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A sick man that gets talking about himself, a woman that gets talking about her baby, and an author that begins reading out of his own book, never know when to stop.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) American poet, essayist, scholar
The Poet at the Breakfast-Table, ch. 11 (1872)
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Added on 15-Dec-21 | Last updated 15-Dec-21
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Men that look no further than their outsides, think health an appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being sick; but I that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that fabric hangs, do wonder that we are not always so; and considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my God that we can die but once.

[Men that looke no further than their outsides thinke health an appertinance unto life, and quarrell with their constitutions for being sick; but I that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what tender filaments that Fabrick hangs, doe wonder that we are not alwayes so; and considering the thousand dores that lead to death doe thanke my God that we can die but once.]

Thomas Browne (1605-1682) English physician and author
Religio Medici, Part 1, sec. 44 (1643)
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Added on 6-Oct-21 | Last updated 6-Oct-21
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Unhappiness makes people vulnerable, incessant suffering unjust. Just as in the relations between a creditor and a debtor there is always an element of the disagreeable that can never be overcome, for the very reason that the one is irrevocably committed to the role of giver and the other to that of receiver, so in a sick person a latent feeling of resentment at every obvious sign of consideration is always ready to burst forth.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
 
Added on 23-Sep-21 | Last updated 23-Sep-21
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But there are more disorders of the mind than of the body, and they are of a more dangerous nature.

[At et morbi perniciosiores pluresque sunt animi quam corporis; hi enim ipsi odiosi sunt.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 3, ch. 3 (3.3) / sec. 5 (45 BC) [tr. Yonge (1853)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "Whereas, in truth, there are more and more dangerous Diseases of the Soul, than of the Body" [tr. Wase (1643)]
  • But there are more disorders of the mind than of the body, for the generality, and of a more severe nature." [tr. Main (1824)]
  • "The diseases of the mind are more pernicious, as well as more numerous, than those of the body." [tr. Otis (1839)]
  • "But there are more harmful disorders of the soul than of the body, and more of them." [tr. Peabody (1886)]
  • "No, the sicknesses of the mind are both more destructive and more numerous than those of the body." [tr. Graver (2002)]
 
Added on 20-Sep-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.

Nye Bevan
Aneurin "Nye" Bevan (1897-1960) Welsh politician
In Place of Fear (1952)


Bevan was the key politician responsible for the 1946 founding of the UK's National Health Service.
 
Added on 14-Sep-21 | Last updated 14-Sep-21
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Health is relative. There is no such thing as an absolute state of health or sickness. Everyone’s physical, mental, and emotional condition is a combination of both.

Theodore Isaac Rubin (1923-2019) American psychiatrist and author
The Angry Book, “Let Freedom Ring” (1970)
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Added on 17-May-21 | Last updated 17-May-21
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There is said to be hope for a sick man, as long as there is life.

[Aegroto dum anima est, spes esse dicitur.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Epistulae ad Atticum [Letters to Atticus], Book 9, Letter 10 (9.10), sec. 3, l. 19 (18 Mar 49 BC) [tr. Shackleton Bailey (1968)]
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Alt. trans.: "A sick man is said to have hope, so long as he has breath." [tr. Winstedt (1913)]

Often paraphrased as: "While there is life there is hope" [Dum anima est, spes est.] See also Theocritus, "While there's life there’s hope, and only the dead have none" (Idyll #4, l. 42 [tr. Gow]).
 
Added on 31-Aug-20 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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To array a man’s will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Norwood; or, Village Life in New England, Vol. 1, ch. 6 (1867)
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Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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Life is not living, but living in health.

[Vita non est vivere, sed valere vita est.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 6, epigram 70, l. 15 (6.70) [tr. Ker (1919)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "It is not life to live, but to be well." [tr. Burton (1621)]

  • "Not all who live long, but happily, are old." [tr. Anon. (1695)]

  • "For life is not to live, but to be well." [tr. Johnson, in The Rambler, #48, cited to Elphinston (1 Sep 1750)]

  • "For sense and reason tell, / That life is only life, when we are well." [tr. Hay (1755)]

  • "To brethe can just not dying give: / But, to be well, must be to live." [tr. Elphinston (1782), 2.115]

  • "For life is not simply living, but living in health." [tr. Amos (1858)]

  • "Life consists not in living, but in enjoying health." [tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

  • "The blunderer who deems them so, / Misreckons life and much mistakes it, / He thinks 'tis drawing breath -- we know / 'Tis health alone that mars or makes it." [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

  • "To live is not just life, but health." [tr. Shepherd (1987)]

  • "Life's not just being alive, but being well."

 
Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 12-Nov-21
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“Come on, now. Home we go and a nice cuppa,” said Mr. Butler, who was convinced that tea was the cure for most female ills, from miscarriage to bankruptcy.

Kerry Greenwood (b. 1954) Australian author and lawyer
The Green Mill Murder (1993)
 
Added on 2-Nov-17 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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You remember what people say when they are sick? What do they say? That after all, nothing is pleasanter than health. But then they never knew this to be the greatest of pleasures until they were ill.

Plato (c.428-347 BC) Greek philosopher
The Republic, Book 9
 
Added on 22-Jan-16 | Last updated 22-Jan-16
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People who live long, who will drink of the cup of life to the very bottom, must expect to meet with some of the usual dregs.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to M. Le Veillard (15 Apr 1787)
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Added on 24-Dec-14 | Last updated 8-Jul-21
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Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #48 (1 Sep 1750)
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Added on 6-Jun-14 | Last updated 26-Jun-22
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Health is not valued, till Sickness comes.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #2478 (1732)
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Added on 4-Oct-10 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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Illness is a convent which has its rule, its austerity, its silences, and its inspirations.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) Algerian-French novelist, essayist, playwright
Notebooks: 1942-1951, Notebook 4, Jan 1942 – Sep 1945 [tr. O’Brien/Thody (1963)
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Added on 16-Oct-09 | Last updated 16-May-22
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