'. . . There are, besides, true Smollett strokes in the scenes in the prison from which Melvil rescues Fathom, and there is a good deal of the satirical Smollett fun in the description of Fathom's ups and downs, first as the petted beau, and then as the fashionable doctor. In chronicling the latter meteoric career, Smollett had already observed the peculiarity of his countrymen which Thackeray was fond of harping on in the next century -- "the maxim which universally prevails among the English people . . . to overlook, . . . on their return to the metropolis, all the connections they may have chanced to acquire during their residence at any of the medical wells.. . . .'