....as far as being on the verge of being a sick man I don't take any stock
in that. I have been on the verge of being an angel all of my life, but it's
never happened yet.
- Mark Twain, a Biography
One should not bring sympathy to a sick man. It is always kindly meant, and of course it has to be taken--but it isn't much of an improvement on castor oil. One who has a sick man's true interest at heart will forbear spoken sympathy, and bring him surreptitious soup and fried oysters and other trifles that the doctor has tabooed.
- Letter to Mary Mason Fairbanks
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