The devil speaks of medicine for the soul.

from Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe fiction ~1 min read


Of medicine the spirit's caught with ease,
The great and little world you study through,
That things may then their course pursue,
As heaven may please.
In vain abroad you range through science' ample space,
Each man learns only that which learn he can;
Who knows the moment to embrace,
He is your proper man.
In person you are tolerably made,
Nor in assurance will you be deficient:
Self-confidence acquire, be not afraid,
Others will then esteem you a proficient.
Learn chiefly with the sex to deal!
Their thousands ahs and ohs,
These the sage doctor knows,
He only from one point can heal.
Assume a decent tone of courteous ease,
You have them then to humour as you please.
First a diploma must belief infuse,
That you in your profession take the lead:
You then at once those easy freedoms use
For which another many a year must plead;
Learn how to feel with nice address
The dainty wrist;—and how to press,
With ardent furtive glance, the slender waist,
To feel how tightly it is laced.


Grey is, young friend, all theory:
And green of life the golden tree.




Let but this ancient proverb be your rule,
My cousin follow still, the wily snake,
And with your likeness to the gods, poor fool,
Ere long be sure your poor sick heart will quake!

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, p. Part 1