Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/831

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DEAN SWIFT'S DISEASE.

promised me an oil for my cars, that he has been making for that ailment for somebody else."

A fit of giddiness, with sickness and ear-disease, is not this labyrinthine vertigo?

On different days in January, 1711, he writes:

"I had an ugly fit in my chamber last night. . . . My head is not in order, and yet is not absolutely ill; but giddyish, and makes me listless. . . . One fit shakes me a long time."

February 1st.—"I walked into the City to dine, but I walked plaguy carefully, for fear of sliding against my will."

April 18th.—"I did not go to the House of Commons about the yarn: my head was not well enough. I know not what is the matter. It has never been thus before; two days together giddy from morning till night, and I totter a little, but can make a shift to walk."

In May: "I do not totter as I did, but walk firm as a rock, only once or twice for a minute."

September 1st, he notes an important peculiarity, distinguishing cerebral from stomachic vertigo: "My head is pretty well; only a sudden turn at any time makes me feel giddy for a moment, and sometimes it feels very stuffed."

The journals of October show that he distinguished ordinary from vertiginous headache: "My head has ached a little in the evening, but it is not of the true giddy sort, so I do not much value it. . . . I had a little turn in my head this morning, which, though it did not last above a minute, yet being of the true sort, has made me as weak as a dog all this day."

During the years of residence in London which embrace the period of the "Journal to Stella," his other enemy, deafness, is only referred to incidentally, as when he compares it to that of the Lord Treasurer; but, after his return to Ireland, his deafness becomes sufficiently severe to make him complain.

In 1720 he writes, "What if I should add that once in five or six weeks I am deaf for three or four days?"

In 1724 he writes, "I have been this month past so pestered with a return of the noise and deafness in my ears that I had not the spirit to perform the common offices of life." Subsequently, in the same year, "My deafness has left me above three weeks, and therefore I expect a visit from it soon." It was evidently periodic and paroxysmal, like the giddiness.

He complains in another letter of an old vexatious disorder of a deafness and noise in the ears. In 1727, in a letter to Sheridan, he says that his deafness is worse than it ever before had been, and that it is accompanied by giddiness and tottering. "I believe," says he, "that this giddiness is the disorder which will at last get the better of me." And again, "I walk like a drunken man, and am deafer than ever you knew me."