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Quotes on Physicians

Tarnsman of Gor

"I was also instructed in the Double Knowledge - that is, I was instructed in what the people, on the whole, believed, and then I was instructed in what the intellectuals were expected to know. Sometimes there was a surprising discrepancy between the two. For example, the population as a whole, the castes below the High Castes, were encouraged to believe that their world was a broad flat disc. Perhaps this was to discourage them from exploration or to develop in them a habit of relying on common-sense prejudices - something of a social control device. 
On the other hand, the High Castes, specifically the Warriors, Builders, Scribes, Initiates and Physicians, were told the truth in such matters, perhaps because it was thought they would eventually determine it for themselves, from observations such as the shadow of their planet on one or another of Gor's three small moons during eclipses, the phenomenon of sighting the tops of distant objects first, and the fact that certain stars could not be seen from certain geographical positions; if the planet had been flat, precisely the same set of stars would have been observable from every position on its surface." 
Tarnsman of Gor, pages 39 - 40 
"The Chamber of the Council is the room in which the elected representatives of the High Castes of Ko-ro-ba hold their meetings. Each city has such a chamber. It was in the widest of cylinders, and the ceiling was at least six times the height of the normal living level. The ceiling was lit as if by stars, and the walls were of five colours, applied laterally, beginning from the bottom - white, blue, yellow, green, and red, caste colours. Benches of stone, on which the members of the Council sat, rose in five monumental tiers about the walls, one tier for each of the High Castes. These tiers shared the colour of that portion of the wall behind them, the caste colours. 
The tier nearest the floor, which denoted some preferential status, the white tier, was occupied by Initiates, Interpreters of the Will of Priest-Kings. In order, the ascending tiers, blue, yellow, green, and red, were occupied by representatives of the Scribes, Builders, Physicians, and Warriors." 
Tarnsman of Gor, pages 62 - 63
"When I emerged from the mountains, I found I had been gone seven months. --- When I arranged for the transfer of my bank business, I was surprised, but not too surprised, to discover that my savings account, in my absence, had been mysteriously augmented, and quite handsomely. --- Strangely, though it has now been six years since I left the Counter-Earth, I can discover no signs of aging or physical alteration in my appearance. I have puzzled over this, trying to connect it with the mysterious letter, dated in the seventeenth century, ostensibly by my father, which I received in the blue envelope. Perhaps the serums of the Caste of Physicians, so skilled on Gor, have something to do with this, but I cannot tell." 
Tarnsman of Gor, pages 243 - 244 

Outlaw of Gor

"Four times a year, correlated with the solstices and equinoxes, there are fairs held in the plains below the mountains, presided over by committees of Initiates, fairs in which men of many cities mingle without bloodshed, times of truce, times of contests and games, of bargaining and marketing. 
Torm, my friend of the Caste of Scribes, had been to such fairs to trade scrolls with scholars from other cities, men he would never have seen were it not for the fairs, me of hostile cities who yet loved ideas more than they hated their enemies, men like Torm who so loved learning that they would risk the perilous journey to the Sardar Mountains for the chance to dispute a text or haggle over a coveted scroll. Similarly men of such castes as the Physicians and Builders make use of the fairs to disseminate and exchange information pertaining to their respective crafts. The fairs do much to unite intellectually the otherwise so isolated cities of Gor. And I speculate that the fairs likewise do their bit toward stabilizing the dialects of Gor, which might otherwise in a few generations have diverged to the point of being mutually unintelligible - for the Goreans do have this in common, their mother tongue in all its hundred permutations, which they simply refer to as the Language, and all who fail to speak it, regardless of their pedigree or background, of their standards or level of civilization, are regarded as almost beyond the pale of humanity." 
Outlaw of Gor, pages 47 - 48 
" 'He pulled away my silver mask and kissed me,' she said, 'so that I could not even cry for help.' 
I smiled at her. 
'I had never been in the arms of a man before,' she said, 'for the men of Tharna may not touch women.' 
I must have looked puzzled. 
'The Caste of Physicians,' she said, 'under the direction of the High Council of Tharna, arranges these matters.' 
'I see,' I said." 
Outlaw of Gor, page 106 
" 'Is this the will of the Priest-Kings?' asked a voice. 
'If it is the will of the Priest-Kings,' I said, 'let it be done.' And then I raised my hands again and standing on the windlass over the shaft, blown by the wind, with the moons of Gor above me, I cried. 'And if it be not the will of the Priest-Kings - still let it be done!' 
'Let it be done,' said the heavy voice of Kron. 
'Let it be done,' said the men, first one and then another, until there was a sober chorus of assent, quiet but powerful, and I knew that never before in this harsh world had men spoken thus. And it seemed strange to me that this rebellion, this willingness to pursue the right as they saw it, independently of the will of the Priest-Kings, had come not first from the proud Warriors of Gor, nor the Scribes, nor the Builders nor the Physicians, nor any of the high castes of the many cities of Gor, but had come from the most degraded and despised of men, wretched slaves from the mines of Tharna." 
Outlaw of Gor, page 170 

