BOOK VIII. CONTAINING ABOUT TWO DAYS.
6. Chapter vi. In which more of the talents...
In which more of the talents of Mr Benjamin will appear, as well as
who this extraordinary person was.
In the morning Jones grew a little uneasy at the desertion of his
surgeon, as he apprehended some inconvenience, or even danger, might
attend the not dressing his wound; he enquired of the drawer, what
other surgeons were to be met with in that neighbourhood. The drawer
told him, there was one not far off; but he had known him often refuse
to be concerned after another had been sent before him; "but, sir,"
says he, "if you will take my advice, there is not a man in the
kingdom can do your business better than the barber who was with you
last night. We look upon him to be one of the ablest men at a cut in
all this neighbourhood. For though he hath not been her above three
months, he hath done several great cures."
The drawer was presently dispatched for Little Benjamin, who being
acquainted in what capacity he was wanted, prepared himself
accordingly, and attended; but with so different an air and aspect
from that which he wore when his basin was under his arm, that he
could scarce be known to be the same person.
"So, tonsor," says Jones, "I find you have more trades than one; how
came you not to inform me of this last night?"--"A surgeon," answered
Benjamin, with great gravity, "is a profession, not a trade. The
reason why I did not acquaint you last night that I professed this
art, was, that I then concluded you was under the hands of another
gentleman, and I never love to interfere with my brethren in their
business. Ars omnibus communis. But now, sir, if you please, I will
inspect your head, and when I see into your skull, I will give my
opinion of your case."
Jones had no great faith in this new professor; however, he suffered
him to open the bandage and to look at his wound; which as soon as he
had done, Benjamin began to groan and shake his head violently. Upon
which Jones, in a peevish manner, bid him not play the fool, but tell
him in what condition he found him. "Shall I answer you as a surgeon,
or a friend?" said Benjamin. "As a friend, and seriously," said Jones.
"Why then, upon my soul," cries Benjamin, "it would require a great
deal of art to keep you from being well after a very few dressings;
and if you will suffer me to apply some salve of mine, I will answer
for the success." Jones gave his consent, and the plaister was applied