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guessing at the distant letters... entangled in a labyrinth of meaningless questions

      Within the stifling examination room there began an ocular examination which would have wrung tears from the eyes of the most caloused refractionist. Assailed, buffeted on all sides by an unending broadside of questions such as, “Is this better? Does this make the letters brighter? Can you see better with this,” etc., and perspiring profusely in the humid dark room, the stout Mrs. Morgan Kale’s mind was soon confused. The constantly changing lenses flashing before her eyes, the clumsy, puttering fingers of the old optometrist, the unpleasant odor from a scorching cardboard shade over the dark room lamp, the pungent odor that reeked from every corner of the room, completely discomfited the wife of the coal and lumber magnate. As the moments dragged, she became doubtful of L. Wayne Pope’s refractive skill She began to entertain grave misgiving whether she had selected the correct lens. A moment later, she was merely guessing at the distant letters; her mind was hopelessly entangled in a labyrinth of meaningless questions.

ex Leston W. Betts, “A Fable of Two Optometrists,” in The Optical Journal and Review 51:17 (April 26, 1923) : 27-30 (28)
U Chicago copy/scan, via google: link
via hathitrust : link

moral : Keep close up with optometry’s progress or you will close up!
sub moral : don’t be old, nor stout.

16 September 2023