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How are we to secure for the art of discern- , they live, however rapidly it may advance. I ing, curing and preventing disease, the maxi. wish to see physicians still instituted in the same mum of good and the minimum of mischief, discipline, and still reared in fellowship and comin availing ourselves of the newest discover
munion with the wisest and best of men, and that ies in human knowledge? To any one wish becoming to their character, but because I am per
not for the sake of what is ornamental merely, and ing to look into this most interesting, and at suaded that that discipline which renders the the present time, vital question, we would mind most capacious of wisdom and most capable recommend a paper by the accomplished of virtue, can hold the torch and light the path to President of the Edinburgh College of Phy- the sublimest discoveries in every science. It sicians, admirable equally in substance and
was the same discipline which contributed to form in form, entitled, “On the Signification of , “On the Signification of the minds of Newton and of Locke, of Harvey and
of Sydenham.” Fact in Medicine, and on the hurtful effects of the incautious use of such modern sources of fact as the microscope, the stethoscope, in leading his pupils into the vast ward of
He makes the following beautiful remark chemical analysis, statistics, &c.;" it may be St. Bartholomew's :found in No. 177 of the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal. We merely give a "In entering this place, even this vast hospital, sample or two, in which our readers will find where there is many a significant, many a wonin better expression much of what he have derful thing, you shall take me along with you, already referred to. “ Medicine still is, and and I will be your guide. But it is by your own must continue for ages to be an empirico-ra. eyes, and your ears and your own minds, and (1 tionalism." "A sober thinker can hardly may add) by your own hearts, that you must obventure to look forward to such an advanced the objects, and say lútle else than ‘See here and
and learn, and profit. I can only point 10 state of chemical rationalism as would be suf
see there." ficient for pronouncing a priori, that sulphur would cure scabies, iodine goître, citric acid This is the great secret, the coming to close the scurvy, or carbonate of iron neuralgia.” | quarters with your object, having immediate, “ Chemistry promises to be of immediate not mediate cognizance of the materials of service in the practice of medicine, not so study and care, apprehending first, and then much by offering us a rational chemical pa- comprehending. For, to use an illustration, thology, bul by enlarging the sources from which no one need ever weary of giving or which our empirical rules are to be drawn.' receiving, a good practical physician is more Here we have our “middle propositions." akin to the working-bee than to the spider "The great bulk of practical medical know- or the ant. Instead of spinning, like the ledge is obviously the fruit of individual schoolmen of old, endless webs of speculaminds, naturally gifted for excellence in medi- tions out of their own bowels, in which they cine;" but the whole paper deserves serious were themselves afterward as frequently contiuous study. We would also, in spite of caught and destroyed as any one else, or some ultraisms in statement and expression, hoarding up, grain after grain, the knowthe overflowings of a more than ordinarily ledge of other men, and thus becoming “a strong and ardent, and honest mind, recom- very dungeon of learning," in which (Hibermend' heartily the papers of Dr. Forbes, nice) they lose at once themselves and it,-which appeared at the close of the British they should rather be like the brisk and and Foreign Medical Review, in which he has, public-hearted bee, taking, by a divine inwith what we cannot call else or less than stinct, her own industry, and the accuracy magnanimity, spoken so much wholesome, of her instrument, honey from all flowers. though it may be, unpalatable truth; and, “Formica colligit et utitur, ut faciunt empifinally, we would send every inquiring student rici; aranea ex se fila educit neque a particuwho wishes to know how to think and how laribus materiam petit ; apis denique cæteris to speak on this subject at once with power, se melius gerit, bæc indigesta a foribus melclearness, and compactness, and be both la colligit, deinde in viscerum cellulas conwitty and wise, to Dr. Latham's three little cocta maturat, iisdem tandem insudat donec volumes on Clinical Medicine. The first two ad integram perfectionem perduxerit.” lectures in the earliest volume are “lion's We had intended giving some account of marrow," the very pith of sense and sound the bearing that the general enlightenment mindedness. We give a morsel :
of the community has upon Medicine,—and
especially of the value of the labors of such “ The medical men of England do and will
men as the late Dr. Combe, Dr. Henry Marcontinue to keep pace with the age in which shall, Sir James Clark, and others, in the
collateral subjects leading into, and auxiliary , cere, et in crescente ætate, minui potius quam to pure Medicine,—but we have no space to augeri, scientiam,” meaning by “scientia” an do them any measure of justice. The full abstract systematic knowledge. And Borimportance, and the full possibility of the deu gives as the remark of an old physician, prevention of disease in all its manifold, civil, J'étois dogmatique à vingt ans, observateur moral, and personal bearings, is not yet by a trente, à quarante je fus empirique ; je n'ai any means adequately acknowledged; there point de système à cinquante." And he are few things oftener said or less searched adds, in reference to how far a medical man into than that prevention is better than cure. must personally know the sciences that con