Priest Kings of Gor

"I wished that I had had longer to visit the fair for on another occasion at another time I should have sought eagerly to examine its wares, drink at its taverns, talk with its merchants and attend its contests, for these fairs are free ground for the many competitive, hostile Gorean cities, and provide almost the sole opportunity for the citizens of various cities to meet peaceably with one another. It is little wonder that the cities of Gor support and welcome the fairs. Sometimes they provide a common ground on which territorial and commercial dispute may be amicably resolved without loss of honour, plenipotentiaries of warring cities having apparently met by accident among the silken pavillions. 
Further, members of castes such as the Physicians and Builders use the fairs for the dissemination of information and techniques among Caste Brothers, as is prescribed in their codes in spite of the fact that their respective cities may be hostile. And as might be expected members of the Caste of Scribes gather here to enter into dispute and examine and trade manuscripts." 
Priest-Kings of Gor, page 9 
"My small friend, Torm of Ko-ro-ba, of the Caste of Scribes, had been to the fairs four times in his life. He informed me that in this time he had refuted seven hundred and eight scribes from fifty-seven cities, but I will not vouch for the accuracy of this report, as I sometimes suspect that Torm, like most members of his caste, and mine, tends to be a bit too sanguine in recounting his numerous victories. Moreover I have never been too clear as to the grounds on which the disputes of scribes are to be adjudicated, and it is not too infrequently that both disputants leave the field each fully convinced that he has the best of the contest. In differences among member of my own caste, that of the Warriors, it is easier to tell who has carried the day, for the defeated one often lies wounded or slain at the victor's feet. In the contests of scribes, on the other hand, the blood that is spilled is invisible and the valiant foemen retire in good order, reviling their enemies and recouping their forces for the next day's campaign. I do not hold this against the contests of scribes; rather I commend it to the members of my own caste." 
Priest-Kings of Gor, page 9 - 10
"My Chamber Slave's accent had been pure High Caste Gorean though I could not place the city. Probably her caste had been that of the Builders or Physicians, for had her people been Scribes I would have expected a greater subtlety of inflections, the use of less common grammatical cases; and had her people been of the Warriors I would have expected a blunter speech, rather belligerently simple, expressed in great reliance on the indicative mood and, habitually, a rather arrogant refusal to venture beyond the most straightforward of sentence structures. On the other hand these generalisations are imperfect, for Gorean speech is no less complex than that of any of the great natural language communities of the Earth nor are its speakers any the less diverse. It is, incidentally, a beautiful language; it can be as subtle as Greek; as direct as Latin; as expressive as Russian; as rich as English; as forceful as German. To the Goreans it is always, simply, The Language, as though there were no others, and those who do not speak it are regarded immediately as barbarians. This sweet, fierce, liquid speech is the common bond that tends to hold together the Gorean world. It is the common property of the Administrator of Ar, a herdsman beside the Vosk, a peasant from Tor, a scribe from Thentis, a metalworker from Tharna, a physician from Cos, a pirate from Port Kar, a warrior from Ko-ro-ba." 
Priest-Kings of Gor, page 52 
" 'The ointment will soon be absorbed,' she said. 'In a few minutes there will be no trace of it, nor of the cuts.' I whistled. 'The physicians of Treve,' I said, 'have marvellous medicines.' 'It is an ointment of Priest-Kings,' she said." 
Priest-Kings of Gor, page 64 

Nomads of Gor

" 'The ointment will soon be absorbed,' she said. 'In a few minutes there will be no trace of it, nor of the cuts.' I whistled. 'The physicians of Treve,' I said, 'have marvellous medicines.' 'It is an ointment of Priest-Kings,' she said." 
Priest-Kings of Gor, page 64 
"It might be mentioned, for those unaware of the fact, that the Caste of Merchants is not considered one of the traditional five High Castes of Gor the Initiates, Scribes, Physicians, Builders and Warriors. Most commonly, and doubtless unfortunately, it is only members of the five high castes who occupy positions on the High Councils of the cities. Nonetheless, as might be expected, the gold of merchants, in most cities, exercises its not imponderable influence, not always in so vulgar a form as bribery and gratuities, but more often in the delicate matters of extending or refusing to extend credit in connection with the projects, desires or needs of the High Councils." 
Nomads of Gor, page 84 
"The selection of the girls, incidentally, is determined by judges in their city, or of their own people, in Turia by members of the Caste of Physicians who have served in the great slave houses of Ar; among the wagons by the masters of the public slave wagons, who buy, sell and rent girls, providing warriors and slavers with a sort of clearing house and market for their feminine merchandise. The public slave wagons, incidentally, also provide Paga. They are a kind of combination Paga tavern and slave market. I know of nothing else precisely like them on Gor." 
Nomads of Gor, page 118 

