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"Oh, yes; I have even met him in society; a most refined person: I will certainly follow your advice and consult him. Oh, thank you, Mrs. Bosanquet! _A propos,_ do you consider him skilful?

"Oh, immensely; he is a particular friend of my husband's."

This was so convincing, that off went another three-cocked note, and next day a dark-green carriage and pair dashed up to Mrs. Dodd's door, and Dr. Short bent himself in an arc, got out, and slowly mounted the stairs. He was six feet two, wonderfully thin, livid, and gentleman-like. Fine homing head, keen eye, lantern jaws. At sight of him Mrs. Dodd rose and smiled. Julia started and sat trembling. He stepped across the room inaudibly, and after the usual civilities, glanced a! the patient's tongue, and touched her wrist delicately. "Pulse is rapid," said he.

Mrs. Dodd detailed the symptoms. Dr. Short listened within the patient politeness of a gentleman, to whom all this was superfluous. He asked for a sheet of note-paper, and divided it so gently, he seemed to be persuading one thing to be two. He wrote a pair of prescriptions, and whilst thus employed looked up every now and then and conversed with the ladies.

"You have a slight subscapular affection, Miss Dodd: I mean, a little pain under the shoulder-blade."

"No, sir," said Julia quietly.

Dr. Short looked a little surprised; his female patients rarely contradicted him. Was it for them to disown things he was so a good as to assign them?

"Ah!" said he, "you are not conscious of it: all the better; it must be slight; a mere uneasiness: no more." He then numbered the prescriptions, 1, 2, and advised Mrs. Dodd to (1r01) No. I after the eighth day, and substitute No. 2, to be continued until convalescence. He put on his gloves to leave. Mrs. Dodd then, with some hesitation, asked him humbly whether she might ask him what the disorder was. "Certainly, madam," said he graciously; "your daughter is labouring under a slight torpidity of the liver. The first prescription is active, and is to clear the gland itself, and the biliary ducts, of the excretory accumulation; and the second is exhibited to promote a healthy normal habit in that important part of the vascular system."

"What, then, it is not Hyperaemia?"

"Hyperaemia? There is no such disorder in the books."

"You surprise me," said Mrs. Dodd. "Dr. Osmond certainly thought it was Hyperaemia." And she consulted her little ivory tablets, whereon she had written the word.

But meantime, Dr. Short's mind, to judge by his countenance, was away roaming distant space in search of Osmond.

"Osmond? Osmond? I do not know that name in medicine."

"Oh, oh, oh!" cried Julia, "and they both live in the same street!" Mrs. Dodd held up her finger to this outspoken patient.

But a light seemed to break in on Dr. Short. "Ah! you mean Mr. Osmond: a surgeon. A very respectable man, a most respectable man. I do not know a more estimable person--in his grade of the profession--than my good friend Mr. Osmond. And so he gives opinions in medical cases, does he?" Dr. Short paused, apparently to realise this phenomenon in the world of Mind. He resumed in a different tone: "You may have misunderstood him. Hyperaemia exists, of course; since he says so. But Hyperaemia is not a complaint; it is a symptom. Of biliary derangement. My worthy friend looks at disorders from a mental point; very natural: his interest lies that way, perhaps you are aware: but profounder experience proves that mental sanity is merely one of the results of bodily health: and I am happy to assure you that, the biliary canal once cleared, and the secretions restored to the healthy habit by these prescriptions, the Hyperaemia, and other concomitants of hepatic derangement, will disperse, and leave our interesting patient in the enjoyment of her natural intelligence, her friends' affectionate admiration, and above all, of a sound constitution. Ladies, I have the honour" and the Doctor eked out this sentence by rising.

"Oh, thank you, Dr. Short," said Mrs. Dodd, rising within him; "you inspire me with confidence and gratitude. As if under the influence of these feelings only, she took Dr. Short's palm and pressed it. Of the two hands, which met for a moment then, one was soft and melting, the other a bunch of bones; but both were very white, and so equally adroit, that a double fee passed without the possibility of a bystander suspecting it.

