Japhet, in Search of a Father eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about Japhet, in Search of a Father.

Hereupon Timothy stepped forward.  “Ladies and gentlemen, upon my honour, about three weeks back I fell off the scaffold, broke my back bone into three pieces, and was carried off to a surgeon, who looked at me, and told the people to take measure for my coffin.  The great doctor was not there at the time, having been sent for to consult with the king’s physicians upon the queen’s case, of Cophagus, or intermitting mortification of the great toe; but fortunately, just as they were putting me into a shell, my master came back, and immediately applying his sovereign plaister to my back, in five days I was able to sit up, and in ten days I returned to my duty.”

“Are you quite well now, Dionysius?”

“Quite well, sir, and my back is like whale-bone.”

“Try it.”

Hereupon Dionysius threw two somersets forward, two backward, walked across the stage on his hands, and tumbled in every direction.

“You see, gentlemen, I’m quite well now, and what I have said, I assure you, on my honour, to be a fact.”

“I hope you’ll allow that to be a very pretty cure,” said the doctor, appealing to the audience; “and I hardly need say, that for sprains, bruises, contusions, wrenches, and dislocations, this plaister is infallible; and I will surprise you more by telling you, that I can sell it for eight-pence a sheet.”

The plaister went off rapidly, and was soon expended.  The doctor went on describing his other valuable articles, and when he came to his cosmetics, &c., for women, we could not hand them out fast enough.  “And now,” said the doctor, “I must bid you farewell for this evening.”

“I’m glad of that,” said Timothy, “for now I mean to sell my own medicine.”

“Your medicine, Mr Dionysius! what do you mean by that?”

“Mean, sir; I mean to say that I’ve got a powder of my own contriving, which is a sovereign remedy.”

“Remedy, sir, for what?”

“Why, it’s a powder to kill fleas, and what’s more, it’s just as infallible as your own.”

“Have you, indeed; and pray, sir, how did you hit upon the invention?”

“Sir, I discovered it in my sleep by accident; but I have proved it, and I will say, if properly administered, it is quite as infallible as any of yours.  Ladies and gentlemen, I pledge you my honour that it will have the effect desired, and all I ask is sixpence a powder.”

“But how is it to be used, sir?”

“Used—­why, like all other powders; but I won’t give the directions till I have sold some; promising, however, if my method does not succeed, to return the money.”

“Well, that is fair, Mr Dionysius; and I will take care that you keep your bargain.  Will anybody purchase the fool’s powder for killing fleas.”

“Yes, I will,” replied a man on the broad grin, “here’s sixpence.  Now, then, fool, how am I to use it?”

“Use it,” said Timothy, putting the sixpence in his pocket; “I’ll explain to you.  You must first catch the flea, hold him so tight between the forefinger and thumb as to force him to open his mouth; when his mouth is open you must put a very little of this powder into it, and it will kill him directly.”

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Japhet, in Search of a Father from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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