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we should say have the "wherewithal," the doctor
to derive a great deal of benefit from his skilful applications, whatever contrary results may happen to the unfortunate sufferer.
DOSE THE THIRD.
"Whoever wishes to learn the business of a surgeon or apothecary, or both in one, should first consider whether he has talents, abilities, and learning to enable him to go through the duties of a laborious profession with credit to himself, and advantage to his fellow creatures."-Tirocinium Medicum.
THE latter part of the above quotation would have been more appropriately written "with advantage to himself, and credit (twelve months, or more!) to his fellow-creatures;" for that is, after all, the bull's-eye of the target in which he must shoot his arrow, or rather stick his lancet.
A youth who has "walked the hospitals," and spent "I don't know how much" in cigars and "cold without," must, according to the canon of the first law of nature, self-preservation, begin to "look about him" as soon as the painful process of "trituratio," or "grinding," has enabled him to pass his examination.
He must take care not to let friends or relatives "steal a prescription," but charge them all. As for friendship and love, they are poetical fancies that he ought to root out of his brain (if he have any) as speedily as possible. A "Temple to Friendship, &c," Temple to Love," are sheer nonsense; and all
these affections of the nervous system ought to be eradicated, they stand in the way of business.
"Admoveantur hirudines ij. tempori utrique,' apply two leeches to each temple,—which is tantamount to saying, "Fiat venaesectio," -bleed 'em! And if a man cannot bleed his friend or his relative, whom ought he to bleed?
When just commencing business, he should be very accommodating, (accept invitations or presents; in fact, accept anything but bills)-and, as he must have wine to offer his genteel visitors, he will of course, in return for his bottles, take, pro re nata, occasionally, a dozen or two of wine of any patient who is in sero lactis vinoso-in the wine way!
Should he be invited by any respectable family to a party, which his rank and profession entitle him to expect, he must be particularly circumspect in his conduct and conversation.
If he has the voice of a Lablache, he ought not to sing, or he may be considered "vox et preterea nihil.”
If he can dance, he must refrain from the temptations of Terpsichore. The gallopade and the gallipot are the antipodes of each other.
If he play the flute, (according to the fellows of Guy's, like a Nicholson or a Drouet,) let him not attempt even an accompaniment to the piano, or it may be uncharitably supposed he is better acquainted with the scales of music than the shop scales, and he will run the risk of being weighed accordingly in the opinion of his audience. Do not, therefore, let him blow the flute, lest he be blown upon.
In fine, all these accomplishments are unbecoming the gravity of his profession, and will lower him in the estimation of his patients, or to be patients.
In conversation, he may be polite and gentlemanly, courteous, cool, and collected, and even be permitted to aspire as high as the complimentary.
He may take a hand at cards, if his circumstances will permit him to lose, or, on the other hand, if he be an adept. In respect of his gratuitous morning visitors, let him pay every attention.
To the old women, in particular, let him show a marked civility. There is many a medical man who owes his carriage to the good report of old women. is really wonderful how very favourably they take the virus of flattery, when inoculated by a skilful operator. They are peripatetic advertisements, and frequently recommend the "nice young man " to a respectable family.
In first accouchements, their recommendation as nurses goes an immense way.
"Nil sine labore et labor ipse voluptas ;"
therefore let him take care to give the said nurses the customary shillings out of the guineas, if he is fortunate enough to touch that coin in the plural, and repetatur (repeat the dose), if necessary. As old Dr. L. was wont to observe, "I have almost invariably reaped guineas for the shillings I have sown in that way."
If all his talents, abilities, and learning" should
fail to procure him bread in the profession to which he is bred, he must have recourse to the desperate act of advertising, the dernier ressort of a doctor in despair. We do not mean the insertion of a threeshilling-and-sixpenny paragraph in the columns of the "Times" or "Post," commencing "Wanted patients," &c.—that would be infra dig.: for, although he may be "out of patience," he must not publish his case to a discerning public, who will indubitably attribute his lamentable condition rather to a want of skill than to the true cause. No; he must take up the wellworn stump of his goose-quill, and write or compile a book! The subject must be one of general importance: Podagra,' 66 "Strabismus," or some nervous disorder, (the nerves are the strings which are played upon the most effectively (lucratively) by the profession,) or, "Diseases incident to," &c., &c.
Let him adorn the title-page (gild the pill, as it were) with some apt quotation from Paracelsus, Hippocrates, or Galen; or snatch a pearl of the kind from somebody else's book, who has had the trouble of diving for it in the ocean of somebody else's nonsense. Affix" Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, at full length, after the name, and dedicate the precious composition to some leading member of the profession, with or without permission,—which latter is most likely to be the case,—for they generally "smoke" the affair; experience has couched their eyes, and they "see through it;" but with the public the "thing takes admirably; especially if he append some remark
able cases, and explain the treatment and cure with al due precision, which he may readily acquire from some of the clinicals.
If he do not feel quite "up" in his English composition, he may get it corrected by some poor devil of a schoolmaster, in return for a few boxes of unguentum citrinum, gratuitously presented in cases of "tinea capitis," which will get into the boys' heads when nothing else will.
Two hundred and fifty copies, printed in five editions of fifty each, will go a great way, (like cantharides, spread thinly,) and perhaps draw !
This trick of the trade" sometimes proves an excellent hit; and, with hypochondriacs particularly, it is very often like fly-fishing; for they actually spring out of their element, and are caught by (not the hook, but) the book.
They buy the book: there comes immediate profit. They find a case described so exactly similar to their own, that they are actually in a fever till they have consulted the talented author. That fee is the first dot of the line: it only remains for the practitioner to continue it. In some maladies there is really no seeing the end of it. For gout, rheumatism, &c., &c., are really gregarious; sympathy brings the sufferers together, as if, by making a sort of joint-stock of their ailments, they imagined they derived some alleviation of their disorders; volubly communicating the diagnostics, symptoms, &c., of their maladies; opposing their labial complaints against their corporeal; and thus endeavouring, by a kind of counter