Meanwhile Cotton Mather took his staff and three-cornered hat and walked about the streets, calling at the houses of all the physicians in Boston.
The oldest doctor in town contented himself with remarking that no such thing as inoculation was mentioned by Galen or Hippocrates; and it was impossible that modern physicians should be wiser than those old sages.
It was, in fact, the king's physician
; a person about fifty years of age, whose harsh physiognomy was modified only by a crafty eye.
In my country, those whom physicians
abandon run the chance of a quack, who kills them ten times but saves them a hundred times."
, therefore, finding themselves anticipated in everything they ordered, were at a loss how to apply that portion of time which it is usual and decent to remain for their fee, and were therefore necessitated to find some subject or other for discourse; and what could more naturally present itself than that before mentioned?
It came to pass, therefore, that Physician
's little dinners always presented people in their least conventional lights.
"Sire," said he, "I know that no physician
has been able to cure your majesty, but if you will follow my instructions, I will promise to cure you without any medicines or outward application."
This idea was countenanced by the strong interest which the physician
ever manifested in the young clergyman; he attached himself to him as a parishioner, and sought to win a friendly regard and confidence from his naturally reserved sensibility.
Some old stagers held back so that they might be seen by the physician
himself, but they seldom succeeded in this; and only three or four, whose condition seemed to demand his attention, were kept.
I have read his book, as will every physician
It will be better that I should ask you a question: Is the physician
, taken in that strict sense of which you are speaking, a healer of the sick or a maker of money?
who first warned me of the critical state of my mother's health is anxious to hear what I can tell him of her last moments.