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CALIFORNIN

THE PHYSICIAN.
HAKESPEARE'S education was not, by any means, hedged

in by plots and characters; besides these, his mighty mind seems to bave teemed with the knowledge of languages, medicine, law and court etiquette. It is wonderful that one brain could shine forth such a vast variety, and surprising that he has even gone into the minutiæ of the different avenues of learning through which he has stridden. Shakespeare paid considerable attention to medicine, and has furnished some of the finest specimens of the medical character that have ever been drawn by any writer. His Cerimon, in Pericles, is a most noble one. He speaks for himself:

'Tis known, I ever
Have studied physic, through which secret art,
By turning o'er authorities, I have
(Together with my practice,) made familiar
To me and to my aid, the bless'd infusions
That dwell in vegetives, in metals, stones ;
And I can speak of the disturbances
That nature works, and of her cures; which doth give me
A more content in course of true delight
Than to be thirsty after tottering honour,
Or tie my treasure up in silken bags
To please the fool and death.

Act III., Sc. II.

And others speak of him:

Hundreds call themselves
Your creatures, who by you have been restored :
And not your knowledge, your personal pain, but even
Your purse, still open, bath built lord Cerimon
Such strong renown as time shall ne'er decay.

Act III., Sc. II.

Dowden says, “Cerimon, who is master of the secrets of nature, who is liberal in his ‘learned charity,' who held it ever

'Virtue and cunning were endowments greater
Than nobleness and riches,

is like a first study of Prospero ;" while Furnivall thinks that he represents to some extent the famous Stratford physician, Dr. John Hall, who married Shakespeare's eldest daughter Susanna.

What an excellent physician was Gerard de Narbon, Helena's father, who is referred to in All's Well :

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This young gentlewoman had a father, whose skill was almost as great as his honesty ; had it stretched so far, would have made Nature immortal, and death should have play for lack of work. Would, for the king's sake, he were living! I think it would be the death of the king's disease. He was famous, sir, in his profession, and it was his right to be so. The king * spoke of him admiringly and mournfully: he was skillful enough to have lived still, if knowledge could be set up against mortality.

Act I., Sc. I.
How long is't, count,
Since the physician at your father's died ?
If he were living, I would try him yet;-

the rest have worn me out
With several applications: nature and sickness
Debate it at their leisure.

Act. I., Sc. II.

My father's skill, which was the greatest of his profession.

Act I., Sc. III.

Another worthy physician is to be found in Cymbeline. Cornelius argues with the queen against her designs, and failing in this he completely thwarts her murderous intentions by giving ber a false compound.

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Queen. Now, master doctor, have you brought those drugs?
Cor.

I beseech your grace, without offence,
My conscience bids me ask,—wherefore you have
Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds,
Which are the movers of a languishing death;
But though slow, deadly?

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Your highness
Shall from this practice but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

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[Aside.]

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I do suspect you, madame;
But you shall do no harm.

I do not like her. She doth think she has
Strange ling’ring poisons: I do know her spirit,
And will not trust one of her malice with
A drug of such damn'd nature. Those she has
Will stupisy and dull the sense awhile;

but there is
No danger in what show of death it makes,
More than the locking up the spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reviving. She is fool'd
With a most false effect ; and I the truer
So to be false with her.

Act I., Sc. V.
The queen, sir, very oft importun'd me
To temper poisons for her; still pretending
The satisfaction of her knowledge only
In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs,
Of no esteem: I, dreading that her purpose
Was of more danger, did compound for her
A certain stuff, which, being ta’en, would cease
The present power of life; but in short time
All offices of nature should again
Do their due function.

Act V., Sc. V.

Macbeth supplies us with a wise member of the profession, who, at a time when charlatans without number were promising to cure every malady, sees clearly that Lady Macbeth's disease is beyond his power, and so informs Macbeth. This disease is beyond my practice:

infected minds

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