Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 2, Chapter 34

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Part 2, Chapter 34

  • This chapter is all a letter from Dr. Trefusis to Dr. Matthias Fruhling—that guest from the Boston days who wrote a letter criticizing the College in Book I.
  • Dr. Trefusis tells Dr. Fruhling that an incident of great significance was left out of Mr. Gitney and Mr. Sharpe's article on smallpox and the African.
  • Apparently, the day before the men dissected Cassiopeia, Mr. Gitney sat next to Cassiopeia, held her hand, cried, and said, "'I love you. I loved you. I love you.'"
  • Dr. Trefusis thinks Mr. Gitney was wrong to leave this incident out of the article and that it merits attention.
  • Why?
  • Because a man in grief still shows physical signs that could be measured, like how much his muscles and ligaments contract or how salty his tears actually are.

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