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LIFE OF A TRAVELLING PHYSICIAN.

interior of foreign life could have enabled

him to delineate ; joined with the shrewd From the Edinburgh Review.

judgments of a cosmopolite on the world

about him. A little more knowledge of The Life of a Travelling Physician, from his languages, we should have thought, would

First Introduction to Practice; including have done him no harm ; bis German is Twenty Years' Wanderings through the somewhat elementary; his sins against greater part of Europe. 3 vols. 8vo. Lon- French orthography (albeit an accomplishdon: 1843.

ment on which he prides himself) unparThis is a rambling, discursive book ;-the donable ; while with Polish and Russian, work of a clever and acute observer ; but though he lived sixteen years in these nowise remarkable for either thinking or countries, he does not seem to possess any style. It has been put together with as lit. acquaintance. He at least disfigures the tle pains as we ever remember to have seen names of places and people in a manner exemplified in the operation of book-mak. only equalled by the most slovenly of moding. But it is, upon the whole, amusing;ern tourists. But as he has managed to and it leads us to think favorably of the au- live and thrive without them, so he sucthor himself. Sir George Lefevre (for so ceeds in giving his reader a tolerable in. the writer is confidently named in some of sight into many things, of which some writ. the periodical publications of the day) has ers of greater pretensions convey no idea. seen much of life-a great deal more than Altogether, had we been consulted, in our he chooses to communicate ; and in what consulting capacity, as to whether these he has here revealed, it is not always easy records of the life of our medical friend to distinguish between 'dichtung' and wahr should be given to the public, we should heit ;'-to borrow the title of Goethe's Me. have felt some difficulty in advising on the moirs, which he has himself chosen by way case: as it is, we are glad that no opportuof motto. Nothing, at any rate, can be nity was afforded us of giving the austerer more careless than his manner of throwing counsel. together his loose remarks on men and The travelling physician' first introthings; nothing more commonplace than duces bimself to us in his capacity of medtwo-thirds of the matter with which he has ical student; having just picked up knowfilled up the predestined and favorite num- ledge enough to fancy himself the victim ber of three volumes. But the remaining of all the ills which flesh is heir to. It was portion consists of quaint anecdote, and under this conviction that he started on his descriptions of scenes and characters, such travels, after obtaining his degree at Edinas only an intimate acquaintance with the burgh. Each pain and ache,' says he,

VOL. III. No. III. 19

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• every comfortable sensation which I expe- health ; and we hear no more of his conrienced, seemed to indicate the last stage of sumption. consumption. I was continually feeling my After the termination of this engagement, pulse, taking a deep inspiration to discover we find him again in London, exerting himwhether I had any pain in my chest, atten. self 'to get on' in the usual course of his tive to every little symptom which might profession. He nearly succeeded in a great tend to strengthen the opinion which I had canvass for a Dispensary; but at last, al. formed of my case. I had two objects to though he could prove by his books that he attain, and their mutual accomplishment had secured two-thirds of the bona fide subwas necessary to my existence. I had to scribers, the candidate whom he feared the regain my own health, and to procure the least created upwards of a hundred old means of so doing by endeavoring to restore women, whose proxies threw me,' he says, the health of others.'

into the minority! I was in a rage, and The unpromising resource of East or the directors were in a rage, and a council West India practice was of course the first was called, and a law was passed which prething which offered itself under these pecu- vented such proceedings for the future; but liar circumstances; but fortunately, as it had no retrospective influence, and it did turned out for our physician, his endeavors not help me.' for employment in those quarters did not After three or four more years of hard succeed; and in September 1819, after a study, anxious expectations, and no fees, he period of that trying and anxious uncer. accepts a situation with Prince tainty which is usually allotted to the young Paris, as family physician for five years. pilgrim in bis outset in that profession-one of the roughest passages in the life of all , day, and only thought of the morrow as able

to

" The Prince was a man who lived for the and one with the sufferings of which there

procure him possibly more entertainment than is the least sympathy to be met with-he the day. He seldom read, and if he did, it was found himself comfortably established as only a pamphlet, or the last new novel published travelling physician to Lord, then leav- by Avocat. With politics he never troubled ing England in the last stage of consump- himself, or he had, perhaps, been too much troution. We might, were it proper, fill up the bled by them. As regards general litrerature, blank with the name of a Scottish noblemau however, he seemed to be quite au fait ; he