Let not our young and eager doctors be tributed to his art, “Iphicrates, the Athenian scandalized at our views as to the compara- | general, was hard pressed by an orator betive uncertainty of medicine as a science-fore the people, to say what he was to be so such has been the opinion of the wisest and proud, Are you a soldier, a captain, an enmost successful of the art. Radcliffe used gineer, a spy, a pioneer, a sapper, a miner?' to say, that " when young, he had fifty re- No,' says Iphicrates, 'I am none of these, medies for every disease, and when old, one but I command them all.' So, if one asks remedy for fifty diseases.". Dr. James Gre- me, are you an empiric, a dogmatist, an obgory said, "young men kill their patients, server, an anatomist, a chemist, a microscoold men let them die." Gaubius says, pist? I answer, No, but I am captain of “ equidem candide dicam, plura me indies, them all." dum in artis usu versor, dediscere quam dis
There's a shadow on the spirit,
But though it darkly clings,
There's morning on its wings.
Is sunshine but in gloom,
Doth herald joy to come.
To last above their day,
To be in gloom alway.
Song-birds carol after showers,
Like the merry-hearted flowers.
So it will be, never fear;
Shades are fleeing-day is here.
From Hogg's Instructor.
ALEXANDER SELKIRK, THE ORIGINAL ROBINSON CRUSOE.
We are not certain whether Defoe's admi- | shall, however, stir their remembrance once rable romance, “ The Adventures of Robin- more, that our young readers may have a son Crusoe,” is quite such a favorite with knowledge of the real as well as the imaginthe “ rising generation” of the present day ary Robinson Crusoe. There is, besides, a as it was with their youthful progenitors. If moral to be derived from his eventful life it is, we feel some misgivings that we under which may be studied to advantage. take a thankless task in directing the atten- Alexander Selkirk, or Selcraig, was the tion of the juvenile reader to the real proto seventh son of John Selcraig and Euphan type of that most interesting of all imaginary Mackie of Largo, in Fifeshire. The father personages.
So very much like a true nar- was a shoemaker and tanner-most of the rative of facts has Defoe contrived to weave shoemakers in these days curing their own his imperishable fiction, that the young mind, hides—and a man of some means. The if not the old, is unwilling to think of any property in which he lived, called Dunnoone having sat for the portraiture save the chie, at the west end of Largo, was his own. veritable Robinson Crusoe himself. Never- Here Alexander was born in 1676.
In boy. theless, such is the fact, and as truth is at hood he was naturally of a wayward temper, all times preferable to fiction, even the most which humor was much aggravated by the highly wrought, we cannot help embracing ill-bestowed favor of his mother, who formed this opportunity of thanking honest John great expectations of her son because of his Howeli* for the zeal with which he set about being the seventh, a charmed number, acgleaning the history of the bona fide adven- cording to superstition. He seems to have turer. This he accomplished with charac- early made choice of a seafaring life, and to teristic enthusiasm, some twenty years ago; have acquired some knowledge in navigation, yet it is singular that no second edition of his That he soon became an able and expert sealittle work, so far as we are aware, has ever man may be inferred from his subsequent
een call for—a circumstance which, per- history. Howell produces extracts from th haps, more than anything else, shows that session-records, to show that he was at home the world did not care to be disabused of its in 1701, as quarrelsome and reckless as could belief in the ideal Robinson. It is true that be well imagined.* In 1703, he was apthe fact of Selkirk's having lived alone for pointed sailing-master of the Cinque Ports four
years and four months on an island, was galley, one of two privateer vessels sent out known through the medium of several pub- to the South Seas by a company under Caplications, prior to the fiction of Defoe, and tain Dampier, who had previously gained from which he adopted the idea of his future some reputation in that quarter of the world. work. Amongst others, it was made the sub- In this expedition, however, he proved himject of a paper in “The Englishman,” by self very ill.qualified for the command he Sir Richard Steele, who saw and conversed had undertaken. His “arbitrary, unsettled with Alexander Selkirk. This account of turn of mind” led to continual disputes and him was published in 1713, six years before heart-burnings, while their success in capthe production of Defoe's work. Still these turing prizes was by no means commensurate notices had long been lost sight of by the with their expectations. After the death of general reader till Howell again revived Captain Charles Pickering of the Cinque them. Even his gathered statements, inter- Ports, and the promotion of Lieutenant esting as they certainly are, seem now in Thomas Stradling, to whom he had conceived danger of experiencing a similar fate. We
* He was summoned before the session for creat. * The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, ing a tumult in his father's house, and fighting with &c. By John HOWELL.
