Page images
PDF
EPUB

Jam. I told you, sir, the doctor had strange whims with him. Sir J. Whims, quotha !

—egad, I shall bind his physicianship over to his good behavior, if he has any more of these whims.

Greg. Sir, I ask pardon for the liberty I have taken.
Sir J. Oh! it's very well, it's

very

well for once. Greg. I am sorry for those blows. Sir J. Nothing at all, nothing at all, sir. . Greg. Which I was obliged to have the honor of laying so

thick on you.

Sir J. Let's talk no more of 'em sir--my daughter, doctor, is fallen into a very strange distemper.

Greg. Sir, I am overjoyed to hear it; and I wish, with all my heart, you

and

your whole family had the same occasion for ine as your daughter, to show the great desire I have to serve you.

Sir J. Sir, I am obliged to you.

Greg. I assure you, sir, I speak from the very bottom of my soul.

Sir J. I do believe you, sir, from the very bottom of mine.
Greg. What is your daughter's name?
Sir J. My daughter's name is Charlotte.
Greg. Are you sure she was christened Charlotte.
Sir J. No sir, she was christened Charlotta.

Greg. Hum ! I had rather she should have been christened Charlotte. Charlotte is a very good name for a patient; and let me tell

you,
the name is often of as much service to the

Patient as the physician is.

Enter CHARLOTTE and MAID. Sir J. Sir, my daughter's here.

Greg. Is that my patient? Upon my word, she carries no distemper in her countenance.

Sir J. You make her smile, doctor.

Greg. So much the better ; 't is a very good sign when we can get a patient to smile; it is a sign that the distemper begins to clarify, as we say. Well, child, what's the matter with you? what's your distemper?

Char. Han, hi, hon, han.
Greg. What do you say?
Char. Han, hi, han, hon.
Greg. What, what, what?
Char. Han, hi, hon

Greg. Han ! hon ! honin ha ! I don't understand a word she says. Han! hi! hon ! what sort of language is this?

Sir J. Why, that's her distemper, sir ; she's become dumb, and no one can assign the cause--and this distemper, sir, has kept back her marriage.

Greg. Kept back her marriage ! why so?

Sir J. Because her lover refuses to have her till she's cured.

Greg. O lud! was ever such a fool, that would not have his wife dumb ! -would to heaven my wife was dumb, I'd be far from desiring to cure her. Does this distemper, this, han, hi, hon, oppress her very much?

Sir J. Yes sir.
Greg. So much the better. Has she any great pains ?
Sir J. Very great.

Greg. That's just as I would have it. Give me your hand, child. Hum-ha-a very dumb pulse indeed.

Sir J. You have guessed her distemper.

Greg. Ay sir, we great physicians know a distemper immediately: I know some of the college would call this the Coupee, or the Sinkee, or twenty other distempers; but I give you my word, sir, your daughter is nothing more than dumb-so I'd have you be very easy, for there is nothing else the matter with her -if she were not dumb, she, would be as well as I am.

Sir J. But I should be glad to know, doctor, from whence her dumbness proceeds ?

Greg. Nothing so easily accounted for. Her dumbness proceeds from having lost her speech.

Sir J. But whence, if you please, proceeds her having lost her speech?

upon that

A man,

Greg. All our best authors will tell you, it is the impediment of the action of the tongue.

Sir J. But if you please, dear sir, your sentiment impediment.

Greg. Hippocrates has upon that subject said very fine things; very fine things.

Sir J. I believe it, doctor.

Greg. Ah! he was a great man; he was indeed a very great man.

who

upon that subjeot was a man that—but to return to our reasoning: I hold that this impediment of the action of the tongue is caused by certain humors which our great physicians call--humors--humors--ah! you understand Latin

Sir J. Not in the least.
Greg. What, not understand Latin?
Sir J. No indeed, doctor.

Greg. Cabricius arci Thurum Cathalimus Singulariter non. Hæc musa, hic, hæc, hoc, Genitivo hujus, hunc, hanc, Musa, Bonus, bona, honum. Estne oratio Latinus ? Etiam. Quia Substantivo f. Adjectivum concordat in Generi, Numerum, f. Casus, sic aiunt, prædicant, clamitant, f. similibus.

