Medical Essays, by Oliver Wendell Holmes : chapter3
Medical Essays, 1842-1882 by Holmes, Oliver Wendell, …
But a writer has rarely so many enemies as it pleases him to believe.
Self-love leads us to overrate the numbers of our negative constituency.
The larger portion of my limited circle of readers must be quite
indifferent to, if not ignorant of, the adverse opinions which have been
expressed or recorded concerning any of these Addresses or Essays now
submitted to their own judgment. It is proper, however, to inform them,
that some of the positions maintained in these pages have been
unsparingly attacked, with various degrees of ability, scholarship, and
good-breeding. The tone of criticism naturally changes with local
conditions in different parts of a country extended like our own, so that
it is one of the most convenient gauges of the partial movements in the
direction of civilization. It is satisfactory to add, that the views
assailed have also been unflinchingly defended by unsought champions,
among the ablest of whom it is pleasant to mention, at this moment of
political alienation, the Editor of the Charleston Medical Journal.
Medical Essays, by Oliver Wendell Holmes : chapter1
The commonest mode of misrepresentation was this: qualified propositions,
the whole meaning of which depended on the qualifications, were stripped
of these and taken as absolute. Thus, the attempt to establish a
presumption against giving poisons to sick persons was considered as
equivalent to condemning the use of these substances. The only important
inference the writer has been able to draw from the greater number of the
refutations of his opinions which have been kindly sent him, is that the
preliminary education of the Medical Profession is not always what it
ought to be.