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walls even of the building speak in the forcible language of the great moralist Hogarth, who erects for our example the “Good Samaritan” exercising the Divine attribute of mercy in “ binding up the wounds” of him who was half dead, whilst the priest and the Levite passed by on the other side; and the Great Physician at the pool of Bethesda "* healing the blind, the halt, “ the withered, and whosoever first stepped in, of whatsoever disease he had.” Here also is a rule extant—though now obsolete !—forbidding any man to hold the office of surgeon after he has attained his sixty-fifth year; and it was from hence that Abernethy dared to proclaim the duty of surgeons as consisting in the “ Constitutional (origin and) treatment of local diseases," rather than the cutting and burning-plasters and ointments—that had been for so many ages their only allowed weapons in the “ars medendi.”
What are all these but the shadows of the immortal Harvey, the distant echoes of the voice of Celsus,t transmitted through a worthier channel than the priest-physician to his venerated master at Padua ? who thus commended to his pupils the works of that ancient physician :
* These two paintings are in the staircase to the great hall at St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
op "Chirurgus debet adolescens aut certe adolescentiæ propior.” -Celsus, lib. vii, Præfatio.
“ Ab his, quæ extrinsecus incidunt, ad ea veniendum est, quæ interius, corrupta aliqua corporum parte, nascuntur.”—Lib. v, cap. 28.
“Mirabilis Celsus in omnibus, quem nocturna versare, manu, versare diurna' consulo."
With such a foundation as this endowment of Dr. Caldwall and Lord Lumley; with the sanction of the college " for the better celebration of this most solemn lecture,” and its encouragement and advancement by Drs. Forster, Harvey, and others, we might reasonably have hoped and expected that Chirurgics would never again have been expelled from its original and legitimate resting-place; such was not the case. Harvey's successors to the chair of surgery, Sir Charles Scarbrough, Dr. Hamey, Dr. Glisson, and others immediately following, bear the title of Anatomy reader only; and the perversion of that grant, “ad usum Lectoris artis seu scientie Chirurgie infra domum sive Coll. Med. Lond. in perpetuum alend : et manutenendum,” &c., has ever continued, so that at the present day any especial object of the donors is lost sight of in the name of the “ Lumleian Lecturer."
We must confess that a certain evil principle of the dark ages—a “crescens decrescentibus aliis” — has ever since this period more or less attached to the College of Physicians. A disposition to perpetuate a subordinate class in the medical profession, having its origin in such unworthy motives, has too much and too generally prevailed throughout modern times. It was shortly after the death of Harvey, towards the latter part of the seventeenth century,
that another rival body of unlicensed and unqualified practitioners in medicine arose in full force in the persons of the APOTHECARIES.
So much did the importance of this invasion, together with the then occurring disputes of fellows and licentiates, physicians and surgeons, engross the time and attention of the college, that henceforth the cultivation of surgery was forbidden to physicians,* and open war with the apothecaries commenced.
The names of individuals who throughout Europe were struggling for the restoration of surgery from the low estate to which it had been reduced, daily added more and more of lustre to its pursuit, so that in the year 1745 it was, in this country, , emancipated from its degrading alliance with barbers, became a separate and independent body; and though divided from the name and office of what has been called “pure” physician, yet has it gained more honour and advancement for the science of medicine generally in one century, than any other branch of that divided body.
In like manner as in England so also in Ireland and Scotland, these two corruptions and consequent divisions in medicine—this “infelix atque fatalis
* The bye-law, said to have been introduced by Dr. Friend about the commencement of the eighteenth century-"antequam quispiam ” (Appendix, 26)-effectually prevented the practice of surgery by any of the college members, and finally expelled it from that body.
divortio "*—may be traced through each successive period, all springing from the same “pure” fountain -the canons of the Romish councils in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
With the establishment of Universities by Papal Bulls or decrees in each division of the United Kingdom, the alliance of each branch of medicine with priests and barbers remained for a while unshaken, until with the accumulated light of the Revival schools, a Royal College of Physicians dares to reject the one corruption, as at a later period a Royal College of Surgeons rejected the other, in each division of the kingdom.
The history of either College is but a long-continued struggle for its emancipation from the respective corruption, that had for so many ages degraded and impeded the branch of medicine with which they were severally united.
The progress of Surgery since its emancipation is so immediately before the profession, and its results so evident and indisputable, that time need not be wasted in proving the important advantages which all allow have thence arisen to medicine.
The principal object kept in view in the foregoing sketch has been to set forth the time and the cause of its separation from the physician's office—the period of its unworthy alliance, as well as that of its emancipation -as forming data for future argument. Thus have we considered the first part of our subject-the first great division of the physician's office, or the fate of surgery during these three several epochs. * Honoured and used, with all other acknowledged means of cure, for the removal of disease or injury, or the relief of suffering, by the ancient physician ; usurped by the priest and monk of the dark ages, and renounced only by them when light and truth came to the investigation of their miraculous powers-not in the recesses of the cloisters, but before the world, and by the exercise of the senses,—then consigned to the barber, the smith, and the mountebank, in spite of the Grecian, Roman, or Arabic schools, in spite of the statutes of Salernum and other European states, whereto light had in any way penetrated from the twelfth to the sixteenth century; allied by the laws of this country to barbers from 1461 to 1745, but since that period resuming its place as second to none of the branches of the “healing art;" yet, in this the nineteenth century, is he who pursues this most ancient branch of medicine denied his true and legitimate title to the honoured name of physician.
* Goelicke, · Hist. Med. Univers.'
In passing on to consider the second proposition, not only the records of past ages, but the testimony of every civilised nation of the earth, even to the present day, excepting only our own native land, may be adduced in confirmation of the fact; viz.
That the PHYSICIAN'S OFFICE—especially in all its
* See Chart.