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with the epithet of Quack. Yet, although the interests and the feelings of the profession are arrayed, in strong hostility, against the pretensions of the unlicensed practitioner, it might have been expected, that there had been left among them kindness or candour enough to induce some generous spirit to protest against such undiscriminating and unrelenting persecution; or at least, to deprecate the wrath which he had not the courage to oppose. It is true, the empiric, secure in the possession of the confidence of the many, is raised by their protection above the idle malice of his envious calumniators; and safe from the sting of the serpents, may laugh at their harmless contortions. Yet, as the impotence of rage is no excuse for its extravagance, I hope I shall be applauded by every lover of humanity, if I venture to uplift my feeble voice in behalf of this injured people, against the noisy outcries of their boisterous assailants.
The first and most honourable characteristic of the quack, is his freedom from the shackles of prejudice, and his love of the experimental philosophy. Free from all slavish adherence to the doctrines of his predecessors, “nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri,' his mind is left at liberty to adopt the fair inference from the facts before him. Redeemed by the liberal spirit of his sect from the thraldom of authority, listening not to Hippocrates, nor to Galen, nor to Avicenna, but guided by the result of experiment alone, he is your true Baconian philosopher. In this way, the great Paracelsus accomplished for medicine, what Verulam did for philosophy. The syllogisms of the Stagyrite did not retreat with more rapidity before the blows of the Novum Organon, than the hot and the cold, the moist and the dry of the Coan sage, when assailed by the salt, sulphur and mercury of that priest and prince, and pride of Cantambancos, Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombast ab Hohenheim.
This glorious revolution, or rather restoration, in medicine, has produced at least, among the followers of the philosopher of Einfidlen, a remarkable simplification in all the divisions and details of the divine art of healing. The empiric is thus released from the necessity of devoting his valuable time to the useless acquisition of a farrago of anatomical and physological nonsense, which the candidate for the regular diploma is absurdly obliged, if not to learn, at least to listen to, and which serves no other
purpose than that for which, perhaps, it was intended, to make a pedantic display of ostentatious erudition. The human body is now considered by this medical Baconian precisely as it ought to be, the object of extemporaneous ex
periments; experiments which this hardy philosopher conducts with the same quiet composure, as if he were analysing an unresisting and insensible mineral.
The same happy simplicity pervades his system of preven, tion and cure. A few roots obtained from the Cherokees or the Chickasaws, those great observers of nature, along with the elixirs, the balsams, the oils, and the essences, prepared from these materials, constitute the whole of the charlatan's pharmacopeia. And such is his extraordinary skill, that out of a stock not too large to be carried in his pocket, all mortal and incurable maladies to which wretched humanity is subject, may be speedily, safely and radically cured,-cured, let it well be observed, always by the blessing of Providence ; for the quack never impiously ascribes to his own interference, the glory of the sick man's recovery. He asks not the praise, which he knows is not his ; and so great is this meek man's humility, that he never is heard to complain, although, in return for his services, be receives nothing more than pecuniary recompense, which, as moralists very properly tell us, is the vilest of all compensations.
Another admirable trait in the practice of the charlatan, is this, that his doses are not subject, like those of the graduate, to perpetual and disgraceful vacillation. The regular physician is under the necessity of accommodating his remedies to the age, the sex, or the constitution of his patient, the symptoms which attend the disorder, or the period in the progress of the complaint. This infallibly begets a very narrow and contracted view of things, and gives rise to a niggardly habit of dealing out powders and potions by means of delibes rate drops and graduated grains. The experimentarian, as the great Dugald Stewart would call him, is above such contemptible meanness. He never stoops to the base and mechanic economy of measuring and weighing the medicine he dispenses. He disdains to attend to these trifling minutiæ, and confiding in the power of his nostrum, and the guardianship of Providence, disregarding with noble intrepidity, age, strength and sex, time, place and circumstance, he attacks, puts to flight, and exterminates, with one unconquerable weapon, gout, rheumatism, cramp, serpigo and the rheum.'
Talk not to me of your Celsuses, ancient or modern, of your Sydenhams, eastern or western, or your Boerhaaves, European or American! Which of them, think ye, could boast of possessing the no-cure-no-pay · Balm of Gilead, the matchless. Quintessence of Gold,' or the marvellous · Elixir of Life ??
Another highly praiseworthy feature, for which the genuine
quack has ever been remarkable, is his generous and irrepressible anxiety to relieve the afflicted wherever they are found. If he meets with a sick man, imposed upon by the pretensions of the regular physician, or sinking fast into the grave, beneath the weight of legitimate prescription, he is ever ready to warn the patient of his folly, in rather dying by the hand of the doctor, than living by the aid of the quack. Filled with honest indignation that the sufferer's health should be sacrificed to support the dogmas of the schools, he boldly interposes, protests against the practice of his rival, and gener ously assumes the entire management of the cure If his kind propositions are rejected, the good man is not so to be repulsed. To rescue the infatuated victim from the dangers of impending death, he is ready to surrender, what all have acknowledged to be far the most valuable treasure that man can possess--his reputation for integrity and truth. The end justifies and consecrates the me ns. salus populi suprema lex,' and the neverwearied quacker-everes till he finally accomplishes, at least, the wiser part of his purpose. For though the patient recovers his judgment too late to be restored to his health, the schoolman, the dogmat:st, the follower of forms, the author of the irreparable mischief is at last discharged in disgrace.