For the benefit of all young virgins afflicted like Julia Dodd, here are the Doctor's prescriptions:--

FOR MISS DODD.

Rx Pil: Hydrarg: Chlor: Co: singuml: nocte sumend: Decoc: Aloes Co: 3j omni mane viii. Sept. J. S.

-------

FOR MISS DODD.

Rx Conf: Sennae. Potass: Bitartrat. Extr: Tarax: a a 3ss Misft: Elect: Cujus sum: 3j omni mane. xviii. Sept. J. S.

-------

Id: Anglie reddit: per me Carol: Arundin:

The same done into English by me. C. R.

FOR MISS DODD.

1. O Jupiter aid us!! Plummer's pill to be taken every night, 1 oz. compound decoction of Aloes every morning.

8th Sept. J. S.

FOR MISS DODD.

2. O Jupiter aid us!! with Confection of Senna, Bitartrate of Potash, extract of Dandelion, of each half an ounce, let an electuary be mixed; of which let her take 1 drachm every morning.

18th Sept. J. S.

-------

"Quite the courtier," said Mrs. Dodd, delighted. Julia assented: she even added, with a listless yawn, "I had no idea that a skeleton was such a gentlemanlike thing; I never saw one before."

Mrs. Dodd admitted he was very thin.

"Oh no, mamma; 'thin' implies some little flesh. When he felt my pulse, a chill struck to my heart. Death in a black suit seemed to steal up to me, and lay a finger on my wrist: and mark me for his own."

Mrs. Dodd forbade her to give way to such gloomy ideas; and expostulated firmly with her for judging learned men by their bodies. "However," said she, "if the good, kind doctor's remedies do not answer his expectations and mine, I shall take you to London directly. I do hope papa will soon be at home."

Poor Mrs. Dodd was herself slipping into a morbid state. A mother collecting Doctors! It is a most fascinating kind of connoisseurship, grows on one like Drink; like Polemics; like Melodrama; like the Millennium; like any Thing.

Sure enough, the very next week she and Julia sat patiently at the morning levee of an eminent and titled London surgeon. Full forty patients were before them: so they had to wait and wait. At last they were ushered into the presence-chamber, and Mrs. Dodd entered on the beaten ground of her daughter's symptoms. The noble surgeon stopped her civilly but promptly. "Auscultation will give us the clue," said he, and drew his stethoscope. Julia shrank and cast an appealing look at her mother; but the impassive chevalier reported on each organ in turn without moving his ear from the key-hole: "Lungs pretty sound," said he, a little plaintively: "so is the liver. Now for the----Hum? There is no kardiae insufficiency, I think, neither mitral nor tricuspid. If we find no tendency to hypertrophy we shall do very well. Ah! I have succeeded in diagnosing a slight diastolic murmur; very slight." He deposited the instrument, and said, not without a certain shade of satisfaction that his research had not been fruitless, "The heart is the peccant organ."

"Oh, sir! is it serious?" said poor Mrs. Dodd.

"By no means. Try this" (he scratched a prescription which would not have misbecome the tomb of Cheops), "and come again in a month." Ting! He struck a bell. That "ting" said, "Go, live, Guinea; and let another come."

"Heart-disease now! " Said Mrs. Dodd, sinking back in her hired carriage, and the tears were in her patient eyes.

"My own, own mamma," said Julia earnestly, "do not distress yourself. I have no disease in the world, but my old, old, old one, of being a naughty, wayward girl. As for you, mamma, you have resigned your own judgment to your inferiors, and that is both our misfortunes. Dear, dear mamma, do take me to a doctress next time, if you have not had enough."

"To a what, love?"

"A she-doctor, then."

"A female physician, child? There is no such thing. No; assurance is becoming a characteristic of our sex; but we have not yet intruded ourselves into the learned professions, thank Heaven."

"Excuse me, mamma, there are one or two; for the newspapers say so."

"'Well, dear, there are none in this country, happily."

"'What, not in London?"

"No."


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