Cobwebs from an Empty Skull eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.

DOCTOR.—­Indeed!  That sort of conversation commonly takes place between fools only.

F.—­The reporter had chosen to confound orthography:  he spelt fool “phool,” and physician “fysician.”  What the fool said was, therefore, preceded by “PH;” the remarks of the physician were indicated by the letter “F.”

D.—­This must have been very confusing.

F.—­It was.  But no one discovered that any liberties had been taken with orthography.

D.—­You tumour!

* * * * *

FOOL.—­Suppose you had amongst your menials an ailing oyster?

DOCTOR.—­Oysters do not ail.

F.—­I have heard that the pearl is the result of a disease.

D.—­Whether a functional derangement producing a valuable gem can be properly termed, or treated as, a disease, is open to honest doubt.

F.—­Then in the case supposed you would not favour excision of the abnormal part?

D.—­Yes; I would remove the oyster.

F.—­But if the pearl were growing very rapidly this operation would not be immediately advisable.

D.—­That would depend upon the symptomatic diagnosis.

F.—­Beast!  Give me air!

* * * * *

DOCTOR.—­I have been thinking—­

FOOL.—­(Liar!)

D.—­That you “come out” rather well for a fool.

Can it be that I have been entertaining an angel unawares?

F.—­Dismiss the apprehension:  I am as great a fool as yourself.  But there is a way by which in future you may resolve a similar doubt.

D.—­Explain.

F.—­Speak to your guest of symptomatic diagnosis.  If he is an angel, he will not resent it.

* * * * *

III.

SOLDIER (reading from “Napier").—­“Who would not rather be buried by an army upon the field of battle than by a sexton in a church-yard!”

FOOL.—­I give it up.

S.—­I am not aware that any one has asked you for an opinion.

F.—­I am not aware that I have given one:  there is a happiness yet in store for you.

S.—­I will revel in anticipation.

F.—­You must revel somehow; without revelry there would be no soldiering.

S.—­Idiot.

F.—­I beg your pardon:  I had thought your profession had at least taught you to call people by their proper titles.  In the service of mankind I hold the rank of Fool.

S.—­What, ho! without there!  Let the trumpets sound!

F.—­I beg you will not.

S.—­True; you beg:  I will not.

F.—­But why rob when stealing is more honourable?

S.—­Consider the competition.

* * * * *

FOOL.—­Sir Cut-throat, how many orphans have you made to-day?

SOLDIER.—­The devil an orphan!  Have you a family?

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Cobwebs from an Empty Skull from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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