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Doctor and Artist

James Whistler, the Victorian artist, showed scant respect for the hierarchy of any profession. When his poodle fell ill with a throat infection, he sent immediately for the country’s leading ear, nose, and throat specialist, Sir Morell Mackenzie. The great man was not amused when he was shown his patient, but he conducted a thorough examination, wrote out a prescription, and left with his fee. The next day Whistler received a message asking him to call on Mackenzie without delay. Fearing some development in the poodle’s condition, Whistler hurried to the doctor’s house. “So good of you to come, Mr. Whistler,” said Mackenzie as his visitor was shown in. “I wanted to see you about having my front door painted.”

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