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death. But it was not these qualities which distinguished him so highly beyond his fellows. To say that he had them will not enable those who stood without the privileged circle of his friends to comprehend why, within that circle, the old mourn hiin as a son, and the young as a brother. It is not because he was so gifted that the veterans of science one and all affirm his loss to be irreparable, and the aspirants know that they may succeed but cannot replace him. Our affections cling to character and not to intellect; and rare as was the genius of Edward Forbes, his character was rarer still. The petty vanities and heart-burnings which are the besetting sins of men of science and of men of letters, had no hold upon his large and generous nature-he did not even understand them in others. A thorough spirit of charity-a complete toleration for everything but empiricism and pettiness—seemed to hide from him all but the good and worthy points in his fellow-men. If he ever wronged a man, it was by making him fancy himself better than he was. Worked to death, his time and his knowledge were at the disposal of all comers; and though his published works have been comparatively few, his ideas have been as the grain of mustard-seed in the parable—they have grown into trees, and brought forth fruit an hundred-fold.'

We are happy to say that his friends have found among his papers a most methodical list of all his writings, which literally amount to hundreds in number, commencing with “ Notes of Experiments on Animals of the Genus Zymnæa," read to the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh, June 24, 1832, and terminating with the article Siluria, in the last October number of the Quarterly Review. There is also a Journal of his Voyage to Asia Minor and Greece, kept with the utmost regularity. We have been allowed to look over some of these papers, and have seen with astonishment the amount of labour of various kinds which he had accomplished. In science there are his long catalogues of plants and animals of different regions ; his numerous contributions to different journals, and his published works. Several books, including “The Rambles of a Naturalist,” “The Zoology of the European Seas," and various papers, are in a forward state of preparation, and many of the blocks already cut for illustration are now in the hands of his publisher, Mr Van Voorst. In literature there are endless lists of various papers and contributions to journals, besides a host of poetical compositions on almost every subject, and some serious pieces in verse of great beauty, of which latter we append to this sketch a short and pleasing sketch. In art, there are endless sketches of men and things, poems illustrated in outline, water-colour drawings, and careful designs for future scientific publications. There is a very extensive series of landscape sketches in water-colour, depicting the influence of geological structure on scenery, which it was his intention to have brought out as a separate publication. His collected works would, if judiciously edited, serve to show the world what Forbes had already done, and of bow much he was capable; and we sincerely trust that some kindred spirit in science and literature will still, for the sake of his memory, combine those

lready pubished with the fragments he has left, and present us with a work worthy of his genius and equal to his fame.

But who can do justice to the wonderful power he possessed of inspiring conidence and respect in all with whom he came in contact--to that earnestness vbich evidently guided his own proceedings, and which he infused into the abours of others-to the remarkable quality of availing himself of the investirations of his fellow-naturalists, and, while thus carrying ont his own genealizations, elevating the isolated observer in the opinion of himself and of the yublic-or to the genial humour which presided over his intercourse with thers, and especially gave a charm to his lectures, and even to his scientific ublications ? Who that has heard him unfolding his beautiful theories, and ren him illustrating them by sketches on the board, now rapidly producing

sorts of animals--now, with a steady artist's hand, displaying the graceful curves of a shell, and then, by a touch, imparting animation to what had previously been dead and inert, which of his audience have not recognised that his philosophy was “not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,” but capable of at once exciting enthusiasm and creating admiration? In him, indeed, Fas a union of qualities so valuable and varied, that we doubt the probability of our meeting with it again ; for he possessed the investigating and generalizing power of the man of science, the skilful hand of the artist, the imaginative mind of the poet, and the truthfulness and simplicty of an upright and noble nature.

We conclude with a few lines of poetry, illustrative of Forbes' more serious compositions :

“A night sky overhead ;
One solitary star

Shining amid
A little cloud of blue, for dark clouds hid
Its sister-sunlets. On its azure bed
It seemed a sun, for there
No jealous planet shone with which it to compare.

The dark clouds rolled away,
And all night's shining train

Of suns and stars,
And the great moon, poured forth their silvery light..
Where, then, was that fair star which shone so bright?
Where was it ? none could say ;
Yet there it surely was, although it seemed away,

So lustrous shall we find
On earth each living soul

When seen alone;
And though, when brighter forms around it press,
We lose its form and doubt its loveliness,
Still should we bear in mind

That it is not less bright although it be outshined !"
E. F., Feb. 19, 1850.