knew the merits of most authors, and could of no ordinary character; one of those san

equally point out their defects. Speak of chemguine temperaments so often found in con- istry, he seemed thoroughly acquainted with junction with predisposition to this malady; the principles of the science. Physics he had a the projector of schemes of singular mag- natural talent for, and was often occupied in innitude, who lived, like many similar project. venting some plan to counteract the loss in vertiors, a little before his time, and would cal motion. He was a very fair mathematician. have found in our days a much wider field He was an excellent modern linguist, and could of action, and fellow-visionaries as zealous nothing of the classics. His conversation was

speak half a dozen languages fluently. He knew as himself.

replete with anecdote, for his memory was most English physicians had not then attained retentive, and he turned everything he heard to the melancholy learning with which they his own account: he made it in fact his own. So now estimate the several varieties of air far from appearing to have neglected his educaand temperature in the regions to which tion, he seemed on the contrary to have studied a they recommend the victims of that appal. derived from what he had picked up in conver

great deal; and yet his whole information was ling complaint. They consigned their pa-sation, and little from books. His social powers tients to various by-places of the newly were great, and as he was not pedantic, but galopened Continent; but with results much lant and amiable in the extreme, so he was the same. Spain was talked of for winter- adored by the fair sex. The character drawn ing—then Montpelier-hen Toulouse-by Segur of the famous Potemkin would apply and Pau was finally determined on, where in many respects to the Prince. the southern breezes blow freshly from the

"I may observe, that his occupations were

most trivial. He would rise at five o'clock, put glittering icy wall of the Pyrenees, full in on his robe-de-chambre, and sit at his table in sight. 'Qui diable vous a conseillé de venir his study till ten or eleven o'clock A. M.. During ici ?' said the Basques, as they pointed to the whole of this time he was employed in sketchtheir mountains. The first breezes of spring ing something upon paper, chewing the corner heralded the departure of the poor invalid, of his pocket-handkerchief

, and taking snuff; and procured the doctor his release, and a wholly absorbed in these occupations, he hardly

,

lifted his head from the table until he was sumpleasant solitary tour in the Pyrenees, moned to breakfast. Then his latent faculties where a village Æsculapius seems to have became free, and he would converse during the laughed him out of his fancies about his whole of this repast with his maître d'hôtel, or

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his cook, if he had no other company. He sel-more ? Now be candid, and speak the truth dom, however, was driven to such expedients; boldly: you know that I cannot do without you.' Sor as his table had the first reputation, there “ There is nothing like making an appeal to a were seldom wanting guests in the shape of man's feelings; it is by far the best way of atcousins, or nephews, or even of intimate friends. tacking him. The cook felt the full power of the This repast, which generally lasted an hour, was concluding part of the sentence~ I cannot do always taken in the robe-de-chambre; and then without you. he retired again to his cabinet, where he remain- “Why, sir, I admit that yours is an excellent ed until it was time to dress himself for the more situation ; but you know, sir, that it is not equal important duties of the day ; such as are per- to my expenses. I like society-to treat my formed by a man with plenty of money, and friends handsomely. I am addicted to play: without any official occupation, in the most dis- enfin j'ai une petite maîtresse ; and you must sipated city in Europe. "It was a promenade be aware, Prince, that, all these things conwith the Duchess of or the Countess of sidered, your wages are not sufficient.'

-; perhaps it was in paying court to the "Good,' said the Prince: 'this is precisely King, or more probably in doing nothing at all, the point to which I hoped to bring you. Teil with which he occupied himself till dinner-time. me how much all this costs you over and above

“If the time previous to this important epoch what I give you and I will make up the differof the day, for to him la vie c'était le diner, was ence; only do not rob me.' not all disposed of, he quietly undressed and went “ The cook laid his hand upon his heart for a to bed, where he slept as soundly as at midnight, minute, and looking with an affectionate, and until his valet announced to him that it was time even grateful expression towards his master, reto dress. Then his imagination awoke, and he plied in a suppressed sigh, 'Non, monseigneur ; je was employed in anticipating the quality of the prefere de vous voler.! Having said this he burst repast till he found himself seated by the fair into tears, and hid his face in a cotton handkerDuchess, and in the act of saying the prettiest chief. The Prince, seeing his distress, clapped thing in the world, or relishing a delightful him upon the shoulder, and encouraged him by mouthful of some choice dish. This was his saying, "Bien, mon cher, très bien, comme tu le element; he shone here as a bright star in the voudras.'– Vol. i. p.

