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devote their whole attention to this selves, that charity and a love of business,than by the sick and their truth govern their hearts. neighbours.
These things must be so, while I am however aware, that ve human nature remains what it is. ry sensible men' are hereticks Toil and trouble will ever be shunon this subject. They say, thened. Society indeed renders them doctors theorize, instead of observ more tolerable by the compensaing nature modestly and careful- tion it gives for them; and as this ly; and that their physick often advances in real improvement, the irritates and sometimes destroys compensation will increase, and the patients, who would otherwise of course the labour will more throw off their diseases more easi- readily be procured. To correct ly and more certainly. Now there our errors, we must trace them to is some truth in this charge, and their source. This consideration I will join them in the opinion, has induced me, to present the prethat my brethren are too prone to ceding and the following obsertheorize. This is not peculiar to vations on the causes, which lead them ; it belongs to mankind gen- the faculty into the habit of the erally, and arises from indolence orizing. and an impatience to appear wise. I have lightened the censure, All knowledge must be acquired which is thrown upon us by slowly and with difficulty. The spreading a part of it on the broad Jabour Becomes too tedious, and shoulders of poor human nature ; men are ready to guess at the truth, I mean to charge the remainder rather than wait its slow and pain- to a fault of our patients and their ful developement. This happens friends. every day in common affairs; and The importance and essential as the injury,which results from it, duty of a physician, is to advise the is not very great, it is disregarded. sick what to do ;--to direct their The error deservedly arrests at whole conduct. As the sick tention, when the subjects are should never call a physician, ungreat principles, either in physicks less they have more confidence in or morals. It is remarkable, that his knowledge and judgment men form an attachment to the than in their own; so when they vagaries of their own minds, which have received his advice, they is oftentimes stronger, and excites should follow it implicitly. If inmore zeal, than a simple conviction deed it is so opposite to their own of real truth. This circumstance settled opinions, as to destroy that aggravates very much the evils confidence, then the motive for arising from a false theory. In following his advice must cease to our profession, men grow as warm operate. But the patient and his in the support of their peculiar friends are seldom satisfied with tenets, I had almost said as the the advice alone ; they want to theologians; and as the sectarian know the name of the disease; the in religion hopes, that all will be nature of the case, and the reasons damned, who do not worship with for the mode of treatment. In him, so the father of a medical short, they want to be taught in hypothesis is willing to rejoice if half an hour, and that too while all die, who are treated according hey are under the influence of to principles differing from his strong feelings, what it may have own. They both persuade them- cost the physician months to
learri, and might employ him the learned, and one, discoursing hours to detail ; at a moment per- on the subject, were to state that haps, when the circumstances do it is found by experiment whennot permit him, to make up his ever any body, specifically heavier own opinion decidedly ;-and he than the atmosphere, is thrown inis too apt to think his reputation to the air it falls to the ground; requires, that he should attempt and that the acquaintance with this to gratify them. They ask only principle might enable us to confor simple reasons and simple ex struct many useful machines ; planations, not wishing to look in- of one, so discoursing, many, not to the arcana of our art. Now sim- only of the vulgar, but of the bet. ple reasons and simple explana- ter informed, would inquire why tions are precisely what it is most this thing was so; and they would difficult to give them, and most hardly value the philosopher's difficult for them to comprehend. knowledge of this law of nature, Accordingly, to save his credit, the nor be willing even to credit it, if doctor dresses up for them an he could not talk nonsense to them explanation in un meaning words, about the causes of attraction, &c. from which they fancy they under- The truth is, that the knowledge stand a kind of something; and of the law, or, as it is sometimes from the habit of talking nonsense called, the general fact, is all that to others, and finding them satis- is wanted ; and this may be just fied with it, he gets to value it as usefully applied, as if we could, himself. Here is the stumbling understand how such a property block on which he falls.
is impressed on matter. I know very well how much Let us take a similar case in a these remarks may expose the science, with which a physician faculty to the wits, who, when their should be particularly conversant. own bones do not ache, are not The doctor is asked, what is the apt to spare us. But it is certain- principle of life, and the inquirer ly true, that a man may be learned, expects to hear of some essence and well versed in the practice of or quintessence, or of something physick, and yet may not be ready like an electrick fluid, of which to answer, to the ignorant, the in- the experimentalist may exhibit quiries above stated. For my own at least a fleeting sight. He anpart, I should think well of any swers, .that he knows not what life young man, who plainly refused to is ; that he knows only the laws do it.
