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“ Accustom him early to the manual operations of Surgery, except those of lithotomy,* which should be left to operators by profession. Lead him in order through the whole circle of the sciences. Let natural philosophy show him the influence of climate on the human body; and when, to extend his knowledge and experience, he shall travel through different countries and cities, counsel him carefully to observe the situation of places, the difference of the air, the waters which are drunk, and the eatables which are the principal food of the inhabitants; in a word, all the causes tható may occasion disorder in the animal economy.
“ You shall also show him in the mean time, by what preceding signs maladies may be known, by what regimen they may be avoided, and by what remedies cured.
“ When he shall be instructed in your doctrines, which shall be clearly explained in stated conferences, and which
you shall reduce to short maxims proper to be impressed on the memory, it will be necessary to inform him that experience alone is
* This exception, in the then imperfect state of the science of Anatomy, is sufficient to have established his character as having added reason to experience; knowing how much danger was incurred by such an operation, but having no fixed rules to escape it, he rather left it to those who depended on experience alone as their guide. After the foundation of the school of Alexandria, and the introduction of human dissections by Herophilus and Erasistratus, the operation of lithotomy as well as all others, were gradually included in the physician's office as reason justified their adoption.
less dangerous than theory destitute of experience; that it is time to apply general principles to particular cases, which, incessantly varying, have frequently misled physicians by deceitful resemblances; that it is not in the dust of the school, nor in the works of philosophers, that we can learn the art of interrogating nature, and the still more difficult art of waiting her answer.
With nature he is yet unacquainted; he has hitherto only noticed her in full vigour, and arriving at the end at which she aims without meeting with obstacles. You shall conduct him to those abodes of pain, where, already veiled with the shades of death, exposed to the violent attacks of the enemy, falling, and rising only to sink again, she displays to the attentive eye
her wants and her resources.
“ The disciple, while he witnesses this terrible combat, shall observe you watch and seize the instant which may decide the victory, and save the life of the patient. If for some moments you quit the field of battle, you shall direct him to remain there, to observe everything, and afterwards render to you an account, both of the changes which have taken place during your absence, and of the remedies which he judges to be requisite.
“ It is by obliging him to be frequently present at these terrible but instructive scenes, that you shall initiate him, as much as possible, into the most profound secrets of nature and art. But this is not yet enough: when, for a small salary, you shall have adopted him for your disciple, he shall swear to preserve in his manners and practice an incorruptible purity, and strictly fulfil his oath. Without the virtues requisite to his profession he can never discharge its duties. What are these virtues ? I scarcely except any one, since its functions are so honorable that they require almost all the noblest qualities of the mind and heart; and, in fact, what head of a family, were he not assured of his discretion and integrity, would not fear to call him in, lest he should introduce a spy into his house, and a seducer to his wife and daughters ? What dependence can be placed on his humanity if he only accost his patients with an offensive gaiety, or a disgusting petulance ? On his firmness, if, by a servile adulation, he too much fears their displeasure, and gives way to their caprices ? On his prudence, if, continually occupied with his dress, arrayed in magnificent habits, and perfumed with essences, he is seen to stroll from city to city, to pronounce, in honour of his art, harangues filled with quotations from the poets? What reliance can be placed on his understanding, if, besides that general justice which the man of sense and integrity observes towards every one, he does not possess that which the sage exercises towards himself, and which teaches him that, in the midst of the greatest knowledge, there is more of want than of abundance ? And, lastly, what confidence can be reposed in the sincerity of his intentions if he be under the dominion of a foolish pride, and that mean envy which was never the portion of superior genius; if, sacrificing every other consideration to the thirst of gain, he devote himself only to the service of the rich; if, authorised by custom to stipulate his reward at the beginning of the malady, he is careful first to conclude his bargain, although the case of the patient becomes every moment more dangerous ?
“ These vices and defects especially characterise those ignorant and presumptuous men with whom Greece is filled, and who disgrace the most noble of the arts by trafficking in the life and death of men; impostors the more dangerous as they are beyond the reach of the laws, and as they cannot be mortified even by ignominy.
Who, then, is the physician who is an honour to his profession? He who has merited the public esteem by profound knowledge, long experience, consummate integrity, and an irreproachable life; he who, esteeming all the wretched as equals, as all men are equals in the eyes of the Divine Being, eagerly hastens to their assistance at their call, without distinction of persons; speaks to them with mildness, listens to them with attention, bears with their impatience, and inspires them with that confidence which is sometimes sufficient to restore them to life; who, sensibly feeling for their sufferings, carefully
and assiduously studies the cause and progress of their complaint, is never disconcerted by unforeseen accidents, and holds it a duty, in case of necessity, to call in some of his brethren in the healing art to assist him with their advice; he, in fine, who, after having struggled with all his strength against the malady, is happy and modest in success, and may at least congratulate himself in case of failure, that he has been able to alleviate the pains of his patient, and administer to him consolation.
“Such is the philosophical physician whom Hippocrates compares to a god, without perceiving that he has delineated the portrait of himself.”*
From this high and original standard it will be our purpose to trace out the compulsory divisions which have since occurred, the authors of these divisions, the time and cause of their occurrence, and their influence, whether for good or evil.
That surgery was then an essential part of the physician's office cannot be doubted. If we examine the works of various ancient authors, but especially those selected, as being the highest acknowledged authorities, we shall find that medicine in all its fulness and unity is the theme of their writings. To each and every part was assigned a calm and careful consideration. No means were withheld, no diseases were excluded from the ancient physician's
* Barthelemy's (L'Abbé) • Travels of Anarcharsis,' vol. vi, pp.
241 & seq.