The three friends think they have a problem to discuss. What is the problem?
At the beginning of Chapter I, the three friends—George, Harris, and the narrator, J.—are sitting in J.’s room, smoking and talking. The subject matter turns to medical maladies; and each man chimes in with his own symptoms and ailments, as people are apt to do among friendly company. It turns out that they are “all feeling seedy” or listless, and that both George and Harris have experienced “fits of giddiness.” These are the problems they decide to address: their states of physical and emotional health. After J. regales them with a few lengthy medical stories of his own, the three men decide that they are indeed at least suffering from overwork, and that they all need a rest. They need to get away from the city and to go somewhere. It is unlikely that the men are suffering from any real illnesses; and whether or not they are actually overworked is only left for them to say. By the end of the chapter, however, they decide to take a boat trip up the River Thames. This will be their remedy for what ails them.