Assassins of Gor

The Player was a rather old man, extremely unusual on Gor, where the stabilization serums were developed centuries ago by the Caste of Physicians in Ko-ro-ba and Ar, and transmitted to the Physicians of other cities at several of the Sardar Fairs. Age, on Gor, interestingly, was regarded, and still is, by the Castes of Physicians as a disease, not an inevitable natural phenomenon. The fact that it seemed to be a universal disease did not dissuade the caste from considering how it might be combated. Accordingly the research of centuries was turned to this end. Many other diseases, which presumably flourished centuries ago on Gor, tended to be neglected, as less dangerous and less universal than that of aging. A result tended to be that those susceptible to many diseases died and those less susceptible lived on, propagating their kind. One supposes something similar may have happened with the plagues of the Middle Ages on Earth. At any rate, disease is now almost unknown among the Gorean cities, with the exception of the dreaded Dar-Kosis disease, or the Holy Disease, research on which is generally frowned upon by the Caste of Initiates, who insist the disease is a visitation of the displeasure of Priest-Kings on its recipients. The fact that the disease tends to strike those who have maintained the observances recommended by the Caste of Initiates, and who regularly attend their numerous ceremonies, as well as those who do not, is seldom explained, though, when pressed, the Initiates speak of possible secret failures to maintain the observances or the inscrutable will of Priest-Kings. I also think the Gorean success in combating aging may be partly due to the severe limitations, in many matters, on the technology of the human beings on the planet. Priest-Kings have no wish that men become powerful enough on Gor to challenge them for the supremacy of the planet. They believe, perhaps correctly, that man is a shrewish animal which, if it had the power, would be likely to fear Priest-Kings and attempt to exterminate them. Be that as it may, the Priest-Kings have limited man severely on this planet in many respects, notably in weaponry, communication and transportation. On the other hand, the brilliance which men might have turned into destructive channels was then diverted, almost of necessity, to other fields, most notably medicine, though considerable achievements have been accomplished in the production of translation devices, illumination and architecture. The Stabilization Serums, which are regarded as the right of all human beings, be they civilized or barbarian, friend or enemy, are administered in a series of injections, and the effect is, incredibly, an eventual, gradual transformation of certain genetic structures, resulting in indefinite cell replacement without pattern deterioration. These genetic alterations, moreover, are commonly capable of being transmitted. For example, though I received the series of injections when first I came to Gor many years ago I had been told by Physicians that they might, in my case, have been unnecessary, for I was the child of parents who, though of Earth, had been of Gor, and had received the serums. But different human beings respond differently to the Stabilization Serums, and the Serums are more effective with some than with others. With some the effect lasts indefinitely, with others it wears off after but a few hundred years, with some the effect does not occur at all, with others, tragically, the effect is not to stabilize the pattern but to hasten its degeneration. The odds, however, are in the favor of the recipient, and there are few Goreans who, if it seems they need the Serum's, do not avail themselves of them. The Player, as I have mentioned, was rather old, not extremely old but rather old.
-Assassin of Gor, pg. 29-31

"Cernus smiled. 'Our Physicians ascertained,' said he, 'that she is only a Red Silk Girl.' 
'I scarcely supposed,' said I, 'that you would permit a White Silk girl to go alone on the streets of Ar.' 
Cernus chuckled. 
'Indeed not,' he said. 'The risk is too much, sometimes as much as ten gold pieces.' " 
Assassins of Gor, page 45
On the other side of the belt, there hung a slave goad, rather like the tarn goad, except that it is designed to be used as an instrument for the control of human beings rather than tarns. It was, like the tarn goad, developed jointly by the Caste of Physicians and that of the Builders, the Physicians contributing knowledge of the pain fibers of human beings, the networks of nerve endings, and the Builders contributing certain principles and techniques developed in the construction and manufacture of energy bulbs.
-Assassin of Gor, pg. 84
" 'The games of Kajuralia can be dangerous,' remarked Flaminius, swiftly wrapping a white cloth about the wound, securing it with four small metal snap clips." 
Assassins of Gor, page 264 

