Quotes Doctors

March 17th to 23rd


Heatherlegh is the dearest doctor that ever was, and his invariable prescription to all his patients is, “lie low, go slow, and keep cool.” He says that more men are killed by overwork than the importance of this world justifies. He maintains that overwork slew Pansay, who died under his hands about three years ago.


This is from “The Phantom Rickshaw” (1895) collected in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories.

Jack Pansay had an affair with the golden-haired Agnes Keith-Wessington, but threw her over for another woman. Agnes died of a broken heart, but ever after Pansay was haunted by her ghost, in her black and yellow rickshaw, pleading with him that it has all been a mistake.

His doctor saw the ghostly apparition as nonsense, and judged that Pansay had been suffering, like many colleagues, from over-work. But he dies, a broken man.

“…my drugs. I do not give my sick the mere ink in which a charm is written, but hot and rending drugs which descend and wrestle with the evil.” “Very mightily they do so,” sighed the old lady. The voice launched into an immense tale of misfortune and bankruptcy, studded …


This is from Chapter XII of  Kim.  On the road with his  Lama, Kim is staying in the house of the Sahiba, in the foothills of the Himalayas. She tells him that she has consulted a travelling doctor, a Hakim, who has administered his powerful drugs to her.

Kim debates with him, only discovering later that he is Hurree Chunder Mookerjee, well known to him and a fellow secret agent.

I myself will stay among you while this man scratches your arms with the knives, after the order of the Government. In three, or it may be five or seven, days, your arms will swell and itch and burn. That is the power of Small-pox fighting in your base blood against the orders of the Government.


This is from “The Tomb of his Ancestors” (1897) collected in The Day’s Work.

John Chinn is a young subaltern in a regiment  recruited from the Bhil people, a remote jungle tribe of doughty fighters.

Some of the same tribe across the hills have been thrown into panic and violence by a government vaccination campaign.

Rather than a punitive expedition,  the Commanding Officer sends out young Chinn, who has influence with the Bhils,  through his legendary grandfather. Here  he is asserting his authority to get the people  safely vaccinated without further trouble.