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For my part, I approve of paying attention to everything relating to the art, and that those things which can be done well or properly should all be done properly; such as can be quickly done should be done quickly; such as can be neatly done should be done neatly; such operations as can be performed without pain should be done with the least possible pain; and that all other things of the like kind should be done better than they could be managed by the attendants. But I would more especially commend the physician who, in acute diseases, by which the bulk of mankind are cut off, conducts the treatment better than others. Acute diseases are those which the ancients named pleurisy, pneumonia, phrenitis, lethargy, causus, and the other diseases allied to these, including the continual fevers. For, unless when some general form of pestilential disease is epidemic, and diseases are sporadic and [not] of a similar character, there are more deaths from these diseases than from all the others taken together. The vulgar, indeed, do not recognize the difference between such physicians and their common attendants, and are rather disposed to commend and censure extraordinary remedies. This, then, is a great proof that the common people are most incompetent, of themselves, to form a judgment how such diseases should be treated: since persons who are not physicians pass for physicians[p. 62] owing most especially to these diseases, for it is an easy matter to learn the names of those things which are applicable to persons laboring under such complaints. For, if one names the juice of ptisan, and such and such a wine, and hydromel, the vulgar fancy that he prescribes exactly the same things as the physicians do, both the good and the bad, but in these matters there is a great difference between them.

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