Captive of Gor

"The building where I would wait on these days was the house of a Physician. I was taken through a corridor to a special rough room, where slaves were treated. There my camisk would be removed. On the first day the Physician, a quiet man in the green garments of his caste, examined me, thoroughly. The instruments he used, the tests he performed, the samples he required were not unlike those of Earth. Of special interest to me was the fact that this room, primitive though it might be, was lit by what, in Gorean, is called an energy bulb, an invention of the Builders. I could see neither cords nor battery cases. Yet the room was filled with a soft, gentle white light, which the physician could regulate by rotating the base of the bulb. Further, certain pieces of his instrumentation were clearly far from primitive. For example, there was a small machine with gauges and dials. In this he would place slides, containing drops of blood and urine, flecks of tissue, a strand of hair. With a stylus he would note readings on the machine, and, on the small screen at the top of the machine, I saw, vastly enlarged, what reminded me of an image witnessed under a microscope. He would briefly study this image, and then make further jottings with his stylus. The guard had strictly forbidden me to speak to the physician, other than to answer his questions, which I was to do promptly and accurately, regardless of their nature. Though the physician was not unkind I felt that he treated me as, and regarded me as, an animal. When I was not being examined, he would dismiss me to the side of the room, where I would kneel, alone, on the boards, until summoned again. They discussed me as though I were not there. 
When he was finished he mixed several powders in three or four goblets, adding water to them and stirring them. These I was ordered to drink. The last was peculiarly foul." 
Captive of Gor, pages 93 - 94 

Marauders of Gor

" 'Thurnock' I said, 'give this Physician a double tarn of gold.' " 
Marauders of Gor, page 19 

Slave Girl of Gor

The matter, I supposed, was a function of genetic subtleties, and the nature of differing gametes. The serums of stabilization effected, it seemed, the genetic codes, perhaps altering or neutralizing certain messages of deterioration, providing, I supposed, processes in which an exchange of materials could take place while tissue and cell patterns remained relatively constant. Aging was a physical process and, as such, was susceptible to alteration by physical means. All physical processes are theoretically reversible. Entropy itself is presumably a moment in a cosmic rhythm. The physicians of Gor, it seemed, had addressed themselves to the conquest of what had hitherto been a universal disease, called on Gor the drying and withering disease, called on Earth, aging. Generations of intensive research and experimentation had taken place. At last a few physicians, drawing upon the accumulated data of hundreds of investigators, had achieved the breakthrough, devising the first primitive stabilization serums, later to be developed and exquisitely refined. 
-Slave Girl of Gor, pg. 283 
The tall man crouched down beside us, irritably. One of the men with him wore the green of the physicians. The tall man looked at us. As naked female slaves we averted our eyes from his. I smelled the straw. 
"Wrist-ring key," said the tall man. 
The merchant handed him the key that would unlock the wrist rings. 
"Leave the lamp and withdraw," said the tall man. The short merchant handed him the lamp and, frightened, left the room. 
The men crouched down and crowded about the auburn-haired girl. I heard them unlock one of her wrist rings. 
"We are going to test you for pox," he said. The girl groaned. It was my hope that none on board the Clouds of Telnus had carried the pox. It is transmitted by the bites of lice. The pox had appeared in Bazi some four years ago. The port had been closed for two years by the merchants. It had burned itself out moving south and eastward in some eighteen months. Oddly enough some were immune to the pox, and with others it had only a temporary, debilitating effect. With others it was swift, lethal and horrifying. Those who had survived the pox would presumably live to procreate themselves, on the whole presumably transmitting their immunity or relative immunity to their offspring. Slaves who contracted the pox were often summarily slain. It was thought that the slaughter of slaves had had its role to play in the containment of the pox in the vicinity of Bazi. 
"It is not she," said the physician. He sounded disappointed. This startled me. 
"Am I free of pox, Master?" asked the auburn-haired girl. 
"Yes," said the physician, irritably. His irritation made no sense to me. 
The tall man then closed the auburn-haired girl's wrist again in its wrist ring. The men crouched down about me. I shrank back against the wall. My left wrist was removed from its wrist ring and the tall man pulled my arm out from my body, turning the wrist, so as to expose the inside of my arm. 
I understood then they were not concerned with the pox, which had vanished in the vicinity of Bazi over two years ago. 
The physician swabbed a transparent fluid on my arm. Suddenly, startling me, elating the men, there emerged, as though by magic, a tiny, printed sentence, in fine characters, in bright red. It was on the inside of my elbow. I knew what the sentence said, for my mistress, the Lady Elicia of Ar, had told me. It was a simple sentence. It said; "This is she." It had been painted on my arm with a tiny brush, with another transparent fluid. I had seen the wetness on the inside of my arm, on the area where the arm bends, on the inside of the elbow, and then it had dried, disappearing. I was not even sure the writing had remained. But now, under the action of the reagent, the writing had emerged, fine and clear. Then, only a moment or so later, the physician, from another flask, poured some liquid on a rep-cloth swab, and, again as though by magic, erased the writing. The invisible stain was then gone. The original reagent was then again tried, to check the erasure. There was no reaction. The chemical brand, marking me for the agents with whom the Lady Elicia, my mistress, was associated, was gone. The physician then, with the second fluid, again cleaned my arm, removing the residue of the second application of the reagent. The men looked at one another, and smiled. My left wrist was again locked in its wrist ring. 
"Am I free of the pox, Masters?" I asked. 
"Yes," said the physician. 
-Slave Girl of Gor, pg. 325-326 

