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“Throw physic to the dogs, I'll none of it."
Macbeth. “What did you bleed him for ? now, tell me, villain ! “Sir,' he replied, “I bled him—for a shilling.'”
Mr. Jobb then proceeded to the apartment of Mr. Grunter. He found him propped up by pillows, listening attentively to Mr. Fitzcribb, who had brought him a new proof of “The History of Philosophy and the Philosophy of History.” The author's pride spoke in Grunter's hollow eyes, and flushed his livid cheeks. Corrected, and indeed remodelled by Fitzcribb, who read with peculiar taste and emphasis, the chapter had a most sonorous sound. Grunter was much excited.
“Do you hear that ?” he exclaimed to Jobb, who came in, authoritatively shaking
his head at Grunter, and playfully clenching his fist at Fitzcribb. “ Just begin it again, my dear Fitzcribb; I wish Mr. Jobb to hear it all, and then let him see if he has any drugs that can nerve me to continue that great work. I cannot lie here like a dying racer, with the goal in sight; enable me to complete that noble undertaking, and then I can defy death, for I shall have made myself immortal.”
“ You must be let a little more blood,” said Jobb, gently taking out his lancet, “and that without loss of time. Fitzcribb, will you hold the basin ?”
“ You shall not have another drop of my blood; I begin to fear you have had too much already !” shouted Grunter, excited almost to delirium. “Read, I say, Fitzcribb! by the soul of Erasmus ! if you do not, I can't answer for the consequences
!" Jobb, rather alarmed, exclaimed, “ Presently I will return and hear it. I must just go and visit my other patients now.” He intended to slip down stairs, and bring up two strong footmen to hold Grunter while he was bled.
“ Not presently, but now,” roared Grunter. Fitzcribb began to read, Jobb snatched away the proofs; upon this the delirious Grunter darted out of bed, and with a maniac sort of strength he caught hold of little, punchy Mr. Jobb. “Go!” he cried, dragging him to his chamber-door, then on the landing, and, to Jobb's horror, to the very edge of the staircase :-“Go! being devoid of literary taste and classic learning! fool! in whom the wordsphilosophy' and `history' awaken no echoes! Go ! let me see you no more !”
Jobb screeched, Fitzcribb came out to rescue him, too late !
Grunter, the huge Grunter, hideous in his night-shirt and white cotton cap, with a read hankerchief tied à la gipsy under his massive chin, had centered all his remaining strength in one kick, which sent Mr. Jobb down the flight of stairs. He then tottered back to his room, and sank almost fainting on the floor.
Mr. Fitzcribb, having ascertained that Jobb
had received no injury, helped poor Grunter back to bed. He kindly stayed with him, administered a cordial, and did all he could to revive him, for he considered that the cupidity of Jobb was the cause of Grunter's dreadful state, and at heart he rather rejoiced at his sudden expulsion. He sat then by Grunter's bed-side, reading him the proofs of his work, till sleep closed the poor old usher's hollow eyes. He then left him, resolved the next day to warn him against Jobb, and his system. But Grunter's delirium had perhaps saved his life; Mr. Jobb had had enough of the “ Lion :" he handed him over to a nurse.
Mr. Fitzcribb, who blamed himself for his own part in this affair, in having himself, under a delusion, called in Jobb, and not having dared to reveal Benoni's discrepancy, and who saw that Grunter had indeed no complaint but exhaustion, from Jobb's Sangrado treatment, easily induced him to fortify himself with jellies, broths, and chickens. Ere long Mr. Grunter's appetite was so good, that he grudged Mr. Fitzcribb the share that illfed author always took in his frequent repasts, but he concealed the paltry feeling, for Mr. Fitzcribb had produced new proofs of “the work;” and when his numerous avocations prevented his doing it himself, “Milton," a very clever youth, took his place as amanuensis by Grunter's bed-side, and wrote what he dictated, sometimes correcting his tautological and verbose style, sometimes remodelling whole sentences, and often slipping in observations and reflections of his own.
Mr. Jobb remained silent on the subject of his sudden descent. He found Mr. Lindsay awake, and determined to rise in the evening, and Augusta still very unwell. He resolved to revenge himself on Grunter, by pouring in upon him incessant draughts, which, whether he took them or not, he knew must be paid for. He then returned to Julian, and, finding him doing well, he obtained Ellen's permission to go home for an hour or two. At the street-door he beheld the splendid equipage of Sir Peter Riskwell. He looked eagerly at the protruded face; he