CACOPHRASTUS! So they snap their teeth, declaiming vituperative poetry composed in hell for my benefit. Cacophrastus! Yellow cringing curs snarl and bark. The least hairs of my breech display more learning than their mightiest. My shoebuckles shine brighter than Avicenna and Galen in conference. Theophrastus am I!...skillful, zealous, adept at the Holy Kabbala, arch-enemy to distemperature, advocate of theology, ascetic defender of freedom, illustrous pharmacist, bald foe of folly. Am I not Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim? I am Helvetius Eremita, Philippus, Suevas, Arpinus, Germanus. Or am I Luther of physicians...Lutherus medicorum.
But what difference does it make? I heal patients abandoned by charlatans to sickness or death, restore youth to the aged with marvelous elixirs. And by our Lord I would this gleaming pate might fend off gnats as well as I fend off academic sophistry. Hah! What good is a shining coat-of-mail and buckler? Why gag on stinking panaceas falsely concocted by apothecaries in sculleries? Dizzards! Graziers! Chymists swarming through filthy basements! Vermin begot to brew up foul broth! Dung-prophets! Quack-salvers! None can equal Paracelsus. I am wiser by seventy than all such cod-merchants. Thisselwarps! Whifflers! Daubers! Puffers that coagulate, sublimate and distil...tending bubbling apparatus toward what?
I would sooner tabulate every butterfly in Holland. I am the most puissant and numinous doctor on earth, ruled not by the motionless fabric of constellations but incessant study. There be a more pregnant sense to my doctrine than their wits construe.