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he had been oftener blamed for misconduct than praised for success.
We have been so delightfully engaged in the account of this great physician, that we must hasten with winged steps over the remainder of our little history, referring to Dr. Bostock's judicious and well-written work for a more full and detailed account. When medical men were permitted to practise at Rome, and when luxury had multiplied the forms and increased the terrors of disease, and when the old Domestic Medicine and Family Physician's Guide, practised by Cato the Censor and other ancient gentlemen on the bodies of their slaves, were superseded by a demand for a more refined knowledge and for a more perfect practice, Greece was looked to as the parent of the arts of life,-and Asclepiades† appeared among others to confer a fresh lustre on his profession by the justness of his views, the extent of his information, and the splendour of his eloquence. From him arose the methodic system of physic, of which Themison was said to be the founder, whose principles may be found explained in the works of Cælius Aurelianus, and who kept a middle course between the Dogmatists and Empirics: they opposed the numeral pathology of Hippocrates, and traced the cause of disease to the solids-a doctrine that has been gaining ground to the present day. The School of Themison § became divided into some minor sects, among whom the Pneumatics acquired considerable celebrity, from the name of a very eminent practitioner, and beautiful writer, Aretæus the Cappadocian. He is classed among the Pneumatics or Eclectics according as different views of his sagacious system are taken. About this time the celebrated Roman writer on Medicine, Celsus ||, is supposed to have flourished. He is the first native Roman physician whose name has come down to us; and whose works prove that in his time the capital operarations of surgery were known and practised, and the formulæ of his Pharmacy were both correct and scientific. Dr. Bostock conceives that
* Pliny says the Romans were without physicians for 600 years. The plague was stopt by the Dictator driving a nail into a post; and other similarly simple remedies rendered doctors superfluous.
+Asclepiades resolved all diseases into obstruction of the pores. See Bostock, p. 61. He divided diseases into chronic and acute.
Quot Themison ægros autumno occiderit uno.-Juv. Sat.
§ See Dr. Bostock on the subject, p. 70, &c.
It has remained for us, who are not among the Doctores Medici, to point out that Trituration, or breaking down the stone in the bladder, supposed to be a discovery of our days, was known to Celsus, and practised in his time.-Vide Lib. vii. c. 26, s. 3. Si quando is [calculus] major non videtur, nisi rupta cervice, extrahi posse, findendus est. Cujus repertor Ammonius, qui ob id arouos cognominatus est. Id hoc modo fit. Uncus injicitur calculo, sic ut facile eum conclusum quoque teneat, ne is retro revolvatur. Tum ferramentum adhibetur crassitudinis modica, prima parte tenui, sed retusa, quod admodum calculo, et ex altera parte ictum, findat. Magna cura habita, ne aut ad ipsam vesicam ferramentum perveniat, aut calculi tractura ne quid incidat." -Why is the word Lithotrity introduced? Lithotomy is the proper term, not for cutting the bladder, but the stone.
Celsus was a physician by profession, but who devoted part of his time and attention to the cultivation of literature and general science.
After a long interval, in which errors accumulated, in proportion as theories and assumptions took the place of observation and a patient examination of nature, the illustrious name of Galen is announced. He was the physician of Marcus Aurelius, and in his works we may peruse with interest an account of some of the disorders with which that humane,
enlightened, and philosophic emperor was afflicted. "Endowed," says Cabanis, "with a genius sufficiently comprehensive to embrace all the sciences, and to cultivate them all with equal success, he even in early youth gave proofs of uncommon capacity, and, while pursuing his youthful studies, began to perceive the futility of the prevailing systems. tisfied with what his masters taught him as incontrovertible truths, and as the immutable principles of the art, he read Hippocrates' works, and was struck as it were at once with a new light. In comparing them with nature, his astonishment and admiration redoubled, and Hippocrates and Nature henceforth became the only preceptors to whose instructions he would listen. He undertook the task of commenting on the writings of the father of Medicine: he presented his opinions in various lights in which they had not been regarded: he repeated his observations, he extended and supported them with all the aid which philosophy and natural science were capable of affording him, either by the simple comparison of facts, or by the collection of different theories, or by the combination of different methods of reasoning. In short, Galen revived the Hippocratic system of medicine, and communicated to it a degree of lustre which it did not possess in its primitive simplicity. But at the same time it must be confessed that what it gained in his hands, had more the appearance of gloss and ornament than of more solid acquisition. The observations which had been collected, and the rules which had been traced by Hippocrates, in assuming a more splendid and systematic form, lost much of their original purity. Nature, whom the Coan physician had always followed with so much accuracy and caution, became obscured, and in a manner stifled by the foreign pomp of different sciences and dogmas; and the art of medicine, overcharged, as it was, with subtle and superfluous rules, only entangled itself in a number of new and unnecessary difficulties. Bordeu compares Boerhaave to Asclepiades, and he may indeed have found some features of similitude between these two celebrated physicians. But the character of Galen* bears a much stronger resemblance to that of the Leyden Professor; both appropriated to themselves the knowledge of the age in which they lived, and both endeavoured to apply it to medicine. In reforming the latter on great and comprehensive plans, they attempted to combine with it a variety of doctrines which are entirely foreign to it, or which at most bear to it, relations of an insulated and merely accessory nature. Both were desirous to enrich their system of physic, with every thing which they knew besides. Thence it comes that, while they simplified with method, though often in a very unequal manner, the general views which should govern its system of instruction, they have, nevertheless, left a great task for their successors to accomplish-the task of separating with accuracy many just and beautiful ideas from the hypothetical dogmas which disfigure them, and which the order itself of their con
* Consult Dr. Bostock's view of Galen's merits, acquirements, &c. cap. v. p. 83.
