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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

E. Arnal (c. 1850)

Doctor Benserade

A YOUTH, to lose his treasured love afraid,

Whom a dread fever seemed about to slay,

Sought for a doctor every way,

Whom science deep and skill had famous made.

Our youth possessed a talisman,

Which of these folk betrayed the ignorance;

And so, without direction sought, he can

Undoubting on his quest advance.

And chance first led him to find out

A doctor through the city celebrated.

But while before his door he waited,

Thanks to the charm, flitting he sees about

Two hundred souls, who for their bodies shout.

“Oh, oh! this leech so highly placed,”

He said, “is certainly an ass;

Let’s leave him, and to other quarters pass!”

But at each doctor’s house, alas,

He sees a like sad cohort as before.

At last his eager steps he stayed,

And reads these words, The Doctor Benserade.

(One soul alone was standing at the door.)

He thought, ’mid doctors, he

Must the most skilful, or least murderous be.

Heart full of hope to the great man he flies,

And states the case that sent him thither.

“Sir, I attend,” our Æsculapius cries;

“But might I ask who sent you hither,

Since I reside so far out of the town?”

“I seek you without hesitation

Upon your famous reputation.

Have not your cures and science won renown?”

“My reputation!” showing some amaze.

Answered the Doctor Benserade;

“I’ve only practised half a dozen days,

And but one single patient yet have had.”