- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
378

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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patients would flock to Keats’ house to ask
advice from me when a man like old Erhardt
was living in the same Piazza will always remain
a mystery to me. He was the only one of my
colleagues I used to consult when in doubt, he
always turned out to be right and I not seldom
wrong, but he never gave me away, he stood
up for me whenever he had a chance and he
had it often enough. Maybe he was somewhat
unfamiliar with the latest conjuring tricks of
our profession and kept aloof from many of
our newest miraculous patent drugs from all
lands and creeds. But he handled his well
tested old pharmacopœia with masterly skill,
his penetrating eyes detected the mischief
wherever it lay lurking, there were no secrets left in
lung or heart once he had put his stethoscope
to his old ear. No modern discovery of any
importance escaped his notice. He was keenly
interested in bacteriology and sero-therapeutics,
then almost a new science, he knew his Pasteur
at least as well as I did. He was the first doctor
in Italy to experiment with Behring’s
anti-diphtheric serum, then not out of the experimental
stage, and not available for the public, now saving
the lives of hundreds of thousands of children
every year.

I am not likely ever to forget this experiment
of his. Late one evening I was summoned to
the Grand Hôtel by an urgent message from an
American gentleman with a letter of introduction
from Professor Weir Mitchell. I was met in
the hall by a furious-looking little man who
told me in great agitation he had just arrived

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