and when he thought it necessary to use a freshly killed rabbit for demonstration he always left his assistant to chloroform it and besought him not to let it squeak.”
He believed in the elevating influence of the medical profession, and said that “Goldsmith
and even Smollett
, both having studied and practised medicine, could not, by any possibility, have outraged all the natural feelings in delicacy and decency, as Swift
have outraged them.”
gave away his medical books in middle life to the Boston Medical Library
; and after this he prized science as the poet loves it for the images and analogies it affords, even as Coleridge
went to Sir Humphry Davy
's lectures in order to acquire a stock of new metaphors.
In speaking of Holmes
's relation to the reforms going on about him, it is pleasant to recall an occasion where both his generosity and his wit were called into play, when there was some agitation among his students in regard to the practice of medicine by women.
At the opening of the new building of the Harvard Medical School, after speaking, in his