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THE FOES OF THE HOUSEHOLD.
While you, my brothers of the healing art,
Play on the stage of life your active part,
Many the hostile forces that encroach
Upon your vested interests; that poach
On your exclusive fields; that dare defy
The chartered rights on which you all rely.
Many the schemes, the stratagems prepense,
To dispossess you of just recompense.
Yet why should you such treatment undergo,
You who so much of earthly good bestow;
You, always ready duty's call to obey,
To soften sorrow, to arrest decay;
You who belong, while vital force survives,
Not to yourselves, but to imperilled lives;
You who together toil, together feel,
Together counsel for the public weal;
Who, building on foundations strong and sure,
Add grace and force to physic's literature,
Leave the old groping through empiric haze,
For rational and scientific ways,
And give preventive methods leading place
In benefactions for the human race.
Who are these foes that would their measure fill
By usurpation of your fruitful skill?
Pass down the line in critical review,
And then decide the question, who is who?
Is it the Christian Scientist, so named,
For mental-healing, or faith-healing, famed?
Drag this misnomer from beclouding mist
And you unmask a Christian hypnotist,
One who disputes existence of disease,
Yet swells his bank account with faith-cure fees,
Treats medication with derisive twit,
And scorns its eulogies in Holy Writ;
A therapeutic nihilist who sneers
At physic's marvellous growth in recent years;
Who undertakes to overcome all ill,
Through self-reliant exercise of will,
Not merely functional derangements, such
As Charcot outlines with his master touch,
Not mere neuroses, but the hopeless range
Of structural lesions, of organic change.
Disease is mere illusion, we're assured;
Remove the illusion, the disease is cured.
What contradictions common sense belies,
What self-convicting inconsistencies
Involve the vaporer, yet he claims to be
An agent of divine authority;
Claims for the founder of his cult a dower
Charged with miraculous, transcendent power ;
Claims, what is even more imaginary,
Reincarnation of the Virgin Mary.
Thus duped, the immaterialist is ready
To bow the kneee to his Madonna Eddy.
Is it the quack of high repute who calls
Attention to his book-lined office walls,
Where hangs the showy sheepskin, the decree,
In stilted phrase, that makes him an M. D.,
Yet, read between the lines, that certifies
Such affirmations may be polished lies ?
With more of artifice than art he strives
For notoriety on which he thrives,
This Paracelsus of the modern school,
Who hoodwinks wise men and beguiles the food,
Both subject to the mercenary greed
That sways his acts, that constitutes his creed.
Your evil genius this—an enemy
More treacherous than quacks of low degree.
Is it the change of base that now impends,
That Hahnemannian faith and practice rends.
The loosening of globulism's clasp,
Infinitessimal's relaxing grasp,
Inanity that's drifting to decline,
And overstepping our border-line?
Now homeopaths attenuations change
For active principles of definite range,
And meet the indications that arise
By smuggling alkaloids in specious guise.
Thus they, with outward semblance all the same,
Work with your tools, but still retain their name,
And give to you a name that righteous wrath
May well resent, the nickname allopath.
Is it the ad captandum style of ads.
That takes high rank among presumptuous fads,
The catchy story or the special plea,
Misleading to unlooked-for sequela?
What sounding manifestoes rattle on,
From Lydia Pinkham down to Father John,
Fused with the fallacies that interlock
Cause and effect, post hoc and propter hoc.
What shrewd devices, what insidious skill
In puffing an elixir or a pill,
Endorsing panaceas with the names
And likenesses of invalided dames,
Statesmen and clergymen whose private woes
They to the public shamelessly expose,
Matching in vulgar show the Haunting signs
That blur the landscape on the railway lines.
Is it there's aught of reason to be wary
Of our old ally, the apothecary?
Should he, whene'er solicited, advise
For minor ailments, simple remedies,
Or, in emergency, ad interim, give
Approved provisional restorative,
Remember your relationship—first aid
Your own prerogatives need not invade,
And some responsibilities he shares
Alike with you, some duties and some cares.
If here or there a recreant you spy,
Easy enough to give him the go-by,
To warn your clientele against the snares
That underlie the promise of his wares,
Against coal-tar depressants' rash misuse,
Tonics that baneful practices induce.
Ready relief for divers pains and aches,
Abortifacients and “lost manhood” fakes.
Turn from the patent cure-alls he displays
To modest merit and to loyal ways,
And on the faithful pharmacist depend
To serve as “guide, philosopher, and friend."
So with opticians—there again you find
The same distinctions in degree and kind.
Here note the artisan with wholesome fear
Of faithless outreach from his proper sphere;
A true auxiliary-how different he
From the intruder that you elsewhere see,
Whose double-dealing brings to light, design
To transgress boldly the dividing line;
Shows effort legislation to obtain
Infringing on the oculist's domain,
Shows disregard of law when on the sly
He ventures mydriatics to apply,
And cases of abnormal vision treat,
Risking thereby detection of the cheat.
The oculist has no protecting shield
Against the quacks who invade his special field,
And advertise that they dissolvents sell
That will achieve the unachievable.
But when the optician to those depths descends,
He well may pray, deliver from such friends.
Thomson's lobelia and capsicum
Have had their day—their votaries are dumb.
The hydropath, with Arab praise uplift,
Said, "God is great, and water's his good gift;"
But Pressnitz methods have passed out of sight,
And Graefenberg no more can proselyte.
The osteopath now wants to be the rage,
And occupy the centre of the stage.
His Kirksville teacher, ex cathedra, says,
Bone suffering fails as a descriptive phrase;
Bone healing's better, therefore let it be
Hereafter known as osteotherapy.
Restriction to one method's what is meant;
The Swedish movements form its armament.
Its agents legislative halls invade,
Demanding recognition and State aid,
Reckless how damaging such aid may be
To your estate, to public policy.
'Tis said that every dog must have his day;
How long, 'tis asked, will this excrescence stay?
Sooner or later comes the final call,
And shams and pathies totter to their fall.
Where shall we look, then, for our dearest foe?
In our own ranks—we have not far to go.
The merchant doctors—that increasing class-
Ignore the code of ethics, per nefas,
Accept employment, and the task assume,
Proprietary remedies to boom,
To recommend such nostrums on the plea
Of frank disclosure of the formula,
Or refuge seek in quibble quite as thin-
"For the Profession only"—that's no sin.
But such a subterfuge too seldom rests
Upon conclusive or exhaustive tests,
Too oft on plausible assertions made
By fabricants well up to tricks of trade.
Pity commercialism in such guise
Thus bribes self-seeking with its gilded prize,
That cultured men attach their signature