what I call my waist up to my head, and I went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had scarlet fever.
I had walked into that reading-room a happy healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.
I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy Im ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. What a doctor wants, I said, is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each. So I went straight up and saw him, and he said:
Well, whats the matter with you?
I said: I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is not the matter with me. I have not got housemaids knee. Why I have not got housemaids knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I have got.
And I told him how I came to discover it all.
Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasnt expecting ita cowardly thing to do, I call itand immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out.
I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemists, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back.
He said he didnt keep it.
I said: You are a chemist?
He said: I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.
I read the prescription. It ran:
1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And dont stuff up your head with things you dont understand.
I followed the directions, with the happy resultspeaking for myselfthat my life was preserved, and is still going on.
In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being a general disinclination to work of any kind.
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