The Pharmacopeia: What It Is and What It Is Not

SOLOMON SOLIS COHEN
1909 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
myself, as I watched their graceful motions, " This is a job I should like myself, -at any rate, in fine weather." Of all this trip in Norway, three scenes stand out in my memory more prominently than others. One is a hurried visit we paid to a little place off the track of tourists, in order to see one of those extraordinary ancient structures called a stavkirke. We there had an all too brief experience of real Norse life, the life they lead among themselves uninfluenced by tourists, and were
more » ... tourists, and were much interested in the local color. The district comprised 3,400 souls and had built itself a large, new jail, the finest building in the neighborhood. But it seems that times had been bad, from the jailer's viewpoint, as he had not had a client since the opening of the establishment; now, in view of the fact that the one physician for all this region had no hospital, and plenty of sick and infirm, the question was then being agitated whether it would not be more profitable for the community at large to remove the bars from the jail .windows and transform the building into a county hospital. These Norwegians were lovely to us, and we almost wept when we had to move on. The second was our first view of a late sunset in northern latitudes. We were up on the hurricane deck after dinner one perfect evening, and noticed that the sun was still high in the heavens, although the hour was nearly nine. I remarked that the sun seemed to be growing dissipated, according to our ideas, and that I would time its hour of going to bed. The sea inside the reef-guard was without a ripple, as smooth as a mirror; the channel was very narrow just there, and we were constantly passing bits of life, -sailing vessels anchored for the night, fishermen getting their dinner, other steamers, cottages, lighthouses, -the whole scene lighted up by the evening glow, a curious mixture of full sunlight with a tinge of twilight. Above us, against the dark heavens, glided the spotless gulls, fanning their even path toward slumber and a resting place on some reef. Finally, at sharp ten, the sun's disk touched the water and in a few minutes disappeared, leaving everything in a glory of reds, crimsons and pinks. It was a gorgeous sight. We did not go far enough north to see the actual midnight sun. The third was at the end of our trip, out on the stormy North Sea, hundreds of miles from land, on our way back to Holland. The evening was dark, the weather blustering, and the sea choppy and broken up, -about as cheerless an outlook as one could witness. A few large sea gulls had followed us during the day, circling about in our wake, but had gradually all vanished but one. As I watched this bird in the gloom I saw him leave the ship, take a few aimless turns in the air and finally come gently down on the surface of the waves, putting out his feet and raising his wings straight up in the way gulls do, taking the water in such an imperceptible manner that your only way of knowing they are really there is to see them fold their wings. He looked about him, apparently pleased with the spot he had chosen, appearing and disappearing as the waves passed under him, and then set to arranging his feathers with his beak, rustling his back and generally making his evening toilet, -until it finally dawned on me that he was actually settling down for the night on this tempestuous ocean, going to " turn in," as it were. I addressed the following parting to him: " Well, old man, every one to his liking, of course, and if that sleeping place suits your fancy, why I naturally have nothing to say. It would not be exactly my choice, but still, even to me it would offer several advantages. The telephone at any rate will not go off in your ear in the dead of night to have some idiotic question put to you by a malade imaginaire, and your sleep will not be broken time and again by a fiendish motor comingcrashing down the street bringing people home at hours when respectable citizens are trying to get a little rest. So, although you seem placed in what I should call a remarkably hectic entourage, you will be sure of at least a moderate amount of that priceless possession, peace, and thereupon I wish you a very cordial adieu."
doi:10.1056/nejm190907081610203 fatcat:3z37nh4tsbgj5lunz7ffypko2m