You deepen my dislike. The youth
Whom you instruct, is blest in sooth!
To try theology I feel inclined.
I would not lead you willingly astray,
But as regards this science, you will find
So hard it is to shun the erring way,
And so much hidden poison lies therein
Which scarce can you discern from medicine.
Here too it is the best, to listen but to one,
And by the master’s words to swear alone.
To sum up all—To words hold fast!
Then the safe gate securely pass’d,
You’ll reach the fane of certainty at last.
But then some meaning must the words convey.
Right! But o’er-anxious thought you’ll
find of no avail;
For there precisely where ideas fail,
A word comes opportunely into play;
Most admirable weapons words are found,
On words a system we securely ground,
In words we can conveniently believe,
Nor of a single jot can we a word bereave.
Your pardon for my importunity;
Yet once more must I trouble you:
On medicine, I’ll thank you to supply
A pregnant utterance or two!
Three years! how brief the appointed tide!
The field, heaven knows, is all too wide!
If but a friendly hint be thrown,
’Tis easier than to feel one’s way.
I’m weary of the dry pedantic tone,
And must again the genuine devil play.
Of medicine the spirit’s caught with ease,
The great and little world you study through,
That things may then their course pursue,
As heaven may please.
In vain abroad you range through science’s ample space,
Each man learns only that which learn he can;
Who knows the moment to embrace,
He is your proper man.
In person you are tolerably made,
Nor in assurance will you be deficient:
Self-confidence acquire, be not afraid,
Others will then esteem you a proficient.
Learn chiefly with the sex to deal!
Their thousand ahs and ohs,
These the sage doctor knows,
He only from one point can heal.
Assume a decent tone of courteous ease,
You have them then to humor as you please.
First a diploma must belief infuse,
That you in your profession take the lead:
You then at once those easy freedoms use
For which another many a year must plead;
Learn how to feel with nice address
The dainty wrist;—and how to press,
With ardent, furtive glance, the slender waist,
To feel how tightly it is laced.
There is some sense in that! one sees the how and why.