'To die--to sleep--perchance to dream:-- Ay; there's the rub.'Hamlet*
IT WAS already near four o'clock ere I bethought me of making any preparation for my lecture. The day had been, throughout, one of those heavy and sultry ones autumn so often brings in our climate, and I felt from this cause much oppressed and disinclined to exertion; independently of the fact, that I had been greatly over-fatigued during the preceding week,--some cases of a most trying and arduous nature having fallen to my lot--one of which, from the importance of the life to a young and dependent family, had engrossed much of my attention, and aroused in me the warmest anxiety for success. In this frame of mind I was entering my carriage, to proceed to the lecture-room, when an unsealed note was put into my hands: I opened it hastily, and read that poor H-----, for whom I was so deeply interested, had just expired. I was greatly shocked. It was scarcely an hour since I had seen him, and from the apparent improvement since my former visit, had ventured to speak most encouragingly; and had even made some jesting allusion to the speedy prospect of his once more resuming his place at 'hearth and board.' Alas! how short-lived were my hopes destined to be! how awfully was my prophecy to be contradicted!
No one but he who has himself experienced it, knows anything of the deep and heartfelt interest a medical man takes in many of the cases which professionally come before him; I speak here of an interest perfectly apart from all personal regard for the patient or his friends. Indeed, the feeling I allude to, has nothing in common with this, and will often be experienced