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great skill, I put all my trust in you,” and Ellen called up a wan smile of conciliation, even while half choking with anxious sorrow,
“Miss, you do me honour. I wish I could see the young gentleman safe through the wood. There's no sacrifice I can make which I ever shrink from when a patient is concerned. And a young gentleman like this only son and heir, isn't he, miss ? ” — Ellen bowed assent—" of such a very wealthy and highly respectable old gentleman, I'd go through fire and water to serve. It would be a thousand pities to see a young man with such expectations cut off in his bloom.”
Here Mr. Jobb's enthusiasm sent a tear to his eye; he took out a handkerchief with great pomp, and made the most of the tear.
“ But though I'm a feeling man, miss,” he continued, “ I'm, what's more, a family man. There's Mrs. Jobb, the most excellent of wives, though I say it as shouldn't, and ten dear pledges she has presented me with; all, miss, to be provided for, and that by the industry and talents of your humble servant. I'm a man, miss,
of few words, and I am not one to expatiate on my own merits, but I must say that the first surgeons of the day have mentioned me in their reports; that I'm much respected in my own neighbourhood, and my name known beyond it; that I'm up early and late; that I'm moderate with the rich and gratis to the poor.”
The summing up of his own virtues effected what Julian's merits and peril had failed to do, and Mr. Jobb actually cried.
“ Such as I am, then, miss, my time is worth, at a fair valuation, three pounds per day ; but the paying me—that wouldn't answer, for perhaps I should lose my connexion. Now, if, by running that risk, I got one of my ten provided for, and myself paid at the rate of five pounds a day, I'd venture it, and devote myself almost entirely to the young gentleman, till he's entirely out of harm's reach. And if that is not an instance of self-sacrifice and professional devotion, I don't know what is.”
“I think,” said Ellen, “my uncle tomorrow will agree to your own terms; but,
as your opiate still affects him, I wish him not to be disturbed to-day. If he can sleep away this terrible season of suspense, how much he will be spared! but in the mean time do you wish for any other advice? Do you think it desirable to call in Sir A- or Mr. "
“I don't pretend, miss, to rank in fame with Mr. — or Sir A- , but in skill I do not knock under to either of them. Of course, as the old gentleman is so rich, they might be called in ; but they haven't seen the case from the first, so they'd be all in the dark, and I couldn't be expected to help them to put my own nose out of joint. Besides, I don't believe they're the philanthropists I am; they wouldn't give up all their time, money couldn't buy them. They'd just look in, order something without having watched the case as I have, and drive off to my lord duke's, or my lady countess's.
“I extracted the ball, I'm prepared to undertake an entire cure, and, if any other is called in, I consider myself most unhandsomely treated, and I don't answer for the consequences. But you must make up your mind at once, miss; for, if I don't stay here on the terms I mentioned, I must be off on my rounds.”
While I decide then,” said Ellen, “ will you step to my cousin's room, and bring me an account of him ?”
Mr. Jobb departed. “I must decide," said Ellen. “I cannot arouse my uncle, nor, even if I did, could he in the first wild alarm know what to do. Mamma and Augusta would only bewilder me. Miss Tibby could form no opinion on such a case. Mr. Grunter is too ill to decide on any thing; and De Villeneuve is not in the house. This interested boaster is clever; I will engage him on his own terms, if Julian is now doing pretty well, and to-morrow, if needful, he can have other advice.”
Mr. Jobb returned. “Better than I had hoped for, miss! No fear of tetanus- very little fever, and disposed to sleep.”
“Thank Heaven !” said Ellen, clasping her bands; “you who have done so well for him