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Dr. Ay; pray, sir, are you a glutton ?
Pa. God forbid, sir, I'm one of the plainest men living in all the west country.
Dr. Then perhaps you ’re a drunkard? .
Pa. No, Dr. Gregory; thank God, no one can accuse me of that ; I’m of the dissenting persuasion, Doctor, and an elder, so ye may suppose I’m na drunkard.
Dr. I'll suppose no such thing till you tell me your mode of life. I'm so much puzzled with your symptoms, sir, that I should wish to hear in detail what you do eat and drink. When do you breakfast, and what do you take at it?
Pa. I breakfast at nine o'clock, tak a cup of coffee, and one or two cups of tea; a couple of eggs, and a bit of ham or kippered salmon, or, may be, both, if they're good, and two or three rolls and butter.
Dr. Do you eat no honey, or jelly, or jam, at breakfast ?
Dr. Come, this is a very moderate breakfast. What kind of a dinner do you make ?
Pa. Oh, sir, I eat a very plain dinner indeed. Some soup, and some fish, and a little plain roast or boiled; for I dinna care for made dishes ; I think, some way, they never satisfy the appetite.
Dr. You take a little pudding then, and afterwards some cheese.
Dr. You west country people generally take a glass of Highland whiskey after dinner.
Pa. Yes, we do : it's good for digestion.
Pa. Yes, a glass or two of sherry, but I'm indifferent as to wine during dinner. I drink a good deal of beer.
Dr. What quantity of port do you drink ?
Pa. Yes, sir; indeed 'tis punch we drink chiefly; but for myself, unless I happen to have a friend with me, I never take more than a couple of tumblers, or so, and that's moderate.
Dr. Oh, exceedingly moderate indeed! You then, after this slight repast, take some tea and bread and butter?
Pa. Yes, before I go to the counting house to read the evening letters.
Dr. And on your return you take supper, I suppose ?
Pa. No, sir, I canna be said to tak supper;. just something before going to bed; a rizzered haddock, or a bit of toasted cheese, or half a hundred of oysters, or the like o'that, and may be, two thirds of a bottle of ale; but I tak no regular supper.
Dr. But you take a little more punch after that ?
Pa. No, sir, punch does not agree with me at bed time. I tak a tumbler of warm whiskey toddy at night; it is lighter to sleep on.
Dr. So it must be, no doubt. This, you say, is your every day life; but upon great occasions, you perhaps exceed a little ?
Pa. No, sir, except when a friend or two dine with me, or I dine out, which, as I am a sober family man, does not often happen.
Dr. Not above twice a week ?
Pa. Yes, sir, thank God, I have; indeed, any ill health that I have is about meal time.
Dr. (Assuming a severe look, knitting his brow, and lowering his eye brows.) Now, sir, you are a very pretty fellow indeed; you come here and tell me you are a moderate man; and I might have believed you, did I not know the nature of the people in your part of the country; but upon examination, I find by your own showing, that you are a most voracious glutton; you breakfast in the morning in a style that would serve a moderate man for dinner; and from five o'clock in the afternoon, you undergo mne almost uninterrupted loading of your stomach, till you go to bed. This is your moderation! You told me too another falsehood — you said you were a sober man, yet by your own showing, you are a beer swiller, a dram drinker, a wine bibber, and a guzzler of punch ; a liquor, the name of which is associated in my mind, only with the ideas of low company and beastly intoxication. You tell me you eat indigestible suppers, and swill toddy to force sleep“I see that you chew tobacco. Now, sir, what human stomach can stand this? Go home, sir, and leave off your present course of riotous living—take some dry toast and tea for your breakfast - some plain meat and soup for dinner, without adding to it anything to spur on your flagging appetite; you may take a cup of tea in the evening, but never let me hear of haddocks and toasted cheese, and oysters, with their accompaniments of ale and toddy at night; give up chewing that vile, narcotic, nauseous abomination, and there are some hopes that your stomach may recover its tone, and you be in good health like your neighbors.
