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Physicians Write Little on Professional Subjects

IT IS remarkable that, of all men of letters who attach themselves to any profession, none so willingly quit their occupations to write on other matters as Physicians.

Julius Scaliger, who was a Doctor in Physic, has written much Criticism.

Viguier has compiled several bulky volumes of Natural History.

Averroes, the Arabian Physician, has translated and commented on Aristotle.

Ficinnius has given a Latin version of Plato, and explained his system.

The great Cardan has written on a variety of subjects, all very foreign to the studies of Medicine.

Paul Jovius has composed numerous Histories.

Sorbiere, a Physician well known in France, has translated the Utopia of our Sir Thomas More, and other very curious works.

Spons, a Physician at Lyons, has written his Voyages, and some Treatises, which display a great depth of erudition.

The two Patins have written nothing concerning Medicine, but much in Polite Literature.

Perrault, the antagonist of Boileau, translated Vitruvius, and gave public Lectures on Geometry and Architecture.

Dr. Smollet had more frequently his pen, than the pulse of a patient, in his hand.

Akenside and Armstrong are celebrated for their Poetry; and the late Dr. Gregory, of Edinburgh, has published several pleasing compositions in prose.

Dr. Moore and Dr. Berkenhout are living authors, whose pens have written—if I may say it without offence—what is more valuable than their prescriptions.

Why Physicians write so little on professional subjects, is a question I know not how to resolve, unless we supppose that, as they are most conversant in the art of Medicine, they more clearly perceive its futility.