A Pitiable Case 237
them, and it would be difficult to estimate the amount of mental torture they have caused, as the following cases illustrate.
A clergyman who was much annoyed by the continual appearance of floating specks before his eyes was told by his eye specialist that they were a symptom of kidney disease, and that in many cases of kidney trouble dis ease of the retina might be an early symptom. So at regular intervals he went to the specialist to have his eyes examined, and when at length the latter died, he looked around immediately for some one else to make the periodical examination. His family physician di rected him to me. I was by no means so well known as his previous ophthalmological adviser, but it happened that I had taught the family physician how to use the ophthalmoscope after others had failed to do so. He thought, therefore, that I must know a lot about the use of the instrument, and what the clergyman particularly wanted was some one capable of making a thorough ex amination of the interior of his eyes and detecting at once any signs of kidney disease that might make their ap pearance. So he came to me, and at least four times a year for ten years he continued to come.
Each time I made a very careful examination of his eyes, taking as much time over it as possible, so that he would believe that it was careful; and each time he went away happy because I could find nothing wrong. Once when I was out of town he got a cinder in his eye, and went to another oculist to get it out. When I came back late at night I found him sitting on my doorstep, on the chance that I might return. His story was a pitiable one. The strange doctor had examined his eyes with the oph thalmoscope, and had suggested the possibility of glau-