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tribution of the nerves arising from those centres. Sometimes the anatomy of the internal organs, Splanchnology, is taken as a separate section, but most frequently the various viscera, their positions and relations, are described as opportunity offers. These lectures are illustrated by recent dissections, preparations, and diagrams.
This course of lectures must be attended to by the student for two winter sessions, for the ordinary diploma of “Member of the College," and three for the Fellowship.
The study of practical anatomy and the superintendence of the dissecting rooms is entrusted to one or more competent anatomists, who usually have some fixed time for attendance, and whose duty it is to assist and explain to the students the structure of those parts of the body which they are dissecting They also give at stated times what are called “demonstratins" on some particular region or part. A most important part of their duties is the constant daily examination of the pupils, as not only the person under examination bimself, but all those listening, gain insensibly, a vast amount of knowledge.
Much has been said on the comparative merits of teaching by lecture and the "colloquial” teaching, as pursued by tutors or demonstrators, but it is of great importance that these two systems be well combined. Without well conducted lecturing, there would be obviously a want of system; and of all things, system is requisite in anatomy. Although we have been speaking of the help needed by the student, it is of the utmost importance that he makes out for himself, as far as he can, the various structures under examination, and not rely too much on help; careful and close reading whilst dissecting from some good text-book is apt sometimes to be overlooked by him, and thereby not only does he not gain as accurate a knowledge as he should, but the teachers have far more to do than their share of the work.
With regard to the practical knowledge gained by the student during his anatomical course, there can be no doubt but that it is obtained by the tutorial system of the dissecting room; that is, of course, provided the teacher of practical anatomy makes strict and personal examination a chief part of his duties. As regards a "public demonstration," there can be no better plan followed than teaching and examining during the actual progress of a dissection. We mean by this, that instead of a teacher coming to an already dissected part, he may depart from what must be of necessity almost a lecture, and demonstrate, teaching the while from the surface downward. This, however, requires great rapidity and facility of manipulation and long practice; but its efficacy is beyond a doubt. A good supply of material is needed for this method of instruction.
The great obstacle to students gaininy, each and all, an accurate knowledge of anatomy from their own actual dissection, is the great scarcity of material, and add to this its expense.
Our fellow workers on the Continent have no difficulty in obtaining as many bodies for dissection as they choose, and further, have no charge made for them, as the supply is under Government management (at least in Paris).
We cannot help thinking that some steps might be taken to put greater facilities in the way of students for obtaining, at a more reasonable rate, the "pabulum” for their most important study.
Again, not only have we in our schools an insufficiency of the supply for ordinary dissection, but it is with great difficulty that bodies can be obtained for the performance of operations ; and it should be in the power of each student to perform for himself, once at least, under a competent instructor, those operations any one of which he may shortly be called upon to do, and at a moment's notice, when he gets into practice.
The combined study of practical dissection and operative surgery, should, we feel convinced, form parts of one and the
Frequently the only manual training a student has is simply that obtained from the dissection of one or two parts, and be it granted that he by this means acquires a certain neatness and skill in unravelling tissues, he does not, he cannot, gain that amount of freedom and steady power which he probably would were he in the constant use of the ordinary instruments of surgery on a more extended scale.
We feel sure we should have a better class of operators, for after all, although a large amount of scientific research is absolutely necessary for a surgeon's excellence, yet manual dexterity should be made more of a sine quá non than we feel it is, amongst a great many bearing the title of “Xelpovpról."
A great amount of horror is usually associated by the public and unprofessional persons with the “dissecting room;" and this perhaps is natural, even setting aside the obvious necessity of the various processes of human dissection. But we rather incline to the belief that the stories afloat of the desecration of the dead, which is supposed to be of daily occurrence in such places, has a great deal to do with the popular disgust associated with them. We can only inform our non-professional friends that a visit to any well conducted dissecting room will probably somewhat modify their previously formed opinions. A place intended for the prosecution of such an important
and intricate study as practical anatomy, should in the first place be kept scrupulously clean, not only after the day's work is done, but during such hours as study is actually proceeding, and to effect this it should be the duty of some person to be in continual attendance during the time that the dissections are being performed. We cannot lay too great stress upon this point, for the reason-though of course obvious to those who have never engaged themselves in such study —that we have frequently noticed students to become disgusted and tired of their work, from the fact that the person whose place it is to attend to such matters, has not performed his duties as carefully as he should have done. Next, that order and decorum be rigidly preserved. A very few words at the commencement of a session on this point will, as a rule, work wonders with those with whom the teacher has to deal (to say nothing of a good example set by seniors).
