Works in the Herald 1930

"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." - Shakespeare

I often sit and wonder if depression's what depression seems; and when we murmur, "Times are stiff," do we not largely deal in dreams? Brown croaks forlornly, "I am sad!" And sad he is, the gloomy dunce; Smith sighs and mutters, "Things are bad!" And times for him grow worse at once.

Smith button-holes the jovial Jones and into his unwilling ear pours jeremiads, whimpers, groans and prophecies absurdly drear. And straight the smile on Jones's face is wiped away, as when a cloud blots out the sun, and, in its place, the signs of dull depression crowd.

From Jones to Green, from Green to White, from White to Black, from Black to Grey the sad tale travels like a blight; and joy in terror sneaks away, and so the gloomy chorus swells; men lately bright wax dull and sad; mere moans grow into anguished yells: "Oh, times are bad! The times are bad!"

So, up and down and round the town that habors Smith and Jones and Brown, men crawl about with haunted eyes and cry, "We must economise!" Grocer and draper miss their sales; they sack their hands, to further wails when wives of men who take the knock can't buy the goods the tradesmen stock.

Then like a snowball rolling on to gather what it rolls upon, despression wanders round the place and swamps a one-time bouyant race.

Wake up, man! If the blight has you, why cry and moan you have no chance? Gaze round upon your world anew. Deal with the facts; you're in a trance. Take heed of how the story grew; know things that are from things that seem. The tale is less than half-way true, and more than half a dilly dream.

Herald, 7 May 1930, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003