페이지 이미지

the king to undeceive his majesty; but he was fearful of the consequences, imagining that a double intrigue had been going on against him, and so he dropped the matter altogether. Owing to the interference of his old enemy, Cullen, he lost, soon afterwards, the professorship of medicine in the University of Padua.

A lady, the wife of an old pupil, had advanced Brown £100 to purchase furniture for his house: some time afterwards she took a disgust to all her husband's friends, and demanded of Dr. Brown the repayment of the money she had advanced ; and as he was unable to comply with the request, he was arrested, and thrown into the King's Bench. It was during the time he was under arrest, that his bookseller, Murray, applied to him, and offered him a sum of money if he would allow him to sell a nostrum in his name. Brown rejected the proposal with disdain. Another party, with the approbation of Murray, made a similar application to him ; in fact, his friend, Dr. G. Stewart, said, “ that Brown must make a pill,” and told him that he might get £10,000 for the receipt. At last he was compelled to listen to the proposal; but on coming to terms, he found that the plan, was by every worthless artifice, to get him so far involved in his circumstances, that he should either be obliged to starve in prison, or compromise his honour. Their knavish tricks were, however, fortunately for the reputation of Dr. Brown, frustrated. A short period after this event, Brown got his release, by binding himself to pay, within a certain time, at stated periods, a small sum, until his whole debts, amounting to £250, should be liquidated.

Dr. Brown now brought out a translation of his Elementa, and after disposing of 1000 copies, he made only £70. Owing to some pecuniary assistance which he derived from his kind friend, Mr. Maddison, a happier prospect seemed now opening to his view. His practice began to encrease, and various literary speculations occupied his powerful mind. He had actually agreed with a publisher for a copyright of a treatise on the gout, for which he was to receive £500. In the midst of these flattering expectations, on the 7th of October, 1788, a fatal stroke of apoplexy put a period to his life.

Upon the day preceding that of his death, he delivered the introductory lecture of a fourth course, at his house in Golden-square. During the lecture nothing unusual was remarked in his appearance. He spoke with vehemence and animation. The same day, at dinner, however, a very valuable old friend of the family, Captain William Hunter, observed so great an alteration in the appearance of his face, that on returning in the evening to Greenwich, he could not banish a strong presentiment that his friend's end was approaching; so that next day when Dr. Brown's son went to Greenwich to communicate the sad tidings to Captain Hunter, he exclaimed, as young Brown entered the room, “your father is dead!"

As soon as his death was known at the University of Padua, where Brown's doctrines had created a schism among the professors, many of the students went in mourning for him, so highly was his name respected.

We would observe, in closing our sketch of the lives of medical men who have had to fight with difficulties, and to struggle against misfortunes, that we have only selected a few of the more prominent cases recorded in medical history. It is our most sincere wish that the perusal of the lives of Dr. Denman, John Hunter, Drs. Armstrong, and Brown, may have the effect of stimulating the student in his career of industry. He will learn, by studying their history, that well-directed application does sometimes succeed, notwithstanding the fearful opposition with which the profession has to contend. We trust this circumstance will inspire him with hope, and brighten his path through life.

* It may gratify the friends of Dr. Brown to know that he has divided the medical faculty in Sicily into two parties, in each of which symptoms are to be traced evincing the existence of a moral malady, but too common, if we might not say almost universal, amongst the faculty of the British Islands, the odium medicorum. A preliminary to a Sicilian consultation has more than once produced the question-How does opium operate? And the true Brunonian answer, Non sedat opium, has often been seen written in large characters, on the outside of a winehouse, in the plains of Catania, followed by the appropriate exclamation, Viva il celeberrimo Brown !



Why Poets do not succeed as Physicians-Life and anecdotes

of Sir Samuel Garth-Origin of the Kit-kat-club-Dr. Mason Good-Dr. Oliver Goldsmith-Dr. Erasmus Darwin -Young Keats—Dr. Mark Akenside-Dr. Walcot-Dr. J. Armstrong-Sir Richard Blackmore—Haller.

The sweet and delightful paths of poetry form a striking contrast to the dry and often unsatisfactory study of medicine. This talent is natural to persons of an imaginative turn of mind; and to those possessing such a mental organization, how little pleasure, comparatively speaking, is taken in the often wearisome and difficult investigations of pathology and therapeutics.

The cultivation of the poetic taste, and the study of the various branches of medical science, are not compatible mental exercises. The education of the medical man necessarily involves in a great measure the consideration of facts, which have come under his own or others' observation, and after a careful investigation of them, to trace their analogies, and to deduce from them principles to guide him in the practical application of the agents of the materia medica. Medicine cannot properly be considered a demonstrative science; the very circumstance of our having to deal with living beings renders it uncertain; yet, notwithstanding this defect, it should never be forgotten that the Baconian principle of induction is as applicable to it as to the sciences which are considered as exact and defined.

Taking this view of the matter, the man who can bring to the study of medicine a mind, patient and unwearied in the search after phenomena, and a disposition not to generalize too hastily, is likely to prove himself a successful practitioner ; but he, whose poetic and active imagination compels him to arrive at premature conclusions, after an insufficient consideration of data, is likely to be the very reverse of successful, when summoned to the bed-side of a patient.

The poet is engaged in tracing resemblances between objects; and he who is engaged in the exercise of his judgment, in the search after truth, is mainly employed in discovering differences, in separating error from truth, and what is false from what is meretricious.

Considered, then, as a question of organization, the man with a highly poetic temperament is not the best calculated to shine as a medical philosopher. On the same principle Locke maintains that a person with highly developed powers of wit, must necessa

« 이전계속 »