There are different opinions as to allowing the students to smoke during the prosecution of their studies, and from a prima facie view we might be inclined to give a carte blanche to it; but it must be borne in mind by all teachers, that not only those actually engaged in dissection, but their friends, and particularly “passed men,” will under such circumstances use the dissecting rooms, not as a place for improvement or study, but as a smoking room, to their annoyance, and the disturbance of those who wish to learn from their experience.
Whilst speaking thus somewhat practically on the accessories of dissecting, we may be excused if we were to hint that such parts of a body under examination as are not actually being studied, be always covered with a cloth, not only for the advantage of the dissector, but for simple decency; and in the event of any public lecture or “demonstration, this should be most carefully observed. We are perfectly aware that a statement of this kind will lay us open to a charge of dilettantism, but where such measures are strenuously insisted on, the better for the student, and certainly more calculated to alter the external opinion entertained of the “horrors" of our necessary duty.
Had we space we should have liked to have discussed the system of teaching by private schools, as practised by the Bells, Hunters, Graingers, &c., and of the option students then have of choosing their teachers, but we fear we have already, even in this brief sketch, somewhat overstepped our limit.
By Rev. J. P. MAHAFFY, Fellow of Trinity College. There is no question more important in the discussions of the present day than that of University reform. It is discussed in Reviews, in the daily papers, in Parliament, in everyday society; and as it is a question, or rather a group of questions, which every one approaches imbued with special prejudices, the discussion is likely to be eager and acrid. One man comes from Oxford, another from Cambridge, a third hails from London or Dublin, and is looked upon by the former as having hardly a claim to be called an university man at ali ; another, again, has been to no university, has received a practical education in modern languages, looks with some impatience on the valuable time wasted on Greek and Latin and pure mathematics, and on the unreasonable restrictions of Oaths and Test Acts. All these men will have different views, and are entitled to be heard, and they should be heard too on each of the large group of questions included under University Reform. It is not easy to classify them strictly, but perhaps the most important of them will be included under the three following heads : University Courses of Instruction, University Government, and University Restrictions.
I, for my part, am about to discuss these questions from the Dublin point of view, or perhaps, rather, from my own point of view, for authorities differ here as elsewhere upon all these questions. It is worth while for an Englishman to consider what we Irishmen have to say about these things, for the exceptional position of our University has compelled us to solve long ago many of the questions which are now agitating the minds of English University men, as involving unknown and incal. culable consequences. We have long ago admitted Dissenters and Roman Catholics to our degrees, and almost all our prizes; we have been obliged long ago to permit students to live outside our walls, and even beyond our control, while they are attending our lectures and passing our examinations. We never were able to afford an idle swarm of Fellows, eating up our revenues without assisting in the teaching of our classes. But we used to regret this our poverty, and think we had lost a great means of keeping up a close sympathy between ourselves and the outer Irish world; and yet within the last month the tone of public opinion has threatened to turn the supposed strength of Oxford and Cambridge into a weakness. It seems as if some thirty men. honestly earning their bread by teaching as well as they can 1200 students will, in the end, command more sympathy and respect from the public, than some hundreds whose only connexion with their Universities consists in receiving good salaries for doing nothing. Although our parliamentary elections have given us ample experience of the occasional inroads of rusty and obsolete masters from country parishes, yet our ordinary government has been the very reverse
a close oligarchy, a council of eight, practically irresponsible in former times, but now swayed by the great modern tyrant, public opinion. But the council of eight always consists of men who have grown grey in the service of the University.
Other points will appear in the course of the discussion. Enough has been said to show that a Dublin observer on the question of University reform has many advantages as well as disadvantages in his isolated position.
With regard to the subjects of instruction at our University, we have, I think, very little to complain of, or to amend. Everything is taught, and honours can be obtained in any subject reasonably within the reach of an University. A student can graduate with honours in any one of five subjects, mathematics, classics, philosophy, English literature, law, social science, and experimental sciences. Surely this is very wide. Furthermore, every student who dislikes classics can at the end of two years take up experimental science instead. There are also special immunities granted to professional students after the first two years of arts are passed. At present 200 students in the medical school of Trinity College are prosecuting their course in arts also—a phenomenon not paralleled anywhere in the United Kingdom. It may certainly be argued that the special training for professions is impaired by attending to the arts course, and that our young lawyers, doctors, and curates, are consequently not as learned in their specialities as they ought to be. But the object of the Dublin University has ever been to send out men of general cultivation, not mere skilled handicraftsmen in their several vocations, and the very high social position which professional men have always held in Irish society is mainly the result of this principle acting upon the country through the University.
But without allowing greater immunity from the arts course than the present laws sanction, and without the least discouraging classics, it is surely a grave defect in any university not to promote the study of modern languages earnestly and thoroughly. There is nothing more seriously wanted in our literary world nowadays than a large body of educated men who are thoroughly acquainted with the literature of the Continent, and who can keep us acquainted with the speculations and the discoveries of learned men of other countries.