J. H. B.

[graphic][merged small]

SCOTCH REGISTRATION ACT. The new Registration Act comes into operation on 1st January 1855. The section (XLI.) specially referring to medical men is as follows:-“The medica person who shall have been in attendance during the last illness, and until the death of any person shall, within fourteen days after the death of such person, and under a penalty not exceeding forty shillings in case of failure i transmit to the registrar a certificate of such death in the form of the schedul (G) hereto annexed, the particulars of which shall forth with be entered by the registrar in the register, and the registrar shall from time to time furnisl. gratis, to every medical person within his parish or district known to him, or


who shall require the same, the necessary copies of such certificate.” schedule referred to is as under.



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I hereby certify that I attended

who was apparently aged - years; that I last saw ᎠᎪᎢᎬ .

h- on the day of 18 - ; that he died on the day of - 18—, at - ; that the

cause of h-- death was - - and that the disease had continued Witness my hand this — day of — 18—.

Profession, -- -

Besides the medical attendant, householders, relatives, and the undertaker, are held bound to give notice of death. In the case of births the medical inan incurs no responsibility; the parents, and failing them, the nurse, etc., being required to give the necessary intimation to the registrar. One grand defect runs through the whole Act, namely, that while the many different parties interested in the three events of birth, death, and marriage, incur penalties for non-intimation to the registrar, no provision is made except in two cases for receipt or acknowledgment by that functionary that the original information has been lodged with him. To obviate this defect, so far as the medical profession is concerned, we would suggest that the registrar should be asked to initial the margin of schedule G.


ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE WEEKLY MEDICAL JOURNALS.-If flaring and extravagant advertisements lower the character of common newspapers, they must degrade medical journals still more, devoted as they are to topics of a serious nature, and treating of matters peculiar to their readers. Yet the advertising sheets of the medical journals present more examples of the transition from the sublime to the ridiculous than those of any other periodicals: indeed people can scarcely refrain from laughter when they view the pictorial illustrations which ornament them. Here is the gentleman with the tail of his shirt drawn over his pubis who sells the “ mock-main” truss ; and there the lady's torso in cuerpo, with the elastic appliance called “ the abdominal supporter, most valuable to those ladies who are anxious for the look of their waists ;" while another female figure displays the beauties of “an air-.pad for prolapsis uteri” in situ, “highly appreciated by the most eminent members of the profession.” Then comes “a bed-pan of cunning construction,” followed by “railway urinals for male and female.” We say nothing of the picture of the nursemaids rolling their babies along in three-wheeled barrows, nor yet again of the “grype and grimly beast" which warns us to “mark our linen.” We do not even object to the pair of breeches, with boots and spurs attached, they are at least harmless; all we venture to do is to suggest as much decency respecting such matters as may prevent people from talking of “ nasty doctors," as they view these pictures, or even something worse than them, in shop windows. We pretend not to dictate to our contemporaries, they are the best judges of what is fitting, but we see no harm in saying so much.--Dublin Med. Press.

ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS OF EDINBURGH.--At the late election meeting of this College Dr Begbie was placed in the President's chair, over the heads of eighteen of his senior Fellows. We regret to say that this was entirely owing to the active exertions of the party now predominant in its affairs, who, to the number of twenty, had private meetings, and sent round circulars to their friends directing them how to vote, so as to place their own leaders and Dr Begbie in the council. Among so small a body as the Edinburgh College of Physicians a secret cabal or Junto of this kind, formed principally at supper parties among the juniors, must of course always secure a majority of votes. It would therefore be wiser and more dignified for the senior and distinguished Fellows (all of whom, we are happy to say, opposed the late proceedings), not to mix themselves up in any way at present with College affairs. The Junto have already so "mismanaged the question of medical reform in Scotland, that all the sister colleges and institutions have shrunk from it in distrust. Its present forlorn condition will certainly not be improved by the late election, which is simply an acknowledgment that elderly general practitioners of the College of Surgeons, who find it convenient to provide for their sons by surrendering to them their general practice, and by retaining what they are pleased to call consulting business, are in future to be elevated by the Junto, over men who have been consistent supporters of the College all their lives.

THE PRACTICE OF PHYSIC SHOULD BE FOUNDED ON KNOWLEDGE RATHER THAN EXPERIENCE.--It is not unworthy of remark that many physicians pra fess to hold chemistry in contempt, exactly as they do physiology; that medicine reproaches physiology, with the same injustice, that she reproaches chemistry. The physician who has learned medicine, not as a science, but as empirical art, acknowledges no principles, but only rules derived from experience. The object of his inquiries is only whether a remedy, in any given case, had a good or a bad effect. This is all the empiric cares about. He never asks why ? He never inquires into the causes of what he observes! How differently would the treatment of diseases be conducted if we had perfectly clear notions of the processes of digestion, assimilation, and excretion. Without just views of force, cause, and effect,—without a clear insight into the very essence of natural phenomena-without a solid physiological and chemical education, is it to be wondered at that men, in other respects rational, should defend the most absurd notions ; that the doctrines of Hahnemann should prevail in Germany, and find disciples in all countries ? Reason alone will not prevent whole nations from falling into the most abject superstitions, whilst even a child whose mind has been duly developed and instructed will repudiate the fear of ghosts and hobgoblins.—Liebig's Letters on Chemistry.

