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"Mrs. Brandyball says so," continued I; "so does the housekeeper, and"
"My dear Sir," said Sniggs, "these are all very respectable people in their way, but wholly incapable of distinguishing the difference between the most dangerous case of variola confluens and the simplest effect of febris urticata."
"Well," said I, rather worried at being poohpoohed in so decided a manner, "Dr. Downey, who is here, says it is the small-pox."
"The deuce he does!" said Sniggs. "Dr. Downey here,—is he?—umph,—that's Mrs. Wells's doing,—never mind,—does he say it is the small-pox ?—Hold up your face again, Master Tom. Small-pox, eh?" Sniggs rubbed the boy's forehead, and looked very wise. "Dr. Downey says it is small-pox;—put out your tongue, Master Tom.—So,—by Jove, it is smallpox, sure enough;—never like to create unnecessary alarm,—umph,—very odd. Oh ! yes, yes,—that's small-pox,—not the least doubt of it,—never can mistake that."
The suddenness of Sniggs's conviction with regard to Tom's disorder would have affected me more perhaps than it actually did, if I had not recollected that a much more eminent man did precisely the same thing when one of the Princes of the Blood caught, in mature age, and for the second time, the measles. Upon that occasion his Royal Highness having ascertained from two of the most eminent physicians of the day the real nature of his complaint, subsequently sent for his facetious body-physician, who, like Sniggs in the present instance, most strenuously denied the least resemblance between measles and his Royal Highness's rash, until, being informed that Baillie and Heberden had both decided that measles was the complaint—like Sniggs, the worthy doctor looked again, and decided that measles it was.
Having now received the authentication of all our worst fears, I proceeded to Cuthbert, having previously informed our apothecary of his extreme desire to have every living inhabitant of the house vaccinated, and of his anxious wish for his complete purification, previous to his visit. Sniggs, delighted with the idea of having anything to do, seemed smoothed at once, and smothered the angry feeling which I saw rankling with regard to Dr. Downey's visit; however, I was d Vabri, for he laid the whole scheme at my poor dear mother-in-law's door, and believing in the proverb which makes the mother say—
"My son is my son till he gets him a wife,
imputed to her influence over Harriet his very
In the hall we encountered Mrs. Habijam, who appeared entirely lost in a dread of the consequences of the infection; she intreated Sniggs to make all the haste he could to his own house, to procure a sufficient supply of what she called the "various" matter; in short, I never saw a panic so general or so serious. I congratulated myself however on having escaped Mrs. Brandyball and the young ladies, whose appearance would have detained me from fresh inquiries about Harriet.
All I heard was that everything was going on extremely well, and that Doctor Downey wished to know when luncheon would be ready; this was music to my ears—he could not care about luncheon if everything was not going on extremely well, and I felt delighted in having the opportunity, under such circumstances, of talking" to the man to whose skill and judgment I was to be indebted, under Providence, for the safety of my dearest love.
Luncheon was ready, but Cuthbert had retired to his own room. The exertion of being very much frightened had been more than he could bear; besides, as he was resolved to be the first person in the family vaccinated, he determined, like Csesarx to die with decency, and accordingly betook himself to his bed in order to catch the gentle infection from the lancet of our Lampedo.
"Well, my dear Sir," said the Doctor, "we are all doing as well as possible; the sweetness of our dear patient's temper cannot fail to be in the highest degree beneficial to her during her illness. I think I never saw such mildness and amiability. Great care must be taken about the young gentleman's small-pox. I trust we shall have one child in the family, in an hour or two, about whose having been vaccinated or not there can be no question; and upon that account I should say the lad ought to be removed while he is yet able to bear it."
"But whither is he to go?" said I; "and will his affectionate father-in-law suffer him to be separated from him?"
"I am, of course, not competent to answer either of those questions," said the Doctor; "but I only do my duty in apprising you of the danger to be apprehended to the infant by his remain
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