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more respectfully (for an idle man cannot help feeling an involuntary deference for one, whose time is important to others and to himself), “ will you let me drive you there, and back ? - we can converse en route.”
“I cannot decline your polite offer, sir; but it will compel me to postpone some of my visits, for I am so very busy that I am obliged to write my prescriptions as I go along.”
“Any loss you sustain, sir, I shall be happy to make up.”
“Sir, I am satisfied in a pecuniary point of view.....but I may lose connexion..... however, I cannot decline. Sir, I am at your service.”
Mr. Jobb then, dismissing his own vehicle, sprang into Sir Peter's splendid carriage, and Sir Peter obtained from him the minutest details of all he wished to know. Sir Peter was in love, therefore, though a speculator, he was off his guard; Jobb soon fathomed his weakness, and had tact enough to make out that Augusta was not particularly grieved or anxious about her cousin. He owned the
shock had upset her delicate nerves, but insinuated that all the real feeling on the subject was centered in Miss Ellen.
Sir Peter was in the highest good humour at this; Jobb became his “ Dear sir.”
Lively was the sensation in Great Quebec Street, when the dashing chariot of Sir Peter stopped at Mr. Jobb's, and Mr. Jobb himself sprang out. It was the more marvellous, because a moment after another private carriage, elegant, in more quiet taste, stopped at the same door, and a slight and very fashionably. dressed young lady, followed by a stout and elderly person, entered the surgery.
Sir Peter, who was sitting in his carriage, awaiting Mr. Jobb, struck by the pretty foot, fine figure, and long black curls of the former, extended his neck, to get a view of her face. Although in love with one woman, he was, as all London loungers are, an habitual admirer of all the fair; she held her head down, and he could not see her face.
Mr. Jobb, much awed by the elegance of his new visiters, motioned them into the back
parlour. The elderly lady seemed principally engaged in sniffing her eau de Cologne, and complaining of the smell of the drugs in truth rather potent, for the huge cauldron of salts and senna for the poor was boiling on a little black smoky fire she likewise affectedly ga. thered up her gown and shawl, as if dreading their coming in contact with the really bright furniture and neat room.
“ Be quick, my love !" she said; “this smell overpowers me.”
The younger lady, evidently much more elegant and refined, complained not of the smell. She suffered her beautiful dress and cashmere to float as they would, and, gracefully bowing, she asked Mr. Jobb in trembling accents the particulars, even to the minutest details, of the late duel, eagerly questioned him about the anxiety of the cousins, and the conduct of De Villeneuve; and, having obtained all possible information, she slipped a guinea into his hand, saying:
“ Although I have not consulted you about my health, I have taken up your time, which comes to the same thing. It is Miss Ellen Lindsay, then, who is most overwhelmed by this dreadful event. Are you sure of that?"
“Quite sure, madam ! she cannot rest; is ever by the patient's side, night and day. Not a little in my way, believe me, madam! But she is giving way fast; she'll be laid up in a day or two.”
“Is it not reported, I mean, does it not appear, that the French count is attached to this young lady?”
“ No, madam, I fancy not, at least, though they watch together by the young squire's bed-side, I've seen no freedoms pass between them. I've a keen eye, madam, for winks and smiles, and sly whispers, and a kiss in a corner.”
The stranger coloured violently; she felt ashamed of her jealous curiosity, and, degraded by the vulgarity of her informer, felt sure, too, that if Mr. Jobb had a sharp eye for a vulgar flirtation, he had none for a deep and poetical passion.
“From what I see, she's over head and ears in love with the young squire, and I believe half her sorrow is jealousy that the duel wasn't fought for her, but for the singer."
“ If you have done, my love, do let us depart,” murmured the stranger. “I'm almost sick with this horrid smell.”
“ I'm very sorry, ladies ; it is an unpleasant smell, though an excellent medicine. It's the black draught for to-morrow, one of my gratis days - gratis is that excellent medicine bestowed on the indigent — gratis are they cupped, bled, and their teeth extracted. Can I recommend my Patent roseate dentifrice, or my pectoral lozenges, a box of my golden pills ?” The ladies passed on. “I'm moderate to the rich, gratis to the poor, I may call myself a philanthropist; in short, ladies, though I'm a man of few words ...."
But they had sprung into the carriage.
Sir Peter beheld the face of the young lady, and recognized La Zelie.
Mr. Jobb on his return was more consequential than ever. The ride with Sir Peter,