Sunday, April 19, 2015

Devil's Advocate

There's an argument that suggests that Charles Darwin who spent much of his 73 years upon earth at death's door, was a terrible hypochondriac. He died of a heart attack. The same accusation has been leveled at Florence Nightingale who lived 90 years upon earth. She died peacefully in her sleep, despite having spent much or her life close to death's door. Both Florence and Charles where very hard working, and neither of them liked visitors and weren't that fond of leaving home. And as everyone knows being a little bit sick and possibly contagious, bad tempered and angry looking does discourage visitors. Worth mentioning that Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale are venerated as Saints in my part of the world.

One question is the extent to which Saint Charles and Saint Flo were aware of their predilection to suddenly start feeling ill when the nineteenth century equivalent of the telephone rang. Did they actually feel ill or did they just say "I don't feel very well." This is a question that's haunted the minds of thinking people for over a hundred years, and your correspondent who has been conducting his own experiments in this area can tell you, "Yes the feeling of being ill is very real." More interesting though is whether or not Saint Charles or Saint Flo ever flung themselves down staircases to avoid leaving home or ever having to answer the telephone again. And here where I live the Devil's Advocate is currently prowling around, asking questions.

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