BOOK VII. TWO TEMPTATIONS.
63. CHAPTER LXIII.
These little things are great to little man.--GOLDSMITH.
"Have you seen much of your scientific phoenix, Lydgate, lately?"
said Mr. Toller at one of his Christmas dinner-parties, speaking
to Mr. Farebrother on his right hand.
"Not much, I am sorry to say," answered the Vicar, accustomed to parry
Mr. Toller's banter about his belief in the new medical light.
"I am out of the way and he is too busy."
"Is he? I am glad to hear it," said Dr. Minchin, with mingled
suavity and surprise.
"He gives a great deal of time to the New Hospital," said Mr. Farebrother,
who had his reasons for continuing the subject: "I hear of that from
my neighbor, Mrs. Casaubon, who goes there often. She says Lydgate
is indefatigable, and is making a fine thing of Bulstrode's institution.
He is preparing a new ward in case of the cholera coming to us."
"And preparing theories of treatment to try on the patients,
I suppose," said Mr. Toller.
"Come, Toller, be candid," said Mr. Farebrother. "You are too clever
not to see the good of a bold fresh mind in medicine, as well as in
everything else; and as to cholera, I fancy, none of you are very
sure what you ought to do. If a man goes a little too far along
a new road, it is usually himself that he harms more than any one else."
"I am sure you and Wrench ought to be obliged to him," said Dr. Minchin,
looking towards Toller, "for he has sent you the cream of Peacock's patients."
"Lydgate has been living at a great rate for a young beginner,"
said Mr. Harry Toller, the brewer. "I suppose his relations in the
North back him up."
"I hope so," said Mr. Chichely, "else he ought not to have married
that nice girl we were all so fond of. Hang it, one has a grudge
against a man who carries off the prettiest girl in the town."