It was a dream of mine that the great majority of ailments could be cured by analysing a patient’s blood, and then injecting into his veins such chemicals as were found wanting, or were necessary to counteract the influence of any deleterious matter present. There were, of course, difficulties in the way, but had they not already at Cornell University done much the same for vegetable life? And did not those plants which had been set in sea sand out of which every particle of nutriment had been roasted, and which were then artificially fed with a solution of the chemicals of which they were known to be composed, grow twice as rank as those which had been set in the soil ordinarily supposed to be best adapted to them? What was the difference between a human cell and a plant cell? Yes, since my patient was a chemist, I would cultivate his acquaintance.
He proceeded to tell me how he felt, but I could make nothing of it, so I forthwith did the regulation thing; what should we doctors do without it! I looked at his tongue, pulled down his eyelid, and pronounced him bilious. Yes, there were the little brown spots under his skin—freckles, perhaps—and probably he had an occasional ringing in his ears. He was willing to admit that he was dizzy on suddenly rising from a stooping posture, and that eggs, milk, and coffee were poison to him; and he afterward told me he should have said the same of any other three articles I might have mentioned, for he looked so hale and vigorous, and felt so disgracefully well, that he was ashamed of himself. We have had many a laugh over it since. The fact of the matter is the only affliction from which he was suffering was an inordinate desire to make my acquaintance. Not for my own sake—oh, dear, no!—but because I was John Darrow’s family physician, and would be reasonably sure to know Gwen Darrow, that gentleman’s daughter. He had first met her, he told me after we had become intimate, at an exhibition of paintings by William T. Richards, —but, as you will soon be wondering if it were, on his part, a case of love at first sight, I had best relate the incident to you in his own words as he told it to me. This will relieve me of passing any judgment upon the matter, for you will then know as much about it as I, and, doubtless, be quite as capable of answering the question, for candour compels me to own that my knowledge of the human heart is entirely professional. Think of searching for Cupid’s darts with a stethoscope!
“I was standing,” Maitland said, “before a masterpiece of sea and rock, such as only Richards can paint. It was a view of Land’s End, Cornwall, and in the artist’s very best vein. My admiration made me totally unmindful of my surroundings, so much so, indeed, that, although the gallery was crowded, I caught myself expressing my delight in a perfectly audible undertone. My enthusiasm, since it was addressed to no one, soon began to attract attention, and people stopped looking at the pictures