By Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)
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Even DuHalde's glowing and wildly popular description of China expressed sharp disappointment with Chinese medical theory and knowledge of the body ± and indeed all of China's scholarly chronicles of the natural world: When we cast our eyes on the great number of libraries in China, magnificently built, suitably adorn'd, and enrich'd with prodigious collections of books . . one would be apt to believe, that of all the nations in the world, the Chinese must be the most ingenious and learned. However a small acquaintance with them will most swiftly undeceive one.
Plumb [one of the mission's Chinese Catholic translators] . . 73 Staunton's story uses the language of the British medical profession, and he clearly assessed the Chinese therapy from that perspective. The changes which had occurred in European medical theory between Floyer's time and his own are particularly evident in his contempt for the Chinese doctor's humoral diagnosis ± a diagnosis which would have been completely intelligible and unexceptional to a British doctor at the beginning of the century, and which certainly elicited no objections from Anderson.
One would be apt to believe, that of all the nations in the world, the Chinese must be the most ingenious and learned. However a small acquaintance with them will most swiftly undeceive one. 'Tis true, we must acknowledge that the Chinese have a great deal of wit: But then is it an inventive, searching, profound wit? 23 DuHalde certainly did not condemn Chinese medical practice, and indeed was impressed by the diagnostic pulse-reading of their finest practitioners (`I speak not here of those quacks who profess the art merely to get a livelihood, without either study or experience: But of the skilled physicians, who, it is certain, have acquired a very extraordinary and surprising knowledge in this matter .
Acupuncture, Expertise and Cross-Cultural Medicine by Roberta E. Bivins (auth.)