of life. He explains by stating, There are several reasons for that living, vegetable, and animal all thiş. One great one is, that bodies are endued with certain while all the world talk of the im- properties and powers, which are portance and advantages of ex not found in dead matter ; that perience, few people understand these are attributed to the princithe nature and extent of experi- ple of life ; and that if they are mental knowledge. We are all discovered, although the other be acquainted with the phenomena, unknown, the object of the medi, which depend on the principle of cal philosopher is obtained. Now, gravitation. But if these phe- such an answer is not satisfactory, nomena were not so constantly even to men of understanding, who obvious, as to render them fam- are not conversant with natural pliar; if they were known only to philosophy ; and they will be
much better pleased with a pre. for one little operation. The tender, who gives them an hye blacksmith is continually performpothesis about some humour fioat. ing mechanical and chemical ing in the blood, or through the operations, and these are variousnerves, which is the essential spi- ly combined. No one would une rit, or animating principle of living dervalue his handicraft, because beings. The truth is, that men he could not make his employer who are unacquainted with such understand in five minutes all subjects, are more taken with that those scientifick principles, philosophy, which represents the which his operations depend. He world as supported on the shoul- indeed is not required to underder of Atlas, who sits on an ele- stand the sciences on which his phant, who rests on a tortoise, &c. art is founded, while the physician Many learned seekers after knowl. is. But the difficulty is, not that edge commit similar errours. the artist does not understand the
I have stated one reason, which subject, for I am now supposing renders it difficult for physicians, to that he does ; but that he cannot answer the scientifick questions of make another comprehend at once their patients. Perhaps I have the combination of principles, enlarged too much in the illustra- with which principles individually tion of this reason ; but it is a fave the inquirer is unacquainted. It ourite subject. This reason is foun- is like talking to a blind man, who ded on the presumption, that the knows not what colours are, of the physician is perfectly able to give a effect of a mixture of colours. satisfactory answer toone, qualified Now I have been writing a page to understand it. There is a diffi- to persuade men that they are culty of another kind, which like- blind, so far as respects subjects wise may exist, while the physician which they have not investigated ; is perfectly competent to the ne- and I may add, that, in many incessary explanation ; and it is one stances, no common minds can which many persons feel, while suddenly flash light enough on they do not clearly recognize it. such subjects, as to make them
The practice of physick is an rightly impress their torpid organs art ; and the precepts of this art, of sight. If I have succceded to
of every other, are drawn persuade my readers, that their from the principles, not of one sci- neighbours are thus blind, it is as ence only, but of many. The much as I have a right to expect. point of art in any operation is, if It is hard to persuade a man, that I may so express myself, at the he himself does not see every intersection of the rules or lines, thing, which is put before his eyes; which are afforded by the different although this happens every day principles, on which that opera- to every man, both in the physical tion is founded. But as circum- and moral world. stances vary, the point of inter The limits of a periodical pubsection shifts, and so the conduct lication require, that I should postof the artist. Many principles pone, for the present, the further then require to be stated and ex- consideration of this subject. plained with precision, to account
FOR THE ANTHOLOGY.
The following is a description of the famous falls of Niagara, written by a gentleman of this state,
who visited them a few months since ; and although it is not given as any thing new, yet it may serve to remind some of your readers, that no man ever repented a visit to that mighty cataract, and may induce them to go and behold the greatest natural curiosity of which their Cuctry can boast.
Chippeway, Sept. 4, 1805. us, as it were, a profile view of the AFTER a hearty breakfast we set rock, on which our companion off (a party of four) provided with a stood. We were terrified and asguide and a bottle of wine, to fol- tonished ; we beheld a flat rock, low the footsteps of Volney and not more than two feet thick, and Weld to the falls of Niagara, dis- of itself projecting ten feet, and the tant about two miles. The day rock under it hollowing into cavwas fine, with scarcely a breeze to erns to the water, as appeared to interrupt the smooth expanse of us fifty or sixty feet more ; we the river before us. The distant' saw our companion, standing alnoise of the cataract was much be- most in air, over the dreadful Reath our expectations, and all we crags below, ready, it would saw of the falls, for half a mile, was seem, with the rocks themselves the cloud of spray, which rose a to fall! Every one involuntarily bove them. This foretold some cried out to him to retire, while great cause.
