Chapter 2.LXIII.

—Can you tell me, quoth Phutatorius, speaking to Gastripheres who sat next to him—for one would not apply to a surgeon in so foolish an affair—can you tell me, Gastripheres, what is best to take out the fire?—Ask Eugenius, said Gastripheres.—That greatly depends, said Eugenius, pretending ignorance of the adventure, upon the nature of the part—If it is a tender part, and a part which can conveniently be wrapt up—It is both the one and the other, replied Phutatorius, laying his hand as he spoke, with an emphatical nod of his head, upon the part in question, and lifting up his right leg at the same time to ease and ventilate it.—If that is the case, said Eugenius, I would advise you, Phutatorius, not to tamper with it by any means; but if you will send to the next printer, and trust your cure to such a simple thing as a soft sheet of paper just come off the press—you need do nothing more than twist it round.—The damp paper, quoth Yorick (who sat next to his friend Eugenius) though I know it has a refreshing coolness in it—yet I presume is no more than the vehicle—and that the oil and lamp-black with which the paper is so strongly impregnated, does the business.—Right, said Eugenius, and is, of any outward application I would venture to recommend, the most anodyne and safe.

Was it my case, said Gastripheres, as the main thing is the oil and lamp-black, I should spread them thick upon a rag, and clap it on directly.—That would make a very devil of it, replied Yorick.—And besides, added Eugenius, it would not answer the intention, which is the extreme neatness and elegance of the prescription, which the Faculty hold to be half in half;—for consider, if the type is a very small one (which it should be) the sanative particles, which come into contact in this form, have the advantage of being spread so infinitely thin, and with such a mathematical equality (fresh paragraphs and large capitals excepted) as no art or management of the spatula can come up to.—It falls out very luckily, replied Phutatorius, that the second edition of my treatise de Concubinis retinendis is at this instant in the press.—You may take any leaf of it, said Eugenius—no matter which.—Provided, quoth Yorick, there is no bawdry in it.—

They are just now, replied Phutatorius, printing off the ninth chapter—which is the last chapter but one in the book.—Pray what is the title of that chapter? said Yorick; making a respectful bow to Phutatorius as he spoke.—I think, answered Phutatorius, 'tis that de re concubinaria.

For Heaven's sake keep out of that chapter, quoth Yorick.

—By all means—added Eugenius.