Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker: Ch. 68

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We were pressed to stay dinner, that we might be witnesses of his resuscitation; but my uncle insisted upon our departing before noon, that we might reach this town before it should be dark. — In the mean-time, lady Bullford conducted us into the garden to see a fishpond just finished, which Mr Bramble censured as being too near the parlour, where the knight now sat by himself, dozing in an elbow-chair after the fatigues of his morning atchievement. — In this situation he reclined, with his feet wrapped in flannel, and supported in a line with his body, when the door flying open with a violent shock, lieutenant Lismahago rushed into the room with horror in his looks, exclaiming, 'A mad dog! a mad dog!' and throwing up the window sash, leaped into the garden — Sir Thomas, waked by this tremendous exclamation, started up, and forgetting his gout, followed the lieutenant's example by a kind of instinctive impulse. He not only bolted thro' the window like an arrow from a bow, but ran up to his middle in the pond before he gave the least sign of recollection. Then the captain began to bawl, 'Lord have mercy upon us! — pray, take care of the gentleman! — for God's sake, mind your footing, my dear boy! — get warm blankets — comfort his poor carcase — warm the bed in the green room.'

Lady Bullford was thunder-struck at this phaenomenon, and the rest of the company gazed in silent astonishment, while the servants hastened to assist their master, who suffered himself to be carried back into the parlour without speaking a word. — Being instantly accommodated with dry clothes and flannels, comforted with a cordial, and replaced in statu quo, one of the maids was ordered to chafe his lower extremities, an operation in consequence of which his senses seemed to return and his good humour to revive. — As we had followed him into the room, he looked at every individual in his turn, with a certain ludicrous expression in his countenance, but fixed his eyes in particular upon Lismahago, who presented him with a pinch of snuff, and when he took it in silence, 'Sir Thomas Bullford (said he), I am much obliged to you for all your favours, and some of them I have endeavoured to repay in your own coin.' 'Give me thy hand (cried the baronet); thou hast indeed payed me Scot and lot; and even left a balance in my hands, for which, in presence of this company, I promise to be accountable.' — So saying, he laughed very heartily, and even seemed to enjoy the retaliation which had been exacted at his own expence; but lady Bullford looked very grave; and in all probability thought the lieutenant had carried his resentment too far, considering that her husband was valetudinary — but, according to the proverb, he that will play at bowls must expect to meet with rubbers. I have seen a tame bear, very diverting when properly managed, become a very dangerous wild beast when teized for the entertainment of the spectators. — As for Lismahago, he seemed to think the fright and the cold bath would have a good effect upon his patient's constitution: but the doctor hinted some apprehension that the gouty matter might, by such a sudden shock, be repelled from the extremities and thrown upon some of the more vital parts of the machine. — I should be very sorry to see this prognostic verified upon our facetious landlord, who told Mrs Tabitha at parting, that he hoped she would remember him in the distribution of the bride's favours, as he had taken so much pains to put the captain's parts and mettle to the proof. — After all, I am afraid our squire will appear to be the greatest sufferer by the baronet's wit; for his constitution is by no means calculated for night-alarms. He has yawned and shivered all day, and gone to bed without supper; so that, as we have got into good quarters, I imagine we shall make a halt to-morrow; in which case, you will have at least one day's respite from the persecution of

J. MELFORD
Oct. 3.