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Finirent multi letho mala; credula vitam
Spes alit, et melius cras fore semper ait.
He fell to juggle, cant, and cheat-
For as those fowls that live in water
Are never wet, he did but smatter;
Whate'er he labour'd to appear,
His understanding still was clear.
A paltry wretch he had, half-starved,
That him in place of zany served.
The Worth and Excellence of the true Physician-Merit,
not the sole Cause of Success—Modes of advancing Reputation-Motives of medical Men for publishing their Works—The great Evil of Quackery-Present State of advertising Quacks—Their Hazard-Some fail, and why -Causes of Success—How Men of Understanding are prevailed upon to have Recourse to Empirics, and to permit their Names to be advertised — Evils of Quackery: to nervous Females: to Youth: to Infants—History of an advertising Empiric, &c.
Next, to a graver tribe we turn our view,
And yield the praise to worth and science due;
But this with serious words and sober style,
For these are friends with whom we seldom smile:
Helpers of men* they ’re call’d, and we confess
Theirs the deep study, theirs the lucky guess ;
We own that numbers join with care and skill,
A temperate judgment, a devoted will;
Men who suppress their feelings, but who feel
The painful symptoms they delight to heal ;
Patient in all their trials, they sustain
The starts of passion, the reproach of pain ;
With hearts affected, but with looks serene,
Intent they wait through all the solemn scene;
Opiferque per orbem dicor.
Glad if a hope should rise from nature's strife,
To aid their skill and save the lingering life;
But this must virtue's generous effort be,
And spring from nobler motives than a fee:
To the physicians of the soul, and these,
Turn the distress’d for safety, hope, and ease.
But as physicians of that nobler kind
Have their warm zealots, and their sectaries blind;
So among these for knowledge most renown'd,
Are dreamers strange, and stubborn bigots found:
Some, too, admitted to this honour'd name,
Have, without learning, found a way to fame;
And some by learning-young physicians write,
To set their merit in the fairest light;
With them a treatise is a bait that draws
Approving voices—’tis to gain applause,
And to exalt them in the public view,
More than a life of worthy toil could do.
When 'tis proposed to make the man renown'd,
In every age, convenient doubts abound;
Convenient themes in every period start,
treat with all the
Curious conjectures he may always make,
And either side of dubious questions take:
He may a system broach, or, if he please,
Start new opinions of an old disease;
Or may some simple in the woodland trace,
And be its patron, till it runs its race;
As rustic damsels from their woods are won,
And live in splendour till their race be run;
It weighs not much on what their powers be shown,
When all his purpose is to make them known. .
To show the world what long experience gains,
Requires not courage, though it calls for pains ;
But at life's outset to inform mankind,
Is a bold effort of a valiant mind.
The great good man, for noblest cause, displays
What many labours taught, and many days;
These sound instruction from experience give,
The others show us how they mean to live;
That they have genius, and they hope mankind
Will to its efforts be no longer blind.
There are beside, whom powerful friends advance, Whom fashion favours, person, patrons, chance: And merit sighs to see a fortune made By daring rashness or by dull parade.
But these are trifling evils; there is one Which walks uncheck’d, and triumphs in the sun: There was a time, when we beheld the quack, On public stage, the licensed trade attack; He made his labour'd speech with poor parade; And then a laughing zany lent him aid :