nection renders still more dangerous for young students, too easily seduced, as they are, by such comprehensive views."
From Galen to the time of the Arabians, medicine appears to have revolved in the circle which the Greeks had formed round her. Yet Sextus Empiricus was a person of very considerable learning, and who had studied intimately the different systems of philosophy; and the works of Oribasius, Aëtius, and Alexander Trallianus, are found in the collections of medical writers by Stephens and others. With the death of Paulus Ægineta in the 7th century, the Greek School of Medicine may be said to have ceased. About this time, hospitals were first founded, the small pox was described, and some improvements made in the art. The works of Hippocrates, Galen, and Aristotle, were translated; but the subtle metaphysics of the Stagyrite, and the flowing harmony and majesty of Galen, delighted the imagination of the Arabians, far more than the severe simplicity, the chastened eloquence, the cautious inferences, and the prudent and rigid method which distinguished the observer of nature. The School of Salerno, however, in Italy, was honourably distinguished as the Civitas Hippocratica, and seemed to have the care of the sick and wounded Crusaders, whose route to and from the East long led them to that port: it flourished for some time, but at length was eclipsed in the thirteenth century by the rival schools in Bologna* and Paris, then rising into fame. About this period, while civilization was dawning over Europe, and awakening her torpid powers, the Jews were the great instruments of its progress; not only were they the brokers, bankers, merchants, and carriers, but they became the physicians also. They migrated to Spain with the Moors, had schools at Toledo, Cordova, Granada; and were entrusted with the care of the health of Charlemagne. Zedikias had the health as well as hair of Charles the Bald under his superintendence, and Francis the First so esteemed a Jewish doctor, that suspecting his, which Charles the Fifth had sent to him, to be a Christian, he dismissed him from his august presence, by kicking him down stairs. At length the priests prevailed over the Jews; and monks and friars, and lady-abbesses, and anathemas, drove out of business the forlorn children of Abraham. Celibacy was enjoined on all medical men: hence all hastened into the church; in vain the bulls of the Lateran Council roared against them; they defied its thunders; and determined to make the church the depository of all knowledge and gain they joined the profession of law to that of theology and medicine. This tripartite spoil they enjoyed for a considerable period, and drew their fees from body, soul, and substance. At length common
* Mondini, a Professor of in Bologna, was the first person who publicly dissected about A.D. 1315, and published anatomical plates of the human body; but Vesalius was the first great anatomist. See Dr. Bostock, p. 151. Medical diplomas to candidates were first given at Salerno.
+ Alkendi was styled the subtle philosopher, the learned physician, and the Greek astrologer, so various were his attainments. Of his practical knowledge we may guess, when we know that he regulated the doses of medicine, and explained their operation by musical harmony, and geometrical proportion; a methodus operandi, which appears by Dr. Bostock's reference to have had some patrons in Edinburgh as late as 1731. The Arabian doctors appear to be either fanatics, astrologers, or magicians. Medicine rose to celebrity under Aviænna, and ended in Averroes. They first described small-pox, measles, and made some considerable additions to pharmacy, by adding many valuable drugs from India, and other parts of the East. The sudor Anglicanus, the hooping-congh, and sea-scurvy first appeared in the 14th and 15th century; see Bostock, p. 140, &c. The small-pox first appeared at the siege of Mecca, in the middle of the sixth century.
