When a doctor talks to you of aiding, succouring and relieving nature, of taking away from her what is injurious and of giving her what she lacks; of re-establishing her and restoring her to the full exercise of her functions; when he talks to you of purifying the blood, of regulating the bowels and the brain, of reducing the spleen, of strengthening the chest, of renovating the liver, of improving the action of the heart, of re-establishing and preserving natural heat, and being possessed of secrets which will prolong life for many years: he is beguiling you with the romance of physic. But, when you come to learn the truth of things by experience, you find there is nothing in it all, it is like those beautiful dreams which, when you wake, leave you nothing but the regret of having put faith in them.
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Source Notes: The Hypochondriac (La malade imaginaire) 3.3 (1673), in The Plays of Moliere in French, trans. A. R. Waller, vol. 8 (1926). The practical brother of the play's hypochondriac warns against putting faith in doctors.
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