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Round The Red Lamp - Arthur Conan Doyle

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ROUND THE RED LAMP

BEING FACTS AND FANCIES OF MEDICAL LIFE

By SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

THE PREFACE.

[Being an extract from a long and animated
correspondence with a friend in America.]

I quite recognise the force of your objection
that an invalid or a woman in weak health would get
no good from stories which attempt to treat some
features of medical life with a certain amount of
realism.  If you deal with this life at all, however,
and if you are anxious to make your doctors something
more than marionettes, it is quite essential that you
should paint the darker side, since it is that which
is principally presented to the surgeon or physician. 
He sees many beautiful things, it is true, fortitude
and heroism, love and self-sacrifice; but they are
all called forth (as our nobler qualities are always
called forth) by bitter sorrow and trial.  One cannot
write of medical life and be merry over it.

Then why write of it, you may ask?  If a subject
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