sense and insulted humanity asserted their forgotten rights: as soon as physicians were graciously allowed to marry, they got out of the church as fast as they had got in; the unnatural coalition ended, and a complete separation from the clergy commenced. We must pass over the new set of visionaries and charlatans, who now appeared, dark indeed in outward form, with the smoke and tarnish of the furnace, but most bright and brilliant within, with the hopes of boundless wealth, and a joyous immortality ;-we mean the Alchemists and their infatuated followers, and principally Paracelsus, the great prototype of mountebanks, who has been called the greatest fool of physicians, and the greatest physician of fools, and who burnt all the volumes of science he could obtain, crying out, Away with Greek, Latin, and Arabian, away with them.' The school of the Chemists, who were opposed to the Galenists, held the doctrine that the living body is subject to the same chemical laws as inanimate matter, and that all the phenomena of vitality may be explained by these laws. This lasted some time. More enlightened days, however, were at hand; the reign of Lorenzo and of his successors had been the means of diffusing intelligence and information over their own country and others. Medicine arose with the other arts. Fabricius of Aquapendante among the Italians, Ambrose Parè in France, and afterwards Linacre* in England-illustrious names even in modern days-both by their writings and their practice diffused the most important information, and ensured its continuance by the endowment of the most liberal and learned institutions. Linacre founded the College of Physicians in London, from which has arisen Sydenham, and Freind, and Arbuthnot, and a long list of illustrious names whose fame in later days has been supported by the splendid talents and solid learning of a Baker, a Heberden, and a Halford. There is little to remark on the progress of the Therapeutic art, till we arrive at the illustrious name of Stahl,† who has been called the greatest man that has appeared in the profession since the days of Hippocrates. The most profound and able writers speak of him as one of those extraordinary men whom nature seems to produce from time to time for the noble purpose of effecting the reform of the sciences" he was endowed with that true sagacity which enables the mind to investigate thoroughly the objects of research; and with that prudence which leads it to pause at every step, in order to consider them in all their different aspects; with that quickness of apprehension and comprehensiveness of understanding which embraces them in their combinations; and with that patience in observation which follows them through all their minute details. He was chiefly distinguished by the rare talent of tracing analogies and points of comparison between the most ordinary phenomena and those which appear most unaccountable; by the aid of which it is frequently possible to discover the immediate cause of the latter, and thus to form the most sublime theories upon the most simple reasonings. Stahl undertook to accomplish in Medicine what he had before effected in Chemistry. He had been educated in the doctrines of Hippocrates, and none knew better than he did the improvements they were capable of deriving from the observations and philosophical views of the moderns. He perceived that the first thing to be done was to separate the general ideas, or principles of medical science, from all extraneous hypotheses; he had remarked that, as medicine employed itself upon a subject
* The name of Caius' should not be overlooked.
† On the Chemical and Mechanical Agency see Bostock's Obs. p. 173-179.
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governed by particular laws, the study of no other object in nature is capable of disclosing, at least directly, those laws; and that the application of the doctrines which have been most firmly established in other branches of science, to that which has in view the knowledge and slow regulation of the animal economy, necessarily becomes the source of the most pernicious errors." We cannot enter into the merits or defects of the Stablian system, which has been treated of in Dr. Bostock's work. Cabanis says that Stahl accomplished in medicine, at least in some respects, what Bacon had merely pointed out, and that the reforms which have been already effected, and those which may hereafter be accomplished, in the same spirit, must be ascribed in a great measure to this extraordinary man.' With the name of Stahl should be associated that of Van Helmont, a man of very inferior talents, but who was gifted by nature with a glowing imagination, and who rushed into the seductive pursuits of alchemy, bringing from the furnace and the crucible a mind inflamed with the loftiest and wildest projects, and most visionary hopes. Yet flashes of true light are seen breaking through the fumes of his superstitious labours; as it is said of him, that, in pursuing the path of error, he made fortunate discoveries, and that in the language of quackery, he announced the sublimest truths. The fame of Hofman chiefly rests on the distinct manner in which he refers to the nervous system, and the influence of its operations on the phenomena of life. He advanced our knowledge of the laws of animal economy, and his physiological speculations are looked to with respect; his system of solidism, more or less modified, may be said to have given birth to the principles taught in Edinburgh and Montpelier. The humoral pathology was attacked by Baglivi, who placed the chief cause of disease in the altered condition of the solids, and, by drawing attention to the muscular and nervous system, corrected errors which had lasted from the days of Hippocrates. We are now fast descending to modern times, and must be brief. When Sydenham appeared as a physician, the art was still confined to its scholastic forms, and still subservient to erroneous systems and crude theories. Sydenham brought it back to the path of experience and observation. The friend of Locke, for such he was, followed the footsteps of Nature, and interpreted her voice by the principles of philosophy, which he had learned from his illustrious master. His Treatise on the Gout is regarded as a masterpiece of description; and his ideas on the treatment of epidemic diseases, in which he followed the sketch of Hippocrates, showed one who investigated with sagacity, and guided his researches with method and judgment. In its leading and primary purpose-its practical application, Sydenham may be called the restorer of medical science. The next great discovery was one, gleams of which were seen above the horizon from time to time by a few keen-sighted and thoughtful observers, but which had never been decidedly acknowledged.* The circulation of the blood, which has immortalized the name of Harvey, had been obscurely hinted at by Servetus, more clearly guessed by Varolius and Columbus, and described with accuracy, and detailed in its important parts by Cæsalpinus, but the complete demonstration of which was reserved for our Countryman. This splendid discovery of Harvey gave a new impulse to the medical world; and as philosophy was still in its infancy, very wild
*The discovery of the absorbent system, by Apelli and Bartholine, should also be mentioned. See Bostock, p. 155.