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Chapter 1 summary -the book opens with three young English men sitting idle, smoking and talking about their health. Their names are George, William Samuel Harris, and J., the author and narrator. Montmorency, a terrier, is also present. On the subject of health, J. admits he is something of a hypochondriac. Every ailment he hears about or reads about in an advertisement for patent medicine seems to fit his symptoms perfectly. He has gone to his doctor, he explains, who prescribes a hearty diet and exercise, and tells him not to"stuff up your head with things you don't understand" . J. jokes that the prime symptom of his current malady is "a general disinclination to work of any kind".After a meal and some more general complaining about their health, the three decide they need a change for a week or so.
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