M. CAPURON.-M. Dubois says, in his éloge of M. Capuron, who left a considerable fortune in charitable bequests, besides L.6000 to his relations, and L40 annually to the Academy of Medicine, for a prize, that" He passed his entire life in the Pays Latin, near the schools and hospitals. For many years he followed the clinique of Duputren at the Hotel Dieu, and then that of M. Bouillaud at La Charité. His grey hairs were sean towering over all the young heads by the bedside where he disputed for the best place with the students For some time he was an obstinate supporter of the doctrines of Boussais, at whose lectures he sat on the first bench. No student ever lived harder than he. His room presented the poverty and severity of a monk's cell; a thick dust covered his books and furniture, which latter consisted only of an old bureau and a few straw chairs. It is not known whether a little fire ever enlivened the gloom. The use of a carriage was to him completely unknown. He was to be seen, in the depth of winter, every morning hastening to the cliniques, his face red with cold, and he himself only clothed in a simple frock coat that no one ever remembered to have seen new. He died 28th April, aged eighty-three years.-Gazette Medicale.

Town PURIFICATION.- Every house in which tenants die of typhus fever should be held suspect, examined by the authorities, and, if need be, like a foul grave-yard, summarily closed until it has been put into a wholesome state. Many small owners, no doubt, could not afford the immediate expense of renovation ; but a principle already introduced as part of sanitary discipline might be extended : an efficient Board of Health might be empowered to effect all necessary alteration, and distributing its charge on each house-owner over thirty years, saddle him with no more than a small terminable tax upon his premises. By the adoption of a policy like this, carried out strictly and carefully, how much might be done in the course even of a single generation for the cure of our towns-done too at no real cost to the nation, by the mere guidance of house-owners into a path of justice profitable even in the most worldly sense to themselves, and by lending them such power to fulfil necessary injunctions as they may not have immediately at command.-Household Words.

Mis-STATEMENTS OF THE “MEDICAL Times.”_We took occasion to point out during the Gay affair, when the Medical Times was full of rounded sentences about the honour and dignity of medicine, how incompatible its practice was with its professions, in admitting anonymous letters, full of malicious statements, and attacks on medical men in Edinburgh. These letters have lately been resumed, and abound in false assertions, with a view of puffing the writer's friends and injuring his opponents. We beg to caution our readers against believing any portion whatever of the “gossip ” of the " provincial correspondent” for Scotland, and to express our regret that a journal should find it worth its while thus to pander to those mean and secret attacks on character, so disgraceful in one belonging to the profession of medicine.

BANQUET TO A BONE-SETTER. - In November last a public banquet was given to a country bone-setter called Mason, in Wisbeach, in Cambridgeshire, which was presided over by the Mayor, when a silver cup and a sum of money amounting to L.225, 8s. were presented to him. “ It was remarkable that just as Mr Mason was proceeding to attend the dinner, he was called upon by a lady to reduce a dislocation of the coliar bone. After leaving her he was stopped by a case of fractured leg, which he also set. The dinner was kept waiting in consequence, but the delay was inconsiderable.”—Cambridge Independent Press. This transaction will constitute an important illustration of the manners of the 19th century, for some future historian.

THE LONDON WEEKLIES AND THE EDINBURGH SCHOOL OF MEDICINE.-The necessity of finding matter to fill four weekly medical journals, seems now to have exhausted the numerous schools of London of those lectures on which these periodicals mainly depend for matter. Hence the Lancet has had recourse to Mr Syme of Edinburgh, and the Medical Times to Dr Stokes of Dublin. The Times, in addition, has a correspondent in Edinburgh, who evidently imposes upon the editor, by sending him the merest twaddle and petty malice of his own under the head of“ news.” The Association Journal, again, reports the meetings of societies, and any other scraps of Edinburgh intelligence it can pick up, in order to communicate interest to its pages.

LINES ON THE DEATH or PROFESSOR E. Forbes.-A gentleman who attended the course of Natural History last summer, and who is favourably known in the literary world, observes on the death of Professor Forbes :“One could almost fancy that Truth perceived he would outrun his age and silenced a tongue which had also anticipated the future :

Nature, a jealous mistress, laid him low.
He woo'd and won her; and, by love made bold,
She showed him more than mortal man should know;

Then slew him lest her secrets should be told."-Scottish Press. We are happy to announce that Dr George Wilson has undertaken to write

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