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Excess of Timidity.

Selected writings of A. Jackson Howe.

Courage was one of the marked traits of Howe's personality. He believed in the free and unequivocal expression of opinions. He recognized that intellectuality and originality of thought were as likely to be possessed by the quiet and unassuming practitioner as by the so-called leaders of men. Timidity prevents such people from giving written expression to much valuable experience, and Professor Howe holds out the welcoming hand to such, that their ability and valued suggestions may enter the printed page of record.—Ed. Gleaner.

EXCESS OF TIMIDITY.—Every few days we meet with physicians who in conversation disclose the fact that they are intellectually above the average of their professional brethren—they possess originality of thought, and they generalize upon observations with the ability of a logician—they have noticed some new and unrecorded phase of disease, or have detected a peculiar action in a well known remedy, yet through excess of modesty they can not be induced to write a line for a medical journal. The excuse rendered is that they are not used to putting their thoughts on paper, or they are afraid some bushwhacking "critic" will select their productions as targets for the display of villainous comments. Now, my advice to the excessively modest is that they daily jot down their observations and ratiocinations, and when a leisure hour comes an abstract of something readable can be licked into form. Besides, the editor of a journal can correct glaring imperfections, trimming the verbose and expanding what is evidently cramped. It is to be regretted that good things in medicine are lost to the world because the devisers and inventors of excellencies have not the courage to put their discoveries in print.

Proprietors of feebly supported journals are in the habit of calling for "short, pithy articles," and in the pleading they affect to despise lengthy contributions, when the fact is well known that only bob-tailed contributions can possibly be obtained. The enterprising proprietors evidently aim to elaborate virtue from necessity—to reflect on long articles because they can not command them, and praise only such as they can obtain—the sour grape argument.—HOWE, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1888.


The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.



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