The Small House at Allington Ch. 34–36 [12/20]
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Amateurism, Expertise, Heterodoxy
After an altercation on the platform of the Great Western Railway Station between John Eames and Adolphus Crosbie, the latter's eye becomes 'swollen and closed, and [...] in another hour it would be as black as his hat'. He is helped to his feet by 'a benevolent medical man who was proposing to him an immediate application of leeches'. (212) When Crosbie reaches his home, however, the housekeeper, Mrs. Phillips, advises him, 'They do say that a bit of raw beef is about the best thing', and as 'Anything would be better than leeches, which tell long-enduring tales [...] Crosbie sat through the greater part of the morning holding the raw beef to his eye' (214). Mrs. Phillips, 'who would seem to have been the wife of a prize-fighter, so well was she acquainted with black eyes', later remarks, 'I never knew leeches do any good' (215).
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