My father put on his spectacles—looked,—took them off,—put them into the case—all in less than a statutable minute; and without opening his lips, turned about and walked precipitately down stairs: my mother imagined he had stepped down for lint and basilicon; but seeing him return with a couple of folios under his arm, and Obadiah following him with a large reading-desk, she took it for granted 'twas an herbal, and so drew him a chair to the bedside, that he might consult upon the case at his ease.
—If it be but right done,—said my father, turning to the Section—de sede vel subjecto circumcisionis,—for he had brought up Spenser de Legibus Hebraeorum Ritualibus—and Maimonides, in order to confront and examine us altogether.—
—If it be but right done, quoth he:—only tell us, cried my mother, interrupting him, what herbs?—For that, replied my father, you must send for Dr. Slop.
My mother went down, and my father went on, reading the section as follows,
...—Very well,—said my father,...—nay, if it has that convenience—and so without stopping a moment to settle it first in his mind, whether the Jews had it from the Egyptians, or the Egyptians from the Jews,—he rose up, and rubbing his forehead two or three times across with the palm of his hand, in the manner we rub out the footsteps of care, when evil has trod lighter upon us than we foreboded,—he shut the book, and walked down stairs.—Nay, said he, mentioning the name of a different great nation upon every step as he set his foot upon it—if the Egyptians,—the Syrians,—the Phoenicians,—the Arabians,—the Cappadocians,—if the Colchi, and Troglodytes did it—if Solon and Pythagoras submitted,—what is Tristram?—Who am I, that I should fret or fume one moment about the matter?