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" Wo to these halls of pride! no more shall they resound
A LETTER OF A VALETUDINARIAN.
You have not heard from me for some my telling you that I did not wish to time, my dear Augustus, but if you could marry a rival, nor a fellow-student, but a only see me now, you would stand in need wife ; and the most devoted of wives, and of no further explanation.
the best of vurses has she proved herself. Here am I, volatile, light-hearted, mer But sometimes when I feel morbidly anxcurial I. propped up in an easy chair with ious to deliver a joke, or quaint conceit, I seven pillows, more or less; my left arm certainly cannot help wishing she was in a sling, my right leg bandaged down to somewhat more congenial, more fond of a the very toes, both knees swollen beyond joke, more tolerant of a pun, and a little the privilege of knees, and altogether such more charitably disposed towards a doublea sad sight, that Mark Tapley would die entendre. If her charity, which we know of envy of such a glorious opportunity of in perfection never faileth, ever gives way, coming out strong.
it is when she hears her husband exulting And yet, Augustus, I can assure you that in such “trifies light as air," instead of dethis is a change for the better! Yes, for voting the powers of his mind, as she is months have I been on my back unable to graciously pleased to style my humble turn without pain ; and my hands so weak abilities, to works which the world will that they could not hold anything heavier not willingly let die: thus practically forthan a newspaper. On such poor mental getting, that there are diversities of gifts ; diet have I fed! Such dilution! Imagine and that it is not given to many to be a man in health condemned to whips, syl- great ; -30 I strive to be useful, scorning labubs, and such like nihilities ; (as I once * low ambition and the pride of kings."heard a "regular" physician style the ho. It is one of my consolements to bring to mæpathic doses ;) or to derive his only mind all the cases recorded in history, pasustenance from those light relishes, excel rallel to mine. From no instance do 1 delent indeed as provocatives to the appetite, rive more comfort than from the one of but miserable substitutes for strong meat. Sir Thomas More, (of “Utopia,") and his Now that I can have my books, I find my- spouse,—“ More and Less," as they may self unequal to the labor of reading. well be styled.
My wife,-you remember, do you not? She, who by right of matrimony, ought
to be the chief depository of my woes wards I heard his carriage drive off. In a unnumbered," is really and truly non com few minutes my wife came in and informpos. Iu such a case one's physician should ed me the Docior had ordered seven cups! act as a safety valve. Alas! my Doctor is I submitted, for,“ sufference is the badge a matter-of-fact practical man; one who of all our tribe ;" but imagine my chagrin never quibbled in his life; doesn't know a when told, the other day, that my most pun when he hears it ;-and can't compre- innocent speech about the drink had superhend how any man of sense can take de- induced the cups! He was sure I was light in such inutilities.
light-headed! Truly, I may be thankful I was noted at college for my exuberant that I have an ounce of blood left in my spirits, which ever seemed to rise as others veins. were depressed. It is even the same now. One day, after the rest of the family had When I am lain on my back in pain and gone to church, my wife, as was her cushelplessness, I get perfectly rampant, and tom, brought me her books to read to me. ratile away as if my life depended on the It was a very warm day, and the windows number of puns I could make in a given being open, I, had been listening to the time. 'Tis a propensity that grieves my chiming of the multitude of bells in our spouse and astonishes my Doctor. As they good town; and as they gradually died do not listen to me, you must. I know you away, one after the other, my attention beare charitably disposed, for did you not came feebler and feebler, till at last, when repeat at our school-exbibition, a dozen my wife came, I was in a hazy, halfyears ago : “Pity the sorrows of a poor dreaming state. The better way would have old man ?"
