Besides real diseases we are subject to many that are only imaginary,
for which the Physicians have invented imaginary Cures.


Death is always in their power when recovery is not.

PART 1, CHAPTER 1 - Gulliver tells reader about himself:

...I was bound Apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent Surgeon in London, with whom I continued four Years...When I came back, I resolved to settle in London, to which Mr. Bates, my Master, encouraged me, and by him I was recommended to several Patients. I took Part of a small House in the Old Jury...But, my good Master Bates dying in two Years after, and I having few Friends, my Business began to fail; for my Conscience would not suffer me to imitate the bad Practice of too many among my Brethren. Having therefore consulted with my Wife, and some of my Acquaintance, I determined to go again to Sea. I was Surgeon successively in two Ships, and made several Voyages...

PART 4, CHAPTER 6: - Gulliver talks to the leader of the Houyhnhnms:

...I was going on to tell him of another sort of People, who get their Livelihood by attending the Sick, having upon some Occasions informed his Honour that many of my Crew had died of Diseases. But here it was with the utmost Difficulty, that I brought him to apprehend what I meant. He could easily conceive, that a Houyhnhnm grew weak and heavy a few Days before his Death, or by some Accident might hurt a Limb. But that Nature, who works all Things to Perfection, should suffer any Pains to breed in our Bodies, he thought impossible, and desired to know the Reason of so unaccountable an Evil. I told him, we fed on a thousand Things which operated contrary to each other; that we ate when we were not hungry, and drank without the Provocation of Thirst; That we sate whole Nights drinking strong Liquors without eating a Bit, which disposed us to Sloth, inflamed our Bodies, and precipitated or prevented Digestion. That prostitute Female Yahoos acquired a certain Malady, which bred Rottenness in the Bones of those, who fell into their Embraces; That this and many other Diseases, were propagated from Father to Son, so that great Numbers come into the World with complicated Maladies upon them; that it would be endless to give him a Catalogue of all Diseases incident to human Bodies; for they could not be fewer than five or six hundred, spread over every Limb and Joynt; in short, every Part, external and intestine, having Diseases appropriated to them. To remedy which, there was a sort of People bred up among us, in the Profession or Pretense of curing the Sick. And because I had some Skill in the Faculty, I would in Gratitude to his Honour, let him know the whole Mystery and Method by which they proceed...

But, besides real Diseases, we are subject to many that are only imaginary, for which the Physicians have invented imaginary Cures; these have their several Names, and so have the Drugs that are proper for them, and with these our Female Yahoos are always infested.

One great Excellency in this Tribe is their Skill at Prognostics, wherein they seldom fail; their Predictions in real Diseases, when they rise to any Degree of Malignity, generally portending Death, which is always in their Power when Recovery is not: And therefore, upon any unexpected Signs of Amendment, after they have pronounced their Sentence, rather than be accused as false Prophets, they know how to approve their Sagacity to the World by a seasonable Dose.

They are likewise of special Use to Husbands and Wives, who are grown weary of their Mates, to eldest Sons, to great Ministers of State, and often to Princes.



Jackie Jura
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