112. gastronomic firmament; but what greater eulogium can be paid him, than the one pronounced We must find room for a couple of other upon him by his own cook, who, in speaking of portraits from the same Prince's household him, and discussing his different merits, observ; gallery-his French and Russian valets, ed, that it was a pleasure to serve him; for, said Baptiste and Nicholas—each, like the cook, he, Monsieur le Prince est essentiellement cuisinier.”_Vol. i. p. 108.

an arrant thief; but the one a thief of honor, the other of a religious turn.

the Prince himself respecting them : The artist in question had been cook to two Empresses, and was a man of merit, faithful servant enough in his way, but were I to

“Were I to ask the former, who is a good and but an inveterate thief notwithstanding.

ask him, I say, to do any thing more than he “ He had attended several courses of chemis- thought consistent with his dignity, and the glotry, and was always busy in inquiry. He ob- Were I to command him in the field, he would

ry of the French name, he would spit in my face. served to me once, indeed, with great emphasis willingly rush into the cannon's mouth, and this that with respect to cooks and physicians it might be said truly, that their education was

not in mere obedience to my individual comnever finished.' Though the man was a Gas- mand, but with the idea of serving his country con, there were some good points in his charac- Whereas that bear, as you call him, does every

through me, and doing his duty as a soldier. ter. He was honest enough to confess his dis- thing which I tell him to do, because it is I who honesty.

“ The Prince, once shut up with him in his tell him to do it. He never stops to consider carriage and proceeding gloomily along the whether ! have the right to command him or

not. road which leads to Smolensko, (soon after the but then he will burn the other off for

It is true, he will rob me with one hand, termination of the campaign which reduced that Such is human nature; such the difference be

my

sake. city to ashes,) wishing no doubt to change his train of ideas, burst like a torrent upon his un:

tween unpolished and civilized life. suspecting artist with the emphatic demand"Why do you rob me so ? The poor astounded • The difference of character in these two sercook, who was at the very moment probably de- vants was strikingly illustrated when they were vising some plan of peculation, to make up for under niy care. Baptiste had injured his leg, the time lost in a long, and for him unprofitable, and the wound spreading, he became alarmed: journey of some weeks' duration, replied in an seeing, also, that I did not look as if I gave him agitated tone, Sir, sir, I don't rob you, I only much hope, he inquired with much agitation

I -only-only make the usual profits of my 'Est ce que Monsieur le Docteur en ait une małe

Stop,' said the Prince, 'I am not angry raise opinion ?' with you: I know that you rob me; but I wish to “ We shall see, Baptiste: drink no wine. make an arrangement with you. Why do you “ The following day, as I entered his room, he do it? I give you a handsome salary, you have first pointed to the bottle of wine, which wasunmany perquisites, and what need have you of corked, and then undid his bandages with fear

Thus says

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and trembling: Baptiste,' I pronounced, and he expression startled me a little, and the more so trembled. Cela a changé de face, Baptiste.' as it was in a hotel in the Faubourg St. Ger"Tant mieux, Monsieur le Docteur, tant mieux; main. Tout ce qui est ultra este bête,' said the mais Monsieur parle très bien Français !' What doctor, as he was criticising the conduct of one satisfaction did he experience in paying me this of his patients, who, not having attended to the compliment !

