Here lies a poor woman who always was tired,
For she lived in a place where help wasn’t hired.
Her last words on earth were, Dear friends I am going
Where washing ain’t done nor sweeping nor sewing,
And everything there is exact to my wishes,
For there they don’t eat and there’s no washing of dishes…
Don’t mourn for me now, don’t mourn for me never,
For I’m going to do nothing for ever and ever.
An epitaph in Bushey churchyard, before 1860, destroyed by 1916
From the Rev. Sydney Smith to Lady Georgiana Morpeth, 16 February 1820
Dear Lady Georgiana,
…Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done – so I feel for you.
1st – Live as well as you dare.
2nd – Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°.
3rd – Amusing books.
4th – Short views of human life not further than dinner or tea.
5th – Be as busy as you can.
6th – See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.
7th – And of those acquaintances who amuse you.
8th – Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely – they are always worse for dignified concealment.
9th – Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.
10th – Compare your lot with that of other people.
11th – Don’t expect too much from human life – a sorry business at the best.
12th – Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and everything likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.