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Spirit.” The only works I had any knowledge of were the Letters of the unhappy Gentleman himself, in two very thick volumes, and an old Play, ealled “ The Plain Dealer,” which I picked up from the floor, where it had been sadly soiled and trampled upon. On the table before-mentioned were also a few candle-ends, but no cheese-parings, that I observed; a gallipot of ink with a yellow pen in it; and a pot of half-dead ale, covered with a Livy, Latin and English. As I was casting my eyes around on all this odd furniture with some earnestness and astonishment, I was somewhat surprized to hear the man address me in a very sober manner, to the following effect: “Beware, Doctor, that it fare not with you as with your predecessor, the famous HIPPocRATEs, whom the mistaken citizens of Athens sent for, in this very manner, to cure the Philosopher DEMockitus; he returned full of admiration at the wisdom of that person whom he supposed a lunatic.” He con
tinued in this strain for a considerable time, and
with much prolixity: but the chief marks of insanity that I observed were, that he talked very much at random; sometimes about Spain, and India, and again about Russia, and Tippo SAIB, but always in a very rambling incoherent manner, and he proposed sundry wild and visionary schemes for war, hostilities, and finance, so that it appeared that the poor creature fancied himself a great General and Minister of State. In the course of his speech, I felt his pulse, which was quick and irregular, and I perceived he had considerable swellings in both legs. From this latter circumstance I concluded that the case might not be desperate, and I began therefore to make some necessary enquiries; but to avoid mis-representation, I shall here insert verbatim et literatim the whole conversation that took place; for I make it a practice to keep an exact memorandum of every word I interehange with my patients since it has become the fashion to print and publish the most private conversations; a
precaution recommended to me by my friend Mr. SheridAN,” when I last met him and Mr. WhitBREAD, Mr. CANNING, General MAthew, Doctor DUIGENAN, Lord GRENVILLE, and the Duke of MonTRose, at dinner at my friend Mr. DENT's.t. Doctor.—Pray, Sir, how did you contract this swelling? VETUs.—By my lucubrations. Doctor.—Lucubrations ! Since I have been a Doctor, and what is more, while I was an Apothecary, I never heard of such a distemper. VETUS.–Sdeath, Sir, a distemper? It's no distemper, but a noble exertion of my faculties; I have sat fourteen hours at it, and don't you know, that there's a communication between the legs and
* About this time the minute details of some ministerial negotiations were published in all the papers, and Mr. Sheridan said, in parliament, he would not venture to ask an acquaintance how he did without taking a note of it.—E.
f It would seem that Mr. Dent's dinners are not always well assortis,
Doctor.—But what has particularly disturbed you of late? VETUs.—Bathurst.* Doctor.—Sir, I mean your distemper; what gave you this tumor? VETUs.—Bathurst, Bathurst, Bathurst! OLD Wom AN.—For God's sake, Sir, don't name that evil spirit; my poor master was just getting quiet, when this devil of a thrust and a thirst threw him into these violent fits again. THE EDITOR.—Fits! zounds, woman, a man may well have swellings in his legs who sits writing fourteen hours a day. He got this by the letters. Doctor.—The letters, what letters? VETU.S.—'Sdeath, Sir, have you never read my letters? not in the Times, nor yet in the Pamphlet; I will be damned if this dog of an Editor has ever advertised or puffed them. The EDITOR.—There it is! there's gratitude ' I published advertisement on advertisement; puff upon puff: if the pamphlet is not read 'tis no fault of mine, but of him who made it. By G– there has been as much done for it as for any pamphlet since Erskine's. Doctor.—Let us not talk of letters and pamphlets, Sir; I fear those are the fuel that feed his delirium; you do very ill to promote this discourse. —I desire a word in private with this other Gentleman, who seems a grave sensible man. I suppose, Sir, you are his apothecary. GENTLEMAN.—Sir, I am his friend. Doctor.—I doubt it not: What regimen— ? OLD Woman.-Oh, Doctor, don't talk of regimens; that always sets him off in a fit; he talks for ever of sending a thousand of them off to Portingale and such outlandish places. Doctor.—Silence, woman! Allow me, Sir, to continue my question; what regimen have you observed since he has been under your care? You re
* Earl Bathurst's replies in the House of Lords to Lord Wellesley were peculiarly effective-E.