The Personal foibles of politicians and the press have been making news in Washington ever since the city first rose from the swamps - as these bits and pieces drawn from the last hundred years amply demonstrate .

An eminent Philadelphia surgeon recently conducted a secret operation aboard a yacht to remove a cancer from the mouth of President Grover Cleveland. The White House refuses to discuss the operation because officials fear concern for the President's health could compound economic problems already complicated by the current gold panic.

Dr. W. W. Keen, a middleaged brain surgeon, is chief of surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. As a young medical apprentice, he was captured by the South at the first Battle of Bull Run; he was later released (minus his surgical instruments) by the Confederates, and he continued to serve Union troops, attached to a Massachusetts regiment. Since then he has received degrees from Brown University as well as the Universities of London, Edinburgh and Paris.

His first initials stand for William Williams - his grandfather was named William Williams - and the doctor goes by the name Bill. His expertise and sophistication are well known in Philadelphia, though his habit of teaching anatomy classes with the help of nude women as models shocks some of his colleages, who use only cadavers. Keen refuses to discuss his presidential surgery, but sources report the operation was a complete success.