“And though you study medicine for a score of lifetimes, there will come to you people whose illnesses are mysteries, for the anguish of which you speak is part and parcel of the profession of healing and must be lived with.”
“I think of the separation between life and Paradise as a river,” Mirdin said. “If there are many bridges that cross the river, should it be of great concern to God which bridge the traveler chooses?”
“Medicine is like the slow raising of masonry,” Rob said. “We are fortunate, in a lifetime, to be able to lay a single brick. If we can explain the disease, someone yet unborn may devise a cure.”
“—Lo que me atormenta es mi propia ignorancia y mi incapacidad. En Ispahán aprenderé a ayudar a aquellos por los que ahora no puedo hacer nada.”
“It is just as easy to bring death to man, and I’ve done so. It’s harder to keep hold of life, harder still to maintain a grasp on health. Those are the tasks to which we must keep our minds.”
“Why is it, Master,” he asked bitterly, “that despite all a physician is able to do, he is as a leaf before the wind, and the real power lies only with Allah?”
“Esta Pérsia parecia tentar fazer de cada homem um cornudo, à vez”
“As substâncias eram imprevisíveis e difíceis de controlar, mas por vezes os cirurgiões conseguiam operar sem os tremores convulsivos e os gemidos e gritos de dor. As receitas pareciam-lhe mais magia do que medicina”
“Por vezes Mary falava e Fara escutava uma efusão de gaélico que não compreendia; por vezes era Fara que falava a Língua para uma Mary completamente em branco.
Curiosamente, as palavras não eram importantes. O que importava era a representação das emoções nas expressões do rosto, a expressividade das mãos, o que a voz transmitia, segredos que os olhos contavam”
“If you desire it, you must punish yourself for the sake of learning, seek every advantage in keeping up with the other clerks and in excelling them. You must study with the fervor of the blessed or the cursed.”
“To hold a human soul in the palm of your hand like a pebble. To feel somebody slip away, yet by your actions to bring her back! Not even a king had such power.”
“The study of medicine was, in its own way, something to love in place of a missing family.”
“Mankind is close to savagery and must live by rules. If not, we would sink into our own animal nature and perish.”
“The four elements: earth, water, fire and air; the qualities recognized by touch: cold, heat, dryness, and moisture; the temperaments: sanguineous, phlegmatic, choleric, and saturnine; the faculties: natural, animal, and vital.”
“You must never forget that dealing with a monarch is not like dealing with an ordinary man,” Ibn Sina said. “A king is not like you or me. He drops a hand carelessly and someone like us is put to death. Or he wiggles a finger and someone is allowed to live. That is absolute power, and no man born of woman is able to resist it. It drives even the best of monarchs slightly mad.”
“Pero no debes temer que el aprendizaje se convierta en una parte de ti mismo, de modo que te resulte tan natural como respirar. Tienes que expandir tu mente lo suficiente como para que asimile todo”
“Despite his failings she couldn’t shun Nathanael, she was too fond of fleshly delight. He kept her belly large, pumping her full of child as soon as she was emptied, and whenever she was nearing term he avoided their home. Their life conformed almost exactly to the dire predictions made by her father when, with Rob J. already in her, she had married the young carpenter who had come to Watford to help build their neighbor’s barn. Her father had blamed her schooling, saying that education filled a woman with lascivious folly”
“drays. Never did he see one but that he thought of his”
“Pese a todo lo que puede hacer un médico, maestro ¿por qué es una hoja al viento y el auténtico poder sólo está en manos de Alá?”
“—Podría haber ido a cualquier otro sitio sin necesidad de imposturas. Al Califato occidental... Toledo, Córdoba... Pero había oído hablar de un hombre, Avicena, cuyo nombre árabe me acometió como un hechizo y me sacudió como un estrecimiento. Abu Ali at-Husain ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina. Para tocar el borde de tus vestiduras. El médico más grande del mundo—susurró Rob.”
“Mirdin, el más delicado de los hombres delicados, le había enseñado como se razonaba con los camellos. Le propinó tal puñetazo en las costillas que la camella soltó el aire entre sus amarillentos dientes cuadrados.”
“To rise at six, dine at ten, Sup at five, to bed at ten, Makes man live ten times ten.”
“The late fall weather was perfect for the picking of herbs, and they scoured the woods and moors. Barber especially wanted purslane; steeped in the Specific, it produced an agent that would cause fevers to break and dissipate. To his disappointment, they found none. Some things were more easily gathered, such as red rose petals for poultices, and thyme and acorns to be powdered and mixed with fat and spread on neck pustules. Others required hard work, like the digging of yew root that would help a pregnant woman to hold back her fetus. They collected lemon grass and dill for urinary problems, marshy sweet flag to fight deterioration of memory because of moist and cold humors, juniper berries to be boiled for opening blocked nasal passages, lupine for hot packs to draw abscesses, and myrtle and mallow to soothe itchy rashes.”
“Where else was I to go? My family had no desire to apprentice me to a physician, for though the admission grieves me, over most of Europe my profession is composed of a poor lot of leeches and knaves. There is a large hospital in Paris, the Hôtel Dieu, that is merely a pesthouse for the poor into which screaming men are dragged to die. There is a medical school in Salerno, a sorry place. Through communication with other Jewish merchants my father was aware that in the countries of the East the Arabs have made a fine art of the science of medicine. In Persia the Muslims have a hospital at Ispahan that is truly a healing center. It is in this hospital and in a small academy there that Avicenna makes his doctors.”
“IOX. Io means ‘shout.’ X is ten. It’s a Roman cheer for victory: ‘Shout ten times!”
“Galen tells us that the heart and all the arteries pulsate with the same rhythm, so that from one you can judge of all, and that a slow and regular pulse signifies good health. But since Achmed, I have found that the pulse also may be used to determine the state of a patient’s agitation or peace of mind. I have done so many times, and the pulse has proven to be The Messenger Who Never Lies.”
“Men were sometimes comforters and often brutes but they were always puzzles,”
“They say some are born healers. Selected.” The Jew smiled at him. “Of course, others are simply lucky,”
“Archie became absolutely still, afraid that the rapid beating of his heart might betray his sudden knowledge, the proof of what he'd always suspected, not only of Brother Leon but most grownups, most adults: they were vulnerable, running scared, open to invasion.”
“Don't go looking for boys in the dark
They will say pretty things then
leave you with scars.
Do go looking for boys in the park
For that is where the true gentlemen are.”
-Georgina Kincaid in each book”
“Well, for future reference, this is my serious face.”
“Let them see my weakness, and let them see me overcome it.”
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