an inveterate dislike, Selkirk seems to have the 19th of May, the vessels parted, never resolved upon making his escape as soon as to meet again. Strange to say, although an possible. In the conduct of Captain Dam- exchange of some of the men took place bepier he foresaw nothing but ruin to the ex- tween the two ships, Selkirk remained with pedition. A dream which he had at this the Cinque Ports, thinking probably, as time, to the effect that the Cinque Ports Howell presumes, that no money was to be would be shipwrecked, is said to have deci- got under Dampier’s command. While cruisded him in his determination. The two ves- ing along the shores of Mexico, without any sels having reached Juan Fernandez (Feb. success, a violent quarrel ensued between 1704) for the purpose of taking in wood and Captain Stradling and Selkirk, and he re: water, a violent quarrel ensued between Cap- solved to leave, whatever might be the contain Stradling and his crew. Forty-two out sequence. At length the want of provisions of the sixty men went on shore, determined and the crazy state of the ship compelled never to go on board again, so that the Stradling to sail for Juan Fernandez. Here Cinque Ports rode almost deserted at anchor. the vessel remained from the beginning to For two days the men wandered about the the end of September, the breach between island, undecided what to do. Howell is in the Captain and Selkirk daily becoming worse. clined to believe, though the fact is not stated At length, while the vessel was getting under by Funnel, the historian of the expedition, weigh, Selkirk was landed, with his chest, that Selkirk was amongst the disaffected, and all his effects. It must have been an and that it was during this misunderstanding, impressive scene to witness the leave-taking having ample leisure to survey the island, he of his comrades, while the surly commander had resolved upon making it his subsequent sat in the boat urging their return. Selkirk
At length, through the mediation described his feelings as almost insupportaof Captain Dampier, the refractory crew ble when he heard the plash of the oars as were reconciled to their captain, and returned the boat rowed away, leaving him to solitude to their duty. While the vessels were lying and himself on an uninhabited island. His here a sail appeared in sight, when chase heart literally sank within him. was immediately given, and at length coming The Island of Juan Fernandez, of which up with her she proved to be a French ship Alexander Selkirk was for the time the only of about four hundred tons burden, with inhabitant, is situated in the Pacific Ocean, thirty guns, and well provided and manned about a hundred and ten leagues west of A desperate action ensued, the brunt of which Chili. It is peculiarly rich in natural beauty was borne by the St. George, the Cinque --rocks, hills, and valleys--and abounding Ports, after firing a few shots, having fallen with delightful springs and streams of water, astern and been becalmed. The fight was with umbrageous woods, and wild flowers maintained yardarm and yardarm for seven innumerable. The shores abounded with fish, hours, when at length the fire of the French- and numerous goats—a breed of which had man began to slacken, there not being men been imported at some unknown period beleft sufficient to work the guns, and she was fore-browsed upon its herbage. Such was on the point of yielding when a breeze sprang the island-home of Selkirk, and, in the beauup, and she made sail
, the St. George not tiful words of Cowper, he might have exbeing in a condition to follow her. Thus the claimed, as he looked aroundgallant prize was lost just at the moment fortune seemed about to place her in their pow- “I am monarch of all I survey, er. The Cinque Ports having bore up, the My right there is none to dispute ;" two captains, in opposition to the remonstrances of the crews, determined to return to but his heart still beat violently in response to Juan Fernandez, and allow the Frenchman
the farewell salute of his friends ; the plash to escape.
