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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index D > Erasmus Darwin Quotes > Disease

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Erasmus Darwin
(12 Dec 1731 - 18 Apr 1802)

English physician, poet, philosopher, botanist and naturalist.


Erasmus Darwin Quotes on Disease (7 quotes)

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Each pregnant Oak ten thousand acorns forms
Profusely scatter’d by autumnal storms;
Ten thousand seeds each pregnant poppy sheds
Profusely scatter’d from its waving heads;
The countless Aphides, prolific tribe,
With greedy trunks the honey’d sap imbibe;
Swarm on each leaf with eggs or embryons big,
And pendent nations tenant every twig ...
—All these, increasing by successive birth,
Would each o’erpeople ocean, air, and earth.
So human progenies, if unrestrain’d,
By climate friended, and by food sustain’d,
O’er seas and soils, prolific hordes! would spread
Erelong, and deluge their terraqueous bed;
But war, and pestilence, disease, and dearth,
Sweep the superfluous myriads from the earth...
The births and deaths contend with equal strife,
And every pore of Nature teems with Life;
Which buds or breathes from Indus to the Poles,
And Earth’s vast surface kindles, as it rolls!
— Erasmus Darwin
The Temple of Nature (1803), canto 4, lines 347-54, 367-74, 379-82, pages 156-60.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (349)  |  All (4107)  |  Birth (147)  |  Breathe (45)  |  Climate (97)  |  Countless (37)  |  Death (391)  |  Deluge (14)  |  Disease (332)  |  Earth (998)  |  Egg (69)  |  Food (199)  |  Form (960)  |  Friend (168)  |  Honey (15)  |  Human (1470)  |  Kindle (6)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Life (1799)  |  Myriad (31)  |  Nation (194)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Oak (14)  |  Ocean (203)  |  Pestilence (14)  |  Poem (96)  |  Pole (47)  |  Roll (40)  |  Sea (309)  |  Seed (93)  |  Soil (86)  |  Spread (83)  |  Storm (51)  |  Storms (18)  |  Successive (73)  |  Superfluous (21)  |  Surface (209)  |  Sustain (46)  |  Sweep (19)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Tribe (22)  |  Trunk (21)  |  Twig (14)  |  Vast (178)  |  War (226)

I am sorry the infernal Divinities, who visit mankind with diseases, and are therefore at perpetual war with Doctors, should have prevented my seeing all you great Men at Soho to-day-Lord! what inventions, what wit, what rhetoric, metaphysical, mechanical and pyrotecnical, will be on the wing, bandy'd like a shuttlecock from one to another of your troop of philosophers! while poor I, I by myself I, imprizon'd in a post chaise, am joggled, and jostled, and bump'd, and bruised along the King's high road, to make war upon a pox or a fever!
— Erasmus Darwin
Letter to Matthew Boulton, 5 April 1778. Quoted in Desmond King-Hele (ed.), The Letters of Erasmus Darwin (1981), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Disease (332)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Fever (29)  |  Great (1575)  |  High (363)  |  Invention (377)  |  Lord (93)  |  Mankind (340)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Metaphysical (38)  |  Myself (212)  |  Perpetual (57)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Poor (136)  |  Prevent (96)  |  Rhetoric (12)  |  Seeing (142)  |  Sorry (30)  |  War (226)  |  Will (2354)  |  Wing (76)  |  Wit (59)

I much condole with you on your late loss... pains and diseases of the mind are only cured by Forgetfulness;-—Reason but skins the wound, which is perpetually liable to fester again.
— Erasmus Darwin
Letter to Richard Lovell Edgeworth, 24 April 1790. Quoted in Desmond King-Hele (ed.), The Letters of Erasmus Darwin (1981), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Disease (332)  |  Forgetfulness (7)  |  Late (118)  |  Loss (110)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Pain (136)  |  Perpetually (20)  |  Reason (744)  |  Skin (47)  |  Wound (26)

It is often hazardous to marry an heiress, as she is not unfrequently the last of a diseased family.
— Erasmus Darwin
The Temple of Nature (1803), notes, 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Family (95)  |  Last (426)  |  Marriage (39)

Opium is the only drug to' be rely'd on—all the boasted nostrums only take up time, and as the disease [is] often of short duration, or of small quantity, they have gain'd credit which they do not deserve.
— Erasmus Darwin
Quoted in Desmond King-Hele, Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement (1999), 161.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Deserve (65)  |  Disease (332)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drug (57)  |  Gain (145)  |  Opium (7)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Short (197)  |  Small (479)  |  Time (1877)

The hypochondriac disease consists in indigestion and consequent flatulency, with anxiety or want of pleasurable sensation.
— Erasmus Darwin
Zoonomia, Or, The Laws of Organic Life, in three parts, complete in two volumes (1818), Vol. 2, 112.
Science quotes on:  |  Anxiety (30)  |  Consequent (19)  |  Consist (223)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Disease (332)  |  Hypochondriac (9)  |  Indigestion (5)  |  Pleasure (179)  |  Sensation (57)  |  Want (497)

There are some modern practitioners, who declaim against medical theory in general, not considering that to think is to theorize; and that no one can direct a method of cure to a person labouring under disease, without thinking, that is, without theorizing; and happy therefore is the patient, whose physician possesses the best theory.
— Erasmus Darwin
Zoonomia, or, The Laws Of Organic Life (1801), Vol. 2, ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Best (459)  |  Cure (122)  |  Diagnosis (64)  |  Direct (225)  |  Disease (332)  |  General (511)  |  Happiness (116)  |  Happy (105)  |  Method (506)  |  Modern (385)  |  Patient (199)  |  Person (363)  |  Physician (273)  |  Practitioner (20)  |  Theory (972)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (415)  |  Treatment (130)


See also:
  • 12 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Darwin's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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