Tag Archives: Outlandish Proverbs

Marginalia, no.235

Love and Cough cannot be hid.

~ George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs

Apparently I always think of this when I’m sick. A potion to inspire the one, a syrup to cure the other. From Solomon’s Song to Burton’s Anatomy, love and sickness go hand in hand. The wife and kids have had the flu this past week. It’s my turn now. The muscles in my right thigh ache. There’s a canker sore inside my lower lip. I spend all day blowing Rorschach tests into handfuls of tissue. But someone made a mistake. Love – at least in its more vigorous forms – is out of the question.

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Marginalia, no.125

Love and Cough cannot be hid.

~ George Herbert, Outlandish Proverbs
 
Tubercular cough is visible on an X-ray.  Love is more subtle, or else unsubtle enough to confound subtle means of detection.  Dr Krokowski lectures in The Magic Mountain on the sympathetic relation between love and sickness.  Maybe we can see them as cousinish forms of a more comprehensive malady – call it ‘Human Swooning.’  For weeks now my poor wife has suffered coughing fits that leave her useless ten minutes at a time.  After a specially bad fit this past weekend she looked at me with tears in her eyes, flushed and wheezing, and I thought: ‘See how much she loves me.’

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