Punch,  53 (1867), 114–15.

A Few Words. (In Several Tableaux from My Photograph Book). Tableau II—My Gloomy Friend  [4/25]



Diary, Spoof, Serial


Disease, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Medical Treatment, Adulteration

    The narrator describes a conversation with a 'Gloomy Friend' who attempted to diagnose what was wrong with him. He denied the friend's suggestion that he was suffering from either gout or erysipelas, explaining that his injury was from a jelly-fish and that he would be 'right in a day or two'. His friend, however, was convinced that the narrator's condition was more serious and argued with him over the comparative merits of several doctors. The friend maintained that the narrator was suffering from gout 'aggravated by the poison of the jelly-fish' and tried to convince him that he had been injured by a poisonous variety of the species. (114) The narrator recalls that his friend's gloominess later extended to the quality of the food they consumed in a restaurant, including worrying about adulteration and whether the narrator had taken his medicine.

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