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artifice often adopted by ignorance for the laudable purpose of self-defence. Where the principle to be explained is too deep for the understanding of a man who is not a proficient; it is an admirable auxiliary likewise to veil the ignorance of one who professes to be a proficient. Minds, conscious of their own strength, cannot condescend to such expedients. It is the pride of such men to simplify research, and to deal in perspicuous phraseology. They feel no apprehension that their profes-. sion will be made common property if oracular mystery is thrown aside and the rudiments of their art developed and defined. With an honest boldness they solicit discussion, and call upon every other science for its auxiliary lights. Medicine receives from this source incalculable advantages. The importance of the study, a study in which the life and health of every individual is involved, demands every possible aid that all the other sciences can furnish. Vulgar minds are prone to consider medicine as a science exclusively appropriated for the benefit of the physician, forgetting that we all have an interest in its improvement and perfection. It is under Providence the guard and security of our lives, and the interest of every man who .deems life worth preserving. Narrow sighted indeed, therefore must be that policy, that endeavours to darken with mystery a science so important. Simplicity clears the ground for experiment, the only infallible test by which the merits of this science can be known. Dr. Rush has, and with what success, it belongs to others to determine, attempted to simplify this science; but even the attempt, if he fails of success, is honourable to him. There are not wanting those who are competent to expose his mistakes, and who can ascertain how far his system is sanctioned and how far it is condemned by experiment. Evils of this nature are capable of being rectified; they are thrown open to the day, whereas the defects of this mysterious system are in a great measure inherent and radical. Certainly then that man is entitled to no ordinary share of praise, who boldly stands forth the champion of investigation, in a case of such high and dangerous responsibility as the present. But this volume aspires to a merit more than professional. It may be read not only with advantage by the medical student, the mere literary lounger,
may divide with him the pleasure of perusal. The learned pro-
of his works as we are able to comprehend, will finally waste or throw away the costly and beautiful apparatus he has given us for the enjoyment of mental and corporeal pleasures?” We would wish to make an additional remark. Would an allwise and benevolent being suffer an intellect to brighten amidst the decay of years, to be extinguished forever.
Is it not convincing evidence that immortality is just about to commence? How peculiar must be such solace to hoary hairs, viz. a soul retaining all its pristine vigour, strong and unimpaired by the ravages of time, glowing with all the ardour of youth, as if anxious to escape into immortality, and assume its proper nature, from a mansion unworthy of its residence. But we forget the business of criticism while exhilarated by subjects so enchanting. Law, previous to the time of. Blackstone, was thought unsusceptible of classic ornament. The writers on jurisprudence, contented themselves with stating facts in their own homespun dialects, and considered ornament and perspicuity to be in a state of open and irreconcileable hostility. This vulgar delusion was dissipated by that eminent jurist; and it is now thought to be a species of reproach to a man of letters to be unacquainted with his page. He recommends to every gentleman the study of not the petty, vexatious and professional details indeed, but the broad outlines of the law. As every member of society may be called upon to perform the important duties of a juror, it is both shameful and disreputable to be ignorant of the functions of his office. This is the argument employed by Blackstone to recommend the general study of jurisprudence. May not the same observations apply, and with more peculiar propriety, to a general knowledge of the rudiments and elementary principles of medicine? Who of us enjoys by nature a special exemption from disease, and who. that does not is able at all times to avail himself of medical assistance? We can but believe that there is a new era of medicine in prospect, that the science will shortly enjoy a popularity proportionate to its importance, not as before remarked, in all its petty details, but in its broad and general principles. We can but flatter ourselves that the learned professor is destined to take the lead, and to give to medicine what Blackstone did ta law, all the fascinations of classic elegance and grace. Nor can we refrain from expressing our admiration of those writers who trace and humbly acknowledge the marks of a superintending Deity in all his works. Christianity from this source derives assurance and support, the faith of the humble christian acquires new confidence and strength. Every new triumph in
the regions of science seems so far to remove the awful veil, and the Deity becomes more manifest. · We do not think it extravagant speculation to affirm, that when infidelity is allied to science, the labours of science do not receive the blessings of Heaven, and are not rewarded with success. It is scarcely credible that a supremely wise Creator, after a special revelation of his will to guilty mortals, would suffer infidelity associated with science to counteract his own purposes. It may be owing to this cause that so much remains to be done, and that science has been so tardy in her progress towards perfection. We look with an honest pride on this hoary champion of science, for making so bold and heroic a stand against those of his fraternity who study and explore the works of the Deity, and audaciously deny the workmanship of his hand. This is the general character of the volume now under consideration, and it would be a pleasant theme of description, although foreign from our present purpose, to ascertain which of the characters, the physician, the classical scholar, or the christian, appears to the best advantage. Many critics whose devotion to antiquity falls not much short of idolatrous, are constantly in the habit of running mortifying parallels between the present age and the past, and contend that all genius expired with the objects of their veneration. If they are to be considered as the true representatives of posterity, sentence of condemnation has already been pronounced, but we trust they have exercised an usurped jurisdiction. Posterity will at least claim the privilege of deciding for themselves, and will have but little thanks to bestow on those who have so benevolently forestalled their opinions. This however is not the peculiar and distinguishing characteristic of the present day; former ages have in like manner attempted to monopolize the judgment of the subsequent. Matthew Concannen and Dennis both declared that posterity would never acknowledge the poetical pretensions of Pope. The result has not answered their expectations--the pages of the poet still continue to be admired, and it ought to be a warning to other critics, that all posterity has known of the names of Concannen or Dennis, is derived from the very poet they abused, and denied to future ages the privilege of reading. We are apt to consider the writers of
that period who survived the perishable fame of their contemporaries as the only writers of their times; and because Pope, and Swift, and Addison, and some few others have come down to us, they were the only authors who struggled to obtain the admiration of succeeding ages. We must not be led away by such idle fantasies. Pope and Swift had their contemporaries, who exerted themselves with as much industry as they did, and probably with more sanguine hopes of success, to obtain an inheritance of fame beyond the grave; they had their splendid and superb editions, their puffers and their critics to compensate for the meagre poverty of their intellects, but all this solemn para- : phernalia was incompetent. We may therefore augur that amongst so many writers as the present age abounds with, there are some whose glory is destined to sparkle beyond the depredations of the tomb. Without daring, as those critics have done, definitely to pledge the admiration of future times, we will venture with more modesty to state an opinion that the venerable author may even now solace himself with the reflection that his lite. rary lamp is destined to shed a lustre on his ashes. Medical writers have of late been distinguished for a chastity of style and perspicuity of expression, highly honourable to their characters. They have not, it is true, followed the example of Curran, who gives us ornament, and nothing else; but they have done more, they have ILLUSTRATED by their ornaments. The dark ground of truth sometimes glitters with a literary pearl, and appears beautiful from the contrast when those gems are parsimoniously scattered. Dr. Rush eminently excells in this delicate part of composition. There is a mode of expressing ordinary ideas in figurative language, that confers a fictitious sort of dignity on the subject itself. A licence of this kind when not carried so far as to awaken burlesque by the disparity, is productive of pleasant sensations in the mind of the reader. The following is a specimen of this kind. “ Dr. Sydenham clearly proves that where the monarchy of a single disease was not immediately acknowledged by a retreat of all cotemporary diseases, they were forced to do homage to it by wearing its livery.” Dr. Sydenham on the appearance of the plague in the city of London in the year 1664, left the metropolis, but afterwards, notwithstanding