Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
was standing in the drawing
room talking to the prince. The prince frowned and coughed,
listening to the doctor. As a man who had seen something of
life, and neither a fool nor an invalid, he had no faith in
medicine, and in his heart was furious at the whole farce,
specially as he was perhaps the only one who fully comprehended
the cause of Kittys illness. "Conceited blockhead!" he thought,
as he listened to the celebrated doctors chatter about his
daughters symptoms. The doctor was meantime with difficulty
restraining the expression of his contempt for this old
gentleman, and with difficulty condescending to the level of his
intelligence. He perceived that it was no good talking to the
old man, and that the principal person in the house was the
mother. Before her he decided to scatter his pearls. At that
instant the princess came into the drawing room with the family
doctor. The prince withdrew, trying not to show how ridiculous
he thought the whole performance. The princess was distracted,
and did not know what to do. She felt she had sinned against
"Well, doctor, decide our fate," said the princess. "Tell me
"Is there hope?" she meant to say, but her lips quivered, and she
could not utter the question. "Well, doctor?"
"Immediately, princess. I will talk it over with my colleague,
and then I will have the honor of laying my opinion before you."
"So we had better leave you?"
"As you please."
The princess went out with a sigh.
When the doctors were left alone, the family doctor began timidly
explaining his opinion, that there was a commencement of
tuberculous trouble, but...and so on. The celebrated doctor
listened to him, and in the middle of his sentence looked at his
big gold watch.
"Yes," said he. "But..."
The family doctor respectfully ceased in the middle of his
"The commencement of the tuberculous process we are not, as you
are aware, able to define; till there are cavities, there is
nothing definite. But we may suspect it. And there are
indications; malnutrition, nervous excitability, and so on. The
question stands thus: in presence of indications of tuberculous
process, what is to be done to maintain nutrition?"
"But, you know, there are always moral, spiritual causes at the
back in these cases," the family doctor permitted himself to
interpolate with a subtle smile.
"Yes, thats an understood thing," responded the celebrated
physician, again glancing at his watch. "Beg pardon, is the
Yausky bridge done yet, or shall I have to drive around?" he
asked. "Ah! it is. Oh, well, then I can do it in twenty
minutes. So we were saying the problem may be put thus: to
maintain nutrition and to give tone to the nerves. The one is in
close connection with the other, one must attack both sides at
"And how about a tour abroad?" asked the family doctor.
"Ive no liking for foreign tours. And take note: if there is
an early stage of tuberculous process, of which we cannot be
certain, a foreign tour will be of no use. What is wanted is
means of improving nutrition, and not for lowering it." And the
celebrated doctor expounded his plan of treatment with Soden
waters, a remedy obviously prescribed primarily on the ground
that they could do no harm.
The family doctor listened attentively and respectfully.
"But in favor of foreign travel I would urge the change of
habits, the removal from conditions calling up reminiscences.
And then the mother wishes it," he added.
"Ah! Well, in that case, to be sure, let them go. Only, those
German quacks are mischievous.... They ought to be persuaded....
Well, let them go then."
He glanced once more at his watch.
"Oh! times up already," And he went to the door. The celebrated
doctor announced to the princess (a feeling of what was due from
him dictated his doing so) that he ought to see the patient once
"What! another examination!" cried the mother, with horror.
"Oh, no, only a few details, princess."
"Come this way."
And the mother, accompanied by the doctor, went into the drawing
room to Kitty. Wasted and flushed, with a peculiar glitter in
her eyes, left there by the agony of shame she had been put
through, Kitty stood in the middle of the room. When the doctor
came in she flushed crimson, and her eyes filled with tears. All
her illness and treatment struck
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