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Quidni ego magnorum virorum et imagines habeam, incitamenta animi, et natales celebrem? Quidni illos honoris causa semper appellem? Quam venerationem præceptoribus meis debeo, eandem illis præceptoribus generis humani, a quibus tanti boni initia fluxerunt.
LATE PROFESSOR OF ANATOMY AND SURGERY TO THE COLLEGE: PRO-
FESSOR OF ANATOMY TO THE ROYAL ACADEMY: ONE OF
THE SURGEONS TO ST, TUOMAS's POSPITAL
Mr. PresideNT AND GENTLEMEN,
S some pious wayfarer, who casts a stone
on the cairn or heap, which serves as monument or memorial, I now appear before you to add my humble contribution to the pile, which raised by successive Orators is intended to mark our sense of the distinguished services of John Hunter.
But the Founders of this oration doubtless proposed by their munificent endowment, not merely that the recollection of Hunter's exalted merits should be periodically renewed, but that his excellence should be held forth as the pattern and guiding light of those who aspire to professional eminence ;-in conjunction with kindred themes, which note the progress, or aid the advancement of surgical science. And if we regard the great man, whom we now meet to honor, as the chosen leader, who is to animate and guide the professional aspirant in forming the scientific character, which ever ought to be his aim, it can be no matter of complaint that the example, which is to be his beacon and goal, is deficient in brightness and elevation. Assuredly never were honors more
justly claimed than by this physiologist and surgeon! We may date from his original views the rise of scientific surgery. But, invaluable as his researches were, and most happy as their effects have been, in the increased light, power and courage of surgery, may we not rather say, that he performed the more important service of bringing the whole art of healing into close alliance with the sciences, which have nature for their object, by exhibiting its requisite foundation on an enlightened Physiology?
In the magnificent assemblage of facts, which constitute the invaluable Museum deposited within these walls, and in the correspondent preparations for decyphering them as the significant symbols of animated nature, we possess not merely an orderly arrangement of the forms of organic life but the foundations of a science. The results of Hunter's laborious investigations are here brought together in the unity of a scientific Idea, and linked together as a chain of inter-dependent truths, of which the staple and primary principle is the great law of life. It was Hunter's peculiar merit to have first presented the facts of comparative anatomy in and as a connected scheme of graduated development, the connection supplied, and the aim anticipated, in the antecedent unity of the causative law of life :-it was Hunter's peculiar merit to have first fixed the principles of physiology, by banishing hypo