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Onwards and upwards (1870)

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 04 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2244

Pessimists are not wanting on either side of the Atlantic; and the function which they fulfil is one so useful to others, and generally so productive of gloomy satisfaction to themselves, that we are accustomed to think of them as a very enviable and desirable class of persons—not half so miserable as they would have their neighbours suppose, and finding very tolerable the life which they fail to make unendurable to others.

We have been reading lately a series of papers on British and foreign populations—English, French, German, and American—in which the various …

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