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said Master Lather, pointing to them for his inspection. “It hath been written in Galen, In suam tutelam pervenissent,' which meaneth—man be exceeding like unto a cabbage leaf. And the similarity is manifest--for there be veins in the leaf, and there be veins in man also. Now, in the breathing of a vein it requireth some dexterity; for, mayhap, you may chance to miss it; then shall it not bleed of a surety. Taking this ridge for the vein- having, first of all, tied a bandage of broad tape, at a penny a yard, above the bend of the arm, here you
see”-and then he bared his arm to shew. “ You must hold down the vein with the thumb of your left hand, that it may not slip; then, in your right holding your lancet betwixt the thumb and finger, as I do, you will send down the point into the vein, making a moderate orifice by jerking it up thus ;” and thereupon he did penetrate the ridge of the leaf, whilst the boy was a looking on with exceeding curiousness.
66 The reason you should first essay in a cabbage leaf is this," continued the chirurgeon: “ That whereas, on a first trial or so, upon the arm of a living man, not having the necessary experience, you may chance to cut deep and draw no blood, whereat he may be in a monstrous passion; but though you draw no blood from the cabbage leaf upon cutting ever so, there shall be no falling out betwixt you and it: for truly is it said by Escu
lapius, · Dulce est pro patriâ mori;' the which doth mean—"things that have no voice can give no abuse.' Observe you how it be done, and then make trial yourself.”
“ I warrant you I can do it famously,” cried Harry Daring, taking the lancet into his own hand, and digging into the cabbage leaf after the manner of his master.
“ Villain ! you have cut my finger !” bawled out Master Lather, dropping the leaf, and looking very dismal at his finger, which began a bleeding somewhat.
O’my life, I knew not your hand was so nigh!” said the boy, with an exceeding demure face, though it be hugely suspected the young dog did it on purpose. 66 A murrain on you,
will ever make a chirurgeon, you be so awkward,” added his master, as he tied up his wound—which, luckily, was no great matter.
“ Nay, master, look if I be not marvellous skilful already !” exclaimed the apprentice, now holding the cabbage leaf himself, and digging at it in a very furious fashion.
“ Not so fast !_not so fast, I pray you !” cried the old man. “: Put you down the point a little inward, and make a sweep with it up. Let it not go in so deep. Nay, do it not as if you were digging a salad! Alack! that will never do! In truth, if you were serving a man's arm thus, he would cry out against you, and have reason fort: for is it not written in Galen, · Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno;' which, done into English, is— take heed you do no man any hurt, else marvel not he come to you for a plaister. There, that is better-now put it down. Mayhap I will give you another lesson on the cabbage leaf tomorrow, for, indeed, you must in no way attempt to breathe a vein till you have thus learnt of me the way many times. Now, perchance you shall not have forgot that we had part of a calf's head for dinner?”
“ No, i'faith, not I, master," replied the other, instantly, a smacking of his lips. “ Seeing that I did pick the bones so superlatively clean, that puss hath looked daggers at me ever since.”
“Well-get you into the kitchen and fetch me the jaw-- for I have need of it.”
Marry, what wants he with it, I wonder?" muttered the boy to himself, as he went quickly on his errand. “Methinks he hath quite jaw enough as it is. And hath he not a calf's head of his own, too? Well, some folks be never satisfied !” On his return he found Master Lather with an instrument in his hand for the extracting of teeth.
“ Now will I give you a lesson on another branch of our honourable profession,” said the barber-chirurgeon, taking the bone into his hand, and hand
·ling his instrument so as to shew the way of fixing it on the tooth. 66 When one comes to you
with raging tooth, it be best to take it out straight, for thereby shall you ease him of his toothache, and be at least a groat the richer for your pains. Now, there be two kinds of teeth, as it be writ in Aristotle, malus puer,' an easy tooth,' and · bonus puer,' an 'obstinate tooth;' that is to say, one that will out with a small tug, and one that you may try ever so at, and it shall stick as firm as ever. Now, suppose you that this be the jaw of one that hath come to you to do your
office him for the riddance of his pain—for of a sure thing it be better at first to practise on such a thing as this than meddle with a living mouth; which remindeth me of what hath been said on this very subject by the learded Podalirius: De gustibus non est disputandum:' which, rightly translated, reads thus• Touch but the tail of a living dog and he shall snap at you presently; but you may hawl a dead lion by the ear and he shall take it exceeding civil of you.' If the tooth be a back tooth, and in the under jaw (getting your patient to sit quiet and say nothing); you shall presently put your instrument into his mouth and fix the claw on the further side of the tooth, thus-holding it down firm with the finger of the other hand; then shall you give it a wrench, and, doubtless, it will come out, as you see.”
66 That be bravely done, master, sure enough !** exclaimed Harry Daring, who had watched the whole operation with an abundance of curiosity. 6 And methinks I can do it now."
“ Be not too hasty, boy,” replied his master. “ See me do it some two or three times more, then shall you take the instrument and try for yourself.” At this the old man went over the same process once or twice, with much the same directions as at first; to the which his apprentice did seem to direct an earnest attention, then gave he the instrument into the boy's hands, and held the jaw for him to pull at.
“ Now, supposing one came to you with a raging tooth, how would you set about the extracting of it?" asked Master Lather, with a famous serious countenance.
Why, I would do in this sort," answered the other, setting briskly about the operation. “I would make him open his jaw straight, and fixing the instrument in a presently, I would give him a twist thus."
“ Oh! you're pinching my thumb !” screamed the old man, stamping with the pain ; and then releasing of it from the instrument in monstrous quick time, he sat twisting himself aboutma shaking of his hurt hand, and making of such faces as were a marvel to look upon.
66 What an absolute awkward varlet are you! Oh, my thumb! my thumb!