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[376] have understood all this, if we may judge from the lament of his Doctor, in St. Patrick's Day, over his deceased helpmate. ‘Poor dear Dolly,’ says he. ‘I shall never see her like again; such an arm for a bandage veins that seemed to invite the lancet! Then her skin,—smooth and white as a gallipot; her mouth as round and not larger than that of a penny vial; and her teeth,—none of your sturdy fixtures,—ache as they would, it was only a small pull, and out they came. I believe I have drawn half a score of her dear pearls. [ Weeps.] But what avails her beauty? She has gone, and left no little babe to hang like a label on papa's neck!’

So much for speculation and theory. In practice it is not so bad after all. The grave-digger in Hamlet has his jokes and grim jests. We have known many a jovial sexton; and we have heard clergymen laugh heartily at small provocation close on the heel of a cool calculation that the great majority of their fellow-creatures were certain of going straight to perdition. Why, then, should not even the doctor have his fun? Nay, is it not his duty to be merry, by main force if necessary Solomon, who, from his great knowledge of herbs, must have been no mean practitioner for his day, tells us that ‘a merry heart doeth good like a medicine;’and universal experience has confirmed the truth of his maxim. Hence it is, doubtless, that we have so many anecdotes of facetious doctors, distributing their pills and jokes together, shaking at the same time the contents of their vials and the sides of their patients. It is merely

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