been frankly to tell my spouse I felt like The first day I was taken sick was, as takiug a nap; but an overstrained consideill-luck would have it, white-washing day, ration kept me quiet. My wife has that and I was obliged to go to bed in the attic, excellent thing, a voice "soft, gentle, and and foolishly and uselessly endeavored to low," and before long, her soothing tones console my wife, by telling her 'twas all lulled me into a balmy sleep. All at once, right, as I had a rheumatic affection. The I burst into a fit of uncontrolled laughter: Doctor was sent for, and in due time he My spouse, frightened out of her senses,
I told him I was uneasy, and, closed the book. And what do you think showing him my poor knees, assured him was the cause of such rudeness? Why, I felt like a Pawnee. He ordered blisters she was reading me a sermon on the duty for my knees, leeches for the back of my of keeping a clear conscience; and as Í neck, and perfect quiet and rest. I resist. dropped into a dose, I thought I was bared—not the leeches, nor yet the blisters; gaining with a man for the purchase of his (though by keeping my legs doubled up in farm, and that he was praising it, by asone position for so many hours, they have suring me over and over again that it was given me a crookedness that I shall not void of a fence. A pause my wife made soon get over ;) but the quietness I could caused me to wake, and the perfect and not stand ; and if I were not allowed to absurd contrast between my dream and see all my visitors, I would keep up a tre- the sermon was too much for me. Never mendous racket; my lungs being, as I as did I regret anything half so much, for I sured him, in a fine state of preservation. really pained my wife, and it was some I have noi told you of the salutation I gave time before she could gel over it and read him as he entered. • This is a retired
as formerly. With compunctious situation, Doctor, as the monkey said when visitings I observed that, after that day she he was on the house-top;' not too secluded always chose sermons whose texts were either, as a brick bat grazed him. He had not at all susceptible of being punned never read Pickwick, and could only upon. A quiet rebuke, and one, I must
say, entirely undeserved, the above unIt was my delight to plague him in lucky accident excepted. every possible way, though I have since My Doctor would have your sympathy, found io my horror, he thought I was deli- Augustus, in his etymological pursuits. He rious. More than half the blood taken is an inveterate root-hunter, so I tried my from me was for the purpose of reducing best to worry him. me to a state of sanity. The best thing, “ Doctor," said I, "you etymologists for the joke's sake was, that one day feel always put me in mind of one of my friends, ing very weak and good for nothing, and who, being troubled with the asthma, stutoo drowsy to thiuk of joking, I begged died his own case, and finding that strahim to give me something to drink which monium was an excellent medicine in such would be soothing and pleasant “ here," cases made and provided, sent out to Eng. said I, putting my hand to my throat, land for it, never dreaming that the which was very sore,
“ without doing me poor Jamestown weed that grows in any injury here,' sliding my hand down every fence-corner, was the invaluable over my stomach. He left the room with herb. Well, just so you learned folks alout giving me an answer, and soon after- ways go to the Greek, Latin, Sanscrit, or
Saxon, when the Greeks are at your door, off at once. When the Doctor came, I reas John Randolph told the lady who was vealed all to him, with the injunction that letting her own children and servants go he was to give it an understanding but no in rags, while she was providing for the tongue. What a relapse I had! And only wants of those whom Providence had not think, that wicked young Doctor was placed under her care.
pleased to say he was not at all surprised “ Ha, ha! I can't but laugh now when at my course, as I must have known that my I bring to inind what ugly faces he would life was at stake. make; for, when fixing my blistered How much vinum colchici I swallowed, knees, he couldn't leave the room, as is his and quinine, and various other mixtures wont, when I begin to plague him. Alas, and commixtures, 'twere vain to tell. And for the infirmity of human nature! I real as for solutions! my old Doctor was great ly believe, Augustus, my jokes cost me a in this line. All difficulties he solved by hundred ounces of blood. I doubt if I solutions. I bad to tell him I supposed he should have survived, had not the Doctor was keeping one great one to end off with, happily sprained his ancle, and was obli- viz.: dissolution. Hew me! as the old ged to send a nephew of his to take his oak said to the wood-cutter. Such fricplace.