the guide, smiling at our unnecesProceeding onwards, we come sary fears, conducts us back to the to a view of the rapids, which for further bank we had descended, half a mile above the main pitch where we stopped awhile to reno. throw the immense waters into vate our moral and physical great turbulence and foam. As strength. We proceed, the banks of the river Our next object is to descend gradually become from five to fif- Simcoe's ladder, before we arrive at ty feet above the level of the river. the top of which, we have to pass Coming to a house on the bank of down the steep bank, as before, and the river opposite the falls, we leave go over a plain nearly the same as the road, and descend by an ex: in the path to Table rock. ceedingly steep path to a rich plain We followed the guide by the below; now entering a thick wcod ladder, leading down a rude preciand shrubbery, very wet and mud- pice, which is continued along for dy, we pick our way to Table rock, a quarter of a mile to the falls, and the projecting point, where stran- is now the real bank of the river. gers are first carried.
Arrived at the bottom of this long Here we gaze at the mighty ladder, we got down as well as we sight of an immense river, precip- could, a height of about fifty feet itating itself one hundred and fifty' further, descending over mounds feet perpendicularly into an abyss, of earth, buslies, and pieces of rock, the bottom of which (owing to the tumbled together from the precispray) cannot be seen.
pice above. Our guide, leaving one of the We are now nearly on a level party on Table rock, conducted us with the river below the falls, a small distance down, which gave which are a quarter of a mile dis
tant, and the way to them exceed issues out of the horrid caverris ingly rough ; but, excepting one under the falls, sometimes hid us pass, pot dangerous." This, I am from a sight of the falling waters confident, very few would attempt and even from each other. in any other place than this ; but Having halted, Mr. B- first the scenes around are so grand, as cautiously proceeded to get under to inspire every one with courage. the pitch, and, returning after a
When we had come within five few moments, thinks he went ahundred feet of the falls, we stop- bout twenty feet under, but was ped to survey the objects around hid nearly the whole time from 11s us, which are in the highest de- by the spray, gree grand and terrifick. Above I was the next to attempt, aus hung a precipice, an hundred midst the mighty terrours around, and twenty or thirty feet high, full a survey of these caverns, horrible of loose stones, which are daily as death, and where he alone falling, and the possibility, that one seemed to hold empire. Facing pray fall upon you in passing, in- the whirlwind, and necessarily spires the mind with no inconsiddisregarding the pelting spray, I erable degree of alarm. Turning crept as fast as the slippery crags our backs to the precipice, we see would admit, without once stopbefore us (on the opposite side of ping to think of danger. I went, the river, placed on a perpendicu- as well as I could judge, fifteen or Zar rock as high as the falls) Goat twenty feet under, or beyond the island, dividing the falls into two outer edge of the sheet. I durst great sheets, four or five hundred venture no further, but, reclining feet apart. The farthest are call- in a posture between sitting and ed Little falls, and the other laying, I first seized a mall stone Horse-shoc falls. The former is to bring away with me, an eternal called little, only in comparison remembrance of the place I took with the Horse-shoe falls; and not it from. This done, I paused for being so easy of access, and dis a few moments. charging less water, is seldom vis ..... To attempt to describe my ited by strangers. Then looking, feelings, or to particularise each as our way leads, we see the main howling horrour around me, were fall, tumbling its prodigious waters vain. It is not the thousand rivinto the bed of the lower river, and ers of water, 'that tumble from running off, wildly foaming beneath above...nor the piled-up precipice a cloud of spray in one general roar of slippery crags, on the top of and confusion, magnificent beyond which you lay...nor the furious description.
whirlwind, drivinglike shot thespray We now proceeded, the spray against you, threatening at each wetting us inore and more as we gust to throw you into the meradvanced, and the rocks becoming ciless jaws of death below...nor the more slippery, but not dangerous.. thundering roar of the cataract...not Before we arrived at the caverns, all these, that bring each its parabout one hundred feet from the ticular terrour ; but the whole of falling water, wliere we took our them together, striking the mind stand, we were completely drench- at once, appal the senses, and the ed by the violent beating of the weakened judgment gives way to spray against us, which, driven on the idea, that the rock above, which by the furious rushing wind, that of ite!f supports the mighty