'Tis true, trifling accidents sometimes occur. The lancet, with fatal perversity, insists upon opening an artery, instead of a vein, or a dislocated joint unkindly refuses to retire to its place, though politely requested by the gentlest and most emollient of poultices. Carcinoma, sphacelus and phagedæna will relentlessly hold on their fatal course, in spite of the repeated entreaties and mild expostulations of goose grass, tansy and dock. "Inward bruises' will sometimes rebel against parmaceti,' which once was the sovereignest thing on earth. Even the most vigorous exhortations of the wonder-working Hohenlohe will fail, unless the postage of the letter from the sufferer be paid; and I have been credibly informed that a patient of the great Dr. Graham was buried to the eyes in pipe clay for a month, and yet, after all, ungratefully died of consumption. But how can this be helped ? Death will come at last, when the time is appointed. Even he will die.cui salvia crescit in horto,' and the quack must not be blamed because man is not immortal.
If the mountebank had nothing better to urge in his defence than the authority of antiquity, for the principles of his practice, this single consideration ought to screen him from contempt. He belongs to a family far more ancient and more probly descended than that of his arrogant antagonist. Zoroas
ter the inventor of magic, was cotemporaneous, if not identical with Ham, and, we have good reason to believe, was not a university graduate. Thoth, the first Hermes, Isis, Osiris and Anubis, Chiron, Orpheus, and even Esculapius, cured diseases by Abracadabras and the thirty-six herbs of the Horoscope; and who will pretend that the practice of those illustrious charlatans was sanctioned by the luculentum testimonium,' or the & amplissima potestas ? The Cabbiri and the Magi, the Druids and the Gymnosophists were renowned through all antiquity; and, doubtless, we might trace the origin of the fraternity to the very gates of Eden, if we knew where to look for the records of antediluvian empiricism.
And now, let me ask, shall the doctrines and opinions, the conduct and the character of men like these, whose intellectual empire is as old almost as time itself, be put down by the flippant pretensions of an upstart school, or displaced by the overweening conceits, and the new-fangled notions of philosophers of yesterday?
But the quack has no reason to despair. The restoration of his legitimate sovereignty, we hope, is at hand; for already has the arrogant licentiate paid ample, though reluctant homage to the genius of the mountebank. Amulets and Abracadabras, cobwebs and camphor bags, robs and rusty nails, scullcap, cubebs and sarsaparilla, tar water, tractors and acupuncturation, have all been successively admitted into regular practice, and remain to this day as glorious testimonials of the triumph of empiricism. Even the assembled councils of nations have shown their legislative wisdom, by purchasing, at any price whatever, the secret of a sudorific, and the composition of a cataplasm. Yet such has been the desperate malice of their defeated adversaries, that the noble confidence of conscious skill has been denominated impudence and effrontery, and that admirable promptness in the application of their remedies has been called, by their persecutors, uncalculating and unprincipled temerity. Even this is not all. In the exuberant malevolence of hatred, they have been charged, by their jealous rivals, with gross and dishonourable ignorance. Shade of ab Hohenheim! Ignorance! Are those men ignorant who know the language of the stars, and the secrets of the dead; who can arrest a hemorrhage by a nod, and disperse a tumour at the word of command ; who can extract a calculus by means of an algebraic equation, and set a broken leg, like Cato the elder, by "huat hanat ista pista sista!" Is it ignorance, ye spiteful calumniators, to cure stone by sternutatories, gout by gargles, cancers by corn plasters, and any Vol. I. No. VI.
thing by panaceas; to purify the air with the fumes of poison, and to repel pestilence with pyroligneous acid ? But, we doubt not, if the truth were candidly acknowledged, the most atrocious offence, in the eyes of his persecutors, that the quack has committed, is the heinous and unpardonable sin of curing the sick, with unenumerated simples, and of riding in a carriage without permission from a college. The graduate is indignant that disease keeps her ground, unappalled at the approach of the diploma, and yet retires in dismay before the wand of the mountebank. But the charlatan has very little to apprehend from the wrath of the regular, for Superstition is as potent as ever,' and nothing will prevail upon the goddess to desert her votaries, or to release her victims.
The importance of an undertaking of such magnitude as that proposed in Mr. Irving's Prospectus of the Collection of EngTish Literature, must, of course, have been maturely considered by him before he determined to assume its editorship. We cannot, however, conceal our regret, that Mr. Irving has not unfolded to the community the principles on which he has grounded his proposed selection ; inasmuch, as a knowledge of English authors and their productions, is indispensably necessary to the formation of a correct idea of the relative value of selections, made from the entire range of English Literature.
In pursuance of our promise, in the last number, we shall endeavour, by a brief, and perhaps imperfect, list of such English writers as are worthy of notice, to enable our readers to form some general idea of the merit of the collection laid before them in the catalogue published in our last.
We shall commence with the earliest writers in the English language, and shall, for the present, confine ourselves to the prose writers, who flourished from the time of Edward the Third to the splendid age of Queen Elizabeth. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that, in consequence of the scanty materials with which we are provided for so early a period of English literature, nothing more will be presented, nor, indeed, can be reasonably expected, than a mere catalogue raisonné of these primitive authors.
The first prose writer on record, in the English language, was Sir John Mandeville, the famous traveller, who flourished in the time of the gallant Edward the Third, whose reign was