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1 I need scarcely remark that this passage is of classical celebrity. Galen, in his Commentary, remarks that the first time he read it he thought it unworthy of Hippocrates to lay it down as a rule of practice, that "the physician should do good to his patient, or at least no harm;" but that, after having seen a good deal of the practice of other physicians, and observed how often they were justly exposed to censure for having bled, or applied the bath, or given medicines, or wine unseaonably, he came to recognize the propriety and importance of the rule laid down by Hippocrates. The practice of certain physicians, Galen remarks, is like playing at the dice, when what turns up may occasion the greatest mischief to their patients. The last clause of this passage is very forcibly put. Galen, however, informs us that in some of th MSS. instead of "art" he found "nature"; that is to say, that the physician is "the minister (or servant) of nature." Either of the readings, he remarks, will agree very well with the meaning of the passage.
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