Beast's of Gor

On a rounded wooden block a naked slave girl knelt, her wrists braceleted behind her. Her head was back. One of the physicians was cleaning her teeth.
-Beasts of Gor, pg. 54
"A physician entered the booth with his kit slung over the shoulder of his green robes. He began to attend to the merchant. 
When the physician had finished the cleansing, chemical sterilization and dressing of the wounds of the merchant's wounds, he left. The scribe had paid the physician from a small iron box, taken from a locked trunk, a tarsk." 
Beasts of Gor, page 104 
A filling found in a tooth is usually a sign of an Earth girl. It is not an infallible sign, however, for not all Earth girls have fillings and some dental work is done upon occasion by the caste of physicians on Gorean girls. 
-Beasts of Gor, pg. 154 

Fighting Slave of Gor

"A notable exception to the generalization that woman of a Caste normally do not engage in Caste work is the Caste of Physicians, whose women are commonly trained, as are the boys, in the practice of medicine. Even the Physicians however, normally do not admit their women to full practice until they have borne two children. The purpose of this is to retain a high level of intelligence in the caste. Professional women, it is well understood, tend not to reproduce themselves, a situation which, over time, would be likely to produce a diminution in the quality of the caste. Concern for the future of the caste is thus evinced in this limitation by the physicians on the rights of their woman to participate without delay in the caste craft. The welfare of the caste, typically, takes priority in the Gorean mind over the ambitions of specific individuals. The welfare of a larger number of individuals, as the Goreans reason, correctly or incorrectly, is more important than the welfare of a smaller number of individuals." 
Fighting Slave of Gor, page 210 
"The women of the Physicians, at the age of fifteen, in many cities, wear two bracelets on her left wrist. When she has one child one bracelet is removed; when she has a second child the second bracelet is removed. She may then, if she desires, enter into the full practice of her craft." 
Fighting Slave of Gor, page 210 

Guardsmen of Gor

A familiar bit of advice given by bold Gorean physicians to free women who consult them about their frigidity is, to their scandal, "Learn slave dance." Another bit of advice, usually given to a free woman being ushered out of his office by a physician impatient with her imaginary ailments is, "Become a slave." Frigidity, of course, is not accepted in slaves. If nothing else, it will be beaten out of their beautiful hides by whips. 
-Guardsman of Gor, pg. 260 
Blood Brothers of Gor
In the concentrated state, as in slave wine, developed by the caste of physicians, the effect is almost indefinite, usually requiring a releaser for its remission, usually administered, to a slave, in what is called the breeding wine, or the "second wine." 
-Blood Brothers of Gor, pg. 319 
Magicians of Gor
One hires a warrior for one thing, one hires a scribe for another. One does not expect a scribe to know the sword. Why, then, should one expect the warrior to know the pen? An excellent example of this sort of thing is the caste of musicians which has, as a whole, resisted many attempts to develop and standardize a musical notation. Songs and melodies tend to be handed down within the caste, from one generation to another. If something is worth playing, it is worth remembering, they say. On the other hand, I suspect that they fear too broad a dissemination of the caste knowledge. Physicians, interestingly, perhaps for a similar reason, tend to keep records in archaic Gorean, which is incomprehensible to most Goreans. Many craftsmen, incidentally, keep such things as formulas for certain kinds of glass and alloys, and manufacturing processes, generally, in cipher. Merchant law has been unsuccessful, as yet, in introducing such things as patents and copyrights on Gor. Such things do exist in municipal law on Gor but the jurisdictions involved are, of course, local. 
-Magicians of Gor, pg. 394