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"The pharmacopoeia is the primary book necessary to be studied by a young apprentice."— LUCAS.
"These animals are all very fond of pulse.”— Natural History.
"S'GAN. Entendez-vous le Latin?
S'GAN. Deus sanctus ! estne oratio latinus? etiam, oui.
Pourquoi? Quia substantivo et adjectivum concordat in generi, numerum et casus ! Voilà, justement ce qui fait que votre fille est muette."
“Ο βιος βραχυς, ἡ δε τεχνη μακρα.”
"Vita brevis, sed ars longa."
Signor Dottore, non c'è che questa differenza fra di noimentre che voi spogliate un uomo di tutto cio che possiede e poi lo uccidete; noi lo uccidiamo prima e lo spogliamo dopo.” — The Brigand to the Doctor.
"De mortuis nil nisi bonum."
"Your only thought of the dead must be-how to bone 'em."
DOSE THE FIRST.
WE think it essential to the right understanding of our views to commence by a few definitions.
"Doctor" and "physic" are two terms universally understood, and both too frequently misapplied. Now the less you take of the latter, the better for you; and the more the former takes of you, the worse it will prove both for your body and your purse.
A "doctor" is a man dressed in black, with a grave countenance, (which is too often the forerunner of death,) who generally goes abroad armed with a stopwatch, a lancet, and, latterly, a stethoscope.
In the days of our youth he was wont to appear
in a cocked-hat, with an amber-headed cane, and a small muff for his hands; but, in these days of rapid progression and utilitarianism, there is considerably less personal pretension - outwardly in the " dical adviser."
Being licensed to cure or kill (as the case may be),
his deeds are never investigated, or his (presumed) infallibility called into question.
If a man die under the infliction of his remedies, he is supposed by law to have fallen a victim to the malady. He had "the best of advice, poor fellow ! but nothing could save him." How consolatory is
this! – and yet, if it were the 'custom to summon an inquest in such cases, and a post-mortem examination were to take place, how frequently and justly would an intelligent jury record a verdict of " Died of the Doctor!"
As Boileau writes to the nephew of a certain physician :
"Ton oncle, dis-tu, l'assassin,
M'a guéri d'une maladie ?
La preuve qu'il ne fut jamais mon médecin
C'est que je suis encore en vie!"
How many who handle the pestle and mortar are only fitted by genius and education to carry a hod and mortar !
DOSE THE SECOND.
"Truly, I have found," quoth Panurge, "a great deal of good in the counsel of women, chiefly in that of the old wives amongst them."
OLD women, especially among that invaluable class called nurses, are famous physicians,—that is, if we may judge by their verbal prescriptions, and the "advice gratis" which they daily distribute to the afflicted.
Their potions, it is true, generally contain ingredients not to be found in the pharmacopoeia; but, being more palatable than the "doctor's stuff," they are consequently more popular.
Their confidence in their infallible remedies induces
them to dose their patients "right and left," (certainly not always right,) and, in their own peculia circle, they are "most esteemed old women." And indeed there are many practitioners of the "old school" who are universally esteemed "old women," too, by the new school.
A PARENTHETICAL DIGRESSION.
Deeply impenetrated with the truth of the aphorism that "Whatever is useful ought to be generall known," we submit the following approved and cele brated "domestic medicines" to the notice of th afflicted:
Anus loquuntur :
A stick o' brimstone wore in the pocket is good fo them as has cramps.
A loadstone put on the place where the pains is is beautiful in the rheumatiz.
Cut off the legs of a mole and tie it on the buzzom and you won't have no more fits.
When babbies is troubled with worms, the leastes drop o' gin give to 'em mornin's fastin' will — kil 'em!
Warts, if ever so bad, will go, if the spittle 's use fastin' o' mornin's. (So, in consequence, if mother lick their babbies every mornin' afore breakfust, it 'I be good for 'em!)
For a cold-a basin o' water-gruel, with half quartern o' old rum in it, or a quartern, if partic❜la bad, with lots o' brown sugar, going to bed.
If you've got the hiccups, pinch one of your wristes, and hold your breath while you count sixty,-or get somebody to make you jump!
If your nose bleeds, put the street-door key down your back.
If you have a cold in the head, and your nose is troublesome, and you want to get rid of it, rub the bridge with a morsel o' tallow.
The ear-ache. Put an ing'un in-your ear after it's well roasted.
Among the Laplanders, their "medical adviser" is a conjuror, who utters his charms and incantations in a jargon unintelligible to his patient. Even in our enlightened isle the physician writes down in hieroglyphics, with an air of mystery, certain little words, (inflicted with incurable CONTRACTIONS,) which are only to be deciphered by his confederate the apothecary.
But, notwithstanding all this specious appearance of necromancy, we must candidly confess we have ever understood that our respectable M.D.'s are-no conjurors!
Disease is to the doctor, nine cases out of ten, a riddle, and he proves himself the best who has cunning enough to guess it. The glaring fault of which he is culpable is, that he will not "give it up" when he finds it puzzles him, but still goes on groping and blundering in the dark. To be sure he never will nor can allow that he is able to "make nothing of it;" for, if the party afflicted with the doctor the disease,