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A monologue from the play by Molière
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from The Dramatic Works of Molière, Vol. II. Ed. Charles Heron Wall. London: George Bell & Sons, 1898.
No, I tell you; they made a doctor of me in spite of myself. I had never dreamt of being so learned as that, and all my studies came to an end in the lowest form. I can’t imagine what put that whim into their heads;
but when I saw that they were resolved to force me to be a doctor, I made up my mind to be one at the expense of those I might have to do with. Yet you would hardly believe how the error has spread abroad,
and how everyone is obstinately determined to see a great doctor in me. They come to fetch me from right and left; and if things go on in that fashion, I think I had better stick to physic all my life. I find it the best of trades;
for, whether we are right or wrong, we are paid equally well. We are never responsible for the bad work, and we cut away as we please in the stuff we work on.
A shoe maker in making shoes can’t spoil a scrap of leather without having to pay for it, but we can spoil a man without paying one farthing for the damage done. The blunders are not ours, and the fault is always that of the dead man.
In short, the best part of this profession is, that there exists among the dead an honesty, a discretion that nothing can surpass; and never as yet has one been known to complain of the doctor who had killed him.