Pa. I'm sure, Doctor, I'm very much obliged to you — (taking 'out a bunch of bank notes) — I shall endeavor to —
Dr. Sir, you are not obliged to me—put up your money, sir. Do you think I'll take a fee from you for telling you what you know as well as myself? Though you're no physician, sir, you are not altogether a fool. You must know that drunkenness and gluttony are both sinful and dangerous; and whatever you may think, you have this day confessed to me that you are a notorious glutton and drunkard. Go home, sir, and reform, or take my word for it, your life is not worth half a year's purchase. (Exit Patient in confusion.)
- Sober and temperate! Dr. Watt tried to live in Glasgow, and made his patients live moderately, and purged and bled them when they were sick, but it would not do. Let the Glasgow doctors prescribe beef-steaks and rum punch, and their fortune is made.
FASHION AND FEELING.
Mrs. Glenroy. To whom am I indebted for these kind wishes ?
Reuben. Madam, I am the elder brother of that miserable and degraded man, your husband.
Mrs. G. Miserable ! degraded ! (Indignantly.)
Reu. Ay lady.—Must he not be miserable, who risks at play what might preserve his family from ruin? Is he not degraded, who, by dissipation contracts debts, and withholds from honest industry its hard earned pittance ?
Mrs. G. Vulgar and contemptible ! You the brother of Augustus? (Turning aside.)
Reu. I have confessed it. Mrs. G. I am sorry for it. Reu. So am I.—but I prefer humiliation to falsehood. Mrs. G. (Curtesying.) I would wish, sir, to be mistress of my own time, as soon as it may suit your convenience. (Going.)
Reu. Madam, my business here is to serve, rather than to please ; to speak the severe language of truth, not the soft blandishments of flattery. Yet believe me, my nature, though perhaps blunt, is averse to insult, and should I succeed in snatching a beloved brother from ruin, the joy of my heart will be damped, indeed, if, in saving him, I forfeit your kind estimation.
Mrs. G. (Presenting her hand.) All is forgotten — you are my husband's brother.
Reu. And your devoted friend.- How does your sweet infant ? Where is my little nephew ?
Mrs. G. Quite well, and with his nurse.
Reu. The fashion! Now, is it possible a woman should be so lost to her own felicity as to lavish on a hireling the cherub smile of instinctive gratitude. O! my young matrons, in thus estranging your little offspring, you foresee not the perdition you cause — you know not the earthly paradise you abandon.
Mrs. G. Sir — you are eloquent.
Reu. 'Tis the subject that is so; Nature wants no orator to plead her cause. Ha! a tear! O! hide it not! Believe me, my dear sister, no gem that sparkles in your dress is half so ornamental as that glistening drop, which your overflowing heart now shoots into your eye, endearing evidence of maternal sympathy.
Mrs. G. I feel my error. Oh! why did not your brother thus admonish, thus —
Reu. I am your friend, but he is your lover; and he who loves truly, will suffer much ere he can teach his eye the scowl of discontent. Long, long will his heart throb with agony, before one groan shall disturb your slumbers, one breath of reproof ruffle your peaceful bosom. I have learned where your husband will pass his evening. I'll bring him to you. Mrs. G. Oh, he will not leave his party.
Reu. He shall ! he will not need compulsion to come to the wife he loves. His fortunes are most desperate -- his character, his honor - perhaps his life — implicated. Mrs. G. Oh Heavens ! in mercy do not say so. Reu. Do you, then, love my poor brother ? Mrs. G. Better than my life, a thousand times. Reu. Poor did I call him? Ah ! he possesses — Mrs. G. What ?
Reu. A treasure worth the empire of the world — a virtuous woman's heart. Fear nothing — All shall be well.
Mrs. G. I promised my dear Augustus to meet him this evening at a party. I shall be late.
Reu. Pray, do not go ?
Reu. And cannot the whole world go on without you for one night ? — Hush! I heard some one in distress.
Mrs. G. 'Tis the cry of my dear little infant.
Reu. The best in the world ; these gewgaws will delight the child; they're fit for nothing else.