in my life that I am a young lady. If I belonged to the lowest order of the population, I might take the first stick I could find, and enjoy the luxury of giving Mrs. Tenbruggen a good beating.
She literally haunts the house, encouraged of course by her wretched little dupe, Miss Jillgall. Only this morning, I tried what a broad hint would do towards suggesting that her visits had better come to an end.
"Really, Mrs. Tenbruggen," I said, "I must request Miss Jillgall to moderate her selfish enjoyment of your company, for your own sake. Your time is too valuable in a professional sense, to be wasted on an idle woman who has no sympathy with your patients, waiting for relief perhaps, and waiting in vain."
She listened to this, all smiles and good-humor: "My dear, do you know how I might answer you, if I was an ill-natured woman?"
"I have no curiosity to hear it, Mrs. Tenbruggen."
"I might ask you," she persisted, "to allow me to mind my own business. But I am incapable of making an ungrateful return for the interest which you take in my medical welfare. Let me venture to ask if you understand the value of time."
"Are you going to say much more, Mrs. Tenbruggen?"
"I am going to make a sensible remark, my child. If you feel tired, permit me--here is a chair. Father Time, dear Miss Gracedieu, has always been a good friend of mine, because I know how to make the best use of him. The author of the famous saying Tempus fugit (you understand Latin, of course) was, I take leave to think, an idle man. The more I have to do, the readier Time is to wait for me. Let me impress this on your mind by some interesting examples. The greatest conqueror of the century--Napoleon--had time enough for everything. The greatest novelist of the century--Sir Walter Scott-- had time enough for everything. At my humble distance, I imitate those illustrious men, and my patients never complain of me."
"Have you done?" I asked.
"Yes, dear--for the present."
"You are a clever woman, Mrs. Tenbruggen--and you know it. You have an eloquent tongue, and you know it. But you are something else, which you don't seem to be aware of. You are a Bore."
She burst out laughing, with the air of a woman who