BOOK IV. CONTAINING THE TIME OF A YEAR.
14. Chapter xiv. The arrival of a surgeon.
The arrival of a surgeon.--His operations, and a long dialogue between
Sophia and her maid.
When they arrived at Mr Western's hall, Sophia, who had tottered along
with much difficulty, sunk down in her chair; but by the assistance of
hartshorn and water, she was prevented from fainting away, and had
pretty well recovered her spirits, when the surgeon who was sent for
to Jones appeared. Mr Western, who imputed these symptoms in his
daughter to her fall, advised her to be presently blooded by way of
prevention. In this opinion he was seconded by the surgeon, who gave
so many reasons for bleeding, and quoted so many cases where persons
had miscarried for want of it, that the squire became very
importunate, and indeed insisted peremptorily that his daughter should
Sophia soon yielded to the commands of her father, though entirely
contrary to her own inclinations, for she suspected, I believe, less
danger from the fright, than either the squire or the surgeon. She
then stretched out her beautiful arm, and the operator began to
prepare for his work.
While the servants were busied in providing materials, the surgeon,
who imputed the backwardness which had appeared in Sophia to her
fears, began to comfort her with assurances that there was not the
least danger; for no accident, he said, could ever happen in bleeding,
but from the monstrous ignorance of pretenders to surgery, which he
pretty plainly insinuated was not at present to be apprehended. Sophia
declared she was not under the least apprehension; adding, "If you
open an artery, I promise you I'll forgive you." "Will you?" cries
Western: "D--n me, if I will. If he does thee the least mischief, d--n
me if I don't ha' the heart's blood o'un out." The surgeon assented to
bleed her upon these conditions, and then proceeded to his operation,
which he performed with as much dexterity as he had promised; and with
as much quickness: for he took but little blood from her, saying, it
was much safer to bleed again and again, than to take away too much at