Fillers One hundred years ago

A vaccination compliment

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 19 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1366

The wife of Major-General Chambers, of 11, Trinity Gardens, Folkestone, recently paid the public vaccinator of Folkstone one of those delicate compliments of which only well-to-do women are capable. She apparently regards vaccination as too important an operation to be entrusted to an ordinary medical man, so, when she felt that she and her two daughters were in need of it, she selected one who may be regarded as a vaccination specialist. Many quite ordinary people, with whom we would not for a moment class the wife of a major-general, think and do the same, and the supreme delicacy of Mrs. Chambers's conduct lies in the fact that, instead of being content to pay the public vaccinator a compliment in the surgery where he sees his official patients, she made it a direct and personal one by seeking him out with her two daughters in his private consulting room. Unfortunately, however, after this she rather spoiled the thing by refusing to pay his fees, and the intervention of another of H. M. officers, in the shape of the county court judge, had to be invoked before she rounded off her compliment by the noble fee of half a crown a head. Half a guinea was the fee that had been suggested, and it really seems more appropriate. Medical men are too modest a race really to enjoy the compliments so frequently paid by the public to their philanthropic instincts, and have too much artistic taste not to see that “lily” compliments like this should, if painted at all, be gilt with the finest gold.

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