Advising the Sick

The sick man to his advisers:

“My advisers! Their name is legion… Somehow or other, it seems a provision of the universal destinies, that every man, woman, and child should consider him, her, or itself privileged especially to advise me. Why? That is precisely what I want to know.” And this is what I have to say to them. I have been advised to go to every place extant in and out of England—to take every kind of exercise by every kind of cart, carriage—yes, and even swing (!) and dumb-bell (!) in existence; to imbibe every different kind of stimulus that ever has been invented. And this when those best fitted to know, viz., medical men, after long and close attendance, had declared any journey out of the question, had prohibited any kind of motion whatever, had closely laid down the diet and drink. What would my advisers say, were they the medical attendants, and I the patient left their advice, and took the casual adviser’s? But the singularity in Legion’s mind is this: it never occurs to him that everybody else is doing the same thing, and that I the patient must perforce say, in sheer self-defence, like Rosalind, “I could not do with all.”

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