The Consultation.

A poem by Thomas Moore


"When they do agree, their unanimity is wonderful. The Critic.


Scene discovers Dr. Whig and Dr. Tory in consultation. Patient on the floor between them.

Dr. Whig.--This wild Irish patient does pester me so.
That what to do with him, I'm curst if I know.
I've promist him anodynes--
Dr. Tory. Anodynes!--Stuff.
Tie him down--gag him well--he'll be tranquil enough.
That's my mode of practice.
Dr Whig. True, quite in your line,
But unluckily not much, till lately, in mine.
'Tis so painful--
Dr. Tory.--Pooh, nonsense--ask Ude how he feels,
When, for Epicure feasts, he prepares his live eels,
By flinging them in, 'twixt the bars of the fire,
And letting them wriggle on there till they tire.
He, too, says "'tis painful"--"quite makes his heart bleed"--
But "Your eels are a vile, oleaginous breed."--
He would fain use them gently, but Cookery says "No,"
And--in short--eels were born to be treated just so.[2]
'Tis the same with these Irish,--who're odder fish still,--
Your tender Whig heart shrinks from using them ill;
I myself in my youth, ere I came to get wise,
Used at some operations to blush to the eyes:--
But, in fact, my dear brother,--if I may make bold
To style you, as Peachum did Lockit, of old,--
We, Doctors, must act with the firmness of Ude,
And, indifferent like him,--so the fish is but stewed,--
Must torture live Pats for the general good.
[Here patient groans and kicks a little.]
Dr. Whig.--But what, if one's patient's so devilish perverse,
That he won't be thus tortured?
Dr. Tory. Coerce, sir, coerce.
You're a juvenile performer, but once you begin,
You can’t think how fast you may train your hand in:
And (smiling) who knows but old Tory may take to the shelf,
With the comforting thought that, in place and in pelf,
He's succeeded by one just as--bad as himself?
Dr. Whig (looking flattered).--
Why, to tell you the truth, I've a small matter here,
Which you helped me to make for my patient last year,--
[Goes to a cupboard and brings out a strait-waistcoat
and gag.]
And such rest I've enjoyed from his raving since then
That I've made up my mind he shall wear it again.
Dr. Tory (embracing him).—
Oh, charming!—-My dear Doctor Whig, you're a treasure,
Next to torturing, myself, to help you is a pleasure.
[Assisting Dr. Whig.]
Give me leave--I've some practice in these mad machines;
There--tighter--the gag in the mouth, by all means.
Delightful!--all's snug--not a squeak need you fear,--
You may now put your anodynes off till next year.
[Scene closes.]

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