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[ Also see Cure Disease Doctors Drugs Health Mind Occupations Phrenology Physic Physicians Quackery Remedies Sickness Wounds ]

Though bitter, good medicine cures illness. Though it may hurt, loyal criticism will have beneficial effects.
      - Sima Qian

Physicians, of all men, are most happy: whatever good success soever they have, the world proclaimeth and what faults they commit, the earth covereth.
      - Francis Quarles,
        Hieroglyphics of the Life of Man

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
  Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
    Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
      And with some sweet oblivious antidote
        Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
          Which weighs upon the heart?
            Therein the patient
              Must minister to himself.
                Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.
      - William Shakespeare

Who worse than a physician
  Would this report become? But I consider
    By med'cine life may be prolonged, yet death
      Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Cymbeline at V, iv)

I bought an unction of a mountebank,
  So mortal that, but dip a knife in it,
    Where it draws blood so cataplasm so rare,
      Collected from all simples that have virtue
        Under the moon, can save the thing from death
          That is but scratched withal. I'll touch my point
            With this contagion, that, if I gall him slightly,
              It may be death.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Laertes at IV, vii)

In poison there is physic; and these news,
  Having been well, that would have made me sick,
    Being sick, have in some measure made me well.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (Northumberland at I, i)

Take physic, pomp;
  Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
    That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
      And show the heavens more just.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (King Lear at III, iv)

(Macbeth:) How does your patient, doctor?
  (Doctor:) Not so sick, my lord,
    As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies
      That keep her from her rest.
        (Macbeth:) Cure her of that!
          Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
            Pluck from the memory of a rooted sorrow,
              Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
                And with some sweet oblivious antidote
                  Cleanse the stuffed bosom of the perilous stuff
                    Which weighs upon the heart?
                      (Doctor:) Therein the patient
                        Must minister to himself.
                          (Macbeth:) Throw physic to the dogs, I'll none of it!
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth & Doctor at V, iii)

I do remember an apothecary,
  And hereabouts 'a dwells, which late I noted
    In tatt'red weeds, with overwhelming brows,
      Culling of simples. Meagre were his looks,
        Sharp misery had worn him to the bones;
          And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
            An alligator stuffed, and other skins
              Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves
                A beggarly account of empty boxes,
                  Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
                    Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
                      Were thinly scattered, to make up a show.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Romeo at V, i)

'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
  Are grown so catching.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Sandys at I, iii)

But in this point
  All his tricks founder and he brings his physic
    After his patient's death: the king already
      Hath married the fair lady.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Eighth
         (Chamberlain at III, ii)

Trust not the physician;
  His antidotes are poison, and he slays
    More than you rob.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Timon at IV, iii)

In such a night
  Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew,
    And saw the lion's shadow ere himself,
      And ran dismayed away.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice (Jessica at V, i)

You rub the sore
  When you should bring the plaster!
      - William Shakespeare, The Tempest
         (Gonzalo at II, i)

When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills,
  And I must minister the like to you.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Proteus at II, iv)

There is at bottom only one genuinely scientific treatment for all diseases, and that is to stimulate the phagocytes.
      - George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor's Dilemma
         (act I)

A disorderly patient makes the physician cruel.
  [Lat., Crudelem medicum intemperans aeger facit.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Better use medicines at the outset than at the last moment.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

He (Tiberius) was wont to mock at the arts of physicians, and at those who, after thirty years of age, needed counsel as to what was good or bad for their bodies.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (bk. VI, ch. XLVI)

The medicine increases the disease.
  [Lat., Aegrescitque medendo.]
      - Virgil or Vergil (Publius Virgilius Maro Vergil),
        The Aeneid (XII, 46)

But nothing is more estimable than a physician who, having studied nature from his youth, knows the properties of the human body, the diseases which assail it, the remedies which will benefit it, exercises his art with caution, and pays equal attention to the rich and the poor.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        A Philosophical Dictionary--Physicians

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.
      - Virginia Woolf (nee Stephen) (Adeline Virginia Woolf),
        Hours in a Library,
        found in the "Times Literary Suppliement" (London, Nov. 30, 1916)

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