On their return, however, they of the receding oars still filled his ear, and found the bay occupied by two French South Sea vessels of thirty-six guns each, too strong the horizon long after it had disappeared.
his eye strained toward the little speck on a force for them to compete with; so they The most intense feeling of desolation took bore away direct for the coast of Peru.
hold of himBut it is not our purpose to follow Dampier in his unfortunate expedition. After sundry
“Oh solitude ! where are the charms adventures, a few captures, and no small
That sages have seen in thy face? mismanagement, a serious misunderstanding Better dwell in the midst of alarms, occurred between the two captains, and on
Than reign in this horrible place !"
He felt, in short, an entire prostration of his loathing induced by the want of it was alfaculties. It was not till the darkness of most intolerable. It is astonishing, however, night overshadowed all things that he closed how accommodating the human constitution his weary eyes, and even then not to sleep, is. The palate became reconciled at last. so dreadful did he feel the indescribable lone- The first great enterprise engaged in by Selliness of his situation. He tasted no food kirk was the building of a hut. This roused until prompted by extreme hunger, and then his energies, and necessarily took him away he fed upon such shellfish as the beach sup- from the beach, where he used to maintain plied, for he felt as if spellbound to the shore. a hopeless outlook for some vessel to relieve It was now the beginning of October (1704), him from his melancholy situation. He found the "springtime of the year” in those south- this occupation so agreeable that he built two ern latitudes in which Juan Fernandez is sit- huts. They were constructed of “the wood uated. The island was glowing in all the of the pimento-tree, and thatched with a spefreshness of its vernal beauty, but nature cies of grass, that grows to the height of spread her charms in vain before the deserted seven or eight feet upon the plains and smaller in his present mood. He felt as “out of hills, and produces straw resembling that of humanity's reach,” and was miserable. Nor oats.” The one was much larger than the was this to be wondered at. The life of a other, and situated near a spacious wood. seaman is perhaps the worst of all training This he made his sleeping-room, spreading for a recluse; for, although they may be said the bed-clothes he had brought on shore with to be shut out from the world for years in him upon a frame of his own construction; long voyages, still they are always associated and as these wore out, or were used for other in little communities, and enjoy each other's purposes, he supplied their place with goats' society with greater relish because of their skins. His pimento bedroom he used also peculiar situation. To be at once transferred as his chapel; for here he kept up that simple from a floating world of some sixty men, but beautiful form of family-worship which he bound to each other by a common danger had been accustomed to in his father's house. and a common interest, to an uninhabited Soon after he left his bed, and before he island, where he never could “hear the sweet commenced the duties of the day, he sang music of speech," was a trial of fortitude a psalm or part of one; then he read a porwhich no one can properly conceive. Neither tion of Scripture, and finished with devout was the temper of Selkirk of that phlegmatic prayer. In the evening, before he retired to character to bear calmly the ills which beset rest, the same duties were performed. His him. Often did he contemplate putting an devotions he repeated aloud, to retain the
, end to his sufferings by a violent death. “ It use of speech, and for the satisfaction man was in this trying situation,” says Howell, feels in hearing the human voice, even when “when his mind, deprived of all outward oc- it is only his own. The greater part of his cupation, was turned back upon itself, that time was spent in devotion. He had been the whole advantages of that inestimable heard afterward to say, with tears in his eyes, blessing, a religious education in his youth, that he was a better Christian in his solitude was felt in its consoling influence when every than ever he was before, and feared he would other hope and comfort had fled. When mis- ever be again. To distinguish the Sabbath, ery had subdued the pride of his hard and he kept an exact account of the days of every stubborn heart, it was then he turned to that week and month, although the method he Divine Being of whom he had thought so adopted to do so is not mentioned. little at an earlier period. Then the uninhabited wilderness of Juan Fernandez was
Religion ! what treasure untold turned into a smiling garden, and the dark
Resides in that heavenly word! ness of that despair that had nearly over- More precious than silver and gold, whelmed him began to clear away. By slow
Or all that this earth can afford.” degrees he became reconciled to his fate, and as winter approached, he saw the neces- The smaller hut, which stood at some dissity of procuring some kind of shelter from tance from the other, was used as a kitchen, in the weather ; for, even in that genial clime, which he dressed his victuals. The furnifrost is common during the night, and snowture, as may be conceived, was very scanty, is sometimes found upon the ground in the the pot or kettle he had brought from the morning.” One of the greatest difficulties ship to boil his meat in being the most valuexperienced by the recluse was the living able article. The pimento wood, which burns upon fresh food. He had no salt, and the I very bright and clear, served him both for