doctor's injunctions, was suffering for bis disobe"Now, how did Nicholas conduct himself un-dience by confineinent to his bed. der bodily suffering ? He had received a kick Permettez-mois de rous presenter le Médefro a horse, which had produced a considera- cin de mon frère,' said the lady of the house, inble contusion. I was absent when the accident terrupting him, c'est un Anglais.' The doctor happened; but upon my return I found Nicholas rose and bowed in honor of my country. Sevestretched upon a mechanical bed. It was im- ral commonplace phrases were interchanged bepossible to keep my countenance. He was beat-tween us; but nothing which passed denoted ing his breast with one hand with all his might, any thing extraordinary in the mental endowand holding a Bible in the other. I asked hin ments of the phrenologist. Still, as I gazed uphow he felt, he replied, 'Graces à Dieu, Mon- on his brow, I seemed to see indelibly imprinted sieur le Docteur.' He continued his lamenta- the iron character of his soul; the stern, unyieldtions morning, noon, and night. It happened to ing physiognomy which scarce allowed a smile be in Lent, and nobody could persuade him to to play upon it. His countenance was one, howtouch a bit of meat; and he said grace over ever, expressive of great intellect ; for thus far every glass of water which was given him to we will go, but no farther, that the head is the drink. His friends who came to see him got so 'mansion of the mind, and the index of its tired of his misereres, and so disappointed at find- powers.' ing no good cheer, that they soon abandoned " And how is poor N-? inquired the him. When lett quite to himself, he held sweet hostess. converse therewith; and thumping his breast, Oh, voilà encore un animal,' replied the docand turning round the image of the Virgin, he tor. He has taken some offence at what I said soliloquized, 'Eh bien bon Dieu, tu m'as lappé to him yesterday, and I suppose I shall not be forttu as bien fait, j' ai été un grand pécheur. sent for again. Indeed, I hardly think that he Then he crossed himself again. Laissez-moi will live through the night.' échapper cette fois-ci-Oh bon Dieu-je confes- « « Good God! is the poor old chamberlain so serai à l'avenir trois fois par semaine. Thus did near his end as you say?' he amuse himself for days and weeks, until, the 6. He has lived long enough,' he replied, 'to bones uniting, (for he had broken his thigh,) he be wiser than he is. He took offence at somebegan to stump about as usual ; and as he im- thing which I said to him, and which wounded proved in health, his piety decreased in fervor.” his pride; but it was true, and bad I not wrap-Vol. i. p. 137.

ped the bird in warm towels, it certainly would

have died.' In this curious family our physician “Pray, be more explicit,' continued the lady, seems to have spent his time pleasantly and tell me what has passed. You know that enough, between Paris in the winter, and we are related, and I take a interest in all

great

that concerns ihe old Dieppe in the summer. He gives us very little of his French reminiscences; but we will know all the gossip of the town, I'was sit

“«Why, then,' continued the doctor, “if you

666 extract the following sketch of Drs. Gall ting yesterday by his bedside, and had paid him and Spurzheim, then in the full bloom of rather a longer visit than usual, when one of their respective theories. The rival thu. those convulsive fits of asthma to which he is so maturgi were men of very different char. subject, and which sooner or later will put an

end to his existence, began to manisest its attack. acters :

I rose to go away, and see my poor patient at “Dr. Spurzheim's physiognomy indicated home, and who wanted my care; but the asthevery thing which was kind and benevolent, and matic man made signs to me to stay with him he was what he appeared. A better man never till the fit was over. I told the attendants that I lived. He bad, perhaps, too great faith in his was in a hurry, that I had a patient at home own opinions. As to the countenance of Gall, I waiting for me. They pressed my remaining, should say that it indicated that feeling had been but I insisted that I could not; for unless I hastabsorbed in interest, and that it betrayed a dis.ened to wrap the peacock, who had caught belief in every thing, and even in his own sys- cold, in warm towels, he might perhaps die. tem; and if the world judges rightly, such was “ í Good God !' said the hostess,' and was this really the case. In conversing with several of the patient who interested you so ? and could the French professors upon this subject, I found you leave a human being in his sufferings, to them unanimously of this opinion. Spurzheim look after a peacock ?' croit au moins à lout ce qu'il dit, comme un bon “It is a great favorite of my — 's,' and he enfant. Gall n'y croit pas un mot.' Such was stopped himself. Your relation, the Mareschal, the opinion in Paris.

sent it to me from Poland. I would not lose it

for any money; and when I could do good in “I first met with Dr. Gall at a patient's break the one case and none in the other, is there any fast-table. He was busily employed in eating thing so monstrous in it, pray ?!”– Vol. i. p. 148. dried salmon, for which his organs of taste seemed to have been particularly created. His first The father of Phrenology was by no

