Mirth and Medicine1
if any of our readers (and at times we fear it is the case with all) need amusement and the wholesome alterative of a hearty laugh, we commend them, not to Dr. Holmes
the physician, but to Dr. Holmes
the scholar, the wit, and the humorist; not to the scientific medical professor's barbarous Latin, but to his poetical prescriptions, given in choice old Saxon
We have tried them, and are ready to give the Doctor
certificates of their efficacy.
Looking at the matter from the point of theory only, we should say that a physician could not be otherwise than melancholy.
A merry doctor!
Why, one might as well talk of a laughing death's head,—the cachinnation of a monk's memento mori
. This life of ours is sorrowful enough at its best estate; the brightest phase of it is ‘sicklied o'er with the pale cast’ of the future or the past.
But it is the special vocation of the doctor to look only upon the shadow; to turn away from the house of feasting and go down to that of mourning; to breathe day after day the atmosphere of wretchedness; to grow familiar with suffering; to look upon humanity disrobed of its pride and glory, robbed of all its fictitious ornaments,—weak, helpless, naked,—and undergoing the last fearful metempsychosis