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"Memoir of Benjamin Page, M.D.", The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (Vol. 33, no. 9)
Oct 1, 1845
Location of original: Countway Rare Books, Harvard University
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Page 179


  Memoir of Benjamin Page, MD 179

duced. The poison had been communicated and the plague-spot could not be healed. The alarm became general, and the sudden death of the two young females served to awaken public sympathy and public fear. A hospital was immediately provided in the suburbs of the town, and all the cases as they occurred sent directly thither, under the sole care and superintendence of Dr. Page, who alone was chosen by the Town Council to manage the disease. Some thirty-five or forty cases were admitted, all of which, by his unwearied attention and skill, which never slumbered nor slept, passes harmlessly through the disease. Not a death occurred. Here, too, a protecting Providence seemed to attend him. His friends all wondered at the result, and his triumph over detraction and disease was not less gratifying to himself and family than to the public generally, and the afflicted inmates who had safely passed the ordeal of a dangerous and most afflictive malady.

But what proved harmless to the patient, was in the end fatal to the friend and physician. His zeal and assiduity were too much for his constitution and his years. His long and frequent exposure to the smallpox infection disordered and weakened his system, and enabled an old enemy--the gout--to triumph over his usually robust health, and terminate his life. His illness was long and painful, and his bodily frame wasted ; but his mind held out to the last pulse of life. His disease, or rather complications of diseases, was such as to forbid the hope of recovery--but all was peace within.

His last professional visit was made about a year previous to his decease, though he prescribed for patients at various times, and the prescription he wrote the week before his death, though looking then hourly for the event, was marked with all the perspicuity and plainness of his better days. In his greatest paroxysms of distress no murmur was known to escape his lips, though he often longed for his departure. On the evening preceding his death, when the symptoms betokening the coming dissolution, and called forth the tears and groans of his friends gathered at his bed-side, it was impressive to hear him say, " Why grieve immoderately ! all will be well !" And we trust all is well.

After prayers were offered up for his quiet passage through the dark valley, with great self-possession he prayed audibly himself. As he lived, so he died---with

-----------"All that should accompany old age,
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends."

"Why weep we then for him, who, having won
The bound of man"s appointed years, at last.
Life"s blessings all enjoyed, life"s labors done,
Serenely to his final rest has passed;
While the soft memory of his virtues yet
Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set."

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 Page 173   Page 174   Page 175   Page 176   Page 177 
 Page 178   Page 179 

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