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Oh, powerful bacillus,
With wonder how you fill us,
While medical detectives,
With powerful objectives,
Watch your play.
- William Tod Helmuth, Ode to the Bacillus
Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
- Hippocrates of Iphicrates
I firmly believe that if the whole materia medica could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for the fishes.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
Lecture before the Harvard Medical School
The disease and its medicine are like two factions in a besieged town; they tear one another to pieces, but both unite against their common enemy, nature.
- Lord Francis Jeffrey
A pill that the present moment is daily bread to thousands.
- Douglas William Jerrold, The Catspaw
(act I, sc. I)
A sound mind in a sound body is a thing to be prayed for.
[Lat., Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.]
- Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
Joy, temperance, and repose,
Slam the door on the doctor's nose.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You behold in me
Only a travelling Physician;
One of the few who have a mission
To cure incurable diseases,
Or those that are called so.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Christus--The Golden Legend (pt. I)
Medicine makes people ill, mathematics makes them sad, and theology makes them sinful.
- Martin Luther
A sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree.
- Spike Milligan
And in requital ope his leathern scrip,
And show me simples of a thousand names,
Telling their strange and vigorous faculties.
- John Milton, Comus (l. 626)
Adrian, the Emperor, exclaimed incessantly, when dying, "That the crowd of physicians had killed him."
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
(bk. II, ch. XXXVII)
Experience stands on its own dunghill in medicine, and reason yields it place. Medicine has always professed experience to be the touchstone of its operations.
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Montaigne
(bk. III, ch. 13)
How the Doctor's brow should smile,
Crown'd with wreaths of camomile.
- Thomas Moore
One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine.
- Sir William Osler
We do not bear sweets; we are recruited by a bitter potion.
[Lat., Dulcia non ferimus; succo renovamus amaro.]
- Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ara Amatoria
A physician is nothing but a consoler of the mind.
[Lat., Medicus nihil aliud est quam animi consolatio.]
- Petronius (Caius Petronius Arbiter),
The best of healers is good cheer.
- Peter Pindar (pseudonym of Dr. John Wolcot) (Wolcott)
I have heard that Tiberius used to say that that man was ridiculous, who after sixth years, appealed to a physician.
- Plutarch, De Sanitate tuenda (vol. II)
So modern 'pothecaries, taught the art
By doctor's bills to play the doctor's part,
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
- Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
Learn from the beasts the physic of the field.
- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man
(ep. III, l. 174)
Who shall decide when doctors disagree,
And soundest casuists doubt, like you and me?
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (ep. III)
Banished the doctor, and expell'd the friend.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays
(ep. III, l. 330)
You tell your doctor, that y' are ill
And what does he, but write a bill,
Of which you need not read one letter,
The worse the scrawl, the dose the better.
For if you knew but what you take,
Though you recover, he must break.
- Matthew Prior, Alma (canto III, l. 97)
But, when the wit began to wheeze,
And wine had warm'd the politician,
Cur'd yesterday of my disease,
I died last night of my physician.
- Matthew Prior,
The Remedy Worse than the Disease
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