tions to get my obstinate joints to the proA glorious fellow this young Doctor is! per degree of genuflection! Such absurd He knows everybody, and everything; * exhibitions,” (physicians often “exhibit" every joke that was ever made, and every themselves,) of stramonium, and belladonepigram that was ever writien. How he na, and croton-oil, and last of all, for worst caine of the same stock as his uncle is to of all, was strychnia. Oh active princime a mystery. He won my heart by ple of nur vomica, potent art thou and telling me, the first thing after feeling my dreadful! Let me tell you, Augustus, how pulse, that he intended prescribing a blis- I took it. Once taken, like the whooping. ter for the back of my old-fashioned clock, cough, I can never take it again. for he was confident it had the tic-doloreaux, It was made up in pills, one grain in a and that his carpenter had just consulted dozen. I was to take three pills, that is, him about sending his son to the west, and one-fourth of a grain each day. But my he advised him to dispatch the youth to wife, seeing how very small the dose was, the Chippeways. I raised myself in bed, felt a little uneasy, and only gave me two and shook him by the hand most cordially; pills the first day. Not finding, however, for I honor a man who has the courage to any bad effects from them, she gave me pun, Dr. Johnson's sarcasms to the con two by dinner-time the second day, intend. trary, notwithstanding.
ing to give me the third at night. After Under his care I keep my blood within dinner she went out to pay a visit : I told my veins, and feel myself stronger every her not to hurry home, for I was doing day, somewhat to the surprise of my wife, very well, and had an interesting book to wlio at first thought the new Doctor more read. crazy than his patient.
She had not been gone long before a
sense of loneliness,-utter, dreary loneli. So far had I written, when, being tired ness, crept over me. Such a feeling I never or interrupted, I laid aside my pen, and had before but once, of which, I will tell now resume it, after the lapse of many you by and bye, if you will pardon the months. It happened in this wise: digression. My book lost all its interest
That day, as the family were at dinner, for me, and I wondered how it was that the smell of beefsteak came up to me; my wite, usually so considerate, could go and I was so much better, and felt such a ont and stay so long when I was all alone. longing to have and to enjoy a piece of Was it not a breach of her marriage vow? steak, assuring myself that it would aid me Was I not in sickness ? Had she not provastly in my recovery, that I whistleil mised to cleave unto me, forsaking all sofily on my ivory call, in hopes the sound others ?—Unto me, “who had ever treatthereof would reach the waiter's ears, and ed her so kindly.” Perhaps she was gone his only. It did so, and in a few moments off, never to return! Shameful! I would my trusty boy was with me! With some apply for a divorce. Yes, I would write difficulty I persuaded him to cut me off a instantly to my lawyer, beseeching him to nice rare piece, and bring it up to me clan come to me at once on urgent business. destinely. He was successful, and my en The note was written and despatched. I joyment was exquisite. But the after- busied myself till the waiter returned, piece! Such a farce as I had that night! summing up my manifold injuries. Mr. Raging hot the blood coursed through my Attorney sent me word he was very busy veins like molten quicksilver. My wife that afternoon, and would call the next was in despair. As I kept quiet she could morning. Oh rascally conduct! A verbal not divine the cause ; for, most assuredly, answer to my note! What atrocity! Yes, she would not have let my accessory stand I would dismiss him immediately, and emupon the order of his going, but sent him ploy some one else, who would pay due
respect to my wishes, and proper defer- the pavement, but now they gave me no ence to my feelings.
pleasure. I was sitting in the front drawI now forgot my wife, and dwelt only on ing-rooms, and the windows being up I the insult my lawyer had given me-the could hear her in brisk and lively converingrate! But could there be found one of sation, on the steps, with a neighbor, the profession who was honest, learned, about the measles. This was too aggravaand yet gentleman-like? No, I was sure ting; after treating me so shabbily all the there could not. If one is honest he could afternoon, to add to it by stopping to gosnot be learned. If he is courteous he in- sip about measles ! She, too, who had tends cheating you.
