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Kitty Scandal has not been known to open her
Tom Belfry was the nuisance of society; he applied to me when he was far gone indeed; he had been black-balled by half the clubs in town, and sent to Coventry by the other half. I examined his case, and found it under the fola lowing class-Vox stentoria, sempiterna, cum cerebello vacuo, necnon auribus obtufis admodùm ac inertibus.- As his organs of speech seemed 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 suggest for his relief ; but when I found none but desperate remedies could save him, I caused a vein to be opened in his right arm, and drew out fourteen ounces of blood : This was in the month of March last, and the wind was then in the east with fleet and rain : 1 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 ensued ; a total deprivation of voice took place, and Mr. Belfry, being no longer able to articulate, is become a very companiable man, and is now in as much request with his club, as heretofore he was in disgrace with it.
Counsellor Clack is a young man of quick parts, ready wit, and strong 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 dose of his own praises, which I took from his mouth, and made him swallow grain for grain as he had uttered them: The nausea, occafioned by this dose, operated so strongly on his constitution, as totally to eradicate all feeds of self-consequence, and the counsellor is become one of the modestest men, and best hearers in his profession.
Captain Swagger was continually talking of battles, and fieges, and campaigns, though he had never seen either : He arraigned the conduct of every enterprize; and proved to demonstration, by the force of oaths, how much better it would have been managed, had he been the commander: The symptoms were too apparent to be mistaken-Os grandiloquum, rotundum, cum dextrâ bello frigidâ.-In this state of his disorder he was recommended to my care by the officers of his mess. I found the tumefaction so vehement, that I prefcribed an
opening by incision. The captain was accordingly fent out by his commanding officer upon a scouting-party, and suffered a surprize, which effectually, repelled the tumefaction: Mr. Swagger threw up his commiffion, and has been a very filent member of the civil community ever since:
I have sent you these cases out of many, as being peculiar; in common cases, the general method I take to bring any gentleman to a patient hearing, is to entertain him with his own commendations : If this simple medicine will not ferve, I am forced to dash it with a few drops of slander, which is the best appeaser I know; for many of my patients will listen to that, when nothing else can filence them. This recipe however is not palatable, nor ought it to be used but with caution and discretion; I keep it therefore in reserve like laudanum for special occasions. When a patient is far ada vanced 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 convalescent can hear that, he can hear any thing. I am, Sir, your's to command,
JEDEDIAH FISH. VOL. III.
I am not so partial to my correspondent, as to defend him in all his proceedings, and I suspect, that, whilft he is labouring to settore his patients to their ears, he may chance to take away their lives. Men, who act upon fystem, are apt to strain it too far; and as prevention is always to be preferred to remedy, I could with that parents would take early care to instruct 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 Itubborn.
I fall fuggest one bint in the way of advice to fathers and mothers, which, if they are pleased to attend to it, may perhaps fave some future trouble and vexation.
I would wish all parents to believe, that the human character begins to fix itself much earlier in life, than they are generally aware of. There is something very captivating in the dawning Ideas of our children; we are apt to flatter and dares them for their early vivacity ; we tell their smart sayings and repartees with a kind of triumph even in their presence, and the company we'tell them to are always polite enough to applaud and admire them. By thefe means we instil our own vanity into their infant minds, and push theis genius into prematurity. The
forwardforwardness, which this practice of our's is fure to create, passes off agreeably for a time; but, when infancy ceases, it begins to annoy us, and Mifs or Mafter appear insupportably pert. The parent then finds himself obliged to turn the other side of his countenance upon the witticisms of his child; this is not only a painful task, but probably a fruitless one ; for the child by this time has made its party, and can find its admirers elsewhere : Every obliging visitor makes intereft with the clever little creature ; the nursery, the kitchen, the stables echo with applause; it can chatter, or mimic, or act its tricks before the servants, and be sure of an audience: The mischief is done, and the parent may snub to no purpose.