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means popular with his brethren of the pro-| ladies' man, for ladies like to hear about wonder. fession at Paris; and was considered guilty ful things, and with all such he is conversant; of many deviations from orthodox practice. but dead languages require study and applicaAmong others, he was in the habit of de- tion, and these it does not enter into his heart

to conceive. He has studied truly in a great noting the drugs in his prescriptions by book, and retains the best part of its contents ; numbers, to which only a few confidential but this is a book which owes nothing to the ari chemists had the key-by which means he of printing. When in a library, he is completely effectually precluded not only the patient out of his element, though by his conversation but the faculty from criticising his exhibi- you would suppose he was quite at home; and, tions. He was once persuaded to become

without ever having read a volume, he is more

conversant with the facts therein contained than a candidate for the Academy of Sciences, the mere bookworm who has been groping in it but was blackballed by every voter but for years, but who, with all his labor and inforone—M. Geoffroi de Saint-Hilaire, his pro- mation, cannot make himself agreeable in socieposer.

ty for a single hour. The other loses nothing At the end of the stipulated five years, that he hears; he gains his knowledge as he the physician accepts an invitation to windoes his florins, by the toil of others; and he is ter with the Prince in Poland, and to pro- the calls he has upon them.

satisfied with both when they are sufficient for

They are both ceed thence, viâ Odessa, to St. Petersburg; equally necessary to him; he can live neither and here the really interesting part of his without money nor without society; he procures narrative begins. Travelling in the society both at a cheap rate, inheriting the one, which of a party of high rank, he saw at least the affords him the means of purchasing the other: outside of Polish high life, such as it is, or nor is he content with a modicum of either. If was found in the great castles of the inte he is in society he must enjoy it-he must shine

in it. rior, some three years before the Revolu

“Few people have more active or penetrating tion, which spread such bitter desolation, minds, better memories, and a more happy not over the kingdom of Poland only, in method of converting every kind of information which its chief military events took place, to an useful currency.'— Vol. i. p. 277. but wherever the Polish language was spo

Whether it be the effect of bad education, ken; for from every corner of that ancient

or of bis irrepressible restless nature, and realın, some of the noblest of its children

a sort of practical epicureanism which looks made their way to take a part in the strug.

on life as not worth the trouble of serious gle. It is but a gloomy picture which he investigation, the Pole studies nothing; and draws of Polish society. The old destiny his knowledge is confined to what may be weighs still on the nation, and generations creditable in conversation. His life passes of trial have not yet redeemed it-patriot- in a routine of crowded, uninteresting sociism without unity, bravery without energy, ety, with little excitement but that of gamand genius without application... A hun bling ;—the vice and ruin of his race from dred thousand of the nobility of this devo: the earliest period. The Russian is in mated country have peopled the deserts of

; Siberia since Catharine first placed its my respects a similar being ; but then the

Russian of rank, whatever may be his crown on the head of her paramour. Few qualifications as an individual, fills a post years have passed in which some of her as a component part of the mightiest politichildren have not departed on that pilgrimcal machine in the world, which gives his age without hope ; where the last prayer of life a very different significance from the parting friends is, that they may never meet wretched, purposeless existence of the Poagain. And, in these last times, every part lish nobility. of Europe has been witness to the heroism,

One curious effect of the selfishness enand the dignity, with which her high-mind. gendered by such habits as are unfortunate

, ed exiles have endured their unequalled iy inevitable in a community of nobles and privations. Yet the Pole, at home, seems to be the same reckless being as ever-ex. is apt to steal over the rich and prosperous,

slaves, is that excessive fear of death which hibiting the same insignificant, listless ways and vents itself in a thousand strange ecof living, the same mixture of indolence

centricities. and impatience, the same mobility of temperament, which fills his painstaking Ger- " I should say that the Poles were more cerman neighbor with astonishment, dislike, than the English, and that they were more ap;

tain in succeeding in their attempt to kill time and self-exaltation.

prehensive also that time would kill them. I The nobleman of the present day is a lin- have been consulted by many of them, not for guist, because chance has made him so; he can any particular complaint, but for the sake of astalk of wars and battles, because they have been certaining my opinion as to the probability of familiar to him from his cradle; he is a perfect their longer or shorter duration upon earth.

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