Сценка: стол, за столом сидит и пишет врач, в белом халате, высоком колпаке, (на столе горой истории болезней, какие-нибудь словари, анатомические атласы, на углу стола стоит длинная слуховая трубка, возможно, кости или скелет на заднем плане, ширма – что найдем. Перед столом – еще один стул).
Слышен топот, шум, желательно, чтобы пациент (одетый в костюм-тройку, что-нибудь темное, английское, в руках трость или длинный зонтик и портфель, на голове - шляпа) бежал из зала, махал руками, поднимался по лестнице (если есть человек со способностями, возможно, делал вид, что собирается залезть на сцену прямо из зала??? или,
наоборот, очень спокойно и степенно, по-английски выдержанно поднимается из зала на сцену – это зависит от способностей актера)
Раздается стук, к врачу в кабинет врывается/степенно заходит пациент, задыхается, срывает шляпу/ пациент степенно кланяется вежливо снимает шляпу.
Пациент: Good afternoon, Charles, my old chum… friend.
Врач: Hello, Jerome! You are so gloomy! Well, what's the matter with you? What can I do for you?
Пациент: (присаживается за стол перед врачом и начинает копаться в портфеле, доставая оттуда бумаги с текстом роли) Oh, Charles, my old friend, I do believe I can help you (be you in a great assistance). I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid's knee. Why I have not got housemaid's knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got. Let me initiate or more exactly, instruct you.
Врач: What are you talking about?
Пациент: Let me take my notes. (пациент вытаскивает из портфеля стопку листов и начинает рассказывать, постоянно подглядывая. Врач сначала серьезен, потом, по тексту, начинает прикрывать рот рукой, сдерживая смех). It’s a unique case and I don’t want to miss anything. I am a hospital in myself.
Yesterday George, Harris and I had a dinner. We were all feeling seedy, and we were getting quite nervous about it. Harris said he felt such extraordinary fits of giddiness come over him at times, that he hardly knew what he was doing; and then George said that HE had fits of giddiness too, and hardly knew what HE was doing. With me, I had hay fever and, besides, it was my liver that was out of order. I knew it was my liver that was out of order, because I had just been reading a patent liver-pill circular, in which were detailed the various symptoms by which a man could tell when his liver was out of order. I had them all.
It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.
So I went to the British Museum to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of hay fever. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into - some fearful, devastating scourge, I know - and, before I had glanced half down the list of "premonitory symptoms," it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.
I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever - read the symptoms - discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it - wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus's Dance - found, as I expected, that I had that too, - began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically - read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright's disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid's knee.
I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn't I got housemaid's knee? Why this invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid's knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.
I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to "walk the hospitals," if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their diploma.
(здесь пациент начинает демонстрировать, как именно он проверял симптомы, искал пульс, высовывал язык, чтобы осмотреть его и т.п. Врач сдерживает смех)
Then I wondered how long I had to live. I tried to examine myself. I felt my pulse. I could not at first feel any pulse at all. Then, all of a sudden, it seemed to start off. I pulled out my watch and timed it. I made it a hundred and forty-seven to the minute. I tried to feel my heart. I could not feel my heart. It had stopped beating. I have since been induced to come to the opinion that it must have been there all the time, and must have been beating, but I cannot account for it. I patted myself all over my front, from what I call my waist up to my head, and I went a bit round each side, and a little way up the back. But I could not feel or hear anything. I tried to look at my tongue. I stuck it out as far as ever it would go, and I shut one eye, and tried to examine it with the other. I could only see the tip, and the only thing that I could gain from that was to feel more certain than before that I had scarlet fever.
I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck.
That’s why I’ve come here. You are an old chum… I mean an old friend of mine, and you always feel my pulse, and look at my tongue, and talk about the weather, when I fancy I'm ill, all for nothing! So I thought I would do you a good turn by going to you now. "What a doctor wants," I said, "is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each." So I went straight up to see you.
(врач поднимается из-за стола, подходит к пациенту сзади, пряча лицо, поправляя очки и т.п., прикладывает слуховую трубку к спине пациента, потом хватает его за руку, вздергивает на ноги, хлопает по плечу, потом садится за стол и выписывает рецепт, свернув, подает его пациенту и очень быстро уходит, почти убегает. Пациент кладет рецепт в портфель, пожимает плечами, раскланивается перед пустым столом, спускается с одной стороны кулисы, проходит по залу ко второй стороне и поднимается по лестнице с другой стороны. Раздается звонок колокольчика, и на сцену из второй кулисы выходят пациент и аптекарь – пожилой, сгорбленный, в очках и с какой-нибудь мензуркой в руках. Пациент подает рецепт, аптекарь внимательно читает и качает головой.)
Аптекарь: I don't keep it.
Пациент: You are a chemist?
Аптекарь: I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.
(аптекарь читает рецепт вслух, громко и неторопливо, потом возвращает его пациенту)
1 lb. beefsteak, with
1 pt. bitter beer
every 6 hours.
1 ten-mile walk every morning.
1 bed at 11 sharp every night.
And don't stuff up your head with things you don't understand.
(Пациент роняет портфель, зонтик/трость, шляпу, стоит с удивленным выражением лица. Ведущий читает дальше, пациент медленно отходит назад, за кулису.)
Ведущий: Jerome followed the directions, with the happy result - speaking for himself - that his life was preserved, and is still going on.
In the present instance, going back to the liver-pill circular, he had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being "a general disinclination to work of any kind."
What he suffers in that way no tongue can tell. From his earliest infancy he has been a martyr to it. As a boy, the disease hardly ever left him for a day. They did not know, then, that it was his liver. Medical science was in a far less advanced state than now, and they used to put it down to laziness.
"Why, you skulking little devil, you," they would say, "get up and do something for your living, can't you?" - not knowing, of course, that he was ill.
And they didn't give him pills; they gave him clumps on the side of the head. And, strange as it may appear, those clumps on the head often cured him - for the time being. He has known one clump on the head have more effect upon his liver, and make him feel more anxious to go straight away then and there, and do what was wanted to be done, without further loss of time, than a whole box of pills does now.
You know, it often is so - those simple, old-fashioned remedies are sometimes more efficacious than all the dispensary stuff.
Ведущий: краткая переходная речь (тема – и как хорошо, что этот врач образован, опытен, честен и высокоморален. Но не каждый из тех, кто называет себя врачом, является им на самом деле.)