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IX. With all these things it will appear strong evidence for the reality of the art if a physician, while skilfully treating the patient, does not refrain from exhortations not to worry in mind in the eagerness to reach the hour of recovery. For we physicians take the lead in what is necessary for health. And if he be under orders the patient will not go far astray. For left to themselves patients sink through their painful condition, give up the struggle and depart this life. But he who has taken the sick man in hand, if he display the discoveries of the art, preserving nature, not trying to alter it, will sweep away the present depression or the distrust of the moment. For the healthy condition of a human being is a nature that has naturally attained a movement, not alien but perfectly adapted, having

[p. 327] produced it by means of breath, warmth and coction of humours, in every way, by complete regimen and by everything combined, unless there be some congenital or early deficiency. Should there be such a thing in a patient who is wasting, try to assimilate to the fundamental nature.1 For the wasting, even of long standing, is unnatural.

1 I. e. try to bring the patient back to his normal condition.

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