never a chick nor a child to catch them! Just then I wanted a pin. I was seated Well, I would show her, when she came in my arm-chair, in whose well-stuffed in, that I was not to be neglected with imarms I was in the habit of keeping two punity: I blew fiercely on my ivory call. pins, one on either side. I felt for them, Jack obeyed the summons. * Bring me a but they were gone. Yes, gone! Some candle." one had robbed me! Had taken my pins “Oh no, dear," said my spouse, enterfrom pure love of sin, (for who would stealing the room,“ hadn't you better wait till a pin!) or on purpose to vex and worry tea is ready? Besides, I want to talk with me! Not that I was vexed or worried you.". ob no—not at all-nobody could possibly This was the last straw that breaks the be cooler ; but it was my duty, as I was camel's back; or rather, the last drop the head of the family, to tind out who it which causes the cup to overflow. I was that would steal pins! Yes, my duty, burst into tears and cried like a child. for until some one was convicted of the My wife flew to me, and with admirable theft, all must rest under the foul suspi- decision ordered Jack to send up a bottle sion! I summoned all the household. The of soda that was on the ice, while he ran off cook and chamber-maid appeared, much for the Doctor. At first í faintly pushed wonder depicted on their countenances. her away from me; but as I wept, my inBut where was the waiter? Neither of dignation, arising from the sense I had of them knew. He had absconded, that was my unjust and cruel treatment, seemed to plain enough. A guilty conscience, to be melt away. The soda was cool, and punsure. I asked the women if they had seen gent and soothing. I was so ashamed of my pins ? They said they had not, and myself that I could scarcely lift up my both of them, with female dexterity, of head, and only desired that I might be put fered me half a dozen. But no—I did to bed as soon as possible. My wife insisnot want their pins, or any pins ; but some ted that the pills had done all the mischief, one, that Jack, -it was without doubt he, and when the Doctor came she made him -had stolen the two pins that was in my a present of the whole box. chair! The women could not help laugh One-third of a grain of strychnia in ing. I o.dered them to leave the room, thirty hours, to have such an effect on one determining that as soon as my wife return so little inclined to be nervous as I am! ed, I would request her to give them their “I forgive thee, strychnia—but never more warning.
be medicine of mine." All this time not an idea of my absurdi By the bye, I once read through two ty crossed me. After a while Jack enter volumes of Materia-Medica. 'Twas very ed. “Where have you been ?" said I, interesting, I assure you; though very litvery sternly. “Been over to the pump, tle of it remains with me now, except one sir, for some water."
thing that gave me much amusement. It This disconcerted but [ thought I was the recital of the circumstance from would be very cunning, and catch him. which antimony takes its name. A monk
" Jack, I can't find my pins. They were observing that the cattle of a certain pashere in the chair yesterday, but somebody ture improved daily in condition, watched has taken them away.'
them to find out the cause. They were in Jack said he had seen them there in the the habit of licking pieces of mineral they morning, and coming up to me, he ran his found on the surface of the ground. Surhand over the arms. is Here is one, sir, mising that it must be good also for man, and here's the other."
he collected some portions of the mineral Yes, there they were, not exactly on the and put them into the soup of his brethtop, but on the side where I had not felt ren. Naturally enough, they did not surfor them. My indignation was excited vive the experiment. Hence you see against the person, or persons, who, to anti-moine. I have often pictured to my. plague me, had removed the pins from self a result so widely different from his their own proper place.
reasonable expectations. It was now dusk, and my wife, with a Revenous. I am fortunate enough to refinement in malice I had not suspected continue under the new regime; the old her of, had not yet returned. Soon, how Doctor entrusting me to his nephew, whom ever, I heard her well-known footsteps on cheerfulness and never-varying good huVOL. XIX.-NO. XCVII.
