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observation, at once delicate and sound, formed the groundwork of the still more difficult art of referring the results to general views, and detailing them with precision. No other writer, it is said, without exception, initiates us so far into the knowledge of Nature, or teaches us to interrogate her with that wise caution and that scrupulous attention, which can alone enable us to trace from her answers those principles and rules which must be recognized as genuine. To this mastery over science, Hippocrates brought all the graces of the most polite and refined literature.* Studying under the celebrated Gorgias, whose lectures on eloquence at Athens attracted the most enthusiastic admiration, he soon learnt how much the graces of a finished style contribute to the success of truth, how closely language and thought are united, and the art of reasoning is dependent on the words in which it is conveyed. “It was,' says the author to whom we have before referred, and to whose masterly sketch of the History of Medicine we are so much indebted, “in this excellent school that Hippocrates received the elements of that simple and masculine style which is peculiar to him-a style perfect in its kind, and particularly well adapted to the sciences by the clearness of its terms and the force of its expression; and not less remarkable for the liveliness of its images, and for that rapidity which seems only to glance on the different objects, but which in reality investigates them all thoroughly, by arresting and comparing their true distinguishing features. If history furnishes us with a just account of this celebrated orator, we may conclude that Hippocrates really owes to him the valuable talent of embellishing his thoughts without the aid of extraneous ornaments, and of preserving his language in that mean degree of elegance which perhaps is the only description of style † allowable to the physician, interrupted as he is in his solitary studies by the daily avocations of his profession. Though advancedin age, Hippocrates does not scruple to confess that he was yet far from having carried the theory and practice of his art to that degree of perfection of which they are susceptible; and he declares that in the course of a long life, which had been devoted to the service of his fellow-creatures, and which had not passed without some degree of renown,
It is decided that Hippocrates never dissected. See Bostock's History, p. 29, with his authorities. But in his writings we see the first traces of physiology. On his genuine works see ditto, p.31. The principles of Hippocrates are-1. Attention to the operations of nature; 2. Curing disease by inducing contrary action ; 3. The doctrine of critical evacuations. His Materia Medica was very copious, but all of vegetable articles. Erasistratus and Herophilus, physicians of Alexandria under the Ptolemies, are said to have been the first who dissected the human subject. See Bostock, p. 47. The separation of physician and surgeon and apothecary commenced at this time, on the great schism of the Dogmatists and Empirics. See Dr. Bostock's judicious observations, p. 51–54.
+ See some remarks on the style of Hippocrates, and in its difference from that of other celebrated writers of Greece, in Cabanis, p. 389.
It seems doubtful whether the account given in the oration of the disputation ascribed to Thessalus, as regards the advice of Hippocrates during the plague at Athens, is genuine. Thucydides in his detailed description does not mention him.-See what Cabanis observes on the subject, p. 76. Hippocrates was born about the 80th Olympiad; the plague raged in the 87th, consequently he was only 30 years old. Whether his experience at that age entitled him to stand between the living and the dead, when all else were stupefied with despair,
Cessere magistri Phyllirides, Chiron, Amythaoniusque Melampus,'— and even Medicine herself was silent, according to the magnificent language of the great philosophical poet—Stat tacito Medicina timore,' cannot now be ascertained.
he had been oftener blamed for misconduct than praised for success. Yet no one was ever more deserving of happiness than Hippocrates; no one ever distinguished his sojourn upon earth by more signal services, or by the constant exercise of more exalted virtues, and no one ever formed to himself more sublime ideas of the duties of his profession. These we may find sketched and compressed, as it were, in the oath of his school ; in several passages of his writings he has recorded them in the truly affecting language of virtue and truth ; and he practised them with sentiments of benevolence, which should render his memory as much cherished and beloved, as his genius and his works have been respected and admired.'
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 Asclepiadest 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 I 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 veryeminent 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 ll, 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. 11 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 acBorovos cognominatus est. Id hoc modo fit. Uncus injicitur calculo, sic ut facile eum conclusum quoque teneat, ne is retro revolvatur. Tum ferramentum adhibetur crassitudinis modicæ, 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. Dissatisfied 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 bis 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
ears 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 vicws."
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,Ť 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 suceessors 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,t 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 reforın 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 nost 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 hy potheses; he had remarked that, as medicine employed itself upon a subject
* The name of · Caius' should not be overlooked.