Dr Baillie is a medical man, highly-esteemed in his profession, appointed Physician Extraordinary to the king. He is summoned by Sir Walter Pole to attend on Lady Pole when she becomes so mysteriously indisposed soon after her marriage. In fact she suffers from that debilitating languor which is a usual consequence of enchantment. Dr Baillie however is not able to come at the root cause of her illness, for his patient is not in a position to confide in him as to her true case and without such aid, what can the best physician do? Only blunder in the dark, as Dr Baillie does. Finding no physical source for her ladyship's complaint he proceeds on the assumption it arises from an excess of sensibility, and presumes to give Sir Walter a series of kindly hints on the need to be indulgent with a new (and much younger) wife. Sir Walter is offended. He knows himself to be an attentive and considerate husband, and his wife, despite her youth, to be a sensible woman and not a pouting miss. Nevertheless he does not represent matters to Dr Baillie so forcefully as in other circumstances he might. The truth is, Sir Walter is so conscious both of the difference in age between his wife and himself (he is forty-two, she nineteen), and of his relative inexperience in matters matrimonial, that he feels himself too much at a disadvantage.