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DR. LEMUEL GULLIVER RETURNS ERWIN DI CYAN, Ph.D.* It began one day as I was sitting in my little Garden at Redriffto which I retired from the sea and from the practice ofphysick. Eventually, there was ineffable felicity in my little hermitage. But man, whose present and future are in solitude, looks back in fond reminiscence. For there he can relive the flavor of an experience—sampling the same again as if for the first time. He can see himselfthe thricetold hero ofa single act ofheroism. My little Garden at Redriff was a friend to my soul. It triggered my fantasies—in retrospect, the Yahoos became meaner, the Lilliputs smaller, the Brobdingnagers larger, and, above all, the Houyhnhnms more wise and noble. But the recollection ofmy first encounter with the Swallow, as its ship's surgeon, was ever present. It became a tantalizing theme which I could recall at will, enrich with fantasy, and emblazon with grand gestures to become a thricetold hero. These fantasies one cannot share with whomever one can share the inner and outer accoutrements of one's existence. The recollection of my first encounter with the Swallow continued to recur and to please me, then to tire me, eventually to pique me with its uncontrollable presence, and finally to plague me. It urged me firmly, then gnawed at me vigorously to visit the Asu, who lived in a most singular land called Asu, which was not in the path ofthe vessels in which destiny placed me. Asu was east ofBrobdingnag as the kingdom ofBrobdingnag was in the sea between California and Japan, which I described in my Travels. The Asu lived in a land bounded by two enormous seas. Its natives referred to it as "the gem ofthe ocean"—although they were not clear, according to my knowledge, of which ocean Asu was the gem, since the land was equally cushioned by both, at the East and at the West. They * Address: 22 East 40th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016. 45O Erwin Di Cyan · Dr. Lemuel Gulliver Returns Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Summer 1964 were reputed to be highly advanced in the healing arts, experiencing none ofthe toil under which I, as a diligent ship's surgeon, was humbled. I have heard, too, from several mouths, that the legendary Asu, as if by magick, had exterminated scurvy, which was the curse of both the sailor and the ship surgeon. Though there may have been some truth in the fact, there was only fantasy in its elucidation, for the same reported that the Asu cured scurvy with a theriac given thrice in the day for only a score ofdays. And that its apprentices in physick were under hardship to find scurvy, from which to learn how to cure it with the admirable theriac. I shall not enter into the lengthy tale on the manner in which I found the land ofAsu. For the sights I observed are ofexceedingly greater wonder . And I have tested my awareness and awakened state—I truly saw these fantastic sights—on which I take a solemn oath. My first investigation was to discern what truth there lay in the reports of travelers who exalted the divine cure of scurvy, by the little white theriac swallowed for but a score ofdays, by the sailor so visited. I found that the travelers lied by understatement! That while the reports of the cure were true, only a few days were necessary for the heralds ofcure to arise and less than a fortnight for the cure to be fulfilled. The Asu, a most resourceful people, had developed and used an unusual closed trocar with lines signifying quantities on the outer surface, which, instead ofallowing fluid to escape, enables fluid to be ejected from the closed, numberencrusted trocar and forcibly expressed into the body. That dread instrument was commonly used in divers ills—and their scurvy cure, when pumped into the body therewith, called forth the harbingers of cure in hours ! A more astounding phenomenon came to my eyes: though the Asu are in possession of a wondrous array of powerful materia medica for divers diseases not known to me, they prefer to cure...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 450-456
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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