—Bon jour!—good morrow!—so you have got your cloak on betimes!—but 'tis a cold morning, and you judge the matter rightly—'tis better to be well mounted, than go o' foot—and obstructions in the glands are dangerous—And how goes it with thy concubine—thy wife,—and thy little ones o' both sides? and when did you hear from the old gentleman and lady—your sister, aunt, uncle, and cousins—I hope they have got better of their colds, coughs, claps, tooth-aches, fevers, stranguries, sciaticas, swellings, and sore eyes.
—What a devil of an apothecary! to take so much blood—give such a vile purge—puke—poultice—plaister—night-draught—clyster—blister?—And why so many grains of calomel? santa Maria! and such a dose of opium! peri-clitating, pardi! the whole family of ye, from head to tail—By my great-aunt Dinah's old black velvet mask! I think there is no occasion for it.
Now this being a little bald about the chin, by frequently putting off and on, before she was got with child by the coachman—not one of our family would wear it after. To cover the Mask afresh, was more than the mask was worth—and to wear a mask which was bald, or which could be half seen through, was as bad as having no mask at all—
This is the reason, may it please your reverences, that in all our numerous family, for these four generations, we count no more than one archbishop, a Welch judge, some three or four aldermen, and a single mountebank—
In the sixteenth century, we boast of no less than a dozen alchymists.