac we all think he is, no! He’s just a man who cares enough for Emma and himself to want wellness to surround them. He knows the dangers of kids bringing illnesses home and of travelling in the rain.
No, I shall never look at Mr. Woodhouse the same again. He is to be applauded, to be revered!
Mr. Woodhouse: You must wrap up warm, Emma, in case some of the young dancers do something remarkably reprehensible, like opening a window.
Okay, so yeah, that might be a bit much.
Are you sick? Prescription: Watch Emma with a glass of hot cocoa and call me in the morning.
Stay well readers!