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hot one, where it was boiled in the twinkling of an
This marvellous account operated differently on the several gentlemen present; some were incredulous, others amazed, whilst all agreed that it was exceedingly curious.
“ There is nothing at all surprising in the general's narrative, gentlemen," said Selwyn, “and indeed, I myself can vouch for the truth of it ; for when I was in France I was witness to similar phenomena. In Auvergne there are springs similar to those in America, but with this remarkable addition, that there is generally a third, containing hot parsley and butler; -accordingly, the peasants and others who go a fishing, usually carry with them large wooden bowls or ladles, so that after the fish has been cooked according to the general's receipt, they have a most delicious sauce provided for it at the same moment !--You seem to doubt my veracity, gentlemen; therefore I only beg that those who are incredulous may set out for France as soon as they please, and see the thing with their own eyes.
“ But, Mr. Selwyn," said the general, “ consider the improbability of parsley and butter.”
“I beg your pardon, my good Sir," interrupted George ; “I gave you full credit for your story, and you are surely too polite not to believe mine."
As one of those eccentricities which are sometimes known to prevail in the characters of men, otherwise perfectly consistent, it is necessary to relate that Mr. Selwyn-like one or two persons in high life of the present day-had the strange propensity of going to
see malefactors executed! This his friend Horace Walpole has also related of him. In the metropolis he was seldom absent from a hanging-match ;-and he has been known on some occasions to have been present at such scenes even in the provinces !
A notorious criminal being to be broken on the wheel, at Paris, Selwyn left London in haste, to witness the spectacle. In order to render this execution as solemn as possible, the French Government had ordered that many of the provincial executioners should attend; and these, on arriving at the Place de Grève, were ranged in a circle round the scaffold, and wel. comed, one by one, by the Paris finisher of the law, as · Monsieur de Bordeaux,-Monsieur de Lyons,Monsieur de Marseilles,'--&c.
George having managed for a trifling sum to procure a place among this assembly of artistes, Monsieur de Paris quickly spied him out, and thinking that it was the London hangman with whose presence his performance was about to be honoured, he saluted him by the honourable appellation of “ Monsieur Jean Ketch de Tyborn."
Selwyn, bowing, replied, “Sir, you do me rather too much honour: I have not yet received my diploma as a professor of the art ; I am only an amateur, but should be proud of the honour of bringing my hand in, by performing on a gentleman of your height and figure.”
Returning in haste from France, in the winter season, on hearing a report of a probable change in the Ministry, by which he was more than likely to lose his place, Selwyn appeared at the drawing-room at St.
James's, the next court-day, in a light-coloured velvet dress. The King taking notice of this, George replied, “Yes, Sire, it is rather a cool habiliment; but, notwithstanding, I do aşšure your Majesty that I have been in a violent sweat ever since my arrival in England."
Counsellor Dunning and Dr. Brocklesby, one evening at the Cocoa-tree, were conversing on the superfluities of life, and the needless wants which men in society created for their own discomfort. Selwyn, whose aristocratic notions were such as to look with contempt on occupations of all sorts-on that of a medical man as well as that of a taylor,-exclaimed, “Very true, gentlemen, I am myself an example of the justice of your remarks; for I have lived nearly all my life without wanting either a lawyer or a physician."
torture was upon
Mr. Selwyn's sarcasms on medical men were particularly severe; and he delighted in keeping a poor devil on the rack, when the humour of inflicting the
him. The Duke of Bedford, coming one evening into Brookes's, complained of some sand or splinter whích the wind had blown into his eye. In the course of an hour he irritated that organ so much by continual rubbing, that it became quite inflamed and painful ; and, at length, several gentlemen begged that he would allow a medical man to be sent for without delay. Accordingly, a servant was despatched for a fashionable oculist in the neighbourhood, who soon arrived, and
quickly extracted the offensive matter, to the patient's very great relief.
Having ordered a glass of cold water for the Duke to bathe his eye with, in order to reduce the inflammation, Mr.- was preparing to retire, when his Grace and several other members politely requested him to sit down and pass the evening in the club, if he was not otherwise engaged.
The oculist, highly pleased by so flattering a compliment, accepted the invitation with alacrity, and sent orders to his coachman to return about two in the morning: he then sat down, and appeared so elated with his newly acquired consequence, as to consider himself quite at home. He addressed every one familiarly by his name, and in a tone which seemed to say “Hey, fellow! well met;" --until at length he became rather a bore.
His free-and-easy manner was tolerated by all but Selwyn, who sat fidgetting and longing for an opportunity to attack him. At length, with an eye to business, and like a woodcock whose long bill is stretched forth in quest of its insect prey, Mr. — perched into the tree of medical science; where, having descanted largely and learnedly on the anatomy of the eye, he commenced a physiological lecture on the economy and uses of the retina, the pupil, the optic nerve, the lachrymal duct, the levator supercilii, and other parts of that organ.
This was too much for Selwyn's patience, and he cocked his rifle to bring him down. “I tell ye Mr. -" said he ; "this is, no doubt, all very fine and highly learned ; but you might as well treat your audience to a chapter out of the Hebrew Bible, for all
they know or care about the matter. The worst of you medical men is, that you always mistake a saloon or drawing-room for the sick chamber; and you enter them with a pestle and mortar under your arm, whilst one hand brandishes the amputating-knife, and the other carries a glyster-pipe, both ready for service. - Faugh! "I pray you reform it altogether.'”
“ If I have offended by describing the nature and seat of the Duke's disorder,” replied the oculist, “I humbly beg pardon."
“ Disorder! my good fellow," returned Selwyn; "no disorder at all : merely an inconvenience, which you very cleverly removed, and that too in a most simple manner, merely by drawing the
drawing the upper eye-lid down upon the cheek, and there leaving the speck. In my humble opinion, if you professional men who really do good, were to confine yourselves to the mere performance of your duty, and keep your science to yourselves, the rest of the world would respect you more for it; because people in general are apt to reverence that which is mysterious.”
“My dear Sir,” replied the oculist, “we who are regularly bred to the profession, disdain all secrecy and mystery: these we leave to the charlatan, who practises on the credulity of the public, by puffing nostrums which are said to cure every disorder by some hidden or occult influence.”
Nay, Sir,” returned the persevering cynic; “I appeal to yourself, whether nine-tenths of the London physicians are not as great quacks as Brodum or Van Butchell ? Are not new theories as plentiful as blackberries? and does not each adopt that which is most likely to suit the humour of his patients, and fill his