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Kitty Scandal has not been known to open her lips fince.
Tom Belfry was the nuifance of fociety; he applied to me when he was far gone indeed; he had been black-balled by half the clubs in town, and fent to Coventry by the other half. I examined his cafe, and found it under the following class-Vox Stentoria, fempiterna, cum cerebello vacuo, necnon auribus obtufis admodùm ac inertibus. As his organs of fpeech feemed in want of immediate modulation, I tried the pitchpipe upon him repeatedly, but the vehemence of his complaint baffled all my efforts; I could never bring him down within a full octave of found health. I was unwilling to proceed to extremities, till I had done all that my more regular practice could fuggeft for his relief; but when I found none but defperate remedies could fave him, I caufed a vein to be opened in his right arm, and drew out fourteen ounces of blood: This was in the month of March laft, and the wind was then in the east with fleet and rain: I immediately ordered the patient to take boat at Black-friars, and be rowed to, Chelsea-Reach and back again in an open wherry: The expected consequence enfued; a total deprivation of voice took place, and Mr. Belfry, being no longer able to articulate, is become
become a very companiable man, and is now in as much request with his club, as heretofore he was in difgrace with it.
Counsellor Clack is a young man of quick parts, ready wit, and ftrong imagination, but forely troubled with the disease called Lingua volubilis cum fui ipfius amore nimio et prægravante. This patient was radically cured by a ftrong dofe of his own praifes, which I took from his mouth, and made him swallow grain for grain as he had uttered them: The nausea, occafioned by this dofe, operated so strongly on his conftitution, as totally to eradicate all feeds of felf-confequence, and the counsellor is become one of the modefteft men, and best hearers in his profeffion.
Captain Swagger was continually talking of battles, and fieges, and campaigns, though he had never feen either: He arraigned the conduct of every enterprize; and proved to demonftration, by the force of oaths, how much better it would have been managed, had he been the commander: The fymptoms were too apparent to be miftaken-Os grandiloquum, rotundum, cum dextrâ bello frigidâ.—In this state of his diforder he was recommended to my care by the officers of his mefs. I found the tumefaction so vehement, that I prefcribed an
opening by incifion. The captain was accordingly sent out by his commanding officer upon a scouting-party, and fuffered a furprize, which effectually repelled the tumefaction: Mr. Swagger threw up his commiffion, and has been a very filent member of the civil community ever fince.
I have fent you these cafes out of many, as being peculiar; in common cafes, the general method I take to bring any gentleman to a patient hearing, is to entertain him with his own commendations: If this fimple medicine will not serve, I am forced to dafh it with a few drops of flander, which is the best appeaser I know; for many of my patients will liften to that, when nothing elfe can filence them. This recipe however is not palatable, nor ought it to be ufed but with caution and difcretion; I keep it therefore in referve like laudanum for fpecial occafions. When a patient is far advanced towards his cure, I take him with me to the gallery of the House of Commons, when certain orators, whom I have in my eye, are upon their legs to harangue'; and I have always found if a convalefcent can hear that, he can hear any thing.
I am, Sir, your's to command,
I am not fo partial to my correfpondent, as to defend him in all his proceedings, and I fufpect, that, whilft he is labouring to reftore his patients to their ears, he may chance to take away their lives. Men, who act upon fyftem, are apt to ftrain it too far; and as prevention is always to be preferred to remedy, I could wifh that parents would take early care -to-inftruct their children in the art of hearing, if it were only to guard them against falling into Mr. Fifb's hands, when the malady may become stubborn.
I fhall fuggeft one hint in the way of advice to fathers and mothers, which, if they are pleafed to attend to it, may perhaps fave fome future trouble and vexation.
I would with all parents to believe, that the human character begins to fix itself much earlier In life, than they are generally aware of. There is fomething very captivating in the dawning ideas of our children; we are apt to flatter and caress them for their early vivacity; we tell their fmart fayings and repartees with a kind ~of triumph even in their prefence, and the com— pany we tell them to are always polite enough to applaud and admire them. By thefe means we inftil our own vanity into their infant minds, and push their genius into prematurity. The forward
forwardness, which this practice of our's is fure to create, paffes off agreeably for a time; but, when infancy ceafes, it begins to annoy us, and Mifs or Mafter appear infupportably pert. The parent then finds himself obliged to turn the other fide of his countenance upon the witticisms of his child; this is not only a painful tafk, but probably a fruitless one; for the child by this time has made its party, and can find its admirers elsewhere: Every obliging vifitor makes intereft with the clever little creature; the nursery, the kitchen, the ftables echo with applaufe; it can chatter, or mimic, or act its tricks before the fervants, and be fure of an audience: The mifchief is done, and the parent may fnub to no purpose.
Let parents therefore firft correct themselves, before they undertake that office for their children: Education is incompatible with felf-indulgence, and the impulse of vanity is too often miftaken for the impulfe of nature: When Mifs is a wit, I am apt to fufpect that her mother is not over-wife.