Smoking Room


The Brigadier and Lord Shuteye

Bart Bartington the Surgeon General


Since every Tinkers Knacker and well heeled Spiv in Gods tumbling cup seems to ask me the same damned questions about the same damned gouty thigh or gnarled and useless hand I thought I might presume upon yourselves to consider serialising this A to Z of Ailment. Of course in time I’m sure it will be possible once the love of our Lord has been captured and condensed into a healing cream to treat all illness at least these few small musings might stay the mass of complaint and bewilderment.

Yours Etc. Bartington

A to Z of common Ailment with remarks and observations.

Apples of the mind

This is the name I give to that lethargy of the brain through inactivity which leads to the development of unhealthy notions or Apples of the mind. These notions may if plucked be harvested into a healthy crumble of activity. If left these fanciful fruits will fall rotten to the very back of the soul and encourage wasps.


This condition affects one in every single person who lives in this gloomy part of Yorkshire. I generally prescribe a tincture of Alum and purifaction of Nutmeg to a quart of beer to make a Babblers Toddy. The condition turns more often than the contrary to a more benign Slurring and then to a healthful Snore.

Club Ear

A disfigurement of lower ranking soldiers and rife in the brutish class. After repeated boxings and tumblings to the floor the human ear becomes chubby and as angry as a fat stem of ginger. Perhaps there is little to be done with the pauperish oaf who stands breathing gin fumes at you but I might amusingly suggest an overlarge periwig or docking with string.

Duck Tired

The doldrums one so often finds oneself in after the Roast and before ones Dessert. Do have a glass or two of Champagne, It'll give one courage in the face of Pudding.

Empty Headedness

Ever walked into the Scullery to collect something only to wonder why you are there? Of course you have, we must all expect empty headedness now and again. I find Plums in Calvados often stirs the mind to vigour. I keep a jar in the Scullery.


Why one would wish to escape this creative state I will never understand. I have written whole libraries of lucid fiction while trembly mumbling on a couch as a fizzing gloom descends. When (if particularly lucky) the visions begin I am compelled to stumble from room to room ranting and scratching as if searching for something. Capital. Treat for babbling if you must.


More often than the contrary a weaning child will experience Grutts. I shan't revolt gentle souls with the symptoms all too familiar to the horrified parent. Suffice to say it might be expedient to withdraw from the nursery and perhaps the county until nurse has brought the whole sorry affair to a close.


It is unfortunate that in these fairy hearted times a patient may allow themselves a good deal of squealing and senseless capering around during surgery. I invoke the Saints and clap my hands lively that the poor soul may a better understand his unbalanced humours and remind him that if he had been a little more frugal in earlier life he might indeed share a cap of brandy.


Within the briny gravy and chalky walls of this munificent garden I call England there are still, to this day, idiots. Many thus congenitally hampered will show their hand by juggling or collecting cups. There is of course no treatment save releasing ones hounds to send them peeling away into a ditch to share their whimsy with a more tolerant audience.


Children and dogs may jump, frogs perhaps and even the dear lords insect armies may afford themselves the occasional leap. Gentlemen may most certainly not and even if so compelled during consultation must be made to stand in a tub of earth until the urge is mastered.


A beard may become a knotty fellow after battle or sleep. Comb through with an ivory beard comb and thoroughly rub with Muttocks Beeswax and Seaweed Splointment. There.


I fall back to The Old Rectory during the winter months rarely setting foot outside for weeks on end and, like many others, suffer from Limpidness as a result. A merry party may be ruined by an entirely translucent friend (as I often am by February) so I occasionally blindfold myself and lay out in the weak sun amongst the worm crusts and spent fireworks. I bid you do the same.


My own Grandmother became most moonish in her later years, wandering about the garden mooing at the bushes as the night orb waxed its silver way. We all enjoyed it at first but when she began to draggle about the compost heap eating turnip hair and raw hedgepigs we had to lock her safely in the back attic with nought but memories and her moonstruck nature to comfort the dusty echo of her final days.

Near Sightedness

Ocular extrusion may cause the fomentation of image to appear in the jellied forelocks of the retina rather than at its comprehending face. If you stand a good deal nearer to that which you hope to see clearer it will manifest itself pin sharp, you see if it shan't.

Organs of Corti sensory hair immolation

If a sad soul experiences this unfortunate condition it often means the inside of the head is, or has been, aflame. Small fires may start in the brain especially if one thinks of (for example) anthracite and matches at precisely the same time. These fires can generally be put out by thinking intently of the sea.


A spattering of pimples may be the signature of youth or at worst the onset of a more malignant condition such as Kitten Pox or Snout Rash. A physician may need to be sent for and prayers offered. If particularly ill starred these pimples may join into unfortunate ciphers and diabolical constellations or abominable signia. In rare cases it might be wise to duck the patient or flay their sorry sorry hide.


The unfortunate must sleep from the waist down in a barrel of pitch. The tarry slurry slows the emergent worm and it may be cautiously lifted clear with stout tongs.

Ravens breath

Conjure the fellow to swallow less vermin and rinse often the mouth with peppermint and clove Glotion.

Stilt hoof

Occasionally a horny deposit may accrue to the calcaneus and talus bones of the heel eventually sending one tottering about like a Captains moll. Bank up the toe end of shoes with hair pads and rasp gently the heel until once again a-stratum.

Tallow Splatters

If wax has peppered or broiled the skin off then buff gentle with lanolin or butter and if seasonally appropriate most gentle lay the gossamer thread of a garden spiders ice flecked winter web to the skin to draw the heat.


In infested areas by still water midge urine may infect a fair person's skin leading to Ultrapox. Rinse often with Eau Vienna until the feeling is gone.


A more chronic and unsettled form of Moonishness. Think not to stay a Volpino. Those drawn as wolf or fox to play awhile under the protective skirts of mother moon are driven by that which stirs the very oceans. No physician however wise can counteract the puppetry of the heavens. Paint the throats of nearby livestock with pitch and bitter herbs and leave a little mutton and stuffing in the paddock.

Wimpole shade

Crystalline fragments of extruded bone, often hexagonal or triangular emerge like columns of portentous basalt from the hosts waxy flesh. Drenching in Peruvian bark juice and suspension inverted in the screeching eye of a summer storm generally clears it up.

Xenomorphic bone eruptions

Is easily cancelled with vinegar binding. Check ears for bugmites with Bartingtons (patent) Octobular Planchet and purge with more green vinegar til flushed as a gentleman’s dill onion.


This is the name I give to that lethargy of the brain through inactivity which leads to the development of unhealthy notions or Apples of the mind. These notions may if plucked be harvested into a healthy crumble of activity. If left these fanciful fruits will fall rotten to the very back of the soul and encourage wasps.


A gentleman might perhaps be said to resemble an ox, a lady perhaps a swan and children might seem like so many mice. A desperate Zoograftmaniac might clumsily and untidily stitch a shuddering elephants trunk to his face or a plump udder to his throat in the mistaken belief that this will improve his appearance. He is often wrong. A mirror might help him see his error.

There it's done.
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