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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Medical Essays, by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Medical Essays Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Last Updated: February 11, 2009 Release Date: August 16, 2006 [EBook #2700] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MEDICAL ESSAYS *** Produced by David Widger MEDICAL ESSAYS By Oliver Wendell Holmes 1842-1882 CONTENTS: I. HOMEOPATHY AND ITS KINDRED DELUSIONS II. THE CONTAGIOUSNESS OF PUERPERAL FEVER III. CURRENTS AND COUNTER-CURRENTS IN MEDICAL SCIENCE IV. BORDER LINES OF KNOWLEDGE IN SOME PROVINCES OF MEDICAL SCIENCE V. SCHOLASTIC AND BEDSIDE TEACHING VI. THE MEDICAL PROFESSION IN MASSACHUSETTS VII. THE YOUNG PRACTITIONER VIII. MEDICAL LIBRARIES IX. SOME OF MY EARLY TEACHERS PREFACE. The character of the opposition which some of these papers have met with suggests the inference that they contain really important, but unwelcome truths. Negatives multiplied into each other change their sign and become positives. Hostile criticisms meeting together are often equivalent to praise, and the square of fault-finding turns out to be the same thing as eulogy. 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 pol
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