Horace Saltoun. Part II.—De Profundis [2/3]
Short Fiction, Serial
Medical Practitioners, Status, Heredity, Temperance, Ancient Authorities, Mental Illness, Surgery
While searching for the intoxicated Saltoun among the slums of Seven Dials, the narrator asserts, 'hardly any door is closed to the medical student, and the words, "It's only the doctor", give us the entrée into places where policemen are rarely seen' (306). Having been rejected by his fiancée, Saltoun turns to drink and even performs a 'dangerous' operation whilst 'completely intoxicated' (310). He is diagnosed as suffering from the 'periodic [...] depression of the mind' first delineated by Aretæus of Cappadocia (312), which he believes was 'bequeathed [...] by direct descent' (315). Despite these bouts of 'the insanity which is known as Dipsomania' (316), Saltoun retains his 'reputation of being the most successful private tutor ("coach" or "grinder" is the term) that ever defied the College of Surgeons' (317).
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