“The abolishment of pain in surgery is a chimera. It is absurd to go on seeking it today. ‘Knife’ and ‘pain’ are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient. To this compulsory combination we shall have to adjust ourselves.” – Alfred Velpeau (1795 – 1867), a famous surgeon, 1839
During the 1840s, anesthetics like ether and chloroform became popular. Velpeau was both amazed and wary, remarking, “On the subject of ether, that it is a wonderful and terrible agent, I will say of chloroform, that it is still more wonderful and more terrible”.