mor contribute a great deal, I cannot doubt, enough, for you know what wonderful to my well-being. He is never at a loss, stretchers these worms are. N'importe-I and can interest my wife as well as my was no better. self, so that she now alleges that he does What would you think of ointments himself great injustice by his frivolty, as made of the marrow extracted from the she terms his heart-gayety, for no one, on bones of a sorrel-horse, or the fat of a first acquaintance, would suppose he had black-cat ? 80 much sense. Ah, my young Doctor The last thing I tried was a medicine understands the weaknesses of human na. suggested by my young Doctor. He has
a friend, who, with himself, is a great ad. And how am I now! Judge for your mirer of the Parisian Louis, and Chomel, self. I eat well; sleep well; read well ; and Andral. This friend thinks phosphate write well; and walk
- on crutches.— of ammonia almost a specific for acute Yes, I stump about the streets, the wonder rheumatism, and my physician, Dr. Frank, of the children,-a gazing-stock to the wished me to give it a trial, without, how. servants, and a subject of commiseration to ever, entertaining very sanguine hopes of its the whole community. You know, Au- having any effect in such a long-standing gustus, that I have a good deal of sang- chronic case as mine, froid, and that I can stand being stared at ; The medicine I judge to be an expensive and, gracious knows, I have to submit to a one, for whenever the bottle is empty, plenty of it. That, however, is easy some such conversation as the following is enough, compared to the cross-questioning sure to take place between my wife, who I undergo from “old women of both sexes,' bears the purse, and myself. (Boz said that, I think,) always concluding My dear, as for this ammonia"-a on their part with an infallible remedy, moan here—“what do the doctors say it " that can't do you any harm, even if it absorbs ?” does you to good!” This is, of course, “The excess of soda in the blood," I oftener said with regard to ointments and believe," I answered. other outward applications; as if, poor "I can't tell how that is; I know that it simple souls, the skin had no pores to take absorbs not merely the excess of silver iu into the system substances “exhibited.” my purse, but all the silver. If it does you
It's no use telling them you are not in no good, this ammonia”-a moan here pain ; you have no rheumatism now; or, again, and a deep sigh, “I shall wish Dr. that anchylosis has taken place, the bony Frank had not mentioned it." parts having usurped the crown of the It is high time I should introduce my knee-aud your leg can't be straightened. wife's niece. She is with us on a visit of “ Just try it, honey; set down before a a few days. An especial favorite of mine hot fire, and be well rubbed down with is Miss Laura, being clever beyond her goose-grease, to be sure." Don't laugh, years. Her wit-encounters with Dr. Frank for its a true bill, and the old Irish woman amuse me greatly, though her aunt declares that told me, followed me two squares and we are doing our best to spoil her. a-half, recounting the many cases it had It was but last night my wife was readcured, to her certain knowiedge. I should ing something to me, which was rather have lost my temper had she offered any dull, and I exclaimed, in weariness of soul,
goose-grease" for sale. But no-it was when she stopped : "Oh most lame and pure Howard benevolence, genuine Mrs. impotent!" Fry philanthropy.
-- Just like yourself," cried Miss Laura, You will smile when I tell you I tried “ lame and impudent." one of these infallible remedies. Submis When Dr. Frank came in he proposed to sion to the very urgent entreaties of my sound her heart, as he was an auscultator. kind friend was easier than resistance. “ Auscultate, a tête-à-tête, a what ?" was She had tried the remedy on the contracted her answer. leg of one of her boys, and not only, dear "Ready for either," he replied; “I shall Augustus, had it the effect of lengthening not hesitate.” the limb, but also of making it longer “Oh, but a tête-à-tête would militate than the other! There was a cure for you! against your professional pretensions." So a number of innocent worms were " I yield, Miss Laura, for I see you have forth with disinterred from their earthly been singing Tate and Brady's Psalms, or home, placed in a tin-cup and covered with reading Tait's Magazine." lard. The cup was put before a slow fire, She was silent for a short time, and then until the worms had entirely disappeared, said: “Do you not think very highly of and then the unguent was ready for use! Louis, Doctor ?” The philosophy of the thing is evident “Indeed I do, Miss Laura."
* This is not expressed accurately enough for medical men. I must refer them to Hays' Medical Journal for January, for an article by Dr. Thomas Buckler, on the use of Phosphate of Ammonia in Acute Rheumatism.