1. Extracted from the Journal of EZRA JENNINGS (continued)
"Yes--by last night's post."
"Very good. We shall have some news worth hearing, to tell each
other to-morrow. Don't go yet! I have a word to say to you.
You appeared to think, yesterday, that our experiment with the opium
was not likely to be viewed very favourably by some of my friends.
You were quite right. I call old Gabriel Betteredge one of my friends;
and you will be amused to hear that he protested strongly when I saw
him yesterday. "You have done a wonderful number of foolish things
in the course of your life, Mr. Franklin, but this tops them all!"
There is Betteredge's opinion! You will make allowance for his prejudices,
I am sure, if you and he happen to meet?"
I left Mr. Blake, to go my rounds among my patients; feeling the better
and the happier even for the short interview that I had had with him.
What is the secret of the attraction that there is for me in this man?
Does it only mean that I feel the contrast between the frankly kind
manner in which he has allowed me to become acquainted with him,
and the merciless dislike and distrust with which I am met by other people?
Or is there really something in him which answers to the yearning that I have
for a little human sympathy--the yearning, which has survived the solitude
and persecution of many years; which seems to grow keener and keener,
as the time comes nearer and nearer when I shall endure and feel no more?
How useless to ask these questions! Mr. Blake has given me a new interest
in life. Let that be enough, without seeking to know what the new
June 17th.--Before breakfast, this morning, Mr. Candy informed me that he was
going away for a fortnight, on a visit to a friend in the south of England.
He gave me as many special directions, poor fellow, about the patients, as if
he still had the large practice which he possessed before he was taken ill.
The practice is worth little enough now! Other doctors have superseded HIM;
and nobody who can help it will employ me.