Sir J. Ah! why did I neglect my studies ?
Har. What a prodigious man is this !

Greg. Besides, sir, certain spirits passing from the left side, which is the seat of the liver, to the right, which is the seat of the heart, we find the langs, which we call in Latin, Whiskerus, having communication with the brain, which we name in Greek, Jackbootos, by means of a hollow vein, which we call in Hebrew, Periwiggus, meet in the road with the said spirits, which fill the ventricles of the Omotaplasmus, and because the said humors have-you comprehend me well, sir ? and because the said humors have a certain malignity--listen seriously, I beg you.

Sir J. I do.

Greg. Have a certain malignity that is caused—be atten. tive, if you please.

Sir J. I am.

Greg. That is caused, I say, by the acrimony of the humors engendered in the concavity of the diaphragm; thence it arrives, that these vapors, Propria quæ maribus tribuuntur, mascula, dicas. Ut sunt divorum.--This, sir, is the cause of your daughter's being dumb.

Har. O that I had but his tongue.

Sir J. It is impossible to reason better, no doubt. But, dear sir, there is one thing.-I always thought till now, that the heart was on the left side, and the liver on the right.

Greg. Ay sir, so they were formerly, but we have changed all that.-The college, at present, sir, proceeds upon an entire new method.

Sir J. I ask your pardon, sir.

Greg. Oh, sir! there's no harm- -you 're not obliged to know so much as we do.

Sir J. Very true; but, doctor, what would you have done with my daughter ?

Greg. What would I have done with her? Why, my advice is, that you immediately put her into a bed warmed with a brass warming-pan; cause her to drink one quart of spring 'water, mixed with one pint of brandy, six Seville oranges, and three ounces of the best double-refined sugar.

Sir J. Why, this is punch, doctor.

Greg. Punch, sir! Ay, sir ;--and what's better than punch to make people talk ?-Never tell me of your juleps, your gruels, your-your-this, and that, and t'other, which are only arts to keep a patient in hand a long time. I love to do a business all at once. Sir J. Doctor, I ask pardon, you shall be obeyed.

(Gives money. Greg. I'll return in the evening, and see what effect it has on her. But hold, there's another young lady here, that I must apply some little remedies to.

Maid. Who, me? I was never better in my life, I thank

you, sir,

Greg. So much the worse, madam, so much the worse 't is very dangerous to be very well--for when one is very well,

one has nothing else to do, but to take physic, and bleed away.

Sir J. Oh strange! What, bleed when one has vo distemper?

Greg. It may be strange, perhaps, but 't is very wholesome Besides, madam, it is not your case, at present, to be very well; at least, you cannot possibly be weil above three days longer; and it is always best to cure a distemper before you have it—or, as we say in Greek, distemprum bestum est curare ante habestum.- What I shall prescribe you at present, is to take every

six hours one of these boluses. Maid. Ha, ha, ha! Why, doctor, these look exactly like lumps of loaf sugar.

Greg. Take one of these boluses, I say, every six hours, washing it down with six spoonfulls of the best Holland's Geneva.

Sir J. Sure you are in jest, doetor !—This woman does not show any symptom of a distemper.

Greg. Sir Jasper, let me tell you, it were not amiss if you yourself took a little lenitive physic: I shall prepare something

for you.

Sir J. Ha, ha, ha! No, no, doctor, I have escaped both doctors and distempers hitherto, and I am resolved the distemper shall pay me the first visit.

Greg. Say you so, sir? Why then, if I can get no more patients here, I must even seek 'em elsewhere, and so humbly beggo te Domine Domitii veniam goundi foras.

Sir J. Well, this is a physician of vast capacity, but of exceeding odd humors.

THE CANT OF CRITICISM.-STERNE.

And how did Garrick speak the soliloquy last night!

O, against all rule, my lord; most ungrammatically! Betwixt the substantive and adjective, (which should agree together, in number, case and gender